Review by the TCFPA President, Todd “PinTed” Andersen.

It all started well over a month before registration for the tournaments even began. We needed help. So, we enlisted the help of some major players in the pinball community.

We also needed a place to play. The obvious place was the same place where we have our TCFPA league events every Saturday nigh. That place is SS Billiards in Hopkins, MN, in the good ol' USA . See:

We asked the owner Lloyd, (Yes the same Lloyd of LTG fame.) if we could play our tournaments in his arcade. Though he knew that he would lose some pool players, maybe for several weeks, he allowed us to play, at no extra cost to the league, thus providing us the perfect place to play tournament pinball. He had just one stipulation; the tournaments and arcade had to be separate. He, understandably, did not want one to be atomically associated with the other. Lloyd runs a business - his livelihood. I run the TCFPA - my hobby.

The TCFPA always play for pride and the love of the game. But, for the tournament, we also needed some things to win.

Lloyd did more than just host us. He also donated collectable pinball posters. For a small fee, Dave of "For Amusement Only" provided pinball flyers and plastics. For the cost of shipping, Kevin of "K & K Amusement" and “Classic Arcade” provided cool pinball tee shirts and flyers. For the cost of a few translights, the Expo Events Coordinator, Mike P, donated many things, including the grand prize. And a local trophy company "Viking Trophy" provided special trophies at no extra cost.

We also needed help announcing the players and keeping the tournaments moving. So, Brent S of "MID-Co" helped us rent a public address system. He got us the perfect system at a reduced rental rate.

The President of the TCFPA covered all costs associated with getting the tournaments ready.

On Saturday December 20th 2003, we were ready to have out first official TCFPA tournaments. Actually, there were two tournaments and a shoot-out for the grand prize.

The day stared at 10:00am. We loaded the car and truck. First we picked up the “guest pin”. Then we brought all of the tournament “stuff” over to Lloyd's. Lloyd opened early so that we could have time to set up. We, of course, were late.

I started the first tournament with an announcement on the PA. I pushed the volume and reverb up on the amplifier and said, “Let's get ready p-i-n-b-a-l-l!” With this echoing announcement, the double elimination tournament started. This tournament was played on the twenty pinball machines that Lloyd normally has in his arcade. Registration for this tournament started at 12:00pm and continued until 2:00pm . Registration was free, but required if you wanted to compete.

Players and games were randomly drawn. Each set of people was announced to compete in a "best two-of-three" format. Some highlights were: Jesse H and Nick F were drawn to compete in the first round, Angela D twice bested Terry W to take him out of the tournament. Eric S was winning - but had to leave, Nick F lost the first round - but fought his way completely through the losers bracket, Jesse H and Nick F met up at the final bracket where Nick bested Jesse twice to win!

As first place winner Nick F took home:

2003 TCFPA Double Elimination Score Sheet,
1st Place Trophy,
1st Place TCFPA Certificate (redeemed for cash),
Choice of Tee Shirt,
Choice of Translight,
Choice of Poster,
Choice of Flyer.

As second place winner Jesse H took home:

2nd Place Trophy,
2nd Place TCFPA Certificate (redeemed for cash),
Choice of Tee Shirt,
Choice of Translight,
Choice of Flyer.

As third place winner Mike S took home:

3rd Place Trophy,
3rd place TCFPA Certificate (redeemed for cash),
Choice of Tee Shirt,
Choice of Flyer.

Everyone who registered received a free "Dr. Who" key fob.

The second tournament was a high score tournament. This tournament was played on the guest pin. This game was a HUO “The Simpsons Pinball Party”. Open registration for this tournament started at 12:00pm and continued until about 12:00am. Registration was also free, but required if you wanted to compete.

Several of the TCFPA'ers and several from the crowd at Lloyd's tried for the highest score. Kevin P put up high score fairly early. At 11:00pm I announced that there was only one hour left for the opportunity to put up the highest score and win a prize. A few more people tried. At 11:30pm. I announced that there were only thirty minutes left for the opportunity to put up the highest score. The last few people tried. But, Kevin's score proved unbeatable.

As high score winner Kevin P took home:

High Score Trophy,
High Score TCFPA certificate (redeemed for cash),
Choice of Flyer.

The last event for the night was the high score shoot out. This game was played on Lloyd's borrowed "Big Bang Bar". As the first and second place winners of the double elimination tournament were already qualified to compete, another name was randomly drawn from those who registered for the shoot out. Tim A valiantly competed against Nick F and Jesse H. At ball two it looked like Tim was going to be the winner. But, it was Jesse who took home the grand prize.

As grand prize winner, Jesse H took home a complete admission package to next year's Pinball EXPO. This package included everything but transportation and lodging.

Everything ended at about 12:30am. There were still plenty of people in Lloyd's arcade.

Although the TCFPA events had just ended, several people suggested that we run monthly tournaments. There was serious talk about having an interim high score tournament at the end of July 2004. There is a definite plan for a TCFPA tournament, at Lloyds, on February 18th 2005 .

Lloyd allowed me to stay late and get a head start cleaning up my stuff. I was drained. Lloyd asked me how it went. My response was a question back to him. I asked him, “How do you do this every day for twelve hours a day”? He answered with just a sad smile.

The TCFPA tournaments would not have been successful without the help of many people. Besides those already listed, several other people provided help or support in one way or another. But, they wished to stay anonymous. I respect their wishes, but would also like to them. So, if you are reading this, you know whom you are.

If you have any questions about running your own league and/or tournaments, please feel free to contact me.

Todd "PinTed" Andersen, TCFPA President.
[email protected]

"All we need is one good ball."


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