Welcome back to another edition of Judge of the Week! This week, we’re highlighting a judge with passion for his community. Say hello to Chile’s Nemesio Bolaños!
Name: Nemesio Alejandro Bolaños Gutiérrez (yes, 4 names as Riccardo Tessitori once pointed out!)
Location: Arica, Chile
Judge start date: 11/2011
Occupation: Electrical Engineer =D.
Favorite card: Gifts Ungiven/Fact or Fiction: I love interactive games and Game Theory
Least favorite card: Pack Rat, pretty straight-forward and overpowered card in RTR limited.
Favorite format: It varies from time to time, nowadays Modern 😀
Commander General: Karador, Ghost Chieftain was the very first recognition I got from Carlos Ho when I didn’t even know him in person.
Favorite non-Magic Game: I like simple games, so Sushi Go!, though I’d love to try out Power Grid.
Best tournament result: Currently 14-1-1 at …. my kitchen table 😀
Random fact about yourself: My L3 superpower (cause every L3 got one after being bite from a radioactive L3 panel lead after passing the panel) is missing flights. One of those memorable times ended up with me sleeping in a police station while my return flight was departing to my hometown.
Why do you judge?
My early days in the Judge Program were about finding support as a stand-alone judge in my hometown. Back then, I started noticing I was having difficulties, so I decided to look after others to help me out. Being from an isolated area was a huge challenge, but through the process, many many awesome people jumped in, and at some point I figured out I really became involved into the program.
One of the first things that caught my attention was the how different people from other regions are. All of them, with their cultural differences in different places, from the very outgoing and enthusiastic judge that travels every month (I see you, Brazilian judges :D) to the more introverted and reflective ones, I’ve learnt from those awesome people and have become a better person.
You formerly were part of the Judge of the Week project. Tell us a little about your experience with it.
My relationship with the JOTW project was like a love at first glance. I just loved what they strived for: Highlight and provide recognition to awesome judges around the world. I’m from a pretty much geographically isolated area (I used to have to travel 2000 kilometers to meet the nearest L2) so I had the need to squeeze some learning from each experience working with other judges. We are just such a wide community, and it therefore is quite important to make everyone feel included. When I joined the team, I thought: “There are so many awesome judge stories. Let’s go for them!” So I learned a lot about different cultures, lifestyles and perspectives to see the world that I found amusing.
How do you balance project work with judging events and other life responsibilities?
This is a tip I learned from Adrian Estoup, our RC in Latam. When I have many judge-related things heading my way, I make a “To-Do list,” listing my judge-responsibilities in a notepad near my desk so when I am at my laptop, I can easily start dealing with these in my free time. I also have an overview of the time I am dealing with the program.
All in all, regardless the system/logic you use to balance your regular/Magical life, I’d advise to have an honest introspective look. Check if you are fine with what are you doing and make it count.
What is your favorite non-judging moment that happened with other judges (or after event story)?
OK, this was Sunday the night after GP Rio 2013 as we were going to a judge dinner. That night was cloudy and somewhat rainy. So we got outside to the streets and took the very first cab we could get. In retrospect, by paying attention to the cab before getting in, we could have prevented what then happened. So after some minutes of random talking with the driver, he decided to put some loud music, turned on party lighting inside the cab, and was driving like Vin Diesel in the Fast and Furious movies. After some minutes, we managed to get to the judge dinner in one piece. Did I mention that somebody recorded a video of that ride?
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
Besides the logical skills, I learned things like teamwork, leadership, working under pressure, which ultimately helped me to find a nice job, I have to say. It also helped me to be a more complete guy, and confident of my skills. I “learn to learn” from others and value this as the program introduced me tons and tons of awesome people all around the world.
Some of those people come from totally different realities, and experiencing things from their perspective has been something that caught my attention. =)
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
The first time I got in contact with the game was in an old and small store in my hometown back in 2000. There, I got a starter pack and started playing with my brother for some years. A couple of months later, I left the game due my studies. But some years ago, I randomly had a second crush with the game. By that time, there were no LGSs so the local players barely managed to run casual events in a random home where rulings were decided by common sense. In that context, I decided to contact somebody to instruct me about how to run events in a good manner. After a couple of weeks, I met Diego Sotomayor, who trusted me enough to teach me.
What was the proudest moment of your Judge life?
It’s tough to choose one over other awesome judge moments. A couple of those that stand out to me are:
-After hitting L3, one of the first events I judged after was the WMCQ in La Paz, Bolivia. The WMCQ started as usual, with a players’ meeting before round one. But in the middle of the introduction of the event, I got a present from the TO, a playmat that some players and almost every judge in Bolivia had signed. Another huge one was the token I got from Carlos Ho and the other L3 judges in GP Santiago =).
–A couple of weeks ago, we were attending an event called “RPTQ Weekend.” It was a multi-event weekend hosting the RPTQ in Santiago de Chile. That same Friday, we managed to finish Marco Gaete’s L2 test, and he made it! =). After finishing the interview and telling him he was L2, I suggested he visit with us and say hi to the gang on Sunday at the event (since some of the judges – including me – were not from Santiago). Fortunately, he went on Sunday to play a sealed PPTQ that day. At the end of the Swiss rounds, we surprised him by welcoming him to L2. Although it might be seen as a small detail or “not a big deal” to some, I strongly believe those small details are the ones that stay with people and make the difference.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- Just like Noah’s ark I’ve had many pets at my place: sheep, turkeys, chickens and even goats for months.
- I collect playmats for the GPs I’ve judged at, though I’m missing a few, and lost one in a pub in the middle of a gang fight.
- (Kids, don’t try this at home) For 15 months didn’t eat any fruit, I used to hate fruit so much at the time… but afterwards I regretted it.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!