Danish Pinball Open - The Pinlab, Copenhagen, Denmark - 24/10/2015

The wacky guys at Pinlab had another event brewing for us at Copenhagen. Last year's event was the "Happiness edition", referring to Denmark having the happiest people on earth with us famously cheery Finns fitting right in. This year it was called the "No T-shits edition", where dress code forbids the most common pinball players' outfit; t-shirts. For a moment there I was thinking about trolling the whole thing with in a tuxedo combined with my trophy receiving hat, but in the end opted to go with my standard work clothes.

The DPO had both main and classics series like last year, with the exception that the classics was now a 'proper' tournament instead of  two machines showdown. The main group consisted of players being divided in 4 groups, with 5 unique qualification machines in each group. Despite being in groups, the qualification itself was everyone vs. everyone. The classics followed the same pattern, but with only 2 groups, with 4 machines per group. One quirk in the game play was that players were given two tries per game, but both tries mattered.

Like last year, 24 best players got to play a play-off bracket to the victory of the whole tournament in group A. The rest went to group B, that had similar bracket but the winner would be 18th of the whole tournament, although taking home a trophy. And in case you're wondering why 18th and not 25th, well, the first round of group A playoffs dropped the losing players into B group.

What was that? I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am thanks to my noise cancelling headset!

When it comes to headphones, this time I came prepared! I still had fresh memories of ringing ears after trying to fade away the background noise of EPC'15 game in Belgium by just turning up the volume. No more of that, I'm now an owner of the Beats Studio Wireless headset. Take that, noise!

The tournament area, main tournament banks left and right, classics in the back.

In the main tournament my group had the following line-up: Twilight Zone, Monster Bash, AC/DC Premium, Metallica Premium and Time Machine. The other games were pretty familiar to me, the Time Machine again I had only played couple of times before, last time somewhere in Colorado. Pintips told me to gun for the ramps, so I guess I had only that to go with. Oh well.

Main qualification

A fun detail in the qualification were the poker chips that had our tags in them. You'd give your chip to a score keeper when you started, and got it back when you were finished. I'm still bummed I didn't manage to pocket mine in the end!

My group's line-up

I started out with the Time Machine. It was just as bad as I had remembered. Back in Colorado my games were either like 300k or rolled over the display. This time all I could do was 305k and 641k. I just couldn't find any of the ramps and the whole gameplay was pretty much random flailing.

Hoping to recover from the poor start I went for the Twilight Zone. Before me was Jörgen Holm, who took quite a beating in the game with around 280M and 120M games. Watching him I wondered what they did to the game, as I recall this very same TZ playing quite nice, although a bit slow last year. When it was my turn I realized there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, and I gunned 378M and 353M on it, being 2nd best in the tournament at that. Thank you, Rod!

Williams' Monster Bash was whole another beast. It's speed totally caught me by surprise after the slowly flowing Twilight Zone, and my first game almost tanked, but on my 3rd ball I finally got at least something going on, and ended the game with 32M. My 2nd attempt went absolutely nowhere with just 5M.

I had high hopes for AC/DC, but it was more of the same with 7M and 12M games. At this point I wished I had just given up way earlier yesterday and gotten some extra hours of sleep. Well, there was still one game to go.

Metallica was my last game in the mains qualification. It was fast just like the AC/DC, and had to play really carefully to start even the Sparky multiball. I found it bit ironic that the 2.5M for collecting the extra ball in tournament mode was actually worth more than the whole multiball. I ended that game with 14M and the next with just 3.9M.

Classics qualification

My classics groups consisted of Xenon, Dolly Parton, Gorgar and Taxi. I tried getting some reads on the machines, but learned nothing especially interesting. Out of that line-up Xenon and Taxi were my personal favorites, and also the ones I had highest hopes on scoring big.

I started out with Taxi. Oh, this one was a brutal bugger! I played 3 multiballs, yet ended up with sub-1M score. It didn't play bad, just couldn't get that damn multiball working. I changed to alternative approach on my 2nd game, following the game's main objective. Nope, 350k. I took my fail and GTFO'd.

Next it was Xenon's turn. Nope. With 71k and 185k I was nowhere near being happy with the outcome. Again, the game played alright, but again I could do nothing with it. I can't even describe with words how frustrating it is to practically be the spectator of your own game, watching ball after ball just drain no matter how much I try to fight it.

Taking old Dolly out for a spin!

Dolly Parton is one of those good(?) old early Ballys with bonus multipliers as in-line drops. I took the very same approach to it as to Bally's Viking; nail the drops first, then flail around to get some bonus to go with it. On my first game I finally got to my target on at the very last ball, ending up with 144k. My second attempt yielded 100k less.

With both main and classics going this wonderful, it was Gorgar's job to put me out of my misery. I learned the very hard way, that this Gorgar's magnet released the ball to it rather unceremoniously landed between the flippers. I ended up with 114k and 61k, which also meant I was done with both qualifications.

All this once again left me banging my head against the wall of not learning to go sleep early. I made the very same mistake last year, taking it 'till the last call at Mikkeller's, and now until midnight at the local hacklab. I guess I'm just too old for staying up late and expecting getting some scores done the next day. Mornings aren't exactly my strong suit anyway and coming in late (yet alone in hangover) is taking it to 11.

I knew I was out of the classics even long before I saw the final scores. On the main game again I dangled on the very last position to get to the A group, until finally taking the plunge and ending up in B group with one bye, thus skipping the 1st round of playoffs. I was less than ecstatic about the outcome and to be honest would have just preferred to end the tournament there, without pretty meaningless group B play-offs.

Playoffs, Group B

After the excellent dinner that was on the house, I finally had someone to play against in the playoffs. The playoffs were played head-to-head, best 2 out of 3 on randomly drawn games.

Round 2

I was put against SLO, with Monster Bash being our first game. Our game pretty much mirrored the same old what had been going on in the qualification. By the 3rd ball we were both at around 2-3M. SLO got his game going for the last ball, and I was left to bridge the 8M gap between us. I very carefully gave the old Frankie could of hits, started the multiball and grinded away to win the game.

Our next game was Avatar, which was no fun to play at all! I personally have grown to like Avatar as a game, but this one had such a fascist tilt it gave tilt warnings just for giving it a stink eye. I tilted my two first balls, but got the multiball going on my last ball. As a side note I made the link captive ball shot on my first ball, but my opponent cashed it out and I spent my whole Amp suit multiball for trying to make the lock again. SLO tilted in the end, and I won marginally, also winning the round 2-0.

Round 3

After some idling JBW came to challenge me on the 3rd round, starting with Funhouse. Argh, this particular Funhouse has something personal against me, and it did show from the very first ball. In the end I pulled a somewhat successful quick multiball and won.

Next we played Mustang. Finally the worst frustrating started to fade away and I was just jamming to my background soundtrack. Mustang played at the perfect pace for that moment and took me to easy victory after couple of multiballs.

Round 4

4th round was also semi-final for group B and I couldn't escape the irony of finally starting to get my game on when it mattered no in the big picture. I was put against JAN, with Roller Games being our first game. I don't know Roller Games that well, but I found myself still gaining a noticeable lead on my 1st and 2nd balls, ending up not having to play the last ball at all.

Then Tron was drawn, with me as 1st player. I really love Tron's soundtrack, and since there was no chance of hearing it from the game, chose Tron Legacy Reconfigured album as the background music. I played surprisingly good game for such a fast game, being Gem short from finishing all the main objectives. JAN had it worse and he couldn't catch me on his last ball, sending me to the group B final. 

I can't help remembering last year's group B final: with 3 trophies available I was 4th. As this year they only gave a trophy to the winner, I kinda guessed I'd probably be the second. Well, a pessimist never gets disappointed and so forth.

Group B final

I had been eyeballing the DPO'15 official shirts for some time, and I couldn't help myself buying one. then I rebelliously broke the dress code by wearing it!

Take that, dress code!

In the end, TWS, RUN and LED were in the final with me. LED however chose not to play, so it was just the three of us.

TWS gunning for the ship!

We started out with Black Rose. This is one game that I'd need some quality time with some day. RUN totally dominated this game, with me getting past TWS on the last ball. The outlanes were magnetic on this one!

After that came the less amazing Spiderman. It was moderately fast, with me having strong hopes for the Sandman modes but in the end having less stellar results with it. RUN won this one, again, and since we didn't have the 4th player, he had also won the whole group B. So the last game after this was just me and TWS going for the 2nd and 3rd places.

The deciding game was Ironman, which was a total crapfest from the very beginning. Naturally since I was doing so badly, it was also the game under the camera rig. I couldn't start the multiball and ended being 3rd. TWS was 2nd and RUN swept the round with his 3rd victory. I was 2nd.

The outcome

In the main qualification I was 30th out of 24 players getting into group A. In group B I got one bye, won 4 play-offs rounds in a row with clean victories, being 2nd in the group and getting 19th position in the whole tournament.

In classics I was 47th, when 16 best qualified.

I can't say I'm that happy with the results, but that's pinball, folks. On the more positive side, I was reunited with a newly found friend from the 2014 EPC in Italy, and spent the remainder of the night grinding away the free play machines with him. A refreshment or two might also have been enjoyed.

Other non-pinball related noteworthy moments were the Copenhagen Hacklab, Miao Cat Cafe visit and getting to see Finnair's brand spanking new Airbus A350!

Until the next time.

European Pinball Championship 2015 - Sint-Niklaas, Belgium - 2-4/10/2015

I've been looking forward to this trip ever since the unforgettable trip to EPC'14 in Rimini, Italy. I'm no stranger to Belgium, but so far I had never taken part in a tournament in there, so it was finally time to go check out what the guys had in store for us. This was also very special trip to me as it's first time ever my folks joined me in a tournament outside our own arcade, not to talk about a different country.

I wish I could say our arrival in Belgium was an uneventful one, but having our plane getting stuck at the gate and the local railway company skipping our connecting train made us arrive extra late and dead tired. I was looking forward to hear the Stern presentation, but no can do. Wandering around in Sint-Niklaas' nightlife I found numerous familiar faces, first of them being Germany's very own Jochen, with whom I searched for the other Finns, whom we found in various stages of being wasted. After getting some pizza I finally retired to our hotel, which turned out to be a lot better than what I had expected for the price.

The night club-turned-pinball heaven awaited us!

I arrived at the venue a bit early next morning just to check out what they had in store for us. In addition to latest Sterns and Williams-Bally DMD-era machines, the highlights included Stern’s latest, The Game of Thrones, Heighway pinball's Full Throttle, Wizard of Oz, Whoa Nellie and Kiss. I wish I had gotten to play Game of Thrones a bit more, but at least I can say I've tried it now, although I still have no firm opinion about it.

Teams tournament

After playing couple of of free play machines I realized I was far from optimal playing shape. I wish I could limit my energy drink consumption, but once again I found myself downing Red Bulls hoping to wake up. Team Finland was back with last year's line-up of yours truly, TEN, TTV and OMO as the team captain. We'd play against 5 other country teams, so that 2 from our and 2 of the opposing teams played one one machine. Winning player would bring 5 points to his/her team, 2nd 3 points, 3rd 1 point and last one no points. Two teams with most points would go into the finals.

TEN starting the Indiana Jones against the Italians

Me and TEN starter against Italy in Stern's Indiana Jones. It was a total crapfest for me since the very first seconds. At ball 3 I was in the last position, hoping to start the Last crusade multiball for which I had already locked two balls. No dice, did a really pitiful left outlane drain from the captive ball.

Gottlieb's Waterworld wasn't exactly too familiar machine for any of us, but we got some last minute coaching for it. We went against the Danish team on it. Little good that coaching did, as I got two house balls and the last was a rather futile attempt to catch others. Another rather frustrating last position. I know I can be a real mister sunshine when I'm doing badly, but I've been trying to work on that and build playlists to help with my mood. Not sure how well that went, tho.

Getting my ass kicked by Kevin Costner

With Fish Tales being the next game against Team 3G&K, I knew this crap streak had to end some time. Apparently it wasn't however on this game, as I locked two balls and had the captive ball up to Rock the boat lit on 3rd ball, but then I got a nasty bounce from an attempted center shot and had to slap to save it. The game tilted! Oh for the fucks sake! It easily had what was needed to totally own this round as our opposing team members completely tanked the video mode.

At this point I was feeling like I had totally failed our team. With the 4th game I however felt the Austrian health drink was finally kicking in and I had a bit more fighting spirit in me for game against team Dzikle Kaczki on Frankenstein. I have no idea where this team was from, I can only assume Romany or Hungary from the name. After couple of so'n'so balls I really kicked it up a notch and took home my first #1 position with mainly playing modes. I had hard time finding the multiball lock hole, but slowly homed into it in the end. I however didn't do much with the multiball at that game.

As the luck would have it, we got to play the same game again against Team Stadion. Finally I was awake and finished several modes, and nailed the main multiball in the end. Damn it felt good to be back in the game again!

Starting my game of Frankenstein

While acing the last two games, the team didn't recover from the really bad games in the beginning and we were out. I can only hope next time we get to play a bit more late into the night. Our team got 44 points, when the last qualifying team had 47. I wish I had been more awake in the early rounds.

Main tournament qualification

The main tournament consistent of qualification on 8 games, with one joker game. Players had a range of games to choose from and points were awarded based on their scores on each game. In the end all the points were summed up and the player were ranked by amount of points.

To be honest, when first registering to this tournament, I had been planning to take a closer look at the game list and build some kind of an attack plan. But things falling as they were, here I was again, having to just wing it.

I knew I would probably choose some of the less mainstream games to make it. Looking at the more offstream machines I quickly added the Gottlieb System 3 machines, Gladiators and Stargate on my list. I was wondering about using Whoa Nellie as a backup since it wasn't exactly a conventional modern pin. Other than that, there was a lone EM game, Super Soccer in there, which seemed awfully familiar.

I started out with Gladiators. I had pretty clear plan of attack for it; get DOUBLE for each ball, grind hard on the modes that actually make points and then finish with the final mode. Well, turns out the one played a lot different than mine. The upper right flipper didn’t want to co-operate with tap passing and I couldn’t make the upper saucer shots to collect DOUBLE letters. I played all the modes, having the semi-final mode, Calm before the storm lit, when I double drained from the main multiball. I wasn’t too happy about the 66.5M score I got, but later on learned it was actually among the top scores. Had I started the Calm before the storm, I would have probably made it the #1.

Me, playing Gladiators

Next up was Walking dead. I had very crappy round, with two house balls and with the last ball I just wanted to start the Well zombie, but got center drain from that. With only 8.2M on the board I chalked this as the game where I’d probably spend my joker game on.

I had been eyeballing the Super soccer for some time. It had virtually the exact same ruleset as Snow queen; spin the spinners enough times to add to bonus. Once the bonus was full, there was a hole in the upper left playfield to collect it. Skillshot lit double bonus. Many players I observed scored something between 10-20k, I put 57k on it, and it was instantly in the top scores. Ahh, the old clunkers <3

After playing Super soccer I noticed my joker game entry had been spent. The guy keeping scores said it’s nothing to be worry about, but I could ask the main guy if I wanted. I did, and appears I really had used the joker for some reason. I was asked to talk to another guy, who was apparently behind the whole scoring system. After asking if I had really played all the scores I had on my score sheet he promised to look into it. As everyone was super busy at that point, I wasted almost half an hour of game time over this, but I guess it’s better to deal with it now, than at the end.

Next it was time to play the Gottlieb System 3 game even our country IFPA president, OMO doesn’t completely hate - Stargate. I was very bummed to learn the upper flipper was completely useless and I could make the ramp shots. Still, I found the skillshot from the early on and played one very nice multiball I got from that. I played all the modes, but couldn’t cash them out as well as I would have liked. I finished the game with the final mode lit and 369M on the display. I was fine with that.

I was a bit unsure about playing’s Stern’s Kiss. On the other hand not everyone had played it before, but then again I only had played it couple of times myself. Then again I knew its very multiball oriented gameplay worked great for me. And it did, I finished with 42M, which was only half of my very first game, but still in the top scores. I just love the STAR standups shot on this game for some reason. Unlike the one I played at Orivesi pinball open, this one didn’t feed straight down the middle from the main lock.

After Kiss, I returned to my “play less known games” plan with Austin powers. I observed TTV playing before me, seeing him rack a 100M+ score on it. I also learned that the center ramp magnet didn’t work. I wasn’t sure of it was a good thing or not, but once I started playing it I realized it only made the game a lot easier. Normally the magnet grabs the ball when the center ramp switch is activated. Without the magnet the ball is deflected down the ramp, and it gives another center ramp hit. The downside is that it’s directed pretty much between the flippers, so a slight slap save was required at times. I finished all henchmen modes except Fat bastard, racking up 154M and another spot among the high scores.

At this point I really, really hoped I had noise cancelling headphones. The sound of 10s of pinball machines played at the same time was just deafening, especially when I tried to fade it away by cranking up the volume. For the next tournament I’m SO going to buy a proper headphones!

Before moving on to the next game, I had to check how I was doing. Much to my amazement not counting the crap luck Walking dead, each of my entry was in the 100 qualifying point range, putting me easily inside the qualifying range. Whoa!

Curiosity got the better of me, and I chose Whoa Nellie as my next game. Well fuck-a-doodle-doo, I got two house balls and one pitiful round of random bumper flailing for my last ball, giving me 264 points. Apparently good scores were among 2000-3000. This was the first game giving me no points as all for the tournament.

For my final entry I played Sopranos. It wasn’t anything special, I expected to play one Stugots multiball per ball, but only got the multiball going on my last ball. I used it to bash the safe and get couple of super jackpots, ending up with 22M. It was better than nothing, but far from what I had hoped.

Me versus The Sopranos

The Sopranos was my 8th game and looking my score sheet I had 5 really good games, one okayish (Sopranos) and two real bad (Whoa Nellie and Walking dead). Whoa Nellie was a bit too random for my taste, so I opted to play Walking dead again. The score keeping guy however wasn’t having any of it, and told to my face that there was 2 guys before me on that game, and I wouldn’t have time to start another game. Well, that was a bummer, as I believe I’d easily make play better game on the second try. With just 16 points from Walking dead and no points from Whoa Nellie I had very little choice over what to play next. With a grimace I took on Nellie’s melons for the second time.

Whoa Nellie is a really odd game. It’s a 2015 remade version of 2011 made retro game with short flippers and score reels. It was originally made out of a real EM game, and then produced as a modern SS game that still has the score reels. The 2015 version however also has a small LCD display that has the familiar 128x32 dot matrix display, and it runs on Stern’s Linux-based Spike platform.

Nellie's miniature display revealed it to be a modern game at heart!

My second game wasn’t that much better, but I finally found the skillshot and made at least some points. Too bad I ended up with a score of only 748, which was still way better than the 265 on my first try.

I finally got some points from Nellie, taking me up to around 36th position. There was still one group to go, but I was pretty sure I was safe from being eliminated at this point. I was also happy to see so many of my countrymen making the cut as well.

Classics qualification

In 2014 I had a real nice run in the classics, being 12th in the whole tournament. Looking at the line-up I found many games I planned to play. The odd thing was, that the whole Classics tournament had very different format than the main tournament. In the main tournament there was just one entry for each players, with 8 machines and one joker. In the classics again you could play as many entries you wanted (or had time to!), which each entry being 3 machines. The space was really cramped, hot and way overcrowded most of the time.

The classics section

Many of the classic SS games suffered breakdowns, making queuing for them really frustrating as after half an hour you're just being told the game is now broken and you're out of the queue.

In the end I had the time to play 4 entries, out of which none were anything to write home about. Williams’ Space mission was my favorite, as it’s very close to being a normal body version of Contact. Other than that my entries mostly consisted of two total crap fests and one so’n’so game.

If there’s anything worth mentioning, it’s TTV’s relentless attempts at qualifying, and then at the very final entry he played 3 good games in a row and made it. That’s the Finnish fighting spirit right there! Another Finn to make it was JAX a bit earlier on. With 16 qualifying, my 161st didn’t do much for me.

Main tournament playoffs

Oh man, oh man. Being the perfect being that I am, I have very little flaws save one major: I wasn’t made to wake up at 8 in the morning. After a very long Saturday, I was literally dying getting up once for the 7th time in a row in ungodly hours. The coffee at hotel’s breakfast did absolutely nothing and I once again had to resort to energy drinks to get me going. One of these days Red bull’s gonna give me wings, for real.

The playoffs’ format was to play best 2 out of 3, until there was only 4 players left. Losing in the main bracket didn’t automatically mean the player was out, as they fell to the loser’s side of the bracket and had to play again on the same round. On the loser’s side it was just one game, played with 4 balls. Lose that and you’re out. Keep on winning, and after 5th round you had a chance to rise back to the winner’s in the final.

Playoffs, round 1

On my first round I was put against Jean Louis Passerieu, who qualified 34th. I was still a bit bummed about the whole thing of not being able to play Sopranos again, so I had to start from the round 1. Oh well.

We started out with Data-East’s Guns’n’Roses. I still remember getting my ass kicked on it at St. Michel Open, when my opponent just chose Super bumpers instead of progressing the multiball. I did just that now, and just kept the ball in the bumpers, watching those 2M bumper hits racking up. My opponent got couple of nice modes in, but I still took this one home.

Our next game was World Cup Soccer. The game was rather harsh for both of us, we both had multiball lit for the last ball, but didn’t get to start it. In the end my opponent won the game by just what he got from the bonus, taking us to the 3rd game, Metallica.

I was a bit nervous about Metallica, as it’s what I call a grinder game; a game that doesn’t have that many difficult but hugely valuable shots. Nailing your opponent is more like a death by thousand cuts. We both had really crappy first two balls, so at ball 3 it was more like sudden death round. I did one VERY careful attempt at making Sparky, got it and got past my opponent. First round over, I was still in the game!

Playoffs, round 2

I went against Michel van den Elzen from 19th position. So, I guess now I was playing against the big boys.

We started out with Whoa Nellie. I was kind of glad we did, as I was afraid I’d just get my ass kicked if we had a grinder machine to start with. I got almost 1000 points with my first ball, where my opponent got under 100. I finished the game with a bit over 1500 points, where my opponent did a valiant attempt, but was left with 1200 points. So, Nellie was favorable to me this time.

Next we got a grinder game, 24, and it was just as bad as I had feared. 24 is not a new game to me, and it wasn’t about not knowing the rules or playing badly, I just got to start with two house balls where my opponent totally blew me away with 3 successful balls. I noticed Michel followed the same plan as I would have done; start a multiball, then other multiball on that and then some more. In the end 24’s stackable multiballs would make Xzibit proud.

We ended the round with Shadow. I played a very strong ball 1, while my opponent just got crap luck right from the start. I continued with strong game, finishing the miniplayfield, playing 2nd Khan multiball, the main multiball and couple of modes. Michel got second bad ball. I spent my last ball trying to start Khan multiball once again, but couldn’t hit the hole. I was leading over 900M at that point and my opponent didn’t catch me on his last ball. As an icing on the cake for winning this round I got two enter my initials for this game.

Playoffs, round 3

With round 3 I had the sinking feeling I’d be soon paired with one of the world stars. When the lads told me I’d be playing against Daniele Acciari, I thought they were just pulling my leg. Then when I saw Daniele there with all smiles, I realized they weren’t kidding.

Having travelled around with Daniele in the recent years, he’s one of the guys who just isn’t some random pinball player to me any more. If I was to get my ass kicked, I guess it was better if it was someone I highly respected to do it.

We started out with Metallica. Until the 3rd ball it was really surprising game. We both played Sparky on our first balls, did nothing on our 2nd balls and all the sudden we were in a situation where Daniele had 10M and I 12M at the beginning of ball 3.

Daniele was all about getting another round of Sparky, but made a shot that ended up the ball screaming down towards the center drain. He did a very strong slide, getting two tilt warnings in a rapid succession, but no tilt. I could see his a bit worried face turning to a glee, when he waited for a second, then banged 110M more to his score. I tried my best, but drained at around 30M.

Our next game was Stern’s Avengers. I’ve been honestly thinking about buying this game some day, just to play it and then dump it. I tried asking around if there was some sane way to approach this game, but now. Everyone I asked were like “It sucks. Repeat the left orbit ad nauseam, play multiball, rinse and repeat”.

That was also Daniele’s approach to this game. He just did it more and longer than I did, winning the game.

Losing 2-0 to Daniele didn’t mean it was game over for me.

Playoffs, loser’s side, round 3

Having lost to Acciari dropped me to loser’s side of the bracket for some sudden death styled play. I was put against another eliminated player, Kevin Roelants on No Fear.

No Fear is a bit hit’n’miss game for me. Either it goes very well or it’s a crapfest beyound description. With Kevin I had the rare opportunity to see just that, but Kevin getting the short end of the stick. This game had some extra rubber bumpers around the start mode hole, which made the jackpot shot really annoying to make. I found the shot after 5 or so tries, but Kevin just struggled and struggled with it - his frustration was just palpable.

After finishing my 4th ball I was just under 2B, while Kevin was around 300M. But then all the sudden Kevin found the shots, and started racking up the points. I was standing there with OMO, sharing the nerve wrecking moments of watching jackpot after another being scored. Kevin finally ended with a bit over 1B, which meant it was round 4 for me.

Playoffs, loser’s side, round 4

Just for the record, this is to date my best personal modern game tournament EVER! All I hoped was that we wouldn’t get Avengers or other crappy shitfest of a game now. I went against Ernö Rotter on …. Avengers. I wish I had a picture of my happy face, as I’d put it right here. Right with 2 middle fingers.

Again all I got for Avengers was “repeat the left orbit”. I did. Once again my opponent just did it more. We were pretty much tied until the 3rd ball, after which my opponent played one monster ball, leaving me over 20M behind him for my 4th ball. I couldn’t catch him, which meant I was out.

Still, what a tournament! I wasn’t even pissed off thinking how far I got!


Teams: Finland was eliminated in qualification.

Classics: I was 161th, 16 best qualified.

Main: I qualified and was eliminated on 4th round of playoffs, being 21st.

Let me begin with a praise to the organizers: this was THE best tournament I’ve been attended to, and not only because I did relatively well. The organizers had done extraordinarily good job, so we played clean and well working machines with very clearly organized environment. The venue was excellent with 2 bars, and the BBQ on Saturday was spot-on, couldn’t have asked for more! I guess the only downside was me visiting the promised land of beer and chocolate, and not liking either of them :)

This was the first ever tournament outside Kouvola where my folks attended as well, and I was so glad for them being able to try out the very latest the pinball scene has to offer. I noticed Wizard of Oz making quite an impression for the old timers pinball players!

It's the folks vs The Wizard of Oz!

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Belgium and the whole EPC’15 team! You rocked hard!