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By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Oct 28 2016 2:15pm
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 State of the Program for October 28th 2016

In the News

Kaladesh Championship Events Beginning: The Kaladesh Limited Championship preliminaries are underway. The limited Championship will be the Saturday after this goes up (November 5th.)   The Standard KLD Championship will be the following weekend on Sunday.   Details here.     

November MOPR Promos Announced: Wizards has given us something to warm us up in the cold (around here) winter months. The November store promo will be an alt art Rift Bolt, and the event promo an alt art Fiery Temper. These promos have some value so nice job Wizards.

 

  

 

Four Color Commander Teams: The commander 2016 decks are being previewed, and will soon be on sale in the paper world. One new mechanic is the ability to team or pair certain two color commanders to give your deck a four-color color identity.  This mechanic (named Partner) would probably require enough additional programming that it probably won’t appear online.  (just my guess). The Commander 2016 decks will not be available online, but selected cards will be available in Treasure Chests. The card image gallery for Commander 2016 is here.   

 

The Timeline

This is a list of things we have been promised, or we just want to see coming back.   Another good source for dates and times is the calendar and the weekly blog, while the best source for known bugs is the Known Issues List. For quick reference, here are some major upcoming events.   In addition, there are either one or two online PTQs each weekend, with qualifiers running the three days prior to the PTQ.  

Recurring Events
Timing
Power Nine Challenge
Last Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific
Legacy Challenge
Second Saturday of the month, at 11am Pacific
No Downtime
November 2nd, 9th, 23rd and 30th and December 14th
Extended Downtime
(none announced so far)
Current Leagues End
January

 

 
Upcoming and Ongoing Events
Begins
Ends
On sale now
January 4, 2017
Kaladesh Limited Championship
November 5th
Details here.
Kaladesh Standard Championship
November 13th
Details here
Kaladesh Sealed MOCS events
 
October 29th, December 4th, 11th, 18th and 30th
Details here.
Standard MOCS events
November 6th &25th
Details here
Modern MOCS events
January 7th & 21st
Details here.
Amonkhet
Spring, 2017 release
 
Aether Revolt prerelease
January 27th
January30th
Modern Masters 2017 Edition
MTGO release
March 23rd

 

Flashback Schedule:
Flashback drafts cost 10Tix or 100 Play Points or 2 Tix plus product. They are you-keep-the- cards, not Phantom. These are single elimination events that pay out in play points: 200 for first, 100 for second, and 50 for third and fourth place.  

 

Format
Begins
Ends
Triple Innistrad
October 26
November 2
Dark Ascension, 2 Innistrad
November 2
November 9
Triple Magic 2012
November 9
November 16
Triple Avacyn Restored
November 16
November 23
Triple Magic 2013
November 23
November 30
Triple Return to Ravnica: 
November 30
December 7
Triple Gatecrash
December 7
December 14
Dragon’s Maze, Gatecrash, Return to Ravnica
December 14
December 21

 

 Flashback This Week: Flashback drafts this week are triple Innistrad, one of the better draft formats. Gothic horror, before it got confused with the Cthulhu mythos.  Innistrad also has a bunch of high-value cards. These include Liliana of the Veil, Garruk, the Veil-Cursed, Snapcaster Mage, Geist of Saint Traft, Past in Flames and Stony Silence. Good hunting. 

 

Opinion Section: Bribery

Last weekend, another high-level Magic player was disqualified for bribery.   You would think people would learn. 

Bribery is defined as the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to a recipient in exchange for an alteration of their behavior.    In Magic terms, that means offering something – anything – of value in return for a concession.
 
The Magic Infraction Procedure Guide says that offering a bribe is a disqualification offense. Offering a bribe means conveying the idea that you, the player, would give something of value in return for the concession.  Players keep asking if there are some “magic words” that can get around the rule. No, there are not. If you have said or done anything that gives your opponent reason to expect something of value in return for a concession, you have now conveyed the idea. You have offered a bribe.  

 
Worse yet, if you are trying to be opaque, it is highly likely that the judge will figure out what you are implying before your opponent does. Judges don’t like to DQ players, with all the headaches and paperwork involved, but we will.  

Players also like to get cute, and try to dance around the bribe. But before you call a judge over and ask, loudly and in front of the opponent, “Judge, can I tell my opponent that I am a very generous person?” Think about how likely that something like that would ever come up in conversation during a match.   I have been playing and watching Magic being played at all levels for almost 20 years. I have heard “I a generous person” or variations on that theme, just three times – always on turn five in extra time, and always in matches that had no winner.  
 

Players, please, don’t so this. We all understand that sometimes a lot can be riding on winning a match of Magic – a money finish, byes, a qualification, Pro Player status, etc. – but you need to earn those rewards by winning matches of Magic. You are not allowed to buy them. Period.
 

Here endeth the sermon. 

 

Cutting Edge Tech

 

Standard: I’m going to do a deep dive on Standard this week. This is the third weekend with large Standard tournaments since the rotation. Week one we had an SCG Open which was dominated by RW vehicles. The Pro Tour metagame included aggro, midrange, ramp, control and combo, but not RW vehicles. Last weekend, we had two Standard GPs – one in Providence and one in Kuala Lumpur. Aetherworks Marvel was a huge portion of the day one metagame at the Pro Tour, but fell off on day two, and failed to appear at either GP. The two GPs also had markedly different metagames.   Here’s a breakdown, followed by the two winning decks. 
 
 
Deck
GP Prov.
Top 64
GP Prov.
Top 8
GP KL
Top 64
GP KL
Top 8
UW Flash
22
1
28
6
RW Vehicles
11
2
6
 
BG Delirium
9
4
8
 
Mardu Vehicles
5
 
7
2
BG Aggro
4
 
 
 
BR Zombies
5
1
4
 
Jeskai Control
1
 
2
 

Both GPs had a number of one-off decks. They make up the remainder of the Top 64 list.  

One of the breakout decks at the PT was Dynavolt Tower / spells, but that deck put in one Top 64 appearance in one GP.   
 
GP Kuala Lumpur was clearly a heliport. The Top 8 included 64 copies of Smuggler’s Copter (the maximum possible.) Those Copters were thoroughly checked out (and crewed) by 64 Thraben Inspectors. Everyone in the minivan indeed. The GP KL Top 8 was 75% UW Flash, but “Mardu Vehicles” – actually more of a RWB humans deck splashing blue – pushed past the fliers. 
 
GP Providence was a bit different. UW Flash was still a big part of the metagame, but the finals was a battle between a pair of GB Delirium decks. GB Delirium made up half the Top 8 in Providence.   

 

BG Delirium
Yichen Wang, GP Providence - 75 Cards Total
Creature
1 (Emrakul, the Promised End:emn)
2 (Ishkanah, Grafwidow:emn)
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1 (Noxious Gearhulk:kld)
4 Sylvan Advocate
3 (Tireless Tracker:soi)
13 cards

Instant
4 (Grapple with the Past:emn)
4 Grasp of Darkness
2 (Murder:emn)
1 (To the Slaughter:soi)
11 cards

Sorcery
2 Transgress the Mind
4 (Traverse the Ulvenwald:soi)
6 cards
Enchantment
1 (Dead Weight:soi)
2 (Vessel of Nascency:soi)
3 cards

Planeswalker
3 (Liliana, the Last Hope:emn)
3 cards
 
Land
1 Blighted Fen
4 (Blooming Marsh:kld)
7 (Forest:kld)
4 Hissing Quagmire
8 (Swamp:kld)
24 cards

Sideboard
3 (Appetite for the Unnatural)
1 Dead Weight
1 (Emrakul, the Promised End)
1 (Essence Extraction)
2 Flaying Tendrils
1 (Lost Legacy)
1 (Nissa, Vital Force)
1 Ob Nixilis Reignited
2 (Pick the Brain)
1 (To the Slaughter)
1 Transgress the Mind
15 cards


First Place at Kuala Lumpur

Mardu Vehicles
Fumiya Matsumoto GP Kuala Lumpur - 75 Cards Total
Creature
3 (Depala, Pilot Exemplar:kld)
4 (Inventor's Apprentice:kld)
4 (Scrapheap Scrounger:kld)
4 (Thraben Inspector:soi)
4 (Toolcraft Exemplar:kld)
4 (Veteran Motorist:kld)
23 cards

Instant
4 (Harnessed Lightning:kld)
2 (Unlicensed Disintegration:kld)
6 cards

Planeswalker
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 cards
Vehicle
3 (Cultivator's Caravan:kld)
4 (Smuggler's Copter:kld)
7 cards
 
Land
4 (Aether Hub:kld)
4 (Concealed Courtyard:kld)
4 (Inspiring Vantage:kld)
3 (Mountain:kld)
3 (Plains:kld)
4 (Spirebluff Canal:kld)
22 cards

Sideboard
4 (Ceremonious Rejection)
2 (Fragmentize)
4 (Galvanic Bombardment)
2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
2 (Skysovereign, Consul Flagship)
1 (Unlicensed Disintegration)
15 cards


Second Place Kuala Lumpur

UW Flash
Mark Lawrence Tubola GP Kuala Lumpur - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 (Archangel Avacyn:soi)
2 (Rattlechains:soi)
4 Reflector Mage
4 (Selfless Spirit:emn)
4 (Spell Queller:emn)
4 (Thraben Inspector:soi)
22 cards

Instant
1 Void Shatter
1 cards

Sorcery
1 (Declaration in Stone:soi)
1 cards

Enchantment
4 Stasis Snare
4 cards
Planeswalker
3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
3 cards

Vehicle
4 (Smuggler's Copter:kld)
4 cards
 
Land
6 (Island:kld)
10 (Plains:kld)
4 (Port Town:soi)
4 Prairie Stream
1 (Westvale Abbey:soi)
25 cards

Sideboard
2 (Blessed Alliance)
2 (Ceremonious Rejection)
1 (Declaration in Stone)
2 (Fragmentize)
1 (Fumigate)
1 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 Linvala, the Preserver
2 Negate
2 (Summary Dismissal)
1 Void Shatter
15 cards

 

Modern:  This week, I was looking for a deck I would like to play. I pulled this one from the Top 8 at the MOCS. I have liked Jund for years, and this looks like an interesting version. 

Jund
Jaberwocki, MOCS - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Dark Confidant
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Huntmaster of the Fells
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
3 Scavenging Ooze
4 Tarmogoyf
14 cards

Instant
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Kolaghan's Command
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Terminate
11 cards

Sorcery
1 (Collective Brutality:emn)
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Thoughtseize
7 cards
Planeswalker
4 Liliana of the Veil
4 cards
 
Land
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Blood Crypt
4 Bloodstained Mire
1 (Forest:kld)
2 Overgrown Tomb
3 Raging Ravine
1 Stomping Ground
2 (Swamp:kld)
1 (Twilight Mire:exp)
4 (Verdant Catacombs:exp)
1 Wooded Foothills
24 cards

Sideboard
2 Ancient Grudge
2 (Collective Brutality)
1 Damnation
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Fulminator Mage
1 Kitchen Finks
3 Leyline of the Void
1 Olivia Voldaren
1 Painful Truths
1 Slaughter Games
15 cards

 

Legacy: If you browse through the 5-0 decklists from the Legacy leagues, or the top finishing decks from the SCG events, you will probably see a fair amount of Colorless Eldrazi. The deck seems to be everywhere. Three of the five 5-0 decks from the most recent competitive league were also colorless Eldrazi.  If you play Legacy, expect to face this. 

Eldrazi Stompy
Ofelia - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Eldrazi Displacer
4 Eldrazi Mimic
2 Endbringer
4 Endless One
4 Matter Reshaper
4 Reality Smasher
4 Thought-Knot Seer
26 cards

Instant
2 Dismember
2 cards

Artifact
4 Chalice of the Void
2 Umezawa's Jitte
6 cards
Planeswalker
4 Cavern of Souls
2 Caves of Koilos
6 cards
 
Land
4 (Ancient Tomb:exp)
4 City of Traitors
4 Eldrazi Temple
4 (Eye of Ugin:exp)
2 (Karakas:ema)
2 (Wasteland:ema)
20 cards

Sideboard
2 Basilisk Collar
1 Dismember
2 Endbringer
2 Pithing Needle
2 Ratchet Bomb
2 Surgical Extraction
4 Thorn of Amethyst
15 cards

Vintage: 
Eternal Weekend took place across the pond (form me, at least). About a hundred players battled it out. The Top 8 had a bunch of Garage decks (Garage = a shops deck with vehicles. Think it will catch on?) and a smattering of Eldrazi, but a fairly traditional Monastery Mentor deck won out in the end.  
 
Monastery Control
Joan Anton Mateo, Winner, Eternal Weekend Europe - 75 Cards Total
Creature
3 Monastery Mentor
1 Snapcaster Mage
4 cards

Instant
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Dig Through Time
1 Flusterstorm
4 (Force of Will:ema)
3 Gush
4 Mental Misstep
2 Pyroblast
3 (Swords to Plowshares:v13)
20 cards

Sorcery
3 Gitaxian Probe
1 Ponder
3 Preordain
1 Time Walk
1 Treasure Cruise
9 cards
Artifact
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Sensei's Divining Top
7 cards

Planeswalker
2 (Dack Fayden:ema)
1 (Jace, the Mind Sculptor:v13)
3 cards
 
Land
1 Arid Mesa
1 Cavern of Souls
2 Flooded Strand
2 (Island:kld)
1 Library of Alexandria
3 (Scalding Tarn:exp)
1 (Strip Mine:v09)
3 Tundra
2 Volcanic Island
16 cards

Sideboard
1 Balance
2 Containment Priest
1 Flusterstorm
2 Grafdigger's Cage
3 Ingot Chewer
1 Mindbreak Trap
1 Mountain
1 Path to Exile
1 Supreme Verdict
1 Swords to Plowshares
2 (Wear // Tear)
16 cards
Card Prices

 

Note: all my prices come from the fine folks at MTGOTraders.com. These are retail prices, and generally the price of the lowest priced, actively traded version. (Prices for some rare promo versions are not updated when not in stock, so I skip those.)   You can get these cards at MTGOTraders.com web store, or from their bots: MTGOTradersBot(#) (they have bots 1-10), CardCaddy and CardWareHouse, or sell cards to MTGOTradersBuyBot(#) (they have buybots 1-4). I have bought cards from MTGOTraders for over a decade now, and have never been overcharged or disappointed.

 

Standard staples: Standard prices are doing about what you would expect. The prices of KLD rares are dropping as drafters add ever more copies to the card pool. Even the lands are under $5 apiece.   

 

Standard Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
(Archangel Avacyn)
$18.61
$14.93
$3.68
25%
(Chandra, Torch of Defiance)
$7.52
$8.15
($0.63)
-8%
(Emrakul, the Promised End)
$10.97
$12.39
($1.42)
-11%
$33.34
$22.01
$11.33
51%
(Gisela, the Broken Blade)
$9.03
$7.88
$1.15
15%
(Grim Flayer)
$22.09
$15.04
$7.05
47%
(Ishkanah, Grafwidow)
$8.38
$6.20
$2.18
35%
$33.05
$20.27
$12.78
63%
$11.85
$11.29
$0.56
5%
(Liliana, the Last Hope)
$35.30
$19.14
$16.16
84%
(Nahiri, the Harbinger)
$9.60
$9.98
($0.38)
-4%
(Smuggler's Copter)
$9.80
$12.20
($2.40)
-20%
(Torrential Gearhulk)
$9.52
$16.83
($7.31)
-43%
(Verdurous Gearhulk)
$5.93
$6.47
($0.54)
-8%
$6.90
$8.66
($1.76)
-20%

 

Modern staples:  Modern prices have bounced around a bit this week. Collected Company has fallen off the table: it is being played, but isn’t that expensive. 

 

Modern Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$17.39
$16.71
$0.68
4%
$15.49
$16.48
($0.99)
-6%
$33.01
$32.07
$0.94
3%
$33.48
$30.98
$2.50
8%
$16.63
$17.37
($0.74)
-4%
(Engineered Explosive)
$36.07
$38.18
($2.11)
-6%
$30.93
$30.26
$0.67
2%
$23.53
$23.02
$0.51
2%
$19.81
$19.86
($0.05)
0%
$23.22
$23.94
($0.72)
-3%
$20.00
$20.00
$0.00
0%
$21.16
$24.54
($3.38)
-14%
$85.14
$92.92
($7.78)
-8%
$22.00
$22.00
$0.00
0%
$21.27
$20.26
$1.01
5%
$21.00
$21.00
$0.00
0%
$22.24
$22.32
($0.08)
0%
$42.57
$42.30
$0.27
1%
$22.00
$22.00
$0.00
0%
$29.96
$27.82
$2.14
8%

 

Legacy and Vintage: Legacy and Vintage are also generally down, but the changes are not as dramatic as Modern. I have tweaked the table again this week. Jace, VP is gone – his value has stayed well below the $20 minimum for the table. Back to Basics is on the table – partly because it is expensive, but mainly because I have seen it played in serous matches. 

 

Legacy / Vintage Cards
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
$28.44
$27.69
$0.75
3%
$34.68
$34.76
($0.08)
0%
$104.49
$104.19
$0.30
0%
$19.81
$19.18
$0.63
3%
$19.64
$19.51
$0.13
1%
$29.78
$30.83
($1.05)
-3%
$26.80
$26.56
$0.24
1%
$43.95
$43.93
$0.02
0%
$18.31
$18.28
$0.03
0%
$37.00
$38.81
($1.81)
-5%
$35.86
$34.96
$0.90
3%
$71.99
$73.99
($2.00)
-3%
$30.57
$30.74
($0.17)
-1%
$23.10
$20.30
$2.80
14%
$40.19
$44.47
($4.28)
-10%
$246.63
$252.76
($6.13)
-2%
$52.34
$51.65
$0.69
1%
$21.98
$22.14
($0.16)
-1%
$53.99
$52.84
$1.15
2%
$20.03
$19.15
$0.88
5%
$21.02
$20.71
$0.31
1%
$32.59
$32.74
($0.15)
0%
$18.27
$17.57
$0.70
4%
$32.00
$34.18
($2.18)
-6%

 

Set Redemption: You can redeem complete sets on MTGO. You need to purchase a redemption voucher from the store for $25. During the next downtime, Wizards removes a complete set from your account and sends you the same set in paper.   

 

Complete Set
Price
Last Week
Change
% Change
Battle for Zendikar
$68.90
$55.16
$13.74
25%
Eldritch Moon
$116.75
$98.04
$18.71
19%
Kaladesh
$86.92
$112.47
($25.55)
-23%
Oath of the Gatewatch
$95.27
$78.44
$16.83
21%
Shadows over Innistrad
$60.18
$59.04
$1.14
2%

 

 
The Good Stuff

 

The following is a list of all the non-promo, non-foil cards on MTGO that retail for more than $25 per card. These are the big ticket items in the world of MTGO.  The list has shrunk one more card this week. In other “news,” Rishadan Port is still ridiculous.
 
Name
Set
Rarity
 Price
Rishadan Port
 MM
Rare
 $ 246.63
Black Lotus
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 104.49
Liliana of the Veil
 ISD
Mythic Rare
 $ 85.14
Misdirection
 MM
Rare
 $ 71.99
Tangle Wire
 NE
Rare
 $ 53.99
Show and Tell
 UZ
Rare
 $ 52.34
Food Chain
 MM
Rare
 $ 47.05
Exploration
 UZ
Rare
 $ 43.95
Tarmogoyf
 MM2
Mythic Rare
 $ 43.56
Tarmogoyf
 MMA
Mythic Rare
 $ 43.27
Tarmogoyf
 FUT
Rare
 $ 42.57
Mox Sapphire
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 40.19
Gaea's Cradle
 UZ
Rare
 $ 37.00
Engineered Explosives
 5DN
Rare
 $ 36.10
Engineered Explosives
 MMA
Rare
 $ 36.07
Infernal Tutor
 DIS
Rare
 $ 35.86
Wasteland
 TE
Uncommon
 $ 35.69
Liliana, the Last Hope
 EMN
Mythic Rare
 $ 35.30
Wasteland
 TPR
Rare
 $ 35.22
Back to Basics
 UZ
Rare
 $ 34.68
Blood Moon
 8ED
Rare
 $ 34.52
Wasteland
 EMA
Rare
 $ 34.16
Ensnaring Bridge
 ST
Rare
 $ 33.65
Cavern of Souls
 AVR
Rare
 $ 33.48
Blood Moon
 MMA
Rare
 $ 33.46
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
 BFZ
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.34
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
 OGW
Mythic Rare
 $ 33.05
Blood Moon
 9ED
Rare
 $ 33.01
Unmask
 MM
Rare
 $ 32.59
Wasteland
 EXP
Mythic Rare
 $ 32.00
Ensnaring Bridge
 8ED
Rare
 $ 31.24
Containment Priest
 PZ1
Rare
 $ 31.00
Ensnaring Bridge
 7E
Rare
 $ 30.93
Moat
 MED
Rare
 $ 30.57
Force of Will
 MED
Rare
 $ 30.46
Voice of Resurgence
 DGM
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.96
Lion's Eye Diamond
 MI
Rare
 $ 29.89
Containment Priest
 C14
Rare
 $ 29.78
True-Name Nemesis
 PZ1
Mythic Rare
 $ 29.72
Ancestral Recall
 VMA
Bonus
 $ 28.44
Doomsday
 WL
Rare
 $ 26.80
Volcanic Island
 ME3
Rare
 $ 26.59
Undiscovered Paradise
 VI
Rare
 $ 26.39
Golgari Grave-Troll
 DDJ
Rare
 $ 25.86

 

The big number is the retail price of a playset (4 copies) of every card available on MTGO. Assuming you bought the least expensive versions available, the cost of owning a playset of every card on MTGO is $ 22,340. That is up about $75 from last week. 

 

Weekly Highlights

 

Not a ton of Magic this week. I watched the finals from GP Providence, which was pretty interesting. The players knew how that was ending, but it caught the coverage folks by surprise. Worth a watch. 

 

I watched it while playing a moderately bad deck in draft league. I think I made a few mispicks early, but ended up with decent RG energy beatdown deck splashing black for Unlicensed Disintegration and the activation on a Scrapheap Scrounger.  The first match was long and interesting. I pulled it out. Match two I mulliganned to six – three land and three spells both games. I then proceeded to make my first 9 land drops before dying with land in hand. Both games. In the third match, it happened again – the same mulligan into 3 and 3, then made the first 8 land drops. The fact that my opponent had turn two Looter Scooter both games meant I never got time to make more land drops – I was dead.   Someone else can figure the odds of drawing seven-eight straight lands in a 16 land, forty card deck after a mulligan to six, but don’t bother telling me. I don’t want to know. I do know that I logged out of MTGO after that, and haven’t logged back on yet. Maybe this weekend. 

 

PRJ 

 

“One Million Words” and “3MWords” on MTGO 
 

 

This series is an ongoing tribute to Erik “Hamtastic” Friborg.

 

HammyBot Super Sale: HammyBot was set up to sell off Erik Friborg’s collection, with all proceeds going to his wife and son. So far, HammyBot has raised over $8,000, but there are a lot of cards left in the collection. Those cards are being sold at MTGOTrader’s Buy Price.  

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

As long as wotc dont handle by Hearts at Sun, 10/30/2016 - 17:39
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As long as wotc dont handle collusion well enough bribery in mtg play doesnt always feel like something bad.

Bribery by MichelleWong at Mon, 10/31/2016 - 01:38
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5

Hi Pete, as you are an experienced judge, I'd be interested to know what is your opinion about the current official bribery rules as they are written?

It seems to me that, at the practical level, bribery is permitted in substance, but not in form. Which is crazy. Oliver Tiu was disqualified at GP Provenance because he fell foul of the formality required (and because his opponent was inexperienced and clueless when it comes to how top level players can easily get around the prohibition by a mutual, unspoken understanding. Oliver's opponent didn't "get" what Oliver was trying to communicate, which is funny because then Oliver went on to explain to his opponent what he really meant, and in the earshot of a judge!). In contrast several others at the same tournament might have committed bribery but followed the correct form (because they are not clueless and are well aware of how to commit bribery legally) and are hence not penalised. I am not satisfied by the argument that "All bribery is forbidden because that's what's written in the official rules". Sorry, life doesn't work like this, one needs to look at the substance and the reality of what is happening. A rule which is so easy to be thwarted should not be a rule. It's like saying "The official rules ban X", where the vast majority of people playing in high level tournaments know how the rule can be overcome by jumping through a simple hoop, and is therefore a rule which is meaningless at a practical level. It's even worse than that: I don't play in high level paper tournaments, and even I know how to thwart the rule.

(The above is my opinion, but I am more interested in your opinion which is more informed and backed up by more practical experience. Also, when I mention a specific player's name, I acknowledge that I have not heard each player's explanations which they gave to the judges who investigated it, and instead I am basing my opinion on what Oliver himself appears to have clarified to the public after the event).

The ambiguity exists because by Paul Leicht at Mon, 10/31/2016 - 02:55
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The ambiguity exists because it is undesirable for people to WANT to thwart the rule and if they know the magic words (there are none as far as I know) that is a loss for the game as a whole. Imho Bribery should not exist because people should not engage in it. Since they DO they run the risk that occasionally they may cross the invisible line that allows/demands punishment for it.

Bribery by MichelleWong at Mon, 10/31/2016 - 07:14
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Hi Paul, I understand that point. I agree with it to an extent, in that the risk averse players will hear of this incident and won't go anywhere near to anything which could possibly link them to bribery. I also note that we don't have a report from the judges on what they determined was actually said by both players. As a result, risk averse players will see there is some smoke arising from this incident, and may wish to avoid what they consider to be playing with fire.

However, I suspect that the takeaway message for most people will be: "Be discreet. Don't mention prize splits, concessions, payments or Paypal closely together, and certainly not in the earshot of a judge (unless of course you wish a judge to hear your carefully crafted words which are designed to ward off any link between the concession and the quid-pro-quo for the concession. In those cases, you might want a judge to be present so that your words can't be misquoted)".

And a secondary message is: "If you do try to be discreet (as Oliver presumably did try to do at first), and if your opponent is genuinely confused by your words, then don't go on to clarify the nuts and bolts of what you are suggesting. In those scenarios, just play the game and hope to get your Pro Point by winning the match!".

In contrast, it would be a very different situation if Oliver Tiu was very careful in his choice of words, and did not tie the concession to a Paypal payment, but nevertheless Wizards disqualified him. In such a scenario, it would have a huge impact to curb the bribery. Oliver Tiu is not the test case people might have been hoping for. People like me will think "Oliver Tiu? Oh he's that guy who clarified in the earshot of the judge how the mechanics of the concession would work. Of course that crosses the line!".

As a result, I doubt that the latest DQ will affect the bribery culture much at all.

one million words's picture

I started writing here - then realized I should probably put it in this week's article. Look for it there.