Portland’s biggest Pokemon tournament draws nostalgia, world-class competitors

A few years ago, Sam Hough traveled to Utah for a one-week family vacation.

At least that’s what he told classmates who didn’t press the issue.

He didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but had anyone, Hough would have told the truth: He was at a Pokemon tournament, competing at one of the highest levels in the franchise’s trading card game.

On Saturday, Hough was at it again in the Oregon Convention Center, joining 615 other Pokemon enthusiasts determined to be the very best. (Like no one ever was.)

He’s been at it since he was 9.

Now 17, the Grant High School junior is known as one of the top Pokemon players in the world. The set of cards he used in the 2016 master’s division championship is even displayed on the game’s official website.

What’s more, there’s video of Hough’s matches on YouTube.

Hough’s more open about the hobby now. That’s not altogether surprising —

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