Date: 16th & 17th October, 2010
Just two days after the Crazy Joe tournament, the bi-annual pinball weekend that is Pinball Circus took place at SS Billiards.
It was clear from the number of vehicles parked outside that this event would be well supported and so it proved with plenty of participants enjoying themselves inside.
Pinball Circus started at noon on Saturday October 15th when a $10 entry fee covered participants for a whole weekend of unlimited pinball playing on the 20 machines set up for free play.
Along the back of the building were: Corvette, Attack from Mars, Star Trek - The Next Generation, Medieval Madness, Comet, The Addams Family, Shaq Attaq, Creature from the Black Lagoon and Big Bang Bar.
In the centre of the room were five machines brought in just for the Pinball Circus event: World Cup Soccer, Space Odyssey, Fire!, another Creature from the Black Lagoon and a Super Spin.
The extra games were brought in by John Jundt, Jackson Burger, Alan Estenson, Brian Jacobson and Daniel Patridge.
At the front of the room were two banks of games. Four modern Stern machines made up the first - Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man and Wheel of Fortune - while NASCAR and Twilight Zone formed the second.
As this was a pinball event, the pool tables were covered with blue plastic sheeting and used as tables for pinball flyers, food, drinks and a playfield for sale, as helium-filled balloons and streamers floated on the ceiling.
The entry fee also included food and drink on the Saturday. This was laid out so entrants could help themselves.
Diane Lundhal generously brought in copious supplies of tasty cakes throughout the day which were soon snapped up by hungry Circus-goers.
There were plenty of ice-cold sodas available from the cool boxes all day on Saturday.
Hot dogs were also available and at two-hourly intervals from 2pm until 10pm, magical disappearing pizza was delivered from Pizza Luce.
Apart from the opportunity to play all the machines, socialise and enjoy the food and drink, there were many competitive events held over the two days.
On Saturday there were single-ball ToPS tournaments held on the five modern Stern machines - NASCAR, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man and Wheel of Fortune. The highest scorer received $15 and the runner-up got $5. All games could be played as many times as you liked until the close of the tournaments at midnight.
The winners were:
There was also a 'Goose Egg' tournament held on the Batman where players had to keep one hand on the backbox and flip with the other (or use their hip to operate the left flipper and their free hand to operate the right). Dan Toft was the winner of this one, earning himself $15.
There were also two full tournaments held on Saturday. The Saturday Night Pinball competition began at 6pm and was a single-elimination best-of-three tournament held on a variety of randomly-drawn machines.
Whoever won two of the three games in each match progressed to the next round until just three players remained for the final.
That final was between Kyle Anderson, Mike Parkins and Mike Reul, and it was decided on Corvette.
Mike Reul was the winner of the game and the competition, earning himself $15. Mike Parkins was second (winning $5) and Kyle Anderson third.
Before the Pinball Circus tournament took place, there was a prize draw where all Circus attendees' tickets were placed in a bucket and drawn for prizes which included 4 translites, a pinball hat, a Pinball News mug, UK Pinball Tournaments badges and a copy of the new Pinball Price Guide.
A little after 8pm - once the next delivery of pizza had arrived and magically disappeared - the Pinball Circus tournament began. Following a similar format (but with a loser bracket for those who were knocked out in the first round) to Saturday Night Pinball, players again played on random machines in pair or groups of three, with the first to win two games progressing to the next round.
The final of the loser bracket was decided first on Jackson Burger's Creature from the Black Lagoon and was between Dave Gorka and Jordan Bassett with Jordan coming out the winner of this contest, taking away $15.
The main bracket final was contested by Mark L, Mike Parkins and Mike Szilagyi on three machines with the first to win two games the winner. Mike Szilagyi won the first on Spider-Man, Mike Parkins won the second on Corvette and the third on Twilight Zone was won by Mike Szilagyi, taking first place.
Mike won $70 plus a translite of his choice. Mike Parkins was second (winning $15) and Mark L third.
The Pinball Circus tournament didn't finish until after midnight, which was the official finish time for Saturday's activities, so some extra time was allowed for players to enjoy the games. Things were finally wrapped up around 1am.
Sunday at the Pinball Circus began at midday and would continue until 10pm. There was no food or drink provided on Sunday, but there were two tournaments in which to participate and all the games were still on free play.
The first of these tournaments began at 3pm and featured 18 players in a format similar to the Saturday Night Pinball tournament held the previous day. 9 pairs played best-of-three on three randomly selected games. Those 9 winners played again in 3 groups of 3 with the winners going into the final. The 3 finalists then played a best of 7, with the first player to win 3 games the winner.
The final three were Jackson, Martin and Larry and their seven games were Batman, Shaq Attaq, Spider-Man, Twilight Zone, Medieval Madness, Creature from the Black Lagoon and Wheel of Fortune.
As it turned out, Martin won all of the first 3 games to take first place, leaving Jackson and Larry to battle it out for 2nd place on Twilight Zone, which Larry won.
The first tournament continued until 6pm, so the second competition of the day - the Pinball Masters - was delayed slightly to give players a break, starting nearer 7pm.
This followed the Pinball Circus format with a main and a loser bracket. As before, only losers from the first round could enter the loser bracket. Those who lost in the main bracket after the split were out.
As before, the loser bracket was decided first with Todd Andersen taking the honours on Batman as well as earning himself $15.
The main bracket came down to a fight between Dave Gorka and John Jundt on NASCAR, Spider-Man and Attack from Mars.
John won on NASCAR, Dave won on Spidey, leaving Attack from Mars as the decider.
Dave finished his 3rd ball on 748M, just shy of John's 2nd ball total of 754M, making John the winner and earning him $70.
With the Pinball Masters decided, Pinball Circus drew to a close just after 10pm when the clean-up began.
Lloyd declared he was very happy with the attendance and support the Circus had achieved, sending out the following message:
© Pinball News 2010