news & gossip

Skill Shot #18 News & Gossip

On Feb. 5th the Seattle Pinball League (SPL) held their first tournament of 2011 at the Seattle Pinball Museum, bringing in about 40 contestants. Despite the ample room at the museum, it felt crowded because most of the players seemed to gravitate towards the back of the room where the late 70’s – early 80’s games are located. Maka and Todd Mac created an interesting twist by having a tie score on Hang Glider which they settled with a one ball play off. The event ended with an excited Sean Burrus taking the #1 spot. The March SPL was held in Bellevue WA at a place called The Great Room. It was also Andrew Nunes’ birthday and George Lally won the tourney. Fun!

SPL President Rod Olsen had his annual Janufest in February this year and there  was lots of beer, sausages, and pinball! Added to the Rod’s usual great line up of games was a Data East Simpsons and a white wood Stern Indiana Jones. Very cool. Also cool was Kevin who picked us up at the Light Rail Station, and Bobby and Kayla who gave us a ride home.  And speaking of Andrew Nunes, he is hosting the 420 Greenwood Pinball Open on April 20th and the grand prize is going to be a Future Spa pinball machine! Nice!

The Seattle Pinball Museum (SPM) had been holding monthly tournaments and getting a good crowd for them. Steve Ackley took 1st at the February tourney and in March, James Edes won first. Unfortunately the SPM tournaments are taking a break and proprietor Charlie Martin is considering a quarterly format as a way of inflicting less wear and tear on the machines, while still keeping the exciting buzz. Yeow!

In other SPM news, at the time of this printing they may have finally signed a lease. You might remember that they originally moved in as part of a city art project, and the museum has proven to be a success in its location, so they are going to stay (hooray!). The SPM hosted a pinball repair class taught by Dominique of Silver Age Silver Ball, who is an EM pinball repairing wizard. 14 people attended the first class and a second one is happening soon, so ask them about it next time you are there (or check on facebook).  There are always new games and interesting things happening at the museum and we think Seattle is lucky Charlie and Cindy have decided to keep the space going. Awesome!

The latest Stern pinball machine, The Rolling Stones, was introduced with Tournament/Launch Parties across the country on March 11th and three of them were in the Pacific Northwest! Portland had one, as well as Dorky’s in Tacoma, and the Seattle Waterfront Arcade downtown. We complained about the Avatar launch party at the Waterfront Arcade in our last issue, but The Rolling Stones event was actually quite fun. It wasn’t as crowded because a lot of people decided to go to Dorky’s, making more room for those of us without cars or the motivation to travel to Tacoma. Cayle George and Chase Nunes won the main tournament, and Skill Shot’s own Bernard Blvd topped in the novice category! Your trophies are in the mail, fellas. Right!

Of the three Rolling Stones pins used at the event, one of them stayed at the Waterfront Arcade, one went to the SPL tourney held the next day, and one of them went to the SPM where it is having an extended stay! Shorty’s got one too (but we think they got it from Dorky’s. The Funhouse decided to replace their pool table with more pinball (3 so far) and they’re all Shorty’s machines! Silver Age Silver Ball has also picked up a new spot, with three pins at the Seattle Tattoo Emporium. Twin Win is one of the tables and it is a tattoo shop, so many were hoping for the bare-bosomed version of the game, but no such luck. Boobs!

The monthly Sunday Pinball Tournament at Shorty’s had a great turnout in March and it was a lot of fun.  The 3PM starting time was delayed because of Timmy’s birthday potluck down the street, but once it got going the tournament moved at a fast pace. ELF won, with Paul and Skill Shot’s newest staff member Graham in 2nd and 3rd respectively. We’ve said it before and we’ll say again, these earlier monthly tournaments are a good thing, even if only 3 people showed up to the one on Super Bowl Sunday. What do you expect when the Black Eyed Peas are playing the half time show? Good Good Night!

A Shorty’s tournament we wish we would have gone to is the Beard and Moustache Pinball Tournament that happened Feb 13th. It was a benefit for foster kids, and all the contestants had to have a beard or moustache (fake ones were ok) and the grand prize was a free tattoo! MAK won and it sounded like fun. This is good time to remind people having pinball related events to send us an email so we can list them on our calendar and web updates. Inviting!

The Ballard Pinball Tournament on Feb 21st had a great turn out of both regulars and newbies. As usual the tournament started at Snoose Junction and then moved to different venues in Ballard. One of the spots was Claire and Headley’s Condo where they have five sweet games in the den (Space Invaders!), with final matches held on Fish Tales at the 2 Bit. It was Metal Night at the Bit and loud, so Julie Gray’s head phones came in handy, especially when she had an epic ball two that included multiple extra balls. That wasn’t the final match though, and ultimately Jawn Wakefield took 1st and Julie took 2nd. The next Ballard Tournament is scheduled for April 25th. Exciting!

Dorky’s Valentine Couples Tournament drew a bunch of romantic-types down to Tacoma. Naturally, Groper and Katy won. Dorky’s goal is to have 100 arcade and pinball machines and while we haven’t made it there yet, we want go. Having a major pinball location in Tacoma has created a challenge for our Seattle Pinball List, in that we don’t have enough space to include locations outside of Seattle. For locations outside of Seattle city limits check out our website: Sweet!

In other Skill Shot News: Our last Folding Party was a big success and again we thank everyone very much who showed up to help us fold the zine. Mike the new owner of The Lookout was impressed with our volunteers and has planned some kind of pinball related food specials for our next folding party. (Maybe you are reading it there right now?) Distribution is another area where we have been getting some much needed help lately and again, thank you. WE COULDN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOUR HELP!

A new Skill Shot T Shirt is in our production schedule and will feature a modified version of our last cover, which had Silverball Mania on it. We will have these shirts available sometime before the next issue, and maybe even in time for Powder Puff (May 22nd). The Skill Shot Lighter of the Month sticker was released a short while ago. Designed by Skill Shot’s Nosebleed Larson, this sticker features a full color modified version of issue 15 (Black Hole) and fits perfectly on a Bic Lighter. LOTM stickers are a monthly event and you can find out more about them on line ( Fancy!

Pinball Tidbits: The Black Knight 2000 at the Grizzled Wizard is fixed and no longer the saddest pin in Seattle! That honor now goes to Iron Man at the Madison Pub, which defies all attempts at being repaired; and Mad Pub is thinking about starting a weekly pinball event. A Cap Hill Tourney, perhaps? Stay tuned; Full Tilt is opening a new location in Ballard and Justin says that there will be “tons of pins”; The Georgetown Pinball Tournament has been “postponed”;  Cartoonist Jim Woodring is creating a custom-made pinball machine (art work); Check out the remodeled Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show (PAGS) website:; Have you been to our website yet?


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