news & gossip

Seattle Pinball News and Gossip 26

Originally published in Skill Shot 26, October 2012

The Skill Shot 5 Year Anniversary Party was at Shorty’s on August 5th and it was a blast! It was one of the hottest days of the summer and a lot of people still showed up to help us celebrate this milestone. The day began with the monthly 1st Sunday Tournament hosted by Paul Sonier, and continued with a bunch of tournament styles featured in SS (Pat Hand, Biggest Loser, Half and Half, King for a Day, and Seattle Side Saddle). Shorty’s was able to get the new Stern X-men: Wolverine Limited Edition pin set up in time for the party, which was its Seattle debut and a big surprise to everyone. Other surprises included the special issue of Skill Shot (#25.5) that we created just for the party, a new Skill Shot Lighter of the Month sticker, and the t-shirts we hand-made for the raffle. The raffle was a big hit with a lot of great prizes donated by local businesses. Sad clowns, Cheeseboats, a Skill Shot birthday cake (thanks Cathy), and we were feeling no pain. In fact, we were touched by all the enthusiasm and support we received that day. Touched!


Shorty’s made room for X-men in the Pinball Cove by moving TRON to an interesting location: The Hurricane Café. We had always assumed that their sad pins were owned by the restaurant, but we were wrong and three of Shorty’s pins have been relocated there so far, including this issue’s featured game, The Addams Family. Those are not the only pins Shorty’s has been moving, and the games from the (soon to be closed) Fun House are already on their way out. Jabu’s, another Queen Anne location, is also losing their Shorty’s tables, although they are not closing (that we know of). Another new location to receive a Shorty’s pin is the Cha Cha on Capitol Hill. Shorty’s owner Avout has hinted that there will soon be pins at yet another Cap Hill location and that it could possibly be an all-ages venue. Tight lips!

Another new Cap Hill pinball spot will be the Add-a-Ball Amusements spin-off, John John’s Gameroom. Possibly opening on Oct. 31, it will be located on Olive Way and Minor just east of I-5, a more central location than their Fremont space. The previous tenant (Faire Gallery) had an upstairs level and we are curious to see if John John’s will drag a machine up there. It’s a secret what pins they will service at John John’s. Add-A-Ball’s Fremont location is the scene of weekly Wednesday Tournaments and occasional live bands such as Blue Star Creeper. We recently attended Sergey’s birthday party/tournament and had a great time, but the buses don’t run very late in that neighborhood. We’re super-stoked that their new space is mere blocks from the Skill Shot Office. Radical!

The Data East Tournament on August 31 took place at SPL Headquarters and drew 47 contestants, including players from Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR. The format was fun: each person had one chance on each game (all by Data East) to get the highest score possible. This was great because there were many pins that we’ve never played before (Maverick, Last Action Hero, Secret Service) as well as favorites like Guns N’ Roses and WWF Royal Rumble. It was a real treat to play all of these pins and we have to give props to Rod Olsen for running with his vision for this event. After the first round, the top eight players moved into the final rounds, which lasted until almost 4 AM when Cayle finally took the win. Grueling!

The Seattle Pinball League has continued to have regular monthly tournaments, with the August event happening at George Lally’s house and the September one at Janice and James Edes’ home. The Sept. tournament was pin-golf format and included many of the cool pins from James’ extensive collection such as Black Hole and Andromeda. Being a loser here wasn’t a big deal because there were so many games to play, including a sweet full-sized Skee-ball at which Aaron McAbee is apparently a pro. A nearby Popeyes was a big draw for the SPL crew, and when too many cars drew the cops, it made us remember the importance of bringing your own edibles. Yum!

Consuming beer was a foregone conclusion of the 50 Beers for 50 Years tournament at the House with No Name, and it was also Steve Cartoon’s birthday party. The pins were spread throughout the residence, including the back patio for the double elimination head-to-head format. An interesting feature of this tournament was that each contestant could pick each pin only once and you had to switch games each time during a best-out-of-three match-up. It sounded like this tourney would last forever, but it actually moved along rather smoothly thanks to Chase Nunes who ran it, and won it. We were properly introduced to Dave Stewart and his family at this party. It’s interesting to have another high ranking player in the Seattle scene (he’s currently #90) and adds a new twist for local top players. Deep fried turkeys and Twinkies completes the scene. Feed me!

In yet more Skill Shot news: This issue debuts a new The One To Beat as no one could beat Raymond’s GC on Whirlwind. We chose The Addams Family at the Hurricane because it’s an all-ages venue and is also the cover model for this issue. We hope no one is discouraged by ELF’s high score. You may notice that all of the ads on the List page are different this issue. All of our previous advertisers decided to opt-out at the same time: Yikes! We are also using a different printer this issue because our main man Don has moved on to greener pastures with his job. Don did a great service for Skill Shot these past few issues and we wish him good luck in his new field! Our biggest Skill Shot news is that we are hosting the 15th Annual Shorty’s Pinball Tournament on November 11th! We’re not sure what happened to Larry this year, but (with Jeff Groper’s help) we will take the reins of this year’s event, so expect something different. Check out our website calendar at for many more details! Awesome!

Pinball Tidbits: Did you know that PAX 2012 had a pinball/arcade room open to the public even if you didn’t have a ticket to the expo? Neither did we! ● Seattle Pinball Museum is currently holding a monthly contest where you can win tickets to the King Tut exhibit at Seattle Center. Look at our website calendar for more details! ● Congratulations to Dorky’s who recently celebrated their 2nd year in business with all of their games on free play! ● Belltown staples Simon and Stephanie are moving to Olympia and are hosting a goodbye pinball tournament on October 25th at Shorty’s ● RIP Marc O’Farrell of Space Age Amusements who died on Sept 3rd. He was an important part of the Seattle pinball community for a long time and will be missed. Space Age co-owner Daryl is still keeping up the games and plans to continue the tradition, so stay tuned…

This issue is dedicated to Marc O’Farrell

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