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  • posted a message on Grand Prix VIP - Worth it?
    Quote from nanoplasm
    Different organizer for the two events.

    Cascade for Vegas, and CFB for Oakland.


    OKC = Oklahoma City, which is Legion Events.

    Quote from Darth_Solo_
    I had VIP in Vegas and it was worth it. I'm getting VIP for OKC just because of how well it was done in Vegas.


    I'd encourage you to keep an eye on the Legion web site; I've heard that they're going to be doing some different things for VIP come OKC. (last I heard, something I'm working on right now is related to one of the new[ish] benefits)
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Trying to Enjoy the GP Las Vegas Coverage
    Quote from Wustin
    ...printing out multiple copies of pairings (God knows how much paper they will go through today)...


    6-7 pages per 50 players, depending on how they're printing out result slips. So Round 4 pairings (where the number of players peak) would have just under a ream of paper used between the four scorekeepers.

    Note, though, that once this tournament started, the logistics weren't that bad for the scorekeepers, as from their perspective they are each handling a ~1100-player event. The big logistical hurdles come from work outside the rounds: you need to split 4k+ players up manually, and join them in software that does not support even 2k players.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [Compiled] Upcoming Promo Information
    Pro Tour promos were different than GP participation promos: they were given in various ways to people who came to spectate during the course of the event. (initially, PT promos were given out 1-per-person, then they became side event participation promos)

    Since Pro Tours have been moved to essentially be private events, the need for PT promos has been diminished almost entirely, and as a result, since 2012, there have been no Pro Tour promos.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Shuffleing
    At a tournament, the term to know is "sufficiently randomized".

    At all times, your deck must fit that criteria, in that you cannot reasonably know the location of any card that was not revealed by a card's effect.

    Your opponent not shuffling does not fit the criteria of sufficient randomization. Neither does putting his hand on the bottom of his library as a shortcut of a mulligan.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Number of players and number of rounds (I need a mathematician)
    I jury-rigged a swiss triangle program I built, which is almost identical to ubernostrum's link, and set it up just to run through high number counts and spit out the rounds.

    No more than 8 players at X-1 or better:
    9 Rounds: 225-384
    10 Rounds: 385-736
    11 Rounds: 737-1312
    12 Rounds: 1313-2432
    13 Rounds: 2433+

    No more than 4 players at X-1 or better:
    Add one round to the aforementioned numbers. (and appropriate numbers at lower round counts) In any occasion which a round count goes up above, it's because of the potential of a 9th person at the X-1 threshold. That same threshold bumps this level up, as it opens the potential of a 5th X-1.

    Important note:

    Yes, the numbers are different than the official WotC numbers for 8/9/10 rounds. In my testing (as my mathematical knowledge is not strong enough to derive an equation for this sort of thing) these are the numbers which, assuming all pair-downs win, mean that there is absolutely no chance of a ninth X-1.

    You can check ubernostrum's link and see that that site also gives the same conclusion: 226 players can yield 9 X-1s. (note that that site always adds rounds at the even power, so the 9-to-10-round cutoff there is at 512 players) Note though that the numbers begin varying at the other round cutoffs, but in my opinion that may be a methodology-in-algorithm concern. (because I'm not hand-calculating that!)
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Wizards Event Reporter...grrrr
    Yes, this is an issue due to the number of times that WER needs to ping a WotC server, especially for things like verifying or looking up a DCI number. Things that, inconveniently enough, happen at thousands of locations continuously for several hours on Fridays.

    No ETA on a fix...

    If you have nothing but regulars + players that know their DCI numbers, hit the logout button right when you start the program. It'll stop pinging the WotC servers then.

    (I may be running some FNMs locally just so that they're run without these massive delays...)
    Posted in: Third Party Products
  • posted a message on What's your Top 5 Best Anime Series?
    1 - FLCL

    It's been knocked from the top on several occasions due to newer series, but it has the holding power which keeps it on top.

    2 - Kara no Kyoukai

    An OVA of several movies, the final main episode is the only reason it isn't my top series. It, like some other series of the more recent era, (mainly based on Nisio Isin works) provides new life for the dialogue-driven series.

    3 - Eden of the East

    Dead simple series, and one of a formula which is becoming all-to-common in anime today, but it came out before the formula became stale.

    4 - Bakemonogatari

    In the same irk as Kara no Kyoukai, it is a dialogue-driven series that rewards the seasoned watcher, in similar ways to Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei or (more recently) PS&G.

    5 - Neon Genesis Evangelion

    When the overall plot of the Rebuild movies became pretty evident, I actually was incredibly pleased. Going back to the mid-2000s, I read a 6-chapter Evangelion doujin which continued from End of Evangelion, and I consider the arc of NGE->EoE->this doujin as _easily_ the single-greatest story arc in anime. Anything which brings Rebuild towards the arc this doujin created is great in my books.
    Posted in: Television
  • posted a message on Play/Draw rule changing
    Quote from Polendino
    That's a pretty knee-jerk reaction. The system promotes skill; by doing better you get more rewards. To allay your outburst, the policy is only rolling out to Top 8's.

    Though, if this is rolling out to GPTs, I just can't *WAIT* to have to go and tell each - and - every - pairing what their standings are. I'm unaware if WER can print standing on a results slip, but I'm not looking forward to using this policy at a GPT; It's often one of the first Comp REL events people attend, and if the Top 8 play-draw works differently from their average play, they'll likely get confused.


    Best way to handle that is to be clear, and make sure the information is available to those that need it.

    - Post standings before you post pairings in the final round. (so players can strategize in the final round)

    - Post standings after the final round. (more so players can confirm records and placements)

    - Top 8 should be handled with a judge nearby anyways, and it is a single-elim bracket, so the difficulty in discerning who is the higher seed should be very, very quick to resolve.

    PS: An L1 is a wholly-higher level than an RA - saying you're both is redundant.
    Posted in: Rumor Mill Archive
  • posted a message on Finkel/Kibler Ruling - Should we record our own matches now?
    Quote from EX33396948
    Well... I hope some day I can be on that level.

    Till them, it all leaves me very sad-faced.


    This comes with event experience and learning from other judges.

    LOTS of experience, and LOTS of talking.

    Four years after starting judging, I first heard the term "tournament integrity", when a large-event HJ talked about a DQ. It's probably the most important thing to understand when understanding the philosophy of judging. (that, and being around long enough to watch documents evolve, and be around to hear the discussions as to why those documents have been doing so)
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Pulled a misprint at prerelease
    The abstract of what the judge did was normal. The specifics depend on the organizer and staff - sometimes only the rare would be replaced, most of the time the entire pack will be replaced. Some TOs will let you buy the "bad" pack as if you were just buying a pack; others will just give it to you later, and others will keep it. (I would guess some TOs under the impression WotC will want it for some reason)
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on [DKA] DailyMTG Previews 1/9: Loads of cards!
    Quote from Hinotama
    Also, according to the article, they are making 5 more 2-color flashback spells, but with the reverse colors.

    So -

    White with Green flashback - Ray of Revelation
    Green with red flashback - new card
    Red with black flashback - new card
    Black with blue flashback - new card
    Blue with white flashback - new card

    I can't wait to see how they turn out.


    Pretty sure he means reverse as in the other enemy color. So White w/ Black flashback, etc.
    Posted in: Rumor Mill Archive
  • posted a message on Apparently, Cheaters do prosper
    Quote from Scandic
    I do not want to push the "problem" with number of judges at events. I want to push the way they work;

    Judges can have decklists with them during rounds, and an assigned group of players to check.
    Judges can at any time budge in, take a players deck and sift through it, while game-play is still happening, count copies of (key-)cards etc.
    (If it takes (more) time judges can even give the player the top deck card in his draw-phase.) Check deck while not altering sequence of it, OR make the rule that it has to be reshuffled when handing library back.

    Remember, judge can already have counted copies of that all-important card in hand, gy, exile and field before picking library up.

    Decklists with them during rounds:
    - Decklists can be copied so the main-station doesnt have to give up the original ones, electronic solutions etc. There must be ways to make this much more convenient than it DOES sound for all of us MtGplayers who have played under the same system for years.

    If they just look at new ways to do it with technology that doesnt cost much.

    Its important for game-integrity that judges have the possibility of "jumping at players' cards/decks" at all times. Like now f.ex. no judges check limited decks during game2/3.

    There are basic rules that helps this that arent enforced well enough imo, like no other cards than MD+SB cards on table etc. Judges/Organizers slack on not evaluating how a player appears as a whole, and then dont use that as a pointer of where to look (is what I suspect at least). They seem to only do pre-game checks and respond to judge-calls.

    Judges must get a much higher cowboy/marshall-factor !


    Background: If you've played in a Legion Events tournament in the past 10 years, or you've gotten pairings from a projector from another TO, you've seen the technology they use; I'm the current developer for it, and some other tools used by TOs for large events. I have also both judged and scorekept at a ton of events from FNMs to GPs, and event logistics from the event perspective is kind of my little curiosity.

    On technology, WotC is very picky about tech used at their events. There is a piece of tech I developed that is essentially gives you all your tournament info (past round results, current table, time left in round, optional tiebreakers) accessible from a smartphone. Proved to speed up events. WotC shut it down.

    Everything you're asking simply requires more manpower. More time. Longer rounds. Fewer judges available for questions. Worse prize support.

    More Manpower - Electronic decklists sound alright until you get to logistics.
    • It's hard enough to read handwriting on some decklists. Now read it on a digital copy with compression artifacts. OCR? Expensive, the aforementioned handwriging, and many card names aren't English words, so we'll get all sorts of random things we'd then need to get the original anyways to look up. Typing in? I use a self-developed utility for decklist entry, and I can optimally (bunch of 4-ofs) do 2 decklists a minute. Un-optimally (a limited deck) it takes 2 minutes. That sounds fine until you think of a 1000-person GP.
    • Wireless networks are often flaky at large events. Several operations machines, usually the dealers, and some judges are all on that network, and it is generally even flaky from the setup side, which we can't control. Both the last two premier events I was at (GPKC, PT Philly) had at least one instance of major problems regarding networking computers. (one memorably involved a foreign judge facepalming when I explained why this was happening)
    • A paper trail is one of those "big things" that every tournament needs. At PT Philadelphia, the tournament software crashed on one of the side event machines, taking down three tournaments and their tournament data with it. The downtime was about an hour, because there were complete records for all players on paper. (match slips + deck lists) Electronic submission of decklists sounds plausible in a vacuum, but I would guess 10% of players make a last-minute change to their decklist prior to the event starting. Now we need to deal with user modification of decklists up to a certain time, as well as handling the issue that our paper decklists and digital decklists need to combine to be a complete record of all players.
    More Time - Judges at GPs will sometimes stop a deck check after a certain amount of time, in order to prevent that match from having the chance of holding up the entire tournament for too long. Some of the techniques developed regarding logistics are entirely designed to keep a tournament from lasting too long, and keeping as many players playing as possible. The more judges stop games, the more people will just be waiting around. Bad customer service, bad event. Note that mid-round deck checks are done at pretty much all levels that do deck checks. (it's usually necessary anyways, as we try to deck-check 1/10th the field every event, and our manpower is much more efficiently distributed with both beginning and mid-round deck checks)

    Longer Rounds - More judges assigned to specific "must-do-this" jobs means fewer to answer calls, which will bring up the amount of time per call. It also means more time extensions, and a greater possibility of extensions causing rounds to run longer. Many tournaments are already running pretty late as it is, and tournaments aren't getting smaller.

    Worse Prize Support - At a decent number of PTQs, most prize distributions are based on X packs being given out per player, and a pool of Y packs being available for judge staff. We anticipate PTQ staffing needs based on how many players we expect. (1 judge per Y players) If we need to bring down that ratio significantly to handle additional duties, then either the TO takes a hit, the judges take a hit, or the players take a hit. (note - this isn't an issue at GPs/PTs, as the money flow is completely different there)
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on DFC Policy Change: Checklists now mandatory?
    I HJ'd a PTQ about a month ago and made it crystal clear several times over: if you run DFCs and I can see absolutely anything through that sleeve, it's a game loss. (normally, you can just see the text box area of the frame easily enough)

    I still had five game losses for this exact thing, one after the fifth and one after the sixth announcement. (which both reiterated that I had given out X game losses already)

    To my knowledge, the rules have not changed re: this. I'm okay with it being part of the discretionary HJ policies, though. (things like headphones or digital devices being used)
    Posted in: Speculation
  • posted a message on [Compiled] Upcoming Promo Information
    Not yet - I'm on the scorekeeping staff @ Austin, though, so if I end up spoiling it, it'll be at the event. (if they have a GP promo at all)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Round Lengths and Phone Apps?
    1. 50 minutes is the standard, 40 is the minimum. StarCity events use 50 minute rounds in swiss.

    2. Ask the head judge when you get to the event. In general, though paper is easier to leverage when you and your opponent have a life total discrepency, and you are making your case to the judge trying to sort it out.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
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