ROMANIAN PINBALL OPEN 2016

Romanian Pinball Open 2016

We had been invited to attend the Romanian Pinball Open several times by the organisers Ovi and Gabby. Eventually, and despite the dates clashing with another more local tournament, we yielded, booked the flights and accommodation, and packed our bags for Bucharest.

The venue for the tournament was in the north of the capital in a building called Beraria H. It is built on the edge of a reservoir and is close to one of Bucharest’s many iconic buildings – in this case the House of Free Press.

The House of Free Press building in Bucharest
The House of Free Press building in Bucharest
Lacul Herăstrău
Lacul Herăstrău

The Beraria H building is one of many from the Ceaușescu era which produced a lot of impressive but not necessarily very attractive structures. Beraria H began as an exhibition centre to promote the best of Romania’s products, then briefly became a shopping centre before folding and being turned into an entertainment centre.

Berăria H
Berăria H

It promotes itself as the biggest beer hall in Eastern Europe, but it’s far more than just a drinking den.

Inside Berăria H
Inside Berăria H

Craft and collectable stalls occupy the entrance on the upper level and the far end of the hall on the lower floor. In between are masses of tables arranged around a central stage. Plenty of beers are available as a pretty reasonable menu offers an interesting selection of meaty products at reasonable prices.

Beraria is also a concert venue and live music is performed here throughout the weekends and during the evenings on weekdays. Although it looks empty in these pictures, it becomes absolutely packed with upwards of 2,000 patrons in the evening.

The market inside Berăria H
The market inside Berăria H

So competitors in the Romanian Pinball Open (RPO) don’t have to go far for food and drinks, which is just as well as there aren’t many other establishments around. The Hard Rock Cafe is in the same complex, but that’s about it.

The pinball tournaments were held on the upper level at the far end of Beraria H, overlooking the craft stalls. This kept them away from most casual visitors and helped to reduce (slightly) the impact of the noise from bands playing on the stage.

The location of the tournament machines
The location of the tournament machines
The RPO information banner at the entrance to the area
The RPO information banner at the entrance to the area

The machines were arranged either side of a section of a long corridor which ran almost the entire length of the building. Modern machines used for the RPO and Pingolf Tournaments were on one side overlooking the hall, the remaining modern machines were joined on the opposite side by the ’80s Tournament machines.

Modern machines on the right, '80s and modern on the left
Modern machines on the right, ’80s and modern on the left
RPO machines
RPO machines
More RPO machines
More RPO machines
'80s Tournament machines
’80s Tournament machines
Romanian Pinball Open 2016 machines
Indiana Jones, The Pinball Adventue Scared Stiff
Creature from the Black Lagoon Corvette
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s* Independence Day
Shrek Fish Tales
Creature from the Black Lagoon Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Wars (DE) Bride of Pinbot, The Machine
Terminator 2: Judgement Day Maverick*
Demolition Man Dirty Harry
Getaway: High Speed 2, The Lethal Weapon 3

 

’80s Tournament Machines
Road Kings
Dr. Dude
Tiger Rag
Clown
Elvira & the Party Monsters

The tournament desk was at the far end, and next to that were a few extra pinball and video games. The pinballs didn’t seem to be fully working and the video games were on pay-to-play, so we didn’t check those out.

The tournament desk
The tournament desk
Practice machines
Practice machines

Qualifying for the RPO began on Friday evening. Twenty-four players were put into two groups of twelve and set to play one game against each of the other eleven players in their group. The order of competitors and machines played were pre-selected, with play order in each match decided by the toss of a coin.

Winning a game was the important thing, and each win was recorded against the player’s name on the score chart.

Friday's qualification rounds
Friday’s qualification rounds

Once all eleven rounds had been played, the six players with the most wins moved on to the next round which would be played later on Saturday once that day’s qualifying rounds were over.

We opted to save our energy for the following day, and instead headed for Old Town to see what culinary delights the city had to offer. After an enjoyable meal we wound up at a bar called Beer O’clock which presented us with the opportunity to try a true rarity – what was, when it was launched in 2011, the world’s strongest beer.

Sink the Bismarck! - a 41% beer
Sink the Bismarck! – a 41% beer

Brewed in Scotland by Brewdog, it cost £55 ($68/€65) for a 330ml bottle, and was Brewdog’s effort to recapture the title of the world’s strongest beer after a German brewery claimed victory with their 40% beer. It’s almost impossible to find now. Who thought we’d find it here in Bucharest?

Events after that are rather hazy, so let’s move swiftly on…

Saturday’s pinball action began at 10am with another twenty-four players competing just like their Friday night counterparts.

Saturday's qualifying rounds
Saturday’s qualifying rounds
Play in the Romanian Pinball Open qualifying
Play in the Romanian Pinball Open qualifying
Another win is recorded
Another win is recorded
More qualifying matches
More qualifying matches
The day's youngest player
The day’s youngest player

When the all the qualifying rounds were over, the twenty four qualifiers were again split into two groups of twelve and played the same format again.

As before, the six players with the most wins moved on to the next round, except this time the top two in each group (circled below) received a bye through to the quarter-finals.

A completed group
A completed group

That left eight players competing in the third round of play-offs. They played the same format as before, only this time in a single group playing seven single-game matches.

RPO play-offs
RPO play-offs

The four with the most wins then continued to meet the four players with byes in the quarter-final round.

The third round of play-offs
The third round of play-offs

The original plan was for all the games to be completed by 9pm, because that was the time the band would start playing on the main stage which would be so loud it would be impossible to concentrate on the games..

However, the matches continued long past that time, with the music blasting away regardless. There was even an unsubstantiated suggestion that reverberations from the bass caused a game to tilt, but the players just continued anyway.

The band starts playing in the Berăria H
The band starts playing in the Berăria H

The last eight were paired up to play best-of-three head-to-head matches on a single machine, with the winner progressing and the loser dropping out. Berndt Ion Teodorescu played Olivier Francq, Rich Mallett played Martin Ayub, Bogdan Constantin Ghiga played Daniel Nowak, and János Sándor played Roberto Pedroni.

The RPO quarter-finals
The RPO quarter-finals

From those matches, Olivier, Martin, Bogdan and Roberto went into the semi-finals which were played in the same way.

Martin and Roberto emerged victorious from those to contest the final which was another best-of-three played on Scared Stiff. Just to add to the interest, the venue decided to switch off the lights, so Ovi found a portable spot lamp which he held to illuminate the game. The sound was also cranked up to try to overcome the band’s performance.

The first game was a very cagey affair with neither player gaining control of the machine. It finished with Martin narrowly ahead with 1.8M to 1.6M.

The second game was a little better with both players starting crate multiball, but Martin also got Coffin multiball going and that proved to be the game and match decider. With a 2-0 score, Martin had won the final. Roberto was second, and in a separate play-off Olivier beat Bogdan to take third.

The presentation of prizes and trophies then took place. Each of the top four won an Android tablet while the top three received a custom coffin-shaped pinball trophy.

Fourth place, Bogdan Ghiga
Fourth place, Bogdan Ghiga
Third place, Ollivier Francq
Third place, Ollivier Francq
Second place, Roberto Pedroni
Second place, Roberto Pedroni
Winner of the Romanian Pinball Open 2016, Martin Ayub
Winner of the Romanian Pinball Open 2016, Martin Ayub
The top three in the RPO 2016
The top three in the RPO 2016

Here are the full results:

Romanian Pinball Open Results
1 Martin Ayub
2 Roberto Pedroni
3 Ollivier Francq
4 Bogdan Constantin Ghiga
5 Rich Mallett
6 Daniel Nowak
7 János Sándor
8 Berndt Ion Teodorescu
9 Balázs Pálfi
10 Cezary Glowala
11 Greg Mott
12 Wolfgang Haid
13 Matteo Filippin
14 Daniele Baldan
15 Antonella Iannotta
16 Flavio Baddaria
17 Gabi Molotov Gavrilita
18 Tamas Odler
19 Ovidiu Cacina
20 Kyoo Barbaix
21 Florin Tismas
22 Liv Decay
23 Marcin Krysinski
24 Milan Caranovic
25 David Mainwaring
26 Jakub Cieplinski
27 Aleksander Zurkowski
28 Gábor Vanderer
29 Claudio Melone
30 Andra Raicu
31 Gabriella Medgyesi
32 Miron Vasilescu
33 Devis Pierantozzi
34 Pierangelo Villa
35 Péter Szamosi
36 Vlad Terzi
37 Karin Eisenstecken
38 Gabi Claudiu
39 adrian aghenitei
40 Andrew Luke
41 Alex Butnaru
42 ieronim pogorilovschi
43 Vlad Filimon Nastase
44 Rafal Bytomski
45 Zsolt Somogyvari

While qualifying for the main RPO tournament was taking place, players could also compete in the ’80s Tournament which was held on five machines at the opposite end to the tournament desk.

Entry to the ’80s Tournament got you two concurrent games on each of Road Kings, Dr. Dude, Tiger Rag, Clown and Elvira & the Party Monsters. The higher of the two scores was recorded and ranked against all the other scores on the machines.

It was originally planned that the top eight players would qualify for the play-offs, but that was expanded to the top sixteen. They were split into four groups of four who played a single game per group, with the top two players continuing to the semi-finals.

The play-offs in the '80s Tournament
The play-offs in the ’80s Tournament

The semi-finals were made up of four head-to-head sudden-death games. The winners went into the finals while the losers were out.

The '80s Tournament semi-finals
The ’80s Tournament semi-finals

The four finalists were Bogdan Constantin Ghiga, Devis Pierantozzi, Rich Mallett and Roberto Pedroni, and the game chosen for the final was Tiger Rag which had been set to five ball play.

After the first two balls, Roberto had a good lead with his 196K more than double the second place 74K from Devis. Rich was close behind on 63K while Bogdan hadn’t had much luck with his 11K.

The third ball didn’t change either the order or the gaps between the scores, but there was a moment of interest when a stuck ball resulted in Devis having to tilt the game to free it, since opening the coin door would have depowered the game.

A stuck ball presents a challenge in the final
A stuck ball presents a challenge in the final

Devis would be allowed to play another ball at the end of the final, with the points earned added to his total from this game.

While ball three didn’t alter much, the fourth ball was game changer, as Rich shot from third with 73K into first place with 286K, ahead of Roberto’s 240K which had seemed pretty safe.

Rich in the final of the '89s Tournament
Rich in the final of the ’89s Tournament

Devis could only manage a fifth ball total of 177K which gave him third place at the moment with his additional ball still to play, while Bogdan’s 63K was a guaranteed fourth. Rich, meanwhile, had another good ball and ended his game with 344K, more than 100K ahead of Roberto. Could Roberto stage a last ball comeback?

Roberto plays the last ball of the '80s Tournament final
Roberto plays the last ball of the ’80s Tournament final

It wasn’t a lucky fifth ball for Roberto, as he ended his final with 274K, some 70K behind Rich. Devis would need to double his score to take the win.

Devis plays his additional ball
Devis plays his additional ball

As it turned out, he managed 50K on his additional ball – not enough to move him up from third place – meaning Rich had won with Roberto in second.

Third place, Devis Pierantozzi
Third place, Devis Pierantozzi
Second place, Roberto Pedroni
Second place, Roberto Pedroni
Winner of the '80s Tournament, Rich Mallett
Winner of the ’80s Tournament, Rich Mallett
The top three in the '80s Tournament
The top three in the ’80s Tournament

The full results of the ’80s Tournament are:

’80s Tournament Results
1 Rich Mallett
2 Roberto Pedroni
3 Devis Pierantozzi
4 Bogdan Constantin Ghiga
5 Flavio Baddaria
6 Martin Ayub
7 Cezary Glowala
8 David Mainwaring
9 Jakub Cieplinski
10 Ollivier Francq
11 Daniel Nowak
12 Aleksander Zurkowski
13 Wolfgang Haid
14 Berndt Ion Teodorescu
15 Rafal Bytomski
16 Daniele Baldan
17 Pierangelo Villa
18 Florin Tismas
19 Greg Mott
20 Claudio Melone
21 Gábor Vanderer
22 Matteo Filippin
23 Ovidiu Cacina
24 János Sándor
25 Tamas Odler
26 Balázs Pálfi
27 Liv Decay
28 Marcin Krysinski
29 Gabi Claudiu
30 Miron Vasilescu
31 Gabi Molotov Gavrilita
32 Milan Caranovic
33 Zsolt Somogyvari
34 Antonella Iannotta
35 Karin Eisenstecken
36 Kyoo Barbaix
37 Gabriella Medgyesi

With the competitive events finished for the day, it was time for a group photograph of everyone still remaining at the RPO before we headed back to bed in preparation for Sunday’s Pingolf Tournament.

The Saturday night crowd
The Saturday night crowd

After the late finish the previous night, the Pingolf by the Lake tournament understandably got off to a slow start. But by mid-morning the machines were in full swing.

Pingolf by the Lake qualifying
Pingolf by the Lake qualifying

As is now common, each machine (or ‘hole’) had a target score posted which players had to reach in as few balls as possible. If they reached the target then the number of balls used became their score for that hole. If they didn’t reach the target with the three balls allowed, they received a higher score depending on how close they were.

Pingolf scoring
Pingolf scoring

So a three-ball score of 35M would result in a six-stroke score for that hole. Scores were recorded on paper and entered into a spreadsheet later.

Score recording in the Pingolf Tournament
Score recording in the Pingolf Tournament

The eight players with the lowest course totals then moved on to the quarter-finals where they were paired-up for head-to-head pingolf play. The eight were Roberto Pedroni, Gábor Vanderer, János Sándor, Tamas Odler, Devis Pierantozzi, David Mainwaring, Daniel Nowak and Daniele Baldan.

Pingolf play-offs
Pingolf play-offs
Pingolf play-offs
Pingolf play-offs

The winners from the quarter-finals were Roberto, Tamas, David and Daniel. They were serenaded in the semi-finals by a traditional Romanian band who were playing to a small audience enjoying their lunch.

Sunday's concert begins in the main auditorium
Sunday’s concert begins in the main auditorium

Roberto and David made it through the semi-finals to play against each other in the Pingolf by the Lake final which was played on Shrek.

Roberto and David made it through to the final
Roberto and David made it through to the final
The final of the Pingolf Tournament
The final of the Pingolf Tournament

If either player could reach the target using fewer balls than the other then they would win. If not, the finalists moved on to a different machine.

The final of the Pingolf Tournament
The final of the Pingolf Tournament

David got tantalisingly close to winning on Shrek, really needing just one shot up the ramp to score 800K and reach the target. As it turned out, that shot rebounded down the right outlane, resulting in a tie.

So the pair moved on to Star Wars.

Game two of the final is on Star Wars
Game two of the final is on Star Wars

Roberto’s strategy of looping the ramp shot – this game was on original ROMs, not the newer code – allowed him to build up a healthy score and quickly reach the target. David tried to follow suit but, although he got close, he couldn’t replicate Roberto’s accuracy on the ramp shot, meaning Roberto won the game and the final.

David congratulates Roberto
David congratulates Roberto

The third place play-off between Daniel and Tamas resulted in Daniel taking third and Tamas fourth.

The play-off for third place
The play-off for third place

Then it was time for the presentation of medals for the top three Pingolfers.

Third place, Daniel Nowak
Third place, Daniel Nowak
Second place, David Mainwaring
Second place, David Mainwaring
Winner of the Pingolf by the Lake Tournament, Roberto Pedroni
Winner of the Pingolf by the Lake Tournament, Roberto Pedroni
The top three in the Pingolf by the Lake tournament
The top three in the Pingolf by the Lake tournament

The full results for the Pingolf tournament are:

Pingolf by the Lake Results
1 Roberto Pedroni
2 David Mainwaring
3 Daniel Nowak
4 Tamas Odler
5 Daniele Baldan
6 Devis Pierantozzi
7 János Sándor
8 Gábor Vanderer
9 Rich Mallett
10 Martin Ayub
11 Greg Mott
12 Rafal Bytomski
13 Flavio Baddaria
14 Matteo Filippin
15 Jakub Cieplinski
16 Marcin Krysinski
17 Balázs Pálfi
18 Claudio Melone
19 Cezary Glowala
20 Pierangelo Villa
21 Gabi Molotov Gavrilita
22 Wolfgang Haid
23 Péter Szamosi
24 Antonella Iannotta
25 Gabriella Medgyesi
26 Karin Eisenstecken
27 Zsolt Somogyvari

With the Pingolf completed, the machines were opened up for free play and the Romanian Pinball Open officially came to an end for 2016.

Anyone want to be Dracula? Gabby says he'll bite!
Anyone want to be Dracula? Gabby says he’ll bite!

The RPO was a good-natured and enjoyable tournament weekend.

The venue is certainly impressive and unlike any other tournament setting we have experienced. The volume of the live music both during warm-up and the actual performances took some getting used to at times, but having decent food and drink so readily available was much appreciated.

The condition of the machines used was less attractive. Some had obvious faults which either took them out of the tournament or needed player cooperation to work around, and there were few opportunities to fix them once the tournaments began.

But bringing together more than two dozen pinballs and holding an international tournament weekend is not a small achievement in Romania, so everyone appreciated Ovi’s hard work and seemed happy to play the games as they found them – ‘street pinball’.

We thoroughly enjoyed both the pinball and the city of Bucharest, and look forward to returning next year to experience much more of both.

PACIFIC PINBALL MUSEUM’S ‘SHOOT THE MOON’ 2016 EXPOSITION

Shoot the Moon 2017
The poster announcing the show
The poster announcing the show

After a four year hiatus, during which time efforts were focused on operations and expansion, the Pacific Pinball Museum resumed its highly successful series of PPM Expositions on November 11th, 12th and 13th, preceded by a special VIP early bird preview sale and party on the 10th.

This way to fun!
This way to fun!

Exposition 2016, the museum’s seventh, adopted the theme Shoot the Moon, borrowing the name and the George Molentin graphics from Williams’ 1951 pinball machine of the same name, which greeted visitors at the entrance to the show.

Michael Schiess, PPM Founder, Larry Zartarian, PPM Board President and Gordo admire the show’s signature game
Michael Schiess, PPM Founder, Larry Zartarian, PPM Board President and Gordo admire the show’s signature game

Shoot the Moon proved to be an all-together fitting title for the 2016 show reflecting the PPM’s cosmic accomplishments since their last Exposition. In the four year interim since the last show the museum space has increased significantly, the collection has continued to grow at a rapid pace and important progress has been made toward the funding required to relocate the PPM to the former Carnegie Library across from Alameda’s City Hall.

Most recently, the on-going issue of adequate storage was successfully addressed. Until July the PPM was faced with severe overcrowding in their former storage and restoration facility.

Even the narrow paths that separated aisles of games from one another had become impassable, requiring dozens, even hundreds of games, to be moved in order to unearth any given machine.

360-degree video of the former PPM warehouse by and courtesy of Steve Tsubota
Click to explore a 360-degree video of the former PPM warehouse by and courtesy of Steve Tsubota

Having determined that more space was not just desirable but necessary, the PPM Board of Directors decided to move the museum’s entire inventory of games, except for those in the museum proper, into a huge new commercial space. PPM Exposition 7 was staged to celebrate the importance of that move, showcase the museum’s greatly expanded collection and share with the public what the PPM has recently accomplished and what lies ahead.

The PPM Board of Directors. PPM Archives
The PPM Board of Directors (PPM Archives)

The gala event was held in the new Pacific Pinball Museum Annex at 1680 Viking Street in Alameda, California. The new Annex is just minutes away from the PPM Museum’s 1510 Webster Street location, which is open to the public 6 days a week, featuring a rotating line-up of 100-110 games set up on free play.

360-degree video of the former PPM warehouse by and courtesy of Steve Tsubota
Click to explore a 360-degree video of the current 45,000 square foot PPM Annex by and courtesy of Steve Tsubota

The new, 45,000 square foot PPM Annex provided the perfect venue to introduce visitors to nearly 500 pinball machines from the museum’s more than 1,300 game collection.

Plenty of storage for the PPM’s rapidly growing collection
Plenty of storage for the PPM’s rapidly growing collection

Games were arranged in back-to-back “islands” with extra-wide aisles between them allowing visitors plenty of room to play and the unique opportunity to walk, chronologically, year-by-year, through the development of pinball from 1947 through the present.

Players travel comfortably back in time along wide-open corridors
Players travel comfortably back in time along wide-open corridors

The time and effort required to successfully stage and manage such a pinball extravaganza could not have been achieved without the tireless efforts of an exceptional group of dedicated volunteers, some who began work as early as June to meet the November 10th deadline.

Volunteer couple John and Stephanie Kimball check out the silent auction goodies
Volunteer couple John and Stephanie Kimball check out the silent auction goodies

The thousands of hours required to prepare and mount the show were managed and coordinated by key members of the PPM team.

David Volansky, PPM’s newest Board member, was instrumental in the layout and engineering of the show and served as Floor Manager.

David Volansky. PPM Archives
David Volansky (PPM Archives)

As Volunteer Coordinator, Brad Grant did an excellent job managing and scheduling the tasks of more than sixty hard-working volunteers.

Brad Grant with PPM donors Pat & Gordon Hasse
Brad Grant with PPM donors Pat & Gordon Hasse

PPM Assistant Director d’Arci Bruno served as Facilities Manager capably assisted by Lynn Gustafson.

d’Arci Bruno and Lynn Gustafson
d’Arci Bruno and Lynn Gustafson

PPM Curator Melissa Harmon’s artistic and managerial skills were constantly called upon as she multi-tasked throughout the four-day show.

Melissa Harmon conducts one of her teaching seminars at the PPM. PPM Archives
Melissa Harmon conducts one of her teaching seminars at the PPM (PPM Archives)

All-important security and parking facilities were managed by Jim Strehlow and Jem Gruber.

Board member Jim Strehlow. PPM Archives
Board member Jim Strehlow (PPM Archives)
Board Member Jem Gruber takes a special interest in his neighbor’s pinball technique. PPM Archives
Board Member Jem Gruber takes a keen interest in his neighbor’s pinball technique (PPM Archives)

Ron Chan was responsible for developing the full color Shoot the Moon program guide with generous funding provided by exhibitor Marco Specialties.

PPM Board members Ron Chan and Dan Fontes. PPM Archives
PPM Board members Dan Fontes and Ron Chan (PPM Archives)

Of the games on display, 440 were available for free play throughout the weekend, maintained by a cadre of pinball tech volunteers who kept the games in good working order with a bare minimum of down time.

Pinball Medic applies a cure
Pinball Medic applies a cure

Among the show’s highlights were the presence of 132 working woodrail pins from Gottlieb’s 1947 Flying Trapeze (their last pre-flipper game) to Flipper (their first add-a-ball) and a choice selection of Gottlieb wedgeheads.

A sampling of the rare and highly desirable woodrail and wedgehead games from pinball’s ‘Golden Age’ on the show floor included:


WOODRAILS

  • Gottlieb 1949 College Daze – Wayne Neyen’s 1st design
  • Gottlieb 1950 Knock Out
  • Gottlieb 1951 Mermaid, Minstrel Man and Niagara
  • Williams 1951 Shoot the Moon
  • Chicago Coin 1951 Thing
  • Williams 1952 Paratrooper as well as their Majorettes and Olympics, both with Roy Parker art!
  • Genco 1952 Springtime featuring both a vertical and a horizontal playfield!
  • Gottlieb 1953 Grand Slam, the quintessential non-pitch & bat baseball-themed pinball game
  • Gottlieb 1954 double-coin Daisy May, Diamond Lill, Dragonette, Hawaiian Beauty and Mystic Marvel
  • Williams 1953 Screamo (based on Chicago’s Riverview Park) as well as the futuristic Skyway designed by Harry Williams
  • Gottlieb Sluggin’ Champ and Twin Bill from 1955
  • Genco 1957 Show Boat
  • Gottlieb 1958 Sittin’ Pretty and Rocket Ship
  • Bally 1960 ‘one balls’ Beach Queens and Beauty Contest
Five players enjoy themselves in the extensive woodrail section
Five players enjoy themselves in the extensive woodrail section


WEDGEHEADS

  • Gottlieb 1962 Flipper Cowboy
  • Gottlieb 1963 Slick Chick and Sweethearts
  • Gottlieb 1964 Majorettes and North Star
  • Gottlieb 1965 Cow Poke, Ice Revue and Kings & Queens
  • Gottlieb 1966 Cross Town
  • Gottlieb 1971 2001 and 4 Square
  • Gottlieb 1972 Pop-A-Card
  • Gottlieb 1975 El Dorado
Mike bangs on one of Larry Zartarian’s primo wedgeheads
Mike bangs on one of Larry Zartarian’s primo wedgeheads

While all but a handful of games at the show were gifted to the museum by a host of generous donors, special mention should be made of the 240 working woodrails and wedgeheads on the show floor contributed by Larry Zartarian, President and Treasurer of the PPM Board of Directors.

Larry Zartarian conducting one of his popular floor tours
Larry Zartarian conducting one of his popular floor tours

In addition to the woodrails available for play, there were 119 games from the 1960s, 129 from the 1970s, 28 from the 1980s, 31 from the 1990s, 3 from the 2000s and 5 from the 2010s.

It seems safe to say that there have never before been as many woodrails or wedgeheads available for play in a single venue, even in the most heavily populated arcades of the 1950s and 1960s!

It’s not just for guys anymore!
It’s not just for guys anymore!


MECHANICAL MARVELS

In addition, a special treat was in store for attendees thanks to Dan Miller who made his pristine collection of the three finest pinball machines from the mechanical age available for both viewing and play.

The trio, all made by David Rockola, included his 1933 World’s Fair Jigsaw as well as Army & Navy and World’s Series both from 1934.

Dan Miller fine-tunes his World’s Fair Jigsaw
Dan Miller fine-tunes his World’s Fair Jigsaw

It was amazing to observe the number of attendees who played these games repeatedly, captivated by the ingenuity and exceptional play value of these more than 80-year-old, entirely mechanical marvels!

 
WORKING GAMES ON THE SHOW FLOOR

1933 World’s Fair Jigsaw, Rockola
1934 Army & Navy, Rockola
1934 World’s Series, Rockola
1947 Flying Trapeze, Gottlieb
1948 Ali-Baba, Gottlieb
1948 Barnacle Bill, Gottlieb
1948 Cinderella, Gottlieb
1949 De-Icer, Williams
1949 Basketball, Gottlieb
1949 Bowling Champ, Gottlieb
1949 College Daze, Gottlieb
1949 Double-Shuffle, Gottlieb
1949 K.C. Jones, Gottlieb
1949 King Arthur & His Round Table, Gottlieb
1949 Old Faithful, Gottlieb
1949 Telecard, Gottlieb
1949 Three Musketeers, Gottlieb
1950 Lucky Inning, Williams
1950 Bank-A-Ball, Gottlieb
1950 Buffalo Bill, Gottlieb
1950 Canasta, Genco
1950 Double-Feature, Gottlieb
1950 Just 21, Gottlieb
1950 Knock Out, Gottlieb
1950 Madison Square Gardens, Gottlieb
1950 Rockettes, Gottlieb
1950 Select-A-Card, Gottlieb
1950 Spot Bowler, Gottlieb
1950 The 4 Horsemen, Gottlieb
1950 Triplets, Gottlieb
1951 Arcade, Williams
1951 Control Tower, Williams
1951 Cyclone, Gottlieb
1951 Globe Trotter, Gottlieb
1951 Happy-Go-Lucky, Gottlieb
1951 Mermaid, Gottlieb
1951 Minstrel Man, Gottlieb
1951 Niagara, Gottlieb
1951 Rose-Bowl, Gottlieb
1951 Shoot The Moon, Williams
1951 Thing, Chicago Coin
1951 Watch My Line, Gottlieb
1951 Wild West, Gottlieb
1952 All-Star Basketball, Gottlieb
1952 Caravan, Williams
1952 Chinatown, Gottlieb
1952 Coronation, Gottlieb
1952 Crossroads, Gottlieb
1952 Four Corners, Williams
1952 Four Stars, Gottlieb
1952 Happy Days, Gottlieb
1952 Hit ‘N’ Run, Gottlieb
1952 Majorettes, Williams
1952 Olympics, Williams
1952 Paratrooper, Williams
1952 Quartette, Gottlieb
1952 Skill-Pool, Gottlieb
1952 Springtime, Genco
1953 Arabian Knights, Gottlieb
1953 Flying High, Gottlieb
1953 Grand Champion, Williams
1953 Grand Slam, Gottlieb
1953 Guys Dolls, Gottlieb
1953 Pin Wheel, Gottlieb
1953 Poker Face, Gottlieb
1953 Quintette, Gottlieb
1953 Shindig, Gottlieb
1953 Times Square, Williams
1954 4-Belles, Gottlieb
1954 Big Ben, Williams
1954 Daisy May, Gottlieb
1954 Diamond Lill, Gottlieb
1954 Dragonette, Gottlieb
1954 Green Pastures, Gottlieb
1954 Jockey Club, Gottlieb
1954 Lady Luck, Gottlieb
1954 Lovely Lucy, Gottlieb
1954 Mystic Marvel, Gottlieb
1954 Screamo, Williams
1954 Skyway, Williams
1954 Stage Coach, Gottlieb
1955 Duette, Gottlieb
1955 Duette Deluxe, Gottlieb
1955 Easy Aces, Gottlieb
1955 Frontiersman, Gottlieb
1955 Gypsy Queen, Gottlieb
1955 Sluggin’ Champ, Gottlieb
1955 Southern Belle, Gottlieb
1955 Sweet Add-A-Line, Gottlieb
1955 Tournament, Gottlieb
1955 Twin Bill, Gottlieb
1955 Wishing Well, Gottlieb
1955 Wonderland, Williams
1956 Auto Race, Gottlieb
1956 Classy Bowler, Gottlieb
1956 Derby Day, Gottlieb
1956 Fair Lady, Gottlieb
1956 Gladiator, Gottlieb
1956 Harbor Lites, Gottlieb
1956 Rainbow, Gottlieb
1956 Score-Board, Gottlieb
1957 Continental Café, Gottlieb
1957 Falstaff, Gottlieb
1957 Show Boat, Genco
1957 Silver, Gottlieb
1957 Whirl-Wind, Gottlieb
1957 World Champ, Gottlieb
1958 Contest, Gottlieb
1958 Criss Cross, Gottlieb
1958 Double Action, Gottlieb
1958 Gondolier, Gottlieb
1958 Rocket Ship, Gottlieb
1958 Roto Pool, Gottlieb
1958 Sittin’ Pretty, Gottlieb
1958 Sunshine, Gottlieb
1958 Turf Champ, Williams
1959 Hi-Diver, Gottlieb
1959 Lightning Ball, Gottlieb
1959 Miss Annabelle, Gottlieb
1959 Queen Of Diamonds, Gottlieb
1959 Straight Shooter, Gottlieb
1959 Sweet Sioux, Gottlieb
1959 Universe, Gottlieb
1959 World Beauties, Gottlieb
1960 Beach Queens, Bally
1960 Beauty Contest, Bally
1960 Captain Kidd, Gottlieb
1960 Dancing Dolls, Gottlieb
1960 Flipper, Gottlieb
1960 Jungle, Williams
1960 Melody Lane, Gottlieb
1960 Merry-Go-Round, Gottlieb
1960 Spot-A-Card, Gottlieb
1960 Wagon Train, Gottlieb
1961 Add-A-Ball, Williams
1961 Aloha, Gottlieb
1961 Big Casino, Gottlieb
1961 Bo Bo, Williams
1961 Corral, Gottlieb
1961 Double Barrel, Williams
1961 Egg Head, Gottlieb
1961 Flipper Fair, Gottlieb
1961 Flipper Parade, Gottlieb
1961 Flying Circus, Gottlieb
1961 Highways, Williams
1961 Lancers, Gottlieb
1961 Oklahoma, Gottlieb
1961 Show Boat, Gottlieb
1961 Space Ship, Williams
1961 Ten Spot, Williams
1962 4 Roses, Williams
1962 Arrowhead, Keeney
1962 Cover Girl, Gottlieb
1962 Fashion Show, Gottlieb
1962 Flipper Clown, Gottlieb
1962 Flipper Cowboy, Gottlieb
1962 Liberty Belle, Gottlieb
1962 Olympics, Gottlieb
1962 Preview, Gottlieb
1962 Rack-A-Ball, Gottlieb
1962 Sunset, Gottlieb
1962 Target Gallery, Midway
1962 Tropic Isle, Gottlieb
1963 Big Daddy, Williams
1963 Gaucho, Gottlieb
1963 Gigi, Gottlieb
1963 Jumpin’ Jacks, Williams
1963 Merry Widow, Williams
1963 Moon Shot, Bally
1963 Slick Chick, Gottlieb
1963 Square Head, Gottlieb
1963 Sweet Hearts, Gottlieb
1963 Swing-Along, Gottlieb
1963 Tom Tom, Williams
1964 Big Top, Gottlieb
1964 Bonanza, Gottlieb
1964 Bowling Queen, Gottlieb
1964 Happy Clown, Gottlieb
1964 Mad World, Bally
1964 Majorettes, Gottlieb
1964 Monte Carlo, Bally
1964 North Star, Gottlieb
1964 Ship-Mates, Gottlieb
1964 Stop ‘N’ Go, Williams
1964 World Fair, Gottlieb
1965 Band Wagon, Bally
1965 Bank-A-Ball, Gottlieb
1965 Cow Poke, Gottlieb
1965 Flipper Pool, Gottlieb
1965 Hi Dolly, Gottlieb
1965 Ice-Revue, Gottlieb
1965 Kings & Queens, Gottlieb
1965 Magic Circle, Bally
1965 Moulin Rouge, Williams
1965 Paradise, Gottlieb
1965 Pot ‘O’ Gold, Williams
1965 Sky-Line, Gottlieb
1965 Teacher’s Pet, Williams
1965 Thoro-Bred, Gottlieb
1965 Trio, Bally
1966 Campus Queen, Gottlieb
1966 Capersville, Bally
1966 Central Park, Gottlieb
1966 Cross Town, Gottlieb
1966 Full House, Williams
1966 Hot Line, Williams
1966 Hurdy Gurdy, Gottlieb
1966 Ice Show, Gottlieb
1966 Masquerade, Gottlieb
1966 Mayfair, Gottlieb
1966 Subway, Gottlieb
1967 Beat Time, Williams
1967 Diamond Jack, Gottlieb
1967 Dixieland, Bally
1967 Melody, Gottlieb
1967 Rocket III, Bally
1967 Shangri-La, Williams
1967 Super Score, Gottlieb
1967 West Club, Rally (France)
1968 Ding Dong, Williams
1968 Domino, Gottlieb
1968 Doozie, Williams
1968 Fun Land, Gottlieb
1968 Lady Luck, Williams
1968 Minizag, Bally
1968 Palace Guard, Gottlieb
1968 Paul Bunyan, Gottlieb
1968 Playmates, Gottlieb
1968 Playtime, Chicago Coin
1968 Royal Guard, Gottlieb
1968 Spin Wheel, Gottlieb
1969 Action, Chicago Coin
1969 Expo, Williams
1969 Hearts & Spades, Gottlieb
1969 Joust, Bally
1969 King Tut, Bally
1969 Mibs, Gottlieb
1969 Mini Pool, Gottlieb
1969 Miss-O, Williams
1969 Moon Shot, Chicago Coin
1969 On Beam, Bally
1969 Paddock, Williams
1969 Road Race, Gottlieb
1969 Skipper, Gottlieb
1969 Spin-A-Card, Gottlieb
1969 Target Pool, Gottlieb
1969 Wild Wild West, Gottlieb
1970 4 Queens, Bally
1970 Aquarius, Gottlieb
1970 Baseball, Gottlieb
1970 Batter Up, Gottlieb
1970 Big Valley, Bally
1970 Bowl-O, Bally
1970 Crescendo, Gottlieb
1970 Double-Up, Bally
1970 Flip-A-Card, Gottlieb
1970 Galahad, Bally
1970 Polo, Gottlieb
1970 Rock ‘N’ Roll, Williams
1970 Scuba, Gottlieb
1970 Zip-A-Doo, Bally
1971 2001, Gottlieb
1971 4 Square, Gottlieb
1971 Abra Ca Dabra, Gottlieb
1971 Astro, Gottlieb
1971 Bristol Hills!, Gottlieb
1971 Doodle Bug, Williams
1971 Drop-A-Card, Gottlieb
1971 Roller Coaster, Gottlieb
1971 Stardust, Williams
1972 El Toro, Bally
1972 Fan-Tas-Tic, Williams
1972 Fireball, Bally
1972 Flying Carpet, Gottlieb
1972 Jungle, Gottlieb
1972 King Kool, Gottlieb
1972 Outer Space, Gottlieb
1972 Pop-A-Card, Gottlieb
1972 Super Star, Williams
1972 Swinger, Williams
1973 Gulfstream, Williams
1973 Hot Shot, Gottlieb
1973 Jack In The Box, Gottlieb
1973 Jungle King, Gottlieb
1973 King Pin, Gottlieb
1973 Nip-It, Bally
1973 OXO, Williams
1973 Pro-Football, Gottlieb
1973 Time Zone, Bally
1973 Upper Deck, Williams
1974 Amigo, Bally
1974 Big Brave, Gottlieb
1974 Champ, Bally
1974 Dealer’s Choice, Williams
1974 Duotron, Gottlieb
1974 Gin, Chicago Coin
1974 Sky Jump, Gottlieb
1974 Sky Kings, Bally
1974 Skylab, Williams
1974 Star Pool, Williams
1974 Super-Flite, Williams
1974 Top Card, Gottlieb
1975 Big Ben, Williams
1975 Bow & Arrow, Bally
1975 El Dorado, Gottlieb
1975 Knockout, Bally
1975 Pat Hand, Williams
1975 Top Score, Gottlieb
1975 Top Speed, Recel (Spain)
1975 Wizard!, Bally
1976 Aladdin’s Castle, Bally
1976 Blue Chip, Williams
1976 Buccaneer, Gottlieb
1976 Card Whiz, Gottlieb
1976 Hang Glider, Bally
1976 Hokus Pokus, Bally
1976 Lady Luck, Recel (Spain)
1976 Moon Flight, Zaccaria (Italy)
1976 Old Chicago (2), Bally
1976 Royal Flush, Gottlieb
1976 Sound Stage, Chicago Coin
1976 Space Odyssey, Williams
1976 Sure Shot, Gottlieb
1976 Surf Champ, Gottlieb
1976 Target Alpha, Gottlieb
1976 Underwater, Recel (Spain)
1977 Bronco, Gottlieb
1977 Butterfly, Sonic (Spain)
1977 Captain Fantastic, Bally
1977 Cleopatra, Gottlieb
1977 Combat, Zaccaria (Italy)
1977 Dragon, Interflip (Spain)
1977 Eight Ball, Bally
1977 Evel Knievel, Bally
1977 Icarus, Recel (Spain)
1977 Jacks Open, Gottlieb
1977 Jet Spin, Gottlieb
1977 Jungle Princess, Gottlieb
1977 Liberty Bell, Williams
1977 Mars Trek, Sonic (Spain)
1977 Monaco, Segasa (Spain)
1977 Nautilus, Zaccaria (Italy)
1977 Night Rider, Bally
1977 Rawhide, Stern
1977 Stampede, Stern
1977 Stingray, Stern
1977 Super Straight, Sonic (Spain)
1977 Team One, Gottlieb
1977 Wild Card, Williams
1978 Chance, Playmatic (Spain)
1978 Charlie’s Angels, Gottlieb
1978 Close Encounters Of The 3rd Kind, Gottlieb
1978 Disco Fever, Williams
1978 Hit The Deck, Gottlieb
1978 Lucky Seven, Williams
1978 Mata Hari, Bally
1978 Playboy, Bally
1978 Power Play, Bally
1978 Stars, Stern
1979 Count-Down, Gottlieb
1979 Dracula, Stern
1979 Flash, Williams
1979 Genie, Gottlieb
1979 Harlem Globetrotters, Bally
1979 Laser Ball, Williams
1979 Magic, Stern
1979 Meteor, Stern
1979 Solar Ride, Gottlieb
1979 Superman, Atari
1979 Tri Zone, Williams
1980 Buck Rogers, Gottlieb
1980 Circus, Gottlieb
1980 Firepower, Williams
1980 Galaxy, Stern
1980 Nine Ball, Stern
1980 Star Race, Gottlieb
1980 Xenon, Bally
1981 Embryon, Bally
1981 Fathom, Bally
1981 Fireball II, Bally
1981 Flash Gordon, Bally
1981 Jungle Lord, Williams
1982 Rapid Fire, Bally
1982 Striker, Gottlieb
1983 Farfalla, Zaccaria (Italy)
1983 Super Orbit, Gottlieb
1984 Black Pyramid, Bally/Midway
1985 Beat The Clock, Bally/Midway
1985 Fireball Classic, Ballymidway
1986 Motordome, Bally/Midway
1986 Road Kings, Williams
1987 F-14 Tomcat, Williams
1987 Space Station, Williams
1988 Blackwater 100, Bally/Midway
1989 Black Knight, Williams
1989 Earthshaker!, Williams
1989 Robocop, Data East
1990 Dr. Dude, Bally/Midway
1990 Funhouse, Williams
1990 The Simpsons, Data East
1990 Whirlwind, Williams
1991 Cactus Jack’s, Gottlieb
1991 Checkpoint, Data East
1991 Gilligan’s Island, Bally/Midway
1991 Hurricane, Williams
1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Data East
1991 Terminator 2, Williams
1992 Black Rose, Bally/Midway
1992 The Addams Family (3), Bally/Midway
1992 The Getaway High Speed 2 (2), Williams
1993 Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Williams
1993 Twilight Zone, Bally/Midway
1993 Whitewater (2), Williams
1994 Popeye Saves The Earth, Bally/Midway
1994 Red & Ted’s Road Show, Williams
1994 Rescue 911, Gottlieb
1994 World Cup Soccer, Bally/Midway
1995 Attack From Mars (2), Bally/Midway
1995 Theatre Of Magic, Bally/Midway
1996 Flipper Football, Capcom
1997 Medieval Madness, Williams
1998 Cactus Canyon, Bally/Midway
2003 Terminator 3, Stern
2008 The Hellacopters Air Raid Serenades, re-themed from a 1973 Gottlieb King Pin by Wade Krause & Donny Gillies (aka ‘Dirty Donny’)
2013 Metallica (Premium), Stern
2013 Star Trek (Starfleet Pro), Stern
2016 Ghostbusters (Pro), Stern

In summary there were working games from 21 different makers on the floor of PPM Expo 7.

Excluding the games used for the tournaments and the pre-flipper view-only historical games the counts were as follows:

Manufacturer Number of Games Percentage of Total
Atari
Bally
Bally/Midway
Capcom
Chicago Coin
Data East
Dirty Donny/Wade Krauss
Genco
Gottlieb
Interflip
Keeney
Midway
Playmatic
Rally
Recel
Rockola
Segasa
Sonic
Stern
Williams
Zaccaria
1
49
15
1
6
4
1
3
244
1
1
1
1
1
4
3
1
3
13
83
4
0.23
11.2
3.41
0.23
1.36
0.90
0.23
0.68
55.8
0.23
0.23
0.23
0.23
0.23
0.90
0.68
0.23
0.68
2.95
18.9
0.90
21 manufacturers 440 100

Despite the mind-boggling selection of games available for play at Shoot the Moon, a few attendees managed to find fault. In answer to grumbling from one of the younger attendees about the limited number of games from the current century I overheard a PPM board member patiently explain why:

PPM BOARD MEMBER: “Far fewer machines have come to market since Bally, Williams and Gottlieb’s successors closed their pinball operations at the end of the last century. And, since the PPM is a museum, not an arcade, our focus is on acquiring older, more historic games while they’re still available.

“Besides, many of the games made from 2000 on are in the hands of collectors. And since we rely most heavily upon donations, we don’t expect to receive many games from that era for quite a while.”

SHOOT THE MOON VISITOR: “So why not just buy some newer games?”

PPM BOARD MEMBER:  “From time to time we do. But purchasing large numbers of new games for the PPM collection is cost prohibitive. And, if your main interest is in playing newer games, there are plenty of them available on location, at traditional pinball shows and in individual collections.”


PRE-FLIPPER RARITIES

Another Expo highlight was the display of 34 additional games from the pre-flipper era. Set up for viewing-only they ranged from proto-pinballs and the 1931 origin games Baffle Ball and Bingo, through wartime conversions like the politically incorrect Victory Games’ Smack the Japs to 1947’s Coed, one of Exhibit Supply’s (ESCO’s) last pre-flipper pinballs.

The complete list follows:

1871, Montague Redgrave, Parlor Bagatelle (proto-pinball)
1920, Mills Novelty Company, Target Shooter (proto-pinball)
1931, Bingo Novelty Manufacturing Company, Bingo
1931, Gottlieb, Baffle Ball
1932, Pace Manufacturing Company, Lucky Strike
1932, Mills Novelty Company, Official Pin Table
1932, Skilgames, Inc., Whirlpool
1934, Daval Manufacturing Company, American Beauty
1934, Pacific Amusement Manufacturing Company (PAMCO), Contact
1934, PAMCO, Major League
1934, Rockola, World’s Series
1937, Bally, Ballyhoo
1938, Mills, One-Two-Three
1938, Stoner Manufacturing Company, Ritz
1938, Bally, Rocket
1939, Exhibit Supply Company (ESCO), Sky-Rocket
1940, Bally, Beauty
1940, Bally, Glamour
1941, Gottlieb, Horoscope
1941, Genco, Jungle
1941, Genco, Metro
1942, Victory Games, Slap the Japs
(a conversion of Chicago Coin’s 1940 Strat-O-Liner)
1945, Gottlieb, Cover Girl
1947, Bally, Ballyhoo
1947, Exhibit, Coed
1947, Marvel, Lightning
1947, United, Singapore
1947, Exhibit, Treasure Chest
1948, Keeney, Band Leader
1948, Exhibit, Banjo
1948, Williams, Gizmo
1948, United, Serenade
1948, Chicago Coin, Shanghai
1948, Williams, Speedway
1949, Genco, Rip Snorter
1950, Exhibit, Be-Bop
Larry Zartarian peeks over the tops of three more oldies but goodies: Williams 1948 Speed Way, United 1947 Nevada and Genco 1949 Rip Snorter. Photo courtesy of Dan Fontes
Larry Zartarian peeks over the tops of three more oldies but goodies: Williams 1948 Speed Way, United 1947 Nevada and Genco 1949 Rip Snorter (Photo courtesy of Dan Fontes)


SHOW HIGHLIGHT TOURS

Each day during the three days of the show PPM docents Larry Zartarian and Dan Miller conducted guided tours of the games on the show floor.

The tours provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about pinball’s evolution, the special significance of landmark games and to ask questions of the PPM’s knowledgeable tour guides. Four floor “highlight” tours were scheduled each day and all were well attended.

Dan Miller gives his audience a preview of what’s in store with his tour
Dan Miller gives his audience a preview of what’s in store with his tour


INTERACTIVE EXHIBITS

PPM’s ingenuity and commitment to teaching through pinball employing STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) was evident in the several interactive exhibits at Shoot the Moon. On display for viewing and play, the Visible Pinball Machine, developed by PPM Founder and Director Michael Schiess and master screen printer, craftsman, inventor and pinball artist Wade Krause, attracted many awed viewers and players!

Uniquely PPM: the “Visible Pinball”. PPM Archives
Uniquely PPM: the ‘Visible Pinball’ (PPM Archives)
Artists agree: Jem Gruber and Wade Krause. PPM Archives
Artists agree: Jem Gruber and Wade Krause (PPM Archives)

In addition to the Visible Pinball, which allows viewers to observe all the internal workings of a 1976 Gottlieb Surf Champ, the following exhibits were available to help attendees understand the design and functioning of many of the most important components of pinball games:

Fun with Pinball’s Mark Gibson and his wife drove all the way from Colorado to share eighteen of his unique ‘Small Board’ and 3 of his ‘Game’ displays demonstrating electromechanical pinball functions. The three ‘Small Boards’ shown below demonstrate the operation of electromagnets, roto-target units and the Gottlieb score motor in EM games.

Mark Gibson’s Electromagnet demonstration board. Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson.
Mark Gibson’s Electromagnet demonstration board (Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson)
Mark Gibson’s Roto Target demonstration board. Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson
Mark Gibson’s Roto Target demonstration board (Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson)
Mark Gibson’s Gottlieb Score Motor demonstration board. Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson.
Mark Gibson’s Gottlieb Score Motor demonstration board (Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson)

Mark’s ‘Baseball Game’ showed the operation of the classic Williams horizontal man-running unit, while his ‘Horseracing Game’ revealed the workings of Williams’ very popular chain-driven mechanism used to advance miniature horses, seahorses, speedboats and jalopies across the length of a variety of backbox race courses.

Mark Gibson’s Baseball Game based on Williams’ man-running unit. Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson.
Mark Gibson’s Baseball Game based on Williams’ man-running unit (Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson)
Mark Gibson’s Horseracing Game based on Williams’ chain-driven, backbox animated race unit. Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson.
Mark Gibson’s Horseracing Game based on Williams’ chain-driven, backbox animated race unit (Photo courtesy of Mark Gibson)

Australian Lucas Abela, an experimental musician, performance artist, inventor and founder of Dual Plover Records brought his spectacular sub-bass Bassballs musical instrument/pinball hybrid to Shoot the Moon for all to marvel at and to play!

Lucas Abela proudly displays his unique Bassballs
Lucas Abela proudly displays his unique Bassballs


MAGNIFICENT MURALS

Adding to the tangible sense of excitement that permeated Shoot the Moon were the spectacular displays of pinball backglass murals by local artists that hung from the ceiling of the PPM Annex.

Six of the twelve hanging murals displayed at Shoot the Moon
Six of the twelve hanging murals displayed at Shoot the Moon

Since the PPM’s inception the museum has sought to celebrate and promote pinball art as a uniquely American genre. This commitment has resulted in thirty beautifully rendered, oversized canvases by local artists that recreate iconic pinball backglass art. These magnificent tribute murals range in size from 6,794 square inches to a truly enormous 14,400 (120 x 120 inches) square inches. That’s ten feet by ten feet!

The following twelve oversized backglass murals were on display to engage attendee interest and promote their appreciation of pinball graphics:

1950, Gottlieb, Joker
1951, Gottlieb, Mermaid
1955, Williams, Wonderland
1961, Gottlieb, Corral
1961, Williams, Double Barrel
1964, Gottlieb, Majorettes
1970, Gottlieb, Scuba
1971, Bally, Sea Ray
1971, Gottlieb, 2001
1971, Bally, Double-Up
1975, Gottlieb, El Dorado
1976, Gottlieb, Card Whiz

Many of these murals are now in the hands of private collectors but some remain available for sale by the artists, who generously share the sale proceeds with the PPM. The complete list of Pacific Pinball Museum tribute murals, listed alphabetically by artist, appears below:


THE ARTISTS & THEIR WORK

d’Arci Bruno
1970, Bally, Sea Ray
1974, Gottlieb, Out of Sight
1975, Gottlieb, El Dorado
1976, Gottlieb, Card Whiz
1977, Gottlieb, Jungle Princess
1979, Gottlieb, Genie
Artist d’Arci Bruno displays her Bally Sea Ray mural. PPM Archives
Artist d’Arci Bruno displays her Bally Sea Ray mural (PPM Archives)

 

Ed Cassel
1950, Gottlieb, Joker
1952, Williams, Domino
1955, Williams, Wonderland
1961, Williams, Double Barrel
1961, Williams, Space Ship
1971, Gottlieb, 2001
1971, Bally, Double Up
1971, Bally, Fireball
1971, Gottlieb, Scuba
Artist Ed Cassel at work on his Williams Domino. PPM Archives
Artist Ed Cassel at work on his Williams Domino (PPM Archives)
Dan Fontes
1939, Exhibit, Golden
1939, Exhibit, Zip
1951, Gottlieb, Mermaid
1952, Gottlieb, Queen of Hearts
1954, Williams, Skyway
1958, United, Sky Raiders (rifle game)
1960, Gottlieb, Flipper
1961, Gottlieb, Corral
1963, Bally, Star Jet
1964, Gottlieb, Majorettes

 

Artist Dan Fontes puts the finishing touches on his Gottlieb Mermaid. PPM Archives
Artist Dan Fontes puts the finishing touches on his Gottlieb Mermaid (PPM Archives)
Eric Kos
1974, Gottlieb, Out of Sight
1975, Gottlieb, El Dorado
1976, Gottlieb, Card Whiz
1977, Gottlieb, Jungle Princess
1979, Gottlieb, Genie
Artist Eric Kos as he develops his Gottlieb Out of Sight mural. PPM Archives
Artist Eric Kos as he develops his Gottlieb Out of Sight mural (PPM Archives)
Multi-Artist Cooperative Effort
The large mural that covers the wall in the Pacific Pinball Museum’s ‘Vintage Room’
PPM wall mural with artists Ed Cassel, Dan Fontes, Eric Kos and PPM Board members David Volansky & Larry Zartarian. PPM Archives
PPM wall mural with artists Ed Cassel, Dan Fontes, Eric Kos and PPM Board members David Volansky & Larry Zartarian (PPM Archives)


LIL’ JU JU TRAVELING PINBALL MUSEUM

Another treat, especially for first-time PPM Exposition visitors, was the presence on the show floor of the converted Spartan Manor trailer, the PPM’s traveling exhibit known fondly as the Lil’ Ju Ju.

Tucked inside were the following five Gottlieb pinball machines available for play: Aquarius, Big Brave, Jacks Open, Jungle Princess and 2001. Not to mention the well-stocked, 1969 Seeburg Golden Jet jukebox to set the proper nostalgic mood!

The PPM’s “traveling museum” the Lil’ Ju Ju. PPM Archives
The PPM’s ‘traveling museum’ the Lil’ Ju Ju (PPM Archives)

The Lil’ Ju Ju enables the PPM’s growing outreach to individuals, schools and other institutions and communities unable to visit the PPM proper. Like the time-honored book mobiles, the PPM’s traveling museum makes its periodic rounds to neighborhoods and events where it can spread the PPM’s message of pinball art, history, science and unrivalled entertainment.


SEMINARS

PPM Director and Speaker Program Coordinator Ron Chan does a last-minute sound check. PPM Archives
PPM Director and Speaker Program Coordinator Ron Chan does a last-minute sound check (Pinball News archives)

In a continuing effort to inform and educate about as many aspects of pinball as possible Shoot the Moon also featured a diverse agenda of seminars and video presentations.

Chris Kuntz shares tips on keeping EM’s running right. PPM Archives
Chris Kuntz shares tips on keeping EM’s running right (Pinball News archives)

Master pinball mechanic Chris Kuntz, owner of pinball repair and sales company Pinball Pirate, delivered his ‘how-to’ seminar My EM Doesn’t Work! What Now? once each day during the Expo, sharing tips and shortcuts drawn from years of experience as a pinball troubleshooter and repair expert.

'Bear' Kamoroff provides valuable insights into pinball ownership
‘Bear’ Kamoroff provides valuable insights into pinball ownership

During Saturday’s show, author and publisher Bernard “Bear” Kamoroff provided pinball owners and wannabees with invaluable advice on How to Buy and Maintain a Pinball Machine. The 3rd Edition of his best-selling book Pinball Machine Care and Maintenance, published by the Pacific Pinball Museum, sold briskly at the PPM table.

Michael Schiess and Larry Zartarian greet Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer Herrera prior to delivering one of their PPM update presentations
Michael Schiess and Larry Zartarian greet Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer Herrera prior to delivering one of their PPM update presentations

PPM Founder and Director Michael Schiess and PPM Treasurer and Board President Larry Zartarian gave a daily presentation Everything You Wanted to Know About the Pacific Pinball Museum covering the history, growth and ambitious future plans for the PPM.

In addition to restating their resolve to become the “Smithsonian of pinball”, they shared the progress made toward occupying Alameda’s 1902 Carnegie Library building as the PPM’s permanent home, as well as plans to launch two major pinball events each year in their expansive PPM Annex.

The Alameda Carnegie Library is never far from the mind of PPM Founder Michael Schiess! PPM Archives

Mike and Larry revealed that, for the first time, the PPM was able to set up, on a permanent basis, a significant portion of their entire collection in the new PPM Annex. In addition to being able to display more than 500 working and restored games at any point in time, the 45,000 square foot Annex provides ample room for a workshop and restoration area as well as organized storage for the remainder of the museum’s rapidly expanding collection.

Awaiting restoration and a place in the PMM’s all star line-up
Awaiting restoration and a place in the PMM’s all-star line-up

In addition to their plan to host two major pinball shows each year, the PPM envisions renting the Annex to individuals celebrating special occasions and to companies seeking a unique and engaging venue for parties, team-building, mixers, receptions and other corporate events.

Pinball writer, collector and historian Gordon Hasse offers a sneak preview of his upcoming book
Pinball writer, collector and historian Gordon Hasse offers a sneak preview of his upcoming book

 

Appealing to those with an interest in the ‘Golden Age’ of pinball as well as the merely curious, each day of the Expo Gordo presented the graphic seminar The Crest of Pinball’s Golden Age: 1954 and the Games of D. Gottlieb. The presentation explored the impact of popular culture on pinball theme development and a detailed discussion of Roy Parker’s artwork on four exceptional D. Gottlieb games released that year.

A group of ladies grace the gallery
A group of ladies grace the gallery

The presentation was a preview of Gordo’s about-to-be published book on all thirteen Gottlieb games from that memorable year. If you’re interested in knowing when it will be available drop him an e-mail at hasse.gordon@gmail.com.

Larry Zartarian removes the original shipping block from one of Wayne Neyen’s wedgeheads. PPM Archives
Larry Zartarian removes the original shipping block from one of Wayne Neyen’s wedgeheads (PPM Archives)
1949 Gottlieb College Daze. The first game from master designer Wayne Neyens. Gordon Hasse Collection
1949 Gottlieb College Daze – the first game from master designer Wayne Neyens (Gordon Hasse Collection)
Producer Will White, the man behind the Neyens video. PPM Archives
Producer Will White, the man behind the Neyens video (PPM Archives)

A video tribute, An Interview with Pinball Designer Wayne Neyens, was screened for attendees each evening. The interview format hosted by PPM Board President Larry Zartarian proved to be an ideal approach revealing fascinating details of pinball’s most prolific and successful designer’s experiences during his more than 50 year career.

Almost solely responsible for 177 Gottlieb pinball designs from 1949 through 1976, during the decade of the 1950s Neyens produced an unending string of popular and profitable games at the astonishing rate of roughly one game per month! This classic video, a Will White production, is part of the PPM’s ongoing, archival Pioneers of Pinball series.


VENDORS

A number of vendors set up at the show offering a wide array of products and merchandise.

  • Jonathan Joosten’s Pinball Magazine
  • Marco Specialties – Everything Pinball™
  • Pacific Pinball Museum
  • Rob Anthony’s Lock When Lit
  • Rob Hawkins & Don Mueting’s Pinball Collectors Resource

In addition there were approximately a dozen pinball machines for sale at the show by various individuals.


AUCTIONS

PPM patrons and local area merchants generously contributed many unique items to be auctioned off during the course of the show.

A 1975 Bally Wizard! crossed the block at $3,000. A Panic City neon sign donated by Rhino Records founder Richard Foos: a large, revolving Lone Star Beer ‘Monkey Display’ and many ‘baskets of cheer’ found new homes at the end of a separate silent auction.

Donors and local merchants generously provided an interesting array of items for the silent auction
Donors and local merchants generously provided an interesting array of items for the silent auction
Master of Ceremonies, Auctioneer and community booster Chuck DiGuida appears with Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer Herrera
Master of Ceremonies, Auctioneer and community booster Chuck DiGuida appears with Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer Herrera


RAFFLE

PPM Board Member Jim Strehlow donated a brand new Stern Ghostbusters to be raffled off during the show!

PPM Director Jim Strehlow with the brand new Ghostbusters
PPM Director Jim Strehlow with the brand new Ghostbusters

Jim’s generous gift resulted in the sale of more than $10,000 worth of tickets and the lucky winner was John Mayo, shown here with his new GHOSTBUSTERS.

$25 a pop and the winner is…
$25 a pop and the winner is…
Lucky raffle winner John Mayo with PPM Founder Michael Schiess
Lucky raffle winner John Mayo with PPM Founder Michael Schiess


PINBALL A LA CARTE

Show attendees enjoyed catered specialties from Chef Rutilio ‘Rudy’ Fanetti-Durance’s C’Era Una Volta – Ristorante Italiano. In addition, a broad selection of local wines and craft beers gave visitors the opportunity to enjoy some of the best of the Bay Area’s local fare.

PMM Directors Brand Grant and Michael Schiess enjoy dinner-on-the-run
PMM Directors Brand Grant and Michael Schiess enjoy dinner-on-the-run


TOURNAMENTS

Three different tournaments took place during the show. The tournament games shown below, reflected the design challenges of three distinct eras. All tournament entries were free with admission to the show!

Tournament Machines
1947, Williams, Torchy
1954, Gottlieb, 4-Belles
1961, Gottlieb, Egg Head
1976, Gottlieb, Royal Flush
1980, Stern, Galaxy
1991, Williams, Terminator 2
2001, Stern, High Roller Casino
2016, Stern, Ghostbusters Pro

A different tournament was held each day directed by Echa Schneider, under the auspices of the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA).

The woodrail tournament took place on Friday, November 11 and the winners were:

Woodrail Tournament
1
2
3=
3=
3=
Dan Dempsey, Walnut Creek, CA
Eric Finke
Andrei Massenkoff, San Francisco, CA
Masha Dare
Jared Garvey, Berkeley, CA

The 1960s and later electro-mechanical tournament took place on Saturday, November 12th and the winners were:

1960s Tournament
1
2
3
Karl Lind, Portland, Oregon
Jack Slovacek
Alex Lambert, Roseville, CA

The Solid State & DMD tournament took place on Sunday, November 13th and the winners were:

1960s Tournament
1
2
3
Damien Charléty, Chambéry, France
Per Schwarzenberger, San Francisco, CA
Robin Lassonde, Berkeley, CA
(currently ranked #1 qualifier for the IFPA California State Championship)

Solid State & DMD Tournament Winners Per Schwartzenberger, Damien Charléty and Robin Lassonde
Solid State & DMD Tournament Winners Per Schwartzenberger, Damien Charléty and Robin Lassonde

 
VISITOR RESPONSES

Follow-up surveys with Shoot the Moon attendees found that 99% of those polled who visited the show would come to the next PPM Exposition event.

Of those who took the guided show tours, 85% reported that they exceeded their expectations and, among seminar attendees, 65% reported that the sessions they attended exceeded their expectations.

Given the limited advance notice of the show the overwhelming majority of the more than 1,000 attendees came from the local San Francisco Bay Area.

An encouraging 52 attendees offered to serve as volunteers at the next PPM Expo.

Perhaps most interesting of all, 57% of those polled did NOT own a pinball machine! This surprising statistic served to validate that interest in the multiple objectives of the PPM and its variety of activities reaches well beyond the ‘pinhead’ community!

From the perspective of the PPM’s Board of Directors, this was a most satisfying and successful show, providing the impetus for even more exciting events in the future.


WHAT LIES AHEAD?

Given the success of Shoot the Moon, the PPM Board of Directors has tentatively planned for two PPM Expos each year from this point on.

The new Annex provides them with requisite space for individuals and companies to stage parties, celebrations, corporate and team-building events – any function seeking lots of fun and lots of space!

Revenues from these and other PPM-sponsored events will go toward the carrying and operating costs of the Annex and the continuing Carnegie Library fund-raising effort.

The new Annex provides ample space for an accelerated restoration program allowing more rare and desirable games to be made ready for play on a timely basis. Former problems of space for games, parts, and restoration tools and equipment have now been eliminated!

The Annex also permits the PPM to expand their STEM-based educational programs using pinball as a vehicle to teach art, history and science.

Those interested in becoming involved with the Pacific Pinball Museum as a donor, volunteer, or local point-of-contact in your area can email founder & Director Michael Schiess at mschiess@pacificpinball.org

For more information regarding the Pacific Pinball Museum and its many initiatives visit: www.pacificpinball.org

ARCADIA: HUNGARIAN PINBALL OPEN 2016

Arcadia 2016

Last year we reported from the Hungarian Pinball Open which was held at the Hungarian Pinball Museum in Budapest. That event was such a success that the number of players increased and the HPO outgrew the Museum’s confines.

So for 2016 the organisers moved to the larger Dürer Conference Centre in the north-west of the city, a short walk from Heroes’ Square.

The entrance to the Dürer Conference Centre
The entrance to the Dürer Conference Centre

With the move to a larger space, the opportunity was taken to expand the event beyond just the pinball tournaments, to make it appeal to gamers of different types. Thus the Arcadia show was created, combining pinballs, video games and assorted coin-op amusements, as well as retro console gaming.

The Arcadia show banner
The Arcadia show banner
Not forgetting the Hungarian Pinball Open
Not forgetting the Hungarian Pinball Open

The Dürer Conference Centre is a single-storey complex comprised of several rooms of various sizes. We arrived on Friday evening when it was dark outside and the building was nicely illuminated.

The Dürer Conference Centre at night
The Dürer Conference Centre at night
The Dürer Conference Centre
The Dürer Conference Centre

Once through the entry doors and past the registration/payment desk, we come to the lobby where all the cool kids hang out and the warm coats hang up.

Chilling in the lobby
Chilling in the lobby
Coat storage cost 200HUF ($0.70/?0.64/£0.55) a day
Coat storage cost 200HUF ($0.70/?0.64/£0.55) a day

Gaming furniture company Altar had a nice display in the lobby featuring two themed coffee table pinballs – Data East’s Star Wars and Phantom of the Opera games – alongside several less-playable but equally stylish pieces of gaming furniture.

The Altar area
The Altar area
Altar's two coffee-table pinballs
Altar’s two coffee-table pinballs
The Star Wars table
The Star Wars table
The Phantom of the Opera table
The Phantom of the Opera table

Also in the lobby was a stand selling Hungarian Pinball Museum T-shirts and other merchandise. We picked up a couple in orange and purple to give away as prizes.

Hungarian Pinball Museum merchandise
Hungarian Pinball Museum merchandise

The largest of the three rooms in the Dürer was the free-play area which contained a nice mix of pinballs, video games, skill games and retro computers. It also contained the larger of the two bars.

Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Inside the free-play hall
Hercules - big as ever
Hercules – big as ever
Head-to-head pinball
Head-to-head pinball
Collaborative pinball on Granny & the Gators
Collaborative pinball on Granny & the Gators
The retro computing section
The retro computing section
The retro computing section
The retro computing section
The retro computing section
The retro computing section
Retro consoles and handhelds
Retro consoles and handhelds
Kids these days wouldn't understand
Kids these days wouldn’t understand
Video games and video/pinball combos in the free-play hall
Video games and video/pinball combos in the free-play hall
Video games in the free-play hall
Video games in the free-play hall
Video games in the free-play hall
Video games in the free-play hall
Video games and other skill games in the free-play hall
Video games and other skill games in the free-play hall
The hockey games were popular
The hockey games were popular
Some older mechanical games
Some older mechanical games
A four-player racing game
A four-player racing game

Here’s a list of all the free-play pinballs:

  • Lord of the Rings, The
  • Bride of Pinbot, The Machine
  • Fish Tales
  • Whitewater
  • Judge Dredd
  • Dr. Dude*
  • Twilight Zone
  • Roadshow, Red & Ted’s
  • Elvira & the Party Monsters
  • Demolition Man
  • Godzilla
  • Addams Family, The
  • Cirqus Voltaire
  • Roadshow, Red & Ted’s
  • Indianapolis 500
  • Teed Off
  • Super Mario Bros
  • Safecracker
  • Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
  • Congo
  • Champion Pub, The
  • Scared Stiff
  • No Fear
  • Shadow, The*
  • Corvette
  • World Cup Soccer
  • Streetfighter II
  • Freddy – A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Mario Andretti
  • Jolly Park
  • Flipper Football
  • Pinball Magic
  • Breakshot
  • Striker Xtreme
  • Shrek
  • Lord of the Rings, The
  • South Park
  • Apollo 13
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s*
  • Guns N’ Roses
  • Last Action Hero
  • Batman (DE)
  • Baby Pac-Man
  • Granny & the Gators
  • Star Wars (DE)
  • Star Wars Episode 1
  • Happy Clown
  • World Fair
  • Mayfair
  • Power Play, Bobby Orr
  • Space Shuttle (Zac)
  • Locomotion
  • Caveman
  • Haunted House
  • Genesis
  • Road Kings
  • F-14 Tomcat
  • Heavy Metal Meltdown
  • Robocop
  • Orbito 1
  • Attila the Hun
  • Banzai Run
  • Funhouse
  • Bride of Pinbot, The Machine
  • Whirlwind
  • Taxi
  • Diner
  • Earthshaker!
  • Indiana Jones
  • Terminator 2
  • Alien
  • Full Throttle
  • Terminator 2
  • Hercules
  • A G Soccer Ball
  • Hearts & Spades

Inside the free-play hall there were several vendors with demonstrator games for visitors to play or gaming-related goods to buy.

RS Pinball were representing both Heighway Pinball and PinSound
RS Pinball were representing both Heighway Pinball and PinSound
This PinSound-fitted Indiana Jones could easily be heard over the other games
This PinSound-fitted Indiana Jones could easily be heard over the other games
Alien Pinball was here together with Full Throttle
Alien Pinball was here together with Full Throttle
Alien's playfield
Alien’s playfield
Full Throttle
Full Throttle
The Krakow Pinball Museum had a stand
The Krakow Pinball Museum had a stand
A bullet-proofed T2
A bullet-proofed T2
Konzolok Szervize were selling gamer toys and clothing
Konzolok Szervize were selling gamer toys and clothing
Playseat were showing their gaming seats alongside some sit-down arcade games
Playseat were showing their gaming seats alongside some sit-down arcade games
The bar in the free-play hall
The bar in the free-play hall

We generally found the prices of food and drink to be a little higher than we would have expected. Although some of the low-end beers were 300HUF a can, the nicest dark beer was 700HUF ($2.40/€2.24/£1.90) for a can, while cans of Pepsi were 400HUF ($1.36/€1.28/£1) in a country where prices are generally found to be reasonably cheap.

If visitors wanted something a little more substantial to eat, there were two food vendors set up just outside the main entrance to the building.

Outside the main entrance
Outside the main entrance

One was selling freshly-made savoury folded flatbreads, while the other sold hot toasted and flavoured nuts and… well, we’re not quite sure what the dishes were exactly, although they did look colourful.

The flatbreads had cheese and meat fillings available
The flatbreads had cheese and meat fillings available
The hot nut stand
The hot nut stand
Although pretty, we didn't sample them
Although attractive-looking, we didn’t sample them

So that’s the setting for the competitions, and there were three main pinball tournaments held at Arcadia – the Hungarian Pinball Open (HPO), the Classics Tournament and Pingolf.

Qualification for the HPO began in a dedicated room on the opposite side of the lobby on Friday with a scheduled start time of 7pm, although there was a delay before the scoring system and the machines were ready and the games could begin. This was to prove to be a precursor to more delays across the whole weekend.

Players wait for the start of qualifying
Players wait for the start of qualifying
Organisers working furiously to be ready to start the qualifying
Organisers working furiously to be ready to start the qualifying

More on that later, but the format of the HPO divided players into nine groups (A-I)of twenty-eight, with each player playing in nine rounds of four-player games. In each round their opponents were different, so that by the end they had played against all twenty-seven (nine rounds of three opponents) other members of their group.

Belgian players check out a Roadshow prior to qualifying
Belgian players check out a Roadshow prior to qualifying

Each group was allocated an area in one of the two tournament rooms with nine machines in area. These were mostly dot-matrix machines with a mix of Williams/Bally, Stern and Data East titles, plus a smattering of alpha-numeric titles from Williams and Bally.

Here are the machines in the five areas

GROUPS A & F

  • Star Trek (Stern)
  • Flintstones, The
  • World Cup Soccer
  • Sopranos, The
  • Hurricane
  • Scared Stiff
  • Terminator 2
  • Transformers
  • Whitewater
GROUPS B & G

  • Shrek
  • Walking Dead, The
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Tales of the Arabian Nights
  • Party Zone
  • Indiana Jones (Williams)
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Sopranos, The
  • Getaway: High Speed 2, The
GROUPS C & H

  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Twilight Zone
  • Cirqus Voltaire
  • Family Guy
  • Corvette
  • Demolition Man
  • Dirty Harry
  • Ghostbusters
  • Shadow, The
GROUPS D & I

  • Mustang
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Kiss
  • Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
  • Earthshaker!
  • Fish Tales
  • Monster Bash
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
  • Tales of the Arabian Nights
GROUP E

  • Attack from Mars
  • Diner
  • Simpsons Pinball Party, The
  • Terminator 2
  • Addams Family, The
  • Game of Thrones
  • Getaway: High Speed 2, The
  • Family Guy
  • Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
The first round of qualifying begins
The first round of qualifying begins

After each match, points were awarded for position in the game. 7 points went to the winner, 5 points to second place, 3 to third and 1 point to last place.

The first four groups (A-D) played on Friday evening and the remaining five on Saturday morning/afternoon.

Friday's qualifying for the HPO
Friday’s qualifying for the HPO

When all 9 rounds had been completed, the top 9 players in each group (a total of 81 players) moved on to the next round. The top four women players from the HPO also qualified for a separate Women’s Tournament final held on Saturday evening regardless of whether they qualified for the main tournament or not.

For those not currently competing in the HPO, the lure of the Classics Tournament awaited in a smaller room next to the free-play hall.

Qualifying for the Classics Tournament
Qualifying for the Classics Tournament

There were twenty classics machines available, from which competitors could choose six to play. Having chosen a machine, players would put their magnetic name badge next to the machine name on one of two boards. If nobody else was playing the machine they could start straight away, otherwise they had to wait for their badge to reach the top of the waiting list.

Qualifying for the Classics Tournament
Qualifying for the Classics Tournament
The Classics Tournament machine boards
The Classics Tournament machine boards
The Classics Tournament machine boards
The Classics Tournament machine boards

Once a competitor got to their chosen machine, tournament officials started a 3-player game using a key fob to prevent players starting or restarting games themselves. The entrant played all three player’s games simultaneously, and when they were over the scores were recorded, added together and then ranked alongside all other competitors’ total scores. This system helped temper the impact of any unduly low or any runaway scores.

Qualifying for the Classics Tournament
Qualifying for the Classics Tournament
Qualifying for the Classics Tournament
Qualifying for the Classics Tournament
Qualifying for the Classics Tournament
Qualifying for the Classics Tournament

The machines used in the Classic Tournament were:

  • 1 – Kiss
  • 2 – Space Invaders
  • 3 – Circus
  • 4 – Spider-Man, The Amazing
  • 5 – Firepower
  • 6 – Gorgar
  • 7 – Fathom
  • 8 – Medusa
  • 9 – Sexy Girl
  • 10 – Iron Maiden
  • 11 – Rocky
  • 12 – Fireball
  • 13 – Pink Panther
  • 14 – Capt. Fantastic
  • 15 – Centaur
  • 16 – Airborne Avenger
  • 17 – Criterium 75
  • 18 – Wizard!
  • 19 – Space Time
  • 20 – Rolling Stones, The

Score recording here was a little odd. Rather than enter the scores directly into the tournament system with a tablet, phone or laptop, they were hand-written on carbon copy paper, with the top sheet being given to the player as their record. It was a little quaint seeing carbon copy paper being used again. This added an extra stage into the score entry process and hence another opportunity for a mistake to be made, but it seemed to work, more-or-less.

The bigger problem was how it introduced a significant delay between the scores being recorded and them appearing in the computer system. That made it difficult for players to know where they stood at any given time and resulted in the timetable for the latter stages slipping.

Not that the schedule was adhered to any more accurately in the main HPO. The timings looked reasonable on paper but once again delays crept in, with the main HPO qualification round on Saturday not starting until after 10am – an hour late.

The planned timetable
The planned timetable
Players wait to start their qualifying round on Saturday
Players wait to start their qualifying round on Saturday

The time taken to complete each of the nine rounds closely matched the anticipated thirty minutes, giving a total of four-and-a-half hours for the whole session. But it took some time to produce the full list of 81 qualifiers and to gather them together to begin the first of the play-off rounds.

In addition, with the clock ticking for the qualification round in the Classics Tournament which was running alongside the HPO, some qualifiers were trying to squeeze in their final few classics games as well.

The first play-off round of the HPO divided the qualifiers into nine groups of nine, and set them to play one game against every other member of their group – eight games in total.

The play-offs in the HPO begin
The play-offs in the HPO begin
The play-offs in the HPO begin
The play-offs in the HPO begin

When all the games had been played, the four players from each group with the most wins progressed to the second round. In the case of ties, the results of the games between the tied players were taken into consideration with the player(s) who beat the other tied players the most progressing. If that still didn’t resolve the tie, a tie-breaker game was played.

The remaining thirty-six then played the same format for the second round of play-offs, only this time there were just four groups of nine taking part.

Those sixteen played in four groups of four, playing three machines and using the same 7-5-3-1 points system to determine which two from each group moved into the final eight.

The Classics Tournament’s play-offs then followed, with the scores on the qualifying machines ranked and the top 32 progressing to the first round of play-offs.

The classics tournament play-offs begin
The Classics Tournament play-offs begin

The format here was a little simpler, with the thirty-two split into pairs and playing best-of-three matches to decide who moved on and who was out.

The same method was used to reduce the remaining sixteen down to eight and then to a final four. They were: Lieven Engelbeen, Sághy Kálmán, Santiago Elices and Taco Wouters.

The final was held in the free-play hall in an area at the end of the room where the single machine to be used was set up alongside the trophies for this and the HPO. As well as playing in the final, Sághy Kálmán was running the tournament final and introduced the four finalists.

The Fathom machine used in the classics tournament final
The Fathom machine used in the Classics Tournament final
The trophies for the classic and HPO tournaments
The trophies for the classic and HPO tournaments

Despite the time now being 2am, there was a good-sized and good-natured audience for the final.

The audience for the classic tournament final
The audience for the classic tournament final

Taco began the final, with Lieven playing second, Santiago third and Sághy fourth.

Taco begins the final
Taco begins the final

After the first ball it was Santiago who had a slender lead with his score of 275K ahead of Taco on 226K, Sághy in third on 152K and Lieven, who had bad luck on his first ball, in fourth on 23K.

On the second ball it was Taco’s turn for bad luck, as he added almost nothing to his score. Lieven’s bad luck hadn’t left him yet either, and he only added 5K, while Santiago didn’t fare much better.

But Sághy had a great ball, raising his score up to 1.018M, putting him a long way in the lead with just one ball left to play.

Sághy puts up a big score on his second ball
Sághy puts up a big score on his second ball

Taco had a better third ball but could only reach a total on 481K. Lieven finally got to play a ball but his total of 145K was still fourth.

Lieven gets to play a little, at last
Lieven gets to play a little, at last

Only Santiago could now stop Sághy, but his third ball ended with only 301K on the scoreboard, putting him in third place.

Sághy is congratulated on his classics tournament win
Sághy is congratulated on his Classics Tournament win

The trophies and prizes were then presented.

Third place, Santiago Elices
Third place, Santiago Elices
Second place, Taco Wouters
Winner of the classics tournament, Sághy Kálmán
Winner of the Classics Tournament, Sághy Kálmán
Winner of the classics tournament, Sághy Kálmán
Winner of the Classics Tournament, Sághy Kálmán, with his prize

Here are the full results:

Classics Tournament Results
1 Sághy Kálmán 
2 Taco Wouters
3 Santiago Elices
4 Lieven Engelbeen
5 Markus Stix
6 Sandor Varga
7 Ollivier Francq
8 Peter Blakemore
9 Julio Vicario Soriano
10 Rich Mallett
11 Mathias Leurs
12 Levente Tregova
13 Gábor Fekécs
14 Tamas Odler
15 Rafael Masedo Rodríguez
16 Kim G. Hansen
17 Daniele Celestino Acciari
18 György Kovács
19 Piller Zsolt
20 Greg Mott
21 Jim Lindsay
22 Rafal Bytomski
23 Andrej Rižner
24 Andrzej Cieslik
25 Jürgen Gärtner
26 Ernö Rotter
27 Andras Horvath
28 Fabio Squadrani
29 Olivier Renders
30 Lene Andersen
31 Joël Wozniak
32 Juan Antonio Martín Amaya
33 Boldizsár Botka
34 Dominique Decock
34 Vargha Ákos
36 Peter Andersen
37 Gergely Csonka
37 Andrej Demsar
39 Stefan Karlhuber
39 András Kató
41 Philippe Bocquet
42 Péter András Simon
43 Zoltán Polgár
43 Ales Rebec
45 Cesare Datri
46 Aaron Gale
48 Berndt Ion Teodorescu
48 Roland Schwarz
48 Zoltán Dósa
50 Zsolt Szabo
51 Berecz Istvan
52 Bart Vyvey
54 Pierangelo Villa
54 Csapó dr Imre
54 Robby Henkelmann
56 Laszlo Horn
57 Markus Ramsner
58 Jasmin Ibric
58 Andreas Frank Meyer
60 Pawel Nowak
62 Kyoo Barbaix
62 Kornél Kosdi
62 Marcin Moszczynski
64 Maciej Olesiak
65 Vincent Chardome
67 Dirk Meckes
67 Miklós Szebenyi
67 Kovács Gábor
69 Arno Nöbl
70 Peter Varga
71 András Lugosi
72 Florian Horvath
72 Matteo Filippin
75 Fred Van Den Bosch
75 Cinthya Messiaen
75 Vid Kuklec
77 Mario Vercauteren
78 Ojvind Strömsholm
78 Cezary Glowala
80 Armin Kress
81 Daniele Baldan
81 Tamas Benke
83 Jochen Schuhmacher
83 Stefan Riedler
85 Didier Dujardin
85 László Kadala
87 Wolfgang Wetl
88 Béla Gyenes
89 Konrad Maslowski
90 Peter Van den Bergh
90 János Dakos
93 Gabi Molotov Gavrilita
93 Evelyne Desot
93 Gemma Tejedor Jiménez
93 Szabó Tibor
96 Martin Ayub
96 ieronim pogorilovschi
98 Péter Szamosi
99 Daniel Nowak
100 Michael Heiler
101 Artur Natorski
102 Jürgen Wünschmann
103 Péter Busa
103 Bartosz Radomyski
105 Evert Brochez
106 Olivier Leurs
107 Markus Schrodt
108 Bernhard Binder
109 Laszlo Hornyik
109 Zoltán Harangozó
111 Dávid Laár
112 Paul Jongma
112 Devis Pierantozzi
114 Jaroslaw Rupiewicz
115 János Sándor
115 Glenn Verhoosele
118 John van der Wulp
118 Gabriel Ortiz
118 Zsolt Csiszka
120 Martin Janczyk
120 Zoltán Szemes
122 Rob Breyne
123 Ernestine Lachnit
123 Zoltán Kiss
125 Zsolt Mészáros
126 Radoslaw Slotwilski
127 David Schrittwieser
128 Sebastian Gwizdala
130 Giuseppe Violante
130 Reiner Pfeiffer
130 Michael Kerylidis
132 Peter Boncza
133 Frank Goeltl
134 David Mainwaring
135 Timm Dollinger
135 Fekete Tibor
137 Attila Abonyi
138 Željko Vasic
139 Tom Geneyn
139 Flavio Baddaria
141 Marko Ritosa
142 Angel Martínez Navajas
143 Anthony Struelens
144 Jakub Cieplinski
145 Ari Sovijärvi
146 Karin Ruhmannseder
146 Laszlo Tari
148 Wolfgang Haid
149 Benjamin Ruso
150 Dennis Verleyen
151 Joonas Haverinen
152 Zöllei S. Márk
153 Bencsik László
153 Somogyi Nándor
155 Dina Fukson
156 Antti Peltonen
156 Thomas Kunstfeld
159 Valter Odler
159 Andrej Bukovšek
159 Shachar Liberman
161 Mirko Bogic
162 Begoña Motilla Mulas
164 Harald Czernoch
164 Thomas Binder
164 Lukasz Dziewulski
166 Pascal Leroy
167 Erno Lahdenperä
167 Ovidiu Cacina
169 Peter Molnar
170 Daniel Kaczmarek
171 Steven Demets
171 Laszlo Tempfli
173 Mihaly Makray
174 Albert Pavlovsky
175 Milan Caranovic
176 Robert Glashuettner
177 Zsolt Somogyvari
178 Felix Radinger
179 Mario Kaufmann
180 Tamás Kerék
180 Peter Kurti
182 Maarten Lemey
183 Antti Pitkamaki
184 Attila Tóth-Szeles
184 Ferencz Jozsef Norbert
187 Daniel Gorecki
187 Rafal Jodelko
187 Daniela Ickler
189 Bogdan Constantin Ghiga
189 Uwe Ramsner
192 Dimitri Verhoosele
192 Szabo Istvan
192 Andra Raicu
195 Balint Olah
196 Julia Scriba
197 Sara Martínez Bueno
198 Sabine Ramsner
199 Gabriella Medgyesi
200 Marta Scibisz
201 Alejandro Yepes Piedra
202 Flora Karap
204 Gergely Gergelyfi

 

While the Classics Tournament was progressing, machines from the HPO room were removed so the remaining machines could be set up for Sunday’s Pingolf which would use the same room.

Machines are removed in preparation for Sunday's pingolf tournament
Machines are removed in preparation for Sunday’s Pingolf Tournament

With the classics decided it was back to the HPO, and the same four-player group format used for the last sixteen was used in the semi-finals to find the four players who would contest the final.

The last eight players in the two semi-finals were:

Semi-Final 1 Semi-Final 2
Sandor Varga
Julio Vicario Soriano
Andrej Demsar
Flavio Baddaria
Krisztián Szalai
Gabor Solymosi
Ernö Rotter
Daniele Celestino Acciari

 

It was clear this was going to be running very late indeed. The semi-finals began at 2:30am.

Semi-final 1 was played on World Cup Soccer, Kiss and Dracula, while semi-final 2 used Mustang, Ghostbusters and also used World Cup Soccer.

The semi-finals of the main HPO tournament
The semi-finals of the main HPO tournament
The semi-finals of the main HPO tournament
The semi-finals of the main HPO tournament

It took until 03:30 before the final four were decided. They were: Daniele Celestino Acciari, Flavio Baddaria, Gabor Solymosi and Julio Vicario Soriano.

As with the Classics Tournament, the final was held on a single machine in the free-play hall. In this case it was a Stern Star Trek. On the other side of the room was the Road Kings machine which was the grand prize for the winner.

The finals machine - Star Trek - along with the trophies
The finals machine – Star Trek – along with the trophies
The Star Trek had various cameras fitted so the final could be projected on the screen
The Star Trek had various cameras fitted so video of the final could be projected on the screen behind
The grand prize - a refurbished Road Kings
The grand prize – a fully refurbished Road Kings

A smaller crowd remained for the HPO final, but despite the late hour Sághy Kálmán entertained them with an Elvis impersonation before the last game began.

Sághy does his Elvis impresonation
Sághy does his Elvis impersonation

Gabor began the final with the player one position, but he didn’t have a great start.

Gabor starts the final
Gabor starts the final

His 2.586M first ball score looked low, but none of the other players got much on their first balls either. Daniele did the best with 8.308M ahead of Julio on 5.567M and Flavio who just scored least with his 2.282M.

Daniele did best on ball one
Daniele did best on ball one

None of the players took a grip on the game on their second ball either. Gabor only managed a total of 3.941M, Daniele added little to stand on 9.103M, Julio did similar with his 6.855M score, but Flavio did rather better to edge into the lead with his 10.499M.

Flavio leads after the second ball
Flavio leads after the second ball

However, the third ball changed everything.

Gabor had a nice ball, getting his main multiballs going and ending with a much better score of 49.520M.

Daniele did likewise but not quite as well, finishing his game on 37.192M.

Then it was Julio’s turn. Could he match the nice third balls of Gabor and Daniele?

Julio plays his third and final ball
Julio plays his third and final ball

He didn’t just match the other two, he easily surpassed them, getting to Kobayashi Maru mode and racking up an impressive total of 86.710M

Could Flavio catch him with the last ball of the final?

The audience watches as the final reaches a conclusion
The audience watches as the final reaches a conclusion

Sadly not everyone had a nice third ball, as Flavio only nudged his score up to 11.938M, dropping from first to last.

The scores in the final of the HPO 2016
The scores in the final of the HPO 2016

So Julio was the winner, with Gabor second, Daniele third and Flavio fourth.

Fourth place, Flavio Baddaria
Fourth place, Flavio Baddaria
Third place, Daniele Celestino Acciari
Third place, Daniele Celestino Acciari
Second place, Gabor Solymosi
Second place, Gabor Solymosi
Winner of the Hungarian Pinball Open 2016, Julio Vicario Soriano
Winner of the Hungarian Pinball Open 2016, Julio Vicario Soriano
The top four
The top four

Here are the full results:

Hungarian Pinball Open Results
1 Julio Vicario Soriano
2 Gabor Solymosi
3 Daniele Celestino Acciari
4 Flavio Baddaria
5 Ernö Rotter
6 Andrej Demsar
7 Krisztián Szalai
7 Sandor Varga
10 János Sándor
10 David Mainwaring
10 Cesare Datri
12 Paul Jongma
13 Piller Zsolt
14 Didier Dujardin
14 Jakub Cieplinski
16 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
18 Santiago Elices
18 Konrad Maslowski
18 Ollivier Francq
18 Roberto Pedroni
21 Peter Varga
24 Roland Schwarz
24 Philippe Bocquet
24 Jürgen Wünschmann
24 Valter Odler
24 Joël Wozniak
24 György Kovács
29 Joonas Haverinen
29 Péter Grafl
29 Andrej Bukovšek
31 Laszlo Horn
32 Daniele Baldan
33 Berecz Istvan
33 Florian Horvath
35 Olivier Leurs
36 Reiner Pfeiffer
39 Levente Tregova
39 Giuseppe Violante
39 Frank Goeltl
39 Tamas Odler
39 Wolfgang Haid
44 Gabriel Ortiz
44 John van der Wulp
44 Evert Brochez
44 Gábor Fekécs
44 Peter Andersen
47 Cezary Glowala
47 Erno Lahdenperä
52 Markus Stix
52 Mark van der Gugten
52 Taco Wouters
52 Jaroslaw Rupiewicz
52 Peter Van den Bergh
52 Greg Mott
52 Artur Natorski
52 Kim G. Hansen
57 Daniel Kaczmarek
59 Andreas Frank Meyer
59 Angel Martínez Navajas
59 Pascal Leroy
59 Sághy Kálmán
63 Thomas Kunstfeld
63 Szabo Istvan
63 Rich Mallett
63 Török Antal
70 Rob Breyne
70 Kay Kuster
70 Vincent Chardome
70 Peter Blakemore
70 Michael Kerylidis
70 Cinthya Messiaen
70 Tamás Marjai
70 Andrej Rižner
70 Zoltán Kiss
77 Ovidiu Cacina
77 Tom Geneyn
77 Maciej Olesiak
77 Rafal Jodelko
77 Armin Kress
80 Antti Peltonen
81 Robert Pomazi
82 Odler Axel
86 Gabi Molotov Gavrilita
86 Pawel Nowak
86 Dirk Meckes
86 Zoltán Dósa
86 Attila Abonyi
86 Gemma Tejedor Jiménez
86 Andras Horvath
91 Jochen Schuhmacher
91 Maarten Lemey
91 Thomas Binder
91 Jürgen Gärtner
95 Berndt Ion Teodorescu
95 Laszlo Imre
95 Péter András Simon
98 Timm Dollinger
98 Daniel Nowak POL
98 Dominique Decock
98 Jim Lindsay
101 Stefan Holzäpfel
106 Lieven Engelbeen
106 Mario Kaufmann
106 Milan Caranovic
106 Mathias Leurs
106 Jasmin Ibric
106 Csapó dr Imre
106 Anthony Struelens
106 Zöllei S. Márk
106 Wolfgang Wetl
113 Andrzej Cieslik
113 Ari Sovijärvi
113 Bernhard Binder
113 Peter Boncza
113 Peter Molnar
117 Ojvind Strömsholm
117 Bart Vyvey
117 Kornél Kosdi
122 Bogdan Constantin Ghiga
122 Markus Schrodt
122 Juan Antonio Martín Amaya
122 Michael Heiler
122 Lene Andersen
122 Zoltán Polgár
122 Zsolt Csiszka
126 Laszlo Tempfli
127 Vargha Ákos
129 Martin Ayub
129 Matteo Filippin
129 Marcin Moszczynski
132 Stefan Karlhuber
132 Boldizsár Botka
132 Kovács Gábor
132 Akos Tottos
135 Tamas Benke
140 Robby Henkelmann
140 Gergely Csonka
140 David Schrittwieser
140 Rafael Masedo Rodríguez
140 Zsolt Mészáros
140 Zoltán Harangozó
140 Sara Martínez Bueno
140 Radoslaw Slotwilski
140 Marta Scibisz
140 Fekete Tibor
146 Miklos Csaba
150 Alexander Muer
150 Fabio Squadrani
150 Olivier Renders
150 János Dakos
150 Verebi András
150 Szabó Tibor
150 Mihaly Makray
154 Arno Nöbl
154 Ferencz Jozsef Norbert
159 Rafal Bytomski
159 Miklós Szebenyi
159 Evelyne Desot
159 Csaba Fodor
159 Béla Gyenes
159 Rudi Haferl
159 Željko Vasic
163 Harald Czernoch
163 Zsolt Szabo
167 Dennis Verleyen
167 Alex Butnaru
167 Benjamin Ruso
167 Tamás Kerék
167 Antti Pitkamaki
171 Dimitri Verhoosele
171 Ales Rebec
171 Steven Demets
176 Julia Scriba
176 András Lugosi
176 Zoltan Farle
176 Liv Decay
176 Somogyi Nándor
176 Mirko Bogic
176 Gergo Csetneki
180 András Kató
180 Fred Van Den Bosch
182 Kyoo Barbaix
184 Jenna Muer
184 Bencsik László
184 Balazs Novak
189 Glenn Verhoosele
189 Devis Pierantozzi
189 Mario Vercauteren
189 Dina Fukson
189 ieronim pogorilovschi
189 Felix Radinger
189 Evelien Crevits
189 Shachar Liberman
194 Albert Pavlovsky
196 Pierangelo Villa
196 Katona Tamás
196 Gergely Gergelyfi
200 Daniel Gorecki
200 Zsolt Somogyvari
200 Agnes Budai
200 Markus Ramsner
200 Aaron Gale
203 Reinhard Hager
203 Flora Karap
205 Balint Olah
205 Grau Beatrix
208 Péter Busa
208 Zoltán Szemes
208 Peter Kurti
210 Alejandro Yepes Piedra
211 Dávid Laár
213 Martin Janczyk
213 Lukasz Dziewulski
213 Karin Ruhmannseder
213 Vid Kuklec
217 Stefan Riedler
217 Mercedesz Gyimothy
217 Attila Tóth-Szeles
219 Guttmann Zsolt
221 Bartosz Radomyski
221 Sebastian Gwizdala
221 Uwe Ramsner
221 Miron Vasilescu
225 Andra Raicu
225 Ernestine Lachnit
225 Marjaine Brasso Adrien
227 Robert Glashuettner
227 László Kadala
229 Péter Szamosi
230 Eszter Hoppán
230 Daniela Ickler
232 Mihaly Vandor
233 Benedek Novak
234 Begoña Motilla Mulas
234 Sabine Ramsner
236 Marko Ritosa

 

By the time the final was over it was getting close to 5am, and we didn’t get back to our hotel until 5:15am. The streets of Budapest are surprisingly busy at that time of the morning.

Maybe it's time for bed
Maybe it’s time for bed

With the Pingolf Tournament due to begin in just under five hours’ time, we grabbed a quick nap, had a speedy breakfast, checked out of the hotel and headed back to the Arcadia show to report on Sunday’s action.

Instructions for the pingolf tournament
Instructions for the Pingolf Tournament

Sunday’s Pingolf Tournament began at 10am and competitors could choose one of two ‘courses’. One was in the area used for the Classics Tournament where them machines moved the previous night were set up alongside some remaining classics machines. The second was in the main HPO room where the HPO play-offs had taken place a few hours earlier and which now featured several machines from the Classics Tournament. Both areas contained around twenty machines from which competitors chose eighteen to play.

The pingolf tournament is underway
The Pingolf Tournament is underway
The pingolf tournament is underway
The Pingolf Tournament is underway

Rather than use game feature objectives, each game has a score threshold which needed to be reached in as few balls as possible. If it was achieved within the normal three balls then the number of balls used set the number of ‘strokes’ for that ‘hole’. If the target wasn’t reached with the three balls, the number of strokes recorded increased depending on how close the final score was.

Scoring in the pingolf tournament
Scoring in the Pingolf Tournament
Pingolf in the former HPO room
Pingolf in the former HPO room

The carbon copy paper was brought out again to record scores, and this appeared to lead to some confusion later on when scores were entered into the computer system. We were told that some scorers had written down the player number, machine number and number of strokes, but not necessarily indicated which number was which.

The tournament team entering the scores
The tournament team entering the scores

Inevitably this led to delays and not a little confusion. One player knew he hadn’t played at all well and went off for dinner. He was surprised to receive a text message telling him he had been given a score which qualified him for the play-offs (which he thus missed).

Pingolf players wait to discover who had made the play-offs
Pingolf players wait to discover who had made the play-offs

The Pingolf Tournament was due to finish by 7pm. Unfortunately we had to leave the venue for our flight home at 7:15pm, by which time the first round of play-offs had only just started.

The format for the play-offs
The format for the play-offs

The top twelve players from each area qualified for the play-offs for a total of twenty-four. The top eight received a bye through the first round, leaving the remaining sixteen qualifiers to be split into four groups of four and set to play on their first of the three games in this round.

The pingolf play-offs
The pingolf play-offs

The top two from each group progressed and joined those with the byes to play the same best-of-three four-player group format. This continued all the way through until an eventual winner was found.

That winner was Paul Jongma, with Daniele Celestino Acciari in second place, Taco Wouters in third and Mario Kaufmann fourth.

Pingolf Tournament Results
1 Paul Jongma
2 Daniele Celestino Acciari
3 Taco Wouters
4 Mario Kaufmann
5 Julio Vicario Soriano
6 Roberto Pedroni
7 Tamas Odler
7 Robby Henkelmann
9 Cesare Datri
9 Joonas Haverinen
11 Lieven Engelbeen
12 Dominique Decock
13 Zsolt Mészáros
14 Rafal Bytomski
15 Tom Geneyn
16 John van der Wulp
17 Markus Stix
18 Daniel Nowak POL
19 Jasmin Ibric
19 Evert Brochez
21 György Kovács
21 Rob Breyne
23 Zoltán Dósa
24 Rich Mallett
25 Stefan Karlhuber
26 Bogdan Constantin Ghiga
27 Kim G. Hansen
27 Levente Tregova
30 Gabriel Ortiz
30 Philippe Bocquet
30 Dina Fukson
33 Roland Schwarz
33 Maciej Olesiak
33 Jürgen Wünschmann
35 Santiago Elices
35 Mario Vercauteren
37 Ovidiu Cacina
40 Ferencz Jozsef Norbert
40 Mathias Leurs
40 Anthony Struelens
40 Didier Dujardin
40 Zsolt Szabo
43 Rafael Masedo Rodríguez
43 Peter Blakemore
45 Vincent Chardome
45 Jakub Cieplinski
47 János Sándor
47 Željko Vasic
50 Devis Pierantozzi
50 Piller Zsolt
50 Andrej Demsar
52 Ales Rebec
52 András Lugosi
56 Andrzej Cieslik
56 Fabio Squadrani
56 Antti Peltonen
56 Ollivier Francq
56 Thomas Kunstfeld
56 Peter Boncza
61 Michael Kerylidis
61 Olivier Renders
61 Sághy Kálmán
63 Vid Kuklec
63 Kyoo Barbaix
66 Mirko Bogic
66 Arno Nöbl
66 Frank Goeltl
69 Giuseppe Violante
69 Mark van der Gugten
69 Zoltán Polgár
69 Dirk Meckes
72 David Mainwaring
72 Peter Andersen
75 Antti Pitkamaki
75 Jürgen Gärtner
75 Andrej Rižner
75 Peter Molnar
79 Markus Ramsner
79 Daniele Baldan
79 Olivier Leurs
79 Martin Janczyk
83 Gergely Csonka
83 Daniel Gorecki
83 Jim Lindsay UK
86 Peter Van den Bergh
86 Ernö Rotter
86 Jochen Schuhmacher
86 Boldizsár Botka
89 János Dakos
89 Vargha Ákos
91 Laszlo Imre
91 Sandor Varga
94 Steven Demets
94 Andreas Frank Meyer
94 Zoltán Szemes
97 Matteo Filippin
97 Martin Ayub
97 Ojvind Strömsholm
100 Stefan Holzäpfel
100 Stefan Riedler
100 ieronim pogorilovschi
102 Felix Radinger
102 Evelyne Desot
104 Glenn Verhoosele
104 Péter András Simon
106 Fred Van Den Bosch
107 Berecz Istvan
108 Laszlo Tari
108 Joël Wozniak
111 Erno Lahdenperä
111 Wolfgang Haid
111 Marko Ritosa
113 Timm Dollinger
114 Michael Heiler
114 Pierangelo Villa
117 Armin Kress
117 Reiner Pfeiffer
117 Dennis Verleyen
120 Greg Mott
120 Thomas Binder
120 Cinthya Messiaen
122 Karin Ruhmannseder
123 Artur Natorski
123 Pawel Nowak
125 Markus Schrodt
126 Agnes Budai
126 Marjaine Brasso Adrien
128 Daniel Kaczmarek
131 Daniela Ickler
131 Balint Olah
131 Gabi Molotov Gavrilita
131 Rafal Jodelko
131 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
134 Uwe Ramsner
135 Ernestine Lachnit
136 Dávid Laár
137 Attila Abonyi
137 Béla Gyenes
139 Sabine Ramsner
140 Tamás Marjai
141 Gabriella Medgyesi
141 Maarten Lemey
143 Bart Vyvey
145 Reinhard Hager
145 Pascal Leroy
145 Rudi Haferl
147 Harald Czernoch
148 Miklos Csaba
149 Wolfgang Wetl
150 Angel Martínez Navajas
151 Gábor Varga

 

The conclusion of the Pingolf Tournament ended the competitive events and brought the Arcadia show to a close.

Last year’s Hungarian Pinball Open at the Hungarian Pinball Museum was a big success, with a lot of goodwill generated along with plenty of positive recommendations for the Museum. Everyone went home from last year’s HPO with a warm feeling which wasn’t simply from the free Goulash.

However, the space at the Museum was clearly limited and so in order to expand the HPO an alternative or additional location was needed. The Dürer Conference Centre provided that extra space and allowed expansion of the scope of the event to encompass video games and retro gaming.

That expansion brought in an audience beyond the HPO players and, perhaps most importantly, became attractive to families and youngsters. It’s hard to recall an event where so many young kids and teenagers were enjoying the games, which was an encouraging sign for the future.

It did, though, take away much of the intimacy and homely feel of the event, which was something unique to the Museum setting. When we were playing in the darkened caves and exhibit rooms of the Museum’s basement home it felt as though we were supporting the Museum and helping to promote the good work they are doing. In the Dürer Conference Centre, not so much.

The schedule last year also allowed for a tour of the city and a visit to a late night rooftop club which helped make the whole trip special. This year there was no time for such excursions which was a pity.

Running an event such as a major pinball tournament requires far more than just machines. People with multiple skillsets are needed, with a large amount of planning to ensure everything goes smoothly.

While there were lots of scorers and organisers who did a sterling job and worked incredibly hard throughout the three days, some of the processes didn’t work so well; in particular the results systems and machine preparation/maintenance.

As anyone who has ever moved a pinball machine from one location to another knows, things break for no apparent reason. Several of the games in the free-play hall were faulty from the start and while some were fixed, not all were. That may in part have been because there was no readily-identifiable way to report a machine fault other than switching the game off and hoping someone notices.

Some of the tournament machines were also sub-optimal in their set-up, with inconsistent flipper alignment and tilt sensitivity being common complaints we heard.

Using carbon copy paper to record scores in the classics and Pingolf Tournaments was also far from ideal. Most events now use tablets to enter results directly into the tournament system, and while that isn’t entirely without its problems it does eliminate a lot of paper score entry, produces instant updates and speeds up progress through the tournament.

On that final point, we won’t dwell on the delays and late-running of the tournaments. Suffice to say nobody really wanted to be playing (or watching) the final of a major international tournament at 4:30am, and we are sure the organisers will be looking to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

While we have been critical of certain aspects, as a whole the Arcadia show was certainly a success.

Budapest is an amazing city to visit with incredibly friendly people, and the location of the Dürer Conference Centre, while not as attractive as the Museum, was pretty convenient. We stayed at a quality hotel fifteen minutes away on foot opposite Heroes’ Square, with a nice walk through the park opposite the venue always an option.

We would certainly come back again, and try for a longer stay next time to enjoy more that the city has to offer.

Finally, you can take a look at the whole Arcadia show for yourself, including all the tournaments, free-play machines, vendors and food sellers in our exclusive Twenty Minute Tour video walkaround.