Whirlwind and Indy 500 on location in Richmond – glavekocen gallery


Richmond Artist Matt Lively has made a name for himself with beecycle paintings and many others than can be found on the outside and inside of buildings in Richmond and beyond.  He has assembled his newest works for a fantastic show at the glavekocen gallery here in Richmond.  The show is called Playfield and will kick off on Friday, November 7 and will run through November 29.

What does this have to do with pinball?  Matt was inspired by pinball art in creating the works exhibited.  The influence of playfield art can be seen in Matt’s vibrant colors, his use of line and his use of varnish over bare wood to serve as the backdrop for a number of the works.

As part of the show, Matt asked me and Taylor to loan him pinball machines to have in the gallery during the course of the show.  Taylor and I delivered Indy 500 and Whirlwind to the gallery yesterday.  The machines look great in the gallery.  Taylor and I had a chance to see the work that Matt has included in the show.  Matt’s art is exciting and accessible and I hope that you will stop by to check out his work and play some pinball if you are in the area.

The top score during the show will win one of Matt’s paintings.


Just in time for Flippers – the official Stern Walking Dead Tutorial

With the Flippers Walking Dead release party right around the corner, the Stern Pinball release of a Walking Dead tutorial is timely.  Memorize it all and you may walk home with a trophy with a zombie on it.

Baltimore/DC Pinball Championships


The Baltimre/DC Pinball Championships – Crabtowne Throwdowne – 11/23/14 at 2:00 P.M.

Crabtowne is a restaurant/arcade outside of DC.  When I was last there, they had 20 to 25 pinball machines that were pretty dirty and in various states of disrepair.  This was a few years ago and I have heard that they are keeping the machines much cleaner and in better playing condition.  They also have probably 40 to 50 classic arcade games.  There is also a crab shack kind of restaurant attached to the arcade for your dining pleasure.  This tournament attracts some high level players and should be a very good time.

Flippers Tournaments Friday and Saturday

Flippers in Grandy, NC. Is hosting a release party for the new Stern Pinball – The Walking Dead on Friday night.  On Saturday, they are having a Fall Tournament.  Sam Rugg from our league provided the following description to explain how the Flippers tournament is run and to help you get ready for it.

They set up ten machines for the tournament. They are all in a single row. Not sure if they announce the games ahead of time or not. It’s a coin drop tournament, so bring some cash! Best deal on tokens is the coin machine in the big back room that is more or less behind the wall of drink coolers.

Tournament play is single player. Stand in line for the machine you want to play. Once you finish your game raise your hand and the scorekeeper will come and record your score. Then go get in line for another table!

Scoring for the main tournament is on a 100 point scale. Best score on each machine gets 100, everyone else gets their percentage of the high score. So if Taylor puts up a high score of 1 billion and I can only manage 250 million Taylor will get 100 points for that machine and I’ll get 25. There are ten tables, so you can (at least in theory) get a score of 1000. I think the high score in the last tournament was somewhere near 800. There will be some pretty tough competition.

You can play each table as often as you want. Only your personal high score will count for each table. If you know your second score was lower than your first you don’t need to call the scorer over, just move out of the way and let the next player start his/her game. If you aren’t sure about your score have them enter it. A lower score will not displace a higher score.

They have live scoring, so bring your fancy phone/iPod/tablet and you can track your performance against the group in real time. Or just check on the scoring screen.

The wait times to play can get long, so make sure you have played and recorded scores on all ten tables, then start working on improving your scores until the time is up. At five you have to let your ball drain and score whatever you have attained at that point if you are on a table.

As far as strategy goes, I think the best thing is to look at your scores relative to the current point leaders and pick games that you have a good shot at closing that gap. If you are already at 92 on one table and you are at 38 on another you should probably play the 38 again. Unless you think you can run up a new high score on the 92.

Top eight players move on to the playoff round. I missed the playoff round by about eight points last time, so I’m not sure how it works. I think it’s a head to head knockout format of some sort. But I might be wrong on that.