Welcome back to Judge of the Week! For this week’s installment, we chat with a judge who has a great sense of humor, is a regional captain, and organizes social events such as a seasonal judge dinner. Say hello to Pascal Gemis!
Name: Pascal Gemis
Judge Start date: February 2017
Why did you become a judge? When I’m involved in a game, I want to know everything about the rules. I started to learn the rules by myself at first, then I started to be involved on some French-speaking forums, answering rules questions…the next step was logical and I contacted a local judge to learn how to become a judge.
Occupation: Working in a Fritkot, a typical place from Belgium for selling Belgian French Fries. If you travel to Brussels, come to say hello 🙂
Favorite card: Counterspell. I really love to counter an opponent’s spell.
Least favorite card: Counterspell. I really hate to have my spells countered.
Commander General: Nekuzar, the Mindrazer. I really love to play games in hard mode and as my local community really hates Nekuzar, it usually ends up in 3-4 players vs me.
Favorite non-Magic Game: I enjoy a lot of games but don’t have a favorite. It depends on my mood. Last month I spent a lot of time on Heroes of the Storm.
Best tournament result: Winning a prerelease. But a big one.
Random fact about yourself: I suffer from batrachophobia (irrational fear of frogs) so much that I wasn’t able to watch the Muppet Show when I was young. It’s better now and only real frogs make me run away.
You were nominated for your work in your community doing things like organizing judge dinners and putting out a regional newsletter. Can you tell us a little about that?
Community and social gatherings are really important to me, so when Emilien Wild submitted the idea of organizing a seasonal judge dinner each Wednesday before the prerelease, I wanted to be part of that project. We organized the first ones together in an all-you-can-eat restaurant in Brussels.
As he is really busy, he stepped out of the project and I started to organize it alone. At a time where I wasn’t able to take the time to organize it properly, I involved the amazing Jonas Drieghe in the project and he immediately came up with the best idea ever: Bringing the dinner to other cities. One year we had a travelling judge dinner, walking through Belgium, and it was a big success as we met a lot of local judges and candidates.
What are some tips you have for other judges?
You’re not alone. If you’ve got a difficult situation in your community, in a tournament, in your path to the next level…don’t give up. There is someone who can probably help you but, if you don’t speak about your difficulties to other judges, they can’t help you.
What is your favorite non-Magic hobby?
Role Playing Games. Unfortunately, I have no more time to do them as my family and Magic use all the free time I have. My last game was more than two years ago 🙁
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
I had some school friends who were playing the game. As I’m curious, I jumped in and fell in love with Magic.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
God. Seriously, animals have a lot of funny stuff like wings, strange color, a cool sound..and humans? Nothing. Come on.
If you were a Planeswalker what would be your ultimate?
[-2] Bring a fresh beverage to each player.
What is the proudest moment of your judge life?
The certification of my first judge son! Mentorship is something I really enjoy and that first certification was the proof that I was able to lead someone from L0 to L1.
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
I’ve cast the same Remand 3 times. One time from my hand and two times with flashback thanks to Snapcaster. It was on the last WMCQ I played, I was really tired and playing Grixis Control for the first time in my life. I Remanded a spell, two turns later, Remanded again by giving flashback with Snapcaster Mage. A few turns later I Remanded again, with the same Remand and another Snapcaster…but the story doesn’t end there. I realized the mistake only at the time I cast a third Snapcaster and wanted to target…the same Remand. I immediately called the judge, realizing the big mistake.
Tips for the latter: Never go to a competitive event with a deck you’ve never played if you’ve only slept 2 hours.
What would you be doing now if Magic no longer existed?
Writing a book about my work. I met a lot of people in my work as eating French Fries in Belgium is cultural and the place where I work is frequented by every layer of society. For example, one of my regular customers is a minister, another one is homeless guy. When you mix everything, you have a lot of funny stories that happen frequently. I post them on my Facebook…and a lot of people ask me to make a book from them but, thanks to Magic, I don’t have the time for that.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I’ve read the Lord of the Ring Trilogy for the first time in less than 3 days.
- I’ve never had enough planeswalker points to get byes in GPs despite the fact I play at least one event per week.
- I’ve already sold some french fries to a member of the Belgian Royal Family.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!