After 9 days i post my report of Romanian nationals from the judge point of view.
The winner, Adrian Posoiu, is a BlackBorder article writer and he already posted his experience here.

This is my first Competitive (40k) REL event that i was judging. The head Judge, Mircea Pienar was flawless and thought me many lessons. He was also my mentor and test reviewer for my L1 Judge test.

The day before the event, i had a meeting with the HJ and TO (Cristian Cascaval from GamesStop) and we bet on how many peaople will be at this year’s main event. Because in the previous tourney was not a great one, having only ~40 planeswalkers enlisted, this year’s was an open event an he hoped to gather about 50+ players. Our previsions were blown out by a staggering 81 planeswalkers who showed up at the event site. That meant he had to run 4 rounds of standard constructed format and 3 rounds of draft.

The Romanian community is rather small, and this, with 81, players is the record of the tournaments hosted in this country. Leveling down from Closed nationals to open, meant that many lower lever players will come, and they did. However it is necessary to hold more tournaments at the competitive level to boost the quality of players. We hope that in the near future we rise in quality and number of players.

After the enrollment finished we were on less than 30 minutes late on time and we decided to keep the introductions (TO and HJ announcements) quite brief.
The room was not designed for that many people, but we managed to succeed. The first round kicked of, and I and the HJ were running to collect the decklists.
Because we did not expect to see this many people at the tourney, we were slightly understaff, but with the help of the TO we managed to accomplish the task quite uneventful.

We started counting the cards in each decklist and found several invalid decklists that we programmed them for deckcheck in the next round, and also some random ones too.


We performed deckchecks for rounds 2,3,4 on more than 10% of the decks. We checked about 4 deck per each round, performing a start of the round check and also a mid round deck check.

He had some problems and we issued about 5 Game Losses (GL).

At the limited portion of the tourney, even if i announced how the lists should be completed, we had a lot of people who didn’t lists their lands onto the checklist. We issued about 10 GL’s for this portion of tournament.

General Judge Issues

We did not have a hard time with rules questions and problems, just the usual warnings : Missed trigger, Incorrectly Resolving Trigger, and Game Rule Violations – Game Play Error (Incorrectly casting spells, cards not landing where they should : Green sun’s zenith) and so on.

On a general scale this was ok as a load for the judges, and i want to tell the players once more that they have to call a judge when a game rule is broken, and they must not try to fix the problem by themselves.


For the rounds of constructed we managed to win some time, as the rounds went almost perfect, with few tables reaching time limit.

For the Limited portion of the tournament, the draft, Mircea assigned me to keep the draft. This means i had to announce when the players open their packs, when they must pass the pile, where to pass, and time for each pick. This was the first time i was doing that for that many tables (10). I did that for 2 tables, and it was ok. I was quite nervous because, i feared that i might lose count of cards to be passed or miss the time. I can say that it was relieved to see that everything ran smooth, and most players showed a good understanding of the draft procedures.

I could not observe the game sin the limited, because i was very busy with the checklists. As i stated, many of them were not completed correctly and they gave us a bit of a headache. Also props to the TO that helped us, and he counted all of those checklists. Now i believe that he must be awarded a prize, as The Checklist Master Counter.

The playoff matches were divided in the opposite room tables, so that i c

an observe 2 of them, while Mircea will observe the other two. The quarterfinals were mostly uneventful, and only 1 warning was issued for a Consecrated Sphinx problem.

For the semifinals I was assigned to table judge the table with the before mentioned player that had received that warning. Even if the game was smooth, he made another mistake, that i concluded with a penalty of a  Game Loss, having tracked his history. The score was 1-1 and this would grant the match to his opponent. However The head Judge decided we have to do an investigation, and treated the error by the book, he overruled my ruling and awarded a warning. However i was required to write a big explanation of the error because it was not an easy one to rule. Even as judges we learn new thing too.

For the finals, i was once again table judge, and after a brief talk with the player explaining what role i have (both were exceptional players, one of them a former Romanian Champ, and the other a PTQ grinder), and i instructed them to be careful with triggers and Game Play Rules. I only penalized a Look at extra cards, while one of them was shuffling the other deck. The match was quite interesting, both players playing very defensively, and i believe that if the splinter twin player had not made so many mistakes (mostly by playing in defense) he might have had a chance.

Overall, after 16 hours of running the event, we were quite happy.  The event turned out to be a good one.

There are a few mentions to make :

1. The players must learn what a competitive tourney is, and learn that they need to know the rules and the tournament procedures (listen to the judges/TO, draft procedures, general behavior).

2. Props to the TO, that helped us, the judges with the decklists and checklists.

3. Props to the players that came in so great number (compared with other Romanian Nationals).

4. Props to GamesStop, for holding out and battling in these crisis times to bring us this game.

The Media and Final Standings are posted on the tourney page at GamesStop : 2011 Nationals. There are Videos and Pictures from the event, and the standings (with the playoff).

It was a great opportunity for me to learn new things, and i feel that i improved as a judge. Thanks to Mircea Pienar that ran the event so good, and also for the chance to help him out.