Rizzo, a 20-year-old junior at Drake University in Iowa, defeated all challengers to hold on to the title of Pokemon World Champion. The victory also secures him a spot in upcoming versions of the video game.
"It was a lot of fun," says Rizzo (read my 2011 column about him here).
"When you get matched up against people who know you’re the defending champ, they’re going to bring their A game," he tells me by phone from campus. "I was exhausted from playing for the two days of the tournament, but it was definitely a great feeling."
Rizzo, who is majoring in actuarial science at Drake, hopes the publicity will interest more people in the game. He's also modest about his achievement.
"AfterI won I got a lot of text messages from fans," he says. "That was pretty neat."