Welcome, dear readers, to issue 50 of Skill Shot! When we began publishing this zine 10 years ago, we never thought that we would make it to this milestone. The climate for a paper zine in 2007 wasn’t as supportive as it was in the zine heydays of the 1990’s, nor did we really know all that much about pinball. But people let us know that they liked the zine, we’ve received much encouragement over the years, and plus: pinball is fun! It has also been great to watch the Seattle pinball community grow over the years, both in the number of locations with pinball machines and the number of people enjoying them. Fun!
One of the most anticipated new locations has been Jupiter in Belltown. Co-owned by John John’s’ current owner Jeff Rogers and local artist Joe Nix, Jupiter had its grand opening in September, and the new space did not disappoint. Beautiful murals covering all of the walls and the huge pinball room with 26 (or so) pins immediately made Jupiter a must-visit spot on the Seattle pinball map. The pinball machines are a mix of both old and new, with a few of the highlights being a row of Bally wide-bodies (Embryon, Hot Doggin’, etc) and a few lesser seen games like Joust and Hard Body, along with many faves such as Doctor Who and Monster Bash. Jupiter is big, beautiful, and even has a whole side room devoted to the 10-player Killer Queen video game. Wow!
Another new location that opened in September is Coindexter’s in Greenwood. Coindexter’s is located in the space that was formerly The Crosswalk Tavern. They did a great job scrubbing the place clean and utilizing the large spaces for pinball and other games. 20XX Amusements operates the games here, and this alone gave Coindexter’s a good buzz since 20XX does a fabulous job of maintaining their pins at every location they’ve been in. So far there are 12 pins, including Baywatch and Skateball, but since it seems possible to fit in a few more, speculation has been rampant on what else may join the lineup. Coindexter’s has also become one of the anchors of a Greenwood pinball hotspot along with The Hounds Tooth (12 pins) and North Star Diner (3) that are all within a block of each other. Hot!
It’s not all good news on the Greenwood front, though, as The Goat on Greenwood recently closed for good to make room for a new mixed-use building. Kira Richards and the rest of The Goat crew really did a great job of making pinball players feel welcome by hosting many events during the short time they were in existence. SilverAge SilverBall operated the pins and also did a great job of having both unusual titles and well-maintained games. The final Sunday Tournament at The Goat had a large number of players and it was a fun night as well as a touching send-off to this establishment. Word on the street is they are looking for a new spot to reopen in. We hope this is true. Goats!
Another touching send-off was held for Katie Janis who ended her employment at Flip Flip Ding Ding. Katie hosted her final FFDD Weekly August 31st with a whopping 37 players who all came out to wish her good luck (and to win that prize money)! In a way Katie has been the heart and soul of FFDD ever since they opened up a few years ago and her spritely presence is sure to be missed. Pinball tech extraordinaire Travis Maisch has taken over her duties and while we don’t expect him to be as lively as Katie, we are sure he will also do a mighty fine job as the steward of this establishment. Ding!
A few days after Katie’s retirement tourney, the 8-Bit Arcade BBQ Annual Pinball Extravaganza was held in Renton. This event featured an all-you-can-eat BBQ feast along with the chance to win a Bally’s Lost World pinball machine. The food was supervised by BBQ master chef Chris Chinn and it was delish! It’s always a treat to go the 8-Bit, even if we didn’t do very well in the tournament, because they have such a large selection of pins to choose from including newer games like The Jetsons and older games like Torpedo Alley. Lonnie Langford won the pinball machine, btw. Relish!
The weekend of August 26th was one of the busiest of the summer. That’s when the NW Pinball Championship happened in Lynnwood, which drew 84 contestants from around the region and beyond. Raymond Davidson solidified his dominance of 2017 by winning both the main tournament and the classics, while Nycole Hyatt took the top women’s spot. QuicksilverBall III also happened that weekend, which was a bike race/pinball tournament hybrid. Although they had 33 competitors, they probably would have had more if it had been just a regular lazy Saturday in August. Also on that Saturday was the wedding of Hannah Holmberg (HJH) and Jason Hatch (JJJ). This adorable couple had many pinball players as guests at the super fun party after the ceremony. Another Castle also had their weeklies, so there was plenty to do that weekend. Adorable!
Monday Night Pinball has begun their 8th season with three new teams: Raygun Lounge (Magic Saves), The 4B’s (The B Team) and Hounds Tooth (The Hellhounds). With the closing of The Goat, their team (G.O.A.T.) has moved over to Coindexter’s while The Iron Bullies are now playing at Jupiter because the Iron Bull is still temporarily closed. There is talk about development of a new player rating system coming into play for season 9 due to the new IFPA fees which begin next year. Since MNP uses the rankings to distribute top players more evenly and many weekly tournament directors are balking at paying the fees, a new way of doing this will be needed soon. Stay tuned!
Did you realize that Shorty’s 20th Annual Pinball Tournament is also their 20th year as a business? We remember going to Shorty’s when they opened back in ’97 and there were only a few pinball machines in the front room. Little did we realize that 20 years later we would be hosting tournaments there! For the past 5 years Skill Shot has been running the various Shorty’s tournaments and while it has been a lot of fun we feel like it is time to pass the torch on to someone else. The December 1st Sunday Tournament @ Shorty’s will be our last regular tournament and will also be our Skill Shot 10 year anniversary celebration! There will be a special edition of the zine published for the event as well as other extras and prizes, so we hope to see you there! Shorty’s!
Pinball Tidbits: Add-a-Ball‘s new L.A. location Walts will be in the Eagle Rock neighborhood and may be open as soon as December. Brad’s brother and former stuntman Jeff is running the show and it sounds super cool. * Full Tilt Ice Cream is moving along on their new Capitol Hill location on 15th street. Look for a possible January opening. * The Hounds Tooth has begun having monthly women’s tournaments every 3rd Friday. Along with Add-a-Ball’s and The Triple Knock‘s that makes 3 monthly all-women events! Consult the calendar on our website for more details. *Get your tux or gown ready: The first Seattle Pinball Prom is coming to Flip Flip Ding Ding on December 8th courtesy of Belles & Chimes PDX. It’s also a benefit for animals! * Meanwhile in the U-District: Café Racer got pinball again and then closed for good since our last issue. Iconic serial killer hang out Dante’s also announced they no longer plan on reopening after the fire after all. *Frelard’s all-ages friendly Populuxe Brewing recently finished their remodel and the Seattle Pinball Museum promptly brought back a collection of pins. Dialed In and the uniquely confusing Hyperball are among the pins here. You may locate all of the areas all-ages locations easily on our website or on the Skill Shot App! * Stern’s next few pins are rumored to be Guardians of the Galaxy (confirmed), Elvira 3, and an original-themed Steve Ritchie game. Apparently an Iron Maiden pin was also in the works, but its fate remains unknown for various reasons. * Jersey Jack’s next pin has been revealed as Pirates of the Caribbean. * Breaking News: the owners of the 8-Bit Arcade have bought the old Corner Pocket bar in West Seattle! They are still evaluating how many pinball machines they will put in it… * Congratulations Brian & Michelle and Justin & Caitlyn on their engagements! Pinball love <3 * Support Local Pinball!