Welcome, judges! Our latest rock star has been known to joke around with players and other judges, but is all business when it comes to providing top-notch customer service. Meet Kir Jarchow!
Name: Kir Jarchow
Location: Redmond, WA & San Francisco, CA
Judge start date: November 10th, 2013
Why did you become a Judge?
My boyfriend of the time (and of the present), Peter Richmond, kept telling me all of these funny stories about the antics he’s experienced while judging at tournaments. One day, somebody bought me Duels of the Planeswalkers to exploit me for the free Magic card it comes with. Seeing this in my Steam library, several of my friends peer pressured me to play it. I played it, decided it was a lot of fun, then got curious as to how my boyfriend had become a judge. I looked it up, and 2 months later certified as a judge, not even yet owning a tournament-playable deck!
Occupation: Software Engineer at Getaround
Favourite card: Swan Song
Least favourite card: Angelic Wall (The bane of my existence as a planeswalker. The first time I played with physical cards was mini masters. Angellic Wall was the only creature card I got. It went exactly as you expect.)
Favourite format: Sealed deck
Commander General: Oloro, Ageless Ascetic
Favourite non-Magic Game: I’ve been playing quite a bit of GTA V recently…
Best tournament result: My Monoblue Devotion deck brought me many first place FNM wins back in Theros
Random fact about yourself: I own three beautiful Betta fish!
Tell us your favourite Judge story.
Early in my Magic career, at a Card Kingdom PTQ, John Carter came up to me and asked “What are you doing this evening?” Confused, I replied “Judging….?” to which he abruptly replied “You’re head judging modern.” I was pretty taken aback at this, and told him “I’ve never actually played Modern.” He sternly replied “Have you played Magic? It’s a lot like that.” Then he turned around and walked away.
The Modern and Legacy side tournaments were seated next to each other, and Carter later started subbing in as Head Judge for Legacy. I was setting up the next round, and set my uncut slips on a table while hanging up the new round end time. I came back and found them on the floor, so I picked them up and Carter started hissing at me. Intimidated, I quickly cut the slips and handed them out. At the end of that round, I turned in my round slips and Carter falls to his knees and starts wailing very loudly. I sort of just stared.
I later found out that he was trying to race me in round turnover, and had knocked my slips onto the ground.
How has being a Judge influenced your non-Magic life?
I’ve done a lot of traveling for work and leisure, and being a Judge has made it easy for me to quickly find people that I can trust in every place I visit. When I started working in San Francisco I was able to make lots of awesome, amazing friends through judging.
What is one tip you have for other Judges?
Remember that you’re more than just an authority. You’re customer service; love your players!
What is your favourite non-Magic hobby?
My hobby is making things! Most commonly, I write code, grow plants, and I love to cook.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
Judging gave younger me an awesome opportunity to develop interpersonal skills, and the confidence that I can do anything that I set my mind to that I’ve since exercised on the daily. It’s helped me to rapidly mature from a kid with no self-esteem to an adult who can do adult stuff. It was a vital stepping stone for me to get to the awesome place where I am today, and I am definitely grateful.
What is your favorite “after event” story?
After a tournament, I decided to play EDH with a few L3s and an L2. Despite being the lowest level, I won a rules debate and we all laughed. Later I threw Chaos Confetti all over the game. It was beautiful.
How do you have fun during events?
When not actively busy, I’m always plotting the next dumb joke to tell my players. I especially love doing this at large tournaments, since there’s so many people from so many places to talk to and give me ideas.
What kind of jokes do you tell?
My jokes are usually along the line of announcing tournaments as being a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament during announcements, warning judges that my red pens are cursed and they’d best return them, explaining colorless mana to established players as a cost of “money you must mail to WotC at the conclusion of the tournament,” etc. I can’t remember too many at the top of my head, since I usually come up with them on the spot.
If you were a Planeswalker what would be your ultimate?
According to the Google+ Magic: The Gathering community I’m an admin for:
-7: You may take the level 2 practice test. You take an extra turn for each question you answer correctly this way.
What has been the proudest moment of your Judge life?
My first PTQ as a certified judge. Before I was certified, my mentor put me on staff at a PTQ at his game store, then gave me my certification test afterwards. During that first PTQ, I was a complete wreck and had absolutely no idea what I was doing or what to expect. I was even scared of the players themselves! However, my first PTQ after certification, about 2 weeks later, went extremely smoothly and I gained a lot of confidence from it. Towards the end of that PTQ, several players expressed their shock to me when they found out that I was the same judge at the previous event because my demeanor was completely different. I was also surprised and delighted to find out at the end that I was being compensated with a booster box!
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- The first word I ever spoke was “computer.”
- I became a professional software engineer at the age of 20.
- Half my family is Jamaican.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!