Hello everyone, welcome to the first newsletter of the season. We hope that most of you are getting your information firsthand from your officers at your respective locations. Our officers are a friendly and dedicated bunch that are truly in this for the community aspect of league. Most of us are more than happy to share our personal email addresses or phone numbers with people if they have questions. If you are a Facebook user, give the DMV Pinball page a like. We also get a lot of information out that way. Okay, on to the news!
The (not exactly) mid-season tournament is THIS Saturday at Holy Frijoles in Baltimore. Holy Frijoles is one of our league locations. The excellent bar and restaurant is owned by Geoff Danek who also operates the pinball there and serves as the location’s league officer. The pinball is all culled from his personal collection.
Cherry Bell (1978)
Creature From the Black Lagoon (1992)
Elvira and the Party Monsters (1989)
Guns ‘N Roses (1994)
Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
Lord of the Rings (2003)
the Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot (1991)
World Cup Soccer (1994).
Geoff keeps his games in excellent condition, and it will be worth the trip even if you did not qualify for the tournament. So who did qualify you ask?
The tournament starts at 1 PM. Holy Frijoles is located at 908 West 36th Street in Baltimore. These tournaments are always really fun and laid back yet still offer a lot of WPPR points (if that’s your thing, not that there’s anything wrong with that) so please do come out if you qualified!
Speaking of tournaments, league finals are almost upon us (Saturday March 12th)! There’s a lot jockeying for position going on and even more battling for those final coveted A division slots. Almost half of the participants in league are mathematically alive for A division, so keep showing up and giving people hell! Even if you don’t qualify for A, finals will still be a blast. Based on feedback we got after finals last season, we think we’ve gotten the formats for the other divisions nailed down in way that will be very enjoyable for the players. We also expect this finals session to hum and move at a brisk pace as we heard from some players that there was a little too much waiting between rounds at last season’s finals. As for a finals location, it’s going back to where it all began: Lyman’s Tavern.
Lyman’s is a truly special place. The bar was intended to be a pinball bar from concept to execution. Lyman’s successfully making pinball a central focus gave other bars (such as our other DC league location the Black Cat) the courage to amp up their pinball programs. The DC pinball community owes a great debt of gratitude to Lyman’s. The bar’s pinball is operated by league member David Barber and the bar’s owners Kevin and Jess are also league members and pinball enthusiasts. The synergy between locations’ operators, owners/managers, and players is going to be vital to pinball going forward, and Lyman’s does it right.
And it wouldn’t be finals without someone winning a pinball machine! Every season, we raffle off a pinball machine at finals. Last season we raffled off a Genie to none other than Lyman’s owners Kevin and Jess, so hopefully that game will be in the finals tournament bank. While we’re not yet ready to reveal the title being raffled off this season (though many have gleamed the information from loose lipped officers), we will say that the game has a DMD and if you end up with it in your home you may ask yourself, “am I getting too old for this shit?”
There has been some great play by some of our players lately that merits mentioning. To those league members that don’t follow the national/worldwide scene, you may not know that our league made a bit of a splash recently. Without getting into the gory details, DMV league players dominated the DC, Maryland, and Virginia top 16s when the rankings for the state championship series were announced. The IFPA even went so far as to make some much needed rules changes to the way state ranking points are allocated due to our admittedly over-saturated presence in the fields. That did not, however, change the fact that a whole bunch of us ended up competing in state championships this year (and frankly, most of the players that made it this year will still make it next year even with the new rules).
Maryland was thrown into turmoil when league member Ryan Lowman decided to bow out. It set up another league member, Alex Jeffrey, to make an incredible run to the final four as the original 16 seed where he would join league officer Justin Day. Alex ended up finishing 2nd while Justin took 3rd. Good stuff!
Meanwhile in Virginia, league officer Kevin Stone drew the worst possible match-up in the first round when he was forced to play tournament host Taylor Reese on his own games. Taylor took Kevin to game seven of their matchup where it would all come down to Stars, which, in a fun twist, is a game that Kevin also owns. Kevin ended up winning that game and with the hardest foe vanquished, going on to win the whole damn thing! Congrats, Kevin and good luck in Vegas at Nationals! Note: Taylor is a most excellent homey, and you can hear his account of this on episode 16 of his podcast entitled “This Flippin’ Podcast.”
In the DC championship, all but 2 players were from the DMV league. Awesomely, DC had female representation in league members Jacquie Day and Jess Kleinmann, as well as league officer Cristin Gasson in the Maryland states. These women kick ass. The final four was comprised of two league officers (Pierce McLain, Shawn Hilman), a league member (Fil Baird), and a former league officer (James Daley). Cool! The finals came down to close buds Pierce McLain and Fil Baird with Pierce winning in six games on a close game of Roadshow. He will also be going to Vegas to compete in finals!
The other recent major tournament in the area was the PAPA Circuit event tournament at the MAGFest convention. Kevin Stone ran a really cool tournament in a really wild environment. It was a sight to behold. The tournament began with unlimited free qualifying over a period of three days. In this format, the player plays several games as many times as they choose with their eventual six best scores awarding them an overall score based on the performance of the other players in the tournament. The top 24 moved on to play in a PAPA style elimination tournament. These PAPA circuit events attract some of the best players in the world, and this one was no different. Making the top 24 at an event like this is a major accomplishment in and of itself. The DMV league was represented by league founder Joe Said (finished 3rd) and league members Justin Bath (finished 5th) and Dave Hubbard (finished 6th).
But, a special shout out from this tournament has got to go to Howard Dobson. You probably know Howard because he plays almost every session whether it be for his weekly points or as a guest. Howard shows up and soaks up every bit of knowledge he can from other players and then practices. And practices some more. He hasn’t been playing truly seriously for very long at all, but his improvement rate is astonishing. At Magfest, after the qualifying round, Howard found himself on the outside of the bubble in 25th place by one stupid point. Incredible. But, as luck would have it, qualifier Austin Mackert couldn’t park his car and had to bow out. Howard was in the finals! Though he didn’t advance, Howard got to finish his day amongst some of the greats in the game such as Steven Bowden and Kevin Birrell. Congratulations Howard, what an accomplishment!
The video for this issue is Bowen Kerins doing a tutorial for the game Quicksilver. The nudging, flipper skills, and reaction times in this video can only serve to help your game! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekkf4Z-O0Mo
That’s it for the newsletter this time around! Please let us know if there’s anything you like or don’t like about it in this format as the feedback will help us going forward.
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League Officer – Black Cat & Lymans (day)