MPDC 24.04 Controversy

So MPDC 24.04 hasn’t resolved yet.  Gwyned, our fearless host, cast that tournament on Monday, March 17th (5 days ago).   What’s the deal?

Oh, I’ll tell ya what happened.

I made a metagame call and chose to fall back to my roots, Mono-Black Devotion.  I’m pretty sure it has a good Mono-White match-up and I expected to play against Red, White, Boros, Selesnya, and maybe even some BUG – all of which I think my Mono-Black can handle.  I also picked it as my horse for the Standard Pauper Gauntlet.  I figured a good showing this week would be a good omen for the Gauntlet.

The list:  (exactly the same as what I submitted for the Gauntlet)

Mono-Black Devotion

Round 1:  Win in 5 minutes against Boros (2-0) [1-0]

Round 2:  Win a very close mirror match (2-1) [2-0]

Round 3:  Win another close one against the mirror (2-0) [3-0]

I roll into the top 8 with the #3 seed.

Top 8: Win but can’t remember opponent’s deck.  (Maybe when the event gets posted we will see what I played against)

Top 4:  Win in 10 mins against another deck that I am brain-farting on.

Finals:  Brazil a.k.a Sergio Bahia (btw have you seen these sweet World Magic Cup ChannelFireball Shirts?  $7.99 says the price is right)

The Top 4 begins without delay, a few minutes after I complete my top 8 match.  After cruising through that round, I notice that I’m in a bit of a time crunch.  I have patients scheduled to come soon and I have to treat them at their scheduled times.  I don’t always plan on making the Top 8 of these MPDC tournaments, but when I do I usually try to finish them out if I can.  I have had to drop after starting 2-0 in the swiss from many events simply because my afternoon was loaded with people to treat.  I’m in a bit of a pickle.

Alas, it was time to treat not one, but two patients.  After that I had a 30-60 minutes window of time before I needed to treat my next patient.  That gap would be a perfect time to play out the finals.

So I messaged Gywned, the Tournament Organizer/Host, and my opponent, Brazil, informing them that I could resume play shortly.  Brazil messages me immediately after my Top 4 is completed (again, which only took 10 minutes to complete) that he wants to get the ball rolling.  I inform him that I can’t start right away and that I will be available in ~30 minutes.  From my point of view, I could have dragged on my match for another 50 minutes if I wanted to buy myself more time.  I could have asked my opponent to let the time run out of his clock and then I could let the time run out of my clock until I felt it was safe for me to proceed with winning.  But that seems like an annoying way to game the system.

Anyway, Brazil cannot wait and demands that I play right now.  I explain the situation, which he does not accept to be a valid reason to delay our match.  I can see his point but I don’t think I am making an unreasonable request.  He wishes that I concede and that he gets all them prizes.  He argues that I am a doctor and that he is poor so I should concede because he ‘needs’ the $10 in prize more than I do.  Whoa.

Um, yikes.  There were many ways I could have responded – I just had no idea what was going on.  How can anyone claim in all seriousness that they need these free tournament prizes?  I told him I don’t even care about the prize, that’s not what I play for.  I play to compete and for the sanctity of the tournament and for the glorious trophy.  There was no way I was ever going to concede.  If he beats me then he has earned the prize, but until then, I’m one hell of a road block.

I go in the dark communication-wise while I treat my patients.  I come back faster than anticipated and see I that Brazil is still online.  I tell him I am ready to play.  He tells me he reported the result as a win in his favor since I was 10 minutes late.  He requests that I be so kind as to report the result in his favor.

Well, that’s never happening.

He signs off before we can converse more.  At this moment Gwyned comes back from being AFK and gets a recap of our conversation.

He thinks about it and emails the two of us the following options later that night.

“DrChrisBakerDC and Brazil,

I understand we had an incident before the Finals of MPDC 24.04 could take place.

I. Here’s what I understood happened:

1. Within 10 minutes of the end of Top 4, DrChrisBakerDC requested a 20 minute break so he could take care of a patient.

2. Brazil did not want to wait and said so.

3. DrChrisBakerDC had to leave before the situation was resolved. He returned within 15 minutes.

4. DrChrisBakerDC requested to play the match, but Brazil said 10 minutes were up and so he automatically got the win. Brazil then left.

For reference, I have attached the log of the chat between the two of you.If I misunderstood something, please bring it to my attention.

II. Here’s my opinion about what happened:
DrChrisBakerDC made a reasonable request within time to ask for a 20 minute break to take care of a patient. This was well within the 10 minute time after Top 4 had ended.
The rule that a player automatically wins within a 10 minute window only applies when the opponent no-shows, not when he or she has communicated a delay to the opponent.

Since Brazil was still online when DrChrisBakerDC returned, there was opportunity to go ahead and play the match.That said, DrChrisBakerDC did delay Finals by an extra 15 minutes. This should be avoided if at all possible.

III. Here is my solution:You have two options to resolve the tournament:

Option #1: Schedule a time this week to play out the match. Reply all back to this message and figure out a time to do so. Results will be E-mailed back to me to verify, after which I will distribute prizes and the trophy.
Option #2: Declare Finals a tie. No trophy will be awarded, and the two players will split the prize pool. That means each of you receive a gift certificate equal to $5.50 to MTGOTraders.

IV. What I need from you:Respond within 48 hours to this E-mail with your decision. Be sure and use “Reply all” so that all three of us get your response.

I am sorry I was unable to resolve this when it happened.”

My email response (to all):

I am fine with either option, with a preference to play it out with option #1.  I have plenty of time available, just message me to set it up I say.  I am on Pacific time – what time zone are you in Brazil?  Might help coordinate to know.  Thanks.

Sergio’s response:  (email sent directly to me instead of to both of us like Gwyned requested)

Look Chris, my position is i need to be a winner, for a simple reason:

The excuse he give to me are: “i working”.
If someone have no time to do something, please don’t do, because have a alot of people who take your free time to do.
If you play a regular tournament in MOL, they have rules for that reason, if no show yourself in time you will lose, in my conception, here need to apply the same rule. 
I dont want to be a bad person, i just want to explain my version of the situation.
And again for those arguments i show to you i think i need to be declared a winner.
thx for your time, and sorry for my bad english.

To which I respond:

Hi Sergio

So from what I understand I am not worth arguing with anymore since the Tournament Organizer is the one with the power and he is trying to resolve the tournament.

Did you read his email?  He gave us two options and said to reply to all.  I already voiced my opinion, and can play it out right now or sometime later…

To which we never hear from Sergio again.  Looks like option 2 (unintentional draw + prize split + no trophy awarded) wins.

If you were anxiously waiting for the tournament results this past week, now you know why they haven’t been posted yet.

Both Gywned and Sergio made a point that I agree with but I don’t know how to deal with it.

“Delaying the tournament” and giving the excuse of ‘working’ should be avoided. 

If I can’t prioritize the tournament then I shouldn’t be playing in it.  Do you concur?

MPDC is the only Standard Pauper tournament going on right now, and I love it.  I will sacrifice a good part of my work day to have a chance to play in that event.  It happens to start at 11:30am on a Monday for me.  I do my best to schedule patients early in the morning and later in the afternoon, hell even sometimes at noon, 1pm or 2pm because I know that I can finish most matches in less than 30 minutes.  I can schedule at those times because round 1 begins at ~11:30am, round 2 at ~12:30pm, and round 3 at ~1:30pm.  The swiss rounds almost always go to time.  I have this figured out.

I do all of that because I am confident that I can make a positive impact on the tournament scene if given the chance to play.  The problem is that at the end of the day, there’s no way I can justify playing in this low-stakes tournament over doing my job.  My circumstances are favorable in that I can balance the two roles since all it requires is that I bring my computer to work so I can play in my office.  That’s it.  One second I’m firing off an adjustment, restoring a patient’s movement and eliminating his or her muskuloskeletal pain, and the next I’m 2 for 1’ing some poor soul out of his mind (or at least attempting to :P).

I am truly interested in knowing how the community of MPDC participants, the Standard Pauper Players Clan, and regulars who play Standard Pauper feel about what happened.  Is this even a big deal?  How should each party involved have handled the situation?  Should I even be playing in these tournaments if I can’t give it my full, undivided attention?

This whole situation has actually happened to me before.  In my first MPDC tournament the same situation arose regarding a delay once I reached the finals.  My finals opponent said “It’s cool, go treat your patients – lets play at 7pm in 3.5 hours.” We did, and he beat me in 3 close games.  I literally thought it was going to be that easy again.  Rules need to be in place to maintain the sanctity of the tournament, but at some point do we just drop the BS and try to be solution-oriented when dealing with a situation like this?

Feel free to put me in my place or join the side of reason in the comments below.  Thanks.

Follow me on Twitter @DrChrisBakerDC

Standard Pauper Players Clan Blog


13 thoughts on “MPDC 24.04 Controversy

  1. The MPDC community right now is strongly casual, with no official support for the matches from Wizards beyond enabling decks to be saved as Standard Pauper decks. As such, it’s most important for the rules be willing to bend and give leeway in order to avoid throwing people off and providing a comfortable and open-armed way for players to step from Limited to Constructed.

    However, the rules should only be bent – my opinion is that the leaders of the community should agree on a maximum deferral time for matches to be set, and for any players to report time constraints on their side straight to the tournament organiser as soon as possible, to let the organiser be in control of as much relevant information as possible.

    Ultimately, if the format ever becomes popular enough to become sanctioned, the rules will obviously be tightened immensely and delaying matches will become impossible. Until that point, however, the ‘guardians’ of the format should prioritise the best and easiest solution for the players who have a real desire to take part in the format. It is still a format run by players, for players, and the more people are enabled as participants in MPDC, the better it is for the community.

    • I hear ya, Haza. So what do you think about this situation in particular? Would you handle anything differently? I’d like to think that if this happens again I would give my opponent the same etiquette that I feel I deserve – but what do I really even deserve in the first place?

      • In this particular case, I think you made a reasonable – if abrupt – request. The question of the matter lies with how Gwyned was kept in touch and how he learned of it as things transpired. If you contacted him at the same time as Brazil and he had no other objections, I would say you were in the right.

        Since you haven’t mentioned anything about contacting Gwyned prior to leaving, I can’t form an opinion on the situation as a whole. If you did and he had no objections, I’d say you were in the right; if he didn’t reply and you went ahead, you were in the wrong. I think the thrust of your post indicates that Gwyned A) wasn’t able to reply in a timely manner and B) a previous event hosted by someone else was okay with you resolving it independently. I’d really like to hear Gwyned’s view on the matter in his own words, not just as the impartial organiser.


        I’m inclined to side with you on two personal notes – I’ve been in intermittent contact with you and thus am inclined to side with you; and I am extremely familiar with the case of requesting a semi-official-ish event to be rescheduled due to personal time restraints. I also think that Brazil is behaving in a distinctly unsportsmanlike manner (trying to hustle you into a concession, indicating that he should deserve the win for real-life reasons and adopting a harsh stance on the rules in order to enforce his wishes) instead of being willing to help you out and delay the finals.

        He may have his reasons for doing so, but I think he’s being a rules shark in order to take a win he didn’t have to work for, and people like that are very much the type the MPDC community doesn’t need.

      • Very well thought out answer buddy – thanks.

        I asked Gwyned for a time extension before I even was sent a message from Brazil to start the finals, but Adner was filling in for him temporarily I think just for communication. I chatted with Adner about my delay at the same time as Brazil, but had to go AFK to treat the 2 patients for 20-30 mins.

        Gwyned was also the host the previous time that I was able to get a time-extension for the finals. When in comes down to the finals he basically said if the two participants could agree on an arranged time to play it out (sometime soon) then we were allowed.

        I would feel bad if Brazil had to go to his job or something and I was making him late for it. If that was the case, why not just agree to play it out sometime the next day? That’s probably what I would have done if I was him.

      • (Not letting me reply directly to your comment below, for some reason.)

        Like I wrote, I think your request was well within the bounds of reason, and Brazil didn’t give a good reason for denying your request other than saying so. I’d also like to hear Adner’s view on the matter, since it sounds like you didn’t get a solid answer out of him. Gwyned being previously okay with it makes me inherently think he’d have been fine with the postponement.

        Again, since no solid answer was given, my final call comes down to whether I like you or Brazil more and which of you I think is a better person to have competing in MPDC. You have been completely honest and have posted everything that occurred in the event, whereas Brazil has tried to game the rules and shut off all communication, even appealing to you directly and in private to concede. Therefore, I’m on your side.

  2. Lost it at “One second I’m firing off an adjustment, restoring a patient’s movement and eliminating his or her muskuloskeletal pain, and the next I’m 2 for 1′ing some poor soul out of his mind.” C’mon Baker your crazy for trying to juggle work and this tournament. You got serious passion and your articles benefit this community, but I got to side Brazil. As a player I expect my tournaments to start and end as advertised. We all have lives. (but ya sounds like Brazil is chicken) Also I finally got windows on my mac so I can play MTGO again! I’d love play any of those decks or help you test. Ship me cards online if you can and I got a pile of pauper foil commons I’m collecting for you.

    • haha thanks anyway for the support : / I’ll stop juggling it when it gets played at a reasonable day/time for us livin’ on west coast.

      Check with Kenyon and Bruner for most of the commons, I only have 4 of each. Their mtgo account names are KColloran and FoolishPuppy. They have like 20+ of a lot of the commons.

  3. I think there’s nothing wrong with delaying the match in case all players agree. It’s possible at finals (only two players) but not before it. The issue is that you can’t assume that if you are making a reasonable request, the other person is required to accept.

    Maybe a good solution would be to add a rule stating that a player can request some extra time to start a match (to a maximum of 20 minutes or any other value people come to decide as ideal) one single time during a tourney in case of some real file issue. This without changing the fact that if both players and the host agree, the final match can be played some other time.

    I think it’s sad that your opponent didn’t want to wait a little more and I’m all with you that you should keep trying to manage playing MPDC without hurting your job. Last time you needed some more time, next time this may be the case for Brazil, me or someone else and we all should be aware of that when someone asks a little break. On this short time I’ve been playing with you guys on MPDC I’ve found nothing but sportsmanship and courtesy from everyone, including you, and I’m sure that’s the way things will keep going. But I really don’t think a match should be delayed without the other player’s agreement and we can’t demand that he agrees.

    The solution found by gwyned was the best one available, I think. Because like he has stated: the 10 minutes limit only apply if the player vanishes without any information given. If the host was required to be available every second of the tournament and strict rules were required for every possible incident, MDPC wouldn’t be viable. So everything we can do is to hope that the next time the players are more understanding and think first about the better way to help the tournament to resolve (with a nice and explosive final match!) instead of demanding wins.

    • Nice response – thanks man.

      I just don’t want to have to game the system and ask my opponent to time themselves out when I have lethal on board in order to buy 20 minutes before the finals begins. I could have done that to help out my situation which may have avoided this dilemma.

      I still think time delays greater than 10 minutes are unacceptable between every round until you hit the finals. The last match is only coordinating the schedules of 2 people. Ideally there are never delays, but if Brazil and I agreed to play later that night or hell 3-5 days later, that would have done just fine I think.

  4. Chris,
    I think there is no controversy at all.
    Not the good vs evil thing where you must pick what side you are on.
    It’s “only” a PRE and our host let both of you and Brazil a way to solve the incident.
    As you said, delaying works sometimes and that’s fine when both finalists agree on it. No big deal delaying the finals since only 2 players are involved (asides live watchers).
    But when it looks impossible, whatever the reasons explained or kept silent on both parts (and some are quite funny here), then the way the event is resolved is up to the host, and here we are with split prizes.
    Both of you are bringing solid arguments.
    If a controversy, it’s more about work / MTGO Event (PRE or not) attending and conflicting schedules. We have to get prepared for STD Pauper to become a sanctionned format on MTGO hopefully, with scheduled events launching right on time. I have no problem dropping from an event in case real life constraints force me to do so.
    I still wish you could arrange something with Brazil, would have been the best way out of the situation in my opinion.

    • I am likely guilty of overselling the drama with Controversy in the title – just trying to get everyone’s attention! I mentioned that I have had to 2-0 drop many times before and that’s fine when it’s a free event. If an event is sanctioned and I know I might not be able to compete for all of it then it becomes a negative EV event, assuming I won’t be able to make up the entry with prize. At that point I should know better and not enter if I don’t have time. In the PRE case, I do think it’s fine to drop in for a round or two and get some season leaderboard points and then get back to work.

      Thanks for continually working towards making this format strong enough to be sanctioned one day.

  5. Hi Cris, I think with the flexibility give by gwyned, the logic thing to do was to play the match. Is doubtfull that two players cant meet along 1 week for deciding the winner. And i see your point, playing for the trophy in a casual, PRV, is really the way to go, hell, i know I want my trophy 😛

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s