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Pokemon TCG: Diamond & Pearl - Secret Wonders doesn't hit store shelves until November 7th, but many Pokemon enthusiasts across the U.S. and Canada have already been treated to an early look at the latest cards. How did they score such a sweet opportunity? Savvy Pokemon fans got to play with brand-new cards before anyone else by attending Secret Wonders Prerelease tournaments. Additional Secret Wonders Prerelease tournaments will be taking place November 3rd and 4th.

Pokemon Fans Across North America Sneak a Peek at the Latest Cards!

To get a feel for the excitement, go-pokemon.com attended a Secret Wonders Prerelease tournament held at Phoenix Games in Mukilteo, Washington. When we arrived, there was electricity in the air as dozens of Pokemon fans prepared to play with cards they had never seen before.

One of the best parts of playing and collecting Pokemon trading cards is the excitement you feel just before opening a booster pack. What will be inside? Your favorite Pokemon? A powerful Trainer card? An oddly alluring Bidoof? Imagine this same feeling, but now consider that after you open the pack, you'll immediately have to put these cards to use against another player in your same position. That's a thrilling experience, and that's what Pokemon Prerelease tournaments are all about.

After opening six booster packs each, competitors have an equal amount of time to construct 40-card decks with which to challenge their rivals. At the Secret Wonders Prerelease tournament, foil wrappers were flying as eager fans soaked up the new possibilities and formed their plans of attack. It didn't take long for strategies to be formulated, and before long, the competition was underway.

The tournament bracket was broken down into three divisions based on age: Junior, Senior, and Masters. As we wandered from table to table, it was clear that the competition was fierce in each age group.

Attacks were flying everywhere. We witnessed Charizard using Blast Burn to K.O. an opposing Pokemon. Wild Waves from Gastrodon West Sea wreaked havoc on Benched Pokemon on more than one occasion. Damage counters flew in all directions, and Prize cards were snatched up with glee. With ultimate victory or an unfortunate defeat hanging in the balance, time seemed to stand still as coins were flipped and fates were determined.

When the dust settled, three Pokemon Trainers stood above the rest as the champions of the day. There wasn't a loser in the room though, because all participants got to keep the cards they opened during the competition. On top of that, tournament goers each received a special foil-stamped Prerelease card, as well as a couple Secret Wonders booster packs when they completed the event. Everybody wins at Prerelease tournaments!

If you missed last week's tournaments, you're not out of luck. Additional Secret Wonders Prerelease tournaments will be taking place November 4th and 5th. For more information, and to find a tournament near you, visit the prerelease tournament page at go-pokemon.com.

While most Pokemon Organized Play tournaments are free, Prerelease tournaments require a minimum $25 entrance fee. For more details, visit the Secret Wonders prerelease tournament FAQ.
Source: http://www.go-pokemon.com/tcg/news/