While the 22nd Annual Pinball Expo starts in ernest tomorrow, there was still plenty happening in the Wyndham O'Hare this evening.

Registration began with visitors collecting their badges, tournament entries, factory tour and banquet tickets and the souvenir guide book.

The games were being delivered and set up in preparation for Pinbrawl - the team tournament which begins Friday - and the games and vendor stands in the main hall.

As the games in the outer area were set up they became available for recreational play, and that included the 10 Pirates Of The Caribbean machines to be used for the Flip Out tournament.

They had not yet been set to full tournament settings so may well seem quite a bit harder when the tournament gets under way.

At 8pm the Bumper Blast Welcoming Party began with hot food being provided. There was pasta - penne and fusilli - along with broccoli and mushrooms and a white pasta sauce or tomato sauce together with garlic bread and a soda drink of choice. Just the thing for those who had been playing or working setting up the games all evening.

It was also the time for pinball fans from around the world to renew old acquaintances and make a few new ones too.

There was a chance to see the amazing sight of the rows and rows of trophies available to the winners of Pinbrawl.

Meanwhile, in the main hall things were going a little more slowly.

But while the hall was officially closed, there were a couple of interesting games already set up at Mike Pacak's stand.

One was this Jolly Park above - a 1996 dot matrix game from Spinball of Spain, while the other was this 1982 Cue from Stern of which only 6 were ever made.

And that concludes our look at the first few hours of Pinball Expo 2006.

Tomorrow sees the Stern factory tour and the first of the seminars and the fireside chats. It also brings the start of the Flip Out tournament.

So we'll be back with much much more tomorrow and over the coming days, so keep checking for updates.


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