Judges! Our rock star this week is none other than Belgium’s own Jurgen Baert! He’s a multi-talented individual that’s never too busy to lend support to his fellow judges.
Name: Jurgen Baert
Location: Oostende, Belgium
Judge start date: January 2007
Occupation: System engineer for a public radio and television broadcaster
Favorite card: Fathom Seer.. those were the days
Least favorite card: Fog
Favorite format: Any limited
Commander General: I don’t play Commander anymore 🙂
Favorite non-Magic Game: Hmm, varies. Right now, Steampunk Rally scores well!
Best tournament result: Hahaha 🙂 I think I won a couple of prereleases a long time ago, maybe?
Random fact about yourself: The previous time I ruled the galaxy, it exploded. Sorry! :/
Why do you Judge?
Many reasons, really. None of them are why I started. One, for the awesome people I get to meet and the friends I see
at events. Two, because I like the challenge; even after this many years, I still find it interesting to do many of the things the judge program has me doing. Three, because it’s a hobby that’s financially rewarding, allowing me to do
lots of it (and allowing me to play Magic for cheap). Four, because I love to travel and judging has brought me all around the world! Five … well, I could go on for a while…
What is your favorite non-judging moment that happened with other Judges (or after event story)?
One memory that just pops up: we once played “guess the card” after the event, where we opened a booster pack, each got a random card stuck to the forehead and had to guess through yes/no questions. Daniel Kitachewsky got a Swamp…that was hilarious. I think he had it narrowed down to a Red Mythic Enchantment or something similar that wasn’t even in the set. I think we broke him that night 🙂
Who have been some of your biggest mentors in the Judge Program, and what did they teach you?
Early on, Arnaud Bourdoux. He doesn’t judge anymore, but he was my main mentor, teaching me all things judge-related. Later on, Carlos Ho and Kevin Desprez have had a huge influence when I was trying to become a decent enough human being to be considered L3. I’m not sure they succeeded entirely (;p), but I’m thankful for their efforts every day.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
The judge program is great at self development, and that has really helped me a lot. One example: Jaap Brouwer once gave me a book named Leadership and Self-Deception. Read it!
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
Meeting for food and games, obviously. We don’t do this often enough, but when we do, it’s great fun!
What is your favorite non-Magic hobby?
Differs, lately LEGO has been pretty high on the list. It’s been computer games, and I have another great project lined up that involves building a rather heavy motorized “toy”. Yeah, I’m geeky like that.
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
High school playground, when I was … ugh … I just realized … half my current age. Wow. Time’s fun when your having flies.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Well, I’m actually happy being surrounded by the people that I do know! But hey, maybe Han Solo to tell him spoiler!
If you were a Planeswalker what would be your ultimate? Probably making an emblem that gives all your planeswalkers a couple of loyalty counters each upkeep. (Hey I actually like this; someone tell MaRo!)
Proudest moment of your Judge life?
PT Berlin, making L3. And that’s not close 🙂
What are some tips you have for other Judges?
Don’t get too nervous! You’ll be fine =)
What character in Magic (real or fictional) represents you the best, and why?
Nicol Bolas, your Evil Overlord. Obviously.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
2 and 2!
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I could walk alone when I was 10 months. My mom hated it, but at least I fit under the table so I couldn’t bump my head!
- When I grow up, I want to be retired.
- I have two brothers and a sister. None of them ever played Magic. 🙁
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!