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Freehold Teen Triumphs in 2011 Pokémon City Championships

Dylan Bryan, 17, of Freehold, was crowned City Champion at the Dec. 4, 2011 Pokémon Trading Card Game Tournament in Warwick, RI.

After competing in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Tournament, Dylan Bryan holds the title of City Champion and earned a City Championship medal. 

Pokémon originated in Japan and eventually made its way over to the United States in 1996. It has multiple outlets as a trading card game, a television show, and as a video game. Competitions take the card game to a new level and allow participants to test their knowledge, skills and creativity by battling one another. 

Bryan was first introduced to Pokémon when he was about 6-years-old. Although he enjoyed the game, he eventually grew out of it and tried new things. It wasn’t until a few years ago that Bryan reintroduced himself to the game and began competing in Pokémon tournaments.

“I definitely had some problems in the beginning because I wasn’t aware of how competitive it really was,” recalls Bryan. “I got better over time because I made friends and they helped me get off my feet a little bit and then I got better.” 

There are many different levels of Pokémon competitions starting with the small local tournaments. After the local level there are state level tournaments, regional level tournaments, national level tournaments and then there is the World Tournament. Anyone can compete in the smaller competitions but you need to receive an invitation to compete in the World Competition. 

Although tournaments are very competitive, the people Bryan meets at tournaments are his favorite aspect of the competition.

“The people that play Pokémon are so friendly and personable and everything, it’s cool to meet new people,” said Bryan. 

The most recent competition Bryan competed in was the “Play! Pokémon Trading Card Game City Championship Tournament” in Warwick, RI.  Now an official City Champion, Bryan will continue to compete in smaller tournaments to stay on track to receive his invitation to the World Championship tournament.

“Right now I’m on track to go to World’s again, so if I keep doing what I have been doing I’ll be able to go again,” said Bryan. 

Bryan has already been invited to the Annual Pokémon World Championship four times in recent years and hopes to make this year his fifth. The tournament spans over three days if you have an invitation. Bryan explained that even if you are not invited to compete at the World Championship there is still an opportunity to get in. Days before the actual Championship, hundreds of people come to the site of the World Championship Tournament to compete in a last chance event that will allow some non-invited players to compete at World’s.

Bryan will find out this summer if he will be invited to compete at the World Championship Tournament in Hawaii or if have to battle his way in against hundreds of players. 

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