Blame the Shuffler

During a deck check in round 4 of a PTQ, you do a quick ‘fan’ of the player’s deck, face down. You notice that ten of the cards seem to be in sleeves that are a millimeter or two smaller than the rest. Those ten cards are 3 Hero’s Downfall, 3 Dreadbore, and 4 Ultimate Price. You ask the player about his sleeving process, and he says that he sorted the deck, filled out his deck list, then sleeved. He also mentions that he had to use two packs, because the first pack only had 50 sleeves. You’ve ruled out any type of Cheating. What do you do?

Judges, feel free to discuss this scenario on Judge Apps!

Well done everyone! This is a situation which can arise pretty easily, and the answers you gave tended to be spot on. This is definitely marked cards, due to the varying sizes of the player’s sleeves. In addition, because of this line in the IPG,
The Head Judge has the option to upgrade this penalty to a Game Loss if he or she believes that a player noticing the pattern of markings would clearly compromise the integrity of the game.
we have encountered a situation in which we should upgrade the penalty to a game loss. While we don’t think the player has been taking advantage of the situation, if noticed there’s plenty of potential for them to do so, since all 10 of the different sleeves contain removal spells. The player should replace their sleeves immediately, with completely new sleeves. Advise the player to shuffle their sleeves together in the future before putting their cards in them, and keep in mind that the sideboard sleeves should be replaced as well. If possible, assist the player in their re-sleeving process, and remember that the resleeving needs to happen away from their opponent.