My First Review – Abby Kraycar

My First Review – Abby Kraycar

Welcome back to another edition of My First Review. Although reviews typically cover observations from a single event, all the work that judges do outside of events creates many opportunities for feedback. In her first review, Abby Kraycar took the time to acknowledge Chris Wendelboe’s contributions to the judge program as a mentor outside of events. Let’s take take a look.


Abby Kraycar
Abby Kraycar
Date: December 10, 2015
Event: GP Pittsburgh
Reviewer: Abby Kraycar,
Level 1 Floor Judge
Subject: Chris Wendelboe,
Level 2 Floor Judge

Chris Wendelboe
Chris Wendelboe

Strengths: Chris, it was absolutely wonderful working with you at my very first GP! GP Pittsburgh had a lot of issues, but having you as my mentor buddy definitely helped me learn a lot more than I would have on my own.

Something I noticed that was really awesome is you were so willing to roll with the punches. We had some space constraint issues at the GP where we weren’t able to run our side events (basically at all) so we were told to floor judge the main event. I was a little nervous being a L1 judging the main event of a GP but you seemed fully confident in my ability which totally made me feel more at ease. You kept following up with me after calls which is something I feel helps break that mentor/mentee wall.

Areas for Improvement: Something I think could be worked on is awareness. This is something I’ve noticed in most judges. Not only spacial awareness, but 10-15 minutes into the round are the slips out? In round 2 of the main event I had a bunch of calls with no show opponents at the 40 minute mark. The slips weren’t even cut yet, so I went up to the paper team and prodded them along and helped with handing out the slips. I feel like more judges should have been helping hand them out as soon as they were cut since I didn’t get done handing out my stack until 23 minutes left in the round.

You took a call in the main event about Nourishing Shoals. The player was asking what the CMC was of the original Nourishing Shoal if he exiled Nourishing Shoal with the original’s ability. You weren’t 100% sure so you asked me, but what you were asking was very vague and I didn’t get the whole story from you, so I thought you were asking what the CMC of the exiled Nourishing Shoal was so the player would know how much life he would gain. We ultimately decided to tell the play the CMC was “2” when it should have been “4” leaving the opponent able to Spell Snare the spell or something to that nature. I feel like this miscommunication on the floor may have been avoided if we had taken the extra few seconds to speak away from the table and get the whole story straight.

Comments: One last thing that I think is an amazing quality is your ability to form connections with people. We were only paired up for the first day of the GP, but you followed up with me the second day and pretty much every day since. You made sure that when I had the issue with the player accusing me of making him lose the game for calling him out on slow play that I understood that it wasn’t my fault and he was just looking to blame me for his lose/lose situation. You made me feel better so I was ready to go back out onto the floor re-energized and ready to judge! The every so often message prodding me to write my reviews, take my practice test, and ultimately schedule my L2 test definitely boosts my confidence and makes me realize that the mentor/mentee bond should definitely go beyond just the one day at an event. It is something special that I hope every judge gets to experience. Not only did you teach me a lot about what it means to be a good mentor, but I hoped you learned something while mentoring me as well! I can’t wait to work with you in the future.


This review was for my judge buddy during Grand Prix Pittsburgh. I wrote this review for a few reasons: it was my first Grand Prix; Chris was my first judge buddy; and I hadn’t written a review before. Since then Chris and I have been great friends and traveled to many GPs together. At first it was super intimidating to write my first review on a higher level judge; since I’d never written a review before, I had no idea what kind of flak I might get for saying something constructive. However, this review ultimately was a good stepping stone into the world of reviewing.

Since then, I’ve realized that judges love feedback, positive or critical, and that the only flak you’ll receive is if your review is either not accurately reflecting what happened or super vague. My review was detailed enough but could have been a bit more descriptive. I’ve also learned that good constructive feedback provides suggestions or fixes rather than just basically saying “this was not so great.”

The biggest thing I took away from writing this review was to never be afraid to write a review of ANYONE!

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