Documentation of rules violations/questionable behavior by the Eternal Weekend Winner

@Katzby right, there is no accidental cheating, but there is sloppy play. Whether or not Joe actually cheated, he had real advantages in the competition from sloppy play. Shouldn't judges be more aggressive in issuing GRVs and game losses then to try and reduce sloppy play from being in contention of MTG events? I would absolutely love to play 2 lands a turn, but I don't because I don't cheat, I pay active attention to the game state, and I am aware that I don't have exploration in play in vintage. But that gives me a disadvantage in a MTG event when sloppy players get away with things like that. I think most of the time this works itself out that sloppy players often also make poor play decisions and lose accordingly, but situations like this weekend seem to show a problem with the system when a sloppy player makes a deep run. Sloppy play should be dealt with more aggressively I think. It's not as bad as cheating, but is still really bad for the integrity of the game given the competitive advantage it gives certain players, especially given that probably most GRVs aren't ever noticed by the opponent.

@ajfirecracker said:

@Katzby

Some violations of tournament rules will not meet the criteria for any specific infraction. Many minor offenses that a player can commit, even intentionally, are not covered by a specific infraction should be handled initially with a Caution. If repeated, the judge is expected to directly instruct the player not to repeat the offense, and further offenses are treated as Unsporting Conduct — Major for failing to follow the direct instruction of a tournament official.

I think you can make a case that the repeated shuffling violations after being instructed to change his technique violate this particular rule (from the IPG). While I don't think that judgment is clear-cut, I do think it's perfectly reasonable to have a discussion about it. The suggestion you've made that somehow the discussion itself is improper (i.e. that your work as a judge cannot under any circumstances be reviewed or criticized by the player community) is the most harmful thing in this thread.

Again, I think your perception of the issue doesn't actually match what went on. The only reason that I told Joseph B to turn his head away from the cards as he shuffled was because I wanted to prevent even the appearance of impropriety. I was trying to prevent somebody from pointing to his shuffling as another example of how he was cheating.

What I said was, "Joseph, I can see that you aren't looking at your cards, but would you mind turning away anyway just so nobody thinks you are?" As it turned out, I said the exact same thing to his finals opponent at one point, and got his finals opponent to start shuffling the same way. Should that be taken as evidence the runner up was also cheating?

In truth, the shuffling both players were doing was actually fine and not suspect at all; it's just that I wanted to cut down on the accusations people were making, and not leave anybody room to make more.

As you can see, this also backfired.

The suggestion you've made that somehow the discussion itself is improper (i.e. that your work as a judge cannot under any circumstances be reviewed or criticized by the player community) is the most harmful thing in this thread.

What are you taking about? How in the world did I give you that impression? I'm here talking about my decisions and answering questions, aren't I? I was asking instead only to keep it civil, which I feel some in this thread are not doing.

last edited by Katzby

@Vnayin said:

@Katzby right, there is no accidental cheating, but there is sloppy play. Whether or not Joe actually cheated, he had real advantages in the competition from sloppy play.

Maybe he did, and maybe he didn't, but I will say that all issues for which a judge was called over to his match were completely mitigated through corrective action and penalties.

If there were any other advantages Joe gained through sloppy play where a judge wasn't called at all, then, well... the moral of the story is that people should call judges more often. Coincidentally, I recall this being part of my opening announcements on Friday.

Shouldn't judges be more aggressive in issuing GRVs and game losses then to try and reduce sloppy play from being in contention of MTG events?

That's certainly one opinion. Another opinion is that if we took anymore aggressive stance toward errors, we would end up with lots of harsh penalties issued to players who were guilty only of harmless, dumb stuff.

When I started judging, if a player forgot to record a card on his list and only registered 59, that player was disqualified. Would you like us to return to that system? The trend over the 13 years that I've been judging has to be more player-friendly and less harsh with players. The philosophy here is that most people who receive penalties actually came about them through earnest effort to play the game right.

We can agree to disagree, but I personally feel that organized play is better off this way.

last edited by Katzby

@Katzby said:

When I started judging, if a player forgot to record a card on his list and only registered 59, that player was disqualified. Would you like us to return to that system? The trend over the 13 years that I've been judging has to be more player-friendly and less harsh with players. The philosophy here is that most people who receive penalties actually came about them through earnest effort to play the game right.

No, it shouldn't be that you sneeze and get a 1-year ban.

On the other hand, maybe there's a middle ground between "ban all the players!" and "well, it looks like the world champion of this format broke all the rules but aw shucks, as long as everyone had fun, that's all that matters"

@Katzby The game doesn't look competitive when a player is making that many mistakes is on camera and in contention or in the finals. Playing multiple lands a turn, not playing for resistors, and not discarding down to 7 are not harmless, dumb stuff, but competitive advantages whether or not they are intended. I think its fine to be more player-friendly at regular REL, but at Comp REL people should be aware that they are being held to high standards and accept the consequences. Especially in the modern day with MTG streams. If this game wants to be treated like other e-sports then we need to demand the high standards from the competitors or streamed tournaments will look like a joke.

@diophan

After game one I noticed while they were sideboarding that Bogaard appeared to have only 4 foils in his deck: FTV Strip Mine, Judge Sol Ring, Non-Judge Foil Crucible of Worlds, and Snapcaster Mage. The first 3 foils are notable for being the versions with the most foiling which causes them to warp. They are also notable for being the 3 cards available as a foil that you want against shops.

He had more than 4 foils in his deck. I asked him to replace precisely 4 of them. SnapcasterMage was not one of them. The remaining ones- including the Strip Mine- were not very bent, and so they stayed in.

If this is true, there is a dangerous lack of logical consistency. If the cards were marked, Joseph should habe received a game loss/DQ (much like people who had marked delvers in Champs two years ago). If they were not marked, he should not have been required to switch out his cards.

I can't get into all of the reasons that we didn't require him to replace his foils before his QF match, but I can assure you that this was intentional.

However, respectfully, you are mistake about saying a GL/DQ is the prescribed penalty for marked cards.

last edited by Katzby

@Vnayin said:

@Katzby The game doesn't look competitive when a player is making that many mistakes is on camera and in contention or in the finals. Playing multiple lands a turn, not playing for resistors, and not discarding down to 7 are not harmless, dumb stuff, but competitive advantages whether or not they are intended. I think its fine to be more player-friendly at regular REL, but at Comp REL people should be aware that they are being held to high standards and accept the consequences. Especially in the modern day with MTG streams. If this game wants to be treated like other e-sports then we need to demand the high standards from the competitors or streamed tournaments will look like a joke.

Okay. Well, I will say that we were following a competitive REL policy document called the MIPG for Vintage Champs. If you don't think we followed that document correctly, then I'd love to talk to you about it here.

If you think that document should be changed, I'd say that's probably a conversation for another time (or at least another thread).

last edited by Katzby

Not going to put my personal opinions on this board, but I do want to say that I've had many interactions with Abe and many of the other vintage judges. Abe is an irreplaceable resource for the vintage community and has judged vintage tournaments of all sizes. They do a huge service of the community. Not only does vintage judging have its own requirements (IE knowing every interaction in the game), but at a tournament of this size there are always going to be ethical gray areas. They are human, and we will not always agree on every decision that's made.

Dialogue is fine, but at the end of the day, I think we should respect the judge's decision.

@Katzby has head judged several of these and has been a judge at several GPs; while I may not agree with the determination that lead to a non-DQ, I do have NO DOUBTS that Abe was incredibly thurough and he does believe our Vintage Champion* did not cheat.

So I have no doubts that Abe used the information given to him to make a decision in the best way possible. That being said, I have a huge issue with 7 or 8 GRV total (he was only called for 4) and it being shrugged off as sloppy play. I'm real sceptical that it was just carelessness when every error benefited him. Show me one or two that weren't in his favor and ill believe it's sloppiness but until then I can't think anything else.

@Bibendum said:

That being said, I have a huge issue with 7 or 8 GRV total (he was only called for 4)

Earlier in this thread, I listed all 4 GRVs this player was issued. Can you list the other 3-4 that weren't called? This is the first I'm hearing of those.

and it being shrugged off as sloppy play. I'm real sceptical that it was just carelessness when every error benefited him. Show me one or two that weren't in his favor and ill believe it's sloppiness but until then I can't think anything else.

Well, it wasn't a GRV, but I definitely did rule against him when he very sloppily forgot to announce his floating mana for Mana Drain. As a result, he missed his trigger and lost out on mana that turn. Does that count?

Also, comparing GRVs that didn't benefit him to ones that did is hardly a fair measurement. There were a couple of times when he very sloppily over-tapped his mana because he forgot a Golem got Plowed. We didn't need to issue him GRVs there; under-tapping would have earned him a penalty, but over-tapping is not against the rules. Do you see the problem here?

Again, my goal here is not to try to defend Joseph B. Rather, I'd like to try to set the record straight about much of what I'm seeing here.

@Katzby Abe I think you did a great job.

Thanks for the kind words.

last edited by Katzby

Abe is a good guy and far and away the best vintage judge I know of. The fact that there is so much subjectivity to the penalties seems like a major issue if we have so much controversy with such an experienced head judge.

@Katzby Abe I think you did a great job. My issue is and maybe I'm using GRZ too liberal is just how many beneficial "Mistakes" were made compared to how many he got called on or warned for.

Could we please refer to him as Joe Bogaard? We already have a Joe B and hes a world apart from the guy were talking about

@ajfirecracker said:

@desolutionist https://www.twitch.tv/cardtitan/v/98040029?t=03m00s Joseph plays a Mox Sapphire into a Thorn of Amethyst with no other mana sources in play

and it's an awful play ... there's a Smokestack on 2 ... you pass and hope Jacob sacs the Smokestack. Putting either the Sapphire or the Strand into play is fucking terrible. The guy literally has no idea how to play against the card. He isn't cheating. He's a sloppy player who got a GRV for that play.

I had only 3 judge interactions in the main and side on Saturday and all were handled well. I had an awkward situation where my opponent was essentially asking how to use Flusterstorm vs. my Mindbreak Trap. The judge steered him away and provided only clear information and not advice.

I had a judge explain the interaction between LED, Cunning Wish and Hunting Pack.

I had a judge laugh at putting 38 beasts in play with Hunting Pack.

I have played in dozens of Vintage / Legacy events in which Abe was the head judge and can't remember having a problem with a ruling or communication or a GRV not being issued where one was clearly communicated and reported to a judge. This is coming from probably the only person to have his opponent get a game loss for GRVs in round 1 of a legacy event.

Get Drunk and Read this

@Katzby said:

What I said was, "Joseph, I can see that you aren't looking at your cards, but would you mind turning away anyway just so nobody thinks you are?" As it turned out, I said the exact same thing to his finals opponent at one point, and got his finals opponent to start shuffling the same way. Should that be taken as evidence the runner up was also cheating?

For what it's worth, Koby was a bit confused by this. Since previous issues hadn't been written down, he thought he got a penalty for what he thought was perfectly normal shuffling.

Source: I roomed with Koby

@Katzby I'm fine with the MIPG document. I agree that people sometimes make stupid mistakes and shouldn't be instantly DQed for them, so I agree in the 3 GRVs lead to a game loss. But I do think that even sloppy play without the intention to cheat can lead to hurting the integrity of the event. To me that means that judges should be doing more to proactively identify GRVs and issue warnings. How much of that is logistically possible, I'm not sure(it would be nice to have judges watch the in-contention matches the last 2 or so rounds). But you should have at least identified someone who gets 2 GRVs in one game at X-1 as a potential threat to the integrity of the event and had him watched by a judge for rounds 8 and 9. By the time you were watching him in the top 8 the warnings had reset and it was already too late. You may not believe he cheated, but as we can see by the existence of this thread, the integrity of the event was hurt by his sloppy play regardless.

@Katzby said:

@diophan

After game one I noticed while they were sideboarding that Bogaard appeared to have only 4 foils in his deck: FTV Strip Mine, Judge Sol Ring, Non-Judge Foil Crucible of Worlds, and Snapcaster Mage. The first 3 foils are notable for being the versions with the most foiling which causes them to warp. They are also notable for being the 3 cards available as a foil that you want against shops.

He had more than 4 foils in his deck. I asked him to replace precisely 4 of them. SnapcasterMage was not one of them. The remaining ones- including the Strip Mine- were not very bent, and so they stayed in.

If this is true, there is a dangerous lack of logical consistency. If the cards were marked, Joseph should habe received a game loss/DQ (much like people who had marked delvers in Champs two years ago). If they were not marked, he should not have been required to switch out his cards.

I can't get into all of the reasons that we didn't require him to replace his foils before his QF match, but I can assure you that this was intentional.

It was intentional and it lost Montolio the game, and possibly the match. You seem fine with that.

@Vnayin

To me that means that judges should be doing more to proactively identify GRVs and issue warnings. How much of that is logistically possible, I'm not sure(it would be nice to have judges watch the in-contention matches the last 2 or so rounds). But you should have at least identified someone who gets 2 GRVs in one game at X-1 as a potential threat to the integrity of the event and had him watched by a judge for rounds 8 and 9.

Respectfully, I disagree. The judge staff counts on players to call for a judge if and when something goes wrong in a match. Basically, if a rule is broken, we rely on that player's opponent to bring this to our attention by rasising a hand and calling for a judge.

I'm not seeing what stationing judges at matches containing players who earned multiple warnings per match would accomplish. Won't those opponents still call a judge as normal?

Furthermore, it's just not feasible- the number of players with multiple warnings by round 8 is far more than you think. Not to mention the fact that I'm still willing to bet that the vast majority of those players also got themselves there through a series of honest mistakes, and, by and large, aren't people that I am especially motivated to see get a game loss.

Or, is it that you are saying you want extra judges stationed near the so-called "bubble-match" area containing the majority of win-and-in matchups? If that's your concern, then I am happy to report I instructed my floor team to do exactly that for both rounds 8 and 9.

Now, the argument could be made that more effort needs to go into reminding players to call for judges. Bear in mind that I can only make so many announcements per event before people tune me out altogether, though, and I had already made one to this effect just before round 1.

last edited by Katzby
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