GP Montreal 2018

GP Montreal 2018

I have written, deleted and rewritten this blog post several times over the last couple of months (thankfully, I am my own editor so no deadlines to meet). I started out on this project to have a journal of my adventures as a scorekeeper and judge and to share some of the lessons, trials and tribulations with you along the way. I feel that I have achieved that to a greater or lesser degree and have also discovered that there are some of you out there who like to use this blog as a way to live your judge life vicariously. I think this is down, to some extent, to me being open and honest about my experiences and applying no filters to my emotions, reactions and successes or failures. I enjoy writing this way, it’s cathartic and an excellent way to grow as a person. However, it isn’t the best way to run a business.

Back in January I was judging as a hobby. I was hoping to take advantage of CFBE taking over all GPs worldwide by ramping up my involvement but I didn’t know back then just how much this would take over my life. I left my job, moved house and committed to working these shows full-time. This came with a set of responsibilities that I hadn’t accounted for and eventually came back to bite me.

Unfiltered emotion and brutal honesty about my performance and the choices made by those around me isn’t how to build professional relationships and develop meaningful, long term partnerships. It might be great for trust and transparency, but the real world is murkier and less clear cut than many of us would like to admit and it is definitely filled with people with their own emotions and ambitions that it isn’t my job to lay bare and dash.

With all that said, I have decided to continue writing about my travels and experiences but you will have to forgive me for applying some filters. I commit to you that I will only do so when it involves other people and where I can’t find a different way of being my usual brand of open.

Now, on to GP Montreal.

Following my trip to North America back in May, I was really excited about returning to Canada. My excitement grew even more when I learned that I would be a Main Event Scorekeeper for this show!

Side Event scorekeeping is a fantastic job. It is a puzzle that needs solving. Main Event scorekeeping is a different proposition. There is more art to it. Being super organised and prepared is important, but it will only get you so far. Main Event scorekeeping takes some artistry to juggle the responsibilities of ensuring upwards of a thousand players all have the best possible day.

The trip started like most others, a long flight from Manchester via Amsterdam followed by a week in a small, affordable Airbnb. What made this trip a little more challenging is that KLM lost my luggage…again. I ended up spending five of the eight days there without any gear. Luckily, my scorekeeping kit had made it in my hand luggage otherwise this might have been my first and last selection!

Unlike my last trip across the Atlantic I was only doing one show so I decided to spend a few extra days and do some tourism. I made the trip from Montreal out to old Quebec City and paid for a guided tour. I also managed a whole day walking around the city park in Montreal. Canadian cities have some epic parks!

The event itself was relatively straightforward. Friday was spent on side events, which aren’t that busy in North America. I did a bit of mentoring and teaching to help some of the newer scorekeepers through the day and by the end of it I was really happy with how my own progression as a scorekeeper has gone. Considering I fell into GP scorekeeping by accident and had to start knowing almost nothing to being able to be trusted to teach others is a big deal for me and something I am immensely proud of.

Saturday rolled round and I barely slept I was so excited. I got to the venue in plenty of time to set up and iron out any issues (there were plenty of compatibility risks as I use an Apple MacBook which doesn’t always play nice with local networking with non-Apples and especially with WotC software. Luckily, we managed to solve the few niggles that did appear and we kicked off the event on time at 9am.

I didn’t know this at the time, but the primary Main Event scorekeeper had made the decision to throw me in at the deep end and only step in if I was sinking. I think I caused him a little surprise when that didn’t happen!

The Main Event shift is long but it flew by for me. I made a few mistakes but nothing that couldn’t be fixed and I don’t think I caused any real headaches for the judge team or the players. The key to preventing the classic downward spiral of doom is to be prepared to take a step back, breathe and then get back to the task in hand. Knowing your processes and practicing so that when things go wrong you can fall back on muscle memory to push through the inevitable drop in concentration and focus.

By the end of the Saturday, I was starting to gain confidence and I think if they’d have offered me a primary spot on a GP I would have said yes. On reflection, that might have been a little too much but I think being pushed to do this particular task has been a huge boost for me.

My penultimate day in Montreal, and my last of the GP weekend saw me look after a relatively tame PTQ which meant I was fairly relaxed for the staff party and in a position to head back across the Atlantic in a decent mood.

All in all, a cracking weekend with lots of touristy stuff and a successful GP!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *