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Darkash
02/23/2004, 02:40 PM
The Pokemon Center CC
-Or-
A poorly run, poorly judged, poorly timed tournament run by heavily biased people who shoulden't be given permission to run a checkers tournament, much less a Pokemon CC

Notice the second title? That's pretty much my impression of the Pokemon Center after yesterday. But first, a decklist is in order. (This is purely from memory, so it might not be 100% accurate)

Fossil Fuel

Pokemon-9
2 Anorith (Fast Evolution)
4 Armaldo
1 Lileep (Time Spiral)
2 Omastar (SS)
Trainers-37
4 Claw Fossil
3 Root Fossil
2 Mysterious Fossil
4 Desert Shaman
4 Mystery Plate Alpha
1 Mystery Plate Delta
1 Energy Search
3 Pokenav
3 Moo-Moo Milk
2 Warp Point
4 Rare Candy
3 Crystal Shard
3 Professor Elm's Training Method
Energy-14
14 :fighting: Energy

That's right, I ran a fossil mulligan deck. It actually went 3-1 the day before at Milford, so I had high hopes for today. Boy, was I wrong...
I got up at 4:15 AM Sunday Morning (after falling asleep at 11:30 the night before, because I went to Milford) and rode to a strip mall about 30 minutes from my house. There I met up with the "Johnny Blaze group", all of whom (except for Ben, who coulden't make it) had been to Milford the previous day, like me. The group consisted of Johnny Blaze and his son, Nick, plus one of Nick's friends and Ben, the father of a player who coulden't make it because of basketball. We rode for an hour and a half before making it to the train station for a two hour train ride to Grand Central Terminal, which is only a short walk from the Pokemon Center. We arrived there to find that the store was closed. (They coulden't have opened it early on the day of a Pokemon CC?) So we walked next door to the concourse, where the tournament was held, a stone's throw from the famous Rockafeller Center ice rink. (Well, if a stone could be thrown through the glass there)
We sat and playtested until about 10:15, when we went upstairs to see if they had begun registration. They had, and it was there that we recieved our first unplesent suprise of the day. They wanted full decklists. And not just the card's name, the amount of them that were in the deck, and the set of the card. They also wanted the card's specific number, and they wanted it on their own deck sheets, as opposed to the DCI ones. So we walked back to the concourse and filled out the sheets. (I didn't have a decklist handy, so I had to seperate my deck out. :( ) Then we went back to the store, gave them our decklists, and paid up. The tournament had a 11:00 AM start time, so went back to the concourse to wait. 11:00 came... and went. Then 11:30, then 12:00. Finally, at about 12:40, the tournament was ready to start. We were waiting for decklist to be posted, but instead we heard them shout: "Everybody be quiet! We are going to announce the first round parings". Of course, we coulden't hear them very well, because of the horrible acoustics in the concourse. Then, they started to shout out the parings!!! Of course, after every announcement, there was a flurry of noise as people commented on the parings. After everyone was seated, the two 10- players in our group were both paired with older kids, and they wern't the only ones who were paired in the wrong division. After about 5-10 minutes of waiting, they decided to change the pairings. So again , we got to listen to them call out our pairings. After we were all seated, I found out yet another unplesant wrinkle of this tournament. They didn't allow ANY startup time. You were only allowed to draw your hand and set out basics after they started the round. (And the 30 minute clock). Of course, this is horrible for Fossil Mulligan, because of the time necessary to draw the right opening hand. Also, they had no way to print up match slips (they were using DCI Reporter, another boneheaded move), which meant that all results were given by word of mouth to the wondering judges. Anyway, I began to play my first round:

Round 1: Fossil Fuel Vs. Gardy EX.
Just my luck. Not only can I not pull the right hand, after about 20 mulligans, but he opens with Wynaut as his starter. (Of course, since any player will probaly have all the cards they need in their opening hand, they will probaly just start with Ralts or Wobuffet, not Wynaut. But not this time) I was able to pull a first turn Shaman, but pulled neither Anorith or Elm's Training Method. However, I pulled another Shaman and some energy, so I had a chance. He attached energy to Wynaut and attacked. I pulled Mystery Plate Alpha :thumb: , attached a second energy to Claw Fossil, attached Mystery Plate Alpha, and Shamaned. I pulled neither Armaldo, Elm's Training, or even a Rare Candy, so I was forced to Desert Burn for a Elm's Training. He attacked with Wynaut again, after evolving a benced Ralts to Kirilia and attaching an energy. I pulled nothing, used Elm's Training, and got Anorith. I fast evolutioned for Armaldo, and he attahed another energy to his Kirilia before evolving to Gardy EX. I knocked out his Wynaut, but coulden't get Gardy, and although he couldne't pull the fourth energy for Psystorm for a while, he still manged to overwhelm me.

0-1
I met up with our two -10 players and asked them how they did. (Even after the re-pairing, they both still played 11-14 division players.) Nick won his game, but his friend Jacob didn't. He used Salamance's Dragon Wind, and tried to tell his opponent what to bring up. Although the Compendium states that that is how Salamance is meant to be played, (The opponent is, in 2 on 2 play, allowed to choose which defending pokemon to switch out. That was where the confusion originally came from) the judges ruled in his opponent's favor. (The first of many biased rulings that day.) Also, his opponent had 40 damage on his Chansey EX that "magically vanished". (Jacob called his opponent on it, but the judges ignored his complaint) Jacob was almost in tears after that game. John won, and Ben lost? (Not too sure on what Ben did all day) They called lunch, and we went to Sabarro's for pizza. Afterwards, we went back, and began the second round. (By the way, in this round and all the one's after it

Round 2: Fossil Fuel Vs. Random Junk
Wow, was this game easy. After about a million mulligans (and no Shaman to boot), he only played two energy all game. He also tried to play a Memory Berry as an Elm's Training Method, and he tried to attach Oran Berry to a Pokemon who already had a tool. I caught him both times, though. He went down quick, for the easiest game of the tournament, and possibly my life.

1-1

I walked over to Nick's game to see how he was doing, (He was still paired with a 11-14 division player) I got there just in time to Nick fry his opponent's Raichu EX, bringing him one prize away from winning. Suddenly, his opponent claimed that Nich had only earned 4 prizes. (Flaffy, a Mareep, and the Raichu EX ) Nick claimed that he had knocked out two Mareeps, and that his opponent had taken one from his discard pile and put it back into play. Of course, the judges ruled against Nick, and he was told to add a prize card. He lost the game a short time later, probally because the ruling had thrown him off his game. Now he was the one almost in tears. We told him that all he needed to do was win in the next round to put himself back in the tournament. However, when they posted the new pairings... (oh, by the way, Jacob lost again and John lost)

Round 3: Fossil Fuel Vs. Nick C.
Yes, that's right, I (a 15+ player!) got paired up with Nick (the same one from out group, yes), who's a 10- player. I felt guilty, but I knew I had to win to keep my own chances alive. I finally started with the right hand (Shaman, Mystery Plate Alpha, Claw Fossil, and Energy), and got off to a very quick start. Nick's deck coulden't handle my third turn Armaldo shutting off supporters, and he lost fairly quickly.

2-1
Just what I wanted to do, beat up on a 10- kid from my group. This, on a better note, was the only round where no one in my group had problems with cheating or bad rulings. John won and Jacob got a free win when his opponent didn't show up. Then, the fourth round was posted:

Round 4: Fossil Fuel Vs. Peter Ortiz (Playing Gengar)

More luck, catching a deck with built in resistence to my Armaldo. I was again able to pull the right starting hand, but after my Shaman, he still pulled a Haunter and evolved it. I killed his active, but he brought up Haunter and put me to sleep. Of course, I couldne't heads, and he was able to Dream Eater me once. I was able to kill Haunter eventually, thanks to some lucky Moo-Moo Milks, but not before he built up a Gengar on the bench, and he killed Armaldo with Hide in Shadows on his next turn. I brought up Lileep, attached an energy to it, and influenced an Anorith out of my deck. He did 40 and switched. I attached a second energy to Lileep and Time Spiraled, targeting his Gengar. I flipped a heads, forcing him to shuffle the Gengar (but not the cards underneath) into his deck. He brought up Haunter and Nighmared, but I Warp Pointed and Moo-Mooed 20 off of him. We went back and forth, with me using Time Spiral successfully to get rid of another Gengar before I lost Lileep, but I didn't Rare Candy a benched Mysterious Fossil to Omastar when I should have, and he was able to Chaos Move some damaged to it to KO it. He was able to beat me in a tight game.

After this game, I looked over to next table, where John was playing his round. As I watched, he pulled up a fully powered Wobuffet against his opponent's Gardy EX, and hit it for 100. He only had two prizes left. His opponent switched to another Gardy EX with 40 damage, and stalled for about a minute by looking through his discard pile, then let John go. John immediatly attacked with Wobuffet, meaning that his opponent would lose on the next turn, as he had nothing else benched. As his opponent began to take his turn (and stall it out as much as he could), John asked a judge with a stopwatch how much time was left. The judge replied "about 2 minutes", and John nodded, satificied that not even this guy could stall for two minutes by doing nothing. My watch said there was more like three minutes left, but it didn't matter. About 30 seconds after the judge told John how much time was left, the head judge called time, to both John's and my chargin. Despite our compaints, and the fact that there was a judge standing RIGHT THERE watching them play ,and watching John's opponent stall, the game went down as a tie,
(They both had two prizes), putting John out of the running at 2-1-1. Nick won his game, as did Jacob. As it turned out, according to someone who had been near the table when time was called, the judge had cut the round a few minutes short, because the tournament had to be done by 5:00 :mad: . (Maybe if they hadn't started the tournament a hour and a half late...) Anyway, I went into the fifth round out of the running, but willing to still try to win.

Round 5: Fossil Fuel Vs. Grass deck.

The first, last, and only grass deck I face, which is good, because grass is a big weakness for me. I got the right opening hand quickly, but my opponent put my second turn Armaldo to sleep twice with Roselia, and I failed to wake up both times. He then hit me for 60 damage with Ninjask, and I pulled nothing else. He beat me.

2-3

A deck that went 3-1 at Milford going 2-3 at the Pokemon Center; sounds about right.
:nonono: I went to watch John's last game. He was getting owned, but his opponent coulden't pull a big bench, giving John the chance to win by benching her out. His opponent was down to one prize as time was winding down, and John wanted to know how much time was left. He asked a judge, who said that he didn't know, because he was'nt keeping the official time. (He was the judge who told John that there was two minutes left in the last round) John asked him to go ask the head judge, but before he got there, time was called. (Personally, I was wondering if the judge had bought his watch from one of NYC's famous street venders, as my digital watch said that there was still five minutes to go in the round). The girl would have gotten a two point win, but she whined to the judges about John "stalling" (for about twenty
seconds, when he was waiting for the judge to come back with the official time), and they gave her the three point win. And yet, when John's opponent was clearly stalling in round four, with a judge watching, John wasn't given the win he clearly deserved. Hmm, wonder if the girl John played was a league regular at the Pokemon Center... As it turned out, Nick was the only one who placed in the tournament, going fourth despite the fact that he had equal points to everyone else in 10- division, with him having played only one girl that was actually in his division. (If there is anyone with a child who placed in the 10- top four, please, post and tell us how many wins your child had. According to Nick, there was no one in his division who had more than nine points, which is what he had.) We left (an hour and a half late, due to the late start pf the tournament), and took the long way back to the train station, passing through Times Square on the way. We got back home at about 10:00, after a long and irritating day, and we vowed to never go to the Pokemon Center again unless they made some massive changes to their judging.
In closing, I would like to state that Nintendo should not stand for this. This tournament was run using DCI Reporter, with poor rulings called, time cut short of the thirty minutes we were told each round was before the tournament began :nonono: , and with heavily biased judges making calls that were not consistant. Also, they matched up the two 10- kids in our group with 14 and 15 year olds for the majority of their matches, including the first round. I call on everyone who reads this post and goes to the Pokemon Center on a regular basis to boycott any tournament they hold until they make massive changes to their judging staff and tournament procedures.

JohnnyBlaze
02/23/2004, 06:10 PM
Great report from Memory Steve. Just th ink they are having a Pre-release in 3 weeks. Wanna go? lol :D

nikePK
02/23/2004, 06:25 PM
Wow Darkash, that really stinks. Hopefully you're next big tournament will prove to be a whole lot better organized, less biased, and most importantly, more fun. Definitley let Nintendo know about this lol.