ROY -- Daniel Sargent did not go to the Pokemon World Championships with the rest of his family last year.
While his mother has already promised he could go watch this year's tournament, the 9-year-old wants to do more than watch. He wants to play in it.
Daniel was crowned a city champion last month following a full day of head-to-head Pokemon Trading Card Game battles in Sandy. That earned him valuable points on the path toward possibly qualifying for the World Championships, which will be held in August in San Diego.
"I hope he would get in on rankings. I think that would be awesome if he did," said Andrea Sargent, Daniel's mother. "As a family we're planning on going anyway, so hopefully he'd get to play."
Daniel, who attends Roy Elementary School, started playing Pokemon when he was 6, thanks to his mom, sister and brother. But it was not necessarily their example that he was following when he decided to play.
"My mom, sister and brother started bugging me about it," Daniel said. "I just wanted them to stop bugging me."
Pokemon was first introduced to the Sargent family when Daniel's sister, Catherine, now 20, was in elementary school and saw some of her classmates playing. Andrea helped Catherine find a place to play, and soon Andrea was hooked on the game.
Next, Daniel's brother, Sean, 17, joined in the fun and Pokemon has since become a tradition in the Sargent household, as everyone except John, Daniel's father, plays the trading card game.
"My mom did get my dad Pokemon cards for Christmas," Daniel said.
Sean made family history last year when he qualified for the World Championships in Hawaii by placing in the top eight of a last-chance qualifying tournament. He is the only person in the family to play in World Championships, but Daniel could equal that feat.
Daniel, who will turn 10 in February, will compete in the Idaho State Championships on March 12 and the Utah State Championships a week later at the University of Utah. Last year, he earned trophies by placing third in Idaho and fourth in Utah, and similar performances this year would earn him more valuable points and help him move up in the rankings.
He will also play at the National Championships in July in Indianapolis, after fulfilling an agreement that he had with his mother. She told him if he won a city championship this year, she would take him to nationals so he could compete there.
While just playing the game is what Daniel said is his favorite part of Pokemon, his mother has seen another aspect of the game that brings a smile to Daniel's face.
"His favorite part is he gets to see friends he has made at the tournaments," Andrea said.
Along with playing Pokemon, Daniel is an "A" student at school and likes to read in his spare time. He said his favorite books are from the Guardians of Ga'hoole and Star Wars book series.
Daniel said he doesn't get tired of playing in tournaments, which is good, because his future appears full of head-to-head battles with other Pokemon enthusiasts.
"He's amazing," Andrea said. "He's just following in his brother's and sister's footsteps and he loves the game."