A champion in the making

At 12, Aaron Nolan of Bellevue took first place in the Pokemon City Championship Dec. 9 in Renton. - Courtesy of Bobb Nolan
At 12, Aaron Nolan of Bellevue took first place in the Pokemon City Championship Dec. 9 in Renton.
— image credit: Courtesy of Bobb Nolan

He will be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch them all is his real test, to train them is his cause.

While he may not be a Master Trainer just yet, Bellevue 12-year-old Aaron Nolan became one of the newest champions in the trading card game for Pokemon, the Japanese import that has proven consistently popular in the U.S. for more than 15 years.

Like the video game of the same name, “trainers” pit six monsters against each other in battle, one at a time. Unlike the video game, they draw cards for attack energy, and other advantages against their opponent. There’s a fair amount of chance involved in winning.

“I felt pretty good (about winning),” Nolan said. “I got lucky. You can just play (a match) and your opponent draws nothing.”

Nolan won first place in the senior division — for players 11 to 14 years old — of the Pokemon City Championship held Dec. 9 in Renton. For his victory, he earned a trophy, 18 trading card booster packs and 50 points toward his ranking in Organized Play of the trading card game— 450 points would earn him an invitation to the world championships in August.

He began playing the card game competitively when he was 8 years old, a year after receiving his first deck. He also plays the franchise video games competitively, competing at the World Championship in Vancouver, B.C. earlier in 2013.Nolan said he plans to compete in more city championships while on holiday in California.

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