Not knowing what time registration open and closes
I’ve seen it happen numerous times people forget to check what time registration is and just assume it’s “the same time as always.” Even if the Tournament Organizer has a standard time they like to start events at, it’s really important that you double check it not only with the TO and store but also the official website.
If the times don’t match up, then you need to figure out who is wrong. There really isn’t a worse way to start the day with a loss because you missed registration. Pooka accidentally slept through registration at Worlds 2005 and ended up a heart breaking 5-3.
Not knowing where the event is
It’s sometimes a lot harder to find the location than you would think, especially if you’re from out of town or it’s in a large city. Leaving home early is one way to help prevent this. You also have many resources at your disposal above the ordinary map.
A website like MapQuest can provide step by step directions on how to get to a location. Of course the best answer is going to be GPS. They’re relatively affordable now and even available on a lot of the newer phones. If you do a lot of traveling I really recommended looking into it. I believe in 2007 Kettler and his brother got lost on their way to their State Championship and ended up missing the first few rounds.
Not fully filling out your 60 card decklist accurately
I guess since I’m naming names I might as well be fair about it. I’m guilty of this one. I accidentally forgot to list Lucario GL on my decklist at Nationals back in 2009. It’s never a good thing when you’re preparing for Top 32 to have a judge come up to you say “we need to talk.”
I was incredibly fortunate to only have to replace it with a basic energy… this could have and probably should have been a loss worse. My advice is to write it up the night before and than double check it than as well as double checking it in the morning.
Not showing up with the cards you need
We have all seen the person running around during registration trying to find those last minute cards and let’s be honest we have all been that person to. I’ve see Mesprits go for $20, Rare Candies for $12 and so many other stories like that.
I understand last minute changes happen and you can’t always plan for them. Every time I go to a tournament I take a small binder with me with tech cards nothing major but stuff like Warp Points, Switches, Bebe’s Searches and other realistic things I could see altering my main deck with.
I know sometimes it’s unavoidable but you can do your best to prepare so hopefully you’re paying insane prices last minute.
Not knowing what your opponent’s cards do
Forgetting what your opponent’s cards do is an easy way to lose a game. The hard part is not only knowing what their cards do they have in play but in their deck as well. If my opponent puts a Gastly on their bench. Knowing what that Gastly does is important but also know what the different Haunters and Gengars do is equally and in a lot of cases more important. Having a good grasp of what a lot of the cards do especially the more popular ones do is essential. If your opponent puts a card into play you don’t know what is does don’t hesitate to ask to read it.
At Worlds 09 on a bubble match Ross Cawthon ran a 1-1 Misdrevious to help counter Mewtwo LV.X. He actually ended up winning a game because his opponent (a very skilled player might I add) didn’t know what Misdrevious did so he didn’t bench any other Pokémon when he saw a Mismaguius and ended up getting benched on the following turn.
Forgetting to buy new sleeves
I’ve seen it happen all the time a player is asked to changes his sleeves but doesn’t have any on him. It’s really important to re-sleeve before each major tournament (States, Regional’s, Nationals). It’s also important to carry extra sleeves on you, stuff happens, sleeves rip, they get bent, dirty etc. Having just an extra 5 or 10 on you is a good idea.
I also want to add that you should check your sleeves before the tournament starts. Even if you think you bought matching pairs of sleeves it’s not always the case. I sat down round 1 at a Cities this year only to realize that I had bought two slight different types of sleeves one was far lighter than the other I got lucky and my opponent was good natured about it and let me re-sleeve before we began our match.
However at Worlds 2009 Gino Lombardi was not so lucky and given a game lose for a very similar issue he had sleeved his deck with 2 packs of sleeves looking at the cards themselves you could tell nothing however if you looked the side of a full 60 card deck you can barely notice a difference between them.
The real kicker of the whole mess was that these were sleeves he had received in his competitor’s bag from Pokémon Organized Play the day before.
Not sitting at the right table number
Saw this one happen first hand to, a player sat down proceeded to win his match only to be told he would instead be receiving a game loss because he had played the wrong opponent. A quick double check of the pair sheet is an easy way to fix this.
Missing the start of the round
I’m guilty of this one to, last year at Worlds I decided to watch a very interesting Seniors match thinking they had all three divisions on the same schedule. Once the match concluded I quickly realize they had already started the Masters round and yet being in the same room I managed to hear nothing, to say I was kind of ticked was an understatement.
I quickly grabbed my chair knowing I was in big trouble since I would lose if the match went to time and I was playing Gardevoir a much slower set up deck for the format. I thought about nothing but taking prizes and doing it quickly.
I was very fortunate and able to steal three quick prizes off his slower set up and then transition into a Psychic Lock control strategy to take the match. This could have ended up far worse for me than it did. As stupid as it sounds, use the buddy system, if you’re going to wonder off or play some pickup games make sure you have a friend or someone who will come and let you know when pairs go up and of course do the same for them.
Also double checking when lunch breaks start and end and allowing plenty of time to return to the venue is another easy way to avoid getting into this mess.
Not knowing what your own cards do
If a card has a huge block of text it’s usually important to read it all! I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people lose a match because they didn’t read their own cards. It’s usually minor details to such as the difference between “energy and energy cards” or not realizing Rescue Energy doesn’t work if it’s Knocked Out by damage counters.
Or my personal favorite you only get 4 cards from Cynthia’s Feelings if the Pokémon died in-between turns. Or not knowing to get the full 8 it didn’t have to be Knocked Out by damage just simply KO’ed during your opponents turn.
…and Number 1:
Not being able to count
Forgetting about weakness, resistance, adding damage due to Special D Energy, or subtracting damage done by Pokémon with Special M Energy. I’ve even seen people miscount how many Hit Points the opponent’s Pokémon has left. It sounds so incredibly stupid, but I swear it happens at just about every tournament I go to.