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April 13, 2004 - Don't be that guy.

 

A most of you know, I run events for a lot of different companies. This past weekend, it was Upper Deck, and I got to run Yu Gi Oh Regionals. We had 130 something players. I am unsure if I will ever have exactly the right number due to pre-registered players not showing up, and other people pre-registering with one UDE number, then registering on site with another UDE number.  I’m going to guess… 135! I think.

 

In any case, Yu Gi Oh Regionals plays out a lot like Magic Regionals. Tiebreakers are different, and there are no draws, but it’s a straight Swiss event and the top four get to go to Nationals. There are a lot of similarities, including in how people act at the “big events.”

 

There are good people, and there are bad people. The good people are normally there to have fun, compete a little bit, and if they do well make the top and get the invites. The bad people are there to get a win any way that they can. Calling judges on their opponents over every little rules infraction, deliberately trying to get under their opponents skin, deliberately lying or misleading their opponents, and other not-so-fun things.

 

It led me to think a little bit about Magic Regionals, which is coming up fast. For the first time in a long time, I actually will be playing in Regionals. In the Southwest United States, where I live, Regionals alternates between New Mexico and Arizona. This year, it is in New Mexico, which means I do not organize it. After some talks with my wife, it was decided that I would go play this year.

 

Historically I build my own deck. I am a pretty good deck builder, having built two States winning decks, a couple Regionals top 8 decks, some Pro Tour Qualifier top 8 decks, and a couple Grand Prix money making decks. But historically, my decks tend to be the “almost there” decks. They normally are one round away from winning anything they are supposed to win, due to being just a little too rogue, and this year I was really interested in making it to Nationals, so I convinced a “well known player who shall not be named“ to help provide me with a deck.  Let’s just say, he’s won a few euros at this game.

 

After watching Regionals this weekend, and the number of game losses and other penalties given out that could have been easily avoided, I decided to make a list of things to make sure to do when I go to play in Regionals, and thought I’d share it with you. In every event there always seems to be “that guy.” That guy is the guy who didn’t really do anything wrong, and is not cheating in any way, but gets a game loss for a simple mistake that should never happened.

 

This is my “Don’t be that guy” List.

 

1. Type up my deck list before hand, complete with sideboard.
 

There’s a bit of an argument to doing this before the event, but here is my rationale. If I take a look around and decide I need to audible some changes to my deck that day, all I have lost is the five minutes or so it took me to type it up before hand. There’s nothing saying I can’t change my mind just because I had typed it up before hand. And if I don’t change my mind, I have a perfect deck list with no possible communication problems because of my bad handwriting.

 

 

2. Count your deck every round. Count your sideboard every round.

 

As a judge, I can not tell you how many times I get called over at the beginning of a round to hear “I just was shuffling my opponent’s deck and noticed he only has 59 cards.”

 

Don’t be that guy!

 

How hard is it to count your cards while YOU shuffle your deck? Not very hard at all. Before your shuffle, take out your sideboard and count it. Take a second look at it to make sure it’s the right fifteen cards. Then, while shuffling your deck, count it. Make sure it’s the right amount of cards.  Its an easy thing to do and could potentially avoid a game loss for you.

 

3. Shuffle your opponent’s deck every round

 

I don’t care how well you know the guy sitting across from you. Shuffle his deck. If you know them, they’ll understand. You want to shuffle EVERYBODY’s deck so you do not appear to be prejudiced against certain players. And it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Who knows whether the guy across from you stacks his deck? Not only that, but its also a good chance for you to count their deck as well. Note that I do not recommend counting your opponents deck every round. That’s rules lawyerly and cheesy to me. But if you think there is something up with the way they just side boarded, take a minute to count their deck, or ask them to count out their sideboard for you while you shuffle their deck.

 

4. Never trust your opponent on a ruling.

 

I cannot stress this one enough. More times than I can count, I have had a player come up and ask me a rules question in between rounds. When I answer the question, they respond with “Well, my opponent told me it worked like this instead.” I, of course, always respond with “Why didn’t you ask a judge?” which gets me either a shrug or “He said he was a judge.”

 

Even if he is a judge, he can still be wrong, and it is not in his best interest to give you a ruling that hurts him.

 

NEVER trust your opponent on a ruling. This is just common sense, nothing more. Even if your opponent is Rune, our top judge out there right now, he is not a judge when he is playing in an event, and you need an unbiased opinion. Call us immediately if you have any doubts about a card or rule. It’s our job. Its what we are paid for. And if you have any doubt about what the judge has told you, feel free to appeal to the head judge. We won’t take offense, honest, and it is far more important that you get the correct ruling.

 

5. If you win or draw the match, sign the result slip, double check it, and bring it up yourself.

 

My last two Regionals events have both had players fall to this “trick.” They win their match, and they sign the result slip, and their opponent volunteers to fill it out and bring it up for them.

 

Somehow, of course, during this filling out of a result slip, the loser must have “accidentally” filled out the result slip with him winning instead of the correct player. And if we have a result slip signed by both players acknowledging a result, the chance of it getting overturned is slim.

 

If you win, the FIRST THING you should do is tell your opponent good game. The SECOND THING you should do is to fill out the result slip marking you as winning, double check it, and then give it to your opponent to sign. Then, take it back from him and bring it up yourself.

 

I know this whole article seems like common sense to many of you, but speaking as a judge, I see every single one of these things happen on a regular basis. That one game you win or lose because of a simple thing is one game that may make the difference between you and an invitation to nationals.

 

Don’t be that guy.

 

 

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