one million words's picture
By: one million words, Pete Jahn
Dec 02 2009 2:56am
Login or register to post comments

Ten Reasons Why Playing the Pro Tour Online is a Bad Idea

I have not been writing a lot recently. I have been doing other, boring, non-Magic stuff a lot. When online, I have been drafting almost exclusively. I haven’t been writing about my drafts all that much, because other writers – like Godot – do that a whole lot better. 
Hamtastic, though, has broken me out of my slump. In his last State of the Program article, he suggested that Pro Tours should be played Online. Wizards could bring in computers and run all the drafts and constructed matches on MTGO. His reasoning isn’t bad, but I disagree. 
I’ve been to ten Pro Tours, plus another dozen plus marquee events like Grand Prix and US Nationals. I have played in some, and judged at far more. I know pretty much how those shows run. 
True, I’m now a much better judge than player, and the odds are far, far greater that if I’m invited to a Pro Tour or Worlds, it will be as a judge. Changing from paper play to online play would eliminate some of the need for judges, but not all. At any Pro Tour / Worlds, side events will always remain paper events, and those events will need judges. Lots of judges. At Worlds in Paris, there were 430 or so players in the main event, and 9,000+ in public events. I suspect that Worlds in Rome was comparable, but I don’t have the numbers. I do know that over 100 judges worked the floor in Rome.  Moving to MTGO for the main event would not change all that much.
I should also mention that my wife is a Level 4 judge. L4s Head Judge Grand Prix. She is already scheduled to HJ least one, and she will probably attend of others for various L4 duties. I’ll almost certainly be working with her, provided I can get the time off work. (That hasn’t been a problem too often.) In short, I anticipate having opportunities to travel the world judging, even if Pro Tours and Worlds were played on MTGO.  (Quick note: Wizards considers the World Championships to be the fourth Pro Tour of the year, so I’m using “Pro Tour” to cover both traditional Pro Tours and Worlds.)
Let’s move on to the reasons that an online Pro Tour is a bad idea. 
Number 10: It Makes for a Bad Show
I referred to Pro Tours and Worlds as “shows” above, and that’s what they are. They are a celebration of Magic. Wizards didn’t commission an artist to make a 20’ tall Serra Angel just so people could play cards. The whole arena set, the Pro Tour banners, the hanging Moxen, etc. – all of these exist because Wizards wants to showcase the game. 
Wizards wants Magic to shine at these events. That’s why big events have public areas, feature match sets, artists and celebrities, and lots of set dressing. It’s also why the Top 8 coverage is shown on big screens in front of a big audience. Standing at the edge of the play area and looking out over 400 competitors - and spotting famous players – is all part of the excitement. Having rows and rows of monitors obscuring the view will detract from that experience. 
If you haven’t been to a PT, and seen the effort that the WotC folks – Scott, Whitney, Rene and all the others – put into the events, you may underestimate this. If you have experienced the pageantry, you understand. The Pro Tour is a marketing exercise, and anything that makes the Pro Tour less of an open, welcoming event is a bad thing. 
Number Nine: MTGO is Too Easy
A large part of the skills required to play Magic, in the paper world, are in noting and remembering your triggers, where you are in the turn and game, and what your deck is doing. Bob Maher, Jr. was notable for playing a very technically precise game of Magic. He didn’t forget triggers. He didn’t miss effects. He didn’t miscount or miscalculate the power and toughness of his creatures. That’s one huge reason that he is in the Hall of Fame. 
I’m not that accurate. I missed day two of GP New Orleans for many reasons, but the deciding factor was because I missed the trigger on my Solitary Confinement. The default on that trigger is sacrificing the enchantment, which meant I lost to my opponent’s beats. 
I have seen a lot of matches decided by which player has a better understanding of the rules and the game state. If I understand that swinging with my Soul Warden with a +1/+1 counters into my opponent’s Hill Giant is a good play, because Humility is in play, and my opponent chumps, that’s part of the game. Magic is supposed to be about laying such traps – not misrepresenting the game state, but allowing a complex game state to confuse the opponent. It’s called being better at Magic.
MTGO, on the other hand, simply shows the Soul Warden as a 2/2 and the Hill Giant as a 1/1. It also reminds everyone of every trigger. It makes it easy. As a MTGO player, you don’t need to know the rules (or be smart enough to know when to call a judge). MTGO just tells you.
I’m not saying that MTGO is better or worse than Magic the Gathering. It is just a different game. More importantly, it is a different game from what the vast majority of the players played to make the Pro Tour.
Number Eight: Watching Your Opponent
Magic the Gathering is a social game. MTGO – not so much.
The paper game, at the highest levels, involves interaction. Players generally say hi, good luck, etc. Many are far more verbal, and some matches are a non-stop talk fest. I remember listening to a match between GerryT and Gabe Walls – it was entertaining, to say the least. That same type of interaction can’t happen via keyboard.   Not really. Keyboards slow everything down.
Skill at Magic also involves being able to read your opponent. Good players can tell what an opponent has by posture, attitude, muscle movements, etc. Poker players call these tells, and they are a part of paper Magic. However, while an opponent may wince, slightly, when looking at their draw, a monitor does not. Different games.
Finally, paper Magic involves “politics” or “Jedi mind tricks” and so forth. I’m not talking about anything illegal – nothing that misrepresents the game state or abuses the opponent. I am talking about deliberately giving off misleading “tells.”   At FNM last week, an opponent was beating me down. I had nothing but a (Kracken Hatchling) in play and blocking. I slapped my deck, drew, sighed, checked my life total, my hand, sighed again and passed without doing anything. He attacked with just his flier. I drew slowly, checked life totals, played a land, checked life totals again and passed. He attacked with everything, and I blew him out with the Arrow Volley Trap I had been holding for three turns. 
Players can, and do, this sort of thing (albeit more subtly) at the Pro Tour all the time. It is part of the game. I’m not making an argument that such tricks are or are not moral – they are a legal part of the paper game. They are not a part of the online game. MTGO is not MTG. 
Number Seven: So I have to Buy All the Cards Again?
It may not be widely known, but very few pro players own the cards they play. Most borrow cards before the event. It is very, very common for players to be borrowing cards right up until the moment the tournament starts. Look at the coverage of this year’s World Championships: one player was asking for Baneslayer Angels while carrying his country’s flag in the opening ceremonies. 
Some players, on the other hand, do have their own cards – and some very nice cards, too. I remember seeing decks with Summer Magic cards, Beta lands, Foil Russian Tenth Edition cards, etc. These are all hard to get cards, and cards that the players have carefully collected. Many are autographed by the artists. Going to online play means that those players will not be able to play those cards.
On the flip side, players will need to own all the cards they might need for the constructed portion of the event.   Pro Tours and Worlds are multi-format events, after all, with part limited and part constructed.  Constructed portions require decks, and MTGO does not allow proxies. 
At Pro Tours, players are often testing and modifying decks until just before play begins. If players are going to do the same thing at an online event, then they are going to be trading cards like mad to get their decks completed. At a normal Pro Tour, thousands and thousands of cards change hands the morning of the constructed events. Can MTGO handle that? Are you sure?
Number Six: 400 Baneslayer Angels, Please
At Worlds this year, players had trouble getting their hands on some of the chase cards – and the numbers of cards in print dwarfs the numbers online. At worlds this year, IIRC, 23% of the players played Jund. Assuming 3 Maelstrom Pulses per deck, that would mean that players had to get their hands on approximately 300 copies.   Are the cards even available on MTGO in those numbers? If they are, what happens to the price of chase cards the week before the Pro Tour? How about the week after?
In theory, Wizards could give players special accounts for the Pro Tour. The eight of us got them for the Magic Online Community Cup Challenge. It took Wizards a couple days to create the accounts and email us the names and passwords. At a Pro Tour, players often don’t know if they are attending until very close to the event, so Wizards can’t assign these in advance (unless they don’t mind giving god accounts to players that won’t attend.) At Pro Tours, registration takes place for a few hours the evening before, and then for two hours before the players’ meeting on the first day. About half the players register the night before. 
Give that sort of schedule, it does not seem feasible to have Wizards try to create 400 accounts overnight. Perhaps they could set up all the accounts that might be used in advance, then hand out names and passwords as players registered, but that also seems like a whole ton of work. Far more than stamping product. 
More importantly, Wizards does not provide players with cards or decks for the constructed portions of paper Pro Tours. Players are required to bring their own decks / their own cards. The Pro Tour is financed, in part, by the dealers who rent hall space from Wizards so that they can sell cards to the players.   Providing god accounts goes against all of this.
Number Five: MTGO is a Different Game from Magic: the Gathering
Magic the Gathering is a game played with cardboard (well, mostly cardboard) cards on tables. MTGO is a computer simulation of that paper game. The online version gets a lot of things right, but not everything. The games are different. 
I am a judge in the paper game. I have been judging for a long time. I have been playing for even longer. I own a copy of a Fourth Edition rule book. I have collections of Bethmo rulings. I have a Sixth Edition rulebook, and electronic versions of the Comprehensive Rules that came out after pretty much every new set revision thereafter. Some revisions are minor. Some, like the M10 changes, are anything but minor. However, all of these rules have one thing in common: they say nothing about losing the game because your chess clock runs out. According to the official rules of Magic: the Gathering™, there are a dozen or so ways to lose the game.   Timing out is not one of them. 
I don’t want to debate the whole chess clocks: good or bad debate. This is a website devoted to online play, which means that the readers can live with chess clocks. The people who cannot – and they exist – don’t play online, and don’t read this website. That makes any discussion – or consensus - taking place here rather pointless. The simple fact is that chess clocks exist online, and not in the paper world. The paper world has a different set of rules for timing, slow play and end of round procedures. It is a different game.  
It is a different game in another, fundamental, way. Magic the Gathering has specific rules for how “infinite” loops are supposed to work.  The player simply announces how many times the loop will repeat before ending it. (e.g. “Repeat 1.5 billion times. Go to 1.5 billion + 13 life. Go.”) The online game has no such provision – loops have to be manually repeated over and over again, all while the chess clock counts down. The end result is that decks that have won Grand Prix and Pro Tours simply cannot be played online. It is a different game when the best deck in the format is unplayable because the program will not support it. 
Number Four: You Certainly Can Cheat on MTGO
Last week, I played in a draft. I had a slow deck, and had to reboot once. Late in game three, I suddenly realized I had less than 2.5 minutes left on my clock. I sped up my play, and ended up swinging for the win with 8 seconds left on my clock. My opponent proceeded to put 11 regeneration shields on his tapped creature, one at a time. I had already F6ed, so I still won, but it was close.
In the paper world, Stalling is clearly defined as an infraction. A player that deliberately stalls a game to take advantage of the round time is considered cheating, and will be disqualified.  Online, stalling is just another way to win. Personally, I hate it, but I guess we have to file this under “different games.”
I know people are thinking “just F6” or “that’s what autoyield is for.” Maybe, but I don’t really think that deciding the World Championship should come down to knowing the MTGO interface. That has never before been a critical Magic skill. 
Finally, playing on computers running MTGO raises two other issues: outside assistance and having others play the match. Admittedly, doing the second requires balls of steel, but it is not impossible. 
The first cheat involves having friends and others giving advice. You could simply let the others watch, and then discuss the game in a chat window. This is possible even within the current MTGO client, on the tightly protected machines that Wizards used for the Online events at Worlds. It could be even easier in the future, when MTGO will run inside a browser.
Earlier today, I saw an ad with a Pro player offering to coach you during your MTGO draft. That may or may not be against the code of conduct (it probably depends on how it is done), but it certainly indicates a possibility for more nefarious conduct. If Pro Tours moved online, could you be sure that you are playing against your opponent, and not a team. Really sure?
Here’s a more radical possibility: a competitor has little experience in draft, but has several friends who are expert drafters. He simply texts his account name and password to his friends, and let them play the draft. They can all sit around a machine and play. The qualified player can simply sit at Worlds and draft in the open MTGO queues. In a big room with 400 computers running, do you think anyone could tell that someone was playing the wrong draft? It’s obviously a big problem if you are caught, but how likely is that?   
In theory, that sort of cheating could be caught by looking at trace routes for each player’s account during the event. Of course, doing that will require having some computer experts available and tasked to do that. That is an expense, and one that cannot be paid in cards. Existing judges, OTOH, can and are “compensated” with foils and a judge dinner. 
Hammie mentioned that theft is a problem at large events, but that it would be eliminated online. I won’t disagree that theft sometimes happens at Magic events: I was peripherally involved with busting one ring at GP Chicago. However, I disagree that moving to online play will prevent theft. Some people have trained themselves to read what people are typing simply by seeing what keys they press. The technology also exists to image keyboards remotely, and to monitor packets.   At an online Pro Tour, players might not have decks and backpacks stolen – they could lose their accounts, instead.   
Number Three:   The Pro Tour Exists to Sell Cards
The purpose of the Pro Tour is to promote the playing and sale of Magic cards. Over the years, the Pro Tour has built leading players into celebrities, in much the same way that professional sports turns players into celebrities. The Pro Tour has also pushed the slogan “play the game, see the world.” Finally, the Pro Tour is the apex of the organized play pyramid, which starts with local TOs, like me, running non-rated casual tournaments, up through FNM, GPTs, PTQs, GPs and up to the Pro Tours. That pyramid exists, to a large extent, to promote tournament play at local stores. 
Watching pros play on computers may not promote local tournament play quite as well as watching them play with cards, on tables, just like at the store.
 I don’t have access to the marketing data that Wizards collects, but I have met and talked to many of the WotC people at brand, organized play and so forth. I’m pretty comfortable with this conclusion.
Number Two: Logistics
Pro Tours are a show, not an endurance contest.  Even if the players could play 20 rounds straight, stretching it out over three days builds interest, as well as allowing the coverage folks to write their stories and produce their videos, and lets a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff happen as it is supposed to.  Another good reason not to have all 21 rounds played in a row – would you like to see the World Championship determined because one competitor repeatedly fell asleep, and clocked out? That would not be a good ending for a major PR event..
At Worlds last month, players played 6 rounds each day, with two rounds of team competition at the end of each day. In the team competition, some players used the same decks they used in the other rounds. I am not convinced that MTGO can do that, at the moment. To run a two day, multiple format event for the Magic Online Community Cup Challenge, Mike Gills basically paired the rounds on paper, and had us challenge our opponents manually, in the casual play room.   Using that process for 400+ players would be really inefficient, not to mention all the problems of players playing the wrong opponent. The only way to avoid that, however, would be for MTGO to be able to have tournaments that pause when requested, and allow players to change decks and formats (rounds 1-6 were Standard, 7-12 draft and 13-18 Extended, IIRC.) To duplicate Worlds, the program would also have to allow the top eight to be best of five games, and allow untimed matches. I just don’t know that MTGO can do that. If it cannot do so now, is adding that feature a good use of programming resources? Personally, I’d rather devote the resources to the new interface and to the collections server. 
Let’s assume that the software has those capabilities. The next question is what the staff can do to salvage the show if the software has serious bugs, or other technical problems develop. For example, what happens if the connection to the Internet goes down? Murphy’s Law says that, if the connection is going to crash, it is going to happen at 5:30 Saturday night, with 2 rounds to go to the Top 8 cut. I have spent a lot of time in the telecoms industry, and my professional opinion is that getting a DS3 fixed after hours on a weekend isn’t going to be quick, easy or cheap. 
Using MTGO would be balancing the entire show on that program and supporting infrastructure. If they fail, the show fails. If the program is having problems, how does Wizards save the show?
This is not an idle question. At PT Hollywood, we had a complete power failure. At PT Valencia, heavy rains flooded the venue. At GenCon this year, we had a fire. At Worlds in San Francisco, some matches had to be moved to get them out of the really-bright sunlight. At a couple events, the tournament management software died when asked to do something strange (like pairing four player drafts for the 2HG PT.)   And so forth. In all of these cases, the professional Wizards staff, together with the large crew of judges, handled these problems. Only at Valencia, where the water started flowing into the electrical system and the entire venue was shut for a day, did play have to be suspended.  In every other circumstance, the problem was either solved with no effect on game play, or play continued with minimal interruption.   Even after the fire at GenCon, judges had play back underway within 15-20 minutes of being let back into the building.          
At all events, judges provide more than rulings. Judges are customer service reps. I tell all my judge trainees that, if they know five things, they can answer 90% of all the questions they will be asked. Those things?  The steps in casting a spell, the parts of a turn (including combat), where the bathrooms are, how much time is left in the round and whether there will be a lunch break. At any event, the vast majority of judge time is spent directing traffic, pointing players to pairings, cleaning up trash, handling lost items and answering non-rules questions. Judges also do all the work of setting up the venue. We number – and often arrange – tables, hang pipe and drape, set the stage, etc., etc.   Judges handle pretty much everything – but we will not be able to handle MTGO issues. If Wizards brings 400+ computers, monitors and supporting routers and networking cables, Wizards will have to hire tech support people to set up the network, and to solve problems for players – lost passwords, crashing machines, etc. After seeing the amount of security software on the machines brought to Austin, I can attest to the fact that troubleshooting and repair is going to require experts.
The physical logistics will also be challenging. At Pro Tours, we generally hold two matches on a 6 foot by 3 foot table.  At Austin, the MTGO setups used two 8 foot tables, butted together, to hold four machines. That means twice as many tables, more space and more cost. It may require even more cost to string the power and network cables. Many venues have no underfloor conduit, meaning that Wizards will either have to provide protective ramps or string cables overhead. Leaving a lot of power cables on the floor for people to trip over would not impress the fire marshal.
The Grand Prix kit – the thing that Wizards ships to each Grand Prix – is a large, metal-bound box on wheels. It is about 6 feet long, four feet wide and five feet high. It includes everything needed – the table numbers, Top 8 playmats, signs, banners, stage dressing, table rings, etc. etc. The only exceptions are product and the stuff supplied by the TO (e.g. the scorekeeper’s computer and printer.)   The Pro Tour box is actually smaller, because the set dressing (the columns, banners, etc.) are all shipped separately. 
Shipping 400+ computers, monitors, keyboards, mice, etc. – plus the necessary servers, routers and cabling – is a whole different issue. That would require a huge expense in packing and shipping – not to mention the up-front cost of all those computers.   The cost of a Pro Tour is already huge – I have heard unofficial estimates of about a million dollars per. Adding the cost of packing, shipping, assembling, supporting, disassembling, repacking and reshipping 400+ computers would increase that cost substantially.
I could go on and on about the logistics, but let’s move on to the number one reason that the Pro Tour will never be played on MTGO.
Number One: The World Championship should not be Decided by a Misclick
Do you know this card?
Dark Confidant
Did you know that it exists, in part, due to a misclick? Without the misclick, Brian Kibler might have won the Invitational that year. Brian’s card was going to be some sort of new Ophidian – although he might have created a “flying reptile sort of thing.”   Dark Confidant was Bob Maher, Jr.’s card.
Some background. The Invitational was a high-level, invitation-only tournament. Wizards invited the top 32 players in the World to a multi-format event. The winner got a chance to design his own Magic card. 
The 2004 Invitational was the first Invitational played on MTGO. Bob Maher, Jr. was playing Brian Kibler in round 9, which was 8th Edition draft. Kibler had Seismic Assault and Kismet in play. Bob Maher had enough beaters to kill Brian next attack step, although Karma would bring him to 1 life.   If Brian drew a land, he could use Seismic Assault to deal two to Bob, then the Karma would kill Bob during his upkeep. If he drew anything else, he died to Bob’s attack.  
Bob passed the turn. Kibler drew - a land. He then misclicked Seismic Assault, and the land went into play. Seismic Assault did nothing.   Kibler lost due to a misclick.
That sort of thing does not happen in Magic: the Gathering. It shouldn’t happen on MTGO, but of course it does.
And that’s the number one reason that Pro Tours and Worlds should not be played online.
“one million words” on MTGO


Number One! by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 03:38
Anonymous's picture

Ok, we just needed that argument! Reason number one is enough! LOL!
Fun read, thanks for the article.

number 8 is the only thing i by ShardFenix at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 03:49
ShardFenix's picture

number 8 is the only thing i dislike really about mtgo i love joking around with opponents that i see at FNM but miss the interaction online. Lubkily i have a clan with some fun friends in it and we have vent to talk smack back and forth to each other

There are a lot of good by WiseGreen (can't log in) (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 06:37
WiseGreen (can't log in)'s picture

There are a lot of good reasons here, but I think at least some of them don't have to do with what Hammy said. Unless I've misread his article, he wasn't speaking about a virtually played Pro-Tour, he was talking about using MTGo instead of Paper as the playing platform in a big event still held phisically somewhere in some place, with all that a Pro Tour uses to be. So although I think there are some concerns that are valid - the misclicking, leverage of skill and rules knowledge, sociability during matches (to a limited degree) - there are some which aren't because the players will be there - so judges should be able to spot cheating, the PT would still be a big event with cool posters, artists signing art and all that.

First thing, I'm glad that my by hamtastic at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 09:00
hamtastic's picture

First thing, I'm glad that my article brought you back, Mr. Jahn. :)

Secondly, WiseGreen is correct. I recommended that if MTGO gets to be the medium chosen that it still takes place physically. Of course, this brings with it a whole host of new issues as well, but I still really like the idea of doing what MOCS did, or what the MTGO PTQ's have done to get people to the event.

I could go on and on about why I've suggested MTGO as an alternative, but I'll keep things brief for now. :) In regards to #1... which is worse: altering a Pro tour due to a mis-click or altering the pro tour due to a missed mandatory trigger? If one is worse for the game, which one and why?

Personally, I think that they both suck but that altering a pro tour due to a missed mandatory trigger sucks just a little worse than a mis-click. Probably not by much though. :)

You have 3,400 words left. ;) by one million words at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 12:37
one million words's picture

Feel free to go on and on - I'm still a lot of words ahead.

I was talking about having the PT in some fun location, and bringing all the computers and players there. Having PT Everyone's Own Home is a much worse idea.

One additional comment from Ingrid - my wife, who has attendd several more Pro Tours than I have:

"Man, can't you just imagine WOTC having to truck around all those computers? (plus spares). With that volume, it would be like a Broadway show and have to be trucks. And OMG it would be dull."

Being dull was # 14 or so on my list. :)

I have to say, though, that the pro tour was NOT altered because of a missed trigger. Gindy was DQed - according to the coverage - because he knew that the ability of his Master of the Hunt had not finished resolving, but said nothing because the error was in his favor. That's not missed trigger - that's fraud. Judges fix missed triggers.

I do see the advantages of MTGO, and I play it a lot. However, I am also involved in the logistics of large paper torunaments (planning WI States at the moment) and I can't see a way to mix the two. Not without infinite money. (But with infinite money - wow. First we hire 60 genius-level programmers to fix the collection server, then give Adrianna all the staff she needs and a time machine to fix the interface for the V3 beta, then...)

I will also say that I love the integration of MTGO into the PTs, and hope that continues. It should not be either/or - it should be both.

while hamtastic may or may by ShardFenix at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 13:03
ShardFenix's picture

while hamtastic may or may not be mentioning gindy, I am reminded of Kibler basically being allowed to beat his semifinal opponent in austin thanks to an ignored Angel of Despair trigger. If the trigger had resolved kibler would have had no way to play his Baneslayer Angel and then would not have been able to rce for the win. Especially looking at the fact he was racing progenitus and only won at three life.

Yep, I was thinking of Kibler by spg at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 16:53
spg's picture

Yep, I was thinking of Kibler also.

If you and WiseGreen think by Anonymous (not verified) at Fri, 12/04/2009 - 14:11
Anonymous's picture

If you and WiseGreen think Pete wasn't talking about filling a Pro Tour hall with computers, then I don't think you read his article. #5 mentions cheating because you have friends helping/playing for you, but he also mentions:

#10 "Having rows and rows of monitors obscuring the view will detract from that experience..."

#6 "The Pro Tour is financed, in part, by the dealers who rent hall space from Wizards so that they can sell cards to the players. Providing god accounts goes against all of this."

#4 "Some people have trained themselves to read what people are typing simply by seeing what keys they press."

#3 "Watching pros play on computers..."

#2 "If Wizards brings 400+ computers, monitors and supporting routers and networking cables..."

As a side note, you mention by Anonymous (not verified) at Fri, 12/04/2009 - 14:21
Anonymous's picture

As a side note, you mention "the MTGO PTQ's have done to get people to the event."

Do you mean how they have affected the attendance of online players at PT San Diego?

Even though the PT has not actually happened yet, I am pretty sure that, except for the winners of the online PTQs themselves, very few other players will now attend who would not otherwise have attended.

Attending a Pro Tour is a lot of fun, but I can't see how the paper players who were on the fence about attending the PT would have been swayed to attend.

I am also sure that the number of players at physical PTQs have not been affected much by the addition of online PTQs. For each player who doesn't get jaded by the idea of relying of a random pool of sealed cards, another decides driving 8 hours each way is less attractive than playing in their underwear the next day instead.

#1 is all i need by Scartore at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 09:25
Scartore's picture

I'm the living antithesis of a Pro Tour player, but I agree that if a sizeable pile of moolah and fame were on the line and I lost it because of a misclick I would have a heart attack. On the spot. One of those really dramatic Fred Sanford "Oh, this is the biggest one I ever had. You hear that Elizabeth? I'm coming to join you honey" type heart attacks.

Why do the pro players need by Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 09:42
Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer's picture

Why do the pro players need to own the cards on MODO? Why can't they just borrow them from friends like in real life?

The issue is not whether they by one million words at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 13:22
one million words's picture

The issue is not whether they can or can't. They can. The issue is that pros are used to getting the cards from each other and from dealers an hour before the event starts. Tha works fine in the paper world. My question is whether that could happen if the cards were digital. Could the program handle literally 5,000 trades in ten minutes?

More importantly, a lot of dealers that buy space at a Pro Tour from Wizards, and make enough money to pay Wizards for the space by selling cards. If the PT is online, a lot of those sales are gone - the only paper sales will be for public events. Wizards would have to cut prices for space, and lose revenue. Not a lot, but the Pro Tour is already a hug expense.

To be perfectly honest, the by neo_altoid (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 09:42
neo_altoid's picture

To be perfectly honest, the technical issues are not what's the problem, and are generally easily overcome.

10, 9, and 8 are perfectly valid reasons, and they're why I think paper is still valuable. Losing to misclicks is, well, no different than doing something dumb in paper, so is just not an issue in my mind. I've not once had a misclick where it wasn't *really* "playing too quickly".

dangerlinto's picture

In favour of MTGO. I'm not advocating digital PTs, or for that matter in favour of it in any way, but if you are going to wax on about the chess clock, you might want to consider that to some people (including, I believe, the Organized Play personnel at WoTC) the chess clock is a superior form of match timing and is therefore an argument in favour of using MTGO.

I also found it odd that you felt that PT winners shouldn't be declared by something as technical as timing out but at the same time felt that losing to a forgotten Confinement trigger was OK. Diffeence? yes, but really - losing on technicalities is bad.

Also, Bill Maher is an awesome player to be sure, but I would hate to think that he won solely because the game's breadth of information is so huge that only someone super-human can keep track of it all. Highlighting that as a benefit of caveman Magic, and using it as an argument in favour of caveman magic is a black mark on acquiring and retaining competitive players.

Lastly - there is only one game of Magic. There are just different ways to play it. The comprehensive rules are not also the tournament Floor rules, and Tournament floor rules exist online as well - they are just different. Just as in PTs, floor rules trump the Magic rules.

Don't believe me?

Try timing out of a match with Platinum Angel in play. See which set of rules apply.

why its a bad idea to play pt online by Anonymous (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 10:02
Anonymous's picture

thye had a ptq this weekend and could not even get that right they had about 300 people and everyone didnt even get to build there deck it totaly skipped that part and everyone had to play with 140 card deck and they didnt even start the event over

Good Article, but... by MechtaK at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 10:37
MechtaK's picture

I like the article, very well thought out, but it should be noted, at least IMHO, that for every point you make here, there are equally valid points that can swing the argument the other way. Frankly, I'm not convinced that PT online would be a bad idea, just for three reasons alone. Money, time, and distance. Those of us without expendable income aren't going to find traveling someplace to play a game of magic over the course of 2 or 3 days all that positive an experience, especially when we are sent packing without being "in the money" as the poker parlance goes. The online game, however, makes a far better medium for overcoming this obstacles, and allows more people to play. One of my biggest caveats when I was playing in paper tournaments was, sometimes few participants showed up (that may have changed since then, haven't played paper since 2001). In addition, players that want to play the tournament experience oftentimes don't or won't show up at paper tournaments (I've seen on more than one occasion people getting ridiculed for bad play decisions, nerd bullies? it happens), but are more likely to prefer the anonymity of the online world. I, for one, think more participants equals more players rising up from the lower ranks to the upper echelon to enhance the Magic community. Just my two mana worth.

I've been to a lot of paper by Urzishra (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 10:50
Urzishra's picture

I've been to a lot of paper events recently (just PTQs and prereleases... nothing "major") and I've heard of people colluding drafts on MTGO.. if it is quite common in little ole Utah, than I imagine it is far more widespread than I would like to believe.

There have been times I've felt like I was playing a 1 vs 100 match in draft queues online. I wouldn't want to do that in RL events. Where I'm a mediocre player in online events, I'm close to winning a PTQ in real life.

Two things: 1) I agree with by Kriterian (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 11:14
Kriterian's picture

Two things:

1) I agree with most of what you said. I'd like to see a pro-tour event held completely online, but I can see how the logistics and cost make it difficult to pull off. However, I just didn't like the tone of the article. It just struck me as kind of elitist, especially with the constant reminders of how awesome of a judge you are. It was valid in some places but a little to heavy handed in others.

2) You state in the middle that missing triggers, or misplays are a part of paper magic, and that catching them makes you a better player. At the end of the article you say that you can't misclick in paper magic like you can online. To me that's just another form of being a better player. Don't make misclicks and don't miss triggers.

Wise Green and Dangerlinto by Paul Leicht at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 12:26
Paul Leicht's picture

Wise Green and Dangerlinto said it best I think. The technical difficulties are minor and the security issues non-extant imho. Yes they are things to be considered when planning such an event but they are not obstacles, merely factors. It is not hard nor expensive to emplace effective security measures and redundant systems to ensure a smooth running of an event. Now based on past MODO experiences with major events I can see why this seems doubtful to people who have experienced those. After all WotC has an absolutely miserable record with online events. On the other hand I am certain the people in charge of the PT would ensure they made the right decisions.

I don't think the differences between MTGO and MTG from a game play stand point should be an issue. After all those differences are really just minor factors when the crux of the game is overall play skill not simply knowing when/how to play your triggers. So you trade off triggers for stops. Good players online know what stops to use and when to use them and they know about yielding priority and how to reclaim it if needed. This is freely available information and there is nothing arcane or strange about it. You don't need to be any kind of PC guru to figure MODO's "tricks" out. (That said I have been the victim of my own fumble fingeredness and the relatively unintuitive UI, so it isn't without hurdles as a learning curve.)

I believe your best argument against an online Pro Tour is simply that it loses the heroic factor. Even if the PT is physically in some place and everyone still has to schlep to get there (Sorry Mechtak this isn't likely to change) the mystique of playing paper cards against real opponents is what the PT is all about. I don't think we should lose this merely because MTGO could potentially be a better environment. And I think with the upcoming UI it could be. (Though I'll have to reserve final judgment on that for more than the previews I've seen to date.)

What I think would be interesting is to continue development of Online Events in parallel to the PT and foster online play and paper play at the same time. All those players who can't manage air flights and hotels and expensive trips to foreign cities should still have a chance to compete in a global environment imho and MTGO provides the medium for that. It needs tweaking for sure, modo is far from perfect as a large scale Tournament Holder device but it does work. (Usually.)

Kriterian a note or two about Pete: He is not elitist. He is elite. Difference. He is also attempting to make a point by using the mention of his place in the world of magic. He didn't just simply throw those references in to irritate YOU. Though I can see how it would grate on someone's nerves to be reminded of this if they were not elite themselves, and they worried about such banalities. Which to me seems irrelevant. Basically, you agreed with him but you had to comment on his tone? I find that amusing. Also when has anyone ever been entirely perfect?

I have to agree with by blau at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 12:38
blau's picture

I have to agree with Kriterian. A majority of your arguments lack substance and do not hold up to scrutiny. Reasons 1 and 9 are proof of that. Misclicking in MTGO is not the way you should lose, but screwing up your own play in real life IS a good way to lose? These are the same. Both are player errors. I did almost this exact same thing the other day. On Saturday I was playing in the casual room using Siesmic Assault and played my land by accident. That's not MTGO's fault. That was my fault for being dumb. Then Sunday night at our casual real life play group, I told myself to put the Badlands in my hand into play so I could tap for black, and then proceded to put the mountain in my hand into play instead. The result was I couldn't tap for black and play my Terror. Your article seems to suggest that the real life play was my fault for being stupid, and forgetting to use my Siesmic Assault was MTGO's error. Sorry, it doesn't work like that. A good carptenter never blames his tools.

Arguements 6 and 7 are basically the same. No one forces anyone to buy cards online. I have plenty of friends online that will loan me cards for tournaments. I also loan my cards to other people. That would be the socal aspect.

Arguement 8 is about playing the player and not playing the game. Yes, some aspects of magic DO involve using bluffing skills. MTGO does limit your ability to trick a player. I'm sorry, but I don't feel bad that MTGO actually forces players to be good at magic and be able to play and understand the game. Also, trying to get players to commit play errors, again, flies in the face of your #1 and #9 arguements.

Arguement #3 makes no logical sense at all. Are you implying that WOTC does not turn a profit on MTGO? I think the $48 price tag on Baneslayer Angel would disagree with that. I get the idea that it helps promote tournament attendance, but tournament attendance does not reflect card sales. You already pointed out that most pro-players DO NOT own the cards they play with. So if the tournaments are there to sell cards, and the people playing in the tournaments do not own the cards they are using in that tournament..... Sounds like a failed strategy. Just saying, if they can't convince the people who attend pro level events to buy cards, then what impact do they think that will have on people who have no interest in pro level play?

Arguement #2 is on the logicistics of trying to pull this off. This is the only real agruement you need to make. I am actually on your side here. I DO NOT believe pro-level events should be moved online. It seems unneccessary. Where's the excitement in watching someone play MTGO? I've watched friends play MTGO, it's super boring. Also, bringing computers in for just these events? That would take forever. Pro-level events already take too long. THis would add a huge burden to the system and it's one that it certainly could not handle.

If we're counting votes, I agree with you, but ONLY for reason #2. :-)

I'll take these in order. by one million words at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 13:51
one million words's picture

In your examples, both are player error. No difference, and I'm not arguing there is. I'm talking aobut things like having click lag mean that clicking on "Play first yes/no" means you mulligan to six. You cannot convince me that that mistake has anything to do with Magic skill - tha is all about learning how to work around program bugs. That's what I'm talking about.

Argument 7 is that players qualify in paper. Having the Pro Tour on MTGO would mean that they have to duplicate their investment to play. That may be easy for you - it isn't for others.

Argument 6 was that assembling decks online will cause three problems: number of trades in a short time, total supply, and negative impact on the dealers that help finance the Pro Tour.

Argument 3 is that the Pro Tour exists to get players to play in local shops and local tournaments. That is it's purpose, and it is the reason that Magic survives. MTGO is, by comparison to Magic the Paper's numbers, pretty tiny. (There are 180,000 active paper tournament players. Think there are anywhere close to that many MTGO players participating in sanctioned events? No way - I'd be surprised if MTGO has had anything close to that number unique accounts in its entire history.) Changing that risks killing Magic. BTW - the price of Baneslayers says NOTHING about Wizards profits. Wizards makes absoliutely nothing from singles sales - but that is a different article entirely. (and others have already written them - check the archives.)

I have no interest in playing by ArchGenius at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 13:02
ArchGenius's picture

I have no interest in playing in the Pro Tour, so I can't really comment on its validity on Magic Online.

I feel very strongly that Magic Online is a much fairer and equal playing field than paper Magic.

About eight years ago I played in a Grand Prix in Minneapolis, less than a year after 9/11. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was nervous because it was (and still is) the biggest tournament I ever played in, so naturally, my palms were sweating like mad. I was also using old card sleeves.

As a result, in my first match, two cards stuck together and I ended up drawing an extra card by accident. I called myself on this, called the judge over, and received a game loss and moved on. In the third match I played, I accidently flipped a card from my deck, face up, while drawing a card. My opponent and I called a judge over and I received another game loss and a warning from the head judge that if I did anything else that looked like cheating I would be suspended and my DCI numbered would be revoked. Later in that round I watched another player flip over a card from his deck by accident and receive only a warning for it. I spent the rest of the tournament trying not to do anything that would get my DCI number revoked so I could continue to play in my local card shop in future events. About the only bright spot of the event was that I was able to play against a pro tour player from New York and talk to him about how New York was recovering. Still overall, it was a nightmare of an experience.

Based on this experience, I have no doubts that online is a much better playing environment. I don't like nervous mistakes being treated as cheating, and I don't like dealing with card sleeves.

Sorry you had a bad by one million words at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 13:31
one million words's picture

Sorry you had a bad experience.

I will say that the DCI's philosphy on what judges should do, and what constitutes cheating, have changed a lot since the first GP Minneapolis. The world is a bit different now, but to each his own.

I'll disagree that MTGO is a better playing environment.

I think my persective is somewhat unique. I play casual paper Magic. I play FNM and store events in the paper world, as well as playing in PTQs and GPs. I judge everything, at every level. I play a ton of MTGO, both sanctioned and unsanctioned. I live in both worlds.

I don't think either MTG or MTGO is superior - both have advantages and disadvantages. Different games.

Yes, better is a very by ArchGenius at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 15:46
ArchGenius's picture

Yes, better is a very subjective term.

In my opinion, a better playing environment is one where you don't have to worry about all of the bookkeeping involved in the game. I don't really want to constantly worry about whether or not my deck or my opponent's deck is sufficiently random.

It seems like your opinion is that remembering the bookkeeping is a major part of the game and thus a very good reason to not move the Pro Tour to Magic Online. It all depends on what you value about the game.

Much of the bookkeeping takes the fun out the game for me.

I don't really see Magic Online and paper Magic as two different games. Variants perhaps, but calling them different games goes a bit too far in my mind. If Magic Online and paper Magic are two different games, then you would have to call Casual Magic, semi-professional Magic, FNM, and Pro Tour Magic different games because they are played with significant differences in rule enforcement and expectations. But I guess I'm getting into semantics, which in the end, makes for a rather pointless debate.

What about infinite combos. by Anonymous at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 13:08
Anonymous's picture

What about infinite combos. Imagine the old Life deck. Kors + Daru spiritualist + Worthy Cause. In paper, I can say that I make my spiritualist a 1/2001 then use worthy cause and continue with the game. Online, there's no way I can click through enough triggers, so by the time I get to 100 life, I will probably time out.

Im with Pete on this one by Cownose (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 15:27
Cownose's picture

As much as a love MTGO, its not Magic to me (or a majority of players I would venture to guess). Its a reasonable facimilie that certainly has advantages over the real thing, but when I think "Magic", sitting at home playing a computer game bu myself is not what pops into my head. I know that this article being on PureMTGO leads to a big pro-online bias from readers, but can you imagine a pro tour played on computers? How many people are going top travel across the country/glaobe to watch a bunch of people playing on a computer screen? I doubt many.

As for the misclick vs missed trigger debate, there is a very big difference between the two. A misclick is being clumsy/uncoordinated/unfamiliar with the interface and not doing what you meant to do. This should never decide a match. Missing a mandatory trigger on your own permanent is just sloppy play, being distracted, and not having tested your deck enough. Thats what seperates the Pros from the rest of us, and thats how it should be.

It was the misclick at the by Amar at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 16:19
Amar's picture

It was the misclick at the Invitational that kept me out of MTGO for 4 years. "How horrid", I thought, "a departure from true Magic." I've since realized that it's a drop in the bucket to all the procedural stuff in real life.

"A large part of the skills required to play Magic, in the paper world, are in noting and remembering your triggers, where you are in the turn and game, and what your deck is doing."

You say that like forgetting = bad, so there's justice. Not so. If I forget (or "forget") and my opponent doesn't notice either, I can benefit. And we've seen that players can get punished for _remembering_ their opponent's triggers if they were dumb enough to point it out at the wrong time. (Forget Gindy, it's happened other times. Dragon Broodmother at GP Seattle, for example.)

World Champs 2005, there was an odd interaction between Yosei and Seedborn Muse. Mori untapped when he shouldn't have, and beat Karsten. It was his own cards he didn't understand, and possibly had done that previously throught the tournament. Frank's fault for not noticing? Maybe, but then Katsushiro's *benefit* for not noticing?

The fact is that if the mistake is an accident, the benefit is arbitrary. If a mistake is a calculated attempt to cheat, paper rewards the cheater. (e.g. a Gindy situation where you remain silent afterwards, aka a Kibler situation.)

So even if everything is caught, the rules don't strictly punish forgetting triggers. And unlike MTGO, many many illegal plays go uncaught. There's no way that real life is superior here. Especially not with current floor rules.

The best parallel to misclicks is shuffling errors. Both happen, but are impossible on the other side.

Argument 8 is a strawman. Playing to the clock is not cheating; your time is clearly marked and you both have the same amount. And while friends helping when playing at home is quite an issue, that has nothing to do with the topic. 4 people standing around behind your computer at the PT would surely be noticeable. PMing is only an issue if no attempt is made to stop it.

See, you're criticizing the idea as if this was going to happen tomorrow. I'm picturing a couple years of effort heading in this direction. If people need cards they'll get them. If the computer is intrusive, why not touch-screen tablets, inclined toward the player? A lot of these things can be worked out.

The only substantive issue is loss of player interaction. Which is pretty huge, and not easily fixed. But make no mistake, rule enforcement has miles to go and a human will never get there the way a machine will. (Idea though: simul play for top 8, with an observer for each player making the same plays in a computer. Perfect reporting, and electronic judge backup, without changing what we like about paper.)

As far as dealers and selling by Charlie (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 17:06
Charlie's picture

As far as dealers and selling cards, someone will figure out a way to sell online cards at a PT if it were all online. Im sure MTGOTRADERS would love the chance to try. Just cause Star City doesnt show up doesnt mean it cant happen.

The main reason this will by AverageDrafter (not verified) at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 17:52
AverageDrafter's picture

The main reason this will never work is that playing a PT with computers would involve a MASSIVE investment in equipment, manpower, infrastructure, and planning while returning a minimal amount of benefit and likely be to the detrement of the game overall.

Its just not ever going to be a possiblity from a logistics point of view, the rest of the argument is unneccessary. Its like arguing the pros and cons of being able to fly (Pro: I can fly! Con: Bugs in teeth). No one can do it, so why bother?

I imagine it would look by hamtastic at Wed, 12/02/2009 - 18:38
hamtastic's picture

I imagine it would look something like this...

I caution anyone who is saying that it's impossible to do to actually investigate competitive computer gaming, like the set-up. Where they do in fact travel with tons of hardware, set it up, play and payout tournament Pro Tour prizes that are nothing compared to MTG's Pro Tour.

To clarify my argument, it is by AverageDrafter (not verified) at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 11:20
AverageDrafter's picture

To clarify my argument, it is technically possible but the cost of doing so to gain such a small benefit (and even that could be debated - more likely it would be to the overall detriment to the game and the PT) makes it a virtual impossiblity. It will not be done.

Being an online only player, I am a huge proponent for MTGO gaining more prominence in relation to the paper game, but that said... MTGO needs the paper game to exist, paper doesn't need MTGO.

Interesting statement. Does by hamtastic at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 16:24
hamtastic's picture

Interesting statement. Does anyone know the costs associated with the *current* Pro tour?

I don't have enough details to put together any type of cost/benefit analysis, but I know that the current tour costs a LOT of money. Player parties, airfare, space, staff, etc.

Would MTGO cost more? maybe. Would it allow savings in other ways? maybe.

We can't know, as we're not privvy to that info. :(

All of the comments that made by AverageDrafter (not verified) at Fri, 12/04/2009 - 14:50
AverageDrafter's picture

All of the comments that made assume the the "online" PT would be played at location, just like a real PT - so all of these costs would still have to be payed in addition to the additional costs of the systems to play.

If you are talking about a true online PT - ie no central location and everyone in their underwear at home... that absolutly will never happen. The difficulty of navigating online gambling laws of each locallity (including federal/state/international) the players participate in would preclude any kind of cash tournament being played on the regular MTGO servers. This is one of the reasons why the MOCS was finished at Worlds rather than online.

funny part is that everyone by Ranth (not verified) at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 01:22
Ranth's picture

funny part is that everyone here is assuming that it would all have to be desktop PC's being used for all of this. Um anyone ever heard of a laptop or Netbook? :)

I believe reason number nine by Anonymous (not verified) at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 01:51
Anonymous's picture

I believe reason number nine is faulty. Not having to worry about triggers and rules frees up players to think properly. It shows the true skill of the players. IE, a nascar driver focuses on his driving method and skill. To a lesser extent, he knows the mechanics of the car, but he is not expected to know the exact mechanics of the car. When the car breaks down, he doesn't get out and examine the car himself, he has a team to do it for him. He's left to focus on the skill of driving.

So too, faulting players for an unintended slip of memory is just as ridiculous. Let the players worry about trying to beat the opponent, and let them shine in that fight. Don't bog them down with things they don't need to.

I have to agree that the pro by Hamster4Sale at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 03:39
Hamster4Sale's picture

I have to agree that the pro tour is better kept on the paper side of things.

I also agree with all of my primarily online playing brethren who espouse the benefits of MTGO, and ultimately enjoy the online game much more for my own reasons. Like some other have mentioned, the competitive paper environment intimidates me quite a bit. I am not a good bookkeeper and I am deathly afraid of going through something like ArchGenius did, even on the FNM level.

That said, I would lose all interest in the pro tour if it went to MTGO. WoTC coverage of the event is great and I love watching the video replays of pro tour finals. Knowing that I myself have some anxiety about playing mechanically sound magic in a tournament environment gives me all the more respect to those who keep calm under those circumstances.

I also love watching english commentary of pro Korean starcraft matches, a game played on a computer. That only works, though, because the majority of the games consists of watching the in-game action, which is infinitely more compelling in starcraft than the MTGO client.

The pro tour succeeds as a spectator sport for the same reason poker does. The players are reading each other, and it is the players' personality, their play choices, and our ability to appreciate their skill level that matters. Their ability to succeed under the bright lights wouldn't matter nearly as much to me if they were not doing so in plain physical view of their opponent.

Nice writing, but..... by GoblinLackeyIsBlue at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 08:21
GoblinLackeyIsBlue's picture

There should be a pro-tour online once every year, because Modo is part of the pro players game now. I understand that computers aren't stable enough or the internet connection could suck, but you have to realize these problems ahead of time. Here are my solutions to stablalize the pt online:
WOTC can easily make 1000 account, and on those 1000 account, they could put every card made in the history of MODO. Doing this is a great way to get Legacy/Vintage intoduced to the PT. On those 1000 accounts, they should be named PTPlayer1-1000. They can easily use the Beta server to support the PT as well. The issue with Lag is understandable, so you should update the clock to 45 mins on each side, an hour and 1/2 may seem like stretching it, but really I think it's a grand solution. If the computer were to go down some how that the player had no control over, all WOTC would need to do is place the player to another computer. I understand that price may be the largest obsticle for WOTC to do this :-( I feel if WOTC did this online, the timer should stop, and give the player a 60 min clock the entire tournie to reconnect, the same technology online poker uses. An extra 60 minute bank would certainly help during game play. There should also only be up to 10 mins disconnectivity allowed. My feeling is that you're going to a Pro-Tour, you don't need to spend the 300 on a deck, so why not invest that money to connection speeds on your PC. I could literally list twenty rebuttals to the 10 you have here, I feel your arguement isn't thorough enough to compare the benefits against the negatives.

Did you mention difference by Kendzu (not verified) at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 09:00
Kendzu's picture

Did you mention difference between computers and internet connection speed as a reason? Sometimes it really matters, when your OS fails or smt too. MTGO tournaments for huge prizes such as PTs or Invintationals should not exist, imho.

As much as i hate to agree by Ranth (not verified) at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 11:35
Ranth's picture

As much as i hate to agree with Richie at times i Do here and its 60second on poker bro not 60min. But ya Online should have its own version of the pro tour. Players would use their own accounts from their own computers replays viewed from a master account showing both players hands would be podcast/streamed at a later time (even 30min delay should be more then enough).
Simple fact Wotc makes WAY more off mtgo then they do paper. Simple math on that one. packs =4$ online paper u get them from a 3rd hand source for 3$ a pack and you KNOW wotc aint seeing that who 3$ a pack they're more likely seeing maybe 1-2$ so that mean that off numbers alone not even taking into account shipping and production costs of our cardboard cousins that they need to sell x2 to x4 as much product to make as much profit. So supporting their most profitable product in such a way at a later time is a likely move.

@ Hamster4Sale
As a poker player who's won at at the state level, taken 4th in a national tourney, and played against Pros you seen on Tv at the WSOP. Trust me when i say that the lights and people around you will hardly ever rattle your nerves the most unsettling thing I ever delt with was when play gets down to 3 players or heads up. The prize diffrence between those spots in those tournies can be staggering. Other then that you know you're going to be sitting at the tables for a good long while so you just settle in and let things ride as they come.

whiffy's picture

i read this whole thing agreeing with almost every point until # 1.

The funny thing is that you even mention brian kibler in it.

did u know that he won his quarter finals round on a misclick at huston?

yea it may be an over site on all accounts but the fact that the game was not overturned due to the hypergenisis players oversight (can't even begin to spell his name and im greek as well lol) for all intents and prurposes brian kibler should have lost that round and its possible that hyper genisis would be the champion of the event, but there was a misclick, and from what i hear its pretty fishy when you compare the story to the case of charles gindy. why was gindy disqalified and kibler not? call it intent if u want or call it what it really is, kiblar is a known player and well liked by the general magic playing populace, lets give him a chance to win instead of this no name greek guy who by all intents and purposes should have won the round.

so yea i agree that the pt should always be paper but blaming misclicks is kind of shallow and pedantic, yea i went there lol.

Is there a place I can read by badluckchuck (not verified) at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 18:19
badluckchuck's picture

Is there a place I can read about these guys getting DQd, Gindy and Kibler? Sounds interesting.

Brian Kibler was not DQed nor by Paul Leicht at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 20:16
Paul Leicht's picture

Brian Kibler was not DQed nor has he been cited for fraud or cheating of any kind that I am aware of. You can look up Gindy's DQ on Wizards.

the thing that occured was by ShardFenix at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 22:22
ShardFenix's picture

the thing that occured was kibler was playing against hypergenesis in the semi finals of the pro tour. The hypergenesis player went off and one of the creatures he dropped was Angel of Despair. Neither player paid attention to the angel's trigger even though it is the responsibility of both. Now the question here is did kibler forget like his opponent or ignore it for his benefit. no one knows simply because possibly unlike gindy he was smart enough not to point out the missed trigger

I'd like to think having met by Paul Leicht at Thu, 12/03/2009 - 23:52
Paul Leicht's picture

I'd like to think having met Kibler and talked with him that he isn't that guy. But the thing about being in the public at that level is, people are gunning for you so even if you aren't that guy it is hard to not look like him at sometime. Everyone makes mistakes and the fact is we don't often let our heroes live them down. At least until something more news worthy comes along. (cf: Tiger)

i met him briefly one year at by Anonymous (not verified) at Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:43
Anonymous's picture

i met him briefly one year at a GP or something a long time ago and I will admit he certainly does not seem to be duplicitous in any way. In my opinion i would say it was an honest mistake. When prizes of that magnitude are on the line triggers are hard to miss. Unfortunately for kibler, everyone not at the event and not under the pressure has there own opinion. My main thing was in saying triggers like that could not be missed on mtgo. I also believe gindy did not purposefully do anything wrong either. I think he was more concerned with his board and his plays then whether o not the opponent was making proper moves which is understandable even at the level of FNM since i know ive gone off with dragonstorm while only having eight mana in my pool while in the finals.

^shardfenix just not on my by Anonymous (not verified) at Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:43
Anonymous's picture

^shardfenix just not on my computer so im not signed in.

Yeah Gindy's error was by Paul Leicht at Fri, 12/04/2009 - 10:03
Paul Leicht's picture

Yeah Gindy's error was compounded by his admission that he noticed the mistake. But I think the pressure of playing in PTs and Worlds and even GPs where real money is on the line is a two edged sword. Sometimes it cuts you, sometimes it makes you play better. This is one reason that even if I was a GOOD player I wouldn't make the pt. I can't deal with the intricacies of the game AND the stress and the endurance it requires all in one package. Hence my very real respect for people who can.

Gindy and Kibler by one million words at Fri, 12/04/2009 - 11:54
one million words's picture

I was watching ther Kibler match, doing pushtool work. I missed the fact that the Angel trigger never resolved. THe judge working as spotter missed it. The floor judge missed it - although the floor judge was moving between ongoing matches. The covereage people - BDM and Randy Buehler - missed it. Kibler's opponent missed it. Did Kibler miss it - no idea, but no one was willing to say for sure that he saw it and said nothing. The aftermath of a Hypergenisis is complex.

The Gindy situation was different. It was just one effect, which was not missed. Instead, the opponent failed to do his half of the effect, and Gindy's comments after the match made it clear that he knew there was an opponent half. Seeing the opponent violate the rules, but doing nothing because it is in your favor = a DQ.

I wrote abotu this over on SCG. More important, Sheldon, the HJ, also has a column up, and he talks about it. Gindy was his call.

but the fact is that every by whiffy at Fri, 12/04/2009 - 17:28
whiffy's picture

but the fact is that every one and their mother soon new that it was missed after the fact. gindy may half been being a jerk or not but regaurdless after the match was over he got dqed, with kiblar it seems that although the game was corrupted from an illegal play that he was given a grace because wotc wants to promote him as a celeb.

You are implying something by Paul Leicht at Fri, 12/04/2009 - 23:59
Paul Leicht's picture

You are implying something that just isn't true. WotC/DCI does not overlook fraud because they like someone or want someone to promote their product. That would end up looking very bad for them. Your implication does you no justice and only paints you as unreasonably cynical.