Because of the problems we’ve tracked over the last two weeks, along with concerns raised by voters and candidates on these boards, Wizards of the Coast examined all the votes cast in the most recent Fan Favorite poll.
The last week showed that a lot of people register on our message boards specifically to vote on the Fan Favorite poll, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, we've also had a few people registering numerous bogus accounts in order to vote over and over again. So we made a list of accounts that had all of the following qualities:
They were created during the Fan Favorite vote.
They have zero posts on our message boards.
They share an IP with other accounts created during the Fan Favorite vote or they share an email address with other accounts created during the Fan Favorite vote.
Our opinion is that votes from these accounts are very likely fraudulent, since they demonstrate all the traits of people trying to cast multiple votes. There may be other fraudulent votes, but this method gives us an unbiased list.
Then we looked at all the voters for each candidate and removed the votes on the list of fraudulent accounts. Here's how it came out:
|Candidate||Raw Votes||Fraudulent Votes||Clean Votes|
|Akira Asahara||31|| 0||31|
|Tim Aten||28|| 0||28|
|Bernardo Da Costa Cabral||101|| 0||101|
|Murray Evans||12|| 0||12|
|Gerard Fabiano||32|| 0||32|
|Sam Gomersall||40|| 0||40|
|Julien Goron||13|| 0||13|
|Mark Herberholz||67|| 0||67|
|Rich Hoaen||14|| 0||14|
|Itaru Ishida||7|| 0||7|
|Aton Jonsson||21|| 0||21|
|Tomohiro Kaji||11|| 0||11|
|Masashiro Kuroda||20|| 0||20|
|Craig Krempels||6|| 0||6|
|Eugene Levin||5|| 0||5|
|Rogier Maaten||5|| 0||5|
|Antti Malin||21|| 0||21|
|Chris McDaniel||62|| 0||62|
|Masahiko Morita||7|| 0||7|
|Shuhei Nakamura||22|| 0||22|
|Josh Ravitz||10|| 0||10|
|Neil Reeves||41|| 0||41|
|Jon Sonne||10|| 0||10|
|Gadiel Szliefer||13|| 0||13|
|Tomi Walamies||56|| 0||56|
|Gabe Walls||16|| 0||16|
|Jelger Wiegersma||15|| 0||15|
As detailed on the main Invitational page, the pass-down system led to the third-place Fan Favorite earning an invitation due the World Champion's open spot. Because Jeff Cunningham had already been bumped into the North American spot due to other pass-downs, Geoffrey Siron earns the spot vacated by Katsuhiro Mori.
We deeply apologize for the confusion and stress caused by this year’s poll. We set up a flawed system and then in our efforts to deal with the situation, we had to resort to a system flawed in a different way. We have learned from these mistakes and an overhaul of the system is in process for next year’s balloting. In the meantime, I would encourage all of you to be mad at us and not at the candidates. We created a system with no clear rules and many legitimate interpretations of the spirit of the rules. Even though some votes for players were thrown out due to fraud, we hope people will understand that the fault there is with those who cast the fraudulent votes, not the players themselves.
Thanks for voting, and also thanks for caring so much. As trying as a situation like this can be, at the end of the day we know it happens because the game means so much to so many of you. Reader participation has always been and will continue to be one of the most important aspects of magicthegathering.com. We deeply regret the problems we've run into with the Fan Favorite vote, and will be putting a high priority on finding better ways to be able to give you, the readers, the chance to continue to participate in polls and influence magicthegathering.com as well as Magic itself.
(Profiles by Brian David-Marshall)
Akira Asahara: Facing down an impossible quarterfinal matchup at 2005 Worlds, he suited up to channel the power of Jon Finkel to reach the semifinals.
Tim Aten: Talks the talk on a very short list of the game’s most gifted writers and walked the walk with a Top 16 at Pro Tour-London.
Pierre Canali: The French Salsa instructor is the reigning Rookie of the Year after kicking off a solid season with a win at Pro Tour-Columbus.
Jeff Cunningham: Two Top 32 finishes on the Pro Tour during the past season coupled with some of the year’s very best articles propelled him to second on the North American ballot – is he a fan favorite?
Bernardo Da Costa Cabral: Easily one of the Top 10 European players for the past two seasons, Bernardo is poised for a breakout season in 2006.
Murray Evans: Murray the Mauler has been playing the game as long as – if not longer -- anyone else on this list but is still not even twenty years old.
Gerard Fabiano: How can the focus of the affections of the Gerard Fabiano Fan Club not win this ballot? We will find out how strong the membership drive has been.
Sam Gomersall: While playing online in last year’s Invitational, this hardcore drafter had another window going with a draft under his regular account. He loves drafting more than you do.
Julien Goron: Goron made a late run at the Rookie of the Year title with four money finishes -- the latest, greatest player to emerge from France.
Mark Herberholz: Please forward all of Mark’s mail to Heezy Street, where he is sleeping off the celebratory excesses after winning Pro Tour-Honolulu.
Rich Hoaen: A blue-haired Hoaen derailed Jon Sonne from rolling to his third Grand Prix win when he won Grand Prix-Richmond.
Itaru Ishida: The Grand Prix-Singapore winner was also the man responsible for Kenji Tsumura’s Myojins that ate Philadelphia.
Anton Jonsson: Part of the Mantle/Mays argument over the best Limited player of all time, he was recently seen casting Magnivores in 60-card decks.
Tomohiro Kaji: Multiple hours of daily practice on MTGO helped propel Kaji into the Sunday spotlight twice last season with a GP win to boot.
Shu Komuro: A seasoned veteran of the Grand Prix scene, Komuro presented himself to the world with a resounding victory over Anton Jonsson at Pro Tour-Nagoya.
Masashiro Kuroda: Despite being unable to justify a trip to the U.S. for a Pro Tour, Kuroda could not pass up on accepting a trip to play in last season’s Invitational.
Craig Krempels: The 2004 U.S. National champion was the highest finishing American player at the 2005 World Championships.
Eugene Levin: Clad in his trademark CCCP gear, Eugene traveled to China before heading to Japan for the World Championships.
Rogier Maaten: Rogier climbed into the upper echelon of Dutch players last season with a late surge that saw him finish in the Top 20 in two of his last three events.
Antti Malin: Finland’s secret weapon quietly strung together a series of money finishes to emerge 18th in the Player of the Year race.
Chris McDaniel: Star Wars Kid has emerged as the poster child of combo players the world wide after his breakout performance in Los Angeles with Heartbeat of Spring.
Masahiko Morita: A legend on the Japanese Grand Prix scene, Morita expanded the scope of his travel to include U.S. and European Pro Tours and Grand Prix, adding to his prodigous number of Top 8s at GP-Seattle.
Shuhei Nakamura: Started the 2005 season with a Top 2 in Columbus and ended it with a Top 8 at the World Championships. Throw in a Top 9 in Philadelphia and it adds up to Level 6 – currently the only Level 6 not heading to E3.
Josh Ravitz: Just decimal points behind Krempels at Worlds, Josh capped a strong season that also saw him Top 8 at U.S. Nationals.
Neil Reeves: Neil shook off the retirement recliner to storm his way onto the U.S. National team that reached the Finals at Worlds.
Jeroen Remie: As soon as he caught wind of Pro Tour-Honolulu, this enthusiastic gamer was already making plans for the now legendary Hawaii House.
Geoffrey Siron: Will his last name catch on as a verb as was recently suggested? If you can 9-0 a gauntlet of Oiso, Sadeghpour, and Fujita like he did to win Pro Tour-London, you too can say you Sironed the draft.
Jon Sonne: Always a consistency machine on the Pro Tour, Sonne made a name for himself with two Grand Prix trophies this past year and kicked off the 2006 season with a finals appearance in Richmond.
Gadiel Szleifer: You can argue that he is controversial but you can’t argue with two Pro Tour Top 8s – including a Sunday seizing in Philly -- and the highest finish of any American in the Player of the Year race.
Tomi Walamies: What does this guy think he is – a comedian? Oh wait… he is. After his amazing Top 8 comeback in London, Tomi split the sides of everyone who could pack in to a London club to see his comedy show later that Sunday.
Gabe Walls: Not a professional comedian but he plays one on the Pro Tour ... always talented and always entertaining.
Jelger Wiegersma: He missed making money in one – ONE!!! – Pro Tour last season.
Dave Williams: The most visible Magic player in the world continued to thrive in poker and talks up Magic to anyone who will listen. He made the most of a sponsor's exemption invite to Los Angeles with a 22nd-place finish.