DQed from regionals and BANNED two weeks later (I was set-up)

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by GinoLombardi21, Nov 12, 2013.

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  1. GinoLombardi21

    GinoLombardi21 New Member

    Dear Pokegym,

    I regret to inform you I was the victim of BIAS Judges in the Philadelphia Regionals two weekends ago. I was targeted and set-up from the beginning of the tournament up until I was wrongfully DQ’ed from the event.

    Before I entered the tournament I was shown an email by an anonymous judge which was sent by a father who was attending the event with his child. He requested that I be banned from the event because according to him, I’m a bully, cheater, thief, and many other derogatory names. At the bottom of his email, it linked the Pokegym’s article that JASON K. and MEES B. had written about me. This email was prejudice against me and made me sick to my stomach. This email’s negativity literally ruined my mental focus for the day and you have no idea of the struggle I went through to remain positive. Thanks to social media and all the friends I have all over the world through Pokémon they helped me get through this.

    Round 5 Michael Martin ‘Pokepop’ came over to my match in the middle of game three and stopped it. He informed me I had to come with him and not to worry about the game area because I would be returning and my match would resume play. I followed him to the judges table where he, Bob Mirabile, Kyle Morris, Pete De Shaw, and two other judges were.

    Pete De Shaw, whom I was told works for TPCi after I left the convention center. He did most of the talking and told me the situation the judges had portrayed against me. Pokepop had me sit right next to him at the judges table while everyone else stood up.

    Pete De Shaw informed me that I had been watched throughout the event by his judges when a certain judge informed him I was looking under my deck after my opponent cut it. I was told by Pokepop two of his judges had claimed to see me look under the bottom of my deck throughout the tournament all through Swiss rounds. I was dumbfounded by these accusations and asked his judges to explain and demonstrate how I did this. The judges told me after I shuffled my deck I would hand my deck for my opponent to cut and upon my opponent handing me back my deck I would tilt it and look at the bottom of it. I immediately denied these allegations against me and Pete De Shaw did not even listen to me.

    I tell him and the whole staff I had never done that in my life. I explain to him sometimes on my opponents turn I riffle the sides of my deck and I re-arrange cards in my hand continuously because of my ADHD. I swore to god I didn’t do it and requested a judge to come watch my current and future games of the tournament because I had not done what I was accused of. He explains to me he will not do that because I’m DQed from the event. I continue to plead my case and I start to get angry because his body language towards me is sluggish and I could tell he doesn’t even care what I’m saying. It’s like his decision was already pre-determined. These actions made me feel unaccepted by the community and even though I did nothing wrong, I was disqualified before I was given any warning. If it was any other player, they would’ve been given the benefit of the doubt and a chance to have the game state returned to normal with only a minor penalty.

    He smiled and told me if I didn’t get my stuff and leave I would be escorted from the play area by security. I then told the judges that I felt I was being “set up”. I call them “real mature” for doing this and I’m escorted by Pokepop to my current match to go get my things and proceed to leave the convention center. I’m shocked at this moment and I’m feeling sick to my stomach.

    I was not giving a warning or even a caution when they claimed to see me look under my deck. Why would they wait to say something? None of my five opponents once raised their hands to call a judge to accuse me of looking under my deck. I’ve never tilted my deck to look at the bottom card before in my life. This is also the first time I’ve ever been accused of something like this. It makes absolutely no sense that a judge could claim to see me cheat and continue to watch me cheat and beat opponents. Why would they allow me to continuously take the wins away from my opponents just to compile more evidence of my alleged cheating, isn’t that against the spirit of the game? This is why I believe I was set up by the judges. I am being discriminated against because of an article that was published online about me made by Jason Klacyzynski and Mees Brenninkmeijer.

    It is extremely unfair that I am being singled out and I am not receiving equal treatment as other players in the game. The judges acted in a prejudicial manner against me and their actions proved it! All the judges had seen the email about me prior to the event. I have been harassed by Jason Klacyzynski and Mees Brenninkmeijer since August 2013. My name has been slandered by both players and now other players and judges are starting trouble with me at upcoming tournaments.

    TCPi issued me probation for the upcoming season due to the events that unfolded in Canada. I figured I wouldn’t have any problems for the 2013-2014 season because I play CLEAN and have nothing to worry about so probation wasn’t a concern to me. Now I’m immediately regretting not arguing my probation because under probation my actions are under additional scrutiny, and all issued reports of penalties will be weighed more heavily for potential disciplinary action. Now I’m having judges being prejudice against me and they’re jeopardizing my future with the game. I don’t play the blame game. I am a grown man and I will take responsibility if I do something wrong. I swear to you and everyone else reading this I give you my word as a man that I did not look under my deck throughout this whole event as these judges claim I did.

    The judges of this event were setting me up and were discriminating against me! I am being targeted!
    Here’s an example of them targeting me with the same actions on how they went about my situation but in a different scenario.*(This didn’t happen but it’s an example and is strictly a made up scenario)

    Round 2
    Me: I go to Knockout a Virizion NV 13/101 but I draw an extra prize card by accident thinking it’s a Virizion ex PB 9/101.*
    Opponent: He doesn't notice me taking an extra prize card because he thought I knocked out a Virizion ex because he plays both pokemon in his deck.

    So as a judge you see me mistakenly draw an extra prize card but you don't say anything? Instead you go and tell another judge what you seen? Yet neither judge’s do anything? You just let me beat my opponent by drawing an extra prize card? Interesting..
    Let’s say later in the tournament around round five the same situation approaches me again but a different scenario.

    Round 5
    Me: I go to Knockout a Terrakion NV 73/101 but I draw an extra prize card by accident thinking it’s a Terrakion ex DE 71/124.*
    Opponent: He doesn't notice me taking an extra prize card because he thought I knocked out a Terrakion ex because he plays both pokemon in his deck.

    *immediately after I draw two prizes*

    Head judge: Stops the match and penalizes me for the previous claims by other judges in round 2. Yet I didn't receive a verbal warning, a warning, or even a caution before this was brought to my attention. If a judge seen you draw an extra prize card they would immediately correct the game state. Therefor why am I receiving special negative treatment?
    The judge’s actions and how they handled this situation makes it look like they set me up. It looks like they’re discriminating against me and targeting me. To think a rumor could determine a judge’s action is diminishing to the spirit of this game.

    Here’s an example of them targeting me with the same actions on how they went about my situation but in yet another different scenario.*(This didn’t happen but it’s an example and is strictly a made up scenario)

    Me: Draws an extra card for my turn.
    Judge: Sees me do this but doesn’t step in to say anything. He watches me continue to beat my opponent to see how many times I’ll do that throughout the event. So he’s letting me cheat and beat opponents because he wants to double check and have other judge’s double check before he calls me on it?

    Basically you claim to see me look under my deck when my opponent hands it back to me after shuffling it yet I was never aware of doing such a thing until it was brought to my attention and received an immediate non-negotiable disqualification from the event.*That’s fair?

    After this disqualification I start to think about why I didn’t get a caution or warning for this and I came to the conclusion that if a judge stepped in and accused me of this my opponent wouldn’t agree with the judges claims because he is watching me the whole entire game! I have never been DQed from a pokemon event before and it hurts me so much emotionally because I did nothing to deserve a DQ.

    Here is written statements from all my opponents throughout the event who not once raised their hand to accuse me of looking at the bottom of my deck:

    Round 1 - Joseph Rudy:

    Round 2 - Juan Espichan:

    Round 3 - Adam Braga:

    I also want to note for this game I won an extremely long game one and during game two I played team plasma ball and put deoxys ex from my deck into my hand. I wanted to play energy search and fail and play N without shuffling the energy search. I asked him if it was cool to speed up time because I don’t want to have him lose on time. A judge sees me burn the energy search and play N and immediately gives me a warning and I’m mad because I had good spirit of the game by speeding up my play so my opponent wouldn’t lose on time and yet I get penalized for it. I talked to pokepop who was head judge of masters after the match and asked if it would affect my probation. He giggled and said “no Gino”.

    Round 4 - Chris Murray:

    Round 5 – Johsua Hinkel

    So 0 out of 5 opponents are accusing me of looking at the bottom of my deck. I don’t find this ironic at all because I truly didn’t do this. Yet I got DQ’ed by judges saying false statements about me yet they didn't even follow basic protocol by giving me a warning or caution for my so called alleged actions. I get furious because I’m alone in my hotel room and there is absolutely nothing for me to do especially seeing I was banned from the convention center. So I decided to call out Bob Mirable and Kyle Morris on facebook due to them being the judges accusing me of looking at the bottom of my deck and I find this quite interesting.


    Through my attempts I don’t get Bob Mirabile to say one word but I get Kyle Morris to respond and he immediately deleted his comment so I couldn’t see the full comment he made, but my facebook saved his opening sentence through my Facebook notifications.


    Kyle Morris: “You should have received a warning not this, …”

    His opening statement right there implies the decision wasn’t even up to him. The most confusing thing about reading his comment is if he truly believes what I did is only worth a warning why didn’t he step in and correct the game state. Someone told him not to or to make it up is what I believe happend. It continues to look like I am being targeted by the judges. I get mad and message him on facebook.



    Now granted I’m a firm believer that if someone says you did something and you deny it you will ultimately get the benefit of the doubt. If it happens a second time and another person says you did it again then it starts to look like a continuous trend. I realize a judges word is valued more than a players at the end of the day. Just look at my evidence from my five opponents statements that didn’t even see me or accuse me of looking under my deck. Normally I would say take a judges word over mine, but look at the position I’m in from the accusations and rumors of what supposedly happened in Vancouver. The way the head judge and TPCi Pete De Shaw handled this I was a marked man as soon as I entered the tournament.
    After the DQ I couldn’t even enter Sundays League Challenge or Pre-Release because it’s being held in the same room as regionals.

    What’s done is done, but what about my opportunity to win championship points that was taken away from me. What about gas, entry fee, and hotel I paid for over the weekend. So I just lose everything for something that wasn’t even handled the right way?

    Haven’t I been through enough with this game? Nationals 2008 in top 8 I was giving a warning, caution, game loss, and a time extension against me. At worlds 2008 my opponent in top 4 was giving a time extension against me because I was up 2 to 4 on prize cards and my opponent didn’t have enough time to comeback vs. me. I get a game loss for the sleeves I was giving in the world’s package in 2009 during swiss rounds. I’ve been accused more times of bad sleeves then I can remember. Getting deck checked before the event starts has become a ritual for me because of this. I just want to play pokemon! I’ve done nothing wrong. Please don’t take this away from me. Pokemon has been a hobby of mine since I was 8 years old. I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that. I’ve won a national championship, I’ve came extremely close to winning a world championship, I’ve final tabled regionals five times, I’ve won more state and city championships then I can remember. I’m not bragging, so please don’t take it that way. What im trying to say is through all my years of playing pokemon, understand that I don’t need to cheat to win. I never have and I never will! I win clean and that’s that.

    What’s going to happen to me in upcoming tournaments? I need 500 CP to get my worlds invite and I was already robbed a chance to win Championship Points towards that at Philly Regionals. What can TPCi do to prevent this from happening in upcoming tournaments by discriminating judges? I want the harassment to stop, I don’t want to be labeled the villain in the Pokémon community, but I feel like this is out of my hands. I just want to play pokemon.

    Now it's too late because today I received a letter in the mail from TPCi that I am banned from Pokemon FOREVER!


  2. eastsea

    eastsea New Member

    "I don't play the blame game, I am a grown man and will take responsibility if I do something wrong. I swear..." Then give back the laptop, apologize, and be a grown man and admit you did something wrong.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  3. Laptopchan

    Laptopchan New Member

    As a laptop, I approve of this action. I had misgivings about going to the World Championships this year in Washington DC after hearing about the events in Vancouver in which a fellow laptop was burglarized, but now that the perpetrator is gone from Pokemon I feel much safer!
  4. Thedrone1man

    Thedrone1man New Member

    You know, if TPCi didn't do anything about it, and you didn't physically see the tape, then you probably shouldn't talk either. Not very mature of you, either.
  5. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Just a factual correction.
    The person that spoke to you was Kendall Redburn, the overall Head Judge of the event.
    While Pete DeShaw from Pokemon was at the event, he was not involved in any of the judging of the event, including this situation.
  6. Nepeta

    Nepeta New Member

    Honestly, I don't think it is right to judge someone based on a previous tournament incident which had nothing to do with his actual in game-play. I don't think he should have gotten that ban. I am not defending him for his previous actions, but this was a different scenario and the judge should have had handled it as such - not basing his judgement on the situation about something that didn't even happen on that event. Sure, you can suspect him of something and keep an eye on him, but that does not give any judge the right to treat him like this. Give him at least a warning before taking action about it. I feel this could have been handled differently. I hope this get's resolved in a positive light in the future.
  7. Rambo1000

    Rambo1000 New Member

    This is clearly a witchhunt orchestrated by TPCi. Since the world champion has been so adamant about badmouthing Gino and providing false "proof" that he stole a laptop in Vancouver, TPCi decided that instead of giving Gino the benefit of the doubt, they would find some way to ban him anyway. I have been close friends with Gino since FL regionals 2008. I have stayed in his hotel rooms a number of times with no incident. I have played against him in tournaments a number of times with absolutely no foul play occuring. Gino is legitimately a GREAT player. He doesn't need to cheat to win, especially something as stupid as looking at the bottom card of his deck.

    This is a complete farce.
  8. dimmysteez

    dimmysteez New Member

    Seems ridiculous he was banned in my opinion. Doesn't seem fair that he wasn't given any warnings in the tournament and was kicked out, and then it escalated to a full-blown ban a few weeks later.
  9. homeofmew

    homeofmew New Member

    The entire Jason/ Mees thing has nothing to do with this. The poke parent that complained obviously didn't read that entire thread because there wasn't enough evidence that you stole the macbook, from the pic mees posted you were carrying a bag. Some people who read Mees thread didn't read the -entire- thing but that's my opinion. One Detail i noticed is he never described the bag to the authorities he just identified it - per his own statement.

    But after that you were on lets say "thin ice", this situation just made it worse.

    Also you don't need to have your opponent's complain about something for you to get a penalty.
    This goes with time issues, not just cheating or other incidents.

    Also I am sure that - more then one- judge was involved with the Situation. By your own post it seems you acknowledge this.
    Saying that - more then one judge "lied" - about you -cheating - is a steep accusation.

    Sometimes I have seen judges make bad calls because they are bias toward or against another player but usually this only is -one specific- person.
    At an event like regionals hopefully someone "unbiased" witnessed you looking at the bottom of your deck?

    But I do find it odd, no complaints from opponents, and no judge stops you?
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  10. Articjedi

    Articjedi New Member

    Seems like Gino's argument is, "My opponent didn't see it, so therefore it didn't happen." That's a bit thin.
  11. cljoh001

    cljoh001 New Member

    I have now heard both sides of the story! Honestly Gino I barely met you at Nationals this past year so I don't know much about you...however, when I met you you seemed ok. When I heard about the incident I was a little shocked because I heard different things about you. After hearing all the Gino is bad crap coming from everyone I really was happy to hear this side of the story. Now what you did at worlds was wrong but that is the past and has been dealt with (plus we don't know what actually happened). After hearing this I was a little shocked about the results. Again I don't know you very well but if this happened to anybody else I would be angry too. With the evidence you have shown I was very impressed. I may not know what actually happened but I'm glad I can hear this side of the story!
  12. GinoLombardi21

    GinoLombardi21 New Member

    I was told it was him. I don't know who either person is and if I had a picture of them I could determine who it was.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That's absolutely not what i'm saying. You need to re-read this article. Thanks
  13. FunnyBear

    FunnyBear New Member

    As far as "evidence" in Vancouver, there were photos posted of this player going through someone else's things and walking away with a bag. There is also the fact that a Macbook is missing. Juries have convicted on lots less. Apparently some people here watch so much TV that they feel that ridiculous standards of proof must hold such as beyond any doubt whatsoever. In the real world, that is not the case.

    I wasn't in Philly and have no idea what happened there, but I suspect the ban had a lot to do with Vancouver and all the attention around it. When others start complaining about a player, Pokemon sees a PR problem and addresses it. It may not even be about being fair; it comes down to the issue of is all this attention the community is getting over one player a positive or a negative, and is OP better off with or without him. Playing in OP is a privilege, not a right, and it does not take due process to remove it.

    I too appreciate hearing Gino's take on recent events, as this is the first time we have. The stories of bad behavior from multiple sources are at complete odds with anything I have experienced either across the table on multiple occasions or loaning cards and getting them back. I know that doesn't mean much as I have my experiences and others have their own, but I still thought I'd mention it.
  14. GinoLombardi21

    GinoLombardi21 New Member

    Show me a photo of me going through someones stuff because there's only a photo of me holding a SHOPPING BAG from the pokemon STORE!


    As far as i'm concerned that photo proves nothing.


    I made that photo mocking the situation after I got DQed in Philly. Look how easy something like that was to make.

    Mees posted a security report from the hotel. I never seen an actual POLICE REPORT. Even then understand what a police report is.

    A police report is just a report written by a police officer that describes an incident. In this case, the report would just say whatever he tells them. Mees could tell him anything! He could make stuff up, he could lie, etc.

    Police reports get sent to the district attorney's office, which decides if there is enough evidence to prosecute. If they decide there is, then he will be called into court.

    I was never found guilty of the alleged crime nor was I never found not guilty of the alleged crime. For you to call me a thief without sufficient evidence that proves I did it is slandering my name to a whole different level. For you to call me a cheater and liar without evidence makes you a fool all because you believe rumors spread by haters.
  15. LunarWolf21

    LunarWolf21 New Member

    I would just like to point out that just because Juries convict people all the time without much evidence in the real world, doesn't mean it was the right decision. In law, it is meant to be beyond a reasonable doubt. Since Juries do convict many innocent people, it is important to repeat this fact more.
  16. tutti

    tutti New Member

    Law isn't involved here, only public opinion. People aren't bound by the legal rules of evidence when forming their opinions, and are free to form those opinions based on their personal confidence in others and their claims. To me, it seems people's confidence in Gino is very low, and so his claims are being disbelieved in favour of others' claims.
  17. losjackal

    losjackal Technical Administrator

    Personally, I really am sorry you don't get to play the game anymore. I know there are people that do value your friendship. But you're depicting yourself as a blameless victim here...

    Developing a reputation doesn't happen out of the blue. You have a reputation as a winning player, as a nice guy to some people, but also this laptop mess. In addition to the photo and police report, there was eyewitness testimony that Mees said was sent to TPCi that we the community haven't been privileged to see. But since you're invoking screenshots of Facebook comments and trying to get sympathy as a victim, I'm obligated to bring this one to light again:


    That was a glib answer, and silence doesn't prove anything, but even in comments above you are not denying taking the Macbook…instead you say "I was never found guilty of the alleged crime". Your words could be the truth, but perhaps they're not the whole truth.
  18. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Have you, now?
  19. To clarify re: concern about a Warning prior to DQ. I don't know if this was the infraction sited, but if, indeed it was, there is no grounds for receiving a warning.

    From the Penalty Guidelines: 7.6.4. Cheating
    Players who intentionally commit infractions are looking to gain an unfair advantage over other players at the event. The Head Judge should carefully consider whether an infraction was intentional or not before applying this penalty. If the Head Judge feels that an infraction was unintentional, this penalty should not be applied.
    Examples of Unsporting Conduct: Cheating include:
    • Drawing extra cards.
    • Taking cards from the discard pile and adding them to your hand or deck.
    • Offering some form of compensation to an opponent for a concession.
    • Altering match results after the conclusion of the match.
    • Playing with marked cards.
    • Lying to event staff.
    • Arbitrarily adjusting the Special Conditions or damage counters put on any Pokémon in play.
    • Use of dubious game actions intended to deceive your opponent into making misplays.
    • Attempting to manipulate a random result.
    • Stacking your deck.

    Recommended Starting Penalty:
    Tier 1: Disqualification
    Tier 2: Disqualification
  20. Ruiner

    Ruiner New Member

    I'm not tossing my hat into the overall debate here, but the one thing that I find extremely troubling about this situation is how, assuming this is how it went down ( and PokePop would have likely made another "factual correction" here since Gino did bring this point up ) then it is pretty disgusting that the judges would observe Gino cheating for multiple rounds before intervening. If I was one of his opponents during rounds 1-4, I would be EXTREMELY upset by this. I am NOT ok with that approach to judging. I understand if it was the first account. Sure, may have been an accident, who knows, but if the evidence is "repeated" examples of this infraction, and I was one of the players who it was done against with no intervention... is this really what happened in this case? I'd really like to hear more from the judge's side in this case, because I know 'Pop is a great judge, and has my utmost respect as a person and a judge, and this is coming from someone who has been extremely critical of how events for Pokemon have been staffed for years now.
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