Date: 16th - 18th March, 2018
Location: Embassy Suites, 7600 John Q Hammons Dr., Frisco,, TX 75034, USA

The final day at the Texas Pinball Festival is a short one, with events wrapping up around 2:30pm with the best-in-show awards and the prize raffle draw.

Best-in-show awards
Best-in-show awards

At 2:30pm all the machines are turned off and prizes are awarded to the owners of the best machines in a number of categories.

First though, all machine donors are entered into a draw for cash prizes and donated goodies such as a translite and a Dead Man’s Hand tabletop game.

Show co-organiser Ed VanderVeen introduces the awards ceremony
The draw for cash and prizes for machine donors
The draw for cash and prizes for machine donors

Then it was time for the best-in show presentations.  Each category had two runners-up and an overall winner, followed by an overall Grand Champion. The winners were chosen by the judging team of Bill Morrison, Keith Holbrook, Scott Martin and Rich Wiski.

Best Classic Arcade Video Game
Winner: April Pruitt (Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters)
Runners up: Daniel Reinhard & Tom Rohbar

 

Best Antique Pinball
Winner: Mark Gibson for Champion
Runners up: Adam Jordan & Mike and Melissa Hammer

 

Jeremy Pruitt and Mark Gibson
Jeremy Pruitt and Mark Gibson

 

Best ’60s Pinball
Winner: Howard Isaacson for Friendship 7
Runners up: Joe Gonzalez & Shawn Christian

 

Howard Isaacson
Howard Isaacson

 

Best ’70s EM Pinball
Winner: Colin Dowling for Pioneer
Runners up: Joe Gonzalez & Nic Schell

 

Best ’70s Solid State Pinball
Winner: Kevin Moore for The Incredible Hulk
Runners up: Dennis Moncla & Jeff Boulinger

 

Best ’80s Pinball
Winner: Greg Campbell for Centaur
Runners up: Gavin Miller & Jeff Kohout

 

Kevin Moore & Greg Campbell
Kevin Moore & Greg Campbell

 

Best ’90s Pinball
Winner: Roy Pennington for Indiana Jones (WMS)
Runners up:Eric Streeter & Kevin Moore

 

Best Modern (post-1999) Pinball
Winner: Kim Keist for Star Wars (Stern)
Runners up:Brandon Harvey & Gary Stuart

 

Roy Pennington & Kim Keist
Roy Pennington & Kim Keist

 

Best Original Pinball
Winner: Bob Herbison for Ace High
Runners up: Austin Knight & Terry Haste

 

Best Pinball Restoration
Winner: Mike Loeckle for Joust
Runners up: Bobby Niefer & Sally Kammer

 

Bob Herbison & Mike Loeckle
Bob Herbison & Mike Loeckle

 

Best Custom Pinball
Winner: Paul Wilson for Polynesia
Runners up: Mark Gibson & Doug Marley

 

Grand Champion
Winner: Lonny Payne (Jurassic Park pinball)

 

Paul Wilson & Lonny Payne
Paul Wilson & Lonny Payne

The only thing remaining was to make the draw for the grand raffle prize of a new Guardians of the Galaxy pinball.  Tickets cost $5 each from the front desk and were available throughout the show, right up until the draw rook place.

The winning ticket is drawn from the drum
The winning ticket is drawn from the drum
The winner is verified
The winner is verified
We have a winner
We have a winner

The awarding of the grand prize brought the Texas Pinball Festival 2018 to a close.

The tear-down begins
The tear-down begins
The partially-dismantled Marco stand
The partially-dismantled Marco stand
Time to start taking machines to the staging area for loading
Time to start taking machines to the staging area for loading

The TPF show gets bigger every year – not just the numbers of machines and vendors, but also in stature with companies choosing the launch their new games or products there.  It has got to the point where pinball personalities attend the show even if they are not speaking or part of an official event.  It’s just a great place to hang out.

Then there is the number of visitors.  The show hotel now routinely sells out almost immediately the show promo code is announced, with adjacent hotels also getting a good number of bookings.  The hall was very busy on Saturday during the afternoon and evening, while the corridor outside was frequently packed with guests taking a break or getting refreshments.

Despite the packed schedule of events, the whole three days seemed to go without a hitch this year.  With events surrounding Pinball Expo causing uncertainty about that show’s organisation in 2018 and the establishment of Deeproot in San Antonio and Multimorphic being based in Austin, the Texas Pinball Festival is well positioned to take over as the number one pinball event.

 

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