JAA NYC Finals (kongler)

Pre-Tournament Hijinx

OK! Here's my JAA trip/warstory. My friend Kevin and I stayed up the entire night before our flight out. We economized and slept on the plane. Upon arrival at Newark Liberty International I woke up and decided on what team I was going to use in the tourney. We got our stowaway luggage and called the transport company, who promptly sent a limo. We were off to the hotel!

We arrived at the hotel, where I sat down, made my team in the cart and filled out the team sheet, which asked for everything about each Pokémon, stats, trait, nature, hold item, etc. I turned it in to get my bag of goodies and cash. We headed up to the room, got comfy, and called Fish. Fish, Articuno64, and DoomMullet all came to us at our hotel promptly. We had a nice greet and shot the bull for a while before heading out for some lunch.

This was my first visit to NYC and it was amazing. There were so many hostile drivers and people crowding every street. The place rocked. We went and ate at a good restaurant before I and Kev headed back to the hotel for a short nap and the welcome dinner. I have to say I was not disappointed in the least. Articuno64, Fish, and DoomMullet were totally awesome to meet irl and were an absolute pleasure to hang with the entire trip.

I woke up late (which was a personal theme for the whole trip) and we bolted downstairs. The dinner was held inside the Broadway Millennium Hotel Hudson Theatre. It had VIP booths on either side of the 2nd floor overlooking the stage. You'd half expect President Lincoln was shot in there. The menu was chicken, curly fries, bowtie pasta (Dweedle would've loved that!), and assorted cookies in the shape of Pokéballs.

Once we were plated up we headed in and sat down. I met several of the other competitors and their families. Dinner was great. Dessert was gelato and we snarfed on that. I had informed the boys that when the dinner was over everyone was welcomed to come see a premiere screening of "Lucario and the Mystery of Mew" at 8:15. Everyone showed up about that time and the movie was good. Munchlax, Pikachu, and Bonsly got several laughs and a few tears from me ;.; :D. Before the movie started, I also was graced with the pleasure of meeting Jumpman16. He was totally awesome and it was nice to put a face to the name.

We were all leaving and I was approached by a soft-spoken young man who introduced himself to me, Black Leather Jacket. He asked me for a battle. I had my SP on me and said "Sure, man!" We headed to some couches inside the hotel and he owned me 3-0. I did some mean predicting on him, though. He was very cool with me, but didn't hang out and socialize much with the rest of the crew, which was a shame. It was a pleasure to meet you though, sir.

That night the boys and I played a lot of Bond and some Perfect Dark, but I forgot to take off the fist sim and he made it a dizzy, bad time for us. We turned in very late, the boys went to their hotel and I crashed out for the night. It was a great first day.

The next morning I woke up late and didn't attend the interview I had scheduled for 7:15 am, which was a downer. I had wanted to plug Smogon on Channel 1, but my lack of sleep for the last two days took its toll. Kevin kept sleeping and I hauled butt downstairs in time to catch the entourage heading to Bryant Park.

En masse we walked the short distance there, a column of yellow winner's shirts on parade down Broadway Avenue. When we got to the finalist tent, there was a pairings board up that mysteriously got shifted around by the time we got back. They led us up behind the main stage and we waited for everything to get started. After a while they had us go up on stage as we were introduced by our regional stops. Hulk Hogan was behind the stage and I got to thank him for years of entertainment and got a good firm handshake out of him. He said his daughter loved the game and they'd spent tons of cash on it over the years.

Round 1: IMAWario (Dallas/Ft. Worth Winner)

The 13+ group headed back to the tent and we were the first to go. I faced the Arlington, TX winner, IMAWario. He won handily due to some poor choices for Pokémon and move decisions on my part. So here's the lowdown. My team was: Kyogre, Mewtwo, Gengar, Rayquaza, Snorlax, and Tyranitar. He was using an Imprison team so I chose Kyogre, Mewtwo, Gengar, and Tyranitar. He led Mewtwo/Dusclops. Not having "my head on straight" led me to some poor choices. He protected with 'clops and light screened with Mewtwo. I led Mewtwo/Kyogre protected with the former and shot a Quick Clawed Hydro Pump into Dusclops' Protect. It would've easily OHKOed Mewtwo and don't ask me why I didn't turn my wrath on it instead. Bleh. Next turn I chose to Hydro Pump Mewtwo and switched my own Mewtwo out for Gengar while his Mewtwo Exploded, killing my big fish. He brought in Kyogre and I pulled out Tyranitar. He got priority with rain. I Dragon Danced Tyranitar when I should've Subbed and Destiny Bonded with Gengar. He Hydro Pumped my Tyranitar to death and attempted an Imprison which failed. I pulled in Mewtwo; the next turn his 'clops Shadow Balled Gengar and died with it (I think it was Quick Clawed), then he pulled in 'trode and Thundered and Hydro Pumped my Mewtwo ftw.

I shook IMAWario's hand and wished him luck and headed back to the hotel mad at myself. Fish called from the event and said EeveeTrainer was up there and wanted to meet me. I said I was coming down but didn't go like twice. So after a few more calls the boys showed up at the hotel and gave condolence hugs and we hung out for a bit and headed back up to the event. My self-pity and anger was very short lived due to the great group of friends and even now I have no regrets about how the tournament turned out. It just wasn't my day.

Once we arrived back at the event I saw ET and introduced myself, gave him a big hug, and we all watched jeps triumph over Ryah. The final four for each group then headed to the main stage. Our group followed along and witnessed the battle between Calvin (Snorlax88) and jeps. After the match we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel. I got real sleepy and asked everyone to give me a few hours to get a nap in before the night's activities.

I had a good rest and Nobie and DM showed up. The rest of the folks were down visiting another fabulous JAA finalist's room, Justin8649. Justin and I have been friends/rivals online since 2002. It was a true pleasure to meet you and Bertha. You're a lucky man and have a fine girlfriend there, bud.

Everyone else arrived up at my room a short while later. The poor little hotel room was jam packed with about a dozen people. We started playing some furious video games. It was cool that the hotel we were put up in had connections on the television sets so we could. Ian showed up a short while later and challenged me to a RBY link battle. He owned me 3-0 with his "Australian team". Good times.

The afternoon turned into night and it was decided we would all go out to eat. Ian and Nobie led the way. They both knew the city like the back of their hands. We ended up in the West Village at a jumpin' little place called the Red Lion. The music was very funky and the food was great too. Those of us who imbibed had a few shots and we all enjoyed each other's company. Once we were finished we all headed back to the hotel, taking tons of pictures. We had to walk a little extra bit due to some of the subway stops being closed which was just fine. The last subway stop before getting back to the hotel was where we met Mr. Nicolas Gazin. He is the editor of a magazine called "Trashed!" and I'm supposed to call him and give an interview sometime this weekend. He asked a lot of questions about the event and stated he had played some in years past. He hooked us all up with stickpins with his face on it (our new avatars) and walked back with us towards the hotel.

Now that we were back to the hotel it was time to party. We had so many people in there it was standing room only. DM and I proceeded to polish off the rest of the rum and Jaeger. The rest of the evening was a blur of bond, stadium mini-games and link battles. I got way too trashed. It was great fun. ET could've left much earlier but opted to stay and hang out which was way cool of him. I really enjoyed your company, Ian. You're a stand up fellow and I hope we'll have a chance to hang out again, man!

The next morning I woke up sideways on one of the twin beds and decided to stretch out and shoved my foot in DM's face. It looked like a Vietnamese refugee boat in there. People started coming to so Adam and I decided to go downstairs and get everyone some "Street Meat" for breakfast. We watched as the vendors opened up for the day and waited for the chicken to cook. It was halal meats (prepared according to Muslim law, which means they choked the chicken! lol). We purchased a half dozen "chicken in pita" and headed back up to the room. We all ate and reminisced over the events of the trip. We took a few more pics and parted ways with the boys. We caught a stretch limo back to Newark to catch our plane back home.

This trip rates up there in the top 3 of any trips I've ever had. I had an amazing time. Thanks to everyone who attended and hung out. I hope we get another big tournament out of Nintendo soon so we can do this again!

Special props:

  • Fish—You have become a very dear friend and getting to meet you in person was a total pleasure. Your brain I've come to love over the years and now that I've met you in person I think I may be a little gay for you.
  • Arti—You, sir, have always been one of the kindest and smartest people I've ever met online. Your sheer tallness and skills at minigames have increased my impressedness with you exponentially.
  • DM—You, sir, are a trooper. I was taken aback by the sheer volume of alcohol you can consume. My hat's off to you.
  • Ian—You impressed me to no end. You were kind, well spoken and so very accommodating during this trip. I'm glad we got to meet and that you stayed and hung out with us. You are a man amongst men.
  • Kevin—Thanks for attending JAA with me, bro. You were a pleasure to have there and you already know I love ya lots. Also, learn how to keep that mouth shut. I hear you talked everyone's head off. Blabbermouth!
  • Nobie—It was great to meet you and, dude, you are a dancing machine! You rock!

There is probably a lot left out of this story. I hope all the other ones will complment and fill in the gaps. Until our next meeting, keep up the IRC faith, brothers! Ohhh yeah! *hulk pose*