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Top o’ the World Player Profile

Name Steve Sperling
Ranking 7 (as of 05/29/2001)
Stanton Island, NY
Age 12

1) How did you get into this game?
      I got into the videogames (gameboy) from kids in my school. It seemed that everyone was playing it and I wanted to see how it was. I got into the Pokemon TCG from my friend Phil Mondiello. (currently #1 globally)  He taught me how to play and then I came in second in a four person tournament at his house.

2) What do you like about it?
      I like that Pokemon is DCI sanctioned and that it could be respected as much as Magic: The Gathering by older players. I recently tought 16 year old Magic players to play Pokemon and now they play in the Pokemon tournaments! I also consider the Super Trainer Showdown to be the Pro Tour of Pokemon and I like that.

3) What don’t you like about it?
      I don’t like the COINFLIPS, or the very BROKEN cards. Why can’t this game be a little more balanced like Magic. I also think for the STS and the Qualifiers they should give out money instead of packs. I think it would make more people want to go to these events.

4) What’s your favorite deck to play?
      My favorite deck to play is my Wiggly/R. Zapdos/ Cleffa / Ditto/ Scyther / Hitmonchan variant because it beats down at the store I go to. I’m sure it wont work out there in the crazy world of Pokemon but until I see that people are getting SMARTER and using better cards at my store i’ll just stick to what I have and run with it.

5) What do you think is the strongest deck in the current environment?
      In MY current enviorment the Turbo Wigglytuff decks are a bit of a challenge but I usually go 5-0 anyway.

6) What deck do you hate to play against?
      I hate playing against any deck that has Chaos Gym unless I get Cleffa out beforehand. How do you think it feels to lose to a kid with a 1300 rating with a Chaos Gym and flip tails 16 times, OUCH!!

7) What would your “Top 10 Best Pokémon” list look like?
      1) Rocket’s Zapdos
      2) Cleffa
      3) Electabuzz
      4) Ditto
      5) Scyther
      6) Sneasal
      7) Wigglytuff
      8) Slowking
      9) Murkrow
      10) Hitmonchan              

8) Top 5 trainers?
      1) Professor Oak
      2) Computer Search
      3) Item Finder
      4) Super Energy Removal
      5) Chaos Gym     

9) Where do you usually play?
      I usually play at a sore called Alternate Realm on Sundays or Phil’s tournaments called The Outer Limits. I sometimes go to Jim Hurley’s ( Ranked 11 Globally) place called the BattleGround in Brooklyn.
10) Who is your most difficult competition?
      Phil Mondiello is my most toughest competiton because out of the 5,000+ times I played him I might of only beat him 100 times. I remeber back then when I was using Raindance and Phil was using a Dragonite Removal deck. Those were the days.

11) What do you win at tournaments?
      I win usually six packs at regular tournaments, but at the STS qualifiers, scince me and Phil share cards with three other people we went home with 3 booster boxes.

12) What are some of your most thrilling victories?
      My most thrilling victorty was actually a loss for me. I was playing Jason Imperiale last match in the ECSTS qualifiers last year, 7/2/00, 3rd tournament for the Qualifiers at Huntington Station Long Island on the first day. I was so pumped up about qualifying that I Oaked 5 times on the first turn. Jason looked at me like I was crazy and I lost a weird match

13) And your most devastating losses?
      I just hate when I lose to the Chaos Gym Darm Muck variant that a kid in my store plays. He won on luck and only luck and sometimes thats why I get annoyed at this game sometimes.

14) Did you compete in the TMB, STS, or any other large-scale tournaments? If you did, how’d ya do?
      I competed in the ECSTS last year and did really bad. I got really sick from the Hot Dogs on the sixth round and had to drop that  round to get to the bathroom. After I felt better I went 6-0 at the King of the Hill Event.     

15) If you had to ban one card, what would you ban?
      I would ban Oak so games coun last longer and be more fun.

16) What deck do you think is the funnest to play?
      Me and my friend Sean McGowan were over Phil’s house and we were drafting Pokemon cards. We just took a stack of cards and passed them around. Sean ended up taking all the Team Rocket’s Mewoths, Tickle Machines, and Sleep,Sleep’s. When he was playing Phil he was killing himself with the Team Rockets Meowth and using Slowbro’s Lazy Attack. He was doing it so funny and awkwardly that me and Phil were laughing on the floor and Sean got the win.

17) What do you think of Wizard’s ideas of No 15+ qualifiers, Prop 15, etc.?
      I think it is disgusting and disgraceful of Wizards to cut the 15+ qualifiers because there not saving money, there losing valuable players! I’m not even in the 15+ division and I still don’t like it. As for P-15, its not going to go well with neo out. (CLEFFA, hint, hint)

18) What does it mean to be ranked as one of the best Pokémon players in the world?
      I’ts a great achievement to be ranked one of the best players in the world, but I was hoping for a TMB this year but getting a 3-round bye for the STS is ok. I really like being #7 in the world and I hope it stays that way, or even goes higher.

19) Do your friends/schoolmates know you play Pokémon? Does it give ya a good/bad reputation?
      Let’s just say the only people that know I play Pokemon, play Pokemon.

20) If you could have 100 Smeargles or 100 Japanese Woopers, which would you rather have? =/
      I would take the Smeargles and take them to my house start up the fireplace and BURN THEM ALL!

21) Who do you believe is the best Pokémon TCG player in the world?
      I believe there is no BEST Pokemon TCG player in the world because some people have different luck. I could name I few that I think are really good: Phil Mondiello, Jason Imperiale, Glenn Katzen, Jim Hurly. Hey, I could add in Ness but I never saw him play!

      My other hobbies are Magic: The Gathering and going on the net to find out whats happening in the Pokemon world!

      If you want to talk or play (on apprentice) Pokemon E-mail or Instant message me at Frostandice4eva@aol.com


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