Pokemon 10th Anniversary National Video Game Championship: Journey Across America; a semi-finalists’ story. By Clint, Portland, Oregon qualifier, 12 & under. Day 1: My parents and I get in the town car that Pokemon USA sent to the airport to pick us up and take us to the Millenium Hotel. I didn’t quite have my team ready so I put the finishing touches on that once we arrived. We walked around town and I bought my first of several hot dogs from the street vendor. I register, turn in my game pack, get my photo taken and get a nice goodie bag of snacks and a yellow t-shirt. All participants went to dinner at 7pm followed by the showing of the movie Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. I got to see some friends who also qualified; Austin and Kayhon. After the movie we got another goodie bag with plush Pokemon, a poster, backpack, etc. My team: Regirock, Zapdos, Groudon, Mewtwo, Ho-oh, Rayquaza. Tournament Day Tues. Aug. 8: Anyone that wanted to be on TV had to meet in the lobby at 7:15. So there I was with some fellow contestants. We walked to Bryant Park where the tournament was held. We watched the large Pikachu float balloon inflated. At 8:00 we were shown on NY1 TV and they interviewed some of us. Walked back to hotel to meet up with the rest of the contestants to then walk back to the park. The tournament started late because the projector screen had some glitches. Finally got underway. Hulk Hogan presented a proclamation from the mayor of NYC making this “Pokemon Day.” We contestants ran off stage to get back to the tent for battling. In the meantime dancers, singers and folks in costume performed on stage. Battle stations were set up like the mall tours except there were a few large screen TVs that projected some battles out to the crowd. Round 1: I battled a kid from Idaho, the Salt Lake City winner. I won. Round 2, I won but close battle. Round 3 I won again, this time easily. Now I’m top 4 and “in the prizes”. Between rounds NY1 TV interviewed lots of the contestants. Round 4, semi-finals and finals was up on the large stage. They round us up and make us hang out behind stage for a while. Then I battle on stage with the battle projected on the huge screen. I lost, but before I left they handed me a trophy weighing about 30 pounds! The guy I lost to came in second. I got a prize package with a watch, jacket, a light, 5 future DS games. I met Hulk Hogan back stage and chatted with the other players. The crowd cheered on the players. What a blast! The park was decorated with lots of Pokemon characters (blow-ups, ceramic figures and people in costume). They had free downloads like the mall tours plus a flying Pikachu. Other events included TCG demo, video game demo with gameboys, Pokemon store, spin the wheel to win a prize, etc. The park was filled with Pokemon fans. So as a semi-finalist I tied for 3rd:clap: . What a day! My family walked around Manhattan. The Pokemon Center is now the Nintendo World store. I was disappointed as there were very few items for purchase (I expected lots of Pokemon merchandise) and there were no downloads. Thanks to all who helped me prepare for the tournament: Travis & Team Rocket, Kayhon, Marvin, Christian, William and Reid.