The 2015-16 IFPA Washington State Pinball Championships were held at the 8-Bit Arcade on February 13th, with 16 of the top players in the state competing for the top spot. These tournaments happened all over the US and Canada on the same weekend, with the winners each having the opportunity to play in the IFPA National Championships in Las Vegas in March. The top 16 were determined by the WPPR points they earned in the past year playing in IFPA-sanctioned tournaments. One notable missing player this year was Kevin Birrell, who missed the event due to his commitments as a Tetris Grandmaster. Like last year, the event also held a 4-Strike tournament that gave people something to do as the main event was going on. Although Raymond Davidson eventually won the State Championship, it was 2nd place Travis Maisch who represented Washington in the National tourney because Raymond couldn’t attend. Travis put in a strong showing for someone who began playing competitively only a short time ago and came in 3rd place and very close to winning the whole shebang! Represent!
Seattle has a lot of competitive pinball events that happen regularly, but one whose time has come to an end is Nicky’s Boom Boom Monthly Tournament. Organizer Nicholas Polimenakos has decided to not only stop running the tournaments but also stop playing pinball altogether. He told us that life was taking him in other directions and that we should read the works of Krishnamurti. Kevin will be taking over the monthly tournament at Olaf’s, which will include a mix of formats such as 3-strikes and pin-golf, alongside the quarterly Pinhead tournaments. Hare!
Another Castle in Bremerton opened on March 2nd and by all reports is a smashing success. This is more of a bar than their other locations and the locals seem to like that just fine, especially since the all-ages Quarters Arcade is nearby. In fact, this Another Castle is so popular that an expansion is already being discussed and there is an empty storefront right next door. With 9 pins and just a short ferry ride from downtown, we can’t imagine why this location wouldn’t do well with both tourists and locals. Ferries!
It looks like the long expected Silverball Saloon in Greenwood has been scrapped. After a lengthy licensing waiting period and then discovering structural problems with the site, the saloon’s originator lost control of himself and the business. While the current owners of the business still plan on opening a pinball-based establishment once the building repairs are finished, it will no longer be called Silverball Saloon. About the only positive thing than can be said about this whole ordeal is that the building site avoided being destroyed by the gas explosion that happened less than a block away earlier this month. Blast!
The Iron Bull in Wallingford has recently expanded their pinball, making it the new anchor location of that neighborhood. The business was recently purchased by Jonathan Hawthorne and he immediately increased the number of pins from two to nine! We visited soon afterwards and were impressed by the diverse game selection, which includes a wide range from Bally’s Star Trek to Stern’s KISS. Iron Bull has begun having weekly Thursday night tournaments, which at first alarmed the regulars at the weekly Flip Flip Ding Ding tournament held on the same night. But after a few weeks it hasn’t seemed to affect Flip Flip’s attendance much, and gives players on the Northside a closer event. We were impressed by the table space at the bar (a rarity for a pinball business) and we’re holding our Skill Shot Folding Party there. We’ll let you know how it turns out. Next issue!
Monday Night Pinball began their 5th season in February with an expanded roster of teams and a few new rules. Two new teams joined the league this season: Mother VUKers, which is a second Olaf’s team, and Lucky Lickers, based at Lucky Liquor, a bar in Tukwila. In case you don’t know, Tukwila is a city just south of Georgetown, and the bar is across from Boeing Field. They expanded their game selection in order to join the league and have also begun monthly Sunday tournaments hosted by Eric Morales. Check out our calendar for dates and details! This season of Monday Night Pinball runs until mid-May, and you can get more info at mondaynightpinball.com. VUK!
Seattle Pinball League began their 8th Season with a league meet at the Stewart’s house in February and at Rod Olsen’s in March. The league has really grown from those early days, and the March event boasted a whopping 69 players! Rod’s house was also the scene of his annual Janufest party, which had a somewhat rocky start when his whole neighborhood experienced a blackout for at least an hour. Aaron McAbee saved the day with his mobile Pinball Arcade to play while we waited for the power to come back on. Blackout!
The 9th annual Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show (NWPAS) will happen June 3 – 5 at the Tacoma Convention Center. The speakers and guests list are still being ironed out at this time so we will have more info in our next issue. One part of the Show that is already planned out is the tournament schedule, which is run by the always organized Dave Stewart. Like last year, there will be a series of pre-NWPAS Satellite Tournaments happening around Seattle where players can win weekend passes to both NWPAS and entries in the various tournaments that weekend. The first Satellite Tournament was March 28th, with others held periodically into May. Check the Skill Shot Calendar on our website for dates and locations. Passes!
Hannah Holmberg hosted the First Sunday Tournament @Shorty’s in Feb with a Survivor TV show theme. It was double elimination with players divided into tribes and the losers being sent to Redemption Island. There were also immunity idols hidden in the bar which could be used as a bye and had players searching all over Shorty’s. In true Survivor fashion, Brad was tricked into playing a fake idol that Gordon had made from a piece of trash. The March First Sunday tourney featured Sean Carlson and Rachel Helm as co-hosts with an Easter theme. Rachel went home sick and Sean soldiered on although he never had run a tourney before, so it ran a bit on the late side (but still fun). Idols!
Pinball Tidbits: The annual Tommy Tournament is hosted by Skill Shot and happens a few days after this issue comes out. * Add-a-Ball’s annual 420 Tournament is on a Wednesday this year and will have a slightly different format. The Breaking of the Glass ceremony will still be held at 4:20, so don’t miss it! * AAB has a new monthly Split Flipper tourney! It’s the 2nd Sunday of every month. * Robert Gagno recently made an appearance on Talent Time, a Canadian TV show. Watch it on Youtube! * While Jeff Groper was on vacation, Kayla and Katie hosted Jeffburgh, a tournament with 16 players, a Mike Tyson trophy, and streamed by Beneficial Malfunction! * Full Tilt U-District is finally upgrading to a space with room for pinball next door to the Kraken. There’s room for a full bar too! * Look for a new game room to open up in Ballard, right around the corner from Full Tilt, with 6 pins operated by 20XX.* Stern announced that Ghostbusters will be their next pin. Spider-man, Hobbit and The Big Lebowski are still on their way…right? * Support Local Pinball!