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CardShark Content - Kim Harvey (7/3/2002)

The procrastination index, and the problem with bribery and fraud.

One of my biggest problems is that I tend to procrastinate on certain items, like writing up articles or getting housework done. Since GP Milwaukee, I have been looking for a job without much success, although it is one thing I haven’t procrastinated on. Its either the corporate heads have gotten greedy in the past and some have been getting busted for it, or Osama Bin Laden has really screwed the entry-level job market. It is more likely both. My parents have threatened to move me back to their house if I don’t get even a part-time job in the next few weeks. Moving back to my folks home means moving back even deeper into Southern Illinois, which is considered a “wasteland” by most of the greedy corporate folks (including but not limited to Wizards). The unemployment rate is around 15 percent down there and most of the areas are well below the poverty line. These stats really bite when it comes to Magic, because only the lucky ones can afford it. The kicker to the problem is the property tax in a good chunk of Southern Illinois is sky high, mainly because the government is run by the rich Republican Pollacks. These politicians prefer to do everything to benefit themselves at taxpayer expense, and that is a problem. Since the media in St. Louis and even Carbondale don’t bother with those issues, and most of the corrupt people live in small towns, there is little you can really do about it. Speaking out about it in a small town, even to a big city media, would result in blackmailing and other dirty deeds that the politicians would do in response. (I won’t go into details because they’re not very pretty.)

Moving back further into Southern Illinois probably will not end my Magic career, but it would severely hamper it. What are 40-minute trips to St. Char
Char
CharSet: Ravnica City of Guilds
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
R
Number:
117
Artist:
Adam Rex
Text:
Char deals 4 damage to target creature or player and 2 damage to you.
les to play in big events there would balloon to 2 hours, and that is the least of the problems. I’ll probably have to do most of it alone, and getting Magic out in Southern Illinois isn’t the easiest job in the world. Only four or five stores in that entire portion of Illinois (outside of the St. Louis area) sell Magic. The number of stores that sell Magic in St. Louis is about three times that number. Going to the state championships is difficult, because it means a trip to Chicago for a prize pool that is less than impressive. If the state championships offered an invitation to the National Championships, then the six hour (one-way) drive on I-57 wouldn’t be so bad.

What is the biggest problem isn’t finding another method of playing Magic against others. Its trying to keep one step ahead of people that are known to use bribery and fraud as their methods of wealth. Like the DCI, those two infractions are illegal in the real world. Getting busted by the FBI for those two crimes can net you approximately 5 years in the slammer (give or take a few years depending on seriousness of the crime0. Getting busted by the DCI can net you anywhere from 6 months to 5 years for the same thing. In the real world, the terms the FBI use are embezzlement, money laundering, tampering (either with evidence and/or witness), and misrepresentation. To the DCI, the terms are fraudulent tourneys (whether organizing, taking part, or arranging), bribery, collusion, obstruction of investigation, intentional misrepresentation (of DCI number, name, or results), and theft.

When it comes to it, the repercussions of those crimes can result in giant problems. Take Enron and WorldCom. Both companies had key leaders that took part in shady accounting practices. The accounting firm that both used was Arthur Anderson. When the fraud was discovered, it resulted in a negative firestorm with the media. The aftermath is still being felt today. Thousands of innocent employees were let go, 401K benefits went down the drain, and the top people in those firms are facing the music with the FBI and Congress. Those three firms in question could be put out of business due to the scheme they run. The big kicker is that those three won’t be the only one getting busted for their actions. There is a potential of several thousand companies doing the same illegal practices every day and getting by with it.

In the Magic sense, the same fraud goes on daily. Until a month or two ago, the DCI posted “Performers on hot streaks” and “The Brave” stats on their personal stats page. These were used to represent the longest open winning and losing streaks in DCI sanctioned play. Well, several players got greedy and created several fraudulent tourneys and enjoyed with glee when their names were on that page. The biggest one came in January when Alfred Sit created several fraudulent tourneys. They were apparently aimed to benefit one of the players, Kevin Chi Ho Tse, and harm one of the best APAC players in Wing Lok Tam. It did not take very long for this story to get parodied on Mise
Mise
MiseSet: Unhinged
Color:
Blue
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
U
Number:
38
Artist:
Matt Cavotta
Text:
Name a nonland card, then reveal the top card of your library. If that card is the named card, draw three cards.
Tings.com, and Sit got a five-year sentence from the DCI shortly after the topic became a firestorm on #mtgwacky. The entire dilemma only took a month from start to finish, and now those winning and losing streaks are no longer on the DCI personal stats page.

The other thing in Magic is bribery/collusion. Both bribery and collusion mean the same thing, and the results of those deals can be very devastating. During the 2002 US Nationals Peter Jesuale allegedly got in a deal with Aaron Amendolia during Round 12 of the event. Jesuale was in a situation to make Top 8 with a win. Amendolia was out of the running for the Top 8. During that round, there was a deal struck between both players where Amendolia conceded the match to Jesuale in return for some of Jesuale’s prize money. Well, Jesuale made it into the Top 8 but lost the ensuing quarterfinal match to Eric Franz. After that match, Jesuale apparently confessed to the DCI about the deal with Amendolia, and both received 12-month bans approximately two weeks after nationals.

While you are thinking about the next big match you have to do in Magic, think about the real life situations that recently happened to Enron, WorldCom, and Arthur Andersen. Maybe when you think bribery and fraud will pave your way to fame, those situations will make you think again. Bribery
Bribery
BriberySet: Mercadian Masques
Cost:
5
Color:
Blue
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
62
Artist:
Andrew Robinson
Text:
Search target opponent's library for a creature card and put that card into play under your control. That player then shuffles his or her library.
and fraud doesn’t pave your way to fame. Instead, they do the opposite. Those crimes give you infamy and negative publicity that may stick with you the rest of your lives. If the FBI catches you, you will get a felony criminal record that will remain with you until you die, and more likely a hefty fine and jail time.

So if you see such things going on, don’t hesitate to whistleblow on the people conducting the shady practices. Sure it may result you getting blackmailed and probably fired, but those people will end up going to jail for a long time with a felony on their rap sheet while you will go on with your life. One of my mother’s friends did this last year against some corrupt politicians that managed to get a nice contract with a health club that really benefited the politicians and nobody else. She lost her job and some of her friends in doing it, but she didn’t get the worst of the deal. The corrupt politicians got some bad press by the media, and several of them lost their reelection bids for public office back in March. The local government was forced to rescind their contract with that health club due to heavy pressure by the citizens. Although the FBI has not criminally charged the politicians in question in this case, their integrity has been ruined in a big fashion. My mom’s friend has since been rehired by another firm and gained more friends than she had before.

So during the next big Magic event and you see your friend getting in some deal with another player, that friend you once have is no longer your friend. Feel free to go up to the judges station and let the judges know about it. While you continue with your Magic career, your ex-friends career will be put on hold, if not finished by their greedy actions. This is what Bob Maher
Bob Maher
Bob MaherSet: Promotional Other
Rarity:
P
Text:
Magic Pro Tour Player Card
, Jr. did to two people he once thought they were his friends. Well, those three got in an argument and Maher decided to turn on the other turn and tell the DCI. Well, Maher still got six months for this, his two ex-friends got five years and both of then have probably seen their DCI sanctioned career finished. While Maher will be able to move on late next month with his Magic career, Magic may not be along when Jason Moungey and Chad Butterfield get reinstated in 2007.

I hope that this rant will show players that bribery and fraud don’t pay, whether it’s in Magic, some other game, or in real life. The DCI know the tricks, the FBI know the tricks, and both are paying attention to those two crimes in every detail there is possible.


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