Hello Judges! We have a special feature for this week’s installment of Judge of the Week. For Exemplar wave #13, Tomasz Ludkiewicz from Poland had been chosen as your Exemplar Vanguard. So we have reached out to ask him a few questions.
Name: Tomasz Ludkiewicz
Location: Region Europe – Central, Poland, Elbląg
Judge start date: L1 – 22.12.2013, L2 – 02.04.2016
Occupation: Analytical Service Manager
Favorite card: R&D’s Secret Lair
Least favorite card: Island 🙂
Favorite format: Modern
Commander General: Teysa, Orzhov Scion
Favorite non-Magic Game: Mass Effect, Talisman
Best tournament result: I won a Grand Prix Trial once. 🙂
Random fact about yourself: I’m a Depeche Mode fan.
Why do you Judge?
I love to see those smiling faces of players which are given good customer service and when they say: “I didn’t win, but tournaments with you as a judge are great.”
What’s the best part about your local Magic community?
The best is the fact that they are willing to help me with all the tournament preparation when I ask them. 🙂
You are The Chosen One – you have been nominated to be the Exemplar Vanguard for the next Wave. What was your first thought when you learned about it?
I said WOW!!!! A vampire looking like me…
You are known for your customer service skills, inexhaustible source of enthusiasm and good sportsmanship. What other features would you associate with being Exemplar Vanguard? Besides your permanently smiling face, shining at events like the sun. That is definitely a big plus for a judge whose face is supposed to become immortalized in an Exemplar token illustration. 🙂
A feature like my beard – vampires usually don’t have beards. 🙂
Tell us your favorite Judge story.
I cooperate a lot with my judge friends – helping them judge at PPTQs. In 2015, when I was still L1, I helped with 2 of those within just one weekend. First day it was something like 45°C outside, inside even worse, because the room was without air conditioning and we had 40 players. At the end of that tournament, the water vapour condensed on the ceiling and flowed down the walls. 🙂
What has been your favourite Magic event that you’ve judged?
I think it was my first GPT which I judged – not having any experience how it worked. But I think I did pretty well.
What is your favorite non-judging moment that happened with other Judges (or after event story)?
That was this year’s Bologna when, after Friday working on GP, I went with 3 other judges to dine in a local restaurant, and we chatted a lot about everything, also about the Judge Program. It was an amazing night.
What challenges have you faced or are you facing to become a better judge, and how have you worked to overcome them?
When I started judging bigger events, I had a big problem with team working, because I always liked to do things on my own. Now I know that a GP depends on many judges and everybody has their own role. Also it is better to work in teams because more tasks can be done.
Who have been some of your biggest mentors in the Judge Program, and what did they teach you?
Witek Waczyński – how to make players smile and give them good customer service.
Piotr Karpowicz – how to start a Magic community and make it exist in a town without a local store.
These have been your mentors. But it is worth noting that you are a great mentor yourself; apparent just when reading the Exemplar nominations you have received. Do you have any observations related to this area? Any tips or tricks how to approach mentoring?
Mentoring is something that has become obvious to me. Helping other judges, supporting them in their work and introducing new people to our community is an area where I feel very comfortable. When I see a new judge, especially in big tournaments, I try to help them. It’s something I do automatically. At smaller events, I observe other judges and after the event I try to talk with them and pass on my observations. Sometimes I praise, sometimes I say what they did wrong. It depends on the situation and the judge’s personality. And if you want to know something more, ask Antonio Zanutto. He showed a great presentation about mentoring at the recent international L2+ conference in Prague.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
How to smile every day and be always nice to customers no matter what your mood is.
What is one tip you have for other Judges?
Always smile and stay hydrated. When you’re not well hydrated smiling is very hard.
Proudest moment of your Judge life?
When I became L2 and certified my first L1.
What is your favorite non-Magic hobby?
Swimming and cycling.
It looks like you are a really busy person. How do you manage your time with all the duties you have as a Tournament Organizer and a Magic Judge combined with your other hobbies?
It’s very hard to combine all duties. Work and family is taking most of my time. But if you have such an understanding girlfriend as I do, you also have time for Magic. Also my L1 judges help me with the local scene. Nevertheless, any GP trip has to be carefully prepared by me. As for my hobbies, I do them in free time which I don’t have so much. 🙁
What would you be doing now if Magic no longer existed?
Probably would find another card game. 🙂
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
It was 1998. My friends played some card game at school so I started playing with them. 🙂
What’s the biggest rule-breaking play you’ve ever made as a player?
Once I had a PPTQ and a GPT one after another. I was the HJ of the PPTQ and I played in the GPT. After HJing, I was so tired that during GPT, while playing GB Tron deck, I resolved Ancient Stirrings without revealing a card to the opponent three times in a row. 🙂
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
It would be Farrokh Bulsara, known as Freddie Mercury.
If you were a Planeswalker what would be your ultimate?
Unlimited beer for everybody. 🙂
Alright! Would you let everyone choose on their own or would you force them to drink your favorite one? Which is?
Everybody could choose their favorite beer; I’m no tyrant. My favorite is summer IPA.
If you were a creature what would be your creature type?
I would be a warrior knight. 🙂
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I was a sea lifeguard.
- I was a regional orienteering champion once.
- I hate bananas.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!