|WHOTE ROSE GAMEROOM SHOW 2009|
Date: October 9th & 10th, 2009
Once again we are back at the York Fairgrounds on the second weekend in October for the White Rose Gameroom Show, otherwise known as The York Show.
The event takes place on Friday and Saturday which allows die-hard fans to attend on the quieter first day to enjoy the games and snap up the bargains before the masses arrive on Saturday.
Many of those bargains are found in the flea market to the right of the hall where vendors pitch their parts, project games, boards, manuals and everything else on tables or on the ground in front of their vehicles.
The weather was sunny and dry on Friday and although a light rain shower mid-morning on Saturday sent vendors scrabbling for their plastic sheets, it soon dried and business continued as usual.
Saturday also brought an increased number of sellers to the flea market, resulting in it overflowing onto the adjacent grass areas.
If you were looking for a particular manual or backglass, or perhaps a project game to work on, the flea market had a good selection and prices were always negotiable.
Entry to the flea market was free, but to enjoy the main show in the hall cost $15 a day. Two-day passes were available by pre-order before October 1st which gave a $5 saving over the price of two single day passes.
With each entry came a ticket to be entered into the regular door prize draws, held at the event desk at the back of the hall. Prizes included books, translites, toy pinball machines and assorted parts donated by vendors. Winning ticket numbers were posted on a white board which sat in front of the draw's grand prize - a Gottlieb Hot Shots machine.
Unfortunately, just as the picture above was being taken, the Hot Shots lived up to its name and in blatent disregard of the no smoking sign just above it, filled the air with the all-too-familiar scent of burning coil.
Hopefully the problem was fixed before winner Tim Mohr received his prize later in the day.
Although the York Show is never regarded as one of the big shows, it does usually have as many machines set up as some of the larger pinball events and this year was no exception.
140 pinball machines, 3 bingos and 30 video or arcade machines filled the centre area of the hall.
Here are the pinballs:
*Machine was either not working or depowered at the time the list was made
The three bingos were High Flyer, Roller Derby and Sea Island, while the other amusement machines were:
Notable machines at the show included a group of woodrail machines consisting of Skill Pool, Stage Door Canteen, Contact, World Beauties, Happy Days, Minstrel Man, Sittin' Pretty and Queen of Hearts.
At the other end of the timeline, a Stern Spider-Man was one of three machines on the CoinTaker stand fitted with LED illumination. The Spider-Man also had under-cabinet and backbox lighting which cycled through various colours while the Addams Family machine was demonstrating the use of LED flashers.
The pinball machines at the York Show are only a part of the appeal of the event though. The opportunity to catch up with old friends and familiar faces is a major part of the attraction too. Nestled neatly between the Pacific Pinball Expo and Pinball Expo, it gives the chance to catch up on what happened on the west coast before the action moves to Chicago.
While the York Show does have competitive events, it doesn't have tournaments in the style of most other shows. The competitions at York are less formal, more fun, have small prizes and are free to enter.
There are five competitions over the two days - two on Friday and three on Saturday.
The first of these was the Mechanical Machine Tournament held at 4pm and it took the same format as most of the competitions. A machine is chosen and an announcement is made over the hall's PA system. People queue up at the machine to play their turn and try to get the highest score. When everyone who wants to has played, the competition is over and the winner declared.
Played on Big Strike, the winner of the Mechanical Machine Tournament was Dom Fantilli who narrowly beat Steven Seaford into second place, with Michele Santa Barbara in third place.
The second competition of the day was the 6pm Ladies Tournament which saw a win for Beth Cicero. Michele Santa Barbara moved up one place from here Mechanical Machine placing to take second while Suzanne Robertson was third.
Saturday's competitions began at midday with the Doubles Pinball Tournament. This split-flipper contest was held on the new Retro Pinball King Of Diamonds machine which visitors could try and make a pre-order if they so desired.
Only first names were taken by the officials, and the winners were Al Thomka & Ron Shuster who triumphed over Don and Caidon Owen.
Later the same day, the 1pm Kids Tournament brought a win for Will Rumbold. Andy Lazar was second, Robby Jones came in third and in fourth place was Caidon Owen.
There was an Electronic Pinball Tournament at 3pm on Saturday which was played on Mike Frasca's Dracula machine. In this one the winner was John Binkley whose 52M was enough to beat off second placed Jake Smith's 47M.
The pinball machines dominate the show, taking over the central area. But around the outer edge of the hall are numerous parts and machine vendors.
While Gene Cunningham's Illinois Pinball was absent this year, his space was taken over by a combination of Rottendog Amusements and Jack James who had made a recent visit to IPB and was selling several of their parts.
LEDs were very much in the spotlight as both BC's Pinball Amusements and Cointaker were selling them at 50c each.
Also exhibiting at the show were parts sellers Mayfair Amusement and Pinball Parts Plus, The Collectibles Store were selling bar room glasses, signs and neons, Greco Amusements were selling assorted amusement machines, Nighthawk Games were seilling their pinball lifter and new pinball stand, Let's Play Pinball had their new pinball cabinets and were selling ground braid, speaker panels and machine runners.
Rec Room Specialties has a nice display of slot machines while Auction Game Sales were promoting their upcoming auctions across the US.
The White Rose Gameroom Show is a regular fixture in the pinball calendar and remains pretty much unchanged from year to year. Along with the Pinball Wizards Convention in Allentown, it is a regular gathering point for collectors across Pennsylvania and beyond. In both these show, the flea market is a major reason to visit (unless, like us, you are restricted to hand luggage only) along with the opportunity to catch up with the east coast pinball crowd.
This year, the show had slightly fewer machines than the previous year and the condition of some machines seemed to have taken a dip as well, with some being virtually unplayable from the very start of the show. There were regular reminders over the PA to machine owners to make sure their games were either set to free play or had enough credits, but some remained on pay to play or sat there with zero credits which detracted from the spirit of the show. Reflections from the bright overhead lighting was also an issue. While it was good for the vendors, it made it difficult to enjoy many of the games due to harsh glare on the playfield glass.
The display of woodrail machines was a nice touch and could perhaps lead to a theme for subsequent shows - by designer, manufacturer, type or era - to make each year slightly more individual.
Either way, the 2009 White Rose Gameroom Show proved to be another success for Marlin and Eric - the show's organisers. Expect it, and them, to be back again in 2010.
Finally, take a walk around the 2009 White Rose Gameroom Show with our exclusive Five Minute Tour which takes in the flea market and the show hall.
Get the Flash Player to see this video clip.