Apparently, Cheaters do prosper

  • #1
    #Bertoncheaty

    http://mixedknuts.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/unlocking-the-cheats-of-scg-player-of-the-year-alex-bertoncini/

    It's always fun to see a large check and set of P9 going to a guy who clearly, and repeatedly cheats.
  • #2
    He may not get punished, but I think it is safe to say that it will be really hard for him to cheat in the future.
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  • #3
    The below is an Original Post I made in MtG-general some days ago:
    http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/28755157/Concessions,_Teams,_Collusion_and_WotC.

    ****************************************************************************************
    5.2 Collusion and Bribery
    The decision to drop, concede, or agree to an intentional draw cannot be made in exchange for or influenced by the offer of any reward or incentive.

    2.4 Conceding or Intentionally Drawing Games or Matches
    If a game or match is not completed, players may concede or mutually agree to a draw in that game or match.


    The problem is 2.4. When you allow such you effectively say; "we dont even try look for organized collusion". Organized collusion, what is that ? One short word: team. A team is in the position that they before the tournament starts can agree upon scenarios in which to conceede to each other in matches, with the purpose of producing as high finishes for the team as possible, which directly relates to prizes.

    This is collusion.

    I wrote "teams can...". How can one know if players make such agreements before a tourney ? Even though one can assume this and that looking at what happens in the tourney, the organizer must never put himself in the position that he needs to prove outside agreements before calling upon the collusion rule. Such agreements can be very very hard to detect, and even harder to prove. But once you require the players to actually play out the matches, you have something concrete to hang your verdict on.

    - but there are sooo many matches and it is impossible to force players to play well.

    Red match = one player is by calculation already in or out of top8, but faces a player that still has a chance at top8.
    Yellow match = a match where both players still have a chance at top8.
    Green match = both players are by calculation already out of contetion for top8 OR both players are already inside top8.

    The number of Red matches in a tournament is very very small. The judges' computers can be programmed to help them map next round fast, and thus plan more effectively. All this before pairings go up. Key players can be called upon before pairings as well.

    At competetive/proffessional level it is not unreasonable to expect players to have an idea about how a given match-up can be won. As with rules-knowledge, it is expected but not formally checked.

    Red matches: In magic it is so that a significant number of decissions are not hard, like playing Mountain + Goblin Guide round 1 (instead of bolting the opponent to 17 life). Excatly what it means to check a player the judges dont need to be so informative about, there is no demand for this within sports! But most importantly: there is no doubt that the sheer presence of a judge will have a significant positive influence upon the players' decissions.

    The option to concede is only alive within Magic. No other organized game allows it. The responsebility to play out the game you came for is vitally important to the soul of the game, any game. Without it keywords like "intent" goes down the drain, Sportsmanship becomes more of a choice and not the mutual understanding we like it to be. At lowest level of play Ive seen decissions to conceede be decided by all the wrong incentives, like "I dont want him to reach top8". The given and rules-approved opportunity to fix tournament standings is so blatant and exploitable that it creates for bad sportsmanship to carve its way into unrelated areas of MtG, like the game play itself.
    *********************************************************************************************

    Further down in this thread I write that Judges are dressed up in straightjackets with the concession rule. Us who play MtG knows that this straightjacket-phenomena is relevant in other areas as well "the right answer is...", "the right approach is..." this and that. The judges need to start searching what is the "relevant answer", "the fair answer" and what "approach that serves the game best".

    Judges cowards ? Not at all, they just need to be given a proper rules-document to go by, and not have some stupid profit-driven people to write it.

    ******************************************************************************************

    MrIndigo wrote:
    EDIT: @Thread: This isn't an issue of 'abusing the rules' or exploiting a loophole. This situation was considered AND THE RULE WAS DELIBERATELY ADDED. Wizards WANTS players to be able to do this.

    And when Teams systematicly use this rule for their benefit, and arguements about how the game is balanced is based on how often the "best (teams (URG!))" win, in an individual sport. Then I shouldnt read profit-incentives into the inclusion of this rule ?

    *******************************************************************************************

    When I hear stories like Bertocinis' my angry thoughts do not go in his direction, but in WotC's direction !!!
    Last edited by Scandic: 12/12/2011 8:36:37 AM
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  • #4
    Wow... I guess all eyes on him now. It's be interesting to see how well he plays next season.
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  • #5
    Scandic: I know you have a ridiculous vendetta against CFB, but perhaps if you took the time to read the thread you would notice that it is about Bertoncheaty.

    pandafarmer: He's declared his intention to retire sometime next year. I think this will probably accelerate that process... a lot.
  • #6
    Wow. Just wow. Watched all the vids. Pretty legit. This dude doesn't get ban-hammered, I will definitely not have any more (like I had any to begin with) faith in TO's/DCI.
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  • #7
    Hah. I heard him called Bertoncheaty before but never knew why/how bad it really was. Pretty pathetic that nothing has been done.
    M:TG is all about reading comprehension

  • #8
    I don't really see how they can NOT 1) strip him of his win and/or 2) bring the hammer down pretty hard on this guy.

    What a ****ing loser. They need to do something.

    I'd think they kinda have to, reading that article. Wow.
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  • #9
    Yeah shocking nothing has happened up to this point, esp with proof on multiple videos.
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  • #10
    It really makes you think how many people know/knew he is/was cheating. I'm going to lose ALL of my respect for SCG if he's not stripped of his title. I have very little for them anyways. Adam deserves that title.
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  • #11
    Drew Levin is damning his own cause by focusing on the friendship he used to have with Alex, and dropping the f-bomb multiple times. A blog is not an article. If this is the type of letter he sent to the DCI then they probably threw it in the garbage.
  • #12
    Quote from Madding
    Drew Levin is damning his own cause by focusing on the friendship he used to have with Alex, and dropping the f-bomb multiple times. A blog is not an article. If this is the type of letter he sent to the DCI then they probably threw it in the garbage.

    It is not.
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  • #13
    Quote from Madding
    Drew Levin is damning his own cause by focusing on the friendship he used to have with Alex, and dropping the f-bomb multiple times. A blog is not an article. If this is the type of letter he sent to the DCI then they probably threw it in the garbage.


    "A blog is not an article" ? What exactly did you try to say here ?
    Of course this blog entry is not what he sent to the DCI and it's pretty obvious when you read it.
  • #14
    Quote from ___alt
    "A blog is not an article" ? What exactly did you try to say here ?
    Of course this blog entry is not what he sent to the DCI and it's pretty obvious when you read it.


    I agree completely. After all a blog is very opinionated. He did back his accusations with cold hard facts. I support his accusations after what I have seen. (Brainstorm for 4) (Explore Explore) The list goes on.
    Knyght

    Jace's Ingenuity is about to rotate out, let's print it as the July FNM card. Ok!
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    Teetering Peaks is about to rotate out, let's print it as the September FNM card. Ok!-Knyght


    "It's good to learn from your failures, but I prefer to learn from the failures of others." - Jace Beleren
  • #15
    Quote from Underdog1012
    I agree completely. After all a blog is very opinionated. He did back his accusations with cold hard facts. I support his accusations after what I have seen. (Brainstorm for 4) (Explore Explore) The list goes on.

    The brainstorm crap was really eye opening to me. To me it was malicious and planned. He knew that the type of deck he was paying he was going to have a lot of cards in and out of his hand and it would be hard for his opponent to keep track of it all. So the first brainstorm "miss play" can bee seen as a mistake, but the drawing 4 a few minutes later was clearly insane and it is clear he knew it was 4 because while he put them into his hand quickly you can see him spread it out with his forefinger and thumb. He knew he drew 4.
    M:TG is all about reading comprehension

  • #16
    I consider myself a sloppy player sometimes, and because I spend less and less time playing Magic, I forget some interactions with cards. The minute someone points it out to me, I'm extremely apologetic and fix anything that was wrong. But for a pro level player to make these kinds of "misplays" has me VERY sceptical. The decklist alterations are a biggie for me. They have the lists. They have video proving that he changed them. He really needs to be stripped of the title.
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  • #17
    Quote from Riot
    The brainstorm crap was really eye opening to me. To me it was malicious and planned. He knew that the type of deck he was paying he was going to have a lot of cards in and out of his hand and it would be hard for his opponent to keep track of it all. So the first brainstorm "miss play" can bee seen as a mistake, but the drawing 4 a few minutes later was clearly insane and it is clear he knew it was 4 because while he put them into his hand quickly you can see him spread it out with his forefinger and thumb. He knew he drew 4.


    Star City Games has a statement in the comments on their Facebook about the Brainstorm play. Here it is:

    "StarCityGames.com ‎(Jared) The brainstorm play was analyzed in the HD version from our archives frame by frame to count and track the individual cards drawn. What seems to be a fourth card is actually a shadow caused by a bend in the sleeve. Sorry guys, but this one is on the up and up." I call B.S.
    Knyght

    Jace's Ingenuity is about to rotate out, let's print it as the July FNM card. Ok!
    Cultivate is about to rotate out, let's print it as the August FNM card. Ok!
    Teetering Peaks is about to rotate out, let's print it as the September FNM card. Ok!-Knyght


    "It's good to learn from your failures, but I prefer to learn from the failures of others." - Jace Beleren
  • #18
    Quote from pandafarmer
    They have video proving that he changed them. He really needs to be stripped of the title.


    I couldn't agree more, since there is certainly more then enough evidence to ban this guy from playing Magic ever again, SCG isn't certainly going to strip him off the title till they get a answer from the DCI and even if they do see him banned, what is to say he won't get stripped of his title and all the prizes/prize money he won through the 2 years this has been happening.

    Quote from Underdog1012
    Star City Games has a statement in the comments on the Brainstorm play. Here it is:

    "StarCityGames.com ‎(Jared) The brainstorm play was analyzed in the HD version from our archives frame by frame to count and track the individual cards drawn. What seems to be a fourth card is actually a shadow caused by a bend in the sleeve. Sorry guys, but this one is on the up and up." I call B.S.


    I smell B.S too personally
    Last edited by Zero_MH: 12/12/2011 9:56:57 AM
  • #19
    This sickens me. I'm no slouch in calling out cheaters, or questioning the validity of 'Rulings' made by Player/judges whenever they clearly don't know what they're talking about. I just called a friend of mine on how he 'Knew' his other Frost Titans were close in his deck because he pulled one (I.E He admitted to shuffling them all close to one another and not randomizing), so I personally have absolutely no issue in calling judges over, or stopping the game to find the real ruling.

    And it's honestly sickening that there aren't more people who, either watching or opponents, who would stand up to this guy upon discovery and say, 'Dude. You're cheating. Stoppit.' and call a judge, watch the hilarity. I understand there are some people who are just smooth with their hands (Damn, that Kira shot was brilliantly done) and their opponent and spectators might not catch it, but when it's repeatedly done and even called out? (6 lands turn 3)....well....Honestly, you're in a tourney. You expect your opponents to follow the rules. If they don't, call them on it. Call over a judge, explain the situation, and see what falls out.

    As far as collusion goes....I honestly can't suggest a fix for that. I don't know how to fix it, and don't recall ever having run into it in my experience.

    Disgusting, though. I'm legitimately angry.
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  • #20
    Quote from pandafarmer
    The decklist alterations are a biggie for me. They have the lists. They have video proving that he changed them. He really needs to be stripped of the title.


    I'd heard of the others, but this is what stood out to me too. We've all registered lists before. We've all been checked at random before. Isn't this the kind of thing they're looking for? Isn't it simple enough for them to check?
  • #21
    Quote from DirtyJosé
    I'd heard of the others, but this is what stood out to me too. We've all registered lists before. We've all been checked at random before. Isn't this the kind of thing they're looking for? Isn't it simple enough for them to check?


    Yeah but they don't have enough people to constantly make sure that the decks are proper and put back into the lists they were registered as, where as the Sower of Temptation was registered as a sideboard card but never returned to it's proper place in the sideboard, it was left in the main deck after the previous round had taken place, like it was intentional but without no one to check the list to confirm this is legitimate he knew he could get away with the Sower in the main deck without having to worry about anyone checking it since his opponent didn't know his sideboard or anything with it being against the rules to check your opponent's sideboard.
  • #22
    Quote from Underdog1012
    Star City Games has a statement in the comments on their Facebook about the Brainstorm play. Here it is:

    "StarCityGames.com ‎(Jared) The brainstorm play was analyzed in the HD version from our archives frame by frame to count and track the individual cards drawn. What seems to be a fourth card is actually a shadow caused by a bend in the sleeve. Sorry guys, but this one is on the up and up." I call B.S.


    That is B.S. I can't say that I will be going to any 5Ks next season if this is SCG's stance on blatant cheating.
  • #23
    Quote from ___alt
    "A blog is not an article" ? What exactly did you try to say here ?
    Of course this blog entry is not what he sent to the DCI and it's pretty obvious when you read it.


    1) What I meant was that everyone yesterday was saying that Drew's "article" would be up today. That word carries weight with me since he is a legitimate MTG writer. Instead there is a blog entry where he posts video evidence that everyone already had and offers nothing new but an irrelevant broken friendship.

    2) Clearly I did not think Drew's letter to the DCI was a blog post where he talks about the aforementioned letter. That makes no sense. What I meant was that if his letter was the same quality as this QQ'ing (coincidentally posted after the cheater wins $10,000) then I doubt they did anything but throw it away.

    I think Drew is admirable for his stance. I don't think the DCI or SCG will respond to this approach though. If his goal was to get people to hate Alex Bertoncini then I am sure he succeeded. Unfortunately Alex is laughing all the way to the bank.
  • #24
    Quote from Madding
    I don't think the DCI or SCG will respond to this approach though.


    I think they have to respond at this point, no matter how good or bad the approach. This is because at this point, the integrity of SCG's tournament series, and the game as a whole, has been called into question.

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  • #25
    Competitive Magic seems to be on a down-swing lately.

    You have the company that is "taking over" the high level of competitive play actively attempting to not have to address the issue of having a cheat win their biggest event. "A shadow" - even if true - is really, really shaky at best.

    You implement PWP to reward the people who will sell their soul to your game and forsake other things in order to do so. Loved Kibler's article about having to decide whether to socialize and partake of his vacation to Vegas or play FNM to keep up with his points totals. I'm coining the phrase for this as "Play or Die!"

    Unless you have a shot at Top 8 and actually playing is detrimental to your chances or your friends chances of making top 8 at Worlds. Than by all means concede or ID and have it be okay. Unethical, but okay because it "isn't technically against the rules". It hurts the integrity of the game. Who cares about that though? It's not like you can force people to play well is the usual given argument on that.

    Don't people have enough respect for the game that they want to play the game correctly rather than politicking holes in the rules? They should have enough sportsmanship and class for the concept of competition that it isn't necessary. You shouldn't have to force people to play well or allow ID's and intentional concessions because you can't. That actually answer that question by itself. The money is more important than the health or sportsmanship involved with the game.

    As for Bertoncini...is it really cheating if nobody catches on to it until later? I mean...yeah it is...but it's kind of like in sports. If you don't call it immediately...
    Last edited by Loomis2459: 12/12/2011 10:36:27 AM
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