news & gossip

Skill Shot #9 News & Gossip

June 2009 local pinball news

Originally published in Skill Shot issue 9, June 2009

The 2009 Powder Puff Pinball Tournament happened May 17th at Shorty’s and it was so much fun! 28 ladies signed up in the double elimination head to head competition that was hosted by Larry Reid, who also hosts the Annual Shorty’s Tournament as well as the recent one in Georgetown. Many of the area’s top female players were there including Julie Gray (Powder Puff winner for 2007) and Nycole Hyatt, who was the top scoring female at the last two open tournaments. Skill Shot caused a bit of a stir by premiering our super-limited edition t-shirts, because we didn’t have any extras to sell. Elizabeth and Savannah were good sports and agreed to be our Powder Puff t-shirt models for the day- and Savannah actually did very well in the tournament, tying with Naomi for 6th place! The grand prize was a Night Rider pinball machine which was won by Bonnie Bedford of Vancouver BC, who narrowly beat Jamie Beth by just 160 points! Other prizes for the event included t-shirts, Jagermeister thongs, and a PBR tent! Check out for pictures of the tournament.

Speaking of PBR: Our last issue was rushed from the printers so that we could hand them out at PBR Customer Appreciation Night at Shorty’s on April 1st (which actually fooled some people). Shorty’s sells the most PBR in Seattle (#2 in the state) and besides having lots of the usual give-aways (t-shirts, stickers, etc), almost all of the pinball machines were set to free play for the night. The Shorty’s/PBR beer mugs were the most sought-after freebie and by the end of the night, if you weren’t holding on to yours tightly, you risked having it snatched from under your nose (right, Geoffro?).

Another tournament that happened recently was at Ground Kontrol in Portland Oregon on April 19th. They had 120 contestants for the event, which lasted a whopping 16 hours! Seattle didn’t have a lot of players there that weekend despite many of the plans we heard beforehand, but a few of those who did go represented Seattle well, with ELF and MAK tying for 9th place and Cayle George cementing his standing as one of the Pacific Northwest’s best players by winning the whole thing.

In other regional news, we recently took a trip to Tacoma to check out their pinball scene. Our first stop was Hell’s Kitchen, which has a nice pin area featuring a very nice The Shadow machine. We loved playing this game since there isn’t one available in Seattle, and the Doctor Who game was nice too. Over at Tower Lanes, the Super Mario Bros. pinball machine had the volume set at ear-piercing levels – which was quickly fixed when Stan the pinball repair dude showed up less than 20 minutes after being called! We were impressed. Although we only hit those two spots, the locals happily informed us of other good places to go, including a Whirl Wind game at a hotel (!). We’ll be back!

Meanwhile, back in Seattle: May 25th was the grand opening of Add-a-Ball Amusments in Fremont. Part scooter repair shop, part pinball hall, Add-a-Ball plans on having EM (electro-mechanical) pinball machines, including a few European ones that are rarely seen in the States. Dominique of Silver Age Silver Ball naturally has some of his games there since EM pins are what he distributes, and Add-a-Brad (Add-a-Ball’s owner) hopes to turn more people on to these classic games. Go there NOW!

Another new addition to the Seattle pinball community (besides Avout’s new baby) is Stern’s latest release, 24. We haven’t played enough to have a super confirmed opinion about it but the fact that there is not a skill shot doesn’t leave us feeling too positive for obvious reasons. Still there’s plenty of easy to get multi-balls so that’s cool. We were sad to see Wheel of Fortune removed to make room for it though since it was the only one around and it seemed as if people were finally warming up to the game (it was interesting to play, but suffered from a dorky theme). Bring Back WoF!!!

On June 12-14 the NW Pinball and Game Room Show returns to Seattle Center for what looks to be an exciting weekend! Over 200 different pinball and arcade games will be set at free play and we are hyped to play some of these rarely seen machines. A few of the pins we’re looking forward to include games that were featured on past covers of Skill Shot (Spectrum, Twin Win) and other machines that we haven’t seen since last year’s show (Banzai Run, Pharoah). There’s also tons of cool arcade games (Berzerk!), guest speakers, tournaments, and prizes, and it should be tons of fun. (For more details go to Look for us at the show and say “Hi!”. We’ll be handing out zines in our fancy Skill Shot t-shirts.

And if you act quickly, you too can get a fancy Skill Shot t-shirt! We’re printing up a limited edition shirt with the cover of issue #5 on the front, plus (while supplies last) you’ll get 3 iron-on letters so you can put your pinball initials on the back. Gnarly! Ask about them when you see us, or shoot us an email at

Another thing you’ll want to ask us about is the first ever Skill Shot Half and Half Tournament. Half and Half is a team game with one person on each flipper (introduced in Skill Shot #7), so pick your partner now and be ready to sign up for fun and fabulous prizes! Email us for more details.

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