Good Thing #1 - I passed the L1 Judge test!
I had passed the Rules Adviser test some time last year and had, off and on, thought about taking the L1 test as a self-measurement. About two months ago a couple of friends in the local community started working to convince me that it'd be valuable to get the L1 certification, even if I don't want judge an event every weekend.
Well, I did a lot of practice tests and scored well on them... I botched a number of easy questions on the actual L1 exam but still passed. The L2 giving me the test was great and gave me tips on what to focus on to strengthen those areas. (It all boils down to being ADD... I read a question once and come up with a solution. If I were to re-read the question I'd see how I misread it the first time!)
Anyway, I judged two Monday Night Magic events at my FLGS (MnM is basically FNM but on Monday. We average 18-26 players though where our FNMs are usually 40-50.) Judging two Regular REL events is a prerequisite for taking the L1 test.
I had a blast judging. I don't enjoy playing Standard much but judging Standard events allows me to enjoy some Magic vicariously and to maybe play some side games of real formats ;)
Good Thing #2 - I took first place at a Modern GPT!
Once a month, the FLGS hosts a Modern GPT. I've played in many of them and have made the top X cut several times but hadn't won one until this past Saturday.
Granted, it was a Trial for GP Auckland and, much as I'd like to take a trip to New Zealand, I doubt that's happening this year. The prize support at these events is what's great:
First - Byes at the GP and a Tarmogoyf.
Second - $75 worth of non-Standard singles from the case (or $50 cash/credit.)
Third/Fourth - $25 worth of non-Standard singles from the case.
I was playing a deck with four Tarmogoyfs so on paper I conceded the finals to a friend of mine who could use the trade value. We played for fun and fun was had. I won in the end mostly due to him having some terrible hands that he had to mull.
I came away with some awesome cards between my winnings and some store credit-- a NM Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and a Japanese Snapcaster Mage. I'm happy.
Look forward to a full tournament report soon.