HE’S a card sharp of the youngest order.
But Ryan Moorhouse, 14, is not playing Texas Hold’em or Gin Rummy.
The Huddersfield teenager is an expert at a complex card game based on the popular Japanese cartoon Pokémon.
Now a love for the colourful cards has won him an exotic overseas opportunity after he unexpectedly triumphed at the UK Pokémon Championships – winning a trip to the world championships in Hawaii in the process.
The Rastrick High School pupil was invited to the American island resort with his family with the competition chiefs forking out for flights and hotels.
He said: “I was really pleased and quite shocked as I didn’t expect to be that good.
“I’ve been practising quite a bit lately but the win was down to a bit of luck as I had a really good deck.”
The Bradley youngster was not one of the favourites at the UK finals finishing sixth in the qualifying rounds.
But once through to the knockout stage he won all three of his games to beat all-comers in the senior division (12 to 15-years-old).
He added: “My friends are all really happy for me and excited.
“It would be nice to win the world championships but there’s a lot of competition so I’m not expecting it.”
Dad Andy said his son had only begun playing the strategic card and dice game competitively in the last nine months.
“It’s definitely a quick rise to glory,’’ he said.
“He was a rank outsider as most of the kids that were there have been playing it since an early age.
“We’re very proud, we weren’t expecting it.
“It’s quite a surprise when we went in to pick him up and he was in the knockout stage.
“Then it was quite exciting watching it even though we had no idea what was going on.”
Ryan and his family will travel to Hawaii next month to compete in the three-day tournament at Waikoloa with a $7,500 scholarship prize at stake.
The youngster will be up against 150 children from across the world with the competition being so serious that translators are offered to children who cannot speak English.