IFPA 9 WORLD
Date: June 8th - 10th, 2012
Report by Franck Bona
Over the weekend of 8th - 10th June 2012, sixty-four of the world's top pinball players descended on Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, to compete in the ninth IFPA World Championships. One of those competing for the World Champion title was French pinball player and European Champion, Franck Bona. Franck kept a journal of the weekend's events for Pinball News and here's his report.
All the players arrive by 10 o'clock at Todd MacCulloch's very large house. Everything is very well organized and a sponsor even gave us free beer…
Jorian Engelbrektsson is not here so there are six players who are former world pinball champions - Lyman Sheats, Daniele Acciari, Cayle George, Bowen Kerins, Keith Elwin, Andrei Massenkof - and the European Pinball Champion (guess who that is!!)
The tournament games here are divided into three groups; 'Old', 'Mid' and 'New'.
A trophy is here in recognition of Keith Elwin first place in the IFPA world pinball rankings, and there is also a plaque for Robert Sutter from Switzerland who earned 611.80 points last year.
Every player has 8 rounds to play. It was expected that 8 former world pinball champions would be here, so if you don't have a world pinball champion in your round you are lucky.
There are eight round of three plays on three different generations of machines, so it means that you have to play a total of twenty-four games. The electro-mechanical games are set on five ball plays, while the mid and new ones are all on three ball play.
The first round has now finished and the players are re-grouped depending on how they performed, just as they will be after every round.
On the Friday, you have six rounds: two before lunch, two before dinner, and two after dinner. Play began at 10am and finished at 11:30 in the evening. You sweat, you swear and your feet hurt!
In Todd’s basement you have to play with your shoes off, which was fun because everyone was bare-foot. It was really bare-foot-style playing!
Todd is a very, very friendly guy who managed to do everything for the welfare of the players. Lunch was sandwiches from Subway for five dollars. The drinks were all free, and one of the players works at the Pyramid Brewery, so we had the brewery as a sponsor and all-you-can-drink beer…!!! Nice.
In the evening we had the pleasure of enjoying a real American way of life - BBQ - for eight dollars. A really, really good one. Thanks Todd!
Everyone is having fun. I am quite pleased to be in the 10s with 64 points. My last two rounds were awesome, with 15 and 17 points, but there are two more rounds to go and I have to keep my concentration.
And finally bad luck has come to me and I drop from 10th position to 33rd or so, with only the top 32 qualifying. There is a seven-player tie on 94 points for only 1 spot, to be decided by a single match on Tron Limited Edition.
Here is the list of players and rankings after 8 round of qualification:
It is now 4:20pm and the head-to-head matches are beginning.
But now, as this is pinball, there are some players who must leave us.
We have a full Swedish match now with, Jorgen Holm and Mats Runsten. And Jorgen Holm won it!
After this round we lose:
Then, we have the third round losers:
They all took three hundred dollars prize money as consolation.
The players now left are: Cayle George, Jim Belsito, Bowen Kerins, Lyman Sheats, Jorgen Holm, Daniele Celestino Acciari, Karl DeAngelo and Andy Rosa.
Four former world pinball champions remain from the original six. As the matches are played, the results are written on a large poster on the wall.
In the quarter-finals, Daniele wins 4-0 against Jorgen Holm to go through. Those who go out in the fourth round are:
Four remain: Cayle George, Bowen Kerins, Daniele Celestino Acciari and Andy Rosa.
And then, after the two semi-finals, just two players remain:
So Daniele Celestino Acciari and Cayle George will contest the final.
Gary Stern is here to see the best-of-seven-games final.
After the first two games it is 1-1:
Then Daniele takes the lead with two solid wins on Medusa and Attack from Mars:
Some great moments of pinball on Grand Prix and The Shadow. For the other games - especially Cayle's favourite AFM, where he usually makes more than 10 billion - it was low scoring by his usual standards.
Daniele plays very quietly and very well. All shots are good and rarely missed.
With Cayle needing to win the next game, play moves to Old Chicago.
But the game ends early when Cayle tilts both his own ball and Daniele’s ball, which results in him getting a score of zero and losing. So Daniele is the winner of the game and the final.
So I took the Northwest Show's Classics, Daniele took the main tournament. Then Daniele won the IFPA title for the second time. What is left for the USA this week? Not a lot…
End of report. That's all folks!!
© Pinball News 2012