Friday Blog Archive

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  • Blog - 4:35 p.m. - Sold out
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 3:13 p.m. - Stripes and Stripes
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 1:22 p.m. - The chore of keeping score
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 11:54 a.m. - Magic deflated
    by Hanno Terbuyken
  • Blog - 11:43 a.m. - Starting off in a leisurely manner
    by Hanno Terbuyken

  • BLOG

  • Friday, June 2: 11:43 a.m. - Starting off in a leisurely manner

  • Big Oots dishing out Magic advice.

    GP Torino, the three-day mega event, is kicking off relaxed. This Friday is a national holiday here in Italy (the Day , and so mostly Italians are queuing up for the first PTQ of the day. But a couple of European pros have taken the chance to arrive here early. Rasmus "Big Oots" Sibast is on site already, looking pretty relaxed. "My friends are PTQ'ing", he says, "so I've got nothing to do." Right now, the PT Prague Top 8 finisher is selling his superfluous cards to the dealers (by the hundreds), and maybe we will find him on the gunslinging tables later in the day.

  • Friday, June 2: 11:54 a.m. - Magic deflated

  • This Grand Prix is hot! At least, so say the helium-filled globes that are part of the tournament decoration. While they were heated up with a gas fire outside the hall, one of the globes caught fire itself! The staff was immediately on hand with a fire extinguisher before the burns could reach the Magic logo on the globe. There was no danger for anyone, but the smouldering globe was a little spectacle for the few staff members that saw it. And, of course, the helium globe is flat. But the GP is taking off: Already, the third Grand Prix Trial, each with 32 players, has begun!

  • Friday, June 2: 1:22 p.m. - The chore of keeping score

  • Grand Prixs are an opportunity for learning, for the players, the judges and everybody else. Especially judges can gather experience on an international level, under the eyes of more experienced supervisors. Two of these eyes belong to English scorekeeper Jason Howlett. He has Faieza Saleen under his wings, a 21-year-old scorekeeper from England, who came here to "feel the panic" of a large Grand Prix, as she puts it.

    Faieza 'Fizz' Saleen, Cari Foreman and Jason Howlett discover the joy of keeping score together.

    "I have done smaller events in England", Faieza relates, "and now I'm training up to be a scorekeeper on a higher level." Jason, with his years of experience, can certainly teach her many things. He says a scorekeeper has two tasks besides entering results: "Maintaining the pace and integrity of a tournament… and having fun, because everybody likes a laugh once in a while!"

    Also here at GP Torino is Cari Foreman. The 29-year-old from Waldorf, Maryland (for the Europeans: that's in the USA), has kept the score at various US Grand Prix and Pro Tour Honululu. Torino is her first European Grand Prix. "I'm here to get first-hand experience with large, split Grand Prix tournaments", Cari explains. She is also observing the differences between European and US Grand Prix. The first thing she noted? European GPs have more trash-cans, and the decorations are nicer than in the US. And of course, everybody expects the main tournament tomorrow to be bigger than the average Grand Prix in the USA.

    Cari isn't here by herself. Her husband, level 3 judge Paul Morris, is currently head-judging today's PTQ, and she is a level 1 judge herself. But she certainly knows why she prefers scorekeeping: "Someone told me once that, with scorekeeping, it's possible to be perfect. I like being perfect… Well, trying to be", she adds with a smile.

  • Friday, June 2: 3:13 p.m. - Stripes and Stripes

  • Hmmm… Maybe I'll try more color, too.

    Stripes at a Magic tournament can mean many different things. Mostly, though, they show up in a zebra pattern, marking the presence of the herd of those who are in the know - the judges. Towering behind the black-and-white rank and file is the red-and-black shirt of the headjudge, the highest authority and supreme holder of the ultimate tournament wisdom.

    But what do you expect when at the start of a round, suddenly a striped shirt in red and blue sits down on your table? Why, it's a football fan, of course! With the World Cup kicking off a week from now, many players' minds are hellbent on the biggest sports event in the world. By the way: The red-and-blue jersey, representing Spanish Champions League winner FC Barcelona, was worn by local player Stefano Barbeiro, who had this to say on the World Cup: "I hope Italy will win, but maybe Brazil is more likely."

  • Friday, June 2: 4:35 p.m. - Sold out

  • They're legal: The official dealer tables on one end of the hall.

    "You got a license, dude?" That may or may not be what GP Torino headjudge Riccardo Tessitori said to the player who just got banned from playing in the GP. The player in question was openly selling cards, was warned twice for it and on third offense, the headjudge and a staff member cornered him. A pretty scary sight, those two gray backs saying "STAFF" on them, sitting accusingly in front of the makeshift dealer hiding behind his binder stacks!

    "Money on the table makes Magic look bad", explains headjudge Tessitori. Also, the player in question definitely has not paid for a dealer table… The result: The black-market seller will not be allowed to play in the Grand Prix tournament. If he wants to enter the tournament hall again, his card binders have to be somewhere else. They can be anywhere but in front of him. He's not even allowed to take them out of his bag. Headjudge Tessitori: "He can be a spectator, but that's the only way we'll accept him inside again."

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