Witch Hunting


Finally knocked that JJP  off of his throne!!!! Insane game.


Upcoming (non league) events. Dec- Jan


There are several upcoming tournaments that are worth checking out if you are not getting your competitive pinball fix from our league. We will be trying to finish up our league during the month of January so we are on track to start season 3 in February.

Dec 21st  Pinaholics Anonymous – this event is held at a private residence in NOVA. The owner is a top notch guy and very passionate about competitive pinball. I have not had opportunity to attend one yet but I have heard nothing but good things.

If you want to attend this event you can find info here


Jan 18th  Maryland Championship- info posted to Facebook 

8135 Baltimore Ave, College Park, Maryland 20740

There will be some changes to the tournament structure for 2014, but the basic concept will remain the same. 

Bud, “Easy WPPR points!”
Buzz, “This ain’t as easy as it looks.”

Entry fee will be $25. Entry fee for players from MD will be $20. Entry fee for first time tournament players, women, Town Hall regulars or PG county residents will be $15. Two complimentary classics entries for Town Hall regulars and for those travelling more than 100 miles.
The winners of A division will take home $250 for fist place, $125 for second place and $60 for third place. The winners of B division will win $120 for fist place, $60 for second place, and $40 for third place. Winner of the last chance tournament will win $100. There will likely be attractive acrylic awards to the winners as well. All monies collected for entry fees will be returned to the players in the form of cash or awards. So if we have a large attendance, the payouts will be higher.
For players looking to play for higher stakes, there will be a $40 optional sidepot. If 10 or less players play in the sidepot, the payout will be 50/30/20. If 11 or more players play in the sidepot, the payout will be 45/30/15/10.

The top finisher from Maryland will win a signed WOZ translite!
There will be a prize/cash award to the top Town Hall regular finisher.

There will be eight rounds of match play in which players will play one four player game per round. During the match play rounds, scoring will be 10/6/3/1 for first through fourth place. Scoring for three player groups will be 10/5/1.
Players will not play any other player more than once during these eight rounds.
After the eight rounds of match play, the top 12 qualifiers will advance to the A division playoffs and the 13th through 28th qualifiers will advance to the B division playoffs.

All remaining players will participate in the last chance playoffs. In the last chance playoffs, the players will be randomly placed in four players groups and groups will randomly placed on one machine per group. The winner of each group will remain in the playoffs, all others will be out of the tournament. The winner of the last chance playoffs will win $100.

Like MPC 2013, there will be $20 bounties on each game. There will be separate bounties for players who are WPPR ranked >200 and 200 or less. For example the bounty on TZ for players WPPR >200 may be bonus greater than 100M, while the bounty for players WPPR 200 or less maybe a score 700M or more. Only one $20 bounty per player can be collected. There will also be separate $60 mega bounties on each game, such as start Rule the Universe, complete Final Battle, loop champion on Shadow (10 loops), start LITZ, etc. Mega bounties can be collected during the practice period before the event starts as well as during the event, but $20 bounties can only be collected during the event. Only two mega bounties per player can be collected.

In the A division playoffs, the top four qualifiers will receive a first round bye. The 5th through 12th place qualifiers will be placed in two four-player groups and will play a three game PAPA-style quarter-final (scoring will still be 10/6/3/1). The top two players from each group will make the semi-finals. The semi-finals will also be a three game PAPA-style round with the top two in each group advancing to the finals.
In the finals, players will play a round of three four-player games to determine the winners. 

The B division playoffs will be run in the same manner as the A division playoffs, with the exception that there will not be any byes. 

Extra balls will be disabled. Death saves and Bang Backs will not be allowed.
Tilts will be tight. Physical abuse of the pinball machines such as kicking, lifting and then dropping, or punching the glass, will not be tolerated and may be cause for elimination from the tournament.
The vengeance timer on Shadow will be set to 10 seconds. Games in general will not be bastardized other than tight tilts and wide open outlanes.

There will be a side tournament on a classic machine. It will run from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Entries will cost $5 for two entries. Entries may be played anytime that players are not playing in a main tournament group. Players may purchase multiple sets of entries.
At 8:30 p.m., the four highest qualifiers will play one four player game to determine first through fourth place.
If the classic machine breaks down before 6 p.m. and is determined by the tournament director to be unfixable, an alternate game will be used for the remainder of the side tournament. If this occurs, the top four qualifiers from each game will make the playoffs and there will be two rounds in the playoffs.

Beverages are available at the bar. There are many food options within walking distance, and outside food is allowed inside the bar.

In case you missed it, here is a link to the event from January 2013:


Additional in depth tournament details will be posted here soon.

I will not be playing.

Flip This a Big Success



Taylor did a fantastic job with the first IFPA sanctioned tournament in the bunker.  Thanks for the hard work and planning that made the tournament go so smoothly.

Please send photos or video that you have from the tournament so we can add it to a longer post later.

For now, I am going to repeat the Facebook posting of the man who took home both trophies.  From Chris Newsom:

Not only does Taylor have pin skills and obvious restoration skills, but he throws one heckuva tournament!  Flip This ran silky smooth like a Scared Stiff ramp.  The games were not only all lovely to look at, but they also played fantastic. The custom plaques are way cool and will be given a prominent place on the wall next to last year’s Pinsanity plaque. I got there so late, I was not sure that I would even be able to play the main tournament, but Taylor Reese was gracious and let me play starting in the second round. I really enjoyed hanging with Taylor, Chris Booberg and other Richmond area pinball players.  It is great to know that there is a thriving pin community just one city to the right of my home.  I certainly look forward to getting together with you all in the near future.  …I think that we can really get competitive pinball (and hopefully location pinball) going in central VA.
Again, thanks Taylor for a fun filled evening and for being such a perfect host.  It was really a treat to meet other VA pinball people and to play your beautiful games!
WOZ 1.24 looks quite promising – Taylor, I attribute it’s release to your many reminders to JJP that WOZ code needed to be updated.











The devil feeds on children’s tears.


My child, starting at the age of six, could read two books at once and keep the plots straight in her head. She is an all “E” student and received recognition for outstanding citizenship during the first quarter of second grade. She is a medal winning blue belt in taekwondo that somehow learns complex Korean terms in under 30 minutes.  Needless to say I could not be prouder.

So what did my wife and I give her for being such an accomplished little bookworm? Yep, the devil’s loom…oh, I mean a Rainbow Loom. The amount of tears that have flowed since this plastic contraption entered our lives is just less than those shed during the great sock fiasco of kindergarten.

For those that do not know, and I feel lucky for you, the Rainbow Loom is comprised of rows of plastic post that you can place rubber bands on(think braces) and weave intricate bracelets. There are numerous instructional videos on youtube posted by the devil’s henchmen. These videos make every bracelet look like it should melt off the loom into the most intricate, intertwined bunch of rubber bands one could ever imagine. If rubber bands had been invented before diamonds were found we could possibly be marking milestones with “fish tales” instead of carats.

So there you have it….

…..Oh, wait. This is a pinball blog. WTF just happened above?

Today I am hosting a tournament. As a collector, hobbyist and player I love sharing my collection and our league was born out of the want to do this and this tournament as a desire to share it with a wider group. I have held tournaments before but they have either been a impromptu gathering or part of my charity tournament series that is geared towards friends and coworkers, the casual player.

Tonight, in my basement, I have some of the best pinball players on the east coast coming to MY basement to play MY pins. And what do I do to thank these people that are taking the time to come to my house to indulge my selfish desire to share my toys? How? I’ll tell you how. I give them pins waxed with the tears the devil never saw. I’ve set my games to be hard, to really show their teeth. No extra balls, no ball saves(well except for Dracula because I’m not a total ass), and yes the outlanes are wide open.  My games are usually set to hard but these are nasty and I feel bad about it. I want people to enjoy the games but I want them to feel the bite they have to offer as well.

Pinball is a social event. Modern games allow for 4 players and it’s frankly a lot more satisfying to play with others. A great game “in the woods” does make a sound but then you look around in your empty game room and put your victory sign down and just plug in those initials with no fanfare or confetti, it gets a bit old. And no only is it social, it is fun. Watching someone else having a great game can sometimes, rarely, be as satisfying as having a great game oneself. Of course with the way that these tables have been set up I may have dangled that “fun” carrot out there just to snatch it away.

So here is the dilemma, how hard is too hard? Is pinball, like a rainbow loom, more enjoyable when it is easy and rewarding for what it is suppose to be or is it about making something as challenging as possible even if it leaves you in a weeping pile, or in my case enraged, wishing I could hurl the game out the window, wishing it would just be made to go away.

I feel bad that my daughter doesn’t find the pleasure in her rainbow loom like she thought she would. She really has to work of that please and she decided on day one that she was no longer a beginner. I struggle with her tears. Do I console her and ask her to try something easier for her or do I let her hold her shoulders, tell her it will be alright and to just try again? Or, do I just secretly hide the loom hoping the fad passes and she sticks to something I know she is great at. In pinball I don’t want anyone to suffer either but there I am making it as hard as I can. Is this still fun? Sometimes I contemplate just ditching the hobby because the fun factor seems to have faded. Sometimes I wish I could just hide 8 350lb machines on the top shelf of the linen closet but there I am again swatting at the silver ball trying to get that elusive shot.

4 hours until my tournament starts….and the devil drinks.

National Pinball League

In looking around the app store, I found a tournament app by the National Pinball League.  I checked the site at nationalpinball.com.  National Pinball League is a group dedicated to supporting competitive pinball.  They certify locations and hold sanctioned tournaments.  Their calendar currently does not list any upcoming tournaments.  I have registered as a member and will post about any upcoming events.

One of the certified locations is The Pinball Gallery in Downington, PA.  I visited The Pinball Gallery in 2012 when I was working in Philadelphia.  It is about a half hour drive from Philadelphia and can also be reached by train from Philadelphia.  When I was there, all of the machines were in great shape and played without any problems.  When I was there, they had 14 or 16 machines.  I spent an afternoon there and had a great time.  They had a mix of newer Sterns and 90s, 80s and 70s Bally and Williams titles.

Magfest – Blog Post Bump – Less Than One Month Away

Magfest stands for music and gaming fest.  It is held at a huge hotel in the National Harbor which is just across the bridge as you cross the bridge from Virginia into Maryland just past DC.  The music part of the feet is chiptunes, music from games and bands that play music from games.  There are usually performances by musicians who compose videogame music.  There are also screenings of videogame related movies as well as panels by players and designers.  Many people attend in cosplay costumes and there are cosplay contests.  

The main attraction for me is the main hall which has 80 or 90 arcade machines (maybe more) and 10 or 15 pinball machines which are all set to free play.  There are also dozens of console games and tvs set up for console gaming.  There is a LAN section where people bring computers to set up LAN games.  There are also table games and spaces to play games with figures like Warhammer.

The other side of the main hall has a vendor area where people sell games, comic books, t-shirts and lots of other cool things.

i already have reservations to attend for the third year in a row.  It is a fun chance to play lots of pinball and video games and spend time witb a bunch of people who love videogames and pinball.

Tales from the Creature!

Creature is back home at my place, so it won’t be at Taylor’s next time. The gaping hole should further expedite Dr Who getting finished and put in place, for all of our playing pleasure.
I actually had the best game I’ve ever had on CFTBL two days ago. The funny thing was I was holding my 16 month old girl in my right arm, while she had one foot on the pin and her back pressed against the wall. Unfortunately, she was over it by the time I was on my second extra ball. So before I launched it, I took her upstairs to be with mom. She wasn’t having that either, as she must of wanted to see how the rest of the game would play out. I brought her back down, picked her up and launched the last ball. It drained right down the middle in about 5 seconds. Oh well. She likes dancing to the music at the end. That’s worth leaving TSR (taylor) and HBM (hugh) up there for a little bit longer
But I did find my good luck charm and from now on at league play, if ya’ll don’t mind, I’ll have my daughter strategically placed under my right arm during all game play.
Eh, probably not.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. See ya in December!

Thoughts from Jar-Jar (Raven) on His New Purchase

Raven is a moped game.  Fun to play, but a little embarrassing.  I failed to mention buying it for a few days, just because it isn’t that exciting.  I am enjoying practicing my ball control.  Hopefully, my league play improves.

Since, I held out on announcing my acquisition, Taylor has threatened me with a new nickname, “Raven”.  While I appreciate the indignation at my reticence on this issue, it’s hard to threaten a guy whose nickname is already “Jar-Jar”. 😉

Once I finish this section of the basement, I hope to put in a few more machines.  I want one nice 70s machine and a few newer more exiting titles.  

Little historical note: It was the first machine to have a photo for a back glass.  There are not a lot of machines with photos, because it is a terrible idea 😉