Hello, I'm the old guy who was second in Dallas. I'm not one of you filthy Smogoners ( :P ), but I thought you'd like to read my story.
There were at least 275 people entered in Seniors, so I got lucky to be picked. My number was 066 Machop.
First here's my team. Keeping the EVs/natures a secret in case I decide to use some of these at Nationals.
Azelf @ Focus Sash
Hariyama @ Flame Orb
Salamence @ Life Orb
Golduck @ Salac Berry
Round 1: My stomach is doing flipflops. I was so nervous about getting past the random selection. Eight hour drive + hotel room = a lot of waste if you don't get in. Then I see my first opponent's leads: a Bronzong and Shuckle. This is exactly the kind of team my team was designed to slaughter. I Fake Out + Flamethrower his Bronzong and ignore his Shuckle while it Power Tricks. Next turn I finish off Bronzong and OHKO Shuckle with Bullet Punch. The rest is over very quickly. Opponent quote: "You... flinched my Bronzong..." That's the inherent problem with Trick Room teams. If for some reason Trick Room doesn't go off, you're stuck with a lot of slow pokemon who can't do anything.
Round 2: Opponent leads with Alakazam, which concerns me a bit (can't be Fake Out'd, can't be OHKO'd by Azelf, will OHKO Hariyama). I decide to ignore the Zam and concentrate on the rest of his team. Turns out rest of his team is terrible, and I win easily. This guy could not believe he lost. He was so sure I was cheating.
Opponent: "Do you, uh, EV train?"
Me: "Hell yeah!"
Opponent: "Isn't Azelf one of the banned pokemon?"
Me: "Uh, no."
Opponent: "Are you sure you didn't use Pokesav?"
Me: "Yeah, I'm sure."
Suck it up and take the loss dude. Your team sucked.
Round 3: This was a great battle, and I wish I could have saved the video. Opponent's Jolteon was tearing me to pieces, and I had a come from behind win when Salamence killed both his pokes with Earthquake.
All of this took about 20 minutes, making me the first one into the Top 16. I sit in the Finalist's Lounge and relax. And wait. And wait. Apparently everyone else's matches are taking a lot longer than mine did. The next guy comes in after about 10 minutes, and more filter in every 10 minutes or so. The last finalist didn't come in until almost noon (I got into Finalist's lounge at 10:50).
Two of the finalists get kicked out for hacking when their cartridges are checked (Marriland was the official referee and doing the checks). Two others get warnings but get to continue on. So when Top 16 matches start there are only 14. They match people up in the order they finished, so I'm matched up with the second guy who was one of the ones that got banned. So I get a free pass into Top 8.
Top 8 match: This was a weird team - I don't really know what he was going for. He led with Glaceon and Kingdra. I'm immediately thinking it's a Rain Dance team, but why Glaceon? I Fake Out his Kingdra and Flamethrower Glaceon. Glaceon Blizzards, but misses Azelf entirely. Next turn I finish off Glaceon with Bullet Punch and U-turn Kingdra to bring out Golduck. Kingdra Rain Dances, which does nothing thanks to Golduck. I don't remember what his third Pokemon was, but it used Thunder (and missed, thank you Golduck) and I killed it quickly. His last Pokemon was... Charizard. Yeah, like I said, it was a weird team. This Charizard was actually very fast and used Fly before I could hit it. But Golduck endured the hit. Since both Golduck and Salamence had immunity moves, there was literally nothing he could do to me. Opponent quote: "HOW FAST IS THAT SALAMENCE?"
Top 4 match: This guy led with a level 50 Smeargle. I heard some people talking about a Dark Void spammer, so this was probably him. I Fake Out and Psychic him, then Bullet Punch him next turn so he never gets to move. His other Pokemon is Ludicolo, and he gets a great prediction on me. Azelf U-turns his Ludicolo and switches into Golduck, who immediately eats Ludicolo Energy Ball and is OHKOd. But Salamence comes in and nukes Ludicolo with Aerial Ace. Opponent quote: "&*$@! Aerial Ace!" Guess he was running Brightpowder. The rest of his team is easily destroyed.
Finals match: Watch it on video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES1tVrl6Ph0
I'm "Jeannie" on the far side. Yes, I play as the girl because she has a better contest outfit. :P
Well, let's analyze this turn by turn since we have a video:
Turn 1: Well, you can't ask for a better start than this. Gengar gets OHKO'd, Gar can't do anything, and I take no damage.
Turn 2: Zapdos comes in, and I realize he's the biggest threat to my team. I decide to Psychic him with Azelf. What I should have done was U-turn Garchomp and sacrifice Golduck since I wasn't facing a weather team. Azelf gets two wasted criticals on himself. Garchomp gets frozen, which doesn't mean anything in and of itself since I can kill him at any time with Bullet Punch.
Turn 3: The freeze on Garchomp leads me to a bit of a dilemma. I can kill Chomp at any time, but I'd prefer to leave him there frozen while I concentrate on Zapdos. However, I've played lots of test games with this team on Battle Revolution, and seen way too many 0-turn freezes. Still the odds are in my favor that he'll be frozen at least one turn, so I leave him alone. Zapdos Detects, and Salamence gets a free Dragon Dance.
Turn 4: Announcer quote: "I'm still surprised he hasn't finished off that Garchomp yet!" which is immediately followed by my Bullet Punch. Announcer quote: "Never mind, I guess he did!"
However, at this point, I've essentially lost due to one important point. Salamence has no move that will hit for Neutral or better damage on Zapdos. If I had Dragon Claw on my moveset I could have killed him and taken out Mamoswine with a 3 on 1 beatdown. But alas, I did not, and that proved to be my undoing. Such is the curse of the 4-move limit. Zapdos also gets paralyze hax on Salamence, which pretty much seals the game.
Turn 5: I'm expecting Discharge overkill on Golduck, so I Endure and go for Earthquake to get some damage on Mamoswine. Ala double-protects, so I only injure myself.
Turn 6: I actually thought Golduck might survive the Ice Shard from Mamoswine, but Mamo has Life Orb and gets the kill and the win.
Anyway, I'm still stoked because I've won the trip to St. Louis. Do the interviews, take pictures, fill out paperwork, and then retire to my hotel to try and rest. Didn't stay for the Juniors - I was exhausted.
Gave out 5 Space Center Deoxys to random people in the Union Room while we were waiting for signups to end. Congrats if you managed to get one.
Congrats to Alakapimp on his win - he earned it. Also glad we had an all-Texas final, what with two brothers from Chicago and a guy from New York in the top 16.
Oh, and I'm 35, not 40. But close enough. ;)