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Maplewood Boy Crowned Regional Pokemon Champion

Alex Krekeler placed first out of more than 230 competitors in eight states in the Junior Division.

Name: Alex Krekeler, 9 

Family: Vince and Denise Krekeler, of Maplewood

Accomplishment: Alex won first place in the Junior Division of the Play! Pokemon Trading Card Game (TCG) Regional Championship held recently at Yeti Gaming at Crestwood Mall. His division consisted of more than 230 competitors in Missouri and the seven surrounding states. His win net him a $1,500 scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to the national competition.

Alex's dad Vince Krekeler organized the regional championship and owns Yeti Gaming. He said Pokemon is a Japanese animation that began in 1996 and was most famous as a Game Boy video game and a cartoon.  

Vince Krekeler explained that in the regional championship, players choose 60 of their favorite or strongest playing cards and compete for 12 hours. The tournaments allow players to test their skills, strategy and creativity.

"It's just been unbelievable," he said. "Last year, he (Alex) finished 17th in the world championship."

Key to awesomeness: Alex is ranked No. 4 in the world in his division. This year he won two state championships; one in Missouri and one in Tennessee. He will compete in the national championship in Indianapolis in July. Stay tuned for updates on this Pokemon Whiz Kid on Maplewood-Brentwood Patch.

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