Are You Ready For The 2011 Pokémon Video Game Championship?

You've had plenty of time to play with the two new versions of Pokémon; now it's time to get serious. The 2011 Pokémon Video Game Championship series kicks off next month, with fans across the U.S. and Europe gathering to prove they have what it takes to be the very best in Pokémon Black and White.

As I discovered last year, the Pokémon Video Game Championships are a big deal, bringing families together and then tearing them apart in the fiery heat of battle. Now a whole new roster of Pokémon enters the ring as Black and White become the focus for this year's festivities.

Fresh pocket monsters being played on fresh Nintendo handhelds. Don't you love the smell of Pokéballs in the morning?

Here are the U.S. dates for the championship series:

May 14th, Seattle, WA- Washington State Convention Center, Hall 4B
May 21st, San Jose, CA - San Jose Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 2
May 28th, Dallas, TX- Arlington Convention Center, Grand Hall
June 4th, Atlanta, GA- Gwinnett Center, Hall A and B
June 11th, Washington, D.C.- Dulles Expo Center, South Hall
June 18th, Newark, NJ- Meadowlands Exposition Center

And for our European friends:

June 4th, Birmingham, United Kingdom- National Exhibition Centre, Hall 8
June 11th, Rome, Italy- Fiera Roma, Hall 12, Ingresso Nord
June 18th, Madrid, Spain- IFEMA, Hall 1, Feria de Madrid
June 25th, Paris, France- Espace Grande Arche, Parvis de La Défense
July 2nd , Cologne, Germany- EXPO XXI Köln GmbH, Gladbacher Wall 5

Those events lead up to the 2011 Pokémon World Championships, held August 12 through August 14 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, California.

For more information on the rules, regulations, and other Pokémon-related rigmarole, keep an eye on the Pokemon Video Game Championships website.