Apparently, Tony's Nova Con winning list was 3 points over the allowed 2000. Before I give my opinion, I hope that no-one uses this as a stick to beat the TO Mike or the tournament itself. Every blog I've read by people who attended have said what a great event it was. Hopefully we'll get a Nova Con UK (Claws and Fists Con anyone lol) Anyway, back to the matter in hand. 3 points. Is it cheating? Well, technically, yes. If you look at the list, the cheapest thing we could take off is a Meltagun. That's one less anti-tank weapon in the list and in a close game it could have been the key one. But Claws and Fists (if that is you real name) I hear you cry, "it's only 3 points." Well, again, yes, but where do you stop? 3? 5? 10? 20? It's a bit like Pandora's Box, once the lid is off, it's not going back on. Now, I don't know Tony but it sounds like he's an excellent player and he probably would have won the tournament anyway. I'd also like to believe that the 3 extra points was a genuine mistake and that he was not seeking to gain an advantage. You can't really blame Mike either, I know that I wouldn't like to check through 128 army lists and I'm sure that 300 points is a damn sight easier to spot that 3.
The thing is, I'm not really sure that there is a solution. There will always be people trying to sneak in something here and there and there will always be some honest mistakes. The only thing I can think of is if after you make the draw you send everyone the army list of their first round opponent in the tournament pack. Personally, I know that I'd give the list a good once over before I played against them. It's clearly not perfect as I'd probably be more likely to miss something than a TO but at least I couldn't complain since I'd had the opportunity to check the list before the competition.