Logan Honts of Botetourt County is a 10 year old whiz kid on the Play!Pokemon League game card scene. A competitor in the junior division, he just won the region after state finals. This time he has a $1,500 scholarship to show for his efforts as well as a box of 36 booster packs, a card binder and other accessories. The event was held in Quinton, Virginia near Richmond. Logan and his parents have won an expense paid trip to the national competition in Indianapolis on July 7-10.
At age 7, Logan received his first deck of Pokemon cards. He used the first deck to play at Towers Mall at Cosmic Castle. There he saw the eyeopening strategy of the game. Soon not only he, but his entire family became interested in the game. Joel sometimes competes in the senior division, five year old sister Georgia also plays in the junior and mother Marthe recently became a tournament judge. More importantly they have organized a Sunday event in Fincastle that meets from 3-5:30 at the community room of the Fincastle Library. Children, family members, friends and adults have been coming from Christiansburg, Bedford and Roanoke to play. They call it Fincastle Pokemon Gym. An average Sunday will see 25 people playing, but more than 60 are on roll.
So what is Pokemon? It is a Japanese game with featured cards of Pokemon animated characters (some seen in television and on video games) that have varying powers. He studies and formulates how to play a deck in relation to how the characters work together. In the gifted program at Breckinridge Elementary, Logan is studying Japanese on Rosetta Stone and hopes that one day he can go there. “Of course,” Joel said, “Our whole family is sad about the earthquakes and tsunami and now the radiation problem.”
Logan said about his success, “You have to develop a deck that” plays well” together for the competitions.” Most of all, the strategy of the game is what lures Logan. It is also wise not to talk about what is in the deck as the competition cruises the Internet looking for information! He also so said, “It’s just fun and it is awesome how the strategy and thinking put all of the characters and their powers together. It is just really cool.”
The Honts donate many of their card winnings and extra Pokemon cards and binders to the Fincastle Pokemon Gym so that others can share in the fun. “Marthe and I have good jobs and not all kids are as fortunate as Logan and Georgia. We don’t mind sharing our extras. Plus it builds interest.” Players can compete for badges at the Fincastle group,too.
Should Logan do well at Nationals, the next step would be the World competition which is held this year in San Diego, California in August.
Here are Logan’s competitor ranking stats: Ranked #1 in Virginia in his junior division, 17th in the United States, 19th in North America and 25th in the world. Games and wins give him points if he beats someone of higher rank, then he gets more points. “You just don’t want to bomb in a game as loosing to the less skilled player can deduct a number of points,” noted Joel.
Two Play! Pokemon league competitive events are upcoming in the Roanoke Valley at Towers Mall. On May 21, a smaller event will take place at Cosmic Castle and on June 12 a major Play!Pokemon competition will also be held at Cosmic Castle. “We want to get the word about these two events.” said Joel. Information is contained on the Fincastle Pokemon Gym website: www.fincastlepokemon.wordpress.com
The Honts blog about 3 times per week on the site and can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Honts family