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Gamer, 9, Places in Pokémon Tournament

The Watsonville boy finished second in his division at last month's competition.

Gamer, 9, Places in Pokémon Tournament

A Watsonville 9-year-old whose older brother taught him to play Pokémon took second place in the Pokémon Video Game Junior Division at the Pokémon Spring Regional Championships

Bernie Mora, who attends , took part in the day-long competition in Pleasanton on April 15.

“My big brother trained me," Bernie said.

Bernie said he was happy with this finish in the competition and that he likes playing Pokémon because it's fun for him. He learned the video game from his 17-year-old brother and has been playing for four years.

Players of all ages and skill levels were invited to attend and compete for free. Play! Pokémon competitors are divided equally into three divisions: Junior Division (born in 2001 or later), Senior Division (born in 1997–2000), and Masters Division (born in 1996 or earlier). The tournament showcased the strategy, sportsmanship, and fun enjoyed by tens of thousands of competitive Pokémon TCG and video game players around the world.

Many players and their parents have seen improved math, reading, critical thinking and social skills as a result of involvement in the Pokémon Trading Video Game, according to a prepared statement released by the organization.

The top finishers at are invited to participate in the national tournament later this year. There were eight regional tournaments.

“The Pokémon Spring Regional Championships brought out a passionate community of Pokémon players and fans from around the region,” said J.C. Smith, director of Consumer Marketing for The Pokémon Company International. “Thank you to everyone who came out to support all of the Pokémon players and congratulations to everyone who placed as a top finisher.”

For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.

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