“I was happy,” Jason said. “Even though I lost, I made it to the top two [competitors] at the finals at the world championships.”
While most of the participants had been invited to the competition after winning at the national level, Jason showed up without an invite as a “last-chance qualifier.” After Jason qualified, he grew increasingly nervous as the competition wore on through Friday and Saturday.
“Every time I would play a new match, the competitors would be harder [to play against],” he said. “At the end, I felt exhausted. I couldn’t think anymore.”
More than 1,100 players traveled from all over the world to the Hilton San Diego Bay Front on Aug. 14 to 16 to compete in the championships. They came from as far as Japan, Germany, Denmark and Yugoslavia.
Jason was satisfied with winning second place, bringing many prizes.
“I was happy because I got lots of things that I had never seen before,” he said.
The prizes included a $5,000 check, a box of new Pokemon cards, a glass trophy, a custom Nintendo DS game system and a $6,000 Pokemon card. There are only two other cards like it in the world. He also won two round-trip tickets to Hawaii and a free invitation to next year’s world championships.
Jason is still deciding on what to use the money for. He might use it to buy more tickets to Hawaii for his family or to buy a DSI, a hand-held Nintendo gaming device, for his brother. He also might use it to buy a gift for his mother, Tess Martinez.
She did not accompany him to the tournament, but she was happy when she got the news that he won, she said.