Date: July 3rd & 4th, 2010
Report by Ad Jonker
Surfing on the internet, I noted a tournament was to be held near Milano (Milan) on the 3rd & 4th of July. Well, since I do often run the tournament for the Dutch Pinball Association, I now felt this was a chance to play myself and gain some points for the WPPR.
So I booked a ticket and the nearby hotel, and made the trip a little longer with a visit to the city of Milano. When mentioning it to some other Dutch players, one said they might come as well.
Since I’m only an average player in tournaments, this looked like it might be an opportunity to do better, only for me to later find out that another four Dutchmen were going to be there, as well as Daniele Celestino Acciari, the winner of the last IFPA tournament of which you can read a report on this site.
So off to Italy, only to arrive in an early heat-wave with temperatures of 33° Centigrade in the afternoon, not usual even in the north of the country. Luckily, the trains had air-con.
Arriving at the station of Cesano Maderno I could find a bus stop but it lacked any route information, so I walked to the hotel which took forty minutes (and it was still hot). The hotel was superb and air-conditioned, so I could finally cool myself down and enjoy a terrific meal.
The Friday was spent in Milano and in the evening I met up with the TIF organizer, Federico Ravagnati, who has his own pinball repair company.
Also, Max Krefft from Germany was there and he ran the competition with the same program as used during the last German Pinball Tournament in Völklingen.
On Saturday the hall opened at ten to build up the games and set up the tournament. An empty office building was used for the weekend.
The toilets were cleaned and could be used. The power was from a generator outside and a refreshments car was there during the day for drinks and snacks. Inside you could buy water, draft beer and more snacks.
Now, imagine a free standing building with no cooling and no protection from the sun, on a day with temperatures outside of 33° Centigrade (91° Fahrenheit).
In total fifteen games were set up, of which nine would be used for the tournament on Sunday. The poster said a tournament on three games from the '70s, '80s and '90s. That didn’t happen as there were no '80s games present, but the four electro-mechanical games meant the trip was already a success for me.
My goal is to play at least one full game on as many different games as possible, and this weekend I could add four games to the list.
The Saturday proved to be a good time to practice on these tables and take a number of pictures. During the day more visitors arrived, but it was a nice, enjoyable day.
Come Sunday, the venue opened again at 10am and the tournament started at 2pm.
Altogether forty players from nine countries started in the tournament. Not many fellow Italians though. It seems to be uncommon to travel to other regions in Italy, so a nationwide tournament still looks a long way away.
All had to play the same nine tables, but players were grouped into four and these groups played on the tournament games in any order. All the players' results on each table were entered in the computer and the result per player on all nine tables made the end result.
A final game for the best four players was planned, but time - and especially the heat inside - turned the first big round into the final.
I mentioned before I’m an average player, but I did well on the E-M games. The games on the '90s tables were a lot less successful, so it was a big surprise when after seven games my name was on top. Tournament players may know that the top players will shuffle the final results in the last few games, but I survived it pretty well, ending in third place.
It was nice that all forty players were called forward and awarded a medal, with the best four also getting a cup each.
There will most likely be another version next year, again in early July. The tournament was small, the number of games limited. Still, it ran well, it’s near the city of Milano and the Alps are only a few miles away, so it may well be worth a visit combined with a holiday.
Helping to break down the machines made it possible for me to take the balls out of the Monster Bash after the tournament. They were so hot it almost hurt my hands. They must have been something like 50°C.
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