This week, we are proud to present a native of Great Britain who came to the state of Mississippi in the United States. While in the US, he learned Magic, discovered his talent as a Judge, and has worked hard to bring his adopted home state onto the Magic map. Now he is the editor of the Judge Program wiki page, so all Judges can benefit from his insights. Here is our Judge of the Week, the ratbox himself, Adam Hubble.
Name: Adam Hubble (aka ratbox, Matt Voxx, Mumbles – an IRC thing)
Judge Start Date:
Occupation: Senior Programmer Analyst
Favourite Card: A Gatecrash Rat Token that CJ Shrader “altered” so it’s holding a box.
Least Favourite Card: Island
Favourite Format: Standard
Commander General: Jenara, Asura of War
Best Tournament Result: I really don’t play a lot of magic. I think I’ve played in two Comp REL events in my life. I came in 2nd in a pre-release once; that has to count for something, right?
Favourite non-Magic Game: EVE Online
Random Fact about Yourself: You’d never guess it from my English accent, but I am not a native of Mississippi. I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, in England.
How did you become a judge?
I’ve been living in the US for almost 7 years now. Four years ago I moved to my current location and started to find some things to do. I had dabbled with Magic in M10, so was happy to play that again. The local game store wasn’t particularly organized, but I also didn’t know anything about organized play from WotC. After being at the store a few times, and starting to use my laptop to run WER, one of the players suggest that I look into becoming a Judge, as I seemed organized enough. I didn’t know what a Judge for Magic was or entailed, but I ended up on IRC and crossing paths with Justin Turner and Ben McDole, and that’s when things escalated, and got me where I am today. Right now I am the only L2 in my state (which makes PPTQ seasons fun) but I am working on making sure that Mississippi is properly represented in the SE US region, and that I do what I can for the player and Judge communities in my area with the resources and people I am fortunate enough to have around me.
What has Judging Taught You?
Being a Judge has taught me many skills that carry over into my day to day life. It’s certainly helped my confidence and gotten me used to speaking up. The struggle to overcome the English “stiff upper lip” mentality is real, but Judging (especially with a vocal Florida group) has worked wonders to break that barrier down.
What have you brought to Judging?
As well as developing skills in the program that I can use outside, I have been lucky enough to find ways to use skills I have inside the program. I was recently made the manager of the Judge Program Wiki, so I’ll be spending a good deal of time trying to revamp and develop that resource into something positive for the program again. I am a huge supporter of the wiki, and the collaboration and crowd sourcing technology behind it. It was sad to see the wiki just fade and stagnate, but it give me a chance to put my foot in the door and write some long documentation, and wave that documentation at some higher level judges and say “Hey, this is what I want to do, give me a shot!”. So far they have listened, and hopefully things will continue to go according to plan.
You were nominated for your work in building the Magic community in Mississippi. What work did that entail?
Before I got involved in the program, Mississippi had a few certified judges, but I got the impression they were not plugged in (or perhaps just not interested) in being part of the Judge Program. When I got involved, I wanted to go all in, and I think that drive has hopefully made the situation better. We were sort of a blank spot on the regional map, with no one knowing what was going on. I haven’t exactly been able to turn everything around, but with daily communication to key judges in the region, I have a sounding board for how to improve things. I’ve used social media to start to unite the player base across the State, which is an achievement in of itself I think. Now I am taking that to the next level and including the L1 judges I have made, and work with, as much into the Judge Program as they wish to go.
What motivates you to remain a Judge?
Quite simply, the people. I work with the South Eastern US judges frequently, and for the better part of the last 3 years I have been in almost daily communication with them. That sort of relationship, which isn’t always about judging, is the kind that helps build friendships for years, if not life. Due to my distance I don’t get to see them very often, but when I do it’s like a beat hasn’t been missed in the friendship. I also value being a part of the player community. It’s always encouraging to be at larger events around the country and see some players from Mississippi, ask them how they are doing, and just know that I’m not the only one who shares a passion for this game (although I suspect they do it for other reasons). I’ve been fortunate enough to be accepted to many events in my time as judge. I am making preparations to head to GP Vegas, and StarCityGames were kind enough to accept me to return back to the Motherland with GP London in August 2015. My parents don’t seem to care too much about the Magic side, but they are happy enough I’ll get to see them for the second time in 7 years!
What is your favourite event that you Judged?
GP Miami 2013 was my first GP, and the first time I really got to spend time with the Florida judges that I had been talking to and learning from. It’s unfortunate that I fell asleep beside the hotel pool one night and was covered in mosquito bites, and even more unfortunate that I did not happen to bring my Epi-Pen to the convention center with me. It had nothing to do with Magic, but I guess it’s a part of what Magic is to me, and the Judges that make up my experience with the game and the Judge Program. (Thankfully I’ve never needed to see an EMT at any subsequent GPs).
What is the proudest moment of your Judge life?
I think my proudest moment of my Judge life was reading an Exemplar Recognition from Justin Turner for work I have done to build up Mississippi in the region. He’s a leader who asks a lot of those he entrusts with responsibility, but will also give anything he can to help you do your job. For him to see and appreciate the work I had done made me realize that I must be doing something right, even if Mississippi will never be quite like Florida.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following answers are true, the other is a lie! Figure out which!
1)I have a small tattoo on my shoulder that says “Tut tut, looks like rain”
2)I used to train and teach 15th century Italian Rapier as a western martial art
3)The flag on my judge name badge is due to Justin Turner not realizing there was a difference between England and Great Britain
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judgeTODAY!