Check out coverage of the latest PAPA Circuit Event.
As if you needed another reason to hate terrorism, it turns out Paris suicide bomber, Ibrahim Abdeslam, had a hobby of breaking into pinball machines and emptying the coin boxes.
No word on whether he also started 4-player games and abandoned them after ball 1.
Click here for the full story.
” Fred Fried was an extraordinary collector in New York City of carousels and carousel horses and pinball machines, and alarm clocks, and Carnival things. I hope you enjoy this piece of American history.”
A big thanks goes out to GeneX (with help from Eric Wagonsonner) for running the Iron Throne Tournament series, and to Andreas Haugstrup Pedersen for his excellent match play software. Also, thanks to STERN pinball for sponsoring the event with prizes. The series consisted of three separate events with cumulative performance qualifying players for the Final Battle, which was held on 11/8 at Gestalt in SF. As an added bonus, the Game of Thrones launch party was also held right before the Final Battle. See the full results below.
GAME OF THRONES LAUNCH PARTY
Format for this was a straightforward one-and-done event. I got about ten games of Game of Thrones on Friday night at Hi Life in Oakland but of course, the launch party machine was necessarily tougher. I had a respectable game but nothing to cheer about. Andrei Massenkoff went into ball 3 with only 9 million points but rallied to finish at around 350M, only around 50M short of the winner.
Now don’t get mad at me, internets, but I’ve never seen the show Game of Thrones, and still I think this game is awesome even with no attachment to the theme whatsoever. It’s very satisfying in a lot of ways, combining a few tight and risky shots with a ton of really fast flow shots. The sounds and light show are already good and with additional code I imagine will only get better. I haven’t been wowed right out of the gate like this since TRON.
|1||Per Schwarzenberger||100 pts.|
|2||Ron Richards||99 pts.|
|3||Andrei Massenkoff||98 pts.|
|4||Darren Ensley||97 pts.|
|5||Ellen Frankel||96 pts.|
|6||Brian Madden||95 pts.|
|7||Jonathan Snyder||94 pts.|
|8||Josh Lehan||93 pts.|
|9||Jared Garvey||92 pts.|
|10||Gene X Hwang||91 pts.|
|11||David Joud||90 pts.|
|12||Jon Olkowski||89 pts.|
|13||Simon Anixter||88 pts.|
|14||Eric Wagensonner||87 pts.|
|15||Alex Pierson||86 pts.|
|16||Tony Good||85 pts.|
|17||Derek Pieper||84 pts.|
|18||Zac Wollons||83 pts.|
|19||Shon Dolcini||82 pts.|
|20||Ryan Blumenthal||81 pts.|
|21||Jessica Fernandes||80 pts.|
|22||Maura Devereux||79 pts.|
|23||Jeff Cleary||78 pts.|
|24||Chris Connelly||77 pts.|
|25||Rob Coli||76 pts.|
|26||Bob Albritton||75 pts.|
|27||Lisa Ramon||74 pts.|
|28||Jessie Reid||73 pts.|
|29||Jeremy Herrmann||72 pts.|
|30||Brian ONeill||71 pts.|
|31||Matt Willmarth||70 pts.|
|32||Jack Wasserman||69 pts.|
|33||Allison ONeill||68 pts.|
On to the main event, the Final Battle. 24 players were eligible and 22 ended up competing. The format was 3-strikes swiss pairings knockout. I started out rough but not awful, but by round 4 I was already at 2-2 and on the verge of elimination. This is now the fourth or fifth tournament where I’ve been in that situation and finally found my stride, so maybe it’s just something I have to live with.
I had to play David Joud in a late round on Tales of the Arabian Nights, and managed to score under a million on it in a previous match, so I wasn’t feeling confident. To make matters worse, I’d seen David put up some pretty good scores on it. To add even more pressure, whoever won would win cash since they’d go on to the Final Four. History repeated and I only managed 3 million, but some of my bad luck must have spread because David had an even worse time of it at 2.25 Million. Sometimes you get the bad luck and sometimes you get the good kind.
That round with David proved to be a bloodbath for several and left only three players still standing. I was up against Gene X and Rob Coli for all the goods and we were playing Game of Thrones. Both of them had one strike each while I had two. If I didn’t finish first I was out, because in this three-handed game, only first place didn’t get a strike.
I got choice of order and opted for 3rd, though I briefly considered going first to try and put down some intimidation points. Sometimes a big ball one score can throw players off their game, but I considered that Gene doesn’t really get rattled and Rob seems to step up even more when he’s in the pressure box, so I nixed the idea. Gene and Rob drained rough and quick and my first ball went pretty well at around 170M, cashing in my first Blackwater Multiball for decent points. My second ball added more damage and I was up around 290M while Gene and Rob were both struggling in the 1/2 player positions into ball 3 with sub-20M scores. That put me at a big advantage: even if they caught me I’d still have one more go and could tailor my strategy to get to their scores as safely as possible. They had no choice but to go for big, risky, hail mary points to not only catch, but build a big enough lead to put the pressure back on me. Gene didn’t make it and left it to Rob to knock me out. Rob got some good flow going yet despite momentum he finished around 150. I got the ball 3 walk-off.
Now all three of us were “marked men” and had two strikes apiece. We played Game of Thrones once again. This time whoever won the game won this four-event series, this culmination of a month’s pinball work, big pressure. I had a weird flashback of Dirk Diggler, staring at himself in the mirror, pulling out his junk at the end of Boogie Nights and saying, “I’m a star, I’m a star, I’m a star. I’m a big bright shining star.” Whatever. With Rob clearly getting the feel of the game a decent score was likely not going to do the job. I went to work and put up a big ball 1 at around 400M, but kept the peddle to the floor and by the end of ball 2, put up the biggest score of the day at around 960M. When the stars align and you can pull out your best game when you need it the most is a great feeling.
Gene and Rob played off for 2 and 3 and Gene came out on top of that one. Alex Pierson rounded out the top 4.
Thanks again to Gene and Eric, and to everyone who came out and played. See you at the next one!
I always thought something like this would be really cool, using rows of pinballs like equalizer bars. Randy Elwin of Pinball 101 brings it to life!
The new Game of Thrones Pinball just made it’s way to Hi-Life Pizza. Additionally, the new Payrange system is installed on all the games. Payrange lets you pay for pinball and other stuff using your smartphone and includes various incentives. Buy 7 games and the 8th is free, for example. The future is here, my friends! (Still no hoverboards…)
For tips and info, check out the STERN rulesheet here (pdf)
And here’s a rules discussion on Tilt Forums.
Multi-world champion Bowen Kerins teaches you to play Full Throttle, the new pinball from a brand new pinball manufacturer in England called Heighway Pinball.
The software is by Brian Dominy, a tournament player with over a decade of competitive experience so expect a deep, balanced ruleset.
I got a chance to play Full Throttle at the ReplayFX game show in July and was really impressed. It’s fast and flowy, but also surprisingly intuitive.