Can you get away to Northern Virginia this weekend?  If so, you can get in three IFPA/WPPR tournaments in a two day period.

Start out at noon on Saturday at Mighty Mike’s in Sterling, VA for Flippin’ With the Greats

Make your move to Pinholics Anonymous to close out Saturday

If you are still standing and need more pinball Sunday head north to – Third Annual Day After Kevin Stone’s Quarterly Tournament

Can you handle it?


Flip This 2014 in the books

Flip This 2014 was held this past weekend by Taylor.  Many members of River City Flippers were in attendance.  There were also players who came down from Northern Virginia and some players who came up from North Carolina.  As usual, Taylor’s machines were playing very well and were set to the hardest settings.

The main tournament was a three-strike knockout tournament run on Brackelope.  The machines in the tournament were: WCS94, Bram Stokers’ Dracula, Indy 500, Monopoly, Attack From Mars, Safecracker and Dr. Who.  There was also a one ball side tournament on Wizard of Oz.  The Wizard of Oz tournament was open for four hours with the top four scores playing in a one ball game.

The Wizard of Oz tournament ended up: (1) Taylor Reese (2) Chris Booberg (3) Joe Said and (4) Chris Newsome.

The main tournament ended up: (1) Chris Newsome (2) Taylor Reese (3) Jeremy Hakes and (4) Rob Cordoba.

Both tournaments were eligible for IFPA WPPR points.

As usual, it was a very fun tournament that was followed by some cash game action until the wee hours.

Thanks to Taylor for a great tournament.


Wizard of Oz side tournament entries.

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IMG_0423  Dr. Who stucky.

IMG_0427  Main tournament winners.

IMG_0429 Side tournament winners.

The full results were as follows:

Main Tournament
1. Chris “Maximillion” Newsom
2. Taylor Reese
3. Jeremy Hakes
4. Rod Cordoba
5. Dave Klionsky
5. Paul McGlone
5. Scott Durfee
8. Chris Booberg
8. Greg Lambert
8. Jeff McElhannon
8. Joe Said
8. Jack McHale
13. Mike Ogilvie
13. Malik Berger
15. Dan Cotter
15. Sam Rugg
15. Matt Lively
18. Bayless Rutherford
18. Dale Geiger
18. Joe Cummins
18. Paula Bailey
18. Rob Hurley

Side Tournament
1. Taylor Reese
2. Chris Booberg
3. Joe Said
4. Chris Newsom
5. Paul McGlone
6. Dale Geiger
7. Dave Klionsky
8. Jeremy Hakes
9. Dan Cotter
10. Mike Ogilvie
11. Rob Hurley
12. Malik Berger
13. Sam Rugg
14. Joe Cummins
15. Jack McHale
16. Scott Durfee
17. Greg Lambert
18. Bayless Rutherford
19. Jeff McElhannon
20. Paula Bailey
21. Rod Cordoba

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.

Season 3 Round 1

Had a great turnout for the 1st round of season 3 with a total of 16 players in attendance. A couple of the the veterans unfortunately missed due to prior commitments but that just means they’ll bring the heat next round. We had several new players make a showing with some strong play. Looks like season 3 is going to be a competitive one. Can’t wait!!!


Standings after round 1


Season 3!

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Only one week out from Season 3 of the RPL!! Woo Hoo!

This season should be an exciting one as we have added several members are now looking at a 16 person field to vie for title of RPL Champion!! We have a couple rule changes to this season to reflect players true rankings amongst other players in the league.  That should make for some tight races across the board. Below is our new scoring system. Hopefully this will end up being a stable and easy to use system from here on out.

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Stay tuned for updates over Season 3. Thanks for looking.

RPL Regular Season Final Standings

With a possible 19 points on the line in this weekend’s tournament the race for second and third place is very tight. First place for the overall season is locked up as long as I can roll out of bed.

The tournament consist of 2 qualifying tournaments. Both are 2 out 3 double elimination tournaments at two locations. Top spot at each location is awarded 8 points, 2nd with 7 and so on. Any place below 8th also receives one point. The top player at each location will play in a best 2/3 to determine overall winner.  Players coming in 2nd at each location will play for 3rd and fourth place overall.

Convoluted but it works. 🙂

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The Road to Pinburgh


Get ready….

Get set……


Today may have seen the biggest sign that pinball is back. In under 2 hours 400 people from across the globe signed up for the largest pinball tournament in the world. What took weeks to fill in 2013 filled faster than anyone could imagine. Registration began promptly at 12 noon today and I sat at my keyboard constantly refreshing hoping to land an early spot for nothing more than bragging rights. Glad I signed up when I did, with a server delay that seemed to take forever I was the 135th person signed up. Phew.

Chris and I are both planning our first pilgrimage to the hallowed halls of PAPA this spring. There is certainly no other place in pinball that I want to visit and I think that Chris feels the same way. I’ve been in the hobby about 9 years and this is really the first time that I have felt like I had to get to PAPA. I don’t what it is, could be the history of it rising from the soggy grave from the flood 2004 or getting a chance to see some of the greats donkey kick their way to greatness. There is an allure to PAPA that has a hold of me and this is my year… and I can’t wait.

So here is the deal with Pinburgh, you get to play a LOT of pinball. I don’t exactly know how it works and I am pretty lazy to reading in depth rules but one thing I know is that I am going to get to play a LOT of pinball and possibly some pinball with some of the top players in the world. What I do know is that Pinburgh is set up as a match play tournament. You are placed in either 3 or 4 player groups and you get points for how you finish on each table. You play for 2 days like this and that is used to determine what group you will be playing in and attempting to qualify for. So basically you’re guaranteed two days of competitive play against varying players, not too shabby.

Stay tuned….

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.

National Pinball League

In looking around the app store, I found a tournament app by the National Pinball League.  I checked the site at  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.

Charlottesville Knockout Tournament

image image

On Saturday, Mike O. and I played in a tournament in Charlottesville.  The tournament was held at the Lazy Parrot Backyard BBQ on Pantops Mountain.  A few things about the Lazy Parrott.  The owner is a pinball guy who took part in the tournament.  He usually has four machines at the restaurant.  Also, there are two Lazy Parrots in the same shopping center.  If you go to the Lazy Parrott and there are no pinball machines, you are in the wrong place.  I learned this the hard way when I was in Charlottesville the week before the tournament and went to the Lazy Parrott that is pinball free.

The tournament was played on these machines:  Star Trek the Next Generation, The Getaway, Funhouse, Metallica, Spiderman, Harley-Davidson, Party Zone, Nascar and No Good Gophers.  The tournament was a three strike tournament.  Each player who comes in third or fourth for a round receives a strike.  Once a player finishes in the bottom two of a four person group three times, he is out.

I think I counted a total of 19 players in the tournament.  I had met some of the players from Northern Virginia when a few of us played in the Fairfax Pinball Open last year.  There were some very good players there including the current number seven player in the world, Trent Augenstein.  Most of the players were friendly and welcoming.  The tournament was set up to encourage new players by waiving the entry for anyone who had not previously played in a pinball tournament.  The entry fee was $5 with an optional $20 sidepot for those who wanted to play for a little more money.

Four player groups were drawn at random, put in random order and sent to a random machine.  All this randomness ended up putting me on the machine The Getaway for my first three rounds.  I had seen the machine before and had some idea of the rules, but I had not played this machine prior to the our first round.  I was selected to go first in a group that included Mike O (who went last) and Trent, the current number 7 player in the world.

I struggled in the first round and received my first strike of the day.  One of the highlights of the day was Mike O. stepping up like a boss and taking down the number seven player in the world like it was just another day at the office.  Video to come.  Mike had it won before he even started his third ball.  When Mike finished, he stepped back from the machine and screamed, “That just happened!” in his best Ricky Bobby accent.  I think I was actually more excited about Mike’s win that he was.  Anyone who has met Mike knows he did not scream after winning, but that’s how I remember it.

As I kept grinding on The Getaway through rounds two and three, I finally manage to scrape out a win in round three against two of the Northern Virginia guys.  One of the Northern Virginia guys set the GC on The Getaway with over 300 million points.

My final game was on Star Trek the Next Generation.  I played with Kevin Stone, Justin and Phil.  All very nice guys who were friendly and gave me advice on how to play.  The game was relatively close between the four of us until Kevin and Justin started and scored in a couple of valuable modes.  Kevin was able to start the video mode for which he knew the pattern.  He told me the pattern afterwards and I am going to try to get there one of these days.  That was my fourth strike and booted me out of the tournament.

As the tournament played on, I got in some games on the machines that weren’t in use for the round.  I played games on each machine other than Nascar.  Nascar was in use for a separate high score tournament and was being played most of the time.

The tournament was a very good time and taught me some lessons for future tournaments.  I need to be able to warm up before the tournament starts.  Even if you know a machine pretty well, each machine is set up differently and I need to get a feel for how that machines is playing that day.  I also need a warm up to get the eyes and hands working together well.  I was running late from being out of town with my family and arrived at the tournament with just enough time to play one game of No Good Gophers before the tournament started.

I also need to know the rules of each machine.  As I watched the other players use specific strategies while I flailed around on The Getaway, I knew I should have taken the time to know the rules of the game.  I had played Stark Trek The Next Generation many times on the ipad and that knowledge of the rules and shots made me much more competitive than I was on the Getaway.

Thanks to the organizers for a great tournament.