Interview with New L2 David Lachance-Poitras

Hi again, judges! We are congratulating David Lachance-Poitras, a Canadian judge who recently became a L2. David has been praised for the level of initiative he has shown, as well as helping putting together the travel guide for GP Montreal. Let’s find out more about him!

Tell us about yourself.

Hi, I’m David, I am an IT Engineer who has been playing Magic since 1996 during high school. I come from a remote rural area in northwestern Quebec and I was one of the few “geeks” in the school way before it became the culture it is now. I was ahead of my time !!! 🙂

I always loved strategy and fantasy games. Magic had both so it was a perfect fit.  The game was a way to escape from my worries during high school and later on in college and during my Engineering Degree. I am not scared to say that Magic contributed to me “surviving” through all my studies.

What got you interested in becoming a L2?

When I moved to Montreal for my degree, I started playing more competitively, playing in the old PTQ system and the GPs held at Montreal.  After my degree was completed, my career and meeting the love of my life made it so that I was getting less opportunities to play and grind with the life responsibilities I was gaining. So I transitioned from playing to judging, which motivated my decision to get certified.

When I started judging as a certified judge, I was already intending to reach L2 eventually, although on a slower pace than I did in reality.  I didn’t want to burn steps and gain sufficient experience in the field before I would feel ready to handle more responsibilities as an Area Judge.

However, the PPTQ circuit has been implemented and over time, I noticed that the community did not seem to have enough L2s for the number of events offered in the area and it was starting to affect some of our L2s.  This motivated my decision to speed up my L2 process and work harder in order to reach that goal as soon as possible to help them.

What was your journey to L2 like?

I have been privileged to have been mentored by two awesome judges during my journey, which made the process easier. This does not mean that it was easy, however.  

I am a relatively introverted person and my communication skills suffered from it.  This has led to cases where I lacked confidence delivering rulings, which led to appeals and missed rulings. Over time, with practice and the help of my mentors (and their patience!!), I acquired more confidence in myself.

In addition, it took a while to master the IPG and accept some parts of the philosophy behind it that I didn’t really agree with from my point of view.  Another part that I had difficulty regarding the IPG was applying the right fix for more complex situations.  I was really good in identifying the infraction, but sometimes I was using the wrong fix. This is one area that I am actively working to improve the most.

What advice do you have for aspiring L2s?

Work hard mastering the rules and understanding tournament policy so that the “dreaded” exam becomes a simple formality. Practice makes perfect and there are lots of judge resources to help you!

Nurture a strong network of contacts (judges, TO’s, RC) in your area as well. I am working hard to catch up on that field as it was something I was lacking a bit during the process.

Maintain  good and consistent communication with both the players and the event staff during the events you judge. This helps build a strong reputation in your Magic community, which leads to more enjoyable tournaments and more interesting judging opportunities.

Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to L2?

During my process to L1 as well as during my road to L2, Eric Paré and Robert Hinrichsen have both been involved with mentoring as well as providing opportunities to judge in some Comp. REL events, which was important for me as I learn more by practice that by theory only.  I wouldn’t have obtained that promotion to L2 that quickly without their support.

I would also like to thank Jamie Blanchette, the manager (and TO) of the Magic area at the Le Valet d’Coeur shop for trusting me to judge his events (FNM’s, Prereleases, PPTQ’s) from the very beginning.  He is an awesome TO to work with!

What is next for you now that you’ve made L2?

Keep building on what I learned and experienced so far to improve more as a judge. I am also sharing what I learned with the two judge candidates I started training a few months ago.  I am also starting to Head Judge some PPTQs, which will certainly help reduce the workload of the other L2s in the area.

As a pet project of mine, I am looking in the direction of the Magic community of my origin (and remote) region to see if I can help it grow by supporting the few TO’s in the area.
Best of luck, David!

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