Orlando Gym Challange 2002 Report
October 8, 2002

FOREWARD: This report was long overdue and I'm sorry for the delay. I promised a bunch of people some prizes from the event, but my supplier never gave me the product I paied for. So I waited until I could send the prizes out before I posted this. I have contacted the Postal Service about this individual and they are hunting this fugitive down. Dont ever mess with the United States Postal Service! Anyways I have sent out replacement prizes to those who were to get the original prize. They should be ariving in your mail box soon, unless you have a change of address! Special Thanks to Master Trainer Mike for the Promo Scyther at Origins, they went towards a good cause!

Wow another year of exciting qualifier events around the corner… now see that's what I would have thought if I was fourteen again. Now my thoughts are full of… The Compendium, DCI Floor Rules, and that hot girl joining the excitement of a booster draft… (heh ;x). Well I do admit booster drafts are quite enjoyable. Orlando Gym Challenge in fact was just like an oversized booster draft, great players, but a limit to eight players.

Pojo.com Buddies!

Okay, Phil, you have just confused me… what are you trying to tell us? It is simple; we had a low attendance from prior years. In fact, the ten and under qualifier tournament itself had only fifteen players! Yikes I know, it almost looked like a small league session from my years ago at a local Toys R Us League. What was a poor ex-GymLeader to do? Well to keep my spirit up the fourteen and under tournament had 36 players competing, while three unhappy souls dropped. On the other hand, the 15+ Tournament had a solid 28 players and not one dropped out of the tournament. Just tells you how much DCI points means to people here in Florida.

Well enough philosophical debate over attendance, lets start from the beginning.… *dreamy flashback sequence*

Location of the Orlando Gym Challange

It was a sunny April Saturday in Central Florida. The breeze was coming out of the northwest at fourty knots. Luckly, I was in a air conditioned car with my loving mother who transported me to the event, a good thirty minuets away. The event this year was not held at a mall, praise the lord. Last year's Orlando STS Qualifier was not reported by me so let me catch some of you up to what exactly happened at the SIMON's own Florida Mall:

Heidi Craig (Primere Organizer) and Randy Curry (DCI Reporter)

"The first thing I see is the new Florida Primere Pokemon Organizer Heidi Craig in a frantic rage with a mall employee and rightfully so. There were not a single table or chair in any direction except at the registration desk. After much debating with the individual with SIMON who promised the space where the event was to be held with equipment, we finally got nearly two thirds of what Heidi requested from him MONTHS in advance. It would turn out that the individual who handled all the equipment was fired from the company a short while after. But no no no, there were more problems! Probably around the third round of all three tournaments Mall Sequrity walked up to the staff working at the registration desk telling us that some of "our" participants were ripping out leaves from watermelon sized planters that were placed around pillers on the outside of the space given. Guess what that would mean for poor Heidi? If management thought the planters could not be used, a planter would be charged to her bill. Praise be to SIMON for not doing that, because Heidi would be ready to go to court over that planter. I cannot clearly see why Mrs. Craig would be required to pay for something that another person she was not aware of and quite possibly had no control over them to apply DCI Penalties over would reflect her. It could have been some random middle aged shopper who is depressed at the prices at SIMON Malls. We will never know. Additionally, another problem was that the table players were playing at were so very close to the walkways of the mall, the judging staff had to many times be called over to stop parental/friend sideline coaching. In the end, the tournament was smooth, no players went through any hardships as experienced by the Staff that day."

Spooky Lights...

This year's tournament was different and I'm happy for Wizards allowing Heidi to sanction her events out of the chaos of a mall. An unusual building but the Knights of Colombus was our event location. It was quite a large facility and had a good area to keep our particpants and spectators seprate for the most part.

Registration Desk AKA Important People Area

Registration desk was way in the back of the building by the restrooms, while the bar/resturant was over in the far right corner where the parents were welcomed to sit.

Disco Fever at The Knights of Colombus?

In the left corner of the building we hosted all of the qualifying age tournaments along with the booster drafts later in the day.

Our First President!

That was also where my friend, the microphone was and the hilarious painting of Christopher Colombus. Colombus looked like the guy off the Quaker Oatmeal Box and George Washington. Adding to the insanity (copyright symbol lurili) was the years he was living somewhere. Obviously not of this earth if he lived for 400. Oatmeal afterlife?


Oatmeal afterlife is not such a freaky idea in itself, the old guy responsible for running the bar during our event never showed his bald head. It is my belief, representing the judging staff at the Orlando Gym Challenge, that this man had a tragic climatic death when he went head first into a warm bowl of apple cinnamen oatmeal before departing for our event. The entire Pojo.com Family would like to give out our Knights of Colombus cook missing in action a toast(er) for his brave actions he did by plunging his head into a hot bowl of oatmeal (with or without water/milk too cool it off). Adults, please do not try this at home.

The way how the Cameraman gets to cut in line...

Some quick thinking by the staff and we decided to order pizza for those who wish to stay and eat when we took our lunch break. This was probably the best choice we could have made. At all the tournaments or conventions I've attended food is worth a pretty penny. Its almost like the convention is like in some foreign country and has to import food in from some remote location. Besides I think nothing compairs to a slice of Pizza Hut's thin and crispy (I think I get money for saying that, I'll have to contact Pizza Hut).

Anyone up for Tennis? Or maybe Team Play?

After registration closed at like around 10:30 AM, we invited the players into the tournament area. I had the task of warming up the crowd, and did some spir of the moment trivia. This is not a good thing when your pressured to ask a question and not know the exact answer. I think we had to pull the compendium to make sure that there were nine energy types, not special energy colorless cards. I think I was lucky not to bring up a Ditto/Blaine's Ninetails/Lt. Surge's Secret Plan question to the audience. Heidi then stole the mikerophone from me and went over some basic tournament mechanics with them. We were quick to stress Cleffa's Eeeeekk attack against another baby Pokemon and that Magby's attack does not work if Magby retreats the next turn. That would have to be the only big eratta we went over in detail, anything else would be brought up in play if the players ask the staff. We had The Compendium handy, as well as the Pokemon Master Rules. I honestly do not know how Heidi managed to print the entire compendium without chopping down an entire wirelife reserve.


Eleven in the morning and the rounds started, with the normal stampede to the parings. Luckly, I don't think we had a big enough crowd to stampede any of the staff who posted the parings. My role today was to Head Judge the ten and under event, even though there was such a small number. Most of the players have played in at least one DCI Tournament before, so we really didn't have many problems. Every tournament I've attended or judged, there has always been someone to not speak up about a problem with the opponent. Unfortunatly that happened in my event, right before the parings for the top eight were being worked out. I feel very sorry for those who do not question something they don't understand, but I tried my best to tell my players that if they have any problems that they should raise their hand to get my attention. The only significant problem I had was some trash talk from one player, and I do not allow any trash talk at all under my management. I can easily tell the diffrence from frendly competitive talk and hurtful insults. I was close to reporting a warning.

Maybe pizza, sodas, and Pokemon are not a health combination after all

The top eight for my event seemed exciting for my players at least, none of which were camera shy to say the least. I don't think the tournament atmosphere for our younger players should be so strict and militerized to the point of where they are not having any fun. I hope that the players had a great time, win or lose, a friendly competitive enviroment. Come next year, I hope to see every single one of them and more of their friends.

(the sexiest Pojo.com contributer is sitting on the end of the table)

After the winner of the tournaments were decided, the staff and anyone who had a ride from the staff, sat down to have a Gym Heroes and Gym Challenge Booster draft. My drawing was not too good, I think I formed some sort of psychic/grass deck, though I could be wrong. After the first round of the tournament, the owners of the Knights of Colombia cult walked in and said we had to get out in like ten minuets. Yikes! I don't know how we managed, but every single table, chair, and trash was put it it/s respectful place in time. The guy said he would charge us every miniute we went over… so I guess we had some good reasoning to move on out. The draft was then moved to a Wendys Resturant down the street. And thus we call it:

We should hold next year's Gym Challange at Wendys!

The Wendys Invitational Draft!

In total I think I went two and three, with some lucky flips with Rocket's Secret Experiment and Misty's Thingy. We had to call a judge for the Misty's card since we really couldn't figure out what we were doing with our hands. Might I add that Pokemon is best served with a bacon cheesburger , a garden side salad, and a Frosty. After all was said and done, and before the manager at the store called the police, we finshed our other rounds, and said goodbye. We would see each other at Origins this summer, my first out of state tournament.

More Pojo.com Buddies!

Anyways, here our the tournament summaries for the age groups:

General Event Information:
Event Registration Started at 9:00 AM
Top 8 Playoffs started at: 4:30 PM for 10 and Under/15 and Older - 5:30 PM for 11-14
Total number of players: Around 80 (including booster draft side events)

Tournament Summary for Pokemon Gym Challenge Orlando 10 and under

Tournament Staff:
Head Judge - Philip McKinney
Organizer - Heidi Craig

Rounds started: 11:00 AM
Number of rounds completed: 5

Final Result:
1. Brianna Bonham
2. Taylor Myers
3. Corey Johnson
4. Carly Heventhal
5. Miranda Craig
6. Cody Goodman
7. Davis Bonham
8. Orion Craig

The final was a single-elimination with 8 players

Final standings after round 5:
1. Bonham, Brianna
2. Myers, Taylor
3. Johnson, Corey
4. Craig, Miranda
5. Heventhal, Carly
6. Goodman, Cody
7. Bonham, Davis
8. Craig, Orion
9. Azpurua, Daniel
10. Crowell, TJ
11. Boulter, Kayleigh
12. Richard, Davis
13. Troconis, Rogelio
14. Moon, Matthew
15. Courtney, James

Round 1: Courtney, James
Round 2: Crowell, TJ
Round 3: Richard, David
Round 4: Moon, Matthew
Round 5: Troconis, Rogelio



Tournament Summary for Pokemon Gym Challenge Orlando 11-14

Tournament Staff:
Head Judge - Ron Roby
Organizer - Heidi Craig

Rounds started at: 11:00 AM
Number of rounds completed: 6

Final result:
1 Joey Fulford
2 Edward Butler
3 Puck Pottburg
4 Brandon Reeves
5 Stephen Silvestro
6 Mat Moore
7 Bryson Bonham
8 Jesse Poms

The final was a single-elimination with 8 players

Final standings after round 6
1. Silvesttro, Stephen
2. Moore, Matt
3. Butler, Edward
4. Pottberg, Puck
5. Bonham, Bryson
6. Poms, Jesse
7. Reeves, Brandon
8. Fulford, Joey
9. Wright, Brent
10. Moon, DJ
11. Platt, Alex
12. Chisholm, Josh
13. Peterson, Zack
14. Fischer, Geoffrey
15. Tavenner, Jerry
16. Bennett, Stacy
17. Strode, Spenser
18. Bock, Chris
19. Poore, Chris
20. Wener, Eric
21. Harper, Nicholas
22. Edwards, April
23. Miller, Kevin
24. Cruz, Michael
25. Curry, Aaron
26. Listopad, Andrei
27. Markovic, Aleksandar
28. Tusing, Tim
29. Caspanello, Anthony
30. Olonoff, Nathan
31. Stephens, Jacob
32. Azpurua, Roque
33. Santo, Tim
34. Doyon, Ryan
35. Gari, Cody
36. Miller, Adam
37. Mariarossi, Chris
38. Neill, Andrew
39. Jackson, Brandon

Round 1: Bennett, Stacy
Round 2: Caspanello, Anthony
Round 3: Miller, Kevin
Round 4: Stephens, Jacob
Round 5: Mariarossi, Chris

After round 3: Jackson, Brandon
After round 3: Neill, Andrew
After round 5: Gari Cody

Tournament Summary for Pokemon Gym Challenge Orlando 15+

Tournament Staff:
Head Judge - Thomas Ybarra
Organizer - Heidi Craig

Rounds started at: 11:00 AM
Number of rounds completed: 5

Final result:
1 Dakota, Williams
2 George, Gasway
3 Vijay, Seixas
4 Ryeland, Barnard
5 John, Silvestro
6 Douglas, Zuver
7 Thomas, Wysuph
8 AJ, Lurgio
The final was a single-elimination with 8 players

Final standings after swiss round 5:
1. Seixas, Vijay
2. Williams, Dakota
3. Silvestro, John
4. Zuver, Douglas
5. Gasway, George
6. Barnard, Ryeland
7. Wysuph, Thomas
8. Lurgio, AJ
9. Paxton, Robert
10. Richard, Daniel
11. Bradford, Bill
12. Grooms, Eric
13. Mirza, Kassim
14. Hoo, Andrew
15. Burdett, Brandon
16. Bennett, Mark
17. Tusing, Timothy
18. Richard, Eric
19. Aronoff, Eric
20. Bayes, Eric
21. VanDeventer, Stephan
22. Santos, David
23. Fragale, Jason
24. Edwards, Jim
25. Bennett, Jonathan
26. Schroder, Melinda
27. Maxwell, Daniel
28. Maxwell, Cory




If you made it all the way down here, I'm amazed. What is even more amazing is that I have started my own website devoted to the Pokemon TCG here in Florida. This doesnt mean I'm leaving the Dojo of the Pojo! However I'll be working on both sites, but mine is for a local audience. If you dont live in Florida, that means you not supposed to read it... it's PokemonFLORIDA not PokemonIDAHO! Anyways check it out and I hope to see all of you at next year's Gym Challange.

PS: Sources tell me that there will be two Gym Challanges in Florida next year!