First and foremost I would like to thank Abe, not only for choosing to engage in discourse with the vintage community, knowing full well what he was opening himself up to, but also for performing admirably at all Eternal Weekends to date. I have had a few quick discussions with him at past events when I felt a judge made a poor call or something seemed off during a very complicated game state and he has always shown a very high level of knowledge and professionalism during our exchanges.
I would also like to state my opinion that after having watched the twitch footage both live and on replay that I do not believe Mr. Bogaard intentionally tried to cheat. I do believe, however, that his play on camera was exceptionally poor, and that I am of the opinion that if he played this way on camera he likely played this way off camera as well.
There should be no dispute that playing extra lands per turn and failing to discard down to maximum hand size are significant advantages, after all there is a tier 1 strategy in vintage to limit the amount of mana a deck is capable of producing. However, I would very much like to point out that magic is a two player game, which requires interaction. During your opponent's turn it is in fact on you as well as them to keep track of how many cards in hand your opponent ends their turn with, just as much as it is on you to know whether your opponent has already played a land this turn when they go to play a new land. This is as much to protect yourself from intentional cheaters as it is to simply fulfill your obligation to maintain the board state. While it might not be the same level of onus on Joseph's earlier round opponents as on the man himself, if Joseph was in fact playing so poorly during the earlier rounds, part of the fault is on them for not informing the judge staff.
I have seen calls in this thread to have judge staff choose random games throughout the tournament and referee them. I would ask the people who want this to look up a few times during the first through third round of the next 300+ person event they play in and take a mental note of how many judges they see just standing around doing nothing. In my experience the number is usually zero. So in order to comply with the wish for referees the judging staff would need to be drastically increased. This means either less prize support, higher entry fees or both. I highly doubt that would be tenable, but proving it would require input from the majority of people attending the tournaments.
Friday- GRV 1 for failing to discard.
GRV2 for attempting to play a second land.
I did not hear about the second instance of playing two lands until after the match was over. In that case, the judge in the area considered the issue to be rooted in the missed Mana Drain trigger that we also handled, and didn't issue a further penalty.
The second instance of playing a second land, and how it was handled, interests me. I would like to here the reasoning behind determining that the action was rooted in the missed Mana Drain trigger. Does this mean that it happened at the same time? In which case would not the GRV take precedence over the missed trigger? Or was it that the table judge believed the action was a direct result of Joseph becoming flustered during the time it took to sort out the missed trigger?
Admittedly I can understand forgetting that you had already played a land this turn when you had to take a 5 minute break from the game for a judge ruling, and so believe it was an honest mistake. However, is it normal (and I do understand that none of this may occur often enough for it to be normal) for the table judge to correct the error without penalty?
Also, I fully understand that you were not called in at the time of the second extra land infraction, but I would like to ask about when you were presented the information after the game. Did it cross your mind to enforce the GRV after the fact? Were you shown the stream footage or simply told what happened? If told, do you think seeing the footage would have changed your decision?
I fully understand backing up your staff member's decision and believe that both doing so as well as reversing her decision and enforcing the GRV are both defense-able courses of action. I would simply like a glimpse into the mind of a head judge put into such a position.
One point I think deserves making is that as far as I can tell, when Joseph made a mistake on camera he tried to correct it or deflect without involving a judge. That's not how you play with integrity. I've called a judge on myself before, and I think any player who would never call a judge on his own mistake is flatly cheating. The rules of Magic are quite clear that trying to hide a mistake is evidence of intent to cheat, @katzby's personal conversation with the player notwithstanding.
This more likely comes far more from playing in FNM style regular REL tournaments and lax play testing, where such things like take backs are common place. Not saying that it should be tolerated, simply pointing out that it is not necessarily cheating. Personally I have called more judges on myself than my opponents.
Apologies for the giant post,