Close Calls for Gym Members at VA State Championships

The Fincastle Pokemon Gym Leaders traveled to Richmond on Saturday for the Virginia State Championships.  We haven’t had a chance to pin down the numbers, but the Virginia Championships fielded about 140 players.  There were 75 masters, 22 juniors and about 40 seniors.  Masters played 7 rounds with a top cut of 16, while juniors played 5 rounds with a top cut of 4.  The top 8 places in each age group earned prizes.

The Juniors:

Apparently word travels fast in the Pokemon circles about Gym Leader Logan’s winning deck from the NC State Championships.  Logan opened with a challenger (eventual finalist) that countered his strategy, leading to an opening round loss.  Despite the loss, Logan battled back to win the next three rounds, leaving him poised to “top cut” again at 3-1.  In the 5th and final round, Logan had a back and forth battle that came down to each player having 1 prize card left.  Logan’s opponent took the last prize to gain entry into the top cut, dropping Logan into 6th place for the day.  While disappointed in missing the cut, Logan still finished in the prizes.  His 2 week total of 10 wins and 2 losses over the 2 state championships places him firmly in the ranks of the top juniors in the country and in the hunt for a bid to the World Championships in August.  Once all the results are processed, we’ll have to wait and see if he tops the rankings in Virginia.

Georgia opened with a win and managed to win a 2nd before it was all said and done in a tough field of juniors that consisted almost entirely of 9 and 10 year olds.  Georgia, at 5 yrs old, continues to amaze organizers, players and parents alike by competing in a complex game that requires reading/comprehension, math, patience and strategy.

Fincastle Gym member Tyler D also entered into the fray, his 1st State Championship tournament.  At the Gym, Tyler has proved to be one of our best trainers.  Today he definitely made the transition to success at the top level in organized play.  After opening with 2 losses, Tyler regrouped and then battled his way to 3 straight wins and a 10th place finish.  While just missing the prize positions, it was still an excellent performance.  Great job to all the juniors!

Masters:

Gym Leader Joel entered today’s tournament trying to build on the success of his 22nd place last week in NC.  After an opening round win, Joel was “donked” in the 2nd round (lost in the 1st turn without ever drawing a card or getting a chance to play one) and then lost again in the 3rd round in a game where he could not get set up until it was too late.  At this point, it looked like the day for him was over.  However, in Gym Leader fashion, a very determined (and aggravated) Joel rolled off 4 straight wins to finish the day at 5-2.  With 12 players tied at 5-2, it was down to the standings and computer tie-breakers to determine the top 16.  It was definitely “not in the cards” for the Gym Leader, as the computer ranked Joel 17th, 1 spot out of the top cut.  What can you do?  In a field of “Luxchomp” and “Gyarados” copies, the Gym Leader can’t help but take pride in his play and the “rogue” deck that he and Logan created together.  Guess it won’t be long until it is our deck that is being copied across the country.

It was another great weekend with some definite ups and downs.  The day’s promos items and door prizes again strengthened the league’s supply of items to share with all who come to the Gym.  Come by to practice with us and let us share our experience.  See you at the Gym!

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