This past weekend at Grand Prix Columbus in the final round of Swiss I was paired against Drew Levin and we were playing for Top 8. He won the match, and then afterwards made a comment in front of a crowd of spectators about having made a substantial wager on the outcome of the match. I interpreted the statement as a brag directed at me and I was unclear what my obligations were as a player in that situation.
According to Rule 5.3 in the Magic: The Gathering Tournament Rules, wagering on the outcome of a match is strictly prohibited and is harshly enforced. Moreover according to Rule 1.10, players are responsible for bringing to a judge’s attention any rules or policy infraction they notice in their matches. Players who fail to do so can face harsh penalties depending on the circumstances. I felt this placed an immediate time constraint on my decision and so I acted hastily on my first evaluation of the situation. Given the perceived severity of the claim made, I reported what I heard to a judge in order to avoid breaking Rule 1.10.
After speaking to a number of players and judges, I am now of the opinion that my course of action was unwarranted and based on a misunderstanding of the rules. Once a match is over, which ours was, each player immediately becomes a spectator; and while players are obligated to report such infractions to a judge, at the risk of incurring penalties, spectators are merely encouraged to do so and cannot be subject to penalties for staying silent.
In hindsight I should have privately asked a judge to clarify exactly what my obligations were before reporting the incident. This likely would have averted the entire situation. In large part due to my report, Drew Levin was disqualified from the event without prize. I regret this outcome and for this I sincerely apologize to Drew and to the entire Magic Community.
This does not excuse Drew’s comment, which, whether true or untrue, is a clear violation of the Tournament Rules and should never have been said. Nonetheless, in my haste, I exercised poor judgment and should be held to a higher standard as a professional member of the community.
It is not my objective to police the community for rules infractions or to get players disqualified from tournaments. Hopefully others will understand this was a momentary lapse in judgment based on a misunderstanding of my obligations and is not indicative of my character. In the future I will take greater care to exercise better judgment when confronted with these types of circumstances. Again, I apologize to Drew and to everyone else.