Students, gamers statewide compete for cash prizes in "Hall-a-Thon"

Gamers matched wits, figurines and cards for cash prizes Saturday in the Powers Hall Ballroom.

Central Michigan University hosted “Hall-a-Thon 2011,” an all-day tournament featuring collectible and tabletop games such as “Magic: The Gathering,” “Yu-Gi-Oh!” and “Heroclix” that brought in players statewide for prizes up to $1,000.

The event was coordinated by Michael Travis-Shuler, owner of local gaming and comics store Hall of Heroes, 316 N. Mission St., with the help of the Central Michigan University journalism department.

Travis-Shuler said he was excited to put on the first ever “Hall-a-Thon,” and enjoys organizing the tournaments for their social aspects.

“As a player, to see your opponent across from you rather than play against someone through a computer screen is great,” Travis-Shuler said. “It really allows players to meet new friends and interact.”

The $1,000 grand prize was for the winner of the “Magic” tournament, but the eight victorious players in the tournament decided to split the money, giving each $125 to take home.

Other prizes included smaller amounts of money, packs of cards and a rare “White Lantern Superman” figurine for the grand prize winner of “Heroclix.” Entry fees were $12 for “Heroclix” and $25 for the other two games.

Mike Sheldon, building manager of the Heritage Center at Alma College,  helped out at the event as a volunteer, or “minion,” as the back of his shirt read. Sheldon said he recognized there are many common misconceptions about tournaments like "Hall-a-Thon."

“Obviously, there’s no one with excruciating body odor or ghost-white skin,” Sheldon joked. “It’s just a bunch of people having fun and making some friends.”

Ravenna junior Nicholas Smith competed in the “Magic” tournament and said the game takes more skill than most people guess.

“You really have to keep a good poker face, it gets pretty difficult,” Smith said.


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