Date: Sunday 10th & 11th October, 2009.
This was the second Pinball Circus of the year and it was well attended by pinball fans from the surrounding area. It was held, as usual, at SS Billiards and hosted by owner Lloyd Olson.
Entry to the Circus was lowered to just $10.00 for two full days of pinball fun. The entry fee bought you a numbered ticket which would then be entered into the prize draws which took place throughout Saturday.
The night before, Lloyd covered the pool tables and put the additional machines in between the tables.
Once they had bought their ticket, visitors found a good selection of machines made up from Lloyd's regular collection and some additional games kindly brought in by Circus-goers.
The machines set up for free play for this Circus were:
In addition to the machines, there was a steady supply of food and drinks. Hot dogs, chips and cans of various soft drinks were available throughout Saturday. This food was supplemented with regular deliveries of magical disappearing pizza.
For this Circus the pizza was provided by a new restaurant. This change came about due to favorable feedback from the food provided at the previous Pinball Circus.
There were three pinball machines for sale.
This nice Black Knight 2000 did not sell during The Circus.
Neither did this Grand Lizard which was in good shape.
However, this nice Elvira with new side art and many sexy touches sold very quickly.
The only pinball parts vendor was PinRen who sold out of flipper backlight kits by late Saturday afternoon. But, returned to fill special requests on Sunday.
The Circus was a two day event with the main focus on the first day's activities. All the machines were set to free play and several tournaments took place, combined with regular prize draws. On Sunday there were no tournaments, draws, or food, but the machines remained on free play and the arcade was restricted to only those who bought Circus tickets.
Saturday's first tournament was the now famous “Joe Esposito” pinball tournament. The format was single elimination. Everyone could enter for no additional charge and when the sign-up period was over, names were drawn in groups of two or three; from Lloyd’s automatic, futuristic, fantastic picking bucket.
Blake, the winner was awarded a $25.00 cash prize. When asked about the single elimination tournament, Blake was quoted as saying that tournament play of this type was a “one take knockout”. When asked about his win, Blake was most proud of his second round on “Addams”; where he was behind on the second round – 26M to 40M. But then he came back with a grand score of almost 70M.
The Pinball Masters Tournament was the second tournament. This was a double elimination tournament with a $50 cash prize.
Dave moved to the head of the line by, in his words, “I kept John from a four-peat". Dave was the decided winner saying, "That was some pretty good pinball today”. He continued, “That was fun … that was fun”. Dave had some impressive games, such as: 4.1B on Corvette, 1.7M on NASCAR, and 54M on Batman.
There were all-day one-ball tournaments on Lloyd’s ToPS machines. As with the rest of the party, there were no additional entry fees but unlike the two previously covered tournaments, the players could enter as many times as they wanted; from noon till midnight on Saturday. The winner of each game received $10.00 cash.
Of course, there was also the now traditional Goose Egg tournament; in which a high score could only be obtained by use of one hand. The chosen game was The Lord Of The Rings. Many players used their right hands on the right flipper button and right hips on the left flipper button. This was the case with the winner, Jim. Jim scored 18+M in this one-ball tournament.
Jim almost swept all of one-ball high score tournaments with:
The only other winner was:
For those who didn't win one of the tournaments, there were still plenty of chances to take home a prize thanks to the frequent raffles.
All the tickets were separated into two parts and the smaller piece went into the bucket. At various times throughout Saturday, Lloyd would announce the draw for the next selection of prizes. Jason Rufer displayed each prize as one of the younger members of the Circus drew a numbered ticket and Lloyd made the announcements.
Because Lloyd was going to bring prizes to draw at his show during Expo, any prizes left unclaimed at the time their associated number was drawn were included with the bunch that went to the show.
Here is the prize list in order of numbers drawn:
Hurricane Disc, 12, Collected
Sunday was a much quieter day than Saturday had been, but the prospect of unlimited free pinball drew a respectable number of people back when the second day's action started at midday.
As the day drew to a close, those who had been good enough to bring along their own machines for everyone to play, turned up to pack them away and take them back home.
Save an occasional stuck ball. The only real casualty was a broken drop target on Big Bang Bar.
So another Pinball Circus came to a close. Lloyd seemed happy with the turnout and the up-beat atmosphere across the weekend. Everyone appeared to have an enjoyable time, even when they were crashing out of the tournaments and all the usual ingredients were there to make this another weekend of fun at the Circus.
If you want to join the Circus, the Pinball News Diary contains details of the two Circus weekends and the May Day Tournament in 2010, if you want to plan that far ahead.