Date: 20th May 2007
Report by Avout Van Der Werf
Seattle's premiere pinball emporium, Shorty's, was the site of the fourth biennial Powder Puff Pinball Tournament on Sunday, May 20, 2007, skillfully hosted - as always - by the legendary Larry Reid. This competition is limited to female contestants, many having regularly participated in the annual Open tournament held each fall.
The field of 24 women pinball enthusiasts was down slightly from the 32 entrants in 2005, but the level of competition was decidedly higher than previous years. These lovely ladies came from as far as Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia to compete for the grand prize of a vintage electromechanical machine.
The format of the Powder Puff is identical to the Open – head-to-head, best 2-out-of-3, double elimination in random brackets.
As luck would have it, the opening round pitted the reigning champion Kat against the eventual winner, Julie Gray. After losing the first game on Pirates of the Caribbean, Julie swept the following two games and never looked back.
Clearly the class of the field, Julie lost only 2 more games on her way to the title, having elevated her level of play since her tepid showing at the 2006 Open.
Kat never fully recovered from her opening round loss and finished tied for 6th with Jill Lessig (wife of 2005 Open winner Kevin Lessig).
Angela Cruishank of the Portland posse finished alone in 4th, with local favorite Cheese Boat, who arrived with a cheering section, finishing 3rd. Kerri Norman (aka“Spinner”) of Portland's Crazy Flipper Fingers team came in 2nd . Honorable mention goes to Bonnie Bedford of Vancouver, B.C., who finished tied for 8th (with Gwyn Anglin) in her first tournament.
As always, cash and other valuable prizes were awarded in several categories, many unrelated to final standings.
Fourth place finisher Angela won the best-dressed Pinball Princess award with her fetching retro mini-skirt ensemble.
The coveted Drunkest Contestant award provided the closest finish of the day, with Jackie (AKA “Little Kitten”) taking the late lead before careening out of the bar on wobbly legs. Her disqualification left the prize to Jaime Beth, whose disappointing finish in the tournament was more than soothed by this highly regarded consolation.