Originally published in Skill Shot 24, June 2012

The last issue of Skill Shot was still at the printer when Add-a-Ball Amusements announced the opening of their new backroom containing 5 more pinball machines! The new additions are more modern than their previous games, and include our personal favorite Wheel of Fortune which is on loan from Rod Olsen. The 2nd annual 420 Pinball Open took place there on April 20 (naturally), and they had a big turn-out. With the $20 entry fee, contestants got a custom tie-dye shirt created by Cathy Cartoon and a chance to win a Space Mission pinball machine. Like last year, a playfield glass was accidently broken at the beginning of the tournament, and there’s now talk about doing it on purpose next year to officially start the event! Ultimately Sergey won the tournament despite Maka having lived with the grand prize for quite some time. We personally don’t care to pay $20 to enter a tournament with so many champions about, but if a little bit of the cash went to help pay for Add-a-Ball’s new ventilation in the bathroom, then I guess we’re ok with it. Shit!

The Emerald City Comicon Pinball Party at Shorty’s on March 31st had a “lowest score” tournament with the first prize being a custom back glass designed by Frank cartoonist Jim Woodring. He and Fantagraphics’ Larry Reid co-hosted the contest on Surf Champ with a “no tilting” rule. This caused controversy amongst Shorty’s regulars when the winner of the tournament had a score that was impossible to achieve without tilting, but the event was packed and no one actually saw him tilt, so the prize was still awarded. The next day (April 1st) Skill Shot was the surprise guest-host of the First Sunday Tournament at Shorty’s with a Double Elimination Kootie Catcher Pat Hand Tournament. Headley prevailed in this one-handed April Fools’ Day tournament in which the winner of the coin toss had to play first, after choosing a game picked using a kootie catcher. Fancy!

The Seattle Pinball League held their first open-to-the-public tournament in April at Full Tilt Ballard. 20XX Amusements has completed the installation of all their pins at this location. There are now a whopping 13 pins! The May SPL tournament was held at Aaron Bendickson’s house on May 5th. He and his wife created a nice spread in honor of Cinco de Mayo that everyone said was “the bomb.” The next day the 2nd annual Border Brawl took place at Lou’s house in Redmond, pitting the top 12 ranked players of the SPL against the top 12 from Canada’s Vancouver Regional Pinball Association in a Three-Strikes-and-You’re-Out tournament. Not all the top ranked were able to attend so there were quite a few alternates on both sides. The VRPA quickly took the lead, knocking out 3 players from the USA, but after that it was pretty much a rout, as the SPL never lost another player. The VRPA was eventually whittled down to Kyle Seller, who couldn’t beat the odds and eventually was struck out by Raymond on The Flintstones. Fun was had by all as it was one of the first glorious sunny days of the year and Lou has a lot of great pins (like Big Guns) that we usually only see at the annual Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show. To top it off, the hosts generously supplied the group with margaritas left over from a party the night before! The VRPA’s Eden Stamm vows revenge next year. Yikes!

Another big social event of the season was Claire and Headley’s official unveiling party for their recently restored Dolly Parton pinball machine! Since it was also Claire’s birthday, she was Queen for a Day in a tournament of the same name on Dolly, which Sagel handily won due to his keen observation of the scoring. His skill had nothing to do with it. JK! We were also able to practice a few other playing styles such as Daisy Chain (which needs development) and Seattle Side Saddle, which was great, so you will be reading about it soon. Soon!

Also coming soon: a new Skill Shot t-shirt! It will feature the cover from issue #15 (Black Hole), and if you are smart enough to come to our Skill Shot 24 Folding Party, you get it at a reduced price. (Wait – does that mean they are available now?) Yes! Look for an ad in this issue or on our website. Other things you will find on our website include local tournament results, calendar listings for local pinball events and new content you won’t find in the print version of Skill Shot. Kayla’s article on Pinball Tournament Etiquette was the first online exclusive we’ve run and we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback for it so expect more in the future. Nice!

Pinball Tidbits: The Seattle Pinball Museum has appeared in 4 different films and newscasts recently. We’re jealous! Check out the links here, here, here and here. • Despite what we said last issue the next new Stern pin is now rumored to be X-Men. Really. No one knows when it will be released • The basement game room at The Unicorn may be open as you read these words • Jersey Jack’s first pin Wizard of Oz will make its Seattle premiere at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show at Seattle Center (June 8–10). The Fun House is sadly destined to close later this year. Both the cover and the list collage in this issue are from pins at that location • Skill Shot 25 will also be our 5th year of publishing this zine. We will be hosting a zine release/tournament/party on August 5th at Shorty’s! • There are a bunch of exciting events happening in Seattle this summer so expect an expanded News and Gossip in our next issue

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