The latest installment of the Star City Games Open series in Milwaukee, WI was my fourth. The tournament was once again held in the Wisconsin Center, and would last a span of 2 days. The first day would be dedicated to the main event while the second day comprised more of side events. My report will follow a similar structure. There were 809 players in the main event, which was around 200 more than they had anticipated. I believe there was at least one player/judge that was conscripted to help for the day. Even though coverage was thin at times, I believe the event went fairly smoothly in the grand scheme of things. Most issues appear to have been handled or worked around easily.
I was on the Paper (Pairings) team, so we would help pass out slips or cover the floor as soon as we got done putting up the pairings sheets, depending on what was most needed.
I was positioning pairings boards when the player’s meeting began. I was then approached by another team lead and given a stack of tokens to hand out while collecting decklists/waivers. When that was finished we went back to wait for pairings to be printed.
I think that there was a slight breakdown in communication somewhere between the scorekeeper, my team leader and the rest of the team. My team leader said he wanted to wait until 10 minutes before the round 1 to put up pairings so there would be ample time between the player’s meeting and the start of the round. For some reason we only had 4 pairings boards instead of 6. We had to go ask and find the others and set them up. This took almost the entire 10 minutes before the round, so players were still waiting to see their round 1 tables/opponents later than they probably should. Once we had all of the boards set up correctly, it obviously wasn’t an issue for the rest of the day. I don’t believe this resulted in a huge delay, just an opportunity for improvement.
The rest of the day went along relatively well. We were pretty spread out for floor coverage, but seemed to answer most of the calls without too much delay. As the day went on, things got easier as players dropped from the event.
Interesting Calls on the First Day
Probably the most interesting call I had was when I was called over to help a match resolve some Eldrazi shenanigans. The Living End player had cast Beast Within on the Bant player’s Thought-Knot Seer, in response to the Thought-Knot Seer‘s enter the battlefield trigger. The Bant player then activated Eldrazi Displacer‘s ability to blink the Thought-Knot Seer in response to the Beast Within. The players were confused on what happened then. So I told them that the Eldrazi Displacer‘s ability would resolve completely and that the Bant player now needed to decide the order of the Thought-Knot Seer triggers on the stack.
There were also 2 games that were restarted by Karn Liberated in one round. I was also wrong in telling the players in one of those matches that the player who went first in the game went first in the restarted game. The player who restarted the game with Karn Liberated gets to go first. Unfortunately, I was unable to find them again when I discovered my mistake. However, I’m confidant that it wasn’t that detrimental, the Urzatron player restarted the game with all 3 Urza lands and a Courser of Kruphix.
I also learned the WALTER format of writing penalties on match slips. FYI: Table number; Judge last name, first; Player 1 or 2; Penalized Player last name; Infraction.
Side Events on Day 2
My side events team leader on Sunday asked if we had any experience doing side events at large events. I said that I have worked on sides at large events in the past. I was rewarded with being in charge of all of the On-Demand Events. The first thing I did was find out what tables were allocated to us for ODEs and then I made a grid with all of the table numbers so we could keep track of draft, commander, and constructed pods easily. This let us also map out where the scheduled side events would take place. There was one instance where I was talking with some players and failed to notice the buzzer going off for a couple of minutes. I learned from that mistake and made sure I was vigilant about watching for the remaining pods of the day.
I ended the day by making sure there was another judge that could cover the rest of the ODEs that were running, the scorekeeping table had stopped sign ups for the day. I then was free to take my Level 2 written test for the third time. Thankfully, I finally passed.
Thank you to all of my fellow judges I worked with and for my team leaders and our RC Rob McKenzie for working some time in for my test. I felt that the even though the event was larger than initially anticipated, we did well in adapting to the event and working pretty efficiently.
As always, if anyone has any comments or suggests, I’m always open to constructive criticism or humorous jabs.
(Editors Note: Join in on the discussion here!)