Originally published in Skill Shot 6.5 (Color Special), November 2008

The 11th Annual Pinball tournament at Shorty’s happened earlier this month and was a success. Not everyone was happy with the delays between games, but with 116 contestants and only 16 pins, well what do you expect? We had a great time hanging out with both old friends and new ones who we met that day.

Although the tournament drew in players from all over to compete, it was Seattle’s Cayle George who won the first place grand prize of a Gottlieb Sinbad pinball machine. There were other winners too! Nycole Hyatt won the women’s division ($$) and Tim Smith won the drunkest contestant award (a PBR snowboard). Woo hoo!

Someone who didn’t win this day was Slam Tilt from Portland’s Crazy Flipper Fingers (CFF) crew. He not only lost during the tournament, he also got a public hazing on Craig’s List Rants and Raves. According to the rant he wasn’t too happy about losing to “a girl” (for the second year in a row) and the mysterious author offered the opinion that it was similar to watching a painful sex act. While we didn’t observe any of the CFF guys competing that day, we have heard from a few of the local ladies that some of them were far from gracious towards them. Thus prompting the creation of a Seattle pinball crew: the Magic Flipper Friends (MFF). You go girls!

We recently made a new friend after being ejected from the Of Montreal concert at the Show Box Sodo for being too drunk: Dana the Bouncer. We can’t be angry at him for putting that big black X on our arm (which took four scrubbings to remove), because he was just doing his job. Once he cheerfully informed us that he is the proud owner of two pinball machines and that his father is a pinball collector also, all we can say is “when are we invited over?”

Speaking of be ejected: Stern Pinball recently laid off close to 50% of their staff. Seeing how Stern is the only pinball manufacturer making new pins these days, we are unsure what this means for the future of new games. CEO Gary Stern describes the lay offs as company “right sizing” and assures everyone that all is well with the company. The next two pins on the assembly line are C.S.I. and 24, and while it seems as if those are still coming out we’ll have to see what happens after that; hopefully tv fans are big pinball buyers!

In better news (we think): the sale of Piccolo’s Pizza didn’t go through, and at least three pins will be residing in their game room. Doctor Dude and Gold Ball (which was featured on the cover of Skill Shot#4) are there currently and we were left wondering what the third game is going to be, since the employee on the phone abruptly hung up on us. Ouch!