Great Super Trainer Showdown 

The Super Trainer Showdown in Long Beach was an incredible event, both in magnitude and imagination; the focus, however, of this article is on complaints.  It really disgusts me to see all the complaints concerning the event.  A primary point ought be remembered before speaking negatively in any manner concerning the Super Trainer Showdown: it was all free, as in without monetary cost.  Thatís quite an offer considering the event cost thousands of dollars to organize and run.  Despite this fact, people are complaining about a lack of organization primarily. 

While I can see how they might view the event as unorganized, it was a very large event, and the number of people that came to it was quite unexpected.  Under the circumstances, I believe Wizards of the Coast and the Queen Mary handled it quite well.  People should not have expected to be able to enter the tournament without an invitation, unless they came very early.  The problem is that many people came around 8:00 when the registration was going to start, expecting to be admitted, but at that time, there were already many, many people, who had been waiting in line for an hour or more.  The tournament operators allowed as many people in as they could, and it seems they compensated the rest, which was definitely above and beyond the call of duty, as no promise was ever made to anyone without an invitation that they could enter the tournament. 

As for myself, I did not plan to enter the tournament as I only had two badges and no invitation.  I came at 5:00 a.m., there was no one else there.  I understand that some people had come earlier expecting others to be there and left finding none, but I was the first to come and stay.  The next person showed up around 5:30, and they trickled in slowly at first, and then the started arriving more quickly as time went on.  Several people decided to cut place in line especially when the line was moved away from the ship.  I saw some people just walk right to the front of the line as if they belonged there, but of course, being there since 5:00, I knew that they had just arrived.  This did not bother me, as I figured, it made little difference whether I was first or thirty-first, but some people further back in the line were reasonably upset. 

At 8:00, when the registration began, a few mistakes were made, by some confused tournament operators, and I ended up at the back of the entire line by 8:15 as I had been poorly directed.  It little mattered to me, I still got in rather early, and had fun at a totally free event.  Not only that, but movie passes and booster packs were given away for free at this free event, and photos (digital or Polaroid) with Dark Raichu were also free.  Many other free little things were given away.  No one left empty handed.  It was a great event all together, and I had a really great time attending.  The children were all generally well-behaved.  What I saw of the behavior of the adults present at the event sickened me.  I saw a lady, who had cut into the front of the line previously, become quite irate when her sons were denied entry into the tournament because they did not have their badge books.  I saw several other adults behaving obnoxiously, as well as disrespectful older children. 

I heard so many complaints throughout the day about lines, and how the event was unorganized, or how bizarre the people coming to the event were (this came from a lady, who was only there because here kids begged her).  Well, Iíve probably bored you with this article, but that was the negative part of the event.  Not how people didnít get in, not how unorganized everything was, but how people whined and complained.  If only they could have behaved like their young children, who had a great time and rarely if ever complained.  And the most important things to remember is that: a.  It was free! (and I would have paid if it hadnít been; it was worth it) and b.  No one forced anyone to go, you came by your own decision. 

Noah Sherrill