PINTASTIC 2017

Pintastic 2017

On July 6, 7 and 8, 2017, over 2,000 people converged at the crossroads of New England, USA to experience the region’s only major pinball exposition, the Pintastic Pinball and Game Room Expo.

Each facet of the show is represented by an icon
Each facet of the show is represented by an icon

Dave Marston talks with the WSKB morning team
Dave Marston talks with the WSKB morning team

Back for its third year in 2017 at the only lakeside venue in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center, Pintastic featured over 200 pinball machines from the 1950s right up to this year’s new releases, including the world premiere of the highly-anticipated Star Wars machine from Stern Pinball!

There were many hard-to- find games, sometimes even in duplicate
There were many hard-to- find games, sometimes even in duplicate

Many recent games were in two different rooms for day and night shifts, allowing more playing time
Many recent games were in two different rooms for day and night shifts,
allowing more playing time

New England band Aerosmith had to be represented at a New England show while in the background, the booth where buyers could get at-show financing
New England band Aerosmith had to be represented at a New England show
while in the background, the booth where buyers could get at-show financing

The world premiere of Stern's Star Wars pinball
The world premiere of Stern’s Star Wars pinball

There were several Dialed In! games, both Pro and Limited Edition
There were several Dialed In! games, both Pro and Limited Edition

There was a generous supply of stools to support up-and- coming players
There was a generous supply of stools to support up-and-coming players

Panorama of the main free-play room where EMs dominate the wall positions
Panorama of the main free-play room where EMs dominate the wall positions

There were technicians in abundance. Can you identify this game?
There were technicians in abundance. Can you identify this game?

Not all games were coin-op
Not all games were coin-op

The hotel served food and drinks right outside the main free-play room
The hotel served food and drinks right outside the main free-play room

Enthusiastic guests and collectors delighted at the chance to witness over eighty years’ of pinball innovation, as well as classic video games, entertainment for kids, a massive vendor hall featuring the coolest ideas for your home and game room, pinball and video game tournaments for adults and kids, pinball machine auctions, an outdoor flea market in strolling distance of Cedar Lake, as well as informative seminars and lively entertainment, all in one convenient and well-equipped venue.

There were some vendors selling pop culture items
There were some vendors selling pop culture items

Pintastic New England has several T-shirt styles
Pintastic New England has several T-shirt styles

There were re-themed games at the show, and the ingredients to start your own re-theme
There were re-themed games at the show,
and the ingredients to start your own re-theme

PinBox 3000 kits were for sale at the Cardboard Teck booth
PinBox 3000 kits were for sale at the Cardboard Teck booth

The vendor hall had some free-play games in the middle, and the tournaments at the back
The vendor hall had some free-play games in the middle
and the tournaments at the back

The tournament games
The tournament games

Tournament prizes and Pintastic pint glasses
Tournament prizes and Pintastic pint glasses

Pintastic Founder Gabriel D'Annunzio congratulates the winner of the Kids' Tournament
Pintastic Founder Gabriel D’Annunzio congratulates the winner of the Kids’ Tournament

Entertainers were brought in to broaden the family appeal
Entertainers were brought in to broaden the family appeal

After the outdoor flea market closed, fire juggler Eric Girardi stoked the crowd
After the outdoor flea market closed, fire juggler Eric Girardi stoked the crowd

Pintastic was thrilled to welcome honored guests and seminar presenters including legendary game designer Barry Oursler, pinball artist Jeremy ‘Zombie Yeti’ Packer, Todd Tuckey of TNT Amusements, pinball sound and music creator David Thiel, and Butch Peel of Jersey Jack Pinball clued us in on the intricacies of Dialed In!

Jeremy 'Zombie Yeti' Packer gives his first-ever solo pinball seminar
Jeremy ‘Zombie Yeti’ Packer gives his first-ever solo pinball seminar

Todd Tuckey makes a rare visit to a distant pinball show - his seminar included many video clips, of course
Todd Tuckey makes a rare visit to a distant pinball show
– his seminar included many video clips, of course

Free rectangular pizza at the Jersey Jack update seminar
Free rectangular pizza at the Jersey Jack update seminar

Butch Peel of Jersey Jack Pinball gave a seminar on Dialed In! that included holding a video camera inside the game
Butch Peel of Jersey Jack Pinball gave a seminar on Dialed In! that included
holding a video camera inside the game

Barry Oursler and Jeremy Packer start the autograph session. The poster on the table was done by Packer for the Pintastic show
Barry Oursler and Jeremy Packer start the autograph session.
The poster on the table was done by Packer for the Pintastic show

Pintastic and its guests also supported several charities during the event including the Worcester County Food Bank, Project Pinball, The 200 Foundation, and The Andrea Ritz Clinics of Paraguay through a charity auction and several games set up for paid play.

Money was raised for several charities, including an auction of this donated machine
Money was raised for several charities, including an auction of this donated machine

There was a pick-your- prize raffle
There was a pick-your- prize raffle

Folks at this year’s show were particularly excited to get their flipping fingers on Stern’s new Aerosmith table, the John Trudeau-designed Ghostbusters, Pat Lawlor’s Dialed In! from Jersey Jack and of course, the belle of the ball was Stern’s new Star Wars table!

Visitors came from the six New England states and well beyond
Visitors came from the six New England states and well beyond

Stay tuned for next year’s dates coming soon and visit the website Pintastic at pintasticnewengland.com.

NORTHWEST PINBALL & ARCADE SHOW 2017

This year marks the tenth holding of the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show. After starting in central Seattle, it is now held at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center in downtown Tacoma.

The show poster designed by John Youssi
The show poster designed by John Youssi

The Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center
The Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center

The building sits on a hill, meaning there is a ground floor entrance at the front and a third floor entrance at the side.

The side entrance
The side entrance

Thursday

The show is held on the fifth floor which, thanks to the terrain, has a ground-level loading bay at the rear, from which an army of volunteers unloaded trucks as soon as they arrived. Games were initially unloaded onto the dock and then wheeled into the hall.

Another truck is unloaded
Another truck is unloaded

The loading dock
The loading dock

Games are wheeled into the hall
Games are wheeled into the hall

Games in the hall
Games in the hall

Pinballs in the hall
Pinballs in the hall

Pinballs in the hall
Pinballs in the hall

Pinballs being set up
EM Pinballs being set up

Pinballs being set up
Pinballs being set up

Stern Pinball has an impressive line-up of current titles, including Ghostbusters, Batman 66, Game of Thrones, AC/DC Remake and Aerosmith.

A line-up of new Stern Pinball games
A line-up of new Stern Pinball games

Spider-Man VE and Batman Premium
Spider-Man VE and Batman Premium

There are two Dialed In! games set up in the centre of the hall.

Two Dialed In! games
Two Dialed In! games

Nitro Amusements had an Alien Pinball and a Medieval Madness Remake set up, with a Houdini also on its way.

Alien and Attack from Mars Remake
Alien and Attack from Mars Remake

Spooky Pinball is also represented
Spooky Pinball is also represented

As usual, the tournament area is found on the left side of the hall.

Setting up tournament machines
Setting up tournament machines

More tournament games
More tournament games

At the front of the hall, the prize desk was being constructed. This is where the regular hourly prize draws will be held, along with the daily grand prize draws.

Building the prize desk
Building the prize desk

The show is held in exhibition hall B, but registration takes place in the lobby along with the seminars and a kids play area.

The entrance door to the show hall
The entrance door to the show hall

Setting up the registration desk and kids play area
Setting up the registration desk and kids play area

Building the seminar technical area
Building the seminars technical area

The seminars area
The seminars area

In the lobby just outside the show hall entrance were a few stands selling artwork, T-shirts and promoting comic books for kids.

Stands in the lobby
Stands in the lobby

Artist Hilma Josal was exhibiting some of her artworks and there to talk about them and take private commissions.

Hilma Josal's stand
Hilma Josal’s stand Click to expand

Next door, T-shirts promoting assorted pinball and arcade themes and locations could be purchased.

Get your T-shirts here
Get your T-shirts here

Also in the lobby, Comics4Kids were giving away comic books as a part of their drive to improve literacy and foster imagination in kids.

Comics4Kids' stand
Comics4Kids’ stand

Friday

Before the opening, a large queue had built up to buy entry or to pick up pre-purchased tickets.

The queue for registration
The queue for registration

Collecting wristbands for show entry
Collecting wristbands for show entry

To keep the younger guests entertained while they waited for the start of the show, there was the kids area with games on free play.

The kids area
The kids area

The doors to the hall opened on schedule at midday.

The first guests through the doors
The first guests through the doors

Inside the hall there had been some changes since Thursday night.

The Houdini game had arrived, along with Jolly Backer and Joe Balcer from American Pinball.

Houdini from American Pinball
Houdini from American Pinball

Jolly and Joe
Jolly and Joe

Also on the same stand, Heighway Pinball’s Alien Pinball was being checked out by the game’s sound designer and composer, David Thiel.

David Thiel plays Alien Pinball
David Thiel plays Alien Pinball

Jersey Jack Pinball had their The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit games, in addition to the two Dialed In! games in the centre of the room.

Jack with one of the two Dialed In! machines
Jack with one of the two Dialed In! machines

The number of Stern Pinball games brought by Marco Specialties had also increased, with the display expanding to two rows.

The many new Stern Pinball machines
The many new Stern Pinball machines

The prize desk at the front of the show was complete, exhibiting the many prizes on offer and the complete machines which would be given away to lucky ticket-holders.

The prize desk
The prize desk

The show's grand prize - a Batman 66 Premium
The show’s grand prize – a Batman 66 Premium

Friday's grand prize - a Nintendo Switch
Friday’s grand prize – a Nintendo Switch

Saturday's grand prize - a Stellar Wars
Saturday’s grand prize – a Stellar Wars

Sunday's grand prize - a Mario Bros video
Sunday’s grand prize – a Mario Bros video

If you didn’t think you were lucky enough to win, you could always make a silent bid on a new Ghostbusters playfield, or just buy some of the show merchandise.

The silent auction item
The silent auction item

Swag available from the prize desk
Swag available from the prize desk

The first seminars of the show also took place on Friday. All the seminars were intended to be streamed live and also made available on YouTube after the show, Due to technical difficulties, they weren’t all streamed, but should all be available on the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show’s YouTube channel.

As is usual at the show, the seminars are kicked-off by Dave Okert and David Shoemaker who this time held three technical seminars – NVRAM For Pins & Vids, Scan Line Generator For LCDs and Wizard Of Oz Pinball Troubleshooting & Repairs.

Dave Okert and David Shoemaker's The Wizard of Oz seminar
Dave Okert and David Shoemaker’s The Wizard of Oz seminar

You can watch their three seminars here:

Then at 5pm Stern Pinball game designer John Trudeau held a seminar to talk about his Ghostbusters game. He was joined by Stern’s Art Director, Greg Freres who described how the game’s artist, Jeremy Packer a.k.a. ZombieYeti, created the cabinet, playfield and backglass art packages for the three models.

John Trudeau and Greg Freres
John Trudeau and Greg Freres

John began by talking about his design ideas, things he really wanted to get into the game, the things which were taken out, and the various elements from the first and second movie incorporated into the game.

Greg then showed some initial sketch ideas for the backglass, all of which features a montage of the four Ghostbusters, but arranged in different post ions and poses. He also said how Bill Murray was not happy with the idea of a hand-drawn depiction, but was eventually brought around to the idea and Jeremy’s stylised treatment.

Early concept art for Ghostbusters
Early concept art for Ghostbusters Click to expand
(Click to expand)

After John and Greg it was time for a seminar by Tim Kitzrow.

Tim is a voice artist who has provided the commentary track for many sporting event along with arcade and console games. His pinball credits include NBA Fastbreak, World Cup Soccer, Judge Dredd, Roadshow, Twilight Zone, Attack from Mars and The Shadow.

His catchphrase is “Boom Shaka-Laka”, which he was promoting with special T-shirts and on his MrBoomShakaLaka.com website.

Tim Kitzrow
Tim Kitzrow

Here’s Tim’s seminar split into two parts:

 

Saturday

As anticipated, Saturday is the busiest day at the show. That meant most of the 192 free play pinball machines along with many of the video games were in use for most of the day, while the team of medics were fully occupied making repairs and sorting out stuck balls.

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Show visitors enjoying the games
Show visitors enjoying the games

Here’s a full list of the pinballs available to play at the show.

Free Play Pinballs (192)
2001
4 Square
AC/DC Lucie
AC/DC Vault Edition
AC/DC Vault Edition
AC/DC Vault Edition
Addams Family, The
Addams Family, The
Addams Family, The
Aerosmith Premium
Aerosmith Pro
Alien Pinball
Attack from Mars Remake Special Edition
Attack from Mars Remake Special Edition
Aztec
Batman 66 Premium
Batman 66 Premium
Batman 66 Premium
Batman 66 Premium
Batman Forever
Baywatch
Big Brave
Big Hurt, Frank Thomas’s
Black Hole
Black Knight
Black Knight 2000
Black Rose
Breakshot
Buccaneer
Buckaroo
Capersville
Capt. Card
Capt. Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Captain Hook
Caveman
Centaur II
Champion Pub, The
Checkpoint
Cleopatra
Congo
Cosmic Gunfight
Countdown
Crescendo
Cross Town
Demolition Man
Dialed In!
Dialed In!
Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Dogies
Dragon
Earthshaker*
Egg Head*
Eight Ball
Evel Knievel
F-14 Tomcat
Faces
Faces
Fire!
Firepower
Firepower 2
Fish Tales
Flip a Card
Flip Flop!
Flying Carpet
Freddy: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Funhouse
Galactic Girl
Galaxy
Game of Thrones Pro
Game of Thrones Pro
Game Show, The Bally
Ghostbusters Premium
Ghostbusters Premium
Ghostbusters Premium
Golden Arrow
Grand Slam
Grand Slam
Grand Slam*
Guns N’ Roses
Guys Dolls*
Harley Davidson (Bally)
High Speed
High Speed 2: The Getaway
High Speed 2: The Getaway*
Hobbit Smaug Edition, The
Hokus Pokus
Houdini
Humpty Dumpty
Independence Day
Jack in the Box
Jacks Open
Judge Dredd
King Kool
Kiss Pro
Lady Luck
Laser War
Lethal Weapon 3
Lord of the Rings, The
Lord of the Rings, The
Lucky Hand
Lucky Strike
Magic Castle
Metallica Premium
Metallica Pro
Meteor*
Miss-O
Monster Bash
Motordome*
Mousin’ Around
Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man
Mustang Premium
NASCAR
NBA Fastbreak
Night Rider
Nip-It
No Good Gofers
Old Chicago
Party Zone, The
Pinball Pool
Playboy (Bally)
Police Force
Police Force
Popeye Saves the Earth
Popeye Saves the Earth
Power Play, Bobby Orr
Punchy the Clown
Rescue 911
Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
Roller Disco
Rollergirlz
Safecracker
Safecracker
Scared Stiff
Seawitch
Shadow, The
Shrek
Simpsons Pinball Party, The
Sky Line
Skylab
Slick Chick
Solar Ride
Sopranos, The
Space Invaders
Space Odyssey
Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
Speakeasy
Speakeasy
Spider-Man Vault Edition
Spin-a-Card
Spot Pool
Spring Break
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Wars (Data East)
Steampunk Royale
Stellar Wars
Striker Xtreme
Strikes and Spares
Super Mario Bros.: Mushroom World
Super Mario Bros.: Mushroom World
Sure Shot
Swords of Fury
Swords of Fury
Tales from the Crypt
Tales from the Crypt
Tales of the Arabian Nights
Tattoo Mystique
Taxi
Teacher’s Pet
Team One
Terminator 2
Terminator 2
Theatre of Magic
Tommy, The Who’s
Top Card
Truck Stop
Twilight Zone
USA Football*
Viper Night Drivin’
Volley
Whirlwind
Whirlwind
Whitewater
Whitewater
Whitewater*
Wizard of Oz Emeral City Limited Edition, The
Wizard of Oz Standard, The
World Cup Soccer
World Cup Soccer
X-Men Magneto Limited Edition

 

Pingolf Tournament Pinballs (10)
Black Hole
Capt. Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Joker Poker
Mars Trek
Mata Hari
Nitro Groundshaker
Paragon
Trident
Volley
Vulcan

 

Match Play Tournament Pinballs (16)
Congo
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Fish Tales
Funhouse
Grand Prix
Hot Doggin’
Lord of the Rings, The
Medieval Madness
Monster Bash
NBA
Stargate
Tron
Walking Dead, The
World Cup Soccer
World Poker Tour
WWF Royal Rumble

Saturday’s seminars began at 11am with the team from American Pinball, led by Joe Balcer.

The American Pinball Team
The American Pinball Team:
Dhaval Vasani, Jolly Backer and Joe Balcer

The team was here to talk about their Houdini game which was on the show floor at the Nitro Amusements stand.

Joe did most of the talking, describing the history of the game, how it totally changed from the original concept, and how they rejected the pre-order sales model in favour of building the game first and then offering it for sale.

Joe Balcer
Joe Balcer

He said they will build the game at the American Pinball factory in Streamwood, Illinois, with playfields coming from an external company. There are, he continued, a number of options available for playfield suppliers both in the US and in Europe. Similarly, some of the game assemblies will be built and tested externally, although the two largest mechanisms will be built in-house.

Joe said they were planning for an initial production run of 1,000 machines, with the intention of ultimately getting production up to 100 machines a week.

Jolly then talked about setting up the distribution network, saying they had no intention of selling machines direct to customers, along with all the pre- and after-sales support that results.

The American Pinball Team
The American Pinball Team

Jolly also said that the 1,000 machine number quoted by Joe was only for North American sales. The company already had 12-15 distributors in the US and Canada but hadn’t yet appointed any European or Australasian distributors. However, Jolly expected an additional 1,000 machine sales from those areas.

Watch the American Pinball seminar here:

At 12:30, John Youssi took to the seminar stage.

John Youssi
John Youssi

John is a renowned artist with many pinball game credits. He is especially well-know for his many collaborations with game designer Pat Lawlor, having created the artwork for all Pat’s games since Whirlwind in 1990.

John talked specifically about their latest collaboration – the Jersey Jack Pinball game, Dialed In!. He explained how the final artwork evolved from a series of pencil sketches – many of which were not ultimately used in the game – through to black and white artwork and then to full colour, often changing along the way to better match the physical playfield toys.

John's concept drawings for 'Betty'
John’s inspirations and concept drawings for ‘Betty’ Click to expand

Concept drawings for the Q.E.D. electric guy
Concept drawings for the Q.E.D. electric guy Click to expand

He also showed the different versions of cabinet, backbox, bottom arch and backglass art used in the Collector, Limited Edition and Standard Edition of the game. John also revealed how he was responsible for the exclamation mark at the end of the Dialed In! title. He put it in and, he said, nobody asked him to remove it.

After his seminar John talked to guests and signed translites, flyers and other items he designed.

John talked to guests and signed their pinball items
John talked to guests and signed their pinball items

Here’s John’s seminar:

Then, continuing the theme of Dialed In!, Jack Guarnieri a.k.a. Jersey Jack was joined on stage by Butch Peel and David Thiel to talk about the conception and subsequent development of the game.

Jack Guarnieri
Jack Guarnieri

Jack talked about how he first got Pat Lawlor to design a game for his company, and how he was sold on the original concept of a disaster-themed game, following on from Pat’s earlier Whirlwind and Earthshaker! titles.

He showed pictures from the factory showing the first production Dialed In! games on the line.

Butch Peel and David Thiel
Butch Peel and David Thiel

Here’s the Jersey Jack Pinball seminar in full:

After a long day at the show, we took the opportunity to dive out for some lunch at a wonderful Japanese restaurant just up the street in Tacoma called The Koi.

Their happy hour began at 2pm when all shareable dishes are just $5, beers $2.50 and they have a couple of specials on sake. We especially recommend their Panko Oyster, Yummi Mini and Fancy Jalapeño. The 7 Seas Seven Ballz Deep IPA is also very tasty. They were so good this was our second consecutive lunchtime visit, having vowed to return after the first visit.

When we returned at 3.30pm, refreshed and relaxed, Mark Ritchie was just taking to the stage to talk about his life in pinball.

Mark Ritchie
Mark Ritchie

Mark described how he got into the pinball business, first at Atari and then at Williams, initially as a technician and then as a game designer starting with Thunderball which was never manufactured beyond the ten prototype games. After that, he did Firepower II – the sequel to his brother’s game – and Pennant Fever, a pitch-and-bat baseball game which was, he said, Williams’ first solid-state pitch-and-bat game.

Mark then talked through all his games in chronological order, including such classics as Big Guns – one of his collaborations with Python Anghelo – Taxi, Diner, Fish Tales and Indiana Jones.

Mark certainly didn’t rule out a return to pinball, but did confide to us that rumours of his involvement in a Pulp Fiction game being built by Stern were just that – rumours, with no truth behind them.

You can watch Mark’s seminar here:

Mark’s brother Steve Ritchie was next to take to the stage with his 5pm seminar.

Steve Ritchie
Steve Ritchie

Steve said he was recovering from some optical treatment and therefore had to avoid the kind of bright light shining through the multiple glass panels in the seminar area.

He then continued by thanking the many people at Stern Pinball who had contributed to his latest game Star Wars which is soon to be released. He said production of the Pro model would begin in about a week.

Although always diplomatic about the details, it was clear from Steve’s talk that his and Stern’s dealings with Lucasfilm on the Star Wars franchise had not been without some difficulties, especially in getting approval for their artwork ideas for the game.

Steve was then joined by Greg Freres who talked further about the artwork approval process.

Steve and Greg
Steve and Greg

Greg showed pictures of the team’s initial ideas, working through the first licensor submissions to the final approved product.

Initial cabinet art ideas
Initial cabinet art ideas Click to expand

Initial backglass art ideas
Initial backglass art ideas Click to expand

Initial playfield art ideas
Initial playfield art ideas Click to expand

After showing a promo video from Star Wars Steve described the gameplay, saying at the start of the game you can choose one of four characters – Luke, Leia, Han or R2-D2. He said they had a lot of fun despite all the grief from the licensor, although they didn’t interfere with the design of the playfield.

Steve said there are nine multiball modes in the game, and when asked how Stern Pinball were able to secure the Star Wars licence said it was simply that they offered more money than anyone else.

Steve and Greg’s talk can be seen in this video of the seminar:

Meanwhile back in the show hall, here’s a look around the show using our aerial camera.

The Stern Pinball corner
The Stern Pinball corner

The Stern Pinball corner
The Stern Pinball corner

The front of the show hall
The front of the show hall

The modern pinball area
The modern pinball area

The tournament area
The tournament area

Video games at the back of the hall
Video games at the back of the hall

The queue to play the World's Largest Space Invaders
The queue to play the World’s Largest Space Invaders

More video games
More video games and pinballs

Custom and EM pinballs
Custom and EM pinballs

More EM pinballs
More EM pinballs

Keeping the games up-and-running, the show medics' area
Keeping the games up-and-running, the show medics’ area

No show would be complete without its selection of vendors and the NWPAS didn’t disappoint here either.

Rich Bro's Pinball and Arcade
Rich Bro’s Pinball and Arcade

Rob Anthony's Pinball Classics
Rob Anthony’s Pinball Classics

Pogs, trading cards, patches, decals and more
Pogs, trading cards, patches, decals and more

Local arcade/bar Another Castle were promoting their two locations
Local arcade/bar Another Castle were promoting their two locations

Red Floor Arcade's multi-game cabinets
Red Floor Arcade’s multi-game cabinets

Starship Fantasy had their usual huge display of ramps, playfields and backglasses
Starship Fantasy had their usual huge display of ramps, playfields and backglasses

Fast Pinball were showing thei pinball controller boardsets
Fast Pinball were showing their pinball controller boardsets…

...plus a few project games
…plus a few project games

As seen earlier, Nitro Amusements had the latest games from three companies
Nitro Amusements had the latest games from three companies

Alien, Attack from Mars remake and Houdini
Alien, Attack from Mars remake and Houdini

In addition to Dialed In!, Jersey Jack Pinball had their first two titles to play
In addition to Dialed In!, Jersey Jack Pinball had their first two titles to play

Pinball Bulbs had a large stand filled with LED choices
Pinball Bulbs had a large stand filled with LED choices

There were three compact games from VPcabs
There were three compact games from VPcabs

Console game players were not forgotten either
Console game players were not forgotten either

While BuzzBuzz Games provided even more choice
While BuzzBuzz Games provided even more choice

Handheld gamers had something for them too
Handheld gamers had something for them too

Not forgetting to feed the body as well as the mind
Not forgetting to feed the body as well as the mind

Here’s our exclusive Twenty-Five Minute Tour video walk-around at the NWPAS 2017, showing you everything from the lobby, through the main hall and into the seminars.

As usual, several pinball tournaments were held at the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show, with the largest being the Match Play tournament, entry to which cost $25. The tournaments were run by Dave Stewart and Germain Mariolle.

Trophies for the many tournaments
Trophies for the many tournaments

Amy from Congo awaits the winner of the Match Play Tournament
Amy from Congo awaits the winner of the Match Play Tournament

This had five three-hour qualifying sessions, starting at 1:30pm on Friday with the final session at 8pm on Saturday evening. Each session saw players put into 3- or 4-player groups to play a single game on a specified machine. Points were then awarded for positions, with bonus points awarded according to how large the gap was between players’ scores.

After the first game, new groups were made and a second machine played in the same way as the first. This continued until five machines had been played, when the seven players with the most points had qualified. The top qualifier received a bye through the next round, while the remaining six played in the first round of play-offs on Sunday morning. Those who didn’t qualify could try again in up to two more sessions.

Qualifying in the Match Play Tournament
Qualifying in the Match Play Tournament

Sixteen machines were used in the Match Play area. They were:

Congo
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Fish Tales
Funhouse
Grand Prix
Hot Doggin’
Lord of the Rings, The
Medieval Madness
Monster Bash
NBA
Stargate
Tron
Walking Dead, The
World Cup Soccer
World Poker Tour
WWF Royal Rumble

Meanwhile, the Pingolf Tournament was played on ten machines on the other side of the tournament area.

Play in the Pingolf Tournament
Play in the Pingolf Tournament

Entry to this was also $25, which got you one game on each of the ten machines. Each machine had a score target to achieve using the fewest balls possible. All the machines were set to five ball play, and the number of balls used to reach the target was your score for that machine. If the target wasn’t reached with the five balls, a sliding scale gave you a score from six to ten, depending on how close you got.

The ten machines used were:

Black Hole
Capt. Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Joker Poker
Mars Trek
Mata Hari
Nitro Groundshaker
Paragon
Trident
Volley
Vulcan

The 27 players with the lowest scores qualified for the play-off round which took place at 5pm on Saturday.

The Pingolf Tournament play-offs
The Pingolf Tournament play-offs

In addition to these two, there was also a Rookie Tournament for players with an IFPA ranking of 2,000th or lower, or if they are unranked, a Women’s Championship where the top prize was a restored Ali pinball supplied by sponsors Nitro Amusements, and a Kids Tournament held on Shrek out in the lobby.

The main Match Play Tournament was the last to finish and came down to a three-way final between Eden Stamm, Jesse Mullene and Jesse Labbe.

Time is always very tight for the tournaments at the NWPAS, with the show closing at 3pm and no tournaments allowed to continue past that time. As a consequence, the final of the Match Play Tournament is played as three concurrent three-player games with players moving from machine to machine as their turn comes up.

The three machines chosen were WWF Royal Rumble, World Cup Soccer and NBA.

Eden, Jesse and Jesse in the Match Play Tournament final
Eden, Jesse and Jesse in the Match Play Tournament final

After winning on World Cup Soccer by 728,720,800 to 674,773,190 and 350,062,980, and also on NBA by 14,485,210 to 5,456,350 and 1,219,210, Eden looked unassailable with only WWF Royal Rumble to complete.

Eden on WWF Royal Rumble
Eden on WWF Royal Rumble

The shot shown above gave him the win on WWF as well, with Jesse Mullene in second place and Jesse Labbe in third. Prizes and cash awards of $1,000 for first, $700 for second and $500 for third were presented by Tournament Director, Dave Stewart.

Tournament Director Dave Stewart announces the results
Tournament Director Dave Stewart announces the results

Winner of the Match Play Tournament, Eden Stamm
Winner of the Match Play Tournament, Eden Stamm

Second place, Jesse Mullene
Second place, Jesse Mullene

Third place, Jesse Labbe
Third place, Jesse Labbe

There was also a B Division in the Match Play Tournament for the quarter-finalists who finished in 8th-21st places.

These B Division players played alongside the A Division players shown above, with their final taking place on The Walking Dead, The Lord of the Rings and Congo.

Josh Bartlett won on the first two and came second on Congo to win the final.

Dwayne Smith was second on the first two and third on Congo to tie on points with Nic Crowson who was third on the first two but won on the third, but Nic won the play-off to take second.

Winner of the B Division in the Match Play Tournament, Josh Bartlett
Winner of the B Division in the Match Play Tournament, Josh Bartlett

Second place, Nic Crowson
Second place, Nic Crowson

Third place, Dwayne Smith
Third place, Dwayne Smith

Match Play Tournament
Pos Name
1 Eden Stamm
2 Jesse Mullene
3 Jesse Labbe
4 Jordan Semrow
4 Robert Gagno
6 Chad Bruhaug
6 Raymond Davidson
8 Joshua Bartlett
9 Mika Rollin
9 Todd Rafacz
11 Chris Perlot
12 Sergey Posrednikov
13 Craig R Jones
13 Dave Grant
13 Dwayne Smith
13 Nic Crowson
17 Robbie Finnigan
17 Todd Larsen
19 Dave Stewart
20 Colin Urban
20 Sean Lind
22 Daniel Rone
22 Mathew Peterson
24 Brooke Lukens
24 Germain Mariolle
26 Alex Tada
26 Jared Baldridge
26 Xavier Marin
29 Thomas Urban
30 John Cambareri
30 Simon Stocker
32 Alan Wiley
33 Jon Salzman
34 Trevor McDonald
35 Chris Chinn
36 Brandon Tibbetts
36 William Scott Jordan
36 Zach Amador
39 Andrew McCann
39 Flash Haze
39 Kevin Birrell
39 Maka Honig
39 Mike Pantoliano
44 Bre Lloyd
44 Brooke Borcherding
44 Bryan Eastman
44 Derek Price
44 Eric Wagensonner
44 Erin Harting
44 James Daniels
44 Julie Gray
44 Lonnie Langford
44 Louise Wagensonner
44 Mark Lindbergh
44 Michael Tibbetts
44 Patrick Carlson
44 Peter Schatzer
44 Sean Shypula
44 Tracy Lindbergh
44 Travis Maisch
61 Claire Burke
61 Dwayne Collins
61 Fabian Benabente
61 Josh Bellinghausen
61 Nick Cline
61 Sam Atlas
61 Sean Leary
61 Zoe Vrabel
69 Aaron Garberding
70 Allison McClure
70 Cameron Staley
70 John Robinson WA
70 Joseph Salender
70 Justin Hugeback
70 Katie Janis
70 Lou Nemphos
70 Mike Corbett WA
70 Miles Grant
70 Sean McDonald
70 Timm Shere
81 Anthony Welters
81 Blake Hurdle
81 Dan Griffin
81 Darin Lange
81 Eric Morales
81 Greg Poverelli
81 Heather Loudon
81 Jarrett Gaddy
81 Kay Kay
81 Matt Anderson
81 Nick Pernisco
81 Ramsey Sierra
81 Rob Moller
81 Thomas Stepp
81 Tim McCool
96 Anthony McCammant
96 Cody McPike
96 Jack Slovacek
96 Jeff Anderson WA
96 Kayla Greet
96 Luke Camarda
96 Matt Galbraith
96 Matt Slater
96 Ronnie Vanwormer
96 Ryan Newstrum
96 Stephen Rakonza
107 Brandon Bras
107 Collin Topolski
107 Corbin Sheffels
107 Heather Thompson
107 James Southern
107 James Stubbington
107 Jeff Gagnon
107 Jonathan Hawthorne
107 Mike Magruder
107 Neil Kubath
107 Ryan Hess
107 Todd MacCulloch
107 Zac Petersen
120 Aviana Smith
120 Bo Kellogg
120 Brett Wolfe
120 Chelsey Oedewaldt
120 Christel Macabeo
120 Corey Roberson
120 Emmalyn Smith
120 Gilbert Sandejas
120 Jason Dowell
120 Jessica DeNardo
120 Karri Kuoppamaki
120 Nigel Colbert
120 Nycole Hyatt
120 Philip Joupperi
120 Rob Dancu
120 Tressa Points
136 Alex Bowen
136 Jaakko Kuoppamaki
136 Kylie Waibel
136 Marcus Schmick
136 Neil Oney
141 Altwin Hawksford
141 Brian Chesbrough
141 Darren Hensley
141 David Rauschenberg
141 Jeff Sawyer
141 Mike Arena
141 Rachel Helm
141 Robin Moore
141 Sara Urban
150 Matt Wolfe
150 Theresa Martin
152 Bob Klossner
152 Matt Ewan
152 Matt Golden
152 Matt Sarnoff
152 Max Stewart
152 Simon Hearsey
152 Tyler Beard
159 Alex Skinner
159 Amber Marie Simon
159 Dan Danger
159 Kathy Gagno
163 Brock Herriges
163 Jackie O’Malley
163 Michael Warfield
163 Nickie Dowell
163 Sean Morrow
168 Joe Slovacek
169 James Beard

The Rookie Tournament was played in a three-strikes-and-you’re-out format, with head-to-head matches between the 97 players who entered. This meant players continued playing in rounds of single two-player games until they had lost three games at which point they were out of the tournament.

Time constraints meant the tournament had to be drawn to a close with a bunch of players still on two strikes, two on one strike and one player undefeated.

The twelve players on two strikes were all given $20 prizes for joint fourth place, while Thomas Stepp who had no strikes yet played in a three-man final with Vincent Sperrazza and Rob Files who both had one strike.

Germain explains the rules to finalists Rob, Thomas and Vincent
Germain explains the rules to finalists Rob, Thomas and Vincent

The format for the sudden-death final on Hot Doggin’ gave just one ball to Rob and Vincent, with Thomas having two balls to play due to him having one fewer strike against him.

Thomas in the final of the Rookie Tournament
Thomas in the final of the Rookie Tournament

As it transpired, after one ball each Thomas was already in the lead and so didn’t need to play his second ball. Rob was second and Vincent third.

Winner of the Rookie Tournament, Thomas Stepp
Winner of the Rookie Tournament, Thomas Stepp

Second place, Rob Files
Second place, Rob Files

Third place, Vincent Sperrazza
Third place, Vincent Sperrazza

Rookie Tournament
Pos Name
1 Thomas Stepp
2 Rob Files
2 Vincent Sperrazza
9 Chris Wolf
9 Matt Ewan
9 Andrew Dale
9 Umboon Moore
9 Jack Slovacek
9 Ramsey Sierra
9 Aviana Smith
9 Andrew McCann
9 Claire Burke
9 Nick Pernisco
9 Allison McClure
9 Tim McCool
19 Torrey Whiting
19 Max Stewart
19 Peter Schatzer
19 Fabian Benabente
19 Maureen Hendrix
19 Stephen Rakonza
19 Heather Thompson
19 Altwin Hawksford
29 Evan Adkins
29 Sandy Magallanes
29 Chelsea Rakonza
29 Eric Einke
29 Sarah Oberender
29 Dwayne Collins
29 Philip Joupperi
29 Keith Foster
29 Angie Mortimore
29 Cody McPike
29 Rita Perez
29 Sean McDonald
43 Luke Camarda
43 Kellan Kirkland
43 Debbie Smith
43 Jamey Harting
43 Stuart McPherran
43 Derek Price
43 Will Kirkland
43 Jason Dowell
43 Paul Borth
43 Mary Weeks
43 Gilbert Sandejas
43 Michael Williams
43 Michael Blue
43 Scott Mortimore
43 Tressa Points
59 Brett Pulliam
59 Nickie Dowell
59 Cameron Lessing
59 Casey Jones
59 Blaise Ritchie
59 Brandon Mortimore
59 Tyler Dellinger
59 Jon Whiting
59 Alex Skinner
59 Cameron Staley
59 Natay Hendershot
59 Meg Griffin
59 Jake Hei
59 Theresa Martin
59 Sean Shypula
59 Neil Oney
59 Adam Kurth
76 Jeannette Marin
76 John McConnell
76 Robin Moore
76 Mike Mortimore
76 James Stubbington
76 Josh Bellinghausen
76 Joe Slovacek
76 Scott Loveless
76 Sarra Jones
76 Neil Derksen
76 Mike Witschen
76 Todd Mulvahill
76 Mike Hendershot
76 Amber Marie Simon
76 Ken Sieker
76 Sara Urban
76 Brad Smelser
76 Kelsie Sherman Hall
91 Alex Bowen
91 James Poblete
91 Bryan Eastman
91 Sarah Ledray
91 Bryn Bomar
91 Timm Shere
91 Jessica Van Wagner
91 Kim Green
91 Cindy Pealstrom
91 Anthony McCammant
91 Chelsey Oedewaldt

The final rounds of both the Women’s Tournament and the Pingolf Tournament were held on Saturday night when a prior dinner engagement prevented us being in attendance.

However, the final of the Women’s Tournament was a series of four games played by the four finalists who were Julie Gray, Alexa Philbeck, Sara Urban and Maureen Hendrix. The machines chosen were the same as the A Division of the Match Play Tournament – WWF Royal Rumble, World Cup Soccer and NBA – with the addition of Stargate.

Alexa won the first game on WWF and continued her success on both World Cup Soccer and NBA to give her an unassailable lead. Maureen was third on the first three but won on Stargate to take second place. Sara and Julie both had two second places and two fourth places but it was Sara who took third place overall with Julie fourth.

Women’s Tournament
Pos Name
1 Alexa Philbeck
2 Maureen Hendrix
3 Sara Urban
4 Julie Gray
5 Tracy Lindbergh
6 Brooke Borcherding
7 Jessica DeNardo
8 Amber Marie Simon
9 Rachel Helm
9 Chelsea Rakonza
11 Meg Griffin
11 Mika Rollin
13 Heather Loudon
14 Lauren Aquino
15 Bre Lloyd
16 Chelsey Oedewaldt
16 Louise Wagensonner
20 Allison McClure
20 Heather Willott
20 Lainey Welters
20 Robin Brown
20 Sarra Jones
23 Courtney Klossner
27 Aviana Smith
27 Cameron Herpiges
27 Christel Macabeo
27 Emily Beirne
27 Jeanna Beard
27 Kelsie Sherman Hall
27 Sandy Magallanes
32 Brooke Lukens
32 Claire Burke
32 Erin Harting
32 Tressa Points
37 Kayla Greet
37 Nycole Hyatt
37 Sarah Ledray
37 Theresa Martin
37 Zoe Vrabel
41 Heather Thompson
41 Kim Green
41 Natay Hendershot
44 Cindy Pealstrom
44 Emmalyn Smith
44 Max Stewart
44 Umboon Moore
48 Ashley Weaver
48 Katie Janis
48 Mary Lopez
51 Julia McDonald
51 Kathy Gagno
51 Nickie Dowell
51 Sarah Hager
55 Kierra McDonald
55 Rita Perez
55 Tessa Hewlett
57 Alex Bowen
57 Angie McIntyre
59 Megan Beard
60 Karla Rivers
61 Sunshine Beard

The Pingolf Tournament play-offs were contested by the top 27 qualifiers who played in nine groups of three in a three-strikes format where the player or players reaching the target with the fewest balls win, and the other player(s) receive a strike.

It took eight rounds before the final two were revealed as Lou Nemphos and Robert Gagno.

Robert had two strikes from loses on Capt. Fantastic and Volley, while Lou had one from Joker Poker. However, in round nine Robert won on Mata Hari to level the number of strikes, and repeated the feat on Vulcan to win the Pingolf Tournament.

Zoe Vrabel was third, with Joshua Bartlett and Thomas Urban tied for fourth.

Pingolf Tournament
1 Robert Gagno
2 Lou Nemphos
3 Zoe Vrabel
4 Joshua Bartlett
4 Thomas Urban
6 Chris Chinn
6 Matt Sarnoff
6 Todd Rafacz
6 Jeffrey Neumann
10 Tracy Lindbergh
10 jesse labbe
10 Raymond Davidson
10 Dave Stewart
10 Colin Urban
15 Pat Patton
15 Sam Atlas
15 Peter Schatzer
15 Sergey Posrednikov
15 Kathy Gagno
20 Derek Price
20 Andrew Nunes
20 Zac Petersen
20 Eric Wagensonner
20 Maureen Hendrix
25 Jack Slovacek
25 Matt Anderson
25 Kevin Birrell
25 James Southern
29 Bryan Eastman
30 Casey Jones
31 Lonnie Langford
32 Erin Harting
33 Germain Mariolle
34 Matt Bollinger
35 Julie Gray
36 Joseph Salender
37 Mathew Peterson
38 Patrick Carlson
39 Todd Macculloch
40 Stephen Rakonza
41 Eden Stamm
42 Kayla Greet
43 Jarrett Gaddy
44 Chris Perlot
45 Blake Hurdle
46 Nigel Colbert
47 Kelsie Sherman Hall
48 Gilbert Sandejas
49 Mark Lindbergh
50 Maka Honig
51 Aaron Garberding
52 Todd Larsen
53 Dave Grant
54 Michael B Bailey
55 Jamey Harting
56 Jonathan Hawthorne
57 Anthony Welters
58 Miles Grant
59 Craig R Jones
60 Dwayne Smith
61 Sean Shypula
62 Alan Wiley
63 Rob Dancu
64 John McConnell
65 Altwin Hawksford
66 John Robinson
67 Jessica Denardo
68 James Daniels
69 Nina Ricciardi
70 Philip Joupperi
71 Daniel Rone
72 Sean Lind
73 Collin Topolski
74 Matt Ewan
75 Zach Amador
76 Heather Loudon
77 Amanda Kotchon
78 Darin Lange
79 James Stubbington
80 Theresa Martin
81 Katie Janis
82 Jordan Semrow
83 Karri Kuoppamaki
84 Jared Baldridge
85 Christel Macabeo
86 Ryan Hess
87 Greg Harting
88 Rob Moller
89 Simon Hearsey
90 Josh Bellinghausen
91 Geoff Simons
92 Aviana Smith
93 David Rauschenberg
94 Trevor McDonald
95 Darren Ensley
96 Matt Golden
97 Jeff Sawyer
98 Luke Camarda
99 Mike Pantoliano
100 Nick Cline
101 Alex Skinner
102 Chris Wolf
103 Brooke Borcherding
104 Greg Poverelli
105 Lainey Welters
106 Fabian Benabente
107 Neil Kubath
108 William Scott Jordan
109 Claire Burke
110 Meg Griffin
111 Eric Morales
112 Jacob Wallraff
113 Mike Corbett WA
114 Cameron Staley
115 Louise Wagensonner
116 Daniel Campbell
117 Matt Wolfe
118 Cody McPike
119 Lauren Aquino
120 Andrew Dale
121 Chad Bruhaug
122 Jim Gray
123 Timm Shere
124 Alex Tada
125 Sean Mcdonald
126 Mike Witschen
127 Jesse Mullene
128 Marcus Schmick
129 Nick Pernisco
130 Michael Warfield
131 Brooke Lukens
132 Ron Goltz
133 Robbie Finnigan
134 Emmalyn Smith
135 Rita Perez
136 Jason Dowell
137 Brian Chesbrough
138 Sara Urban
139 Alex Bowen
140 Brock Herriges
141 Dan Griffin
142 Bob Klossner
143 Bruce Reed
144 Morihiro Ryu
145 Jaakko Kuoppamaki
146 Chelsea Rakonza
147 Joe Slovacek
148 Neil Oney
149 Anthony Mccammant
150 Corbin Sheffels
151 Michael Tibbetts
152 Tressa Points
153 Stephen Battey
154 Jeff Anderson WA
155 Tyler Dellinger
156 Cameron Herriges
157 Jackie O’Malley
158 Karla Rivers
159 Umboon Moore

You can see all the results from the tournaments as well as a break-down of the individual rounds on the NWPAS tournaments website.

Although the show continues until 3pm on Sunday, around 1pm the official end-of-show ceremony is held in the seminars area out in the lobby. It is presented by President of the board of the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show, Byron Raynes.

Byron Raynes hosts the end-of-show ceremony on Sunday afternoon
Byron Raynes hosts the end-of-show ceremony on Sunday afternoon

Events began with the presentation of prizes and the main trophy to the top players in the Kids Tournament which was held on the Shrek machine. In third place was JJ who was third in 2016 as well. Second place went to Katarina who wasn’t at the presentation, while the winner was Jack.

Winner of the Kids Tournament, Jack
Winner of the Kids Tournament, Jack

Third place, JJ
Third place, JJ

All three won some cool prizes including solar-powered robot kits.

Next came the announcements of monetary awards to good causes supported by the show. To help with this, Byron was joined by other members of the NWPAS board.

Members of the NWPAS board: Chris Walsh, Dave Okert, Toby Udman, Mike Lorrain & Lou Perazzoli
Members of the NWPAS board:
Chris Walsh, Dave Okert, Toby Udman, Mike Lorrain & Lou Perazzoli

The NWPAS is a nonprofit, so all proceeds go to good causes. The first of these is the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to which the money raised from the silent raffle of a Ghostbusters playfield and other merchandise sales was donated.

Then a cheque for $500 was presented to the Pinball Outreach Project to aid their work teaching children the history and excitement of pinball by bringing pinball machines to children’s hospitals as well as setting up summer camps and creating their own family-friendly arcade in Portland.

A $500 donation to the Pinball Outreach Project
A $500 donation to the Pinball Outreach Project

The next donation went to the Beads of Courage organisation. This is a programme where children with serious illnesses can mark milestones in their treatment and recovery through the collecting of special beads. There are numerous different types of beads and collecting them not only shows the many stages each child has undergone, but gives them goals and provides a way for others to give them support.

A $500 donation to Beads of Courage
A $500 donation to Beads of Courage

The final presentation was the NWPAS scholarship award which goes to support the further education of a selected individual in their pinball or gaming-related studies.

This year’s winner of the $5,000 scholarship was Rawuda Jemal.

NWPAS 2017 scholarship recipient, Rawuda Jemal
NWPAS 2017 scholarship recipient, Rawuda Jemal

Rawuda was joined by Michella who was an earlier recipient of the scholarship and who spoke about how the money was used to help in her studies through college.

Rawuda and Michella
Rawuda and Michella

Rawuda collects her $5,000 scholarship cheque
Rawuda collects her $5,000 scholarship cheque

Finally, the draws took place for the Sunday raffle prize of the Mario Bros. arcade cabinet, and the grand prize raffle for the Batman 66 pinball.

The Mario Bros. game was drawn first.

The winning ticket for the video game is drawn
The winning ticket for the video game is drawn

The lucky winner claims their prize
The lucky winner claims their prize

Then the draw for the Batman 66 Premium pinball was made. This raffle ran through the three days of the show with tickets costing $20 each.

The draw for the winner of the Batman 66 game
The draw for the winner of the Batman 66 game

The winner was show volunteer Richard Godwin who thanked the drawer of his ticket.

Winner of the Batman 66 prize draw, Richard Godwin
Winner of the Batman 66 prize draw, Richard Godwin

And with that we bring our coverage from the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show 2017 to a close. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed being there and reporting on the events in Tacoma.

There’s a huge team of volunteers who make the show happen, from the early planning stages, through to the unloading crews, the medics, the registration, raffle and information desk staff, the seminar crew and the tournaments team. That’s before we get to the machine bringers, parts and machine vendors, the seminar speakers and the sponsors. The nonprofit nature of the show, and the fact it supports a number of worthy causes adds a extra feel-good factor to events.

The NWPAS is now firmly established as one of the big shows in the pinball calendar, with a great selection of machines and seminar speakers while winning and keeping the support of the many pinball businesses, collectors and fans in the Pacific northwest.

This was the tenth NWPAS. We’ll already making plans to be at number eleven.

TMAP 2017

Classics machines at TMAP 2017

We haven’t visit Madrid for a pinball tournament since Spain held the European Pinball Championship there back in 2012. This time we were attending the Torneo Madrileño de Pinballs, better known as TMAP.

The venue for the two-day event was a nondescript building in an industrial area on the southern side of the city which is the permanent home to the private Millonaria pinball club.

For those not familiar with the Millonaria location there was no signage to indicate any pinball presence resides here, let alone the fact that it is the home of a major Spanish tournament.

The unexecptional building on Camino de Hormigueras
The unexceptional building on Camino de Hormigueras

However, if you enter the building through the unlocked third door, take the lift up five floors and follow the sounds of flippers flipping, you come across the tournament registration desk.

The tournament registration desk
The tournament registration desk

Playing in the two tournaments – modern and classics – cost €60 per person. Players could also opt to take an organised lunch held in another part of the building for an additional €20. Those who took the lunch received green wristbands, while those who made their own arrangements wore an orange wristband. As you can see, with no catering facilities nearby, the vast majority decided to have lunch at the venue.

The list of players with their lunch choices
The list of players with their lunch choices

Upon registration, players received an orange shoulder bag, two score sheets (one for the modern tournament and one for the classics), a pen and a wipe cloth.

The two score sheets and pen
The two score sheets and pen

Alongside the registration desk, the lobby also provided a seating area and there was a vendor with a selection of pinball LEDs and other generic parts.

Pinball parts for sale
Pinball parts for sale

From the lobby, a short corridor led past a group of upright video games into the games room, where the eighty-nine machines were arranged in four long rows of around twenty-two machines each.

Video games on the way to the pinballs
Video games on the way to the pinballs

More classic videos
More classic videos

The first two rows of machines
The first two rows of machines

The second two rows
The second two rows

The classics machines were arranged back-to-back down the centre of the room, while the modern pinballs backed against the walls. The rear of the room was open to a multi-storey car park which provided access for loading or unloading machines and gave a small seating area for relaxation between games.

The back of the room
The back of the room

To help with the relaxation, there was a bar selling soft and alcoholic drinks along with some snacks. Beers were only €1 and gin & tonics €3, both of which were very well received.

The bar menu
The bar menu

The classics machines were largely composed of Spanish games, making an unusual selection of rarely-seen titles for the non-Spanish players attending.

Black & Reed, Big Horse and Poker Plus
Black & Reed, Big Horse and Poker Plus

Mr Evil, Centaur and Full
Mr Evil, Centaur and Full

Here’s a full list of the machines.

300
30’s, The
Addams Family, The
Aerosmith Pro
Avengers Pro
Back to the Future
Big Horse
Black & Reed
Bumper
Cabaret
Canasta ’86
Canasta ’86
Centaur (Bally)
Centaur (Inder)
Chamonix
Champion Pub, The
Cherokis
Class of 1812
Corvette
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Criterium 75
Dardos
Demolition Man
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Dragon
Elvis
Fairy
Family Guy
Fans
Fantastic World
Fiery 30’s, The
Flintstones, The
Full
Funhouse
Getaway, The: High Speed 2
Ghostbusters LE
Grand Prix
Guns N’ Roses
Incredible Hulk, The
Indiana Jones (WMS)
Indianapolis 500
Jacks Open
Jake Mate
Jalisco
Johnny Mnemonic
Judge Dredd
Jurassic Park
Kiss
Kiss Premium
Luck Smile
Master Stroke
Metallica Pro
Mississippi
Mr Evil
NBA Fastbreak
NBA Fastbreak
Nemesis
No Good Gofers,
Pirates of the Caribbean
Poker Plus
Popeye
Pro Football
Revenge from Mars
Roadshow
Rolling Stones, The
Running Horse
Scared Stiff
Sea Scare
Seven Winner
Shamrock
Skyjump
Spider-Man VE
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Wars Episode 1
Stargate
Striker Xtreme
Stripping Funny
Super Bowl
Tales from the Crypt
Terminator 3
Theatre of Magic
Twilight Zone
Underwater
Up Away
Whitewater
World Cup Soccer
World Cup Soccer
X-Men Magneto LE

At the front of the room was the tournament desk where results were entered into the computer system, while a large poster showed the player groups, machines to be played and the results.

The matches in the main and classics tournaments
The matches in the modern and classics tournaments

Both tournaments worked in the same way; only the machines used and how they were played changed between the two.

Trophies for the classics tournament
Trophies for the classics tournament

Modern tournament trophies
Modern tournament trophies

Players were divided into three groups – A, B & C. In each group, everyone played three- or four-player games across nine rounds, so everyone got to play everyone else in their group. Machines were allocated in a semi-random way – keeping each group to a fixed selection of machines – which meant players would often get to play the same machine twice (or more).

In each match, points were awarded depending on finishing position, with 3 points for first, 2 points for second, 1 point for third and 0 points for last place. That meant a maximum of 27 points were available if all games were won.

The classics tournament was played first.

The classic tournament begins
The classics tournament begins

Because many of these machines were single player only, each player in a match played their game in isolation, recording their score on paper and working out the points after the last player in the match finished their game.

Play in the classics tournament
Play in the classics tournament

The points were then recorded on the poster.

Recording points in the classics tournament
Recording points in the classics tournament

When all the matches in a round were over, a call went out on the PA to start the next round while the previous round’s results were entered into the computer. The current standings were shown on a monitor.

Current standings
Current standings

The eight players with the most points in each group qualified for the play-offs on Sunday morning. The first four received a bye through the first round (12 players), while the next four would have to battle it out in four three-player games with only the winner moving on (4 players).

Players check their position
Players check their position

The classics tournament qualification ended around 12:30pm, with the first rounds of the modern tournament starting immediately.

Lunch was scheduled for 2pm, so there was just time for a couple of rounds of qualifying before the break.

Unlike the classics, all modern tournament matches were played as regular four-player games.

Lunch is a big deal in Spanish pinball tournaments and two hours are usually allocated to enjoy it. Those who had signed up for the organised meal went down to the entrance and across to the unit next door for the catered meal, complete with drinks.

We opted to enjoy the hot sunny weather and headed to the nearby town of Vallecas for a leaisurely lunch at a cafe with street-side tables. A nice iced Estrella beer rounded off the meal of bocadillos filled with anchovies and tortilla, alongside other assorted nibbles.

Play didn’t resume until 4:45, when the remaining seven rounds of the modern tournament qualifying took place. Each round took approximately 30 minutes, so everything wrapped up around 8pm.

Players relaxing after completing their games
Players relaxing after completing their games

We were staying at a nearby Ibis Budget hotel which while cheap (€37 a night), modern and a few minutes’ walk to the venue, was basic and not in a great area. So, we made a quick trip back to freshen up before setting off for the centre of Madrid courtesy of Alejandro Yepes Piedra, who had invited us to take part in the tournament and took care of us all weekend.

Central Madrid on a Saturday night is amazingly packed with people. The bars and restaurants are crowded. The streets are crowded. The subway is crowded. It’s like rush hour, every hour.

But it’s also vibrant, exciting and enjoyable. We grabbed a big dish of paella, a couple of jugs of sangria, and headed for Plaza Mayor to explore the city.

Sunday’s action began at 9am for those who finished in positions 5th-8th in their group. The top four skipped this round and so could turn up later, making sure they didn’t arrive too late.

The Pinball News crew were back bright and early on Sunday morning
The Pinball News crew were back bright and early on Sunday morning

The modern tournament
The modern tournament

Both classics and modern tournaments again followed the same format. Four groups were made, and three three-player games played with points awarded. Only the player with the most points joined the next stage, so it was a tough round to survive.

As well as the modern and classics tournament, there were several side competitions set up on machines at the back of the room.

Play in the side competitions
Play in the side competitions

The pairs competition held on Guns N’ Roses had each player play one ball and then play the third ball in split-flipper mode.

Players in the pairs competition
Players in the pairs competition

The blind pinball competition has a paper shield over the flippers of an Indiana Jones machine. The player with the highest score won. Meanwhile there was a one-ball competition run on Avengers.

The remaining play-offs all consisted of four-player groups playing three games per round, with 9-6-3-1 scoring – a system which seemed inherently likely to produce ties. The top two players in each group progressed to the next round, reducing the initial sixteen players to eight and then to a final four who would compete for the top four places.

The classics final took place first and it was a sudden-death single five-ball game played on Master Stroke. The four finalists were Rafitas, Alexxx, Inderman and Cisco120 (everyone uses nicknames in Spain).

The four classics tournament finalists
The four classics tournament finalists:
Inderman, Rafitas, Cisco120 & Alexxx

Alexxx played first on this single-player game.

Alexxx starts the final in the classics tournament
Alexxx starts the final in the classics tournament

Hi score of 600.600 set the target for the rest to attack.

Rafitas played next but fell short with 518,100. Inderman was third to play and his total just beat Alexxx, scoring 633,300 to lead the field.

Cisco120 was the last to play.

Cisco120 plays the last game in the four-player final
Cisco120 plays the last game in the four-player final

He sailed past Inderman’s score on his third ball, ending his game when his score reached 657,900.

So, Cisco120 won, Inderman was second, ALexxx third and Rafitas fourth.

Winner of the classics tournament, Cisco120
Winner of the classics tournament, Cisco120

Second place, Inderman
Second place, Inderman

Third place, Alexxx with his fiancee
Third place, Alexxx with his fiancee

Fourth place, Rafitas
Fourth place, Rafitas

The top four in the classics tournament
The top four in the classics tournament

The full results of the classics tournament are:

Classics Tournament Results
Pos Name
1 Cisco120
2 Inderman
3 Álexxx
4 rafitas
5 BonelessChicken
5 Santy
7 Ángel
7 DINO
9 Quercus
9 PinballBCN
9 Cga pozuelo
9 Mainwaring
13 Baptur
13 ROMEO
13 Rayo
13 Julio
17 Pochoguerrero
17 Rafa
17 shaolins
17 DAN
21 IKE1
21 Mirloblan
21 NBSJOSE
21 KURSH
25 Fhk
25 Fede
25 LUCIUS
28 Richart
28 Druida
28 Pipo
31 BURN RUBBER
31 Carro
31 KROM
34 Luigivampa
34 Roskalion
36 Javi
36 Capitán
36 Alucinoff
36 Multiball
36 Pulgarin
41 Lieven
41 Juaney
43 Lucky Luke
43 hassanchop
43 Federo
46 Glen
46 Troshinsky
48 ajal
48 Danidrummer
48 Pimiento
48 Drator
48 Jmfl1977
53 Leberry
53 KRISMA
55 Sarten
55 Ayub
55 Tropoglar
58 Shh-ware
58 APE
58 Jetlager
61 Gabrielo
61 Neo-Jesus
61 IronBall
64 metroider
64 Fari
64 dMode
67 DarkZeroIce
67 VIC
67 Rubensaos
70 marchales
70 Igmabor
70 DJ HULK
73 Ronko
73 Gregorio
73 iliciman
76 Steiner
76 tinkui

Then came the final of the modern tournament. This was also a single game, played on the club’s newest acquisition, an Aerosmith Pro. The four finalists were Rafitas (again), Martin Ayub, Julio and Leberry

The four modern tournament finalists:
The four modern tournament finalists:
Rafitas, Martin Ayub, Julio and Leberry

Leberry began the final.

The final of the modern tournament begins
The final of the modern tournament begins

Leberry made a solid if unexceptional start, scoring around 2M. Martin then played next.

Martin is player two in the final
Martin is player two in the final

A quick bounce down the left outlane didn’t give Martin much of a start, although he did light a couple of locks.

Julio did a little better, scoring just over a million, while Rafitas had the quickest first ball of the four, not putting up much of a score yet.

Julio picks his song as player three
Julio picks his song as player three

Leberry started a three-ball multiball to take a solid lead, but Martin and Julio both held out to lock all six balls and maximise their scoring potential. Although it was a risk, it paid off for them both. Leberry ended on 55M, but Martin overtook that with his 61M total. Julio had the much better multiball, however, ending his game on 121M. Despite putting up a valiant fight, Rafitas’s game never really got going and he ended up in fourth.

So, Julio was the winner, Martin was second, Leberry third and Rafitas fourth. Trophies were awarded by the event organisers.

Winner of the TMAP 2017 modern tournament, Julio
Winner of the TMAP 2017 modern tournament, Julio

Second place, Martin
Second place, Martin

Third place, Leberry
Third place, Leberry

Fourth place, Rafitas
Fourth place, Rafitas

The top four in the modern tournament
The top four in the modern tournament

Here are the full results:

Modern Tournament Results
Pos Name
1 Julio
2 Ayub
3 Leberry
4 rafitas
5 Rayo
5 Ángel
7 Mainwaring
7 Quercus
9 Gabrielo
9 Lieven
9 Troshinsky
9 PinballBCN
13 Cisco120
13 Richart
13 VIC
13 Juaney
17 dMode
17 APE
17 Tropoglar
20 ROMEO
20 Lucky Luke
20 Pipo
20 ajal
20 BonelessChicken
25 Shh-ware
25 shaolins
25 IronBall
28 Ronko
28 Mirloblan
28 NBSJOSE
31 Fhk
31 Fari
31 tinkui
34 Rafa
34 Igmabor
34 KURSH
37 Carro
37 KROM
39 Baptur
39 marchales
39 metroider
39 Fede
39 DJ HULK
44 Druida
44 Álexxx
46 Pimiento
46 Santy
46 Alucinoff
49 Inderman
49 Cga pozuelo
49 Multiball
52 BURN RUBBER
52 Neo-Jesus
52 DINO
55 Luigivampa
55 hassanchop
55 Rubensaos
58 Pochoguerrero
58 Roskalion
58 LUCIUS
61 DAN
61 Glen
61 Jmfl1977
64 Sarten
64 Drator
64 Pulgarin
67 DarkZeroIce
67 Gregorio
67 Jetlager
70 Javi
70 IKE1
70 Federo
73 Steiner
73 Capitán
73 KRISMA
76 Danidrummer
76 iliciman

Awards were also given to the winners of the side competitons.

Winners of the pairs competition, Druida and Ronko
Winners of the pairs competition, Druida and Ronko

High score competition winner, Pipo
High score competition winner, Pipo

Blind pinball competition winner, Ironball
Blind pinball competition winner, Ironball

There was also an award for the Interstellar Championship of Monza, although we’re not quite sure how this was decided.

Winner of the Interstellar Championship of Monza, Jetlaguer
Winner of the Interstellar Championship of Monza, Jetlaguer

With all the awards presented, the event closed at the very civilised time of 4pm. That meant we still had the rest of the day free to return to central Madrid for plates of tapas and some nice cold drinks.

Like most Spanish tournaments, TMAP 2017 was run in a relaxed though professional way. With the vast majority being local players, everyone seemed to know how it ran and what was expected of them. Those unfamiliar with the venue might have had trouble finding it – we knew the address but still couldn’t work it out until someone showed us – but once inside the format and rules were immediately understandable.

The relaxed timescale also worked well for us. Having a two-hour lunch break split up the day nicely, and the sensible finish times on both days allowed us to enjoy the city – something not always possible with other tournaments.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to TMAP 2017. Thanks to all the organisers.

While the area around the venue is not the most attractive (and we would probably choose to stay closer to the centre of the city next time), we welcomed the format, the collection of machines, the weather and the hospitality, and would love to spend some additional time exploring Madrid on our next trip.

MIHIDERKA PINBALL & FOOD FESTIVAL 2

Printimus Pinball in Bytom, Poland

After last year’s inaugural Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival – the world’s only combined pinball and vegan food event – we are back at Printimus Pinball in the southern Polish town of Bytom to enjoy the burgers and the flippers for a second time.

The home of Printimus Pinball in Bytom, Poland
The home of Printimus Pinball in Bytom, Poland

Printimus is a full-service printing company based on a light industrial park on the outskirts of Bytom in the Silesia region of the country. While printing is the main business, the building also houses a nice collection of pinballs ranging from 1977 Gottlieb four-players such as Bronco and Jungle Queen, through to Jersey Jack Pinball’s The Hobbit Smaug Edition.

The Printimus Pinball collection
The Printimus Pinball collection

Printimus is owned by Marcin Krysiński while the Printimus Pinball section is run by joint Polish IFPA Director, Łukasz Dziatkiewicz who is also president of Polish Pinball Association (PSF). Together they would host a main pinball tournament, a classic tournament, a JJP tournament, a magic-themed tournament and a Dig-Dug video game tournament.

Łukasz shows off his pinball socks
Łukasz shows off his pinball socks

Mihiderka is a Marcin’s family-run vegan restaurant which began as a single operation in Gliwice near Bytom but has since expanded to three locations with a fourth opening soon and further expansion on the cards.

The Mihiderka logo

So, the three-day event gives a unique opportunity to combine competitive pinball with the best in plant-based cuisine.

But before we get to any of that, we left the Printimus building for a ride to another unique business based in the nearby city of Katowice. On the way there we drove through the city of Chorzów. The city was a sponsor of the Mihiderka Pinball and Food Festival, providing prizes to the winners, and even included pinball in its promotional video (something which is very unusual in Poland) to businesses looking to invest in the region.

The pinball-themed promotional video for Chorzów

So it was that our car dropped us off down a narrow alleyway.

What's down this unexceptional-looking alleyway?
What’s down this unexceptional-looking passage?

Our destination was a pinball-themed hotel offering an immersive pinball experience for those staying in one of the dedicated pinball rooms.

Welcome to the Pinball Rooms
Welcome to the Pinball Rooms

As soon as you enter the building you come face-to-face with a familiar character at reception.

Welcome to the Funhouse
Welcome to the Funhouse

Rudy greets guests and offers them brochures
Rudy’s all grown up and now greets guests and offers them brochures

Every corridor and room in the hotel features pinball games, pinball artwork, pinball photographs.

Rudy is also inside the coffee table in the lobby area
Rudy is also inside the coffee table in the lobby area

Funhouse cabinet artwork adorns the walls
Funhouse cabinet artwork adorns the walls

Leaving reception to visit the bedrooms we pass a Mustang machine and various backglasses.

This way to the rooms
This way to the rooms

The rooms are split up by theme. Some are music-themed, others circus-themed.

Guns 'N Roses join with AC/DC in one room, while Williams titles occupy another
Guns ‘N Roses join with AC/DC in one room, while Williams titles occupy another

What lies behind this door?
What lies behind this door?

Can you sleep in a Cyclone?
Can you sleep in a Cyclone?

Perhaps you'd prefer spending the night with Indiana Jones?
Perhaps you’d prefer spending the night with Indiana Jones?

No monkey brains for breakfast though
No monkey brains for breakfast though

The pinball hotel is the brainchild of Eugeniusz Wiecha who is a legendary figure in the Polish amusement business, establishing the Rabkoland amusement park, being one of the founders of Interplay magazine and also a prolific operator of amusement machines.

Eugeniusz Wiecha
Eugeniusz Wiecha

The Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival tour group with Eugeniusz
The Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival tour group with Eugeniusz

Then it was back to Printimus Pinball for practice, lunch, and the start of the tournaments.

Heading back to Bytom
Heading back to Bytom

Back to the pinballs
Back to the pinballs

Entrance to the Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival cost €40 per person if paid before February 14th, increasing by €5 for entries up until March 7th and rising to €50 thereafter.

Apart from entry to the tournaments, players had use of the kitchen facilities, soft drinks, tea, coffee as well as breakfast and a late lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Beer could be purchased at 5PLN ($1.25/€1.18/£1.01) per 500ml bottle, although in contrast to previous tournaments there was no fully-stocked snacks machine.

The kitchen facilities
The kitchen facilities

The two most popular machines all weekend
The two most popular machines all weekend

Some of the vegan food available for breakfast
Some of the vegan food available for breakfast

One criticism of last year’s festival was that although the vegan food was tasty and plentiful, some players objected to the lack of any meaty dishes. This year there were several meat dishes (cold meats and sausages) available for breakfast both days.

Breakfast food items remained available throughout the morning while qualifying for all the tournaments continued.

The main tournament used an unusual qualifying format. There were 24 pinballs used in qualifying and players could play any of them as many times as they wanted before qualifying closed around 9pm on Saturday evening.

Whenever a player achieved a score they deemed good enough, they would get it recorded on their score sheet and that score would then be ‘locked-in’ for that machine and couldn’t be changed. They could then move on to their next machine and play until they decided to record a score on that one.

The machines used were:

Main Tournament Qualifying Machines
1 – Cirqus Voltaire
2 – Theatre of Magic
3 – Pinball Magic
4 – World Cup Soccer
5 – Star Trek: The Next Generation
6 – Twilight Zone
7 – No Good Gofers
8 – Attack from Mars
9 – The Addams Family
10 – The Machine: Bride of Pinbot
11 – The Shadow
12 – The Flintstones
13 – Revenge from Mars
14 – Spider-Man
15 – Whitewater
16 – Demolition Man
17 – Evel Knievel
18 – Cactus Canyon
19 – Monster Bash
20 – High Speed 2: The Getaway
21 – Monster Bash
22 – Tales of the Arabian Nights
23 – Funhouse
24 – Indiana Jones (Williams)

Players were free to move around between machines as they wished, so if they found they couldn’t get into a particular title they could come back to it later. However, with 24 machines on which to record scores, time could be tight if players were too picky about getting a great score to record.

All scores on the twenty-four machines were ranked and ranking points awarded. When qualification ended, the twelve players with the highest total ranking points would continue to A division play-offs the next day. The remainder would move into the B division for their own set of play-offs for places thirteenth and up.

In addition to the main tournament there was the classic tournament held on six electromechanical or solid state machines.

The six classics tournament machines
The six classic tournament machines

Main Tournament Qualifying Machines
1 – Haunted House
2 – Sinbad
3 – Mata Hari
4 – Jungle Queen
5 – Bronco
6 – Spirit of 76

Qualifying in this tournament was more like classic PAPA style, in that a player could choose three of the six machines and play one game on each for their entry. The skill was in putting together a run of three good scores and not having a bad game which ruined your entry.

You could decide at any time to void your entry, or if you thought it was better than any previous attempts, submit it. One entry was included with MPFF registration, but more could be bought for 5PLN each.

The same pricing scheme applied to the remaining two tournaments.

One entry to the Magic of Pinball competition allowed one game on each of the three magic-themed games – Pinball Magic, Theatre of Magic and Cirqus Voltaire. OK, so Cirqus Voltaire is more a circus-themed game but what circus doesn’t have a magical feel to any youngster lucky enough to be in the audience?

David plays in the magic tournament
David plays in the Magic of Pinball tournament

As the classic tournament, the key to success lay in putting together a string of good games so that all three games in your entry held respectable scores.

The final tournament was played out on the two Jersey Jack Pinball title The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit: Smaug Edition.

The two JJP machines
The two JJP tournament machines

Around 3pm on Saturday lunch was served. Guests could choose from the two types of Mihiderka vegan burgers, or they could order from a delivery service menu if they preferred a meat or non-vegan meal.

Mihiderka's signature dish is their burgers, which were freshly prepared
Mihiderka’s signature dish is their burgers, which were freshly prepared

As tasty as they look
As tasty as they look

In addition to the made-to-order burgers, a rice stew with bread was served on Saturday.

A different hot dish was available each day too
A different hot dish was available each day too

Those who didn't want the vegan food could order from a delivery menu
Those who didn’t want the vegan food could order from a delivery menu

Once lunch was finished, the serious business of qualifying continued.

Players try to record a good score on every machine
Players try to record a good score on every machine

Rafał inputs the scores
Rafał inputs the scores

The standings were projected on the wall
The standings were projected on the wall

Medals would be awarded rather than trophies
Medals would be awarded rather than trophies

Later in the day, vegan mushroom pizza was served along with the remaining stew from lunch time.

Vegan pizza was both tasty and filling
Vegan pizza was both tasty and filling

When qualifying closed, all the players were ranked according to their total ranking points across all twenty-four machines, with the top half going into the A division and the remainder into the B division for the play-offs on Sunday.

Main Tournament Qualifying
Pos Name Score
A Division
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Greg Mott
Martin Ayub
Jonas Johansson
Daniel Maczurek
Mariusz Tkacz
Piotr Kochański
David Mainwaring
Cezary Głowala
Jakub Tkacz
Rafał Bytomski
Daniel Kaczmarek
Szymon Marciniszyn
1,387
1,322
1,297
1,227
1,087
1,080
1,034
1,019
972
888
831
831
B Division
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
Joel Woźniak
Jakub Józefczyk
Hubert Krysiński
Jerzy Węglarz
Ovidiu Cacina
Marek Kotkiewicz
Arkadiusz Marciniszyn
Tomasz Świerkot
Marcin Krysiński
Andrzej Olszewski
Ida Edwartz
Łukasz Dziatkiewicz
Marek Janusz
Cristina Staines
822
743
705
647
602
555
543
514
426
365
282
253
247
0

Qualifying in the classic, Magic of Pinball and JJP tournaments would continue on Sunday meaning everyone still had a chance of making to the play-offs of those tournaments.

Before the main tournament play-offs could begin, the format had to be decided based on the number of players and the time available. It was agreed that everyone in each division would play a single game against each of the other players in their division with the number of wins deciding the rankings. The top four in each division would then go into their respective finals.

Marcin explains the play-off format
Marcin explains the play-off format

As a slight twist, the number of wins for the four finalists would be carried forward and be added to the 4-2-1-0 points earned in each game of the final.

The four A division finalists were Cezary Głowala, Daniel Maczurek, David Mainwaring and Martin Ayub. Martin achieved three more wins in the play-offs than either Cezary or Daniel in the play-offs, so he took those three points into the final. Similarly, David had one more win so took one point into the final.

The final four in the main tournament
The final four in the main tournament:
Cezary Głowala, Daniel Maczurek, David Mainwaring & Martin Ayub

The format of the final allowed each player to choose a machine upon which a four-player game would be played. Points would be awarded for positions on each game, with four points going to the winner, two points to the second-placed player, one point for third place and no points for coming last. When the fourth game was over, the total of the game points and the points carried over would decide the places.

The first game was chosen by Daniel and was Twilight Zone. As with all four games, the player picking the game went first with the remaining players rotating play order from game to game.

Daniel starts the final on his choice of Twilight Zone
Daniel starts the final on his choice of Twilight Zone

Despite picking the game, Twilight Zone was not kind to Daniel and he ultimately ended up coming last on the machine.

Cezary is player two
Cezary is player two

Cezary in the player two position fared a little better but still never really got into the game, finishing third.

David plays third
David plays third

After another poor start, David pulled his game back with a strong finish on his third ball.

Martin plays last
Martin plays last

However, Martin had made a strong start on his first ball, racking up over 600M. His second ball pushed that to 1.1BN which was easily enough to win the game without needing his third ball.

Play then moved on to Cezary’s choice of Cactus Canyon, and after taking second in the previous game, David Mainwaring went one better and won this game. Martin was second, Daniel third, and the curse of playing your chosen game continued with Cezary coming fourth.

Cactus Canyon is chosen by Cezary as the second game of the final
Cactus Canyon is chosen by Cezary as the second game of the final

The curse was broken on game three though as, after a shaky start, David won on his pick of The Flintstones with a total score just shy of 1BN.

David chose The Flintstones for his game
David chose The Flintstones for his game

Martin was second again, with Cezary third and Daniel fourth.

David won on The Flintstones
David won on The Flintstones

Going into the last game off the final, David and Martin were tied on 11 points each (including the carried forward points), while Cezary had 2 points and Daniel 1. Whoever between David and Martin finished highest in the last game would be the overall winner.

The game was Martin’s choice of Funhouse, and he started as player one.

Martin chose Funhouse as the last game of the final
Martin chose Funhouse as the last game of the final

He had a good start too, getting multiball and a jackpot on his first ball and setting himself up for a reasonable 10M overall total

Daniel had a solid if unexceptional first ball, but soon got his game together and overtook Martin’s total.

Daniel played second
Daniel played second

Cezary wasn’t finding too much fun in the house, but still put up a reasonable score to sit in third place with just David left to play.

Cezary played third
Cezary played third

David needed a big last ball to overtake Martin’s score and win the final, and although it looked as though he could possibly do it, an outlane drain ended the final and left David in fourth on Funhouse.

David played last
David played last

So, the results of the A division final were:

Main Tournament A Division Results
Pos Name Score
1
2
3
4
Martin Ayub
David Mainwaring
Daniel Maczurek
Cezary Głowala
13
11
5
3

 

Winner of the Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival main tournament, Martin Ayub
Winner of the Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival main tournament, Martin Ayub

Second place, David Mainwaring
Second place, David Mainwaring

Third place in the main tournament, Daniel Maczurek
Third place in the main tournament, Daniel Maczurek

In addition to the medals, cash prizes were also awarded with €150 for first place in the main tournament, €75 for second, €50 for third and €25 for fourth.

The winners of each tournament also took home a goodie bag from the city of Chorzów which included a mug and a quality sketchbook.

Goodie bags for the winners from Chorzów
Goodie bags for the winners from Chorzów

The final of the B division was running alongside the A division and it was a battle between Joël Wozniak, Jakub Jozefczyk, Hubert Krysinski and Jerzy Weglarz.

In that division, it was Jakub who triumphed, with Joël second, Hubert third and Jerzy fourth. They ended up in thirteenth to sixteen places respectively.

Main Tournament Results
Pos Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
Martin Ayub
David Mainwaring
Daniel Maczurek
Cezary Głowala
Jonas Johansson
Jakub Tkacz
Szymon Marciniszyn
Piotr Kochanski
Mariusz Tkacz
Greg Mott
Daniel Kaczmarek
Rafal Bytomski
Jakub Jozefczyk
Joël Wozniak
Hubert Krysinski
Jerzy Weglarz
Marcin Krysinski
Lukasz Dziatkiewicz
Andrzej Olszewski
Ovidiu Cacina
Tomasz Swierkot
Marek Janusz
Marek Kotkiewicz
Arkadiusz Marciniszyn
Ida Edwartz

Attention then turned to the remaining four tournaments. After the main tournament’s play-offs here was another period of qualifying for these, but as soon as the main final was over, the play-offs for the classic tournament began.

The Classic tournament along with the side tournaments allowed unlimited entries during the qualifying period. One entry was included with MPFF registration, but others could be bought for 5PLN each.

In the Classics, the top eight were split into two groups of four with each group playing a single four-player game on Sinbad, Bronco and Jungle Queen. It was original intended to play all six machines, but the lateness of the hour and the time it would take to play all six meant it was cut-down to the three fastest-playing games.

The first semi-final grouping in the classics tournament
The first semi-final grouping in the classic tournament

The second classics semi-final
The second classic semi-final

After the play-offs there was a tie for second place in one group. Initially it was decided to give the place in the final to the highest qualifier, but after much discussion that decision was reversed and a single game on Mata Hari was used to decide who should go into the final.

The play-off for the last place in the final
The play-off for the last place in the final

The four classic tournament finalist were David Mainwaring, Martin Ayub, Joël Wozniak and Greg Mott.

With the clock ticking, it was decided against playing all the same games again but to play the as-yet-unused Evel Knievel. A single game was deemed too random, so the final would consist of two games on the machine with the scores from each game added together to give an overall score.

Greg started the final of the classics tournament
Greg started the final of the classic tournament

Greg began and got off to a very nice start

Martin plays second
Martin plays second

Martin played second but had a fairly tortuous first ball.

David in the classics final
David in the classic final

David had a similarly disappointing start, while Joël did a little better.

Joel is player four in the first game of the classics tournament
Joël is player four in the first game of the classic tournament

On the third ball, Martin drained after only adding 8K to his total, but the player two light then lit. It turned out he had played an extra ball earned by Greg. This happened because the player one light didn’t work and nobody noticed the ‘same player shoots again’ light briefly illuminate during the game, so there was no indication it was still player one’s turn.

Marcin points out what he thinks happened
Marcin points out what he thinks happened

There was much discussion about what had happened and the best way to resolve it.

A discussion takes place on the best way forward
A discussion takes place on the best way forward

In the end, Greg received an extra ball at the end of the game, the score from which would be added to his five-ball game total. Martin ‘s ball would be drained and the 8,000 points he scored with Greg’s extra ball transferred to Martin’s total.

Greg plays his extra ball
Greg plays his extra ball

After all the excitement had died down, Greg won the first game with his 222K total, Joël was second on 102K, Martin third on 91K and David fourth on 47K.

Ovidiu and Łukasz look back on a long weekend
Ovidiu and Łukasz look back on a long weekend

In the second game David began, needing a good game to catch up with Greg’s first game total. His first ball of 55K was a good start and the 80K which followed looked promising, but these turned out to be his best balls of the game and he ended on 150K.

Greg was looking to cement his lead with a reasonable second game, but his 103K total left the door partially open.

Joel had a nice final ball, nearly doubling his 79K score to end on 150K.

Martin needed around 220K to win, but could only manage 178K before a drain ended his game and the final.

The final scores were:

Classic Tournament A Division Results
Pos Name Score
1
2
3
4
Greg Mott
Martin Ayub
Joël Wozniak
David Mainwaring
222K + 103K = 325K
92K + 178K = 270K
102K + 149K = 251K
47K + 150K = 197K

and the full results were:

Classic Tournament Results
Pos Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Greg Mott
Martin Ayub
Joël Wozniak
David Mainwaring
Andrzej Olszewski
Jakub Tkacz
Mariusz Tkacz
Rafal Bytomski
Cezary Glowala
Daniel Maczurek
Szymon Marciniszyn
Piotr Kochanski
Marek Kotkiewicz
Jonas Johansson
Tomasz Swierkot
Hubert Krysinski
Daniel Kaczmarek
Marek Janusz
Ovidiu Cacina

Winner of the classic tournament, Greg Mott
Winner of the classic tournament, Greg Mott

Second place, Martin Ayub
Second place, Martin Ayub

Fourth place in the classic tournament, David Mainwaring
Fourth place in the classic tournament, David Mainwaring

Cash prizes of €50/€25/€15/€5 were also awarded for first to fourth places.

All cash prizes had to be signed for
All cash prizes had to be signed for

The next tournament was Magic of Pinball and again, the late hour meant the final was played on a single game of Cirqus Voltaire rather than across all three tournament machines. The four finalists were Piotr Kochanski, Greg Mott, Jakub Tkacz and Rafal Bytomski competing for the champion title.

The final of the magic tournament
The final of the Magic of Pinball tournament

This time it was Rafel who triumphed over the others, with Piotr in second place, Jakub third and Greg fourth.

Magic of Pinball Results
Pos Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Rafał Bytomski
Piotr Kochanski
Jakub Tkacz
Greg Mott
Daniel Maczurek
Mariusz Tkacz
Jerzy Weglarz
Jakub Jozefczyk
Martin Ayub
Joël Wozniak
Daniel Kaczmarek
Cezary Glowala
Andrzej Olszewski
Jonas Johansson
Tomasz Swierkot
Marek Kotkiewicz
Arkadiusz Marciniszyn
Szymon Marciniszyn
Hubert Krysinski
Marcin Krysinski
Ovidiu Cacina
Marek Janusz
David Mainwaring

 

Winner of the magic tournament, Rafał Bytomski
Winner of the Magic of Pinball tournament, Rafał Bytomski

Second place, Piotr Kochański
Second place, Piotr Kochański

Third in the magic tournament, Jakub Tkacz
Third in the Magic of Pinball tournament, Jakub Tkacz

Fourth in the magic tournament, Greg Mott
Fourth in the Magic of Pinball tournament, Greg Mott

The penultimate final was the JJP tournament. This was played on The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit, with the familiar 4-2-1-0 points system used in each game. The four finalists were Mariusz Tkacz, Greg Mott, Piotr Kochanski and Rafał Bytomski.

Greg began well, taking first place and four points from The Wizard of Oz. Mariusz earned two points from his second place, Rafal got one point for third place, while Piotr failed to score with his fourth-place finish.

Rafel playing the first game of the JJP tournament
Rafel playing the first game of the JJP tournament

There had been a failure of the main processor fan on The Hobbit, so The Wizard of Oz was played first and then the fan was swapped to The Hobbit so that game could be played.

Mariusz plays in the final
Mariusz plays in the final

Mariusz began on game two but was unable to improve on his previous second place and actually ended up third with one more point for a total of three.

Rafal played second and had a much better game on The Hobbit than The Wizard of Oz, winning the game and ending up on five points.

The final wasn’t going well for Piotr. After failing to score any points in the first game, he had a similarly tough time in the second.

After winning game one, Greg needed second place or higher to avoid either a tie-break or coming second.

Greg plays the second game of the JJP tournament final
Greg plays the second game of the JJP tournament final

As it was, he took second place and the two points for a winning total of six.

So, the final totals were:

JJP Tournament Final Results
Pos Name Score
1
2
3
4
Greg Mott
Rafał Bytomski
Mariusz Tkacz
Piotr Kochanski
4 + 2 = 6
1 + 4 = 5
2 + 1 = 3
0 + 0 = 0

and the final standings were:

JJP Tournament Results
Pos Name
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
Greg Mott
Rafal Bytomski
Mariusz Tkacz
Piotr Kochanski
Jonas Johansson
Andrzej Olszewski
Hubert Krysinski
Ovidiu Cacina
Martin Ayub
Daniel Kaczmarek
Daniel Maczurek
Jakub Jozefczyk
Joël Wozniak
Jerzy Weglarz
Jakub Tkacz
Marek Janusz
Christina Staines
Tomasz Swierkot
Marcin Krysinski
Cezary Glowala
Marek Kotkiewicz

 

Winner of the JJP tournament, Greg Mott
Winner of the JJP tournament, Greg Mott

Second place, Rafał Bytomski
Second place, Rafał Bytomski

Third place, Mariusz Tkacz, collected by his son Jakub
Third place, Mariusz Tkacz, collected by his son Jakub

Fourth place in the JJP tournament, Piotr Kochanski
Fourth place in the JJP tournament, Piotr Kochanski

The very last tournament to conclude was the Dig Dug video game competition which took place last thing on Sunday evening.

The Dig Dug tournament is last to end
The Dig Dug tournament is last to end

We rushed out before the Dig Dug final was completed to try to get some dinner before everywhere in Bytom closed for the night (we failed), but the tournament was won by Łukasz Dziatkiewicz who not only won a medal but a suitable prize for his first place.

Łukasz Dziatkiewicz is the winner of the Dig Dug medal and a special prize
Łukasz Dziatkiewicz is the winner of the Dig Dug medal and a special prize

There was one further award for the Most Stylish Player which was awarded by the organisers to Christina Staines, with Łukasz making the presentation.

Winner of the most stylish player award, Christina Staines
Winner of the most stylish player award, Christina Staines

By the end of the competitions, only a few players remained as the Mihiderka Pinball & Food Festival 2017 drew to a close.

The last players standing
The last players standing

The pinball and food festival is over for the weekend
The pinball and food festival is over for the weekend

Marcin and Łukasz were kind enough to collect those guests who flew in to nearby Katowice Airport and bring them to the event, as well as take them back on Monday morning for their flights home. There was also the opportunity for a final few games on the Printimus Pinball machines as well as a farewell chance to savour the tasty Mihiderka vegan pizza for lunch.

In addition, a prize package arrived on Monday from Jersey Jack Pinball containing flyers, T-shirts and hats. Greg Mott, as winner of the JJP tournament, was able to choose some prizes from the gifts, with the remainder used for future tournaments.

The Mihiderka Pinball and Food Festival is certainly a unique event in the pinball world and one which in our opinion is well worth supporting.

The first MPFF in 2016 proved rather restrictive in the way almost the entire weekend was spent in the Printimus building, with only vegan food served and little opportunity to venture outside for alternatives. Thankfully the organisers listened to the suggestions and made the MPFF more relaxed in 2017, with more time to play games, earlier finishes and non-vegan meals available.

Thanks to Marcin, Łukasz and the Mihiderka team for organising another MPFF, and to resident technician Mirek for making sure the ball kept rolling smoothly all weekend.

DUTCH PINBALL MASTERS

Trophies for the Dutch Pinball Masters

The Dutch Pinball Masters is one of the major European tournaments and can generally expect a healthy turnout from many of the continent’s top players.

This year there was a slight diminution due to a clash of dates with the German Pinball Association’s convention in Potsdam, but competition was still fierce at the Dutch Pinball Association’s (NFV’s) clubhouse in Veenendaal in the centre of the Netherlands.

The NFV's clubhouse in Veenendaal
The NFV’s clubhouse in Veenendaal

The location was the same as it had been for the past few years, a light-industrial unit on a commercial park on the outskirts of the town. There’s are no catering or hotel facilities close-by, so a car or taxi was a must to get here. Vacant spaces outside the unit, on the street and in front of adjacent buildings meant there was no problem parking.

Once inside the door, there was an arrangement of plants, flowers and copies of the NFV’s Spinner magazine, as well as a wall showing supporters’ logos.

The table in the lobby
The table in the lobby

Supporters of the NFV
Supporters of the NFV

Once fully inside the building, the first section is the cafe and seating area.

The cafe area
The cafe area

The cafe had a full kitchen and prepared a range of hot food items, including fries, burgers, chicken sate, sausages, mini-snack selections and salads. The prices for all these were very reasonable, with a burger costing €2 ($2.17/£1.68) and a chicken meal with fries and salad at €6.50 ($7.07 /£5.56).

Part of the menu
Part of the menu

Part of a meal
Part of a meal

Soup was also available, while soft drinks, beer and wine could also be purchased.

Soup in front, beers and sodas behind
Soup in front, beers and sodas behind

Although there was a demand for quality craft or abbey ales, only Heineken or Bavaria beers were available for €2 a bottle. Those looking for something a little better had to either go elsewhere or bring their own.

Seating was available for those enjoying their meals or drinks, as well as those resting from the pinball. Alternatively, the weather outside was good enough to enjoy your purchases alfresco.

Indoor seating
Indoor seating

At the very front of the building were several small rooms either containing games to play or used for game repair.

A selection of EMs
A selection of EMs

When it's too much pinball, enjoy darts, video games or table football/foosball/babyfoot
When it’s too much pinball, enjoy darts, video games
or table football/foosball/babyfoot

The main selection of pinballs was located in the back two-thirds of the hall. The two rows on the left were the main tournament machines, bolstered by a group on the back wall which were used as back-up machines in case of failure by any of those in the main tournament.

Machines and players in the main tournament
Machines and players in the main tournament

Those tournament machines were:

Main Dutch Pinball Masters Machines
1 Tommy
2 Junkyard
3 Fish Tales
4 Avatar
5 Spider-Man
6 Scared Stiff
7 Dirty Harry
8 Indianapolis 500
9 Roadshow
10 Star Trek: The Next Generation
11 Jackbot
12 Pirates of the Caribbean
13 World Cup Soccer
14 Demolition Man
15 Funhouse
16 Goldeneye
17 Doctor Who
18 Attack from Mars
19 Monopoly
20 Medieval Madness
21 The Lord of the Rings
22 Whirlwind
23 Congo
24 Creature from the Black Lagoon
25 Whitewater
26 Hoops

The back-up machines were: The Sopranos, High Speed 2: The Getaway, Terminator 2 and Corvette.

On the right side of the hall were the free-play machines, while on the back wall was a row of eight machines used for the classics tournament.

Free-play machines
Free-play machines

Free-play machines
Free-play machines

There were nicely-decorated table on which to put your drinks
There were nicely-decorated table on which to put your drinks

Free-play machines
Free-play machines

Ad Jonker's Captain Nemo machine was also here to play
Ad Jonker’s Captain Nemo machine was also here to play

The eight classics tournament machines were:

Main Dutch Pinball Masters Machines
1 Capt. Fantastic
2 Bobby Orr Power Play
3 Gorgar
4 Charlie’s Angels
5 Dealer’s Choice
6 Paragon
7 Harlem Globetrotters
8 Viking

The back-up machine was Mata Hari.

The classics tournament
The classics tournament

In addition to these tournaments, there was also a team competition held on Friday night.

Trophies for the tournaments
Trophies for the tournaments

The team tournament saw eight teams of four split into two groups. The teams and groups were:

Team Tournament Groups
Group A
Dutch Pinball Team
Team Slovenia
Oslo Tiltboys
Team Delta
Group B
Pinball DNA
Archiball Team
Team Ro-Me
Oslo Pinball Casuals

Each team played a match against each of the other three teams in their group. A match consisted of each player playing a member of the opposing team on a machine to win 1 point per game, and a pair of split-flipper games for two points each.

The two teams with the most points in each group went into the semi-finals. Here the winner of Group A played second place in Group B and vice-versa in the same style of match as in the first round.

The winners from the first round were Dutch Pinball Team and Pinball DNA, while second place qualifiers were Team Delta and Team Ro-Me.

Dutch Pinball Team and Pinball DNA won the semi-final matches, setting them up for a final match held in the same format.

In the final, the Dutch Pinball Team won three of the four individual matches to lead 3-1, meaning Pinball DNA needed to win both split-flipper games. They won one of them, but that was not enough, meaning the Dutch Pinball Team of Albert Nomden, Paul Jongma, Mark van der Gugten and Joska Keunekamp won 5-3.

The victorious Dutch Pinball Team:
The victorious Dutch Pinball Team:
Paul Jongma, Albert Nomden and Mark van der Gugten
(absent: Joska Keunekamp)

In the play-off, Team Ro-Me beat Team Delta for third place.

Third place, Team Ro-Me
Third place, Team Ro-Me

The main Dutch Pinball Masters tournament began on Saturday with a qualifying round for all 141 players. Tournament entry cost €15 in addition to the daily €7.50 fee for entry to the clubhouse, meaning a €30 total price for entry if you played on both days. As a bonus, all competitors received a 10% discount off products from playfield-protectors.com.

There were three qualifying periods starting at 09:30, 13:15 and 17:00, each one lasting around three-and-a-half hours.

In each period, players were split into four groups (A-D, E-H and J-M) with around twelve players in each group. Every competitor played a single three-ball game against each other player in their group, in a predetermined order and on preselected machines. A win in a game earned one point, a loss scored a zero.

Players in the qualifying round
Players in the qualifying round

When a game was over, the winner would come to a terminal and register their win.

Tournament systems head Ad Jonker at the results terminal
Tournament systems head Ad Jonker at the results terminal

The current matches on the results terminal
The current matches on the results terminal

As each result was recorded, the overall picture emerged on a large screen.

The overall group standings
The overall group standings

The group scores
The group scores

For all groups, a score of eight wins or more would guarantee you a place in Sunday’s second round. If you got seven wins it was a toss-up whether that would be enough, or if you would end up in a tie-breaker. With six wins you would be lucky to progress. It wasn’t impossible, but unlikely, and a tie-breaker was an almost certainty.

It wasn't how you won, but how many you won
It wasn’t how you won, but how many you won

Head-to-head games were the order of the day
Head-to-head games were the order of the day

Every win was a step closer to qualification
Every win was a step closer to qualification

Those who did progress needed to be back at the venue at 9:40 on Sunday morning for the start of the second round. For everyone else, their Dutch Pinball Masters was over, and just the classic tournament remained.

Just a few points could be the difference between progressing and going home
Just a few points could be the difference between progressing and going home

The classic tournament cost an additional €10 to enter and was held on the eight machines we listed above, with competitors given ten games spread across the eight machines in order to qualify. No machine could be played more than twice and all ten scores were ranked, with the top 24 players progressing to the play-offs and the top players receiving a bye through the first round.

Classic tournament score cards
Classic tournament score cards

Players were issued with a score card for the classic tournament, but in truth all scores were recorded electronically on tablets or phones. with the current standings shown on a terminal.

Checking the current classic tournament standings
Checking the current classic tournament standings

Current standings and games in progress
Current standings and games in progress

Qualifying continued until 8:30pm on Saturday, with the play-offs beginning at 9pm once the main DPM rounds had finished and all players were free to take part.

Matches in the play-offs were head-to-head best-of-five games on machines drawn at random.

The play-offs schedule
The play-offs schedule

The classic tournament play-offs
The classic tournament play-offs

The classic tournament play-offs
The classic tournament play-offs

The classic tournament play-offs
The classic tournament play-offs

DPM tournament directors Albert Nomden and Paul Jongma
DPM tournament directors Albert Nomden and Paul Jongma

The final came down to a battle between Gabriele Tedeschi from Italy and Rich Mallett from the UK.

Gabriel on Mata Hari in the final
Gabriel on Mata Hari in the final

After some exciting games, Mata Hari was the decider, and with Gabriel going first but failing to score much Rich just had to hold his nerve, which he did very successfully to win the game and the final.

Rich prepares to plunge his winning final ball
Rich prepares to plunge his winning final ball

So, Rich was the winner, Gabriel second, while in the play-off it was Jochen Krieger Germany who took third place ahead of Frenchman Sebastien Puertas in fourth.

Dutch Pinball Masters Classic Tournament winner, Rich Mallett
Dutch Pinball Masters Classic Tournament winner, Rich Mallett

Second place, Gabriele Tedeschi
Second place, Gabriele Tedeschi

Third place, Jochen Krieger
Third place, Jochen Krieger

Here are all the placings in the DPM classic tournament:

DPM Classic Tournamenti 2017
Pos Name
1 Rich Mallett
2 Gabriele Tedeschi
3 Jochen Krieger
4 Sebastien Puertas
6 Marco Suvanto
6 Jan Anders Nilsson
6 David Deturck
6 Lieven Engelbeen
12 Joël Wozniak
12 Arjan Neet
12 Philippe Bocquet
12 David Mainwaring
12 Mathias Leurs
12 Fredrik Mellberg
12 Perttu Pesä
12 Eko Elens
20 Evert Brochez
20 Andreas Hedström
20 Ad Jonker
20 Kirsten Adam
20 Ivan Geentjens
20 Jonas Valström
20 Ollivier Francq
20 Anders Carlsson
25 Cayle George
26 Martijn Van Amsterdam
27 Martin Ayub
28 Heinz Berges
29 Helen de Haan-Verbeek
29 Albert Nomden
31 Robert Lau
32 Juha Viitanen
32 Fabrizio Amiconi
34 Alysa Parks
35 Florian Thomas
36 Rob Fransen
37 Rob Overdijk
38 John van der Wulp
39 Željko Vasic
40 Paul Jongma
41 Artur Natorski
42 Vin Jauhal
43 Peter Franck
44 Bart Volman
45 Vincent Chardome
46 Kevin Roelants
47 Mattias Jeppsson
48 Frank Wolthers
49 Wolfgang Haid
49 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
51 Pittchen Müller
52 Erno Lahdenperä
53 Thomas Van Clapdorp
54 Andrej Rižner
54 Carlo Vijn
56 Matt Vince
56 Tormod Pettersen
58 Mario Schröder
59 Didier Dujardin
59 Ramon Richard
61 Laurence Boulieu
62 Simo Rimmi
63 Jani Saari
63 Ales Rebec
65 Michel Lanters
66 Jules Reivers
67 Daniel Bertilsson
67 Tom-Andre Andersen
69 Stan Simpson
70 Dominique De Cock
70 Archibald Lefevre
72 Norman Heikamp
73 Pontus Qvarfordh
73 Evelyne Desot
75 Glenn Verhoosele
76 Mark van der Gugten
77 Alain Boulieu
78 Laurent Mahe
79 Thomas Reichenstein
79 Norbert Broman
81 Sven Kirmes
81 Michel Rorive
83 Adam Lundquist
84 Stéphane Swaenepoel
85 Jürgen Schmitz
86 Olav Hjelmstadstuen
87 Erol Saydam
88 Vid Kuklec
89 Gerard Vos
90 Emma Berlin
91 Fredrik Lekander
92 Tom Geneyn
92 Thomas Doepelheuer
94 Mirko Bogic
95 Andreas Thorsén
95 Kelly Lembrechts
97 Olivier Renders
98 Oyvind Winther
99 Svein Tjeldflåt
100 Neil Fellender
100 Nils de Kleine
102 Fred Van Den Bosch
103 Eric Andries
104 Bjørn Erlend Hellem
105 Daniela Oymann
106 Gerard Poelwijk
107 Daniel Bradford
108 Ralf Wittwer
109 Morten Søbyskogen
110 Rob Breyne
111 Kevin Sultana
112 Manuela Krieger
113 Bjorn Brand
114 Andrej Demsar
115 Johan Bernhardtson
116 Elin Wilhelmsen
117 Torstein Bjørnstad
118 Babs Negelen
119 Jasmijn de Jong
120 Stanislas Chabior
121 Joeri Stroobants
122 Kyoo Barbaix
123 Karin Eisenstecken
124 ralf de kleine
125 Sandra Søbyskogen

Sunday morning rolled around with the main DPM tournament left to decide.

Only the DPM trophies remain
Only the DPM trophies remain

The top four from each of the four groups in each of the three qualifying sessions meant (4 x 4) x 3 = 48 players progressed to the second round which began at 10am on Sunday.

Sunday's second round
Sunday’s second round

The format was the same as Saturday – four groups of twelve players, with everyone playing one head-to-head game against everyone else in their group (11 games). The four players with the most wins in each group would move on to the quarter finals.

The second round of the Dutch Pinball Masters
The second round of the Dutch Pinball Masters

The sixteen who made it into the quarter-finals were:

Tormod Pettersen Roger Wijnands
Kirsten Adam Taco Wouters
David Deturck Jules Reivers
Philippe Bocquet Sébastien Puertas
Benjamin Gräbeldinger Cayle George
Ivan Geentjens Bart Volman
Fredrik Lekander John van der Wulp
Jan Anders Nilsson Bjorn Brand

The quarter-finals paired up players in a best-of-five match on randomly-drawn machines. The first to win three games moved on to the semi-finals.

Kirsten Adam had three straight wins to progress, as did Ivan Geentjens, Sébastien Puertas and Cayle George. David Deturck took four games to win, the same as Jan Anders Nilsson and John van der Wulp, while Roger Wijnands took all five games to win and move on to the semis.

The semi-final was the same as the quarters – best-of-five on random machines.

This time David Deturck beat Kirsten Adam 3-2, Jan Anders Nilsson did the same against Ivan Geentjens, as did Roger Wijnands against Sébastien Puertas. Only Cayle George had an easier 3-0 win against John van der Wulp.

In the four-player four-game final, each competitor got to choose a machine to play with 9-5-2-0 scoring used for first to fourth places.

Jan Anders Nilsson began by choosing Congo, but the game didn’t co-operate with him this time. His first ball scored 100M to put him in third place, while balls two and three only lifted that to 380M which was last place.

Cayle George had the best first ball with 215M, boosted to 800M on his second and 1.067B on his third to win. David Deturck recovered from a bad 79M start to end on 932M for second, while Roger Wijnands’s 744M total was only good enough for third.

David chose Star Trek: The Next Generation for game two but once again the curse of machine choice struck as his 1.2B was the lowest of the four scores. Jan had a great last ball, scoring 2.3B to end up on 3.1B, taking first place. Cayle’s 2.6B might normally be enough to win but only gave him second here, with Roger’s 1.8B good for third.

Cayle’s choice of Scared Stiff broke the chooser’s curse with his ball one score of 16M being enough to win the game. In the end, he totalled 79M – way ahead of David in second on 9.8M, Jan on 2.7M and Roger who never got started and ended on just 0.8M.

With game four still to play, Cayle’s 23 points was already enough to win the final, with Jan closest behind on 11 points, David in third on 10, and Roger on 4. But Roger could still get into a tie-breaker for second place if the other places worked out for him, while Jan and David were battling it out.

Roger chose Whirlwind, but was blown away by three quick drains to end up on just 309K. The battle for second was thus between Jan and David, and it was David who stormed his way to the win with 9.5M, ahead of Cayle’s 7M and Jan’s 4.5M.

So the result was, Cayle in first place, David second, Jan third and Roger fourth.

Dutch Pinball Masters 2017 winner, Cayle George
Dutch Pinball Masters 2017 winner, Cayle George
(picture: Ad Jonker)

Second place, David Deturck
Second place, David Deturck
(picture: Ad Jonker)

Third place, Jan Anders Nilsson
Third place, Jan Anders Nilsson
(picture: Ad Jonker)

Fourth place, Roger Wijnands
Fourth place, Roger Wijnands
(picture: Ad Jonker)

Here are the full results:

Dutch Pinball Masters 2017
Pos Name
1 Cayle George
2 David Deturck
3 Jan Anders Nilsson
4 Roger Wijnands
6 Kirsten Adam
6 Ivan Geentjens
6 Sebastien Puertas
6 John van der Wulp
12 Tormod Pettersen
12 Philippe Bocquet
12 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
12 Fredrik Lekander
12 Taco Wouters
12 Jules Reivers
12 Bart Volman
12 Bjorn Brand
17 Jonas Johansson
17 Albert Nomden
21 Evert Brochez
21 Sylvain Grevin
21 Michel Rorive
21 Martin Ayub
21 Olivier Renders
28 Thomas van Clapdorp
28 Anthony Rorive
28 Jani Saari
28 Evelyne Desot
28 Stéphane Swaenepoel
28 Ramon Richard
28 Marco Suvanto
28 Johan Bernhardtson
28 Jonas Valström
37 Archibald Lefevre
37 Juha Viitanen
37 Mattias Jeppsson
37 Andreas Thorsén
37 Florian Thomas
37 Martijn van Amsterdam
37 Andrej Demsar
37 Laurence Boulieu
37 Norbert Broman
43 Sébastien Muller
43 Paul Jongma
43 Erno Lahdenperä
43 Andrej Rižner
46 Didier Dujardin
46 Eko Elens
48 Joël Wozniak
49 Mark van der Gugten
49 Anders Carlsson
61 Dominique de Cock
61 Ralf Wittwer
61 Thomas Reichenstein
61 Stanislas Chabior
61 Rich Mallett
61 Matt Vince
61 Martijn van Aken
61 Sven Kirmes
61 Mathias Leurs
61 Peter Franck
61 Norman Heikamp
61 Pontus Qvarfordh
61 Bjørn Erlend Hellem
61 Helen de Haan-Verbeek
61 Neil Fellender
61 Lieven Engelbeen
61 Heinz Berges
61 Jeroen Wieringa
61 Fabrizio Amiconi
61 Vincent Chardome
61 Ralf de Kleine
61 Andreas Hedström
84 Eric Andries
84 Jochen Krieger
84 Olav Hjelmstadstuen
84 Gerard Poelwijk
84 Michel Lanters
84 Svein Tjeldflåt
84 Mirko Bogic
84 Daniel Bertilsson
84 Laurent Mahe
84 Morten Søbyskogen
84 Jasper van Embden
84 Vid Kuklec
84 Ollivier Francq
84 Robert Lau
84 Tom Geneyn
84 Gabriele Tedeschi
84 Arjan Neet
84 David Mainwaring
84 Joeri Stroobants
84 Kevin Roelants
84 Perttu Pesä
84 Rob Fransen
84 Alysa Parks
107 Adam Lundquist
107 Fred van den Bosch
107 Simo Rimmi
107 Frank Wolthers
107 Rob Overdijk
107 Oyvind Winther
107 Bas van Embden
107 Daniel Bradford
107 Nils de Kleine
107 Alain Boulieu
107 Jeremy Dorling
107 Erol Saydam
107 Babs Negelen
107 Fredrik Mellberg
107 Artur Natorski
107 Jürgen Schmitz
107 Jeroen Boiten
107 Elin Wilhelmsen
107 Tom Loomans
107 Ronald Klappe
107 Pittchen Müller
107 Gerard Vos
107 Ales Rebec
127 Steven van der Staaij
127 Karin Eisenstecken
127 Vin Jauhal
127 Rob Breyne
127 Jasmijn de Jong
127 Torstein Bjørnstad
127 Mario Schröder
127 Kyoo Barbaix
127 Ronald Oenema
127 Thomas Doepelheuer
127 Olivier Calimet
127 Kelly Lembrechts
127 Wolfgang Haid
127 Justin van Schooneveld
127 Carlo Vijn
127 Glenn Verhoosele
127 Tom-Andre Andersen
127 Alicia Juniet
140 Daniela Oymann
140 Manuela Krieger
140 Machteld Decloedt
140 Željko Vasic
140 Emma Berlin
140 Kevin Sultana
140 Arno Punt
140 Sandra Søbyskogen

And so we come to the end of this report from the Dutch Pinball Masters 2017.

The top four in the Dutch Pinball Masters 2017
The top four in the Dutch Pinball Masters 2017
(picture: Ad Jonker)

The DPM is a well-established and well-supported international tournament, one which guarantees all players at least eleven games even if they don’t progress beyond the qualification round.

There were clear improvements to the match result reporting system, allowing players to record their own results and providing instant standings which made life easier for competitors and organisers. The timings all went to plan and any technical issues were resolved quickly and amicably.

The only real negative was the quality of the free-play machines, although even there the addition of Ad Jonker’s The Matrix and Capt. Nemo games helped made up for any shortcomings or unavailabilties.

Hopefully next year the dates for the DPM won’t clash with another major European tournament and players can get to enjoy two top-flight Spring tournaments.

8BITFLIP 2017

8BitFlip at Arcade Club

As a change from our usual reporting style, this look at the annual 8BitFlip tournament weekend will be done as a personal blog by the Editor of Pinball News, Martin Ayub.

I signed up for 8BitFlip the moment the dates were announced, back in October last year. Knowing the nearest hotel quickly sells out, I made a booking for the Friday and Saturday nights for myself and a friend. We both went last year but had to stay at a more remote hotel, so I wanted to make sure we would be able to walk both to the show’s venue and the city centre for post-show entertainment.

Sadly, my friend had to cancel just before the 8BitFlip weekend, so I made the Good Friday journey to Bury, near Manchester, alone. The drive took four-and-a-half-hours, much of which was spent sitting in traffic jams in the many roadworks along the M6 motorway.

Good Friday traffic
Good Friday traffic

Fortunately though, there was no great rush to get to the venue as the show itself didn’t start until the next day. And after all, what else are public holidays for other than sitting in the car on a motorway going nowhere, discovering that the large white Americano coffee you bought at the service station ten miles back doesn’t have any milk in it?

But eventually the road signs start to point to Manchester, and then to Bury as we draw near.

8BitFlip is the competitive event run by the Northern Lights Pinball (NLP) group, who also organise the pinball part of the huge Play Expo show in Manchester in October as well as a number of other pinball events in the north of England.

Their main aims are to spread pinball’s reach to the general public and to raise money for charity. Their usual beneficiary is the Teenage Cancer Trust but this year the 8BitFlip’s chosen recipient was closer to home – the sister of one of the NLP organisers, Darren Ball, who needs money for a life-saving operation in America.

So it was that fifty pinballs were set up on the second floor of a large brick former mill in Bury, the home of Arcade Club.

Ela Mill - the home of Arcade Club
Ela Mill – the home of Arcade Club

Ela Mill is a strange building. It is now converted and partially refurbished so that numerous business start-ups can operate out of offices on the ground floor, while further up Arcade Club has taken over floors two and three from where it opens to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Arcade Club is discretely located upstairs
Arcade Club is discretely located upstairs

Before we get to the main pinball part, let’s have a look at Arcade Club which is a video game heaven for serious gamers in England’s northwest.

The third floor is where the bulk of the collection resides, and is also where the main reception area lives. Once inside, a large number of classic and modern video games await, including home consoles, sit-down driving games and assorted shooters. It’s kept pretty dark inside, so my phone’s camera struggled a little to get any good shots.

Classic video games at Arcade Club
Classic video games at Arcade Club

Classic video games at Arcade Club
Classic video games at Arcade Club

Assorted sit-down drivers
Assorted sit-down drivers

Classic games alongside Japanese imports
Classic games alongside Japanese imports

Stand-up drivers and shooters
Stand-up drivers and shooters

The home console area
The home console area

The lobby and cafe area
The lobby and cafe area

Hot and cold snacks and drinks are available at the cafe
Hot and cold snacks and drinks are available at the cafe

It's nearly all video games but there are three pinballs too
It’s nearly all video games but there are three pinballs too

Recently Arcade Club expanded onto the floor below, and it was here that the 8BitFlip event was hosted, combining NLP’s pinballs with Arcade Club’s games in one show.

We arrived as the set-up for the pinballs was underway.

Setting up the pinballs
Setting up the pinballs

Setting up the pinballs
Setting up the pinballs

The bulk of the pinballs were arranged in two rows running the length of the room, but there were eleven more owned by Arcade Club in a side room.

Entry to play the pinballs and all the video games cost £16 ($20/€19) per day for an adult (£6 for kids under 16) or a weekend ticket was available for £27 (£10 for kids). These tickets allowed you to play all the pinballs and videos on the second floor as well as access to Arcade Club’s main third floor.

Visitors enjoying the pinballs
Visitors enjoying the pinballs

The pinballs available to play were:

Addams Family, The
Attack from Mars
Batman, The Dark Knight
Big House
Bone Busters
Breakshot
Bride of Pinbot 2.0
Champion Pub, The
Cirqus Voltaire
Class of 1812
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Earthshaker!
Elvira & The Party Monsters
Excalibur
F-14 Tomcat
Flash Gordon
Flintstones, The
Funhouse
Galaxy
Genesis
Indiana Jones (WMS)
Jack in the Box
Jackbot
Johnny Mnemonic
Judge Dredd
Medusa
Metallica LE
NBA Fastbreak
Operation Thunder
Party Zone
Pinball Magic
Rescue 911
Rollergames
Scared Stiff
Shadow, The
Sharpshooter
Sopranos, The
Spider-Man
Spider-Man
Spring Break
Star Trek Pro (Stern)
Tag Team Pinball
Terminator 2
Twilight Zone
Victory
Whitewater
X-Files

Guests enjoying the machines
Guests enjoying the machines

Guests enjoying the machines
Guests enjoying the machines

Along with the free play machines there were three additional machines set up on the stage at the back of the room.

Alien Pinball was here set on £1 per play and fitted with a streaming rig by Pinball Live.

Heighway Pinball's Alien pinball
Heighway Pinball’s Alien pinball

On the other side of the stage were two competition machines. The first was a Buckaroo where £1 bought two games with completing various objectives earning a cash prize. The second game was a The Flintstones which hosted a simple £1 high score competition each day, with the winner taking 50% of the cash box takings.

The two competition machines - Buckaroo and The Flintstones
The two competition machines – Buckaroo and The Flintstones

Along with the pinballs, the second floor was also home to some larger dedicated arcade machines such as dancing and music playing games, and a large PC gaming set-up with numerous high-end gaming PCs.

The gaming PCs
The gaming PCs

Virtual Reality kit could also be tried
Virtual Reality kit could also be tried

More arcade games and consoles
More arcade games and consoles

Candy cabs
Candy cabs

Some larger arcade games
Some larger arcade games

More dance and music machines
More dance and music machines

Nick and Kirk show off their dancing skills
Nick and Kirk show off their dancing skills

The second floor had its own cafe with a well-stocked fridge providing a nice selection of soft and alcoholic drinks at reasonable prices as well as a constant flow of tea and coffee.

The cafe area on the second floor
The cafe area on the second floor

Sandwiches, yoghurts and other chilled snacks
Sandwiches, cakes, yoghurts and other chilled snacks

The drinks available
The drinks available

The price list
The price list

In addition to the cafe, a small kiosk sold confectionary and gaming merchandise.

More nibbles and gaming mementos
More nibbles and gaming mementos

There's also a library of gaming publications
There’s also a library of gaming publications

There were two tournaments held over the weekend. On Saturday, there was the main The Big Flip event which was run by David Dutton (shown above on The Flintstones), while on Sunday we had The Old Flip which was organised by Carl Spiby.

The Big Flip began soon after the venue opened at 11am. It cost £10 to enter in addition to paid entry to 8BitFlip.

Players signed in and were paired up to play a set of three head-to-head games on randomly-chosen machines out of all those in the hall. If a game was being played by a non-tournament player, you just had to wait until they had finished before playing your tournament game.

This was a ‘seeding round’ where the winner of the best-of-three went to the A division and the loser into the B division. It’s not as bad as it might sound as the A and B divisions eventually merge.

So losing your first round match is not terminal for any hopes of winning, which was just as well as I was soundly beaten on my allocated games of The Addams Family and Whitewater. Those would normally be great choices for me, but not today.

On to the second round, and players in each division were put into groups of four to play a five-game match where the winner of each game earned themselves nine points. Second place got five points, third place two points with no points for coming last.

The top two players in each group progressed to round three, but in the A division the group winner got a bye through to round four. In both divisions, the third and fourth placed players were eliminated from the tournament, but they had the consolation of getting their £10 tournament fee refunded so they could drown their sorrows.

My luck improved after such a bad start and I won my B division group to keep going. However, because I was in the B division I didn’t get a bye for winning and so went into round three.

Round three was like round two with four-player groups, except only three games were played and, crucially, only the winner progressed. The other tree dropped out at that point.

It would be tough to win, but somehow I managed to scrape through and made it into round four where I joined the winners from the A division’s round two and those who also survived the ’round of death’ – round three.

That made fourteen players in all who were paired up for seven best-of-three matches. The seven winners progressed along with the ‘best performing’ loser. All scores were recorded and the losing player with the best percentage of their scores compared to their opponent went through too.

Contrary to expectations, things seemed to be getting a bit easier for me and I won the first two games, meaning the third only counted towards calculating whether my opponent also progressed.

With eight players remaining, tournament organiser David Dutton called everyone together to explain how the semi-final and final would work.

David explains the format for the rest of The Big Flip
David explains the format for the rest of The Big Flip

Round five was much the same as the previous round – three game head-to-head matches with the winner progressing and the loser dropping out. This time there was no ‘best loser’ so only the four winners would go through to the final.

I had a couple of reasonable games and so won the round 2-0 to make it to the final. We needed to play the third to decide seeding in the final, and I was able to win that game too.

The four finalists were Matt Vince, me, Craig Pullen and Aid Cooper. Matt and I won 3-0 in the fifth round, but he had a better percentage win in round four so took the top seed position. Craig and Aid won 2-1 in the semi-final and were seeded third and fourth for the final.

In the final, each player could choose a machine to play, starting with Aid and followed by Craig, me and Matt. That was also the play order for the first game which then rotated one place each time, meaning the player choosing the machine always played first. The familiar 9/5/2/0 points system was employed to score each game.

Aid’s choice was Breakshot by Capcom, a game on which he had set the grand champion score earlier in the day and so felt pretty confident picking.

Aid starts on Breakshot
Aid starts on Breakshot

However, as often seems to be the case, after a great game the following one just doesn’t compare, and that was the case here as Aid ended up last on his own choice of machine.

Craig and Matt seemed to know what they were doing, but Breakshot isn’t a game with which I’m overly familiar so I just followed what seemed to be working for them. And it worked for me too. After ball two I had a reasonable lead with 30M racked up, while the third ball consolidated that to end up just shy of 60M, setting the new grand champion score in the process.

Not a bad start for me. Craig was second, Matt close behind in third and Aid fourth.

Then we moved on to Craig’s choice of Bride of Pinbot 2.0. The curse of playing the machine you picked continued as his first two balls drained quickly. I put up a reasonable score as did Matt with Aid not having much luck again. After Craig’s third ball only performed a little better, it was between Matt and I to take the top two positions. Matt ended up winning, with me second, Aid third and Craig fourth.

Then it was my choice of machine, and I decided to mix things up a bit and play a title I didn’t think anyone would know well. So, I picked Premier’s Excalibur.

Would the curse continue?

Well, no, it didn’t. I put up a decent 1.8M total score which looked to be in danger from Craig during our third and last balls, but it held on to give me a second win. Craig was second, Matt third and Aid fourth.

I managed to get a ball stuck on the ramp during my game, so I amused the crowd by getting my phone out and taking a ‘selfie’.

Stuck ball? Time for a selfie
Stuck ball? Time for a selfie

By this stage, with two wins and a second place for a total of 23 points I had already won, so I took the opportunity to buy everyone a drink before we played the fourth and last game of the final.

This was to be Matt’s choice of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and like my choice it worked well for the player picking it. Craig had already put up a great score on his second ball, so it was up to Matt to beat it for the win. He got close, but in the end Craig won, Matt was second, I was third and Aid was fourth.

That meant the result of the final was:

Main Tournament A Division Results
Pos Name Score
1
2
3
4
Martin Ayub
Craig Pullen
Matt Vince
Aid Cooper
25
19
18
2

A new feature which was utilised this year was the ability to print images on mugs, so prior to the final I took pictures of all four finalists and e-mailed them to Mark Robinson who printed the mugs overnight ready for the trophy presentation the next day.

My 'mug shot'
My ‘mug shot’

The trophy presentation was held back until after Sunday’s tournaments had finished, but here are the pictures anyway, with presentations made by tournament director David Dutton.

Winner of The Big Flip, Martin Ayub
Winner of The Big Flip, Martin Ayub

Second place, Craig Pullen
Second place, Craig Pullen
(Craig wasn’t returning on Sunday, so this picture was taken on Saturday)

Third place, Matt Vince
Third place, Matt Vince

Fourth place, Aid Cooper
Fourth place, Aid Cooper

Here are the full results:

The Big Flip 2017 Results
Pos Name
1 Martin Ayub
2 Craig Pullen
3 Matt Vince
4 Aid Cooper
5 Wayne Johns
6 John Parkins
7 Frederico Dominguez
8 Garry Speight
9 Tom Fletcher
10 Darren Ball
11 Ian Walmsley
12 Krzysztof Gwiazda
13 Helmut Langenbruch
14 Andrew Foster
15 Paul Garner UK
16 Tim Porter
16 David Dodds
19 Paul Brookfield
19 Colin Clunie
19 Harry Bolt
19 Kirk Sadler
22 Chris Edis
23 Richard Garbutt
24 Nick Hamill
25 Dan Lewell
27 Vicki Oxlade
27 Greg Mott
27 Stewart Judson
27 Steven Smith
31 David Dutton
31 John Gray
31 Matthew Sutcliffe
34 Dan Hardy
34 Dave Willcox
34 Peter Blakemore
36 Mike Kindler
39 Steven Kielty
39 Paul Pattinson
39 Simon Oxlade
39 Mark O’Rourke
39 Alan Syson
39 Malc Lashley
43 Christopher Wilson
45 Chris Miller
45 Paul Owen
45 Ailsa Clunie
47 Daniel Bradford
47 Julie Chambers
49 Stephen Sutcliffe
50 Kristian Rossi
51 Graeme Haynes
52 Emil ED Dreiborg

The final of The Big Flip brought Saturday’s activities to a close. Arcade Club would re-open on Sunday morning at 11am for day two of 8BitFlip.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed a few more drinks at the bar before heading off for a Chinese meal and more beers at a nice craft beer bar called The Trackside, which is a repurposed railway station which serves a nice selection of craft beers at very sensible prices of around £2.80 ($3.60/€3.35) for a proper 20oz pint.

The beer selection at The Trackside
The beer selection at The Trackside

With no trace of a hangover whatsoever, Sunday at 8BitFlip began at 11am with the qualifying round of The Old Flip, 8BitFlip’s classic tournament.

This tournament had a slightly unusual format.

Eight older machines were set up and entrants could choose to play any four of them in an attempt to get the highest score of the day on any one of them. If desired they could then replay any one of them using their ‘soft’ joker, where a better score replaced an earlier attempt, but a worse score was discarded.

The Old Flip machines
The Old Flip machines:
Jack in the Box, Bonebusters, Big House, Excalibur, Medusa, Flash Gordon, Tag Team Pinball and Spring Break

An entry cost £5, but If one entry was not enough, a second entry could also be purchased for another $5. Only the top scorer on each machine moved on to the semi-finals, athough if someone had the top score on more than one machine, the machine on which they had the greatest margin of victory would be the one which counted and the second-placed player on the other machine would progress instead.

The top players mid-way through The Old Flip
The top players mid-way through The Old Flip

I started off well, getting the top scores on both Flash Gordon and Jack in the Box. However, I misunderstood the qualifying format and thought all the game scores would be ranked (and with four good scores I thought I would be in a strong position).

Play in The Old Flip
Play in The Old Flip

However, as the qualifying period progressed my score on Flash Gordon was narrowly beaten, and then right at the end my Jack in the Box score was beaten too, putting me in second place on both games but without a top score qualifying position.

The eight who did make it through were Wayne Johns, Greg Mott, Matt Vince, David Dutton, Andrew Foster, Paul Garner, Dan Lewell and Tom Fletcher.

They played a pair of three-game matches with four players per group. Scores were 7-5-2-1 on each game, and the two players with the most points progressed to the final.

Paul plays in the semi-finals
Paul plays in the semi-finals

They were Matt Vince, Greg Mott, Andrew Foster and David Dutton.

The chosen games for the final were picked by the top three qualifiers and were Bonebusters, Medusa and Excalibur.

Bonebuster was chosen by David and it worked well for him, giving him the win and the full seven points. Andrew Foster was second, Greg Mott third and Matt Vince fourth.

Play then moved on to Greg’s choice of Medusa.

Andrew Foster plays Medusa in the final of The Old Flip
Andrew Foster plays Medusa in the final of The Old Flip

Despite putting up the top score in qualifying, Greg didn’t do so well on the same game in the final, only managing third place. Matt won the game, with David second and Andrew fourth.

David is exasperated as he fails to win with his last ball
David is exasperated as he fails to win with his last ball

David led with 12 points going into the third and final game, but Matt was close behind on 8 points. Andrew had 6 points and so was unlikely to win while Greg’s 4 points put him out of contention for the win but able to take second or lower if the result of the final game went his way.

That final game was on Excalibur and the outcome produced an interesting three-way tie. Andrew won, Matt was second, Greg third and David fourth. That meant David, Andrew and Matt all had 13 points and so had to play a deciding game on Jack in the Box.

The deciding game on Jack in the Box
The deciding game on Jack in the Box

David had a great last ball to take the win. Andrew looked like he was all set to win but had ot settle for second, while Matt ended in third. The prizes were presented by tournament director Carl.

Winner of The Old Flip 2017, David Dutton
Winner of The Old Flip 2017, David Dutton

Second place, Andrew Foster
Second place, Andrew Foster

Third place, Matt Vince
Third place, Matt Vince

Fourth place, Greg Mott
Fourth place, Greg Mott

Here are the full results:

The Old Flip 2017 Results
1 David Dutton
2 Andrew Foster
3 Matt Vince
4 Greg Mott
5 Tom Fletcher
6 Dan Lewell
7 Paul Garner UK
8 Wayne Johns
10 Martin Ayub
10 Nick Hamill
10 Ian Walmsley
10 Emil ED Dreiborg
13 Dave Willcox
13 Daniel Bradford
16 Mike Kindler
16 John Parkins
16 Phoebe Lewell
16 Ronnie P.
19 Stewart Judson
19 Kristian Rossi
22 Peter Blakemore
22 Tim Porter
22 Steven Kielty
24 Julie Chambers
24 Steve Akroyd
26 Chris Jones
27 Stephen Sutcliffe
28 Colin Clunie
29 Ailsa Clunie
30 Matthew Sutcliffe

With the tournament over, machines began to be broken down and visitors drifted away as another 8BitFlip event came to a close.

The venue of Arcade Club was much improved since last year’s inaugural 8BitFlip at the Bury location. The renovations made the second floor of Ela Mill a much more inviting location with better facilities and a wider range of games to play.

This, combined with the two tournaments made it a very worthwhile (if lengthy) trip for me. The social aspect of any event outweighs the games to play and we certainly had a couple of enjoyable evenings out on the town, catching up with old friends, enjoying the food, drinks and sights, and talking a lot of rubbish.

So, it was another thoroughly enjoyable pinball weekend thanks to the Northern Lights Pinball team and Arcade Club. I’ll certainly hope to be back next year for more of the same.

TEXAS PINBALL FESTIVAL 2017

Visitors to the Texas Pinball Festival 2017

Welcome to the start of our coverage of the Texas Pinball Festival 2017. We have been regular attendees to the TPF for many years, and we are back in the familiar surroundings of the Embassy Suites hotel in Frisco, Texas.

The weather here is usually pretty nice in March, but this year the weather on Friday turned to dark clouds and scattered showers amidst the sunny intervals.

The Embassy Suites in Frisco
The Embassy Suites in Frisco

Any doubts we were at the right hotel were soon dispelled
Any possible doubts we were at the right hotel were soon dispelled

Fortunately, the rain had cleared before a false fire alarm forced hotel guests outside while the fire marshall checked it was safe to return.

Two fire trucks showed up
Two fire trucks showed up

Apparently it wasn't a promotion for Ghostbusters pinball
Apparently it wasn’t a promotion for Ghostbusters pinball

The show opened at 5pm, but before that we got a behind-the-scenes look at the games and the people setting up.

Immediately we are through the door we meet Jaap, Tommy, Suzanne and Andrew
Immediately we are through the door we meet Jaap, Tommy, Suzanne and Andrew

Charlie from Spooky Pinball sets up the two The Jetsons pinballs along with a Rob Zombie and Domino's
Charlie from Spooky Pinball sets up the two The Jetsons pinballs
along with a Rob Zombie and Domino’s

Ultra-Violet light is often seen as detrimental to pinball artwork, but two games at the TPF are using UV to highlight playfield artwork and models.

UV lighting for Attack from Mars and Ghostbusters
UV lighting for Attack from Mars and Ghostbusters

And Attack from Mars is well represented on Chicago Gaming Company’s stand where three remake models are on display – one LE, one SE and one standard. They sit alongside a Medieval Madness remake.

The Chicago Gaming booth
The Chicago Gaming booth

Attack from Mars remake LE
Attack from Mars remake LE

Attack from Mars remake LE
Attack from Mars remake LE

Attack from Mars remake LE topper
Attack from Mars remake LE topper

Elsewhere in the hall, machines were being set up for the start of the show.

A display of home machines from Bally and Brunswick
A display of home machines from Bally and Brunswick

In other areas of the show hall, machines were being put together.

Assembling games for the show
Assembling games for the show

More games arriving
More games arriving

Just moving a game often creates problems
Just moving a game often creates problems

CoinTaker had three Alien games awaiting set-up
CoinTaker had three Alien games awaiting set-up

Marco had two Batman 66s and three Aerosmiths
Marco had two Batman 66s and three Aerosmiths

Wizard Enterprises were building their display of lighted pinball items
Wizard Enterprises were building their display of illuminated pinball items

Lots of pinball bling at Pinball Plating
Lots of pinball bling at Pinball Plating

Brett Butler of Clear Gem had generously brought his Batman 66 Super LE along for everyone to enjoy
Brett Butler of Clear Gem had generously brought his Batman 66 Super LE
along for everyone to enjoy

Multimorphic had a large display of eight P3 machines
Multimorphic had a large display of eight P3 machines

These were in addition to several P-ROC-based games
These were in addition to several P-ROC-based games

The tournaments were the first part of the show to open on Friday. Qualifying began at 11am in the tournament area at the front of the hall.

Tournament qualifying is under way
Tournament qualifying is under way

Tournament play on Friday afternoon
Tournament play on Friday afternoon

Tournament trophies up for grabs
Tournament trophies up for grabs

Top trophies
Top trophies

Trophies for the various divisions of play
Trophies for the various divisions of play

As usual, there was a raffle to win a new game
As usual, there was a raffle to win a new game

Lots of pinball swag available to buy
Lots of pinball swag available to buy

Registration for the show could be done online or in person at the ticket counter located just outside the hall.

The ticket counter
The ticket counter

Just along from the ticket counter was Rob Anthony’s room where he had his usual assortment of pinball parts and a board repair service.

Rob Anthony's Pinball Classics room
Rob Anthony’s Pinball Classics room

The TPF had a healthy schedule of seminars and screenings. They were mostly held in the seminar room at the far end of the building from where they would be streamed and recorded.

The seminar room
The seminar room

However, the very first seminar was held in the bar area at 6pm on Friday to coincide with the manager’s reception which provided free drinks and snacks to hotel guests.

6pm – So You Think You Know Pinball? – Jonathan Joosten and Martin Ayub

Jonathan and Martin ask the questions
Jonathan and Martin ask the questions

This pinball quiz was run by the Editor of Pinball News, Martin Ayub and the Editor of Pinball Magazine, Jonathan Joosten. They asked guests to choose between two possible answers to pinball-related questions. Those who picked the right answer moved on to the next round, and as soon as there were around five players left, they all drew tickets for one of the many prizes donated by sponsors.

Martin splits the players according to their answer choices
Martin splits the players according to their answer choices

At 7pm, the seminars moved to the main seminar room with Dennis Nordman revealing just what he had been working on for the past couple of years.

The seminar room audience
The seminar room audience

All the presentations in the seminar room were captured on a web stream. On Friday there was a problem with the internet connection which made live streaming impossible, but the stream was recorded and should appear on YouTube in due course.

7pm: Another Homerun From… – Dennis Nordman

Dennis Nordman
Dennis Nordman

Dennis revealed the pitch and bat game he and Paul Reno developed a couple of years ago. It uses an established gameplay style, but adds some new features and retains some pinball-like elements to the design. He also introduced the team who had worked on the game and a second ‘zombiefied’ version with different artwork and sound calls.

Dennis, Paul and the team
Dennis, Paul and the team

The team then unveiled the game, and the second variant with the zombie theme.

The baseball game is revealled
The baseball game is revealed

The zombie-fied version
The zombiefied version

Dennis with the game
Dennis with the game

Then came the seminar with the team from American Pinball.

8pm: American Pinball Update – American Pinball

The American Pinball team (L-R)
The American Pinball team (L-R)
Jeff Busch, Jim Thornton, Jolly Backer, Dhaval Vasani, Josh Kugler,
Joe Balcer & Scott Goldberg

The team was here to unveil their new Houdini game which is a total redesign from the John Popaduik version of the game showed at Pinball Expo in October. Since then, Joe Balcer has created his own game design and the title has also changed slightly from Houdini: Master Mystery to Houdini: Master of Mystery.

Before the reveal, Scott spoke about the company’s aims and the work they have been doing so far. Joe then talked about his concept for the game, some of the features and how they are linked to the theme, and introduced Jeff who created the artwork and Josh who programmed it.

Joe Balcer
Joe Balcer

The game is still very much a work-in-progress with many hardware, software and artwork changes expected before it goes into production. However, we do know that the game runs on a P-ROC board and this will remain in the production version, with the team saying it makes sense for a rapid start-up company like American Pinball to get off the ground with an established and capable system rather than trying to develop their own from scratch.

The game was then revealed.

Joe removes the covers from the game
Joe removes the covers from the game

American Pinball's Houdini: Master of Mystery
American Pinball’s Houdini: Master of Mystery

The game's backglass with the LCD monitor
The game’s backglass with the LCD monitor

There was one final seminar on Friday, and this was with the actor who played Flash Gordon in the movie of the same name.

9pm: Q&A with Flash Gordon actor Sam J. Jones

Sam spoke about his acting career including how he got the role in the Flash Gordon movie.

Sam J. Jones
Sam J. Jones

As it had been a long day and the session wasn’t strictly pinball-related we didn’t stay for the whole seminar. We also needed to prepare for Saturday’s full day of events which began bright and early at 8am.

8am: Swap Meet – DFW Pinball & Arcade Club

This regular part of the TPF takes place in the car park at the back of the hotel, and is the opportunity for casual sellers to offer games, parts, paperwork and other gaming-related items.

The Swap Meet at the rear of the hotel
The Swap Meet at the rear of the hotel

Manuals, parts bins and playfields
Manuals, parts bins and playfields

Whole games and assorted parts at the swap meet
Whole games and assorted parts for sale

Each new seller's wares are closely inspected
Each new seller’s wares are closely inspected

Previous years had seen rain and snow on the Saturday morning
Previous years had seen rain and snow on the Saturday morning,
but there was no such problems this year

Free pinball cabinets and backboxes
Free pinball cabinets and backboxes

The first of the day’s seminars began at 11am with Jim Schelberg’s latest Pinball in the Media presentation.

11am: Politically Provocative Pinball – Jim Schelberg

Jim Schelberg
Jim Schelberg

Jim showed a mix of classic and new media clips featuring pinball in one way or another, including several music videos and commercials.

12pm: Multimorphic and the P3: Game On! – Gerry Stellenberg

Before the seminar got under way, Gerry invited everyone to enjoy some Texan BBQ food for lunch which he generously provided for all audience members.

The queue for lunch
The queue for lunch

Potato, corn, sausage, beef, turkey, onions, chilies, pickles and bread, all with BBQ sauce
Potato, corn, sausage, beef, turkey, onions, chilies, pickles and bread,
all served with BBQ sauce

All washed down with ice tea (natural or sweetened)
All washed down with ice tea (natural or sweetened)

After many years detailing the development and benefits of the P3 pinball platform, this year Gerry was able to announce that the first production run of P3 machines.

Gerry announces details of the first production run
Gerry announces details of the first production run

He detailed how Multimorphic is working with a contract manufacturer in the Austin area so that the first run of machines and assemblies can be built, leading to the second run, orders for which were being taken now with expected delivery in Q3 2017. The first eight production machines were at the show set-up in various configurations to demonstrate the capabilities of the different playfield modules and games.

Gerry Stellenberg
Gerry Stellenberg

Gerry was joined on stage by Michael Ocean who uses the P-ROC and P3 to teach students to program a pinball game as well as working on some of the other P-ROC game projects out there, and BJ Wilson who talked about some of the P3 software features he has developed for Multimorphic.

Michael Ocean and BJ Wilson
Michael Ocean and BJ Wilson

Next onto the stage were two brothers with a long history in the pinball design business.

1pm: Growing up Ritchie – Mark and Steve Ritchie

Mark Ritchie and Steve Ritchie
Mark Ritchie and Steve Ritchie

Mark and Steve spoke about their upbringings, about how their father and mother behaved and instilled in them both certain values. They continued by describing how they each were introduced to arcade games and pinball in particular, and then how they both became involved in the pinball business, starting at Atari in California before moving to Chicago to join Williams.

Mark and Steve
Mark and Steve

They then took questions from the audience about events from their youth as well as the background to some of their more recent game projects.

Earlier in the day Cassandra Peterson, who is perhaps better known as her alter ego Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, was at the show to meet fans and sign autographs for $20 each.

A sizeable queue built up to meet Cassandra long before she arrived in the hall.

The line to meet Cassandra
The line to meet Cassandra

Cassandra signs Elvira-related items
Cassandra signs Elvira-related items

After her appearance in the show hall, Cassandra then joined Greg Freres and Dennis Nordman – the design and art team behind the two Elvira-themed games – to talk about the design processes in a panel discussion hosted by Charlie Emery.

2pm: Getting Up with Elvira – Cassandra Peterson, Dennis Nordman, Greg Freres & Charlie Emery

Charlie, Dennis, Cassandra and Greg
Charlie, Dennis, Cassandra and Greg

Greg and Dennis described how the idea for the first Elvira game – Elvira & The Party Monsters – came up, and how they developed the characters in the game to appear alongside Elvira.

Charlie, Dennis, Cassandra, Greg and a bunch of leapers
Charlie, Dennis, Cassandra, Greg are joined by a bunch of leapers

A packed seminar room
A packed seminar room

The big announcement was that Greg and Dennis’s second game following Whoa Nellie! would be their as-yet-unnamed third Elvira-themed game, following on from Elvira & the Party Monsters and Scared Stiff.

Dennis & Greg announced joining up with Elvira again at the seminar hosted by Charlie Emery
Dennis & Greg announced joining up with Elvira again
at the seminar hosted by Charlie Emery

No date for the game was announced, but it is expected to be built by Stern Pinball as one of their ‘studio’ titles.

Next onto the stage at Frisco was Jaap Nauta from Dutch Pinball.

3pm: Dutch Pinball Update – Jaap Nauta

There was a lot of news, rumour and speculation surrounding Dutch Pinball’s The Big Lebowski game, and Jaap was here to tell the story of what has happened to the both the game and the company.

Jaap Nauta of Dutch Pinball
Jaap Nauta of Dutch Pinball

Jaap related the history of the game, the agreements Dutch Pinball has with ARA to build the game, and how those agreements were broken when the price was increased by €1,000 and the agreement to build the remaining games as well as a number of Dutch Pinball’s second game was not kept.

He said eventually Dutch Pinball had enough and couldn’t give in to ARA’s demands, which put them in a stalemate situation where ARA had around 40 completed games in their factory but wouldn’t release them until the new, higher price per game was paid.

Jaap explained the Dutch legal process and said their intended way forward was to build their second title with a new contract manufacturer in the Netherlands called VDL, sell it, and raise enough operating capital to continue production of The Big Lebowski at VDL. Or maybe ARA would see reason and come to a deal.

That second title hadn’t been announced until the TPF, but now it was revealed as Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary.

The Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary logo
The Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary logo

This takes the Bride of Pinbot 2.0 ruleset and builds upon it to produce a complete game with a new cabinet and remade playfield incorporating the 2.0 modifications.

The playfield design is the same as the original Bride of Pinbot, but with updated inserts, display, lighting and sound. They plan to make up to 150 Super Limited Editions by the end of 2017, followed by a run of standard games and – hopefully – the remaining The Big Lebowski games.

The Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary translite
The Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary translite Click to expand

The Super LE’s would have 100 machines sent to North America and split between DP distributors CoinTaker and Nitro Pinball. The remaining 50 would go to the rest of the world. The first batch of 25 is scheduled for June 1017.

Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary
Bride of Pinbot 25th Anniversary

The next speaker was Andrew Heighway of Heighway Pinball.

4pm: Heighway Pinball Update – Andrew Heighway

Andrew Heighway
Andrew Heighway

Andrew was back at the TPF to bring the latest news from the Heighway Pinball factory in south Wales and update us on progress on the company’s Alien Pinball title. Three Alien Pinball machines were in the show hall for guests to play.

The three Alien Pinball machines in the show hall
The three Alien Pinball machines in the show hall

Andrew talked about the new facilities at the company’s factory in Ebbw Vale and their production schedule for both Alien and Full Throttle. You can see Andrew show us around the Heighway Pinball factory in our exclusive Pinball News video shot right before the Texas show.

The next speaker at this year’s TPF was Jack Guarnieri of Jersey Jack Pinball.

5pm: Jersey Jack Pinball Update – Jack Guarnieri

Jack Guarnieri
Jack Guarnieri

Jack updated the seminar audience on the latest happenings at the Jersey Jack Pinball factory, including production details of The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, and shorty, Dialed In!. Regarding Dialed In!, Jack told how he and game designer Pat Lawlor met and agreed to collaborate on creating the company’s third title.

Jack was joined on stage by Eric Meunier and Butch Peel from JJP who spoke about the technical aspects of the game, including the lighting system and the upcoming manual for The Hobbit.

Eric Meunier and Butch Peel
Eric Meunier and Butch Peel

After Jack’s seminar there was an autograph session on a table outside the seminar hall. People queued with items to be signed – such as translites, backglasses, playfields and flyers – or simply to meet the pinball celebrities and talk about their work.

The queue for the autograph table
The queue for the autograph table

John Trudeau signs a Ghostbusters plastic
John Trudeau signs a Ghostbusters plastic

Batman 66 artist Christopher Franchi signs a flyer for the game
Batman 66 artist Christopher Franchi signs a flyer for the game

Steve Ritchie, Mark Ritchie and George Gomez greet guests to the autograph session
Steve Ritchie, Mark Ritchie and George Gomez greet guests to the autograph table

Once the signing session was over, George Gomez took to the stage in the seminar room for his talk about the happenings at Stern Pinball.

7pm: Stern Pinball Update – George Gomez

George Gomez
George Gomez

George told the audience about the games Stern Pinball currently has in production, and the different types of games the company produces which he separated into ‘Cornerstone’ titles – regular in-house designs – Studio Games brought to the company by external designers, Vault Titles remade from previous title when demand is seen, The Pin home models, Contract Games made for, and marketed by other companies, Virtual Games such as the Stern Pinball Arcade with Farsight, and their accessories business selling mods, clothing, collectibles and the like.

George describes the different strands of the business
George describes the different strands of the business

After George there was a break from the seminar format with the world premier of a new pinball documentary.

8pm: Official World Premier of ‘Things That Go Bump In the Night: The Spooky Pinball Story’

The full-length documentary details the creation and business expansion of Spooky Pinball in Benton, Wisconsin, USA through interviews with the team involved in starting and running the business, as well as those creating the games.

Charlie Emery talks about founding the company
Charlie Emery talks about founding the company

The film was made by Joel and Dana Reeves and they were here to talk about its creation, from concept to shooting and editing.

Joel and Dana Reeves
Joel and Dana Reeves

The audience for the documentary screening
The audience for the documentary screening

After the documentary screening, there was a panel discussion with members of the Spooky team where the company’s next title was revealed as Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle. A teaser video has also been produced.

For those otherwise engaged on Saturday evening, the documentary was repeated in the seminar hall at 10am on Sunday morning.

Let’s return to the main show hall and see how the TPF looked on Saturday evening.

Into the main show hall
Into the main show hall

Nicolas and Timothie Manaud from Pinsound
Nicolas and Timothie Manaud from Pinsound

They had several games fitted with PinSound boards
They had several games fitted with PinSound boards

Including these Last Actionn Hero and Tommy games
Including these Last Action Hero and Tommy games

Game Over Videogames had classic consoles, handhelds and games
Game Over Videogames had classic consoles, handhelds and games

Flip N Out Pinball had their Escalera stair-climbing handtrucks
Flip N Out Pinball had their Escalera stair-climbing handtrucks

This stall was selling pinball items to raise money for the family of Jimmy Hefne, owner of Metro Pinball and Video who passed away in October 2016
This stall was selling pinball items to raise money for the family of Jimmy Hefner, owner of Metro Pinball and Video who passed away in October 2016

Spooky Pinball brought a Rob Zombie's Spookshow International, two The Jetsons and a Domino's Pizza pinball
Spooky Pinball brought a Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International,
two The Jetsons and a Domino’s Pizza pinball

The Jetsons
The Jetsons

The Spooky Pinball stand
The Spooky Pinball stand

KAHR.US Circuits were selling power supply boards amd volume controls for Williams games
KAHR.US Circuits were selling power supply boards and volume controls for Williams games

Starship Fantasy had their usual large selection of pinball ramps, playfields and backglasses
Starship Fantasy had their usual large selection of pinball ramps, playfields and backglasses

Tim at Mezel Mods had numerous ways to enhance your game
Tim at Mezel Mods had numerous ways to enhance your game

Lermods also wanted to make your game extra-special
Lermods also wanted to make your game extra-special

Some of Lermods illuminated add-ons
Some of Lermods illuminated add-ons

Kimball's Pinballs was showing two super-blinged games
Kimball’s Pinballs was showing two super-blinged games

Their Ghostbusters had numerous lighting enhancements
Their Ghostbusters had numerous lighting enhancements

Playing games can be thirsty work, so there was a bar to provide refreshments
Playing games can be thirsty work, so there was a bar to provide refreshments

For more solid refreshment there was also a snack bar
For more solid refreshment there was also a snack bar

Prices at the snack bar
Prices at the snack bar

Marco Specialties had three Aerosmith and two Batman 66 games
Marco Specialties had three Aerosmith and two Batman 66 games

Enjoying the new Aerosmith game on the Marco stand
Enjoying the new Aerosmith game on the Marco stand

Marco Specialties also had a small selection of parts available
Marco also had a small selection of parts available

Along with the games and parts Marco Specialties had Stern clothing
Along with the games and parts Marco had Stern clothing

The Gulf Coast Pinball Club had a nice selection of quality games to play
The Gulf Coast Pinball Club had a nice selection of quality games to play

Pinballz were promoting their three Austin arcade locations
Pinballz were promoting their three Austin arcade locations

Pinball Plating has lots of shiny and vivid pinball trim parts
Pinball Plating has lots of shiny and vivid pinball trim parts

Chrome and gold finishes
Chrome and gold finishes

Legs of many colours
Legs of many colours

Double Danger had a big range of pinball T-shirts
Double Danger had a big range of pinball T-shirts

Devin Lawson of Spicy Donut was showing her artwork prints and posters
Devin Lawson of Spicy Donut was showing her artwork prints and posters

Total Pinball Restorations brought their Frontier and Flash Gordon projects
Total Pinball Restorations brought their Frontier and Flash Gordon projects

The DFW Pinball Arcade Club has a great display of pinballs and videos
The DFW Pinball Arcade Club has a great display of pinballs and videos

KingPin Games had the newest JJP titles
KingPin Games had the newest JJP titles

KingPin Games had two Dialed In! games which were in constant demand
KingPin Games had two Dialed In! games which were in constant demand

Fun! had a line-up of new and classic games
Fun! had a line-up of new and classic games

Fun! featured new Stern and JJP titles
Fun! featured new Stern and JJP titles

Fun! were also showing the new Stern Pinball HD anti-glare glass
Fun! were also showing the new Stern Pinball HD anti-glare glass

Here's a side-by-side comparison (HD glass on the left)
Here’s a side-by-side comparison (HD glass on the left) Click to expand

Fun! were also selling the new Attack from Mars remakes at $7,999 for the LE and $7,299 for the special edition
Fun! were also selling the new Attack from Mars remakes at $7,999 for the LE and $7,299 for the special edition

Both had the high-resolution colour graphics
Both had the large high-resolution colour graphics, although the standard edition at $6,499 has the original smaller monochrome display

Although there were some glitches, they generally looked very attractive
Although there were some glitches, they generally looked very attractive

A look under the playfield
A look under the playfield

American Pinball were debuting their Houdini game at the TPF
American Pinball were debuting their Houdini game at the TPF

Game designer Joe Balcer and programmer Josh Kugler were on hand to talk about the game
Game designer Joe Balcer and programmer Josh Kugler were on hand to talk about the game

There were long lines to play the two Houdini games
There were long lines to play the two Houdini games

It's not all new games at the show
It’s not all new games at the show

You never know who you'll meet at the TPF
You never know who you’ll meet at the TPF

Pinball Side Mirrors had some demonstrator games to showcase their products
Pinball Side Mirrors had some demonstrator games to showcase their products

Comic Wreck had books, posters and other prints of sci-fi or horror themes
Comic Wreck had books, posters and other prints of sci-fi and horror themes

The Vector crew had an nice mix of electromechanical pinball and arcade games
The Vector crew had an nice mix of electromechanical pinball and modern arcade games

This Polynesia game looked interesting but sadly seemed to be out of order throughout the show
This Polynesia game on the Vector stand looked interesting but sadly seemed to be out-of-order throughout the show

Bob Herbison had some more of his wonderful EM restorations
Bob Herbison had some more of his wonderful EM restorations

This stand at the back of the hall is a regular fixture selling assorted marquees as well as manuals, plastics and all kinds of gaming paraphernalia
This stand at the back of the hall is a regular TPF fixture selling assorted marquees as well as manuals, plastics and all kinds of gaming paraphernalia

Coin Taker had their regular LEDs but also games from Heighway Pinball and Dutch Pinball
Coin Taker had their regular LEDs but also games from both Heighway Pinball and Dutch Pinball

There were three Alien pinballsto play
There were three Alien pinballs to play

The long line to play them remained throughout the show
The long line to play them remained throughout the show

CoinTaker also has the Dutch Pinball Brideo fo Pinbot 2.0 on which the new 25th Anniversary edition will be based
CoinTaker also has the Dutch Pinball Bride of Pinbot 2.0 upon which the new 25th Anniversary edition will be based

Pinball Refinery had some nicely upgraded games on their stand
Pinball Refinery had some nicely upgraded games on their stand

Chrome plating, powder coating, additional lighting and more
Chrome plating, powder coating, additional lighting and more

Mirco Steffen was at the TPF selling reproduction playfields
Mirco Steffen was at the TPF selling reproduction playfields

Pinball Wheezer were selling pinball appareil and cup holders
Pinball Wheezer were selling pinball apparel and cup holders

Tilt Graphics were promoting their big range of cabinet interior decals
Tilt Graphics were promoting their big range of cabinet interior decals

William 'Bubba' Flint was presenting a selection of his artworks
William ‘Bubba’ Flint was presenting a selection of his artworks

Dennis Nordman's Gizmo Game Design presented the two pitch and bat games
Dennis Nordman, Paul Reno and Tom Taylor’s Gizmo Game Design company presented their two pitch and bat games

Titan Pinball were selling their silicone pinball 'rubbers'
Titan Pinball were selling their silicone pinball ‘rubbers’

The History of Pinball exhibit featured an array of pre-flipper mechanical games
The History of Pinball exhibit featured an array of pre-flipper mechanical games

No power needed to play these games
No power needed to play these games

Goofy and Fleet
Goofy and Fleet

Two table-top games
Two table-top games

Sam J. Jones was often to be found on his stand signing autographs and talking to guests
Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon) was often to be found on his stand signing autographs and talking to guests

The Multimorphic stand was showing multiple P3 machines in various configurations to show off its capabilities
The Multimorphic stand was showing multiple P3 machines in various configurations to show off its capabilities

Next to the Multimorphic stand was a row of P-ROC-powered custom games including this work-in-progress Total Annhiliation machine...
Next to the Multimorphic stand was a row of P-ROC-powered custom games including this original work-in-progress Total Annihilation machine…

...and two Buffy the Vampire Slayer machines
…and two Buffy the Vampire Slayer conversion games

Doom was another P-ROC custom game on display
Doom was another P-ROC custom game on display

The unreleased third Pinball 2000 title Wizard Blocks is being made using a P-ROC
The un-released and un-finished third Pinball 2000 title, Wizard Blocks, is being made using a P-ROC

Passionately Rivalicious had a big selection of sports clothing
Passionately Rivalicious had a big selection of sports clothing

This perspex Super Straight was a popular attraction
This Perspex Super Straight was a popular attraction

The games were pretty busy throughout the show
The games were pretty busy throughout the show

Although it was mostly about the pinball, there were plenty of video games too
Although it was mostly about the pinball, there were plenty of video games too

Wizard Enterprises were showing their pop bumper nightlights and illuminated backglasses
Wizard Enterprises were showing their pop bumper night lights and framed illuminated backglasses

Rockin' Robin were selling pop art posters
Rockin’ Robin were selling pop art posters

More shiny bling for your game at Pinball Plating and More
More shiny bling for your game at Pinball Plating and More

If you wanted an oscilliscope, multimeter, wave generator, logic probe or othertest equipment, Arcade Components had you covered
If you wanted an oscilloscope, multimeter, wave generator, logic probe or other test equipment, Arcade Components had you covered

It's almost a tradition to pair these two at any pinball show
It’s almost a tradition to pair these two at any pinball show

VP Cabs had a gazebo display of assorted virtual pinball cabinets
VP Cabs had a gazebo display of assorted virtual pinball cabinets

Here’s our exclusive Thirty Minute Tour video of the show hall which was shot on Sunday morning.

The Pinball News Thirty Minute Tour of the Texas Pinball Festival 2017

At the end of the show on Sunday afternoon, there were numerous presentations for the Best-in-Show awards in various categories at a ceremony hosted by Ed Vanderveen and Bill Morrison.

Plaques and rosettes for the winners
Plaques and rosettes for the winners

Bill announces the winners
Bill announces the winners

The awards were chosen by the TPF team of Bill Morrison, Keith Holbrook, Scott Martin and Rich Wiski and went to:

Best Video Game
Star Wars – Kevin Moore

 

Best Antique
World’s Fair Jigsaw – Chris Schnick

 

Best 1960s
Cow Poke – Howard Isaacson

 

Best 1970s EM
Grand Prix – Lonnie & Robin McDonald

 

Best 1970s Solid State
Night Rider – Jeff Bolich

 

Best 1980s
Fathom – Wesley Goodin

 

Best 1990s
Congo – Lonny Payne

 

Best Modern
Iron Man – Gary Stuart

 

Best Original
Farfalla – Josh & Jennifer Tidmore

 

Best Restoration
Freddy: A Nightmare on Elm Street
– West Texas Ballers

 

Best Custom
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
– David Nelson

 

Grand Champion
The Machine: Bride of Pinbot
– Kevin Moore

 

Kevin Moore receives his Grand Champion award
Kevin Moore receives his Grand Champion award

The winning game
The winning game with hand-painted artwork

The show finished with draws for cash prizes for those who brought machines, and the grand Pinball for Patriots prize draw for a virtual pinball from VP Cabs.

VP Cabs' virtual pinball machine
VP Cabs’ virtual pinball machine

Ed looks for a volunteer to draw the prize
Ed looks for a volunteer to draw the prize

The tickets are given a spin
The tickets are given a spin

The winning ticket is picked
The winning ticket is picked

The lucky winner takes home the VP Cabs game
The lucky winner takes home the VP Cabs game

The show then wrapped up and the breakdown of machines and stands could begin.

Show's over folks!
Show’s over folks!

Load 'em up!
Load ’em up!

We’ll be back with to complete this report with the results of the tournaments and our closing thoughts, but until then we’ll just thank the Texas Pinball Festival organisers Ed, Kim, Paul and Ken for their help and hospitality.

Ed & Kim Vanderveen, Paul McKinney and Ken Kemp
Ed & Kim Vanderveen, Paul McKinney and Ken Kemp

ITALIAN PINBALL OPEN 2017

Players in the IPO 2017

A new event in a new location, and both dedicated to sports pinball.

It is the Italian Pinball Open (IPO) – the Italian national pinball championship – organised by IFPA Italia at the showroom of Double Pinball, the new Italian company exclusively dedicated to pinball which became exclusive supplier of Jersey Jack pinballs for Italy and of spare parts for all kinds of games.

The Double Pinball premises
The Double Pinball premises

A selection of the games at Double Pinball
A selection of the games at Double Pinball

The tournament took place on the weekend of 25th & 26th March in the Assago office of the company, close to Milan, and as well as declaring the new Italian champion of sports pinball, the tournament also represented the only Italian stage of the European Championship Series or ECS.

The trophy for the Italian Champion
The trophy for the Italian Champion

Play in the IPO 2017
Play in the IPO 2017

The Swiss player Levente Tregova won the competition, prevailing out of the 64 players in the competition who came from all over the country as well as several other nations, including Switzerland, Poland and Hungary.

Players from several countries competed
Players from several countries competed

The path to winning the IPO
The path to winning the IPO

Winner of the IPO 2017, Levente Tregova
Winner of the IPO 2017, Levente Tregova

Second place went to the Italian Roberto Pedroni, who thus becomes the 2017 Champion of Italy, by virtue of his position as the highest finishing Italian player in the final IPO ranking. The player from Milan ending an impressive March, having triumphed just few days earlier at the Spring Pinball Tournament at ENADA, in Rimini.

Second place and Champion of Italy, Roberto Pedroni
Second place and Champion of Italy, Roberto Pedroni

Third place went to Davide Della Ianna and fourth place for Gabriele Tedeschi from Rome.

IPO players
Some of the players in the IPO

A second side tournament also took place during the two days of sports pinball in Milan, won by Manuel Cereda from Milan. Second place went to the Venetian Paolo Luise and Roberto Pedroni placing again, ending here in third place.

ARCADE EXPO 2017

The Museum of Pinball

Last year we paid our first visit to the Museum of Pinball in Banning, California, for the second ever Arcade Expo show. This year we are back for Arcade Expo 3.0 which has moved from the usual January slot to the busier show season of March.

Once again, the Arcade Expo venue was the Museum of Pinball, at 700 South Hathaway in the semi-desert landscape at the base of snow-capped hills south of Banning.

The setting for the Arcade Expo show
The setting for the Arcade Expo show

The Museum of Pinball is sited in its own compound, consisting of the main museum building and numerous satellite storage units.

The Museum of Pinball building
The Museum of Pinball compound

The Museum of Pinball building
The main Museum of Pinball building

There was plenty of parking on site, both at the front of the building and elsewhere on the compound, while street parking was also an option.

Parking at the front of the building
Parking at the front of the building

Meanwhile for the adventurous, RV parking and camping was available a short distance from the main Museum building.

The campgrounds
The campgrounds

We arrived on Friday afternoon when the Arcade Expo show opened to the public. Although it was reasonably busy then, Saturday was when the most visitors arrived.

The queue for admission on Saturday
The queue for admission on Saturday

Entry cost $45 per day for the shorter Friday (2:30pm-midnight) and Sunday (11am – 7pm) sessions, or $55 for Saturday’s full day (11am – 2am). Children’s passes were priced at $20 a day, while a 3-day pass costs $120 for adults or $55 for kids aged three to twelve.

Even before visitors got into the Museum building there was plenty to see in the forecourt, from food trucks to beer and ice cream tents and vendor stalls.

Mexican food from this food truck
Mexican food from this food truck

Ice cream, drinks, burgers, hot dogs and more from these food vendors
Ice cream, drinks, burgers, hot dogs and more from these food vendors

Crepes and grilled cheese sandwiches available here
Crepes and grilled cheese sandwiches available here

Outdoor seating proved very popular with the great weather
Outdoor seating proved very popular thanks to the great weather

Local brewer, Brew Rebellion, had a stand here too
Local brewer, Brew Rebellion, had a stand here too

Mexican ice creams and sorbets were also available on Saturday
Mexican ice creams and sorbets were also available on Saturday

A little further along we have more stalls and some shooting games.

Rifle games in a side building
Rifle games in a side building

Gun games
Gun games

Into the vendor area
Into the vendor area

The biggest vendor by far was Marco Specialties who were showcasing the latest Stern Pinball games and also had a special guest.

Three Batman 66 premium models
Three Batman 66 premium models

A Pabst Can Crusher, three Ghostbusters, a Kiss and a Metallica
A Pabst Can Crusher, three Ghostbusters, a Kiss and a Metallica

Two Aerosmiths, another Pabst Can Crusher and another Metallica
Two Aerosmiths, another Pabst Can Crusher and another Metallica

Many of the Stern Pinball games featured artwork by ‘Dirty’ Donny Gillies, and the man himself was here at the show to meet guests and autograph various pinball items.

'Dirty' Donny Gillies with some of his artwork
‘Dirty’ Donny Gillies with some of his artwork

In addition to Donny and the latest games, Marco also had a selection of pinball spares on sale with their usual offer of free continental US shipping on orders made at the show.

The Marco Specialties parts stand
The Marco Specialties parts stand

Sharing the tent with Marco were Captain’s Auctions who had a stand of their own.

The Captain's Auctions stand
The Captain’s Auctions stand

Outside the tent, the David Trotter was stoking interest in his Launch the Ball movie venture and looking to raise the necessary funds from investors.

David Trotter on the Launch the Ball stand
David Trotter on the Launch the Ball stand

In the tent next door, more arcade vendors had their stands set up to sell assorted video game systems and trinkets.

Video game items for sale
Video game items for sale

Video game items for sale
Video game items for sale

Video game items for sale
Video game items for sale

Also set up outside was a small music stage where bands and lone performers entertained guests to the show. Some acts were more annoying than enjoyable, but some talented musicians also played here with the music resonating around the compound.

Earlier in the day we had live singing to a pre-recorded backing track
Earlier in the day we had live singing to a pre-recorded backing track

The audience was small but enthusiastic
The audience was small but enthusiastic

In addition to the food and drinks vendors we saw earlier, there was also a side window where visitors could purchase items from the cafeteria inside the main building without having to leave the glorious sunshine.

More drinks and snacks
More drinks and snacks

Inside the cafeteria
Inside the cafeteria

Inside the cafeteria
Inside the cafeteria

Just outside the cafeteria, at the entrance to the main building – was a large canvas where visitors were encouraged to leave their mark.

Sign you name or leave your message
Sign you name or leave your message

And so we come to the main part of the Arcade Expo show – the games halls. We say ‘halls’ because the building is split in two, with pinball machines on the left as we enter and video games on the right.

The main Museum sign
The main Museum sign

To the pinballs on the left
To the pinballs on the left

To the videos on the right
To the videos on the right

Before we get to either of those though, there’s the Museum’s gift shop.

Get your Museum of Pinball souvenirs here
Get your Museum of Pinball souvenirs here

Arcade Expo T-shirts
Arcade Expo T-shirts

Assorted gamer swag
Assorted gamer swag

Assorted gamer swag
Assorted Pac-Man swag

Entering the main pinball hall, we have a jaw-dropping array of machines ranging from the early electromechanical to the newest LCD screen models, arranged in rows which disappear into the distance.

The central rows in the pinball hall
The central rows in the pinball hall Click to expand

The hall is divided into sections dedicated to the various manufacturers. The Data East/Sega line is the first visitors get to see.

The Data East row
The Data East row

The Data East row
The Data East row

Part of the Williams row
Part of the Williams row

More Williams games
More Williams games

Part of the Bally section
Part of the Bally section

More Bally and Williams games
More Bally and Williams games

Some of the modern Stern games
Some of the modern Stern games

There is also a comprehensive selection of Stern Electronics games
There is also a comprehensive selection of Stern Electronics games

Some of the electronic Gottlieb games
Some of the electronic Gottlieb games

More Gottliebs in the foreground and Sterns in the background
More Gottliebs in the foreground and Sterns in the background

More Gottlieb games
More Gottlieb games

There is also a dedicated area for Bally electromechanical games, with one row of wedgeheads and another of Gottlieb EMs.

Looking from the Williams solid state games to the Bally EM area
Looking from the Williams solid state games to the Bally EM area

Part of the Bally electromechanical games section
Part of the Bally electromechanical games section

Bally games, with part of the row of wedgeheads behind
Bally games, with part of the row of wedgeheads behind

More Bally EM games
More Bally EM games

More Bally EM games
More Bally EM games

Two Bally Freedoms - one early production or prototype and one regular game
Two Bally Freedoms – one early production or prototype and one regular game

The original bottom of the playfield
The original bottom of the playfield

The main production version
The main production version

Keeping all these games up and running takes a veritable army of hard-working tech volunteers. They were easily identified by their distinctive red T-shirts.

Another game gets urgent attention
Another game gets urgent attention

Sometimes you need a second opinion, or a third, or a fourth...
Sometimes you need a second opinion, or a third, or a fourth…

More Ballys and wedgeheads
More Ballys and wedgeheads

Gottlieb EM games
Gottlieb EM games

Even the seats are pinball-themed
Even the seats are pinball-themed

Elsewhere around the pinball hall, various clusters of games are grouped together by manufacturer or according to another common theme.

Three Capcom games with an Alvin G added to the mix
Three Capcom games with an Alvin G added to the mix

This room uses black lights to showcase UV-reactive properties
This room uses black lights to showcase UV-reactive properties

More UV effects
More UV effects

In the very back corner of the pinball hall is an area dedicated to tournament play. This weekend there were various pinball tournaments – both IFPA-accredited and not – contested in the area.

The tournament area on Friday
The tournament area on Friday

The tournament area on Friday
The tournament area on Friday

During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday
During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday

During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday
During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday

During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday
During the Three-Strikes tournament on Saturday

Trophies for the Split-Flipper and One -Handed tournaments
Trophies for the Split-Flipper and One -Handed tournaments

There were also two side rooms – one with games just for the younger visitors, and another lounge with table-top games and a ball bowler.

The kids games room
The kids games room

The table-top lounge area
The table-top lounge area

Here’s our exclusive Thirty Minute Tour video of the show. This skips the video games hall – we have a separate video of that – but covers everything else, including the stands outside and in the vendor area.

The video game hall there were hundreds of arcade games including all the classics and many rarer titles.

You can see them all in this Fifteen Minute Tour of the video game hall.

There were also a few physical pinballs to be found in the video hall, including three on the Pinball Arcade stand and another at the American Outreach Foundation.

The Pinball Arcade stand
The Pinball Arcade stand

The American Outrach stand
The American Outreach stand

Starship Fantasy also had a large stand filled with their regular assortment of pinball plastics, ramps, backglasses and playfields. You can see all they had in our video above.

On Saturday there were two more events of note.

In the Trading Card Hall of Fame, Walter Day and Billy Mitchell were hosting several talks and Q&A sessions, as well as unveiling the latest trading card subjects.

Billy Mitchell answers questions from the audience
Billy Mitchell answers questions from the audience

Walter and Billy introduce the latest people to be commemorated on a trading card
Walter and Billy introduce the latest people to be commemorated on a trading card

Then, on Saturday evening there was a special VIP meal to unveil Tim Moyers latest restoration. After last year’s Getaway, Tim returned to Arcade Expo with a Frontier. It was revealed at a party in the Beer Revolution taproom in Banning.

Beer Revolution in Banning
Beer Revolution in Banning

The unveiling party
The unveiling party

Entry to the VIP party cost $40 per head and included free drinks and food.

Inside, five pinballs were set up; Frontier, Ghostbusters, NASCAR, Big Buck Hunter and Iron Man. Frontier was on free play, but the others were coin-operated.

Frontier headed the line-up of five machines
Frontier headed the line-up of five machines

The star of the show
The star of the show

Tim with his Frontier
Tim with his Frontier

Once everyone had had the chance to try the game, food was served on the patio.

Chicken supreme, lasagne and rigatoni was served outside
Chicken supreme, lasagne and rigatoni was served outside

The evening ended with live music
The evening ended with live music

And that brings us to the end of our coverage of this year’s Arcade Expo show.

The Museum of Pinball has an amazing and unrivalled collection of pinball and video games, and gives the perfect basis for a large show such as Arcade Expo. The space available both inside and out means plenty of machine, parts, collectibles, food and drink vendors can be accommodated. This year’s hot sunny weather was especially helpful in getting guests to explore all corners of the compound.

The Museum’s remote location can’t be ignored though, and the distance from the Los Angeles metropolitan area (combined with the lane closures on the main freeway) must act to deter the more casual attendees, as did the price of entry.

$55 per person for Saturday appears high but is actually pretty good value when you consider the number and range of both pinball and video games available to play from 11am until 2am. It is, though, probably high enough to deter any families with only a casual interest in arcade games. Not that that seemed to affect numbers too much, especially on Saturday – the busiest of the thee days.

We would like to see more seminars from local pinheads. Last year’s Archer talk was a unique feature of this show, and there are surely plenty of local collectors and developers who would be willing to share details of their work.

DIALED IN! LAUNCH PARTY

As the European Jersey Jack Pinball Master Distributor, Alfred Pika, aka Freddy, hosted the European launch of JJP’s latest Dialed In! pinball machine designed by the legendary Pat Lawlor. The venue was Freddy’s Pinball Paradise In Echzell.

Freddy looks on as attendees try out Dialed In!
Freddy (left) looks on as attendees try out Dialed In!

Attendance at the launch party was by pre-registration. The modest entry fee of €3 ($3,17/£2.60), as well as any donations for the available food and drinks, benefited a local kindergarten.

There was one prototype LE machine for the couple of dozen attendees to try out. Software was only about 30% completed, but, surprisingly, the game felt very polished with many modes to try.

All eyes on the game
All eyes on the game

Pat Lawlor is one of the greatest pinball designers of all time, having designed many beloved tables, including the record selling 1992 The Addams Family, and his last Stern game CSI in 2008.

Lawlor began designing pinball machines in 1987 and produced eighteen games throughout his career, including many of the best-selling games in the history of the industry.

Jack Guarnieri recently recounted in the JJP newsletter how Pat’s return to pinball came about. Back in 2011, Jack rented a building in Harvard, IL from Pat and invited him to see the work JJP was doing on the The Wizard of Oz. As Pat witnessed first-hand JJP’s vision embodied in the making of their first game, he started toying with the idea of coming back to the industry.

In January 2014, to much excitement in the pinball community, JJP made the official announcement that Pat was coming out of nearly ten years of retirement to design an unlicenced game for JJP.

Pat and Jack
Pat and Jack (picture: Jersey Jack Pinball)

During the design of the game, Pat took the opportunity to revisit the actual cabinet design. In an interview with Pinball Magazine, Pat outlined his initial design goals:

  • Move the electronics back in the backbox for ease of access and added reliability.

  • Redesign the cabinet for better acoustics

  • And Improve serviceability access of cabinet head.

One of the most impressive serviceability design we saw was the new LCD mount.

After you remove the translite, the LCD screen is mounted on a impressively smooth swinging arm which extends and pivots to either side to provide full access to the cabinet head electronics.

Andy Hengstebeek, Freddy's right hand pinball man, shows the underside of the playfield
Andy Hengstebeek, Freddy’s right hand pinball man, shows the underside of the playfield

It is also the first game to feature bluetooth connectivity, and the innovative ‘selfie mode’ showcased the game camera. It employs face recognition technology to capture portraits of the player and close bystanders. This mode and the cascading ’emoji mode’ were big hits with the attendees.

The innovative selfie and emoji modes
The innovative selfie and emoji modes
The innovative selfie and emoji modes
The innovative selfie and emoji modes

The crossing hashlines inserts in the playfield are a familiar sight from the Wizard Blocks prototype game that Lawlor sadly never got to complete due to WMS Industries shutting down their pinball division in 1999.

The Quantum Reality Theater toy in the middle was very impressive with a bright and crisp interactive floating image similar to Pinball 2000 for which Pat Lawlor was also a major creative force.

Dialed-In! overhead view
Dialed-In! overhead view

The event was also the last day to order the game from Freddy at specially-discounted advance ordering prices. With a constant line to play the game during the whole event, and judging from the very positive reception of the game, one may guess there were quite a few games ordered that day.

In addition to the monthly openings of Freddy’s Pinball Paradise, the game will also be travelling around Europe to these upcoming events:

  • March 15th – 17th, Milan, Italy, Double Pinball showroom.

  • April 1st & 2nd, Le Treport, France, Flip Expo.

  • April 8th & 9th, Oberösterreich, Austria, Comic Con.

  • April 13th &14th, Badendorf in der Steiermark, Austria, ‘Auf Die Kugeln Fertig Los 3.0’ tournament.

 

Freddy’s Pinball Paradise

On the outskirts of the small village of Echzell, a 45- minute drive north of Frankfurt, it’s hard to miss these two pinball machines, beacons to all aficionados of the silver ball.

A welcoming sight
A welcoming sight

A closer inspection reveals no coin doors, leg mounts or bracket backbox hinges. We can all breathe easy as it seems no game was sacrificed for the making of these ingenious props.

Screen capture of a drone video from Freddy’s facebook page
Screen capture of a drone video from Freddy’s Facebook page

The store is on the left side, while the pinball hall is on the right. The hall is impressively spacious at 600 square meters (~6,500 sq. feet), a hint of its previous incarnation as a supermarket. The walls are adorned in a country and western decorative theme, with horse saddles, wagon wheels and horseshoes.

It houses about 170 pinball machines on free play, from 1960s electromechanical games to the latest Stern and JJP machines. The shop was founded in the summer of 2012 and the Pinball Paradise hosted the 2013 IFPA World Championships.

Alfred Pika, a.k.a. Freddy
Alfred Pika, aka Freddy

Freddy started buying and fixing games in his basement when he was just 14-years-old. Along the way he also started a successful business, Pika Autoteile GmbH, which sells parts and accessories for US made cars.

His right hand man for all things pinball related is Andy Hengstebeek. Andy is the main caretaker of the collection and he also looks after the shop.

Dark Rider conversion game for 1979 Bally Star Trek
Dark Rider conversion game for 1979 Bally Star Trek

Andy told me about the rare Dark Rider conversion game in the collection from German company Geiger-Automatenbau. Only 150 of these conversion kits were made. Andy found this game in an old gym. The playfield was completly white from rubbers having disingrated, but the playfield was pristine underneath.

He explained that these Geiger conversion kits came out a few years after the originals, and by then usually people had moved on to the latest pinball playfield layout and feature gimmicks.

In addition to all the popular WMS and Stern DMD games, the many solid-sate and Electromechanical machines there are many notable games at the Paradise, such as Cactus Canyon Extended, Atari’s Hercules, Akkon Automaten’s Sexy Girl, and the following games:

Rare 1982 Williams Defender in beautiful condition - only 369 made
Rare 1982 Williams Defender in beautiful condition – only 369 made
1985 Bally Cybernaut
1985 Bally Cybernaut
1979 Bally Paragon, European version with only 3 flippers
1979 Bally Paragon, European version with only 3 flippers
1984 Bell Games Tiger Rag conversion
1984 Bell Games Tiger Rag conversion
1984 Bell Games Super Bowl conversion
1984 Bell Games Super Bowl conversion
Geiger La Retata LA Police conversion kit for 1986 Williams High Speed
Geiger La Retata LA Police conversion kit for 1986 Williams High Speed
Geiger Lady Death conversion for 1978 Bally Mata Hari
Geiger Lady Death conversion for 1978 Bally Mata Hari

Freddy also sells the convolux plastic protectors which Pinball News had the opportunity to review in 2014.

Convolux plastic protectors
Convolux plastic protectors

Many of the games at the Paradise were outfitted to showcase these protectors. Here, on two 2013 Stern Star Treks, you can see how much Convolux protectors can change the mood of a playfield.

Star Treks with the Convolux plastic protectors
Star Trek with red Convolux plastic protectors
Star Treks with the Convolux plastic protectors
Star Trek with yellow Convolux plastic protectors

Here are some pictures of the inside of the Paradise.

Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise
Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise
Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise
Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise
Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise
Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise
Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise
Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise
Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise
Inside Freddy’s Pinball Paradise

Freddy’s Pinball Paradise is open once a month, usually the last saturday of the month. Current admission prices are €18 for adults and €10 for children aged 12-16 years.

More details are available at:

A nice last look at the end of a fun day of pinball
A nice last look at the end of a fun day of pinball

IFPA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES FINAL 2016

The European Championship Series finals

Each year, a single tournament in each of fifteen different European countries is selected as that country’s qualifying tournament for the IFPA European Championship Series (ECS). The WPPR points earned by players from each tournament are totalled and a ranking table produced.

The IFPA ECS rankings for 2016
The IFPA ECS rankings for 2016

Once all the qualifying tournaments have been played, the top 32 players automatically qualify for the ECS finals which – wherever possible – are held in a different country each year. For the final of the 2016 season we were in Germany at Pinball Universe in the snowy town of Bünde, 90km west of Hanover.

The Pinball Universe building in Bünde
The Pinball Universe building in Bünde

Pinball Universe has several locations across Germany, but this custom-built building is their main base, and it’s an impressive operation. From the outset it is clear that brand recognition is an important part of the business.

One of many Pinball Universe branded vehicles
One of many Pinball Universe branded vehicles

Their main showroom is up a flight of stairs, and this was where the free play practice area was located.

Up to the showroom
Up to the showroom

Inside the showroom visitors get to see the latest Stern Pinball machines, which on this trip included Batman 66 Premium and Aerosmith Pro. Everything in the showroom is very clean, with a counter for drinks and a seating area.

Some of the Pinball Universe showroom games
Some of the Pinball Universe showroom games
More showroom games
More showroom games
More showroom games
More showroom games
Two Kiss games - a Pro and a Premium
Two Kiss games – a Pro and a Premium
Batman 66 Premium
Batman 66 Premium

The free play area extended into a side room where a selection of Pinball Universe’s restored games were set up along with a few more interesting new games such as Pabst Can Crusher, Spider-Man home edition, Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International and Scoregasm Master.

The second free play area
The second free play area
The left bank of machines
The left bank of machines
The right bank
The right bank
Pabst Can Crusher and Spider-Man Home Edition
Pabst Can Crusher and Spider-Man Home Edition
The Spider-Man playfield
The Spider-Man playfield
The opposite end of the room
The opposite end of the room

From the balcony overlooking the ground floor you get to see some of the boxes from the Stern games in the showroom.

Stern Pinball boxes
Stern Pinball boxes

But you need to head to the ground level for a much better idea of the sheer number of new games Pinball Universe must have in stock.

Stern pinball machine boxes
Stern pinball machine boxes – these rows are two boxes deep
...and more
…and more
Boxes on the ground floor too
Boxes on the ground floor too

Since we are now on the lower level, let’s take a look at some of the other rooms.

A dining area was set up which initially contained fruit, snacks and a stocked refrigerator with fruit juices, water, soft drinks and beer.

The dining area
The dining area

This room would be where the daily meal was served on both Saturday and Sunday.

Next door was the machine preparation area where Pinball Universe take new-in-box pinball machines and undertake their own pre-delivery checks, mods and protectors.

The machine preparation workshop
The machine preparation workshop

In the room was a Batman Limited Edition which needed some protectors added to stop the ball breaking some of them plastics.

A Batman 66 LE being prepared for delivery
A Batman 66 LE being prepared for delivery

Pinball Universe cut their own plastics in another part of the building, so it shouldn’t take long create a set of protectors for a new game.

Batman 66 LE
Batman 66 LE

Then we come to the two tournament areas.

The main ECS area contained 35 dot-matrix pinballs from 1991 to the present.

The main ECS tournament area
The main ECS tournament area
The left bank of machines
The left bank of machines
The right bank of machines
The right bank of machines

Out in the warehouse, another twelve recent Stern Pinball machines were set up. These would be used for the side tournament on Saturday and then for Sunday’s tournament.

The side tournament machines
The side tournament machines
The left bank of machines
The left bank of machines
The right bank of machines
The right bank of machines

The machines were:

Main ECS Tournament Area
Iron Man Vault Edition
X-Men Magneto LE
Metallica Premium
Indiana Jones (Stern)
CSI
Transformers Pro
Rollercoaster Tycoon
AC/DC Luci
Sporanos, The
Pirates of the Caribbean
Kiss Pro
Batman – The Dark Knight
Shrek
Spider-Man
WWE Wrestlemania LE
Tron
NBA
Terminator 3
Jackbot
World Cup Soccer
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Judge Dredd
Getaway, The – High Speed 2
Tommy
Fish Tales
Whitewater
Demolition Man
No Fear
NBA Fastbreak
Shadow, The
Terminator 2
Monster Bash
Attack from Mars
Indianapolis 500
Dirty Harry

 

Side Tournament Area
Iron Man Vault Edition
Kiss Pro
Metallica Premium
Walking Dead, The Pro
Star Trek Pro
Spider-Man Vault Edition
Game of Thrones Pro
Avatar LE
X-Men Premium
Ghostbusters Pro
AC/DE Premium
Mustang LE

 

And so to the tournaments themselves.

The main ECS took place on Saturday starting at 1pm. It was scheduled to finish between midnight and 1am, but everyone suspected it might take a few hours longer.

Entry to the whole weekend cost €120 ($128/£102) which included both main tournaments, the side-tournament (if available), access to the free play areas, unlimited drinks and a buffet meal each day. Everyone taking part had to register on the ground floor in order to get their player badge and to also receive a Pinball Universe goody bag.

This goodie bag included paper pads and a pen for running tournaments, packs of mints, hair tonic, a collapsible ruler, post cards, flyers, stickers and a Millennium Falcon model kit – all items made by firms local to Pinball Universe in Bünde.

The Pinball Universe goodie bag
The Pinball Universe goodie bag

IFPA Country Director for Germany, Tobias Wagemann explained the rules to players in the showroom before everyone trooped downstairs to begin.

ECS players assemble
ECS players assemble
Tobias explains how the ECS final works
Tobias explains how the ECS final works
Players learn the rules and the timings for the day's activities
Players learn the rules and the timings for the day’s activities

The format pitched pairs of players against each in a best-of-seven match. The highest-seeded player had choice of machine or position for the first game, with the loser having choice after that.

Match pairings were pre-selected and shown on a paper chart.

The main ECS winner's bracket
The main ECS winner’s bracket

Once a match had been decided, the winner continued to the next stage of the chart, while the loser entered the loser bracket for a second chance at making it to the final.

The loser bracket
The loser bracket
The ECS trophies
The ECS trophies
The first matches get underway
The first matches get underway
The first matches get underway
The first matches get underway

Once players were relegated to the loser bracket they played a best-of-five head-to-head match to continue. The loser from the pair was out of the ECS.

Players check their progress and next opponents
Players check their progress and next opponents

All was not over though, as there was a separate side tournament for those who were eliminated and for non-ECS players who wanted to take part.

This side tournament was held on the twelve machines on the warehouse floor.

Trophies for the side tournament
Trophies for the side tournament

The format for the side tournament gave each player sixteen entries which they could play over and of the twelve machines, although no single machine could be played more than twice.

Players in Saturday's side tournament
Players in Saturday’s side tournament

All the scores on each machine were ranked and ranking points awarded, with 100 for the top score, 99 for second and so on. The total points for a player’s sixteen entries gave them their overall points score, with the top eight players going into the semi-finals.

The latest scores were shown on a big monitor
The latest scores were shown on a big monitor

With the ECS finals also taking place at the same time, only ECS players who had been eliminated from the ECS were allowed to compete in the side tournament. Also, because of the time required to play sixteen games, only those eliminated early could hope to play all their games before the end of qualifying at 8pm.

Before that, around 5pm, food was served to all competitors. Because of the timing of our games, by the time we got to the dining area most of it had already ben consumed, but you get an idea of what was available in the pictures below.

Dinner time
Dinner time

This consisted of soups, salad, bread and a selection of cold meats. The previously seen fruit, chocolate bars and drinks were also available.

Salad and bread
Salad and bread
Two different soups were available - chicken goulash and leak & potato
Two different soups were available – chicken goulash and leak & potato

Play continued in both tournaments as soon as dinner was over, so now would be a good time to have a look around the amazing Pinball Universe facility in Bünde while Saturday’s ECS play-offs and the side tournament were under way.

Returning to the tournament areas, the main ECS tournament was gradually whittling down the number of players in the winner bracket, as more matches were completed.

Play in the main ECS finals
Play in the main ECS finals
Play in the main ECS finals
Play in the main ECS finals
The winner and loser brackets begin to fill up
The winner and loser brackets begin to fill up

Those out of the ECS or who never qualified were free to play in the side tournament.

Play in the side tournament
Play in the side tournament
Play in the side tournament
Play in the side tournament
The top eight would qualify for the play-offs
The top eight would progress to the semi-finals

The top eight were:

Saturday Side Tournament Qualifiers
Mario Kertels
Roland Schwarz
Dirk Elzholz
Marcin Kisiel
Gabriele Tedeschi
Didier Dujardin
Peter Blakemore
Ernö Rotter

The eight were split into two groups of four with each group playing a single game to decide which two would go through to the final.

One of the two semi-final matches
One of the two semi-final matches
Dirk plays on Mustang
Dirk plays on Mustang

The final four were:

Saturday Side Tournament Finalists
Dirk Elzholz
Gabriele Tedeschi
Peter Blakemore
Ernö Rotter
The final of Saturday's side tournament
The final of Saturday’s side tournament

The final was won by Ernö who finished ahead of Gabriele in second, with Peter third and Dirk fourth.

Winner of Saturday's side tournament, Ernö Rotter
Winner of Saturday’s side tournament, Ernö Rotter
Second place, Gabriele Tedeschi
Second place, Gabriele Tedeschi
Third place, Peter Blakemore
Third place, Peter Blakemore
Fourth place, Dirk Elzholz
Fourth place, Dirk Elzholz
The top four in Saturday's side tournament
The top four in Saturday’s side tournament

Meanwhile, the number of players left in the main ECS tournament began to dwindle as the night continued.

The main ECS tournament later on Saturday night
The main ECS tournament later on Saturday night

The main ECS tournament later on Saturday night

Franck and Daniele battle it out on Creature
Franck and Daniele battle it out on Creature

As we said earlier, the main ECS finals were unlikely to finish on time, and so it proved.

With a fresh tournament to play on Sunday, we stayed until around 1am at which point there was clearly still some way to go. As it turned out, the match above between Franck and Daniele was the semi-final in the winner bracket which Daniele won.

Franck then joined the loser bracket where he played Cayle George. Cayle had had a remarkable run having lost his first round match to Olivier Renders but continuing right through the loser bracket to the final match against Franck, which he also won. That made Franck third, and Taco Wouters – who he beat in the previous winner bracket round – was fourth.

So the final was between Daniele and Cayle. Cayle needed to beat Daniele in the best-of-seven match, and even if he did that, he then had to beat him again in the final best-of-five loser bracket match.

And that’s exactly what he did. A narrow 4-3 victory in the first match was followed by a 3-0 win in the second.

Both skill and stamina were needed, since the final didn’t actually end until 8am – the latest of any tournament Pinball News has ever reported from.

The final winner bracket
The final winner bracket

In order to allow some time to recover, the trophy presentation was deferred until 1pm on Sunday, but even then Daniele was sleeping and not able to attend. The trophies were presented by Tobias in the showroom upstairs.

Cayle receives his trophy
Cayle receives his trophy
IFPA ECS Winner, Cayle George
IFPA ECS Winner, Cayle George
Third place, Franck Bona
Third place, Franck Bona
Fourth place, Taco Wouters
Fourth place, Taco Wouters
Three of the top four, with Daniele's second place trophy
Three of the top four, with Daniele’s second place trophy

Sunday’s tournament was a ‘Swiss-style’ format of 16 rounds, where players are drawn against different opponents and play different machines in each round. When all rounds have been played, the eight players with the most wins went into the play-offs to decide the overall winner.

Trophies for the top eight in Sunday's tournament
Trophies for the top eight in Sunday’s tournament

The tournament began at 10am with the announcement of the first round draw.

Players discover their opponent and the machine they will be playing
Players discover their opponent and the machine they will be playing
The matches are under way
The matches are under way

When a match was over, the winner returned to the computer and selected the winner. Once all matches in a round were over, the next round was drawn.

The match pairings and standings were shown on a monitor
The match pairings and standings were shown on a monitor

At 1pm there was a break for lunch. Again, this was included in the cost of the event, but unlike yesterday most of the food was hot. It was generally agreed that players preferred Sunday’s hot food over Saturday’s cold buffet.

The queue for Sunday's lunch
The queue for Sunday’s lunch
The delicious hot food dishes
The delicious hot food dishes

With lunch over, play resumed in Sunday’s tournament’s qualifying round.

Waiting for the next round to begin
Waiting for the next round to begin

Unfortunately we had an 8pm flight to catch from Hanover which is an hour’s drive away from Bünde, so we had to leave at 5:30pm, just after round 14 of 16 had been completed.

By the end of qualifying, the standings looked like this:

Sunday Tournament Qualifying
1 Roland Schwarz
2= Robert Sutter
2= Cesare Datri
4 Paul Jongma
5= Levente Tregova
5= Ernö Rotter
7 Michael Trepp
8 Roberto Pedroni
9 Jim Lindsay
10 Albert Nomden
11= Taco Wouters
11= Reiner Pfeiffer
13 Kirsten Adam
14= Erwin Deutschländer
14= Peter Blakemore
16= Gabriele Tedeschi
16= Fabio Squadrani
16= Ivan Geentjens
19= Marc Steinmeier
19= Heinz Baumann
19= Marcin Kisiel
22= Ollivier Francq
22= Philipp Unger
24 Martin Ayub
25 David Mainwaring
26= Stefan Hänsch
26= Dirk Elzholz
26= Marco Suvanto
29= Jürg Berchtold
29= Didier Dujardin
31 Mathias Jäger
32= Sven Göttsche
32= Benjamin Gräbeldinger
34 Luhn Stephan
35 William Dutton
36 Andrej Demsar
37= David Dutton
37= Kim Danielmeier
39= Mario Kertels
39= Rich Mallett
41= Heinz Berges
41= Flavio Baddaria
41= Mirco de Marchi
41= Ergun Erdemir
45 Norman Heikamp
46= Lars Thiele
46= Carsten Menke
48= Karl Weber
48= Ari Sovijärvi
50 Dina Fukson
51= Louis Hänsch
51= Lutz Schroeder
51= Jendrik Thiele
54 Thomas Doepelheuer
55 Margit Danielmeier
56= Simon Niehausmeier
56= Tobias Wagemann
58 Archibald Lefevre
59 Jonathan Joosten
60 Olivier Renders
61 Franck Bona
62 Florian Thomas
63 Daniela Oymann

The final placings for both the ECS and Sunday’s tournament are still being drawn up, so we will update this report with those as soon as we get them..

Holding the ECS at Pinball Universe was undoubtedly a success. Their selection of new and expertly restored games has to be second to none, and they have the space to hold two tournaments simultaneously while still providing an extensive free play area. In fact, the whole facility is very impressive, with around as many new-in-box machines as you are likely to see at the Stern Pinball factory.

Talking to the company owners, they tell us these machines are selling because they are creating a new, untapped market for pinballs in Germany.

That’s hugely encouraging in itself, but they are also able to provide players with a world class tournament venue which will receive its next influx of guests at the forthcoming Pinball Universe Battle at the end of March.

EAG INTERNATIONAL 2017

The show hall

The first major trade show of the year is traditionally held in London and now goes by the name EAG International. It is held at the ExCel London Exhibition Centre which is in the Docklands area of East London.

The ExCel London Exhibition Centre
The ExCel London Exhibition Centre

The exhibition last three days – Tuesday to Thursday – with a welcome party held on the Wednesday evening. We visited for just the first day, getting there around 10:30am at which point hall N2 was still relatively quiet.

The empty aisles at the show on Tuesday morning
The empty aisles at the show on Tuesday morning

Things certainly got busier as the day wore on, but the show did seem noticeably quieter than previous years. That may have changed on the second and third days, and the number of exhibitors seemed consistent with last year.

The EAG International 2017 show
The EAG International 2017 show

Despite the plethora of amusement machines on display, we were at EAG International for the pinballs, and the show was a good opportunity to play the latest titles.

We’ll start at the Electrocoin stand where Stern Pinball – represented by Gary Stern and Dave Peterson – were showing three machines.

The Electrocoin stand
The Electrocoin stand
The Stern Pinball distributor had three pinballs
The Stern Pinball distributor had three pinballs

The newest of the three was Aerosmith which was having its European premiere at the show.

Stern Pinball's Aerosmith Pro model
Stern Pinball’s Aerosmith Pro model

We have several high-resolution pictures of the game below, plus we have a five minute video of the game being played, showing you the shots, the basic rules and the new LCD animations.

The Aerosmith translite
The Aerosmith translite
The display and speaker panel
The display and speaker panel
The opening song selection screen
The opening song selection screen
The back of the playfield
The back of the playfield
The lower part of the playfield
The lower part of the playfield
The long right ramp
The long right ramp
Visitors from across Europe were enjoying the games
Visitors from across Europe were enjoying the games

Next door to Aerosmith was a Premium Batman 66. From talking to players, they unanimously preferred the Aerosmith to the Batman 66, with the latter feeling more like a Pro-level game than a Premium model.

Batman 66 Premium
Batman 66 Premium

The Batman 66 did have a number of nice touches to it though, especially in the display animations.

If a player gets a high score, the information is shown as a newspaper front page.

Player two gets a high score
Player two gets a high score
Once the name is entered
Once the name is entered

The match sequence is then shown on the Bat Computer, using old-style Nixie tubes for the digits.

The match sequence
The match sequence

Batman seems to be an enduring theme, with the Caped Crusader popping up in all kinds of places at the show, including on slot machines.

Batman slot machines
Batman slot machines

The third machine was a Ghostbusters Pro.

Ghostbusters Pro
Ghostbusters Pro

Before we move on though, Gary Stern took time out to show us what’s inside the new backbox of Stern Pinball’s games. We see the new Spike 2 board, the LCD panel design, the backbox lighting and much more.

At the front of the hall was the Heighway Pinball stand, where they had two Alien games and three Full Throttle machines.

Full Throttles on the Heighway Pinball stand
Full Throttles on the Heighway Pinball stand
The two Alien games
The two Alien games

The Alien machines were not playable while we were there, although they could be played later on the second day and then on the third day too. However, we did take some pictures of the playfield.

The Xenomorph head and third monitor
The Xenomorph head and third monitor
The pop bumpers area
The pop bumpers area
The mid-left area
The mid-left area
The upper part of the playfield
The upper part of the playfield
The central part of the playfield
The central part of the playfield
The lower part of the playfield
The lower part of the playfield
The whole playfield
The whole playfield

Heighway and Stern were the only companies exhibiting real full-size pinball machines. As usual though, there were several pinball-like games on display at vendor stands around the hall.

Here’s our round-up of them.

Mini-pinball games
Mini-pinball games
Mini-pinball games
Mini-pinball games
Mini-pinball games
Mini-pinball games
Mini-pinball games
Mini-pinball games

Then there were the larger games with flipper bats.

UFO Ice Hockey, with flippers
UFO Ice Hockey, with flippers
Yours for a just £1,995 plus tax
Yours for a just £1,995 plus tax
This Rockin' and Rollin's game also had large flipper bats
This Rockin’ and Rollin’s game also had large flipper bats

The Hazel Electronics stand next to Heighway Pinball also had a pinball reference, along with a few couple of ideas which might be useful on a pinball.

Get yourself a pinball sign for the game room
Get yourself a pinball sign for the game room
Although intended for slot machines, this could be good on a pinball too
Although intended for slot machines, this USB charger would be good on a pinball too
These LED buttons could be good for pinballs with launch buttons
These LED buttons could be good for pinballs with launch buttons

The overall theme of the show seemed to be ‘bigger is better’ – an attempt to provide the kind of large-scale entertainment which game players can’t easily enjoy at home.

Giant Galaga and Space Invaders
Giant Galaga and Space Invaders
Big screens turned up everywhere, even on photo booths
Big screens turned up everywhere, even on photo booths
Big multi-player driving games are always popular here
Big multi-player driving games are always popular here
The classic Daytona racer is back with an updated version
The classic Daytona racer is back with an updated version
The prize for the biggest product goes to this inflatable go-kart track
The prize for the biggest product goes to this inflatable go-kart track
Even the ice creams were oversize
Even the ice creams were oversize

Finally, what are the chances of two guys wearing the same Pac-Man suits at the same show on the same day at the same stand?

Pac-Men
Pac-Men

That concludes our look at the EAG International show for 2017, but you can take a detailed look around for yourself with our exclusive Pinball News Twenty-Three Minute Tour video of the show.

 

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.

 

TORNEO DE PINBALL DE BIAR 2016

Torneo de Pinball de Biar

Pinball News hadn’t visited a pinball tournament in Spain since the country hosted the European Pinball Championship in Madrid in 2012. So a return visit was long overdue and we were very happy to rectify this with a trip to the town of Biar, around 50km north of the south-eastern coastal city of Alicante.

Biar is a charming town located amongst a range of hills with plenty of classical Spanish architecture, culture and, thankfully, weather. We arrived on Friday afternoon and explored the back streets before enjoying some tapas and a local beer or two, and visiting the venue for the weekend’s competitive events.

The view over the rooftops to the castle
The view over the rooftops to the castle
Steps up the hill
Steps up the hill
The church in the town square
The church in the town square

The venue for the tournament was a large white-painted building on the south-eastern edge of town.

The venue for the tournament
The venue for the tournament
The entrance to the venue
The entrance to the venue
The view opposite
The view opposite

We were given a guided tour of the building, looking at the tournament areas and delving into the storage space at the back. In both we found some interesting original and Spanish-tailored pinball machines.

The weekend consisted of a modern tournament, a classics tournament and three side tournaments. Both the modern and classics tournaments were played on twelve machines, all of which needed to be played.

The first batch of main tournament machines
The first batch of modern tournament machines
The remaining main tournament machines
The remaining modern tournament machines
Classic tournament machines
Classic tournament machines
More classic tournament machines
More classic tournament machines

The machines used in both tournaments were as follows:

Modern Tournament   Classic Tournament
Spider-Man VE
Game of Thrones LE
The Walking Dead LE
Star Trek LE
The Simpsons Pinball Party
Monster Bash
Cirqus Voltaire
Pinball Magic
Metallica Premium
Stargate
Party Zone
Theatre of Magic
– 1 –
– 2 –
– 3 –
– 4 –
– 5 –
– 6 –
– 7 –
– 8 –
– 9 –
– 10 –
– 11 –
– 12 –
Top Racer
Genie
Dragon
El Dorado
The 30s
Running Horse
Luck Smile
Shamrock
Tasty Samba
300
Surfer
Big Brave

 

In the repair area we saw an unusual pinball from Jumaci of Madrid which had no backbox, used lamps to indicate the score, and featured outward-facing flippers.

An unusual game from Jumaci
An unusual game from Jumaci
You might recognise this backglass as Capt. Card
You might recognise this King Game as Gottlieb’s Capt. Card

Along with the tournament machines, there was also a bank of free-play practice games. These also featured some Spanish games not often seen outside of the country.

The bank of free-play machines
The bank of free-play machines
This guy looks well and truly check-mated
This guy looks well and truly check-mated
Bongor is a Spanish version of Gottlieb's Jungle King
Bongor is a Spanish version of Gottlieb’s Jungle King
Screech is an original Inder design
Screech is an original Inder design featuring an electronic score display but a score reel for the credits display
You have to wonder about the story behind this backglass
You have to wonder about the story behind this backglass

In addition to the machines there was also a parts table where common pinball spares could be purchased, and a high-quality table football (foosball) game which was priced at €1 per game.

The pinball parts table
The pinball parts table
Just in case anyone needed a break from pinball
Just in case anyone needed a break from pinball

Registration for the Torneo de Pinball de Biar cost €60 ($63.77 or £51.34) which included an individualised red tournament T-shirt complete with embroidered initials and country flag, a personal player card and a tournament poster.

Individual tournament packs for the competitors
Individual tournament packs for the competitors
Tournament posters
Tournament posters
The ceramic trophies for the various tournaments
The ceramic trophies for the various tournaments

Registration also got you a hearty breakfast of various types of breads topped with meats and sausages which was called cocas, all of which was accompanied by beer, soft drinks and water. Although we’d already eaten breakfast at the hotel the breakfast here looked too good not to sample.

Putting out the breakfast dishes
Putting out the breakfast dishes
The breakfast spread
The breakfast spread
The selection was delicious and enjoyed by everyone
The selection was delicious and enjoyed by everyone

In the unlikely possibility anyone was still hungry or thirsty, additional snacks and drinks were available at very reasonable prices at a bar next to the free-play machines.

The bar
The bar
The drinks and snacks on offer
The drinks and snacks on offer

Once breakfast was over it was time to start the serious business of the tournaments. Both the modern and classics ran in parallel, with players able to play their games in either as they wished as long as they completed them all by the close of qualifying at 8pm.

Players gather to hear the format and the rules
Players gather to hear the format and the rules

A magnetic board at the side of the entrance contained name plates for each of the twelve modern and twelve classic pinballs. Players could choose to play any of the machines. If the machine’s name plate was on the board it was available to play right away, otherwise they had to wait until the current game was over and the name plate was returned to the board.

The name plates of the twenty-four machines
The name plates of the twenty-four machines

To ensure each machine was only played once by each player, as the name plate was taken their score card was punched to show the machine had been chosen.

Each score card was punched as a machine was selected
Each score card was punched as a machine was selected
Qualifying in the classic and modern tournaments
Qualifying in the classic and modern tournaments
Individual machine scores were shown on monitors at the entrance to the tournament area
Individual machine scores were shown on monitors at the entrance to the tournament area

Officials started the games to make sure none were restarted by the players, and they also recorded scores on paper sheets – one sheet per machine – which were handed to the scoring desk when filled so the results could be entered into the computer system.

The crush at the entrance to the tournament area
The crush at the entrance to the tournament area

At times – and especially as competitors had played many of their games and were waiting for one of their final few to become available – the entrance to the tournament area became quite crowded, making it difficult to enter or leave or to access the magnetic name plates.

The tournament takes a break for lunch
The tournament takes a break for lunch

One thing you will quickly appreciate about Spanish tournaments – and Spain in general – is that food and drink play an important part in the overall enjoyment of life. This weekend was no different, and so it was that at 2pm everything stopped so all the players and organisers could decamp to a nearby restaurant for lunch.

filled crepes and a kind of savoury bread pudding followed the opening salad course
Filled crepes and a kind of savoury bread pudding followed the opening salad course

The lunch was an optional €20 extra but it seemed everyone signed-up for it. And why not? It consisted of five courses with all the beer or wine you wanted. A very civilised way to run a tournament.

Next came the squid
Next came the squid
A choice of entree was followed by a selection of deserts, all washed down with jugs of beer and bottles of local red wine
A choice of entree was followed by a selection of deserts, all washed down with jugs of beer and bottles of local red wine
Everyone back to the pinballs
Everyone back to the pinballs

Lunch took two-and-a-half hours, after which it was back to the pinball hall to resume the tournaments.

Qualifying on the classics machines
Qualifying on the classics machines

Because lunch took a little longer than expected, qualifying was extended by another thirty minutes to give everyone a chance to play all their games.

Likewise with the modern pinballs
Likewise with the modern pinballs
Standings in the modern tournament
Standings in the modern tournament

Overall standings were show on a projector screen in the dining area for the modern tournament and on a monitor on the bar for the classics.

The classics tournament positions
The classics tournament positions

In both tournaments the top twenty players qualified for Sunday’s play-offs, with the top four getting a bye through the first round.

The last qualifying games are played
The last modern qualifying games are played

Once the qualifying period for players was over, the organisers played their qualification games, meaning the final standings in the modern tournament weren’t known until later into the night.

The last few results are added
The last few results are added

That meant an anxious time for those players on the border of modern qualification as the final few results shuffled their standings up and down.

Time for dinner
Time for dinner

The tension was only partially relieved by the arrival of pizzas.

The final qualification results in the modern tournament are declared
The final qualification results in the modern tournament are declared

When all the results were in the computer the twenty who would continue on Sunday were revealed. Nineteen of the qualifiers were Spanish players and there was one UK player.

Of the twenty players who qualified for the classics tournament., eighteen were from Spain, one from Sweden and one from the UK.

With all the qualifiers decided, it was back to the hotel for us (although we did subsequently pop out for a little nightcap in the town square before retiring for the night).

Sunday saw the play-offs in both tournaments as well as a number of side tournaments.

Classics tournament play-offs
Classics tournament play-offs

In both tournaments, players in qualifying positions 5th-20th were put into four groups of four and played a single pre-selected machine. As long as they didn’t get the lowest score of the group they progressed to the second round. The lowest scorers in each of the four groups were out of the tournament.

Those remaining sixteen were joined by the top four qualifiers for the quarter-finals and split into another four groups of four. This time they played on two machines where points were awarded for position in the order 7-5-3-1. After both games had been played, the top two players in the group moved on to the next round – the semi-finals.

These eight again played in four-player groups, on this time they played on three machines with the same 7-5-3-1 points structure. The top two from both groups then moved on to the final.

The first Semi-final in the classics on Tasty Samba
The first semi-final in the classics on Tasty Samba
The second semi-final in the classics on El Dorado
The second semi-final in the classics on El Dorado

Rounds of the classic and modern play-offs alternated, although the classic reached the final four first.

The classics final came down to a three-game series between Raúl Abad, César Dubón, Rafael Masedo and Marc Vallés. As in the first play-off round, all four played the first game with the lowest scorer dropping out into fourth place overall.

The first game was played on Fantastic World which was added for the play-offs together with Fantastic World and Master Stroke. Marc was the lowest scorer here with 331,400.

The remaining three moved on to Dragon where Rafael’s third place score of 180,400 got him eliminated and gave him third place.

The last game of the final
The last game of the final

The final two of Raúl and César then played on Fireball to determine the winner and the runner-up.

First place in the classic tournament, César Dubón
First place in the classic tournament, César Dubón

Raúl set a target of 43,030 but César beat that and ended his game with a score of 45,830 to take first place.

Second place, Raúl Abad
Second place, Raúl Abad
Fourth place, Marc Vallés
Fourth place, Marc Vallés

Third placed Rafael Masedo had to leave before the awards were presented.

Classic Tournament Results
1  César Dubón
2  Raúl Abad
3  Rafael Masedo
4  Marc Vallés
5  Félix Yéboles
6  Carlos Javier Parra
7  Álvaro Vidal
8  Juan Carlos Durán
9  José Luis Martínez
10  Juan Antonio Martín
11  Magnus Lindström
12  Martin Ayub
13  Pablo Crespo Contreras
14  Gabriel Ortiz
15  Antonio Cerdanya
16  Carlos Toledano
17  Miguel Manzaneque
17  Julio Vicario
19  José Miguel Fuentes
20  José Casanova
21  Rubén de la Rosa
21  Antonio Hernández
23  David López
24  Jorge Villoria
25  Mariano Manzano
26  Antonio Sempere
26  Enrique Benavent
28  Luis Molina
29  Jorge López
30  Francisco Núñez
31  Elu Tortosa
32  Carlos Vicente
33  Pablo Crespo García
34  David Martínez
35  Jesús Garbín
36  Orlando González
37  Javier Núñez
38  Nicolai Troshinsky
39  Alejandro Yepes
40  Cristina Alonso
41  Alberto Lucerón
42  Begoña Motilla
43  José María Tortosa
44  José Manuel Richart
45  Miguel Barreal
46  Santiago Elices
47  Juan Luis Santos
48  David Mainwaring
49  Jesús Merino
50  Javier Torres
51  Valentín Camarena
52  Carlos Martos
53  Cristobal Hernández
54  David Pedreño
55  Ismael Reolid
56  José Joaquín Pérez
57  Daniel Rodríguez

 

In an unusual twist, any player who didn’t make the final four in either the classic or modern tournament was placed according to their qualifying position, regardless of how well they did in Sunday’s play-offs.

In the modern tournament the play-off rounds used the 7-5-3-1 points-based system until the final round which was played in the same format as the classic with one player being eliminated per game. There was a tie in one of the semi-finals for the last place in the final four which was decided by a one-ball game on Party Zone.

Party Zone was the first game of the final
Party Zone was the first game of the final

So the finalists in the modern tournament were Valentín Camarena, Gabriel Ortiz, Carlos Javier Parra and Julio Vicario. They began playing on Party Zone, but this proved the end of the final for Carlos Javier Parra who came fourth in that game and so fourth overall.

The second game was Metallica.

Game two of the modern final - Metallica
Game two of the modern final – Metallica

This time it was Gabriel Ortiz who came a cropper and took third place both in the game and overall.

Valentin playing in the last game of the final
Valentín playing in the last game of the final

That left Valentín Camarena and Julio Vicario to contest the final on the last game which was an Avengers LE which was added along with Getaway and Bride of Pinbot for the play-offs.

Julio plays his ball in the final
Julio plays his second ball in the final
Spectators behind the tournament desk
Spectators behind the tournament desk
Winner of the modern tournament, Julio Vicario
Winner of the modern tournament, Julio Vicario

Julio put up an impressive 67M score on his second ball to Valentín’s 11M, making quite a task for Valentín to catch him on the last ball. As it turned out he only got up to 17M before the ball drained and the final was over without Julio needing to play his third ball.

Second place, Valentín Camarena
Second place, Valentín Camarena
Fourth place, Carlos Javier Parra
Fourth place, Carlos Javier Parra

Third placed Gabriel Ortiz had to leave to catch his flight before the awards were presented.

Modern Tournament Results
1  Julio Vicario
2  Valentín Camarena
3  Gabriel Ortiz
4  Carlos Javier Parra
5  Santiago Elices
6  Rafael Masedo
7  Martin Ayub
8  Álvaro Vidal
9  César Dubón
10  Alberto Lucerón
11  Javier Núñez
12  Antonio Sempere
13  Raúl Abad
14  Pablo Crespo Contreras
15  Luis Molina
16  Juan Antonio Martín
17  Nicolai Troshinsky
18  Antonio Cerdanya
19  Carlos Vicente
20  José Manuel Richart
21  David Mainwaring
22  Félix Yéboles
23  Francisco Núñez
24  Magnus Lindström
25  Rubén de la Rosa
26  Jorge Villoria
26  Jorge López
28  Juan Carlos Durán
29  Pablo Crespo García
30  David López
31  Miguel Manzaneque
32  Elu Tortosa
33  Orlando González
34  Mariano Manzano
35  Jesús Merino
36  Marc Vallés
36  Antonio Hernández
38  Carlos Toledano
39  Juan Luis Santos
39  Enrique Benavent
41  Alejandro Yepes
42  José Luis Martínez
43  José María Tortosa
44  Miguel Barreal
45  Javier Torres
46  Begoña Motilla
47  David Martínez
48  Cristobal Hernández
49  Daniel Rodríguez
50  Ismael Reolid
51  José Casanova
52  Cristina Alonso
53  José Joaquín Pérez
54  Carlos Martos
55  Jesús Garbín
56  José Miguel Fuentes
57  David Pedreño

 

The split-flipper tournament
The split-flipper tournament

As we mentioned earlier, in addition to the two main tournaments there were three side tournaments. The first of these was a split-flipper competition on Dr Dude.

The three side-tournament machines
The three side-tournament machines

The second side-tournament was a crossed-hands competition on Whirlwind, while the final side-tournament used a Flintstones game with a cover over the playfield which only provided a small window above the flippers to see the ball.

Winner of the crossed-hands tournament, Raúl Abad
Winner of the crossed-hands tournament, Raúl Abad

The Flintstones competition was won by Pablo Crespo Contreras, the crossed-hands competition by Raúl Abad and the split-flipper by Álvaro Vidal and his son.

Winners of the split-flipper tournament, Alvaro Vidal and his son
Winners of the split-flipper tournament, Álvaro Vidal and his son

With all the awards presented, the Torneo de Pinball de Biar weekend came to an end.

Down by the waterline in Alicante
Down by the waterline in Alicante

We also had a flight home to catch, but not before a stop-off in Alicante to enjoy the last of the day’s sunshine and sample the local cuisine once more.

The sun was just starting to set
The sun was just starting to set

The relaxed atmosphere and schedule surrounding the Biar weekend was a refreshing change from the often frantic and hurried tournaments we have experienced elsewhere. Having most of the tournament machines as part of a fixed collection certainly makes things easier for the organisers.

The Biar modern tournament was also Spain’s nominated event for the IPFA European Championship Series, giving it added significance and bringing in a few non-Spanish players. Those who hadn’t played in the previous six Biar tournaments could have benefitted from more information regarding the tournament formats and the way the overall results were decided.

Nonetheless, the whole weekend had a uniquely Spanish feel of warmth – both social and temperate – which, despite the huge quantities of food consumed, left us hungry for more.