tournament results

Local Tournament Results for November 2013

First Sunday at Shorty’s 11/3 – 1st Tim Tournay ($55), 2nd Joseph Salender ($25), 3rd Kayla Greet ($10), 4th (tie) Wallace Johnson, Aaron McAbee, and Cathy Cartoon ($5)Cyclops Style!

Add-a-Ball Wednesday Flip Off 11/6 – 1st Dave Stewart, 2nd Geoff Simons, 3rd (tie) Sophie Spicard and Andrew Nunes. 11/20 – 1st Dave Stewart, 2nd Sergey Posrednikov, 3rd Aaron Bendickson, 4th Hannah Holmberg. 11/27 – 1st Justin Hugeback, 2nd Dave Stewart, 3rd (tie) Sergey Posrednikov and Elijah Nelson

John John’s Tuesday Flip Off 11/5 – 1st Elijah Nelson, 2nd Daniel Salo, 3rd Sam Atlas, 4th Austin Arlitt. 11/12 – 1st Maka Honig, 2nd Nicholas Polimenakos, 3rd Sam Atlas, 4th Geoff Simons

Full Tilt Ballard Weekly 11/4 – 1st Raymond Davidson, 2nd Matt Cohn, 3rd Kevin Birrell, 4rd Bobby Conover. 11/11 – 1st Kevin Birrell, 2nd Maka Honig, 3rd (tie)Bobby Conover and Raymond Davidson. 11/18 – 1st Raymond Davidson, 2nd Kevin Birrell, 3rd Nicholas Polimenakos. 11/25 – 1st Raymond Davidson, 2nd Nigel Colbert, 3rd (tie) AaronDSCF1300 Bendickson and Bobby Conover

John John’s Game Room Anniversary Tournament 11/8 – King of John John’s: Kansas John, Queen of John John’s: Kayla Greet

16th Annual Shorty’s Pinball Tournament 11/10 – 1st Eden Stamm $700, 2nd Robert Gagno $350, 3rd Elijah Nelson $210, 4th Cayle George $135

Babes in Pinland 11/14 – 1st Hannah Holmberg, 2.Claire Brummet

SPL 11/23 – 1st Cayle George, 2nd John McAllister, 3rd Adam Chesbrough, 4rd AndrewNov SPL Nunes

The 3rd Annual Leftover TurNery 11/30 – 1st Mike Culver, 2nd Robert Gagno, 3rd Mitch Anderson, 4rd Elijah Nelson


Full Tilt Winter Cup

Skill Shot stopped by the annual Winter Cup at Full Tilt in Ballard shortly after the tournament started. The competition looked fierce with several IFPA top-100 players in attendance. We snapped a few pictures:


Python Interview on PAPA’s blog

PAPA posted a fun video interview with Python Anghelo over on their blog (embedded below). For more Python goodness, check out our Artist Profile with Python from Skill Shot #21. Best wishes to Python as he recovers from cancer!


The One to Beat – Beaten!

After the kerfuffle with The One to Beat from issue #22, we’re glad to see folks still fighting it out on the new Whirlwind from 20XX Amusements at Full Tilt Ballard. We snapped this pic there of the new Grand Champion score from (we assume) Raymond Davidson. If you beat the score, please send us a pic to prove it!

news & gossip

Getting to the Point About WPPR Points

by AOC                                          

Originally published in Skill Shot 23, April 2012

Did you know that there are worldwide pinball player rankings? And that Seattle is home to several of the top 100 players in the world? It’s true!

The World Pinball Player Rankings (WPPR) is the preeminent system used by pinball players to rank each other on the global pinball scene. WPPR is run by the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA), and currently tracks over 13,000 players across more than 3,000 competitions. Ultimately, the whole system is about winning ranking points at pinball tournaments.

If you’ve ever played in an IFPA-sanctioned event (and you might not have even known it), you’re ranked! “The amount of points you receive is based on how you place, who your opponents are, and the frequency of the tournament,” says Jeff Groper, currently ranked #79 worldwide. Tournaments can be IFPA-sanctioned if they are open competitions and advertised on the IFPA website at least 30 days before they happen.

Cayle George, currently #2 in the world and reigning IFPA World Champion, gives the breakdown: “WPPR only tracks your 15 best event finishes by point total. Every event starts with a base value of 25 points for the main event. That number goes up as higher and higher ranked players attend the event. So if a handful of the top players in the world compete in an event, the WPPR value will rise and could be worth upward of 50 points.” With all these highly-ranked players in Seattle, local events could be worth big points!

The 25 point base-value only applies to annual tournaments. If a tournament is held more frequently, then the point value is divided by the number of annual occurrences — so a tournament that happens four times a year would be worth 6.25 points apiece.  Additionally, points age, ensuring a focus on current active participation. After one year, points drop to 75% of their original value, down further to 50% after two years, and eventually to zero after three.

“The system aims to help promote the growth of competitive pinball by encouraging players to travel to events that they wouldn’t otherwise attend,” says Kevin Birrell. It appears to be working — Raymond Davidson, currently #66, says “I know that if, for example, the Gladstone Gridiron Classic down in Portland didn’t award ranking points, I probably would never have bothered to drive down there.” Raymond ended up placing 4th in that tournament, earning 12.84 points in the process.

So why care about the World Pinball Player Rankings? Cayle has an opinion: “WPPR has greatly increased interest and participation in competitive pinball, and is the single greatest reason for the huge rise in competitive pinball over the last 5 years.” “It definitely generates more interest,” says Jeff. “In addition to seeing how you compare to other players, qualification for the annual IFPA championships depends on your ranking. There are tournaments that seed players, or restrict them to particular divisions based on ranking as well.”

For 121st-ranked Julie Gray, it’s all about the competition: “As someone who grew up playing competitive sports, this is a natural thing to do. It provides a vehicle for people to set goals that inspire them to improve their skills. You may pick out a rank that you want to achieve by the end of the year. Or, secretly pick which players you want to pass.”

Another highly-ranked local player is Maka Honig, currently #76, whose MAK initials can be seen on machines in bars all over town. Maka gives this great personal take on WPPR: “For me personally, I like the pinball rankings because it’s a great way to keep track of my progress in pinball competitions. It gives pinball players something tangible to look at and say, ‘alright I’m in the top 200, if I do well at this upcoming tournament I can gain 20 spots.’

“You don’t get to be ranked in the WPPR top 100 by accident. It requires showing up to a lot of pinball tournaments where everyone is every bit as good as you, and still consistently doing well under pressure. It takes years. In the end, I play pinball because it’s challenging  and fun…and I want the high score. WPPR points are just for fun. There are plenty of great pinball players that are NOT ranked high because they don’t/can’t participate in lots of tournaments.”

And that’s what it really comes down to – play flipper skill games for fun.  It’s more fun to compete!

Want to know more about WPPR or IFPA? Want to check your ranking? Visit (run by the IFPA). If you want to learn about upcoming tournaments in the Seattle area, don’t forget to check the events calendar on!

news & gossip

Artist Profile: Python Anghelo

Python's signature
Python's signature

Python Anghelo is a crazy genius that changed and inspired the pinball industry. He described pinball machines as “miniature amusement parks” and is best known for his carnival themed games. He got paid to have fun. Innovator, wreck, elusive, bitter, proud, patriotic; he’s all these things and more. Read his own words, these are excerpts from a 2007 Topcast interview.

For the full audio interview, including an hour and forty minutes of Python talking about himself in the third person and trashing almost everyone in the industry, check out show 42:


I went to Great America and I paid those guys 2 thousand dollars to go on a roller coaster and turn the front seat backwards, so I could see the people. ‘Cause it seems to me you got to see what other people experience. And when we went down I see these people screaming like they were getting murdered or having multiple orgasms. So I said hang on a second, I need fireworks, and I need people screaming.

 I said to them let’s do a layout of an amusement park, like aerial view. Cause to me a pinball game is like an amusement park where you are the ball.

Pinball, to me, was a miniature amusement park that poor kids could go to fulfill their fantasies, changing to the ball, and have power at their fingertips for 25 cents.

To me the only most important thing is that I kept my promise from my childhood. That I want the kids that put a quarter in a game not to feel ripped off.

I have a sit down pinball where you sit under the playfield with your head in a bubble and the flippers are in front of your nose and balls fly around your head.

He’s my hero, George Lucas.

Read The Fountainhead.

I’m 53 going on 17.

PIN-BOT bagatelle
PIN-BOT bagatelle mini-playfield

[With] Pinbot, I started with the artwork and did the anatomy of the robot and the robot girl, The Machine, and then I built the playfield around it.
[Pinbot is] talking about our conquest of the universe through Voyager.
[I wrote] a poem about The Machine. It’s about the future of man, and that robots will conquer the universe through our fingertips.

PIN-BOT detail
PIN-BOT detail

To me a pinball machine is a robot. You’re basically controlling, like an exoskeleton robot in Alien, your fingers control the robot and through you, through your fingers, the robot is an extension of you. I wish I could do that to a woman. That would be the perfect woman. That’s why The Machine.

High Speed
High Speed

I use my art when I do a pinball game; it’s not just me making money. Or doing a stupid f***ing thing, I have social responsibility. I’m going to thousands of American bars. It’s an art form; it’s an American art form, pinball.

[John Popadiuk] is a chameleon, a lizard. And Python knows it because Python is the king of snakes.

I’d rather have people hate me for the truth than like me for a lie. I will tell you like it is, because, by the way, I’m also a wild and crazy guy and I did a lot of stuff that I regret but I take credit for it anyway.

Jack•Bot was a copy of Python’s Machine, PIN•BOT and Jokerz!. Jack•Bot: you got cards, you got the bride of PIN•BOT and you’ve got PIN•BOT. And they said “Oh Barry [Oursler], if you take the best game designs you did with Python, combine them” it’s like saying, listen to this analogy, your biggest successes on our menu were pea soup, the shrimp pizza, and apple strudel with vanilla ice cream. Now you take those motherf***ers and put them all in a bowl and they’ll taste great.

Popeye cabinet
Quit being snarky about Popeye for a second and just appreciate this art.

I have a movie script where Popeye builds a space cruiser and he’s fighting the oil companies and he decides that it’s bulls*** that he has to save the Earth by getting oil on other planets.