Date: May 31st - 1st June, 2014
Report by David Mainwaring
This review takes us to the beautiful city of Warsaw and the Polish Pinball Open (PPO), one of the official 2014 IFPA European Championship Series events. This is their first main IFPA European Championship event. Can they make the grade?
After searching around for the venue, a fellow pinhead spotted my pinball T-Shirt, told us we were heading in the wrong direction and led us to the event.
Please be aware that the place was very dark inside and full of winding rooms, resembling a cavern. So the pictures may not be of the usual quality.
Right, let’s get on with the report.
After the clinical and well air-conditioned office block of Nürnberg used for the German Pinball Open, we come to this Polish place full of character, culture and art.
The PPO was held as part of the Pixel Heaven retro gaming event.
Today’s schedule was very well organised, with a lot of work clearly put into the tickets and badges.
Non-competition players were also playing the practice machines, which meant getting a game was quite difficult at times.
There should have been three Classic Tournament machines but Spirit of 76 was missing as it had been withdrawn before the start due to technical issues.
Later on, See Saw by Bally was also retired, making the Classics a one machine event with the top two scores winning the gold and silver trophies.
Here are details of the machines used in each event and the free-play titles.
You can take a look around the Pixel Heaven event with my Eight Minute Tour video.
Back to the tournaments, and the winners in the Team event.
Main Tournament Rules:
Choose 8 of the 16 machines and play a single game on each. 32 points were awarded for top score on any particular machine, then 31 points for second and so on.
A joker was also available to replay any one of the machines that you had selected, and it would replace your old score whether higher or lower.
The top 32 scorers from the 72 entrants would qualify for the play-offs on Sunday.
The play-offs used a double-elimination best-two-out-of-three bracket. Players who won advanced to the next level of the bracket, while the losers moved to the appropriate level on the loser bracket or were eliminated if they were already in the loser bracket
Players that reach the final of the winners bracket advance to the final. Only the winner of the loser bracket advanced to the final. The loser of the final of loser bracket ended in fourth place in the overall tournament results.
These last three went through to the final which was played on four machines chosen by the judges. Those machines were Scared Stiff, Metallica, Creature from the Black Lagoon and Mustang. The winner of each game scored 7 points, second place got 5 and last place got 3 points.
The final scores were:
Warsaw is a hidden Gem of Europe. Friendly, warm people and great food with fantastic buildings and architecture. The Venue was full of character and the event was overall well-organised with plenty of space to sit outside in the hot sun and drink a few cold alcoholic beverages.
We especially liked the way the main event was run from a magnetic board with the machines' names on. You could grab a machine name off the board if available, walk up to the machine and await a referee to put a credit on the selected machine for you. This stopped any kind of cheating and made things run very smoothly and kept non-players out of the tournament area.
Some of the Williams/Bally machines, although fully functional and playing fine, did feel a little slow and looked tired.
The Team Tournament ran as advertised with only a few minor delays. Although the Classics Tournament went down to just one machine, they did everything they could to keep it rolling.
From the amount of detail on the flyers, tickets, badges and other official artwork you could see a lot of work was put in.
Is this one to come back to next year? Yes, it’s a great place and I felt at home the whole time I was here. And I will be back to defend my championship! :-)
© Pinball News 2014