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Author Topic: DCI Suspends Alex Bertoncini for 18 Months  (Read 2436 times)
Diakonov
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« on: December 15, 2011, 07:40:06 PM »

http://www.channelfireball.com/news/alex-bertoncini-suspended-for-18-months/

Well, that debate is officially over.
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2011, 07:48:15 PM »

Nothing shocking.
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 06:26:30 PM »

Oh man, SCG isn't paying him for winning the Invitational.

Also, Adam Prosak is the official Invitational Winner, and GerryT is the official SCG PoY
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2011, 07:30:45 PM »

The actions taken by SCG does seem like a relevant thing to discuss. They've essentially taking his prizes ex post facto and stripped him of his titles. Removing his titles seem to be well within their rights to do. However, Alex did win the tournament and part of winning included the payout. SCG is retroactively deciding not to pay Alex, despite his good standing with the DCI at the time of winning the tournament. Personally, I believe their decision had more to do with an attempt to maintain credibility and public support over other concerns. The decision seems to be unprecedented in MtG events as far as I can tell.
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2011, 08:16:09 PM »

The actions taken by SCG does seem like a relevant thing to discuss. They've essentially taking his prizes ex post facto and stripped him of his titles. Removing his titles seem to be well within their rights to do. However, Alex did win the tournament and part of winning included the payout. SCG is retroactively deciding not to pay Alex, despite his good standing with the DCI at the time of winning the tournament. Personally, I believe their decision had more to do with an attempt to maintain credibility and public support over other concerns. The decision seems to be unprecedented in MtG events as far as I can tell.

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Don't they do the very same thing for Olympics etc. Who cares - dude cheats - dude gets no money.
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 10:05:42 PM »

To my mind it's similar to the Olympics: when someone wins a medal and then is found to have been using steroids, the medal is revoked. Seems like the right thing to do.

I look at it like this: entering a tournament is essentially a contract: you agree to certain terms (ie the rules) and give consideration in the form of an entry fee, and receive consideration in the form of eligibility for prizes if.you reach a certain standing. Cheating would therefore constitute fraud, and invalidate the contract. You would therefore not be eligible for the prize.

To my mind, revoking the prize is the only strictly correct course of action.
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2011, 10:34:29 PM »

To my mind it's similar to the Olympics: when someone wins a medal and then is found to have been using steroids, the medal is revoked. Seems like the right thing to do.

I look at it like this: entering a tournament is essentially a contract: you agree to certain terms (ie the rules) and give consideration in the form of an entry fee, and receive consideration in the form of eligibility for prizes if.you reach a certain standing. Cheating would therefore constitute fraud, and invalidate the contract. You would therefore not be eligible for the prize.

To my mind, revoking the prize is the only strictly correct course of action.

I would agree, but can anyone prove that he cheated in the tournament that he won the $10K? I think that is the biggest sticking point. Yes, we have proof that he cheated in SOME of the events leading to the invitational. Those two events excluded, he was still in good standing and eligible for the event he played in.

Again, I am neutral in all this, but the above is a potential valid point.
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2011, 11:39:51 PM »

To my mind it's similar to the Olympics: when someone wins a medal and then is found to have been using steroids, the medal is revoked. Seems like the right thing to do.

I look at it like this: entering a tournament is essentially a contract: you agree to certain terms (ie the rules) and give consideration in the form of an entry fee, and receive consideration in the form of eligibility for prizes if.you reach a certain standing. Cheating would therefore constitute fraud, and invalidate the contract. You would therefore not be eligible for the prize.

To my mind, revoking the prize is the only strictly correct course of action.

I think it's a moot point. He cheated at some point during the series. All.events in the series.are.tainted by association. Similar to the legal "fruit of a poison tree" principle.

I would agree, but can anyone prove that he cheated in the tournament that he won the $10K? I think that is the biggest sticking point. Yes, we have proof that he cheated in SOME of the events leading to the invitational. Those two events excluded, he was still in good standing and eligible for the event he played in.

Again, I am neutral in all this, but the above is a potential valid point.
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2011, 02:30:00 AM »

The olympics revokes metals, not money. I do not see any correlation. I would say a better corelation would be Marcio Carvalho (SP?) or Saito, and they didn't get any of their pro winning taken away.
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2011, 09:11:11 AM »

I have made this argument in other places, but no one seems to be able to see the forest here because people are almost all too busy staring at the trees. The starcity policy that they just instituted says nothing about cheating, it says only if a player is under investigation. this is problematic because you could conceivably  be under investigation for unsportsmanlike conduct ( which isn't cheating ), win a major tournament, then be denied your prize if the dci bans you before you receive it.

it is not unreasonable to assume that you could win a tournament , and get in a fist fight with someone at the tournament hall before starcity pays you, and get banned by the dci, and then not receive your winnings.

it is also not unreasonable to assume ( with the incredibly suspect behavior that corporations in this country show time after time ) that starcity could straight up abuse this new found power of being able to apply things retroactively to deny someone else their prize.

everyone seems to be in support of this because bertoncini is a cheater, and people seem to relish in his getting his just desserts. But alex's cheating is such a small part of the issue now, and its all anyone can focus on.
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2011, 01:40:13 PM »

I would agree, but can anyone prove that he cheated in the tournament that he won the $10K? I think that is the biggest sticking point. Yes, we have proof that he cheated in SOME of the events leading to the invitational. Those two events excluded, he was still in good standing and eligible for the event he played in.
If he had not been systematically cheating over a long period of time would he even have been in the Invitational? Most likely not.

The olympics revokes metals, not money. I do not see any correlation. I would say a better corelation would be Marcio Carvalho (SP?) or Saito, and they didn't get any of their pro winning taken away.
The correlation is the governing body revoking the prize, whether it is a medal or a check. In either case it provides a disincentive to cheat.

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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2011, 02:58:48 PM »

I would agree, but can anyone prove that he cheated in the tournament that he won the $10K? I think that is the biggest sticking point. Yes, we have proof that he cheated in SOME of the events leading to the invitational. Those two events excluded, he was still in good standing and eligible for the event he played in.
If he had not been systematically cheating over a long period of time would he even have been in the Invitational? Most likely not.

The olympics revokes metals, not money. I do not see any correlation. I would say a better corelation would be Marcio Carvalho (SP?) or Saito, and they didn't get any of their pro winning taken away.
The correlation is the governing body revoking the prize, whether it is a medal or a check. In either case it provides a disincentive to cheat.



+1. SCG will be getting more of my support in the future because of the position they have taken.
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2011, 03:13:52 PM »

I think the greater lesson here is one of keeping the game as much in the community as possible.

Look, both players are responsible for maintaining the gamestate.  I do not at all condone a dude for trying to game the system.  I really, really, really don't.  It pisses me off to my core, that someone would employ legerdemain and obfuscation during a game of Magic.  He intentionally produced incorrect gamestates, he would draw too many cards off Brainstorm, he would misplace cards, etc.  All shady.  All despicable.

And Player B constantly let it go unchallenged.

Now when it's something like cards too many off Brainstorm, I guess I can see how that would happen - although, honestly, if anyone at a sanctioned tournament ever draws three cards at the same time from the top of their deck like that, I guarantee I will suspect something shady is happening and call a Judge, I believe that's another kind of obfuscation and it's not an acceptable shortcut to clearly taking three separate cards into your hand, one at a time.

But the Two Explores scenario could have been quashed then and there by having the inactive player just pay better attention.  It was turn three with six lands in play.  He even asks him, "That's two Explores right, I can play one more land?"

I'm sorry, maybe this is a misguided tangent, but a lot of the shortcuts in Magic really don't need to be there.  I play slow, slower than a lot of people do anyway.  People bored-quit against me on MWS.  I do this on purpose.  Junk like this is why.  I don't want to open myself up to the possibility of misrepresenting the game-state, and neither should anyone else.  There's a lot of hubris associated with this aspect of the game, everyone thinks they know precisely what's happening, so they quit paying attention or they are just so jazzed to show off how quickly they are able to throw their cards down and pass the turn with The Right Play - what's the deal here guys?  I get that a match is 'only 50 minutes and 5 rounds', but some of y'all play Too Damn Fast.  It makes it easy for someone like this to sneak in and start taking advantage.

Enjoy a little slower pace, and don't get all huffy when your opponent asks for verification of the game-state.  As I said on The Source, we're all consenting adults here, let's keep the game from turning into Yu-gi-Oh.
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2011, 04:53:36 PM »

I would agree, but can anyone prove that he cheated in the tournament that he won the $10K? I think that is the biggest sticking point. Yes, we have proof that he cheated in SOME of the events leading to the invitational. Those two events excluded, he was still in good standing and eligible for the event he played in.
If he had not been systematically cheating over a long period of time would he even have been in the Invitational? Most likely not.

The olympics revokes metals, not money. I do not see any correlation. I would say a better corelation would be Marcio Carvalho (SP?) or Saito, and they didn't get any of their pro winning taken away.
The correlation is the governing body revoking the prize, whether it is a medal or a check. In either case it provides a disincentive to cheat.


SCG isn't the governing body ?
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2011, 05:59:34 PM »

I would agree, but can anyone prove that he cheated in the tournament that he won the $10K? I think that is the biggest sticking point. Yes, we have proof that he cheated in SOME of the events leading to the invitational. Those two events excluded, he was still in good standing and eligible for the event he played in.
If he had not been systematically cheating over a long period of time would he even have been in the Invitational? Most likely not.

The olympics revokes metals, not money. I do not see any correlation. I would say a better corelation would be Marcio Carvalho (SP?) or Saito, and they didn't get any of their pro winning taken away.
The correlation is the governing body revoking the prize, whether it is a medal or a check. In either case it provides a disincentive to cheat.


SCG isn't the governing body ?
Yes, they are the governing body of an event they are running and providing the prize for.
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2011, 06:11:31 PM »

The guy deserves to be banned and deserves to have any and all prizes stripped from him. Cheating has no place in magic. That said, what about all of the players he screwed over in the process? I'm talking thousands of dollars in entry fees and travel money. How would you feel if you paid $30 to enter one of their tournaments only to lose to this cheating scumbag? Then SCG just donates the $10,000 to charity? What does the 2nd place guy (arguably the rightful winner) get out of this? Everyone loses. That's why this guy sucks so much.
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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2011, 12:37:38 AM »

wow.

SCG just opened themselves up to all kinds of liability. I hope they have a decent lawyer. This seems like the easiest civil lawsuit ever. I suspect a lot will hinge on the official wording of the DCI statement and the official rules of the SCG invitational.

Plus, if this is the tack they are going to take everyone under him should get bumped up and compensated. If the first place prize was 10k, and the second place guy is now first, he should legally get the prizes. This is reinforced by SCG officially giving the second place finisher the first place title. Third place gets second place title + prizes, and so on.

Sure the charity part is feels good, but it's not really relevant to the case. 

Someone else in the SCG forums also mentioned the unfortunate possibility of a messy civil suit shinning a light onto unregulated gaming with large cash prizes.
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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2011, 02:08:04 AM »

I would agree, but can anyone prove that he cheated in the tournament that he won the $10K? I think that is the biggest sticking point. Yes, we have proof that he cheated in SOME of the events leading to the invitational. Those two events excluded, he was still in good standing and eligible for the event he played in.
If he had not been systematically cheating over a long period of time would he even have been in the Invitational? Most likely not.

The olympics revokes metals, not money. I do not see any correlation. I would say a better corelation would be Marcio Carvalho (SP?) or Saito, and they didn't get any of their pro winning taken away.
The correlation is the governing body revoking the prize, whether it is a medal or a check. In either case it provides a disincentive to cheat.


SCG isn't the governing body ?
Yes, they are the governing body of an event they are running and providing the prize for.
no, the governing body for competitive magic players is the DCI. this would be like the olympic commitee banning an athlete who just competed in a local race and the race organizers ( starcity ) not paying them.

try to keep up.
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2011, 02:34:08 AM »

Another point of relevance is that the reason for Alex being banned is not given. According to starcity if i got into a fight with someone at an fnm and got banned for that, then scg would look to take prizes away.
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2011, 03:12:49 AM »

I would agree, but can anyone prove that he cheated in the tournament that he won the $10K? I think that is the biggest sticking point. Yes, we have proof that he cheated in SOME of the events leading to the invitational. Those two events excluded, he was still in good standing and eligible for the event he played in.
If he had not been systematically cheating over a long period of time would he even have been in the Invitational? Most likely not.

The olympics revokes metals, not money. I do not see any correlation. I would say a better corelation would be Marcio Carvalho (SP?) or Saito, and they didn't get any of their pro winning taken away.
The correlation is the governing body revoking the prize, whether it is a medal or a check. In either case it provides a disincentive to cheat.


SCG isn't the governing body ?
Yes, they are the governing body of an event they are running and providing the prize for.
no, the governing body for competitive magic players is the DCI. this would be like the olympic commitee banning an athlete who just competed in a local race and the race organizers ( starcity ) not paying them.

try to keep up.
Actually it would be nothing like that, because in your example the Olympic committee would not be the one governing a local race.

Do you know what the word govern means? Here are two relevant meanings from the dictionary for your reference:
- to exercise continuous sovereign authority over; especially: to control and direct the making and administration of policy in
- to control, direct, or strongly influence the actions and conduct of

If SCG is running a tournament they are governing it, and making all decisions related to it, including start time, location, prize payouts, discipline, etc. The DCI is not the one running the tournaments, and would not be the ones to revoke a prize.

Likewise, if I was holding a poker tournament at my house I would be the one governing the proceedings most likely, and would be the one to kick out a cheater. Once again, in the case of SCG's decision they are revoking the prize that was to be awarded, similar to how the Olympic rules/infractions committee would revoke an awarded prize/medal at an Olympic event. See the correlation? It makes a lot of sense if you take a minute to stop trolling and actually think about it.
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« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2011, 03:49:12 AM »

wow.

SCG just opened themselves up to all kinds of liability. I hope they have a decent lawyer. This seems like the easiest civil lawsuit ever. I suspect a lot will hinge on the official wording of the DCI statement and the official rules of the SCG invitational.

Plus, if this is the tack they are going to take everyone under him should get bumped up and compensated. If the first place prize was 10k, and the second place guy is now first, he should legally get the prizes. This is reinforced by SCG officially giving the second place finisher the first place title. Third place gets second place title + prizes, and so on.

Sure the charity part is feels good, but it's not really relevant to the case.  

Someone else in the SCG forums also mentioned the unfortunate possibility of a messy civil suit shinning a light onto unregulated gaming with large cash prizes.

I'm sure SCG consulted with a lawyer prior to issuing that policy and withholding the prize money. I don't see what Alex's standing would be to challenge their decision. Even if he proved a contracted existed, the fact he was found to of cheated by the governing body will be a difficult hurdle to overcome. Additionally, from a strictly rules based standpoint, SCG didn't violate their own rules or break a contract. The rule prior to the statement issued on Friday was that players were to be paid out regardless of standing with the DCI. The new rules indicates they will not pay out players who are banned/suspended by the DCI; they're applying the new rule to him since he had not been paid as of Friday. Wording it this way prevents them from specifically targeting Alex and the fact it was instituted immediately would lead one to believe that SCG has the right to change the rules of their events whenever they want to. As an aside, if Alex has something he could sue on, it would be when, if and how SCG can alter its prize policy. Furthermore, SCG could also argue that since Alex was found guilty of cheating at previous Open events, he obtained access to the Invitational through cheating (fraud) and that would of been disqualified from participating.

The cash comment is probably true; especially in the Midwest and South were the more conservative laws of those regions prevent cash as the reward for games of chance (except Bingo). As an aside, does SCG payout in cash or it is a prepaid Visa? The latter would probably be a way to get out of some of those laws.
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« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2011, 06:21:31 AM »

Quote
The rule prior to the statement issued on Friday was that players were to be paid out regardless of standing with the DCI. The new rules indicates they will not pay out players who are banned/suspended by the DCI; they're applying the new rule to him since he had not been paid as of Friday.

The policy reads

Quote
any player who is the subject of an open DCI Investigation will have his or her StarCityGames.com Open Series prizes and Player's Club benefits held until the conclusion of the investigation. In the event that a player is suspended, all prizes and benefits earned during that period will be donated to charity

He was under investigation for month(s?), and suspended on Wednesday.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dci/suspended&tablesort=7b

The new policy for people under investigation took effect on Friday, after he was suspended.



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« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2011, 11:45:04 AM »

Another point of relevance is that the reason for Alex being banned is not given. According to starcity if i got into a fight with someone at an fnm and got banned for that, then scg would look to take prizes away.

Quote
STARCITYGAMES.COM OPEN SERIES PRIZE POLICY
In accordance with DCI Policy, players under DCI Investigation will be eligible to play in Star City Games Open Series events. However, any player who is the subject of an open DCI Investigation will have his or her StarCityGames.com Open Series prizes and Player's Club benefits held until the conclusion of the investigation. In the event that a player is suspended, all prizes and benefits earned during that period will be donated to charity. In the event the investigation is resolved without a suspension, all StarCityGames.com Open Series prizes and Player's Club benefits earned during that period will be issued to the player within ten (10) business days of the resolution of the investigation.

If the fight at an FNM occurs after the tournament, you get paid. If it happened before and you're under investigation then you know going in that if you get banned you won't get your prize, so that's a decision you have to make. Or you could, you know, not get into fist fights at a freakin' FNM.
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« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2011, 10:01:00 PM »

I would agree, but can anyone prove that he cheated in the tournament that he won the $10K? I think that is the biggest sticking point. Yes, we have proof that he cheated in SOME of the events leading to the invitational. Those two events excluded, he was still in good standing and eligible for the event he played in.
If he had not been systematically cheating over a long period of time would he even have been in the Invitational? Most likely not.


I would agree. However, I think we have seen proof of only 2 or 3 events over a span of 20+, so it is impossible to prove how many times he cheated and if he would have qualified.
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