Tulsa man to compete in national Pokémon tournament
BY NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Friday, October 26, 2012
10/26/12 at 5:45 AM
Ty Smith, 19, has only been playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game for about a year.
But earlier this month, he won first place in his division at the Pokémon Autumn Regional Championships, held in Houston. That earned him an all-expense paid trip to compete in the national tournament, to be held in Indianapolis in July.
"I got pretty good at it pretty fast," Smith said.
One of Smith's best friends got him interested in the game, which Smith said he originally thought was childish. But then he got hooked.
"I really liked the math and strategy behind it," he said. "It was appealing to me."
The game, created in Japan in 1996, is based on a videogame series by the same name. Hundreds of cards are available, and the game is played with a deck of 60.
Smith, who has lived in Tulsa for about two years, plays in the Masters Division, which is for players born in 1996 or earlier. The other two divisions are Senior, for those born between 1997 and 2000, and Junior, for those born in 2001 or later.
Smith is one of five Masters Division regional champions from across North America to earn the travel award to compete at the 2013 Pokémon U.S. National Championships. There, he will compete for an invitation to the 2013 Pokémon World Championships held in August in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Last year, Smith attended both the national and world Pokémon championships, placing 45th in each, he said.
Smith originally did not plan to participate in any Pokémon tournaments this year. But when a friend offered him a place to stay during the Regional Championships, Smith decided to go ahead and compete. Now that he has received an invitation to Nationals, he says he feels obligated to follow it through and try to make it to the World Championships.
But whether he gets invited to the world tournament or not, he plans on attending because he said he has made so many friends through the game.
Smith says preparing for a tournament mainly involves practicing by playing lots of games. He does most of his practicing online with a player in Stillwater and another in Singapore.
About 1,100 people will compete in the Masters Division at the national tournament, Smith said. There were about 300 in his division at the regional championship.
Original Print Headline: Tulsan rising in Pokémon competition
Nour Habib 918-581-8369
Ty Smith won first place at the Pokémon Autumn Regional Championships earlier this month, earning an all-expense paid trip to compete in the national tournament next year. Courtesy