It’s what you have in your deck as much as how you play the game. That seems to be the guiding principle behind players in the Lakewood Pokemon Tournament. It’s not just child’s play, although many kids were present competing; the Masters division is played by teenagers and adults, and Pokemon World Champion of 2011, David Cohen, was on hand to compete, and travels as far afield as Hawaii and Florida to participate in tournaments.
Cohen’s special deck is on sale, and is called the Twinboar. It is a favorite of Pokemon players of all ages, and features monsters with names like Emboar, Pignite and Reshiram. The secret to winning happens prior to the actual match, when players collect and trades cards with the most powerful monsters guaranteed to savage the enemy.
Kenny Wisdom, a 24 year old who works at a nonprofit for people with developmental disabilities, says he caught the Pokemon craze in its infancy when he was 8 years old, forgot about it for years, and now he spends 28 weekends a year going to Pokemon tournaments, as reported by the News Tribune. “It’s almost entirely how your deck is built.”
However, Sandi Whiton, who is a “Pokemom” rather than a “soccer mom” and was cheering her young son Ian on, explained, “It’s a lot like chess, but it is harder in some respects, because there’s not a typical move you have to do.”