P_A's story of how I got to where I am today.
by, 09/08/2009 at 07:26 PM (3124 Views)
So here I am, with little to no knowledge of the game, and only about 3 actual games under my belt heading off to a pokemon store with my son and daughter in tow. LOL, boy what a learning experience! I get in there (it was held on the second floor of a mall), and kids were running up and down the hall screaming what they got in their packs. Now as collectors, we're thinking that this is a great place since very few packs were opened in the flea market, so we walk in, and buy some packs. However we asked if there was some place to play the game (since we obviously just learned), and low and behold it was that very day that the league was held at the store, in the back room! Wow, what a coincidence! So we walk in, not knowing what to expect and a very friendly lady and her daughter ask us about what card we have and start handing us promo after promo after promo! Holy smokes, I was soooo surprised! What a day! Of course we didn't get any playing done, since at that point we were still collectors, but in the next couple weeks we bought some starter decks, and more cards, and tweeked them to make some decks for both my son and I. It wasn't too long that Josh started winning tournaments at league, and we never looked back. When Wizards made the professor ranks, I proudly became one of them, and to be honest, I was the first Master Professor in Ontario. Josh, my son became the youngest professor ever (somehow Wizards goofed and allowed him to take the test a few weeks before he turned 15 - which he passed) and later became a master professor as well, and we were both able to grandfather our professorship when PUI took over pokemon. Of course it wasn't all roses though. The wonderfully warm and friendly lady and her daughter turned against a few people from their league, one of which was me - because they weren't taking the compendium seriously and in a charity event caused a huge controversy, and quite a few crying kids. I sided with the compendium, and a few friends I'd met from the pokemonzeo website over some older friends who I knew to be completely wrong - but to this day can't remember the exact ruling that was the cause of the trouble. In any case, a friend and I, who were fed up with being ostracized looked around and started a league of our own. This was the rise of the "most stable and longest running league in Canada" in the words of a representative of POP, and the downfall of the older league run by this other lady. It wasn't too long after that (in fact less than 3 months) that the other league closed down. Honestly, I was sad that it went - even though they blamed us for it's downfall.
Shortly after starting our own league, PUI took control over pokemon. It was quite a stir, let me tell you. People were wondering whether or not this was going to fly. Some even thought that since Wizards took out 15+ age group that maybe things would be worse with PUI. Thankfully it was not so! Up here we even got the prereleases, and cool events involving the ruby/sapphire cartridge games. Josh placed well in the event and won a Sapphire game (he already had Ruby), so he gave it to me! That's what got me hooked on the games as well. I spent many hours on that game - over 600 - many of which I spent doing that when I should have been doing many other things! It was hard to put down let me tell you. Same with just about every other pokemon game produced since! So all during this time, I had kept up with being a professor, and running events as I was allowed. I even got asked to become a PTO, but since I allowed another PTO to run events in my store, I would have had to run events over an hour from my own league store! However since the PTO and I had made a deal that if I was asked he'd give up my store, I felt confident that I'd have the job. So I call him up, and call in his part of the bargain, and guess what? I was betrayed! All he would say was, 'sorry, I can't do that now.' I was rather disappointed in him for quite some time. but in the end we settled down to a working relationship that was decent but obviously much more advantageous to him. I just love the game, and wanted to play and organize the best way I knew how. I've always given out more than I get for these events and many people came out because of that. I got the chance to be the head judge of 3 Canadian Nationals, and was offered a trip to BC for another one (which I couldn't attend due to a scheduling conflict). I've been wonderfully blessed to become a mod here on the gym - both as a trade mod, and a global mod, and last year I finally got my chance to become a PTO when POP decided to expand operations in Ontario. Even then, controversy seems to follow me, with the other PTO trying to steal a venue out from all my hard work - in the end it turned out alright, since I was able to retain the venue, which has been very well supported. Yeah, I have to admit, I love this game, and have found many good friends because of it. However I'm not without some form of controversy. I admit, sometimes I deserve some of the things that happened to me, due to poor judgement on my part, but I have always had the best interests of pokemon in mind. What I've done has made me who I am. And I've learned a lot. To be honest, other than the opportunity to become a PTO earlier in my career (which passed me by through no fault of my own), I wouldn't change a thing. I will always want to help out, and do the best I can for others, and although I currently have retired from doing league for personal reasons, I still hope that the Barrie Ontario league at Gamer's Lair will continue long into the future. It's got some great people involved in it - people that I've grown to admire, and like a lot. Hopefully time will tell if we made a difference. Good luck guys. I wish you all the success in the new season.
PS: this blog represents the opinion of the participant and does not nessessarily reflect the opinion of other parties. Names have been omitted to protect even the not so innocent (yeah, I know the real word for that - GUILTY!). Any errors in this blog I take full responsibility for, but the events above really happened, and are true, and factual in all respects.