Date: Saturday April 30th, 2011
Report by IFPA Italia
The fourth edition of the Italian Pinball Championship was held this past April 30th in Rovigo, just like the previous editions.
This year the location was the centre of the main square of the Shopping Mall Le Torri in downtown Rovigo. The designated area was spectacular, with plenty of space and ideal for setting up many pinball machines. The area was surrounded by bars, mini-restaurants and a supermarket for the last minute necessities.
Thursday night we (Nicola Pierobon, Daniele Acciari, Matteo Pontarollo) arrived in Rovigo to be greeted by the mind behind the IPC, Marino Milan.
After pizza and a good sleep we were ready to set everything up on Friday morning. Stefano Aldrighetti joined the group and at 8am we started to get the machines into position.
Some people brought the machines inside, while others immediately started to clean them up, adjust them, ensured they had the correct settings, leveled them and made sure they were working properly.
Within half a day, all the pinballs we had were in position. We were then only waiting for the others which would be arriving early Saturday morning, brought by some of the collectors participating in the tournament.
The line-up was quite impressive, with a total of twenty pinballs for the competition, plus eleven more machines on free play available to the public.
The machines for the competition were:
And on top of that we had eleven more machines in free play:
Saturday morning and everything was ready, with the players checking in at the registration area. The Italian players (all the top ranked Italians) came from many different locations around the country, while three more players arrived from Germany.
The final number of competitors was forty, a perfect number for the format utilized for the qualifying round.
In the tournament area there was also a stand for Smile Africa, a non-profit organization who received all the funds collected from the player’s registrations.
At 10:30am we started the first round, dividing the players in ten groups of four players who were sent to play a single four-way match on each of the ten designated pinball. Players were continuously grouped in four-player teams to battle on the different machines, gaining points that were cumulative over the rounds of the qualifying session.
The total of ten rounds took until 4:30pm, when the top sixteen players moved on to the final rounds.
When qualifying ended at 4:30pm, these were the overall standings and the sixteen qualifiers:
Unfortunately the youngest player of this IPC, nine-year-old Alessandro Gasparetto, just missed the qualification with his seventeenth place. But he showed a very good knowledge of the machines and a great technique.
The sixteen qualifiers were placed in a single elimination bracket, where each match was a race to two wins, on three different pinball chosen by the players.
After the first round of play-offs and the quarters-finals which followed, the top four players from the qualifying section all made it to the semi-finals.
Here, Nicola Pierobon faced the top seed Daniele Acciari, and Mauro Spiga had to deal with Mario Anzini.
The first semi-final saw Acciari winning his first game against Pierobon on The Addams Family, then losing on The Simpsons Pinball Party, before winning the tie-breaker game on Doctor Who.
The other semi-final saw Anzini prevailing over Spiga, in three games as well. Spiga took the first game on Demolition Man, but Anzini came back first winning on his loved Doctor Who and then the tie-breaker on Tales of the Arabian Nights.
Then the battle for the IPC title had Acciari choosing the first machine: The Addams Family, where Anzini was able to take the win over the favourite Acciari.
Then the looser had to pick the following game: Acciari picked Doctor Who, where Anzini played the perfect game, not giving any possibility of Acciari coming back and hoping to win a tie-breaker game.
Congratulations to Mario Anzini - the “Zar” - who takes home the home-made trophy (by Stefano Aldrighetti) and the nice first prize offered by the organizers: the pinball machine The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends.
The IPC 2011 was a beautiful day of pinball, with many pinball enthusiasts meeting together, a tough competition with great players, and a wonderful job by the organiser to make the day as smooth as possible.
Hope to see you at the 2012 edition.
Finally, you can watch a video of the day's highlights on YouTube by clicking here.
© Pinball News 2011