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Monster master: Carnation teen Henry Maxon is a force in the world of competitive Pokémon
A 13-year-old Carnation kid is making a big name for himself in the world of Pokémon.
Henry Maxon is one of the best players of the Pokémon video game in the nation, and indeed the world.
After a weekend of head-to-head battles, he earned the title of Pokémon Winter Regional Champion at the 2014 Pokémon Winter Regional Championships, held in January at Salem, Ore. That means he’s among the five top champions to compete in the Pokémon Trading Card Game right now in North America.
Henry wears a trademark Cookie Monster hat in all his tournaments. Part of a Pokémon league that meets in Redmond, Henry has played this game since he was 3.
“The Pokémon tournament scene for me is two things that I love, competing and Pokémon,” said Henry. “I have met great people and probably gotten a whole lot smarter just from Pokemon alone. The main reason I’d say I play the game is because of how great the community is. I have definitely met some of my best friends.”
Henry is a good student and a really good kid, according to his dad, Lou. The game is his passion, and he and his fellow players have a tight bond.
“We definitely encourage him,” Lou said.
Pokémon seems to stimulate skills in probability and math. Lou describes it as “Paper-Rock-Scissors meets chess meets predicting sports scores.”
Henry has taken his little brother, Charlie, age 7, under his wing.
At Salem, the family training paid off. In Charlie’s first-ever competition, he took second place in his age division.
In 2012, Henry’s tournament successes meant that he was incorporated as a character into the Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 video games.
Looking ahead, he will compete this spring for points to go to national competition in Indianapolis, Ind.
What is Pokémon?
Pokémon is a set of card and video games made by Nintendo. Short for “Pocket Monsters,” it is based on the traditional hobby of insect collecting. Players collect and train fantasy monsters, then battle their menageries against other players.
Players of all ages and skills are encouraged to participate in Organized Play events. For more information on future tournaments including dates, locations, prizes, and tournament rules and regulations, visit www.pokemon.com/play.