Date: 5th - 7th October, 2018
Location: Bulls & Balls, In den Straußwiesen 4, 36039 Fulda, Germany

We had heard great things about Bulls & Balls in Fulda, Germany, but never visited ourselves to see what all the fuss was about.  So, when IFPA Country Director, Tobias Wagemann, invited us to the IFPA Midsommar Tournament weekend he was organising, we jumped at the chance.

Although we had been to Germany many times, we’d never been to Fulda or the Hesse region, so this was a new experience for us and Fulda didn’t disappoint with its Baroque architecture nestled side-by-side with much more recent, but sympathetic, designs in the newer part of the city.

The Stadschloss in Fulda
The Stadschloss in Fulda
The Cathedral in Fulda
The Cathedral in Fulda
A view over the newer part of the city
A view over the newer part of the city

We after checking-in to our hotel, we arrived at Bulls & Balls around 6pm on Friday which was just in time for the start of the first competitive event of the weekend, the Warm-Up Tournament.

Bulls & Balls is jointly-owned by Matthias Klüber and Jürgen Gärtner.  It is located a little way out of Fulda’s central area, but pretty much everything in Fulda is reachable on foot, so even from our hotel (the B&B Hotel which was the opposite side of town and which Matthias very kindly provided for us), it was only around a 20-minute walk to get there.  And, as you can see, the weather was good and the temperatures very pleasant for October.

The driveway to Bulls & Balls
The driveway to Bulls & Balls

To get to Bulls & Balls, first you walk up the driveway and past a car garage, then turn left behind the garage.

Yes, this is the right way
Yes, this is the right way

Once there, you find a number of outdoor tables and benches, and a limited amount of car parking.

The entrance to Bulls & Balls
The entrance to Bulls & Balls

You might notice in the picture above how some of the tables are built from stacked beer crates.  This is a theme you’ll see repeated quite a few times during this report.

So, let’s take a quick tour of Bulls & Balls to show you where everything is.

The entrance you can see in the picture above, but once through the doors you come to the lobby which is where everyone hangs out between rounds when it’s too dark, too cold or too wet to go outside.  This is also where everyone can check the scores and standings.

The lobby area
The lobby area
The main bar
The main bar

On the far left of the picture above is the main bar (there are two), but there is another room further left which you can’t see here.  This is normally a billiards room, but for this event the tables had been moved out and 14 solid-state pinballs installed on which the Classics Tournament would be played on Saturday.

Normally the room for billiards, for this weekend it was for the Classics Tournament
Normally the room for billiards, for this weekend it was for the Classics Tournament

To the right of the bar is a corridor which leads to both the toilets and to the function room where players gathered at the start of each day to hear about the tournament formats and also for lunch around 1pm-2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The corridor to the function room and the toilets
The corridor to the function room and the toilets
The function room
The function room
The function room contains the second bar
The function room contains the second bar
It also has a stage for announcements, performances and even karaoke
It also has a stage for announcements, performances and even karaoke

Well, come back to this a little later but continuing around the lobby, or next area is the main pinball room.

The main pinball room is on the right side of the lobby
The main pinball room is on the right side of the lobby
The main pinball room
The main pinball room

On the left is a long row of DMD titles featuring an impressive backdrop montage of pinball playfield photos.  The titles in the row are: Metallica, The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Sopranos, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Shadow, Last Action Hero, Cirqus Voltaire, NBA Fastbreak, Fish Tales, Attack from Mars, Doctor Who, Doctor Who, No Fear, Jackbot and Demolition Man.

Some of the artwork behind the long row of machines
Some of the artwork behind the long row of machines
The long row of DMD pinballs
The long row of DMD pinballs

Perpendicular to the long row are 7 shorter rows of four machines each, some back-to-back with the row behind.

Game of Thrones, Star Wars, AC/DC and Iron Maiden
Game of Thrones, Star Wars, AC/DC and Iron Maiden
Terminator 2, High Speed 2: The Getaway, World Cup Soccer and Jackbot
Terminator 2, High Speed 2: The Getaway, World Cup Soccer and Jackbot
Creature from the Black Lagoon, Whitewater, Twilight Zone and Terminator 2
Creature from the Black Lagoon, Whitewater, Twilight Zone and Terminator 2
WWE Royal Rumble, The Who's Tommy, Lethal Weapon 3 and Jurassic Park
WWE Royal Rumble, The Who’s Tommy, Lethal Weapon 3 and Jurassic Park
Road Show, Johnny Mnemonic, No Fear Dirty Harry
Road Show, Johnny Mnemonic, No Fear Dirty Harry
Indianapolis 500, Batman, Fish Tales and World Cup Soccer
Indianapolis 500, Batman, Fish Tales and World Cup Soccer
Transformers, X-Men, Dracula and Dirty Harry
Transformers, X-Men, Dracula and Dirty Harry

In the main pinball room, Jim and Dina Lindsay had their streaming rig set up so selected machines and all the final games could be seen on Jim’s Twitch stream.

Jim set up his laptop, cameras, light and microphone to stream Iron Maiden
Jim set up his laptop, cameras, light and microphone to stream Iron Maiden
The XSplit software's output
The XSplit software’s output

The next side room, to the right of the lobby, is where the ‘Bulls’ part of the name comes from, with two electronic dartboards set up.

The two dartboards have their own room
The two dartboards have their own room

The final room, nearest the entrance, contained a further three pinballs.

Deadpool, Kiss and Tales of the Arabian Nights
Deadpool, Kiss and Tales of the Arabian Nights

As we said, we got the Bulls & Balls just as the introductions and announcements were about to be made for the start of the Warm-Up Tournament at 6pm.

The weekend's trophies
The weekend’s trophies

Tobias took to the stage to welcome the players, introduce the referees and tournament officials, and explain the rules for the first of the tournaments.

Tobias welcomes everyone in both German and English
Tobias welcomes everyone in both German and English
Overall Tournament Director, Tobias Wagemann
Overall Tournament Director, Tobias Wagemann
The competitors are ready for the start of the Warm-Up Tournament
The competitors are ready for the start of the Warm-Up Tournament

The Warm-Up Tournament was played using the Swiss system of head-to-head pairings formed, initially, randomly, but thereafter with players with the same or similar numbers of wins playing together.  That means players who keep winning move up to the top and play tougher games against others who are also winning, while at the bottom those who lose their matches play easier games with other losing players.

Play in the Warm-Up Tournament on Friday
Play in the Warm-Up Tournament on Friday
Friday's Warm-Up Tournament
Friday’s Warm-Up Tournament
Friday's Warm-Up Tournament
Friday’s Warm-Up Tournament
Friday’s Warm-Up Tournament
Friday's Warm-Up Tournament
Friday’s Warm-Up Tournament

After all the games in the first round had been played, the players were ranked and new pairings made for the next round.  This continued until midnight when the final results were announced.

When the Warm-Up Tournament had concluded, the player who got his weekend off to a winning start was Ernö Rotter.  Julio Vicario Soriano was second, Flavio Baddaria third and Wolfgang Haid fourth.  They received their trophies at the awards ceremony on Sunday morning.

The top four in the Warm-Up Tournament
The top four in the Warm-Up Tournament: Ernö Rotter (1st), Julio Vicario Soriano (2nd), Flavio Baddaria (3rd) & Wolfgang Haid (4th) (picture: Dina Lindsay)

Warm-Up Tournament results

1 Ernö Rotter
2 Julio Vicario Soriano
3 Flavio Baddaria
4 Wolfgang Haid
5 Tobias Wagemann
8 Albert Nomden
8 Sebastien Puertas
8 Jens Flügge
8 Archibald Lefevre
8 Robby Henkelmann
8 Rich Mallett
18 Robert Kappenberger
18 Balázs Pálfi
18 Fabio Gravina
18 Dirk Elzholz
18 Cesare Datri
18 János Sándor
18 Helen de Haan-Verbeek
18 Norman Heikamp
18 Boldizsár Botka
18 Greg Mott
18 John van der Wulp
18 Hartmut Besigk
18 Martin Hotze
32 Giuseppe Violante
32 Mark van der Gugten
32 Reiner Pfeiffer
32 Arno Nöbl
32 Ralf Behr
32 Julian Klotz
32 Guido Christiansen
32 Frank Goeltl
32 Alysa Parks
32 Dina Lindsay
32 Peter Blakemore
32 Erwin Deutschländer
32 Olaf Schumann
32 Nico Wicke
32 Jürgen Letzel
47 Péter András Simon
47 Christian Bär
47 Veit Sander
47 Roland Schwarz
47 Jürgen Urban
47 Artur Natorski
47 Kevin Kuhn
47 Matthias Flügge
47 Mario Kertels
47 Alexander Muer
47 Stefan Herold
47 Jürgen Schmitz
47 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
47 Armin Kress
47 Jim Lindsay
47 Peter Schmidt
61 Eberhard Hattemer
61 Thomas Ferocino
61 Torsten Eid
61 Barbara Sprenger
61 Roman Kunovic
61 Wolfgang Szymanski
61 Daniel Poturica
61 Heiko Schmid
61 Florian Thomas
61 Patrick Gelbarth
61 Stefan Schichtl
61 Klaus Löffler
71 Jörn Runge
71 Nadine Felgentreu
71 Thomas Teis
71 Ollivier Francq
71 David Mainwaring
71 Daniela Thomas
71 Victor Machart
71 Jenna Muer
76 Kyoo Barbaix
76 Ayoka Besigk
78 Mirko Hertrich
78 Helmar Oels
80 Daniel Fritzenwanger

One the tournament was over, the machines were available for free play up until the venue closed, which was soon after 1am. Players could then get some sleep before the first full day of competition on Saturday.

There were two tournaments held on Saturday.

The first was the PinGolf Tournament which began at 10am by splitting the 82 players into two pools.  Each pool was then further divided into groups of four who played two rounds of nine machines.

As usual in pingolf tournaments, each machine had a target to achieve with the aim of reaching it using the fewest balls possible. The target was always a points score but was generally different for each game and set at a level to make each game equally challenging.

If the target was reached during the game then the ball number was recorded as the score for that game.  If the target was missed after three balls then there was a sliding scale up to a maximum of seven according to the final points total achieved.  In the example below, reaching the target of 30 million points scored the number of balls it took, but if the three-ball game total was only 20 million then a five would be recorded.

The target score and sliding scale of points
The target score and sliding scale of points for The Sopranos

Alongside the PinGolf, the Classic Tournament ran in its own dedicated room.

There were fourteen solid-state pinballs set up, although the Haunted House was not included and, being a little fragile after all these years, some games would occasionally go down for a brief period.

There was a long row of seven machines on the right side of the room: Eight Ball, Harlem Globetrotters, The Six Million Dollar Man, Dolly Parton, Nitro Groundshaker, Nugent and Bobby Orr Power Play.

Seven of the Classic Tournament machines
Seven of the Classic Tournament machines

Facing those seven were two smaller banks of machines.

Iron Maiden and Flight 2000
Iron Maiden and Flight 2000
Haunted House, Charlie's Angels, Sinbad, Lucky Seven and Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man
Haunted House, Charlie’s Angels, Sinbad, Lucky Seven and Mr. & Mrs. Pac-Man

Players could choose any eight of the available machines to play.  They then started a two-player game and played both players.  The two scores were recorded on handheld devices and entered into a database where they were ranked and points awarded.

Qualifying in the Classics Tournament
Qualifying in the Classics Tournament
Qualification
Qualification

At just after 2pm, all play in both tournaments was halted for an hour while a buffet lunch was served in the function room.  Hot dishes of meatballs in gravy, pork schnitzel, pasta, mushroom sauce and more were available, with a selection of vegetarian alternatives also on offer for those who pre-ordered them.

The remains of the lunch buffet
The remains of the lunch buffet

This lunch buffet was repeated on Sunday at 1pm, with a different selection of dishes available.

When the Classic Tournament’s qualifying round ended at 8pm, the top sixteen players continued to the play-offs which were head-to-head best-of-three matches initially, until the last four were decided.

Play-offs in the Classic Tournament
Play-offs in the Classic Tournament
Play-offs in the Classic Tournament
Play-offs in the Classic Tournament

The final four then played three four-player games using the 4-2-1-0 scoring system.  The finalists were Erwin Deutschländer, Martin Janczyk, Albert Nomden and Jürgen Urban, and they played on Flight 2000, Bobby Orr Power Play and Nugent.

The final of the Classic Tournament
The final of the Classic Tournament

Jürgen won the first game on Flight 2000 and came second on Bobby Orr Power Play for a total of 6 points going into the last game.  Albert won on Power Play but came last on Flight 2000 for his 4 points total, however he could still catch Jürgen on the final game as could Erwin who had a second and third place for 3 points.  Martin had a third and fourth which gave him just 1 point and put him out of the running.

Martin won the last game on Nugent to give him 5 points in total and third place overall.  Albert came second for a total of 6 points – the same as Jürgen had going into the last game, but Jürgen took third place on Nugent and got the extra 1 point which gave him the win.  Erwin was fourth in this game and fourth overall.

Winner of the Classic Tournament, Jürgen Urban
Winner of the Classic Tournament, Jürgen Urban (Picture: Dina Lindsay)
The top four in the Classic Tournament: Albert Nomden (2nd), Jürgen Urban (1st), Martin Janczyk (3rd) and Erwin Deutschländer (4th)
The top four in the Classic Tournament: Albert Nomden (2nd), Jürgen Urban (1st), Martin Janczyk (3rd) and Erwin Deutschländer (4th) (Picture: Dina Lindsay)

 Classic Tournament results

1 Jürgen Urban
2 Albert Nomden
3 Martin Janczyk
4 Erwin Deutschländer
6 John van der Wulp
6 Mario Kertels
6 Julio Vicario Soriano
6 Martin Hotze
12 Cesare Datri
12 Roman Kunovic
12 Balázs Pálfi
12 Ollivier Francq
12 Mark van der Gugten
12 Jürgen Schmitz
12 Olaf Schumann
12 Johannes Ostermeier
17 Jens Flügge
18 Robby Henkelmann
18 Rich Mallett
20 Jürgen Letzel
21 Armin Kress
22 Giuseppe Violante
23 Peter Schmidt
24 Alysa Parks
25 Christian Bär
26 Sebastien Puertas
27 Helen de Haan-Verbeek
28 Peter Blakemore
29 Kay Kuster
30 Stefan Schichtl
31 Robert Kappenberger
32 Flavio Baddaria
33 Jens Büsscher
34 Stefan Herold
35 Dirk Elzholz
36 Tobias Wagemann
37 Guido Christiansen
38 Jim Lindsay
39 Norman Heikamp
40 Ralf Behr
41 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
42 Matthias Flügge
43 Florian Thomas
43 János Sándor
45 Torsten Eid
46 Wolfgang Haid
47 Roland Schwarz
48 Archibald Lefevre
49 Heiko Schmid
50 Nico Wicke
51 Ernö Rotter
52 Eberhard Hattemer
53 Artur Natorski
54 Kevin Kuhn
55 Greg Mott
56 Mirko Hertrich
57 Thomas Teis
58 David Mainwaring
59 Fabio Gravina
60 Patrick Gelbarth
61 Julian Klotz
62 Klaus Löffler
63 Dina Fukson
64 Jürgen Ostermeier
65 Péter András Simon
66 Reiner Pfeiffer
67 Barbara Sprenger
68 Bartosz Sokolowski
69 Jörn Runge
70 Daniela Oymann
71 Boldizsár Botka
72 Nadine Felgentreu
73 Arno Nöbl
74 Kyoo Barbaix
75 Veit Sander
76 Wolfgang Szymanski
77 Daniel Fritzenwanger
78 Frank Goeltl
79 Daniel Poturica
80 Jenna Muer
81 Alexander Muer

The PinGolf Tournament’s final sixteen were: Erwin Deutschländer, Jens Flügge, Benjamin Gräbeldinger, Martin Hotze, Mario Kertels, Julian Klotz, Archibald Lefevre, Jim Lindsay, Rich Mallett, Alexander Muer, Albert Nomden, Johannes Ostermeier, Roland Schwarz, Julio Vicario Soriano, Tobias Wagemann and John van der Wulp.  They were made up from the top eight players in each pool.

They played off in four groups of four, continuing the PinGolf scoring but only playing three machines.  The remaining machines were then available for everyone else to play for the rest of the evening.

When the games had been concluded, the top player in each group went into the final.  They were: Jens Flügge, Benjamin Gräbeldinger, Johannes Ostermeier and Julio Vicario Soriano.  The final was also played on three machines, starting with Iron Maiden and continuing with Guardians of the Galaxy and Terminator 2. Once again, the player with the lowest number of balls needed to reach the three target scores would win.

Jim shows the four finalists the play order
Jim shows the four finalists the play order
Tobias makes sure the glass is clean for the first of the PinGolf finals games
Tobias makes sure the glass is clean for the first of the PinGolf finals games
Johannes starts the first game of the PinGolf finals
Johannes starts the first game of the PinGolf finals
Julio in the PinGolf finals
Julio in the PinGolf finals
Play moves on to Guardians of the Galaxy for game two
Play moves on to Guardians of the Galaxy for game two
The last game of the final is on Terminator 2
The last game of the final is on Terminator 2

By the end Julio Vicario Soriano was the winner, taking five balls to reach the three targets.  Johannes Ostermeier was second on seven, while Benjamin Gräbeldinger was third and Jens Flügge fourth following a playoff on High Speed 2: The Getaway after both finishing on nine balls.

Winner of the PinGolf Tournament, Julio Vicario Soriano
Winner of the PinGolf Tournament, Julio Vicario Soriano (Picture: Dina Lindsay)
The top four in the PinGolf Tournament: Johannes Ostermeier (2nd), Julio Vicario Soriano (1st), Benjamin Gräbeldinger (3rd) & Jens Flügge (4th)
The top four in the PinGolf Tournament: Johannes Ostermeier (2nd), Julio Vicario Soriano (1st), Benjamin Gräbeldinger (3rd) & Jens Flügge (4th) (Picture: Dina Lindsay)

PinGolf Tournament results

1 Julio Vicario Soriano
2 Johannes Ostermeier
3 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
4 Jens Flügge
6 Roland Schwarz
6 Erwin Deutschländer
6 Archibald Lefevre
6 Alexander Muer
12 Jim Lindsay
12 John van der Wulp
12 Mario Kertels
12 Martin Hotze
12 Julian Klotz
12 Albert Nomden
12 Tobias Wagemann
12 Rich Mallett
17 Jürgen Schmitz
17 Boldizsár Botka
19 Flavio Baddaria
20 Ernö Rotter
22 Reiner Pfeiffer
22 Stefan Herold
22 Cesare Datri
25 Dirk Elzholz
25 Artur Natorski
25 Greg Mott
25 Matthias Flügge
28 Peter Schmidt
28 Sebastien Puertas
32 János Sándor
32 Giuseppe Violante
32 Robert Kappenberger
32 Jürgen Ostermeier
32 Barbara Sprenger
32 Fabio Gravina
37 Torsten Eid
37 Nico Wicke
37 Norman Heikamp
37 Balázs Pálfi
42 Ollivier Francq
42 Jürgen Letzel
42 Péter András Simon
42 Arno Nöbl
42 David Mainwaring
45 Helen de Haan-Verbeek
45 Jürgen Urban
47 Frank Goeltl
47 Armin Kress
49 Peter Blakemore
49 Eberhard Hattemer
51 Jens Büsscher
51 Roman Kunovic
53 Klaus Löffler
54 Christian Bär
55 Wolfgang Szymanski
57 Martin Janczyk
57 Stefan Schichtl
57 Thomas Teis
60 Mark van der Gugten
60 Ralf Behr
60 Heiko Schmid
60 Kevin Kuhn
63 Robby Henkelmann
64 Florian Thomas
64 Alysa Parks
66 Kay Kuster
66 Veit Sander
68 Olaf Schumann
70 Wolfgang Haid
70 Guido Christiansen
70 Thomas Ferocino
72 Dina Lindsay
72 Kyoo Barbaix
74 Patrick Gelbarth
75 Jörn Runge
76 Mirko Hertrich
77 Bartosz Sokolowski
78 Daniela Thomas
79 Nadine Felgentreu
80 Jenna Muer
80 Daniel Fritzenwanger
82 Daniel Poturica

Although Saturday’s tournaments didn’t finish until late, there was still more to come, with a Midnight Madness tournament starting at, well, midnight of course.

This was played on the three newest Stern machines and an entry consisted on one game on each.  The initial entry to the tournament cost €5, while extra entries cost €2 each.  All proceeds went to the Medicines Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) charity.

Needless to say, we didn’t stay up for this one but 21 players did take part, with the winner being Flavio Baddaria.

Winner of the Midnight Madness tournament, Flavio Baddaria
Winner of the Midnight Madness tournament, Flavio Baddaria (Picture: Dina Lindsay)

 Midnight Tournament results

1 Flavio Baddaria
2 Nico Wicke
3 Fabio Gravina
4 Wolfgang Haid
5 Archibald Lefevre
6 Victor Machart
7 Daniel Poturica
8 Kevin Kuhn
9 Stefan Schichtl
10 Julian Klotz
11 Jürgen Letzel
12 Robert Kappenberger
13 Arno Nöbl
14 Reiner Pfeiffer
15 Armin Kress
16 Jens Flügge
17 Mirko Hertrich
18 Thomas Teis
19 Jenna Muer
20 Alexander Muer
21 Daniel Fritzenwanger

Sunday morning began with the trophy presentations for Friday and Saturday’s tournaments, before Sunday’s main tournament was introduced. This was the Five Strikes Tournament.  This paired up the 80 players to play head-to-head single games.  Players continued in the tournament until they lost five games at which point they were out.

Eventually we were down to the last six players with any lives remaining.  They were: Johannes Ostermeier (4 strikes left), Julio Vicario Soriano (3 strikes left), Eberhard Hattemer (2 strikes left), Cesare Datri (1 strike left), Albert Nomden (1 strike left) and Jens Flügge (1 strike left).  To make up the eight players for the two semi-finals, they were joined by two players from the four who picked up their fifth strike in the last round.  Four players went out in that round, so they played a play-off game on Guardians of the Galaxy to decide which two went into the semi-finals.

The play-offs for the seventh & eighth semi-final places
The play-offs for the seventh & eighth semi-final places

The two winners from that play-off were Roland Schwarz and John van der Wulp.

Those eight were split into two groups of four to play three machines with 4-2-1-0 scoring.  However, the number of strikes remaining (if any) were carried forward giving Johannes 4 points, Julio 3 points, Eberhard 2 points, and 1 point each to Cesare, Albert and Jens.

The first group features Johannes, Julio, Roland and John, and they played on Guardians of the Galaxy, Jackbot and The Walking Dead.

The second group had Eberhard, Jens, Cesare and Albert.  They played on Deadpool, High Speed 2: The Getaway and Metallica.

Johannes and Roland were the winners of their group.  They were joined in the final by Jens and Albert.

We had to leave for the journey to Frankfurt Airport and the flight back to London, but in the final it was a win for Johannes who finished ahead of Roland in second, with Jens third and Albert fourth.

Winner of the Five Strikes Tournament, Johannes Ostermeier
Winner of the Five Strikes Tournament, Johannes Ostermeier (Picture: Dina Lindsay)
The top four in the Five Strikes Tournament
The top four in the Five Strikes Tournament: Albert Nomden (4th), Jens Flügge (3rd), Johannes Ostermeier (1st) & Roland Schwarz (2nd) (Picture: Dina Lindsay)

 Five Strikes Tournament results

1 Johannes Ostermeier
2 Roland Schwarz
3 Jens Flügge
4 Albert Nomden
6 Eberhard Hattemer
6 Cesare Datri
6 Julio Vicario Soriano
6 John van der Wulp
9 Archibald Lefevre
9 Armin Kress
12 Robby Henkelmann
12 Christian Bär
12 David Mainwaring
17 Ollivier Francq
17 Artur Natorski
17 Thomas Teis
17 Arno Nöbl
17 Klaus Löffler
17 Julian Klotz
17 Olaf Schumann
25 Jürgen Schmitz
25 Heiko Schmid
25 Matthias Flügge
25 Wolfgang Haid
25 Peter Schmidt
25 Florian Thomas
25 Flavio Baddaria
25 Alysa Parks
25 Sebastien Puertas
25 Benjamin Gräbeldinger
36 Erwin Deutschländer
36 Péter András Simon
36 János Sándor
36 Boldizsár Botka
36 Helen de Haan-Verbeek
36 Jürgen Ostermeier
36 Nico Wicke
36 Torsten Eid
36 Peter Blakemore
36 Greg Mott
36 Dirk Elzholz
48 Tobias Wagemann
48 Mario Kertels
48 Roman Kunovic
48 Barbara Sprenger
48 Mirko Hertrich
48 Stefan Herold
48 Jürgen Letzel
48 Ernö Rotter
48 Daniela Oymann
48 Nadine Felgentreu
48 Kay Kuster
48 Giuseppe Violante
48 Kevin Kuhn
58 Victor Machart
58 Thomas Ferocino
58 Martin Hotze
58 Balázs Pálfi
58 Kyoo Barbaix
58 Alexander Muer
58 Jens Büsscher
66 Ralf Behr
66 Reiner Pfeiffer
66 Dina Fukson
66 Martin Janczyk
66 Stefan Schichtl
66 Daniel Fritzenwanger
66 Wolfgang Szymanski
66 Jürgen Urban
66 Fabio Gravina
73 Mark van der Gugten
73 Robert Kappenberger
73 Veit Sander
73 Jim Lindsay
73 Helmar Oels
78 Patrick Gelbarth
78 Rich Mallett
78 Bartosz Sokolowski
78 Daniel Poturica
78 Jenna Muer

An ad-hoc Women’s Tournament was also held on Sunday, run by Dina Lindsay.  This was run on a selection of machines at the far end of the main games room and consisted of ranked scores on each machine.

Play in the Women's Tournament
Play in the Women’s Tournament

We don’t have the final results of the Women’s Tournament yet but will add them here when we get them.

As you will have seen, this was a pretty full-on weekend of competitive pinball for all the competitors, and Bulls & Balls was an ideal location to host the 80+ competitors.  Being a featured Audition Location for Pinball Universe means Bulls & Balls gets the latest Stern games for potential buyers to try during normal opening, but also for use in the tournaments.  Pinball Universe brought twelve games to Bulls & Balls which allowed competitors to try games such as Deadpool and Iron Maiden which they might not have previously seen.

The facilities both inside the building and in the surrounding area were excellent, with shops, hotels, restaurants, bars and transport all close-by, and a fascinating array of historic buildings and grounds to explore.

The tournaments were all well organised and planned, with published schedules closely followed and everyone in the mood for a fun weekend of competition.

Tobias with Bulls & Ball co-owner Matthias Klüber
Tobias with Bulls & Ball co-owner Matthias Klüber

It was purely a tournament weekend though.  Once the first round of the tournaments began there were no free-play machines available and little for non-playing partners, friends or spectators to do at the venue.  Those involved in the tournaments came to compete and thus were occupied nearly the whole time.  We spoke with a number of players who said they had been to Bulls & Balls several times for tournament events such as this and never seen anything of the city itself, which seemed a shame given all there is to enjoy just a short walk away.

So, we thoroughly recommend attending one of these weekends – there is Christmas event coming up a little later in the year – but allow an extra day or two to explore the city and surrounding area.  It’s definitely worth making the effort.

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