PINBALL EXPO 2010
Date: 20th - 24th October, 2010
In our first part we looked at the setting up of the Pinball Expo halls on Wednesday.
The main hall opened to the public at 6pm the following day. At that time there were still one or two gaps in the games hall, so we left our look at the machines available to play until late Friday night, by which time everything which was going to arrive would have arrived, and - hopefully - not many machines had been sold and taken away.
Our survey of the games hall revealed exactly 100 pinballs set up while another 66 were in the main hall.
Because of the time of night, some machines may have been turned off by their owners ahead of the all-night session. As a result, it wasn't clear which machines were not working and which had just been depowered, so we have omitted this information.
Although there were 66 machines set up in the main hall, it was the 28 vendors who dominated this room. They were:
WhizBang Pinball's Greg Freres and Dennis Nordman had their Whoa Nellie! game set up to play in the main hall. The game is awaiting playfield artwork and the LEDs behind the backglass were only temporary, but the game is otherwise pretty much complete.
To give you the best look at the two Pinball Expo halls, here's our exclusive Four Minute Tour of the show. Just click on the picture below or on the play button to take the tour.
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One regular absentee vendor is Illinois Pinball, and as they had for the past few years, they set up their wares in a hotel about 2 miles south of the Westin.
Back at the Westin, on Saturday afternoon there was the regular autograph session where designers, artists and authors were available to talk to visitors and sign their works.
On Sunday it was time to start packing up the two halls while the finals of the tournaments took place in the corridor outside. By 4pm, the main hall had been stripped bare and Pinball Expo 2010 was officially over.
Before that, though, there were the final rounds of the Youth, Classics, Womens, A and B divisions of the Flip-Out tournament to play, all of which started early Sunday morning.
Tournament qualifying had begun at 1pm on Thursday, continued throughout Friday and ended at 11pm on Saturday. Entry cost $5 or 3 entries for $10 and players qualified by getting top scores on a range of machines which included Avatar, Wheel of Fortune, Shrek and Big Buck Hunter, while the Classics had Ready Aim Fire, Chicago Cubs, Bobby Orr Power Play and Wild Life.
The play-offs all featured a best-two-out-of-three format with double-elimination for the A and Classics divisions, and single-elimination for the others.
First to finish were the 8 B Division qualifiers who completed their play-offs while we were still checking out of the hotel. The qualifiers were (in order) Mike Basler, Tim Zollner, Roger Sharpe, Andrew Rosa Jr, Steve Epstein, Dan Toft, Tom Knorst and Mike Sweetser.
In the play-offs it was Chris and Tom who contested the final with Chris coming out the winner. Tom was second, Dan was third with Steve in fourth. Prizes were $250 for first place, $125 for second, $75 for third and $50 for fourth, with the top 2 also winning registration and entries into the B division at PAPA.
The second division to be completed was the Womens where the top 4 qualifiers played a semi-final and final. In that final, second-placed qualifier Penni Epstein defeated fourth-placed qualifier Fanny Sunesson to take first place in the division. Fanny was second, top qualifier Alysa Parks was third and Tina Curtis took fourth place.
It was the turn of the four Youth division qualifiers to complete their play-offs next. Top qualifier Andrew Rosa Jr remained undefeated to win the semi-final and final. Mallori Patrick lost out in the final to take second place while Kyle Davis was third and Jon Palzer fourth.
Just two more divisions remained and it was the Classic which was decided next.
Trent Augenstein had qualified in first place ahead of Andy Rosa, Derek Fugate, Jason Werdrick, Bob Matthews, Zach Sharpe, Brian Bannon and Don Brownback. The double-elimination play-offs saw Brian remain undefeated all the way through to the final where he met Jason who he beat in the semi-final but who returned as winner of the loser bracket.
The final was played on Chicago Cubs which Brian won, and then on Bobby Orr Power Play which also went to Brian, giving him the win. Derek was third with Zach in fourth.
Which left just the A division to be decided, and the sixteen qualifiers were (in order): Zach Sharpe, Andy Rosa, Bowen Kerins, Josh Sharpe, Jason Werdrick, Greg Davis, Trent Augenstein, Mark Pearson, Kevin Kulek, Bob Matthews, Bob Skinner, Joe Katz, Josh Henderson, Brian Bannon, Derek Fugate and Brian Shepherd.
The top four qualifiers received byes through the first two rounds, the next four by-passed just the first round. As 7th place qualifier, Trent skipped the first round but then joined and defeated Bob, Andy and then Bowen and Zach to go into the final undefeated.
Following his loss to Trent, Zach went into the last round of the loser bracket where he beat Bowen to get into the final.
Having already lost one match, Zach had to win the first best-of-three match to even things up, and this he did in two games on Wheel of Fortune and Avatar, making the next match the decider.
For the first game it was back to Wheel of Fortune and after a couple of strange ball bounces - one of which sent Zach's ball over the flippers into the drain - the flipper rubbers were adjusted before ball two was played.
Despite having just won on Wheel of Fortune, Zach could only manage a total of 4,095,100 to Trent's second ball score of over 18 million, giving Trent the first game of the three.
Action then moved over to Avatar where the situation was reversed with Trent's three ball total of 10,645,880 failing to reach Zach's 37 million from his first two, leveling the score at one game all.
The deciding game was played on Shrek where Trent took an early commanding lead of 11,295,470 to Zach's 3,796,190.
The second ball went the same way for both players as - despite tilting both his first two balls - Trent almost doubled his score to 21,279,200 compared to Zach's 5,073,330.
Trent's third ball, however, only pushed his score up by a million to 22,329,680. If Zach could get one good ball then he could still win.
His last ball did score the most of any single ball in the final, but it only added 13 million to his total, leaving him on 18,595,730, some 3,733,950 points short of Trent's total.
So Trent won the Flip-Out 2010 A division, picking up a trophy and $2,500.
Zach was second, Bowen was in third place and Josh fourth.
At 7am on Friday, the annual ExpoBrawl two-player team tournament run by the Ohio Pinball League began in the games hall.
Unfortunately, covering the seminars meant we were unable report on Expo-Brawl as well, but the top teams in the four divisions were:
In addition, there was a two-ball tournament held on the Big Guys Pinball stand in the main hall to promote the upcoming tournament software built into their Nucore system. Competitors had to sign up at Chuck and Don's seminar on the software. Entry was free and the winners in the two divisions - amateurs and pros - would each receive a Nucore base package worth $400.
Entrants had to play 2 balls on a Nucore Revenge From Mars machine and record their score at the end. Tom Kennedy won in the amateurs division...
...and Martin Ayub won in the pros.
And with that we end our coverage of Pinball Expo 2010. We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to being back in Wheeling next October.
© Pinball News 2010