Thursday, June 15, 2017

These Judges are Dope AF.

I can't even get slackbot on board.
Hello, Internet. It's been awhile since I've had an update, I've been kind of stuck in a rut and have had a hard time getting momentum going to write. Today we try to shake that. I'm going to take some time here to highlight some awesome judges and the things they did to take up my Exemplar slots for Wave 9. Sadly, I still can't get BPrill to change the name to "The Dope AF Program" so I guess "Exemplar" will be sufficient.

Grand Prix Pittsburgh

One of my first events of 2017 and me finally starting to feel at home with that "3" next to my name. On Sunday I was at the helm of a Deck Checks team with some solid judges that I had not worked with extensively before. One of whom was Andy Doyle, a Level 2 from Michigan.
On our Sunday deck checks team at GP Pittsburgh you absolutely crushed it. You came into the day already experienced with the Day 1 Index system and were able to take a lot of pressure off of me by quickly pulling lists. You saved me piles of minutes over the course of the day and those are precious when we're getting beginning of rounds and getting lists to coverage. Additionally you stayed the course and kept hunting down the decks on our watch list for Top 8 while I was on break. Thank you an excellent performance.
Our primary goal on Day 2 was to have checked all of the Top 8 competitors prior to the end of swiss rounds. This was accomplished by tracking who we've checked and how they moved through the standings every round. When I took my break Andy made sure that things kept humming along and made a lot of progress toward making our goal. Additionally, at GP Pittsburgh we used an index for decklists. I did not work Checks on Day 1, but Andy did! As a result, we were able to keep the index for Day 2 and his knowledge of the system helped us pull lists quickly and accurately throughout the day.

We also had some help from Princess Buttercup himself, Level 3 Judge Rob Castellon.
At Grand Prix Pittsburgh you were leading coverage and had a clever solution to a problem I had on deck checks. You helped facilitate an end-of-match swoop for an on-camera feature just before the end of swiss. This allowed us to see these decks in their presented configuration prior to the start of Top 8. As a result before a single land was played in the playoffs 100% of those decks had been checked. Thank you for your help!
Things were coming down to the wire and it looked like we were going to miss one of our Top 8 decks. Rob came in with some tech that he's "pretty sure he stole from a European judge" and swooped right after the handshake on camera. We were able to quickly check the decks in what was their presented configuration for Game 3 and get the players back on their way to the start of playoff rounds. This was a little unorthodox (and did get the nod from our Head Judge prior to execution) but it helped us accomplish our goal. I am all about outside-the-box solutions for our problems, not all the things we try will stick, but innovation leads to progress!

Grand Prix New Jersey

Sometimes a judge is just firing on all cylinders. At GP Totally-Almost-New York earlier this year Jacen Simon, an L2 from New York, did exactly that:
Prior to Grand Prix New Jersey we had never worked together. I had many opportunities to observe you during End of Round on Saturday and Sunday and I was very impressed with your work. You showed fantastic hustle but never looked stressed. You were always available to watch tables at the end of the round and you were just always doing *something.* Additionally, when taking calls you showed fantastic diplomacy with players while making concise, accurate rulings. Thank you for your hard work and I look forward to working with you again.

One of the cool things about Exemplar is that we don't always have to recognize things we saw ourselves, this next nomination from Jersey came from Baltimore's Liz Richardson:
For going above and beyond to help new/nervous judges feel wanted, welcome and comfortable. You dispel apprehension and radiate appreciation. Your approachability knows no bounds. The smile and happiness you carry at events despite tragedy and incredibly long to do lists certainly echoed through the hall at GPNJ.
I don't know if you've met Casey Hogan, a Level 2 from Georgia, but Liz's words here are spot on. New Jersey was a crazy event and emotions were out in force. Anytime you found Casey during the show, not only was he getting stuff done, he was smiling, he was joking, he was a beacon of positivity for the room.  I was honored to be able to submit this recognition of Casey for Liz, it was well deserved.

Grand Prix Orlando

Sometimes we make mistakes, how we handle those mistakes and learn from them is what can really set us apart. I wrote this about California L2 Angela Chandler:
While working together at GP Orlando you approached me about a ruling you weren't sure about. We quickly discovered that the ruling *was* incorrect, but what followed was really important. You bounced back immediately - You were diplomatic with the players involved, you were receptive to feedback about the call. You immediately wanted to learn why you got the ruling wrong and chatted with me about it to better understand it for the future. You bounced back and you didn't let it ruin your day. Failure is an important thing in the Program as it is something all of us have experienced and/or will experience at one point or another. Turning that mistake into a learning moment is what lets us continue to grow, and in Orlando you did exactly that.
Angela was able to do in Orlando what I wish I could do every time I make a mistake: learn from it. None of us are perfect, we can always find room to improve one thing or another. This isn't the first time, nor will it be the last, that I refer to a cartoon to emphasize my point:

I promise I am an adult.

Last, But Certainly Not Least

This last recognition came from Maxwell Berry, one of Richmond's L1 judges. Max worked an event where a player was not very happy that slow play was enforced:
Meg, your emotional resilience after a player got very rude with you for enforcing slow play was exemplary. I know you had doubts about yourself surrounding that event but you provided a very good example to the judges working with you. I believe that situations like this are going to make you a fantastic L2 in the near future.
Meghan Rickman, a Level 1 from "Norfolk kinda," Virginia stuck to her guns after giving a player a nudge to move the game along.  Meg is one of those judges that definitely has the stuff. She's super positive on the floor, never gives up, and cares a whole damn lot. And she writes! Did you know she also has a blog? You should especially check out this piece she wrote last year.


Wave 10 is Open!

I don't know about you, but I've already dug into my slots for Wave 10.  We've got about 6 weeks left in that window, that's a lot of time to get some recognitions written! Don't forget, you can always go back and edit your submissions so don't be afraid to get them submitted early. Are you an L1 or out of space for awesome judges? Reach out! Talk to the L3s in your network, email your Regional Coordinator.  If these judges are dope af then lets find a way to let them know!

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