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"I am Utterly Heartbroken": Pokemon TCG Player DQd From Sacramento Over Warped Cards

Another allegedly harsh ruling has come out of the Pokémon Regional in Sacramento, this time on the trading card game side.

The Pokémon community recently found themselves torn over a VGC player losing a ‘mon after giving it a temporary nickname that went against the company’s guidelines. Now, a well-known TCG competitor, Michael Davidson, has opened up about their disqualification from the same regional.

In a Twitter post, Davidson said he was disqualified with a record of 8-2-2, leaving him “heartbroken” and feeling “somewhat disrespected.” According to Davidson, judges accused him of “relying on illegal methods” to win games, referring to possibly marked cards.

In the Pokémon TCG, marked cards mean that some of the cards in your 60-card deck are purposefully bent, torn, or otherwise made to look different than the rest so it’s easier to draw them at the start of the game, avoid prizing them, and other illegal tactics throughout. In Davidson’s case, judges informed him during a deck check that his three Sableyes were warped enough to stand out from the rest of his deck.

“I informed them that there was a possibility my Sableyes were warped because the card is known for warping and that isn’t something they seemed to take into account when I was given a game loss going into Top 8 of NAIC for a similar issue,” Davidson wrote, explaining that holo Sableye cards commonly arrive a bit bent in the mail.

Davidson then stated that he does not purposefully warp his cards, adding that he personally could not tell them apart from other cards in his deck. But after discussing with the judges, Davidson agreed that he deserved a penalty but not a disqualification.

“I just feel that, yet again, the frequency of this particular card warping was not taken into account. These points (at least 40) could’ve gone a long way toward my invite and the EUIC stipend , and I feel like they were somewhat unfairly robbed from me,” he said.

Pokémon Community Reacts to Card Warp DQ at Sacramento Regional

In response to the long tweet, the Pokémon community was left torn over the situation. Some trainers felt for Davidson since they believed he was not doing anything on purpose, but others noted that he should have known the cards would be warped since it’s so common, adding that he should have purchased a different rarity to avoid the situation entirely.

One player asked to see the cards, which Davidson obliged. Competitive players agreed that his cards were definitely noticeably warped. Someone even said that he knew his cards appeared different and should have been completely banned.

Still, the situation is quite common in the TCG. Another player pointed out that the same thing happened to him at the Vancouver Regional last season after he borrowed cards from a friend that were slightly warped. The two agreed that the disqualification was a lesson but Davidson also replied that he simply wanted to clear his name in case some felt he cheated.

For now, Davidson has decided to order non-holo Sableye. Why didn’t he do that to begin with? They weren’t released yet when he initially made the purchase. Hopefully this will fix the situation in the future, but TCG players should be warned to check for warped cards before entering a regional.