Mike Guptil

Started: February, 1996
Role: Event organization, judge development

Reflections from Sheldon Menery:

Mike Guptil embodies the term ‘professional’. Much of what we do as both judges and tournament organizers has sprung from Mike’s fertile mind and dedication to excellence.

Mike taught a generation of judges, including me, how to carry oneself with dignity and grace, how to walk the fine line between customer service and maintaining the integrity of the game.




Without dampening my fire in the least, Mike demonstrated how to channel my inferno of energy into a laser-sharp point. One thing that struck me in particular was Mike’s ability to be in charge without feeling the need to let everyone know that he was in charge. It was a lesson that served me well going forward, and helped me find my feet as a leader in the DCI. It was certainly from him that I observed the power of the ‘iron fist/velvet glove’ approach to leadership.

It’s a comfort knowing that we will still have access to his wisdom, strength of character, and support. To quote Michael Corleone, ‘…if I ever need a consigliore, who better?’ He will certainly forever be with us.

About David Lyford-Smith

David has been a Level 3 judge since 2010 and is the Regional Coordinator for South Africa & the British Isles. He was a contributing author to the modern Missed Triggers policy and the Judge Code of Conduct, and is the head of the Player Experience Sphere.
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