NW PINBALL & ARCADE
Date: June 6th - 8th, 2014
Sunday was a much shorter show day than either Friday or Saturday, with the doors opening at 9am and closing at 3pm. But that earlier finish meant machine donors and vendors had plenty of time to pack up and head home without the need to start breaking down games during show hours.
It also gave us the opportunity to explore the show floor and highlight a few of the more interesting exhibits.
Brian Cox brought along three of his custom games - Retro Spa, Miss Adventure and Jupiter Crush.
Retro Spa was a narrow body redesign of Future Spa which used artwork based on Dave Christensen's original Romanesque design.
Opposite Brian's three solid-state machines was Dominique John's Galactic Girl custom EM game.
These were all custom designs, but over on the other side of the hall, a Data East Checkpoint had been re-themed as a The Les Schwab Team game.
In addition to the new translite, there was new cabinet art and additional playfield features.
Backbox toppers seemed to be very popular this year. PinballBulbs.com led(!) the way with their display of Metallica, The Shadow, Iron Man, Cactus Canyon and Monster Bash games all fitted with custom toppers.
Our final unusual game was this bright red Pinball FX video pinball cabinet, also on the Pinball Bulbs stand.
Before we leave the show machines, let's take a tour of them with out exclusive Ten Minute Tour of the NW Pinball & Arcade Show.
There were several tournaments held at the NW Pinball & Arcade Show. Two kids events were held out in the lobby on Shrek and Pennant Fever, while four pinball competitions took place inside the hall.
The Babes in Pinland event was a ladies-only tournament held after qualifying for the main tournament had ended. Entry cost $10, and the format was a three-strikes head-to-head knockout. That meant players continued playing randomly-drawn two-player games until they had lost three matches, at which point they were eliminated from the tournament.
The final match was played on Indianapolis 500 and it was Julie Gray who triumphed, winning $145, a $100 gift certificate and free entries into a selection of local tournaments.
The Classic Tournament took the form of a pingolf challenge, where competitors has to complete an objective on each of the seven machines using the fewest number of balls. If they took more than their allocated five balls, they were awarded a score of six.
The machines used were: Quicksilver, Ali, Centaur, Strikes & Spares, Scorpion, Supersonic and Mystic.
The top 16 players with the lowest scores went into the final round where they played the same machines again but with a new set of objectives. Their scores were added to their first round scores to give an overall total.
The final result was very close, with Raymond Davidson winning with a total score of 35 for the two rounds. Robert Gagno was second on 36, with Jason Hatch third on 37, and Andrew Nunes fourth with 38.
There was also a one ball high score competition at the Pacific Pinball Museum stand with the Escape from the Lost World on which it was played as the prize.
It turned into a to-and-fro between Raymond Davidson and Robert Gagno as each took the lead only to be trumped by the other. But in the end it was Robert who won and took the machine home.
The main tournament was the last to finish. Qualifying for the 101 competitors took place in four sessions on Friday and Saturday, followed by the play-off rounds on Sunday.
Players were divided into groups of four (or sometimes three) to play a single game on a randomly-selected machine. The top scorer in the group was awarded 4 points, second place got 3 points, third received 2 points and the lowest scorer 1 point.
However there was a twist where two extra point were awarded. The first went either to the top scorer if their score was more than the second- and third-placed players' scores combined, or otherwise to the third placed player. The second point went to either the second placed player if their score exceeded the third- and fourth-placed scores combined, or else to the fourth placed player.
After each game the groups were remade, and when all five games had been played, the top six from each session went through. The top player from each session received one bye, and a seventh player qualified from the first session, making a total of 21 players in the quarter-finals from which the top 11 continued to meet the four top qualifying scorers in the semi-finals.
The final actually consisted of seven competitors playing in a convoluted system of five games. In the end, the last match was between Tim Tournay and Dave Stewart, and it was held on the Mustang LE on Marco Specialties' stand.
In a tight match, Dave had a good last ball which ended on 57.7M. Tim began his last ball on 27.9M and so needed to more than double his score to win - a challenge which proved too difficult, making Dave the winner of the tournament, the trophy and $600.
While the final rounds were taking place, the closing awards were being made outside the hall in the lobby. Byron Raynz made the presentations and awards, starting with the show's organisers.
The top three in the Kids Shrek Tournament - Ryan Buffles, Xander Frees & Jack Slovacek - were then awarded their prizes, including the large trophy we saw at the start of our report.
Awards were then presented to the owners of the best machines at the show. They were:
The trophies were 3D printed by FabLab Tacoma just before and during the presentation, so that they could include the winners' names.
Each year the NW Pinball & Arcade Show presents a scholarship of $2,500 to further the education of one local student who is about to start studying an arcade-related subject at college.
This year the scholarship went to Michella, who will shortly begin her studies in the field of electronics.
Two draws were then made for the grand prizes in the daily and show-long raffles.
The draw for the new-in-box Star Trek Pro pinball was drawn first. Tickets cost $20 each and the holder of the winning ticket did not need to be present.
The winning ticket belonged to Rob Daley who wasn't at the presentation to collect his prize.
The second draw was for the Donkey Kong Jr. video game which would be won by the holder of the winning $1 daily draw ticket.
With the presentations and tournament prizes all awarded, the show closed at 3pm.
As show visitors head for the exit, so do we. We hope you enjoyed our extensive coverage of this year's NW Pinball & Arcade Show. We'll be back in 2015, but in the meantime you can check out the full tournament results at nwpas.wapinball.net and see more details about this year's and - when it is announced - next year's show at nwpinballshow.com.
© Pinball News 2014