Date: 17th - 21st July, 2019
Location: Flip Out London, Unit 4, James Business Park, Mill Lane, Croydon, London, CR0 4AA, UK

The idea began in January 2019 when UK Tournaments head, Martin Ayub, was looking for ways to improve the annual UK Pinball Open and UK Pinball Classic tournaments.

These had previously been held as part of a larger national UK show, but restrictions on space, time, machines and building access had made organising two major tournaments on floor of a show increasingly difficult.

What was needed was a large permanent collection, where machines wouldn’t need to be transported and there was plenty of time to set up everything so the tournaments could be run without making the kinds of compromises faced previously. If this could be achieved, then it also offered the opportunity to extend the event beyond just those two tournaments, making it more attractive to international players and those who needed to travel from more distant parts of the UK.

We have featured the Flip Out London pinball club on this site before, as it offered the best range of machines and the most attractive location in the UK – the capital city, London. Martin is one of the founder members of Flip Out London and put his proposal to a special meeting of all the club’s founders in early February.

Martin’s idea was for a Fabulous Five Days of pinball tournaments, starting on a Wednesday and continuing through to Sunday. The UK Pinball Open and UK Pinball Classic would still be in their traditional Saturday and Sunday slot, but with new tournaments on Wednesday and Thursday, qualifying for the ‘Open’ and ‘Classic’ could begin earlier on Friday for those who could make it. Additionally, if there was time and machines available, a fifth tournament could be run on Sunday for those who didn’t qualify or got knocked out early in the Open and Classic.

Everyone knew it would involve a lot of hard work and the club’s facilities would need to be upgraded to cope with the expected number of visitors, but all the founders were all up for the challenge and the date was set for the middle of July. Neil McRae volunteered to run the Open and Classic as Tournament Director, while Matt Vince offered to do the same for the Wednesday and Thursday tournaments.

The original intention was to help support some of London’s other pinball locations by hosting the Wednesday and Thursday tournaments at Chief Coffee in Chiswick and possibly Brewdog in Shepherd’s Bush. Brewdog normally only has half-a-dozen machines, so that would have involved bringing more machines into an already-crowded location. Meanwhile, Chief Coffee is a relatively small location and changed their mind about hosting three weeks before the tournaments began, meaning everything ended up coming back to the known quantity that is Flip Out London.

Waddon Ponds at the entrance Flip Out London's premises
Waddon Ponds at the entrance Flip Out London’s premises

Flip Out London would be hard to find without SatNav/GPS, housed in a fairly nondescript brick building on an industrial estate at the end of a bumpy road, but the surrounding area is actually rather attractive, with Waddon Ponds just a short walk up the road.

Waddon Ponds at the entrance Flip Out London's premises
Waddon Ponds at the entrance Flip Out London’s premises

Walk (or drive) along the bumpy Mill Lane and you come to Flip Out London’s home in Unit 10 of James Business Park.

Mill Road, leading to Unit 10 - home of Flip Out London
Mill Road, leading to Unit 10 – home of Flip Out London
The entrance to Flip Out London
The entrance to Flip Out London

Registration opened on 1st June and immediately the tournament slots started to fill up. Wednesday’s mid-week tournament was expected to be the hardest to fill, but surprisingly the forty places sold out first.

Qualifying in the Classic would be open from Friday evening and run all through Saturday, but the Open qualifying was split into four time slots – one on Friday evening and three on Saturday. Saturday’s slots also sold out quickly, all of which helped establish a generous prize package of over £1,000 ($1,222/€1,100).

Registrations quickly filled up for all the tournaments
Registrations quickly filled up for all the tournaments

The improvements work at Flip Out London included knocking down and rebuilding an internal wall, carpeting part of the club’s floor, installing new electrical cabling, buying a vending machine to serve drinks and snacks along with bringing in extra stocks for the five days, and – perhaps most importantly – making sure all the machines were professionally serviced and fully working in time for the tournaments.

As is usual with UK Pinball Tournaments events this was to be a non-profit operation, with all entry fees being used either for prize money, buying the trophies, or the cost of operating the facility. Everyone from the club involved in running the five days worked as a volunteer.

Chilled drinks and snacks were always available from the vending machine
Chilled drinks and snacks were always available from the vending machine

Players were welcome to bring their own food and drinks to the club if they wished, with kitchen facilities, a fridge, freezer, microwave oven, cutlery, plates, bowls, mugs, glasses and a kettle all at their disposal.

The 'quiet room' away from all the pinball action
The ‘quiet room’ away from all the pinball action

In addition, a number of new machines were brought in especially for the event. Neil donated several from his Domino Arcade home collection, while Pinball Heaven and Electrocoin made sure we had the latest Stern Pinball title, Black Knight: Sword of Rage.

The final addition to Flip Out London was a late arrival, as the weather forecast revealed how warm the temperatures were likely to be over the five days.

The number of entries had been deliberately limited due to the size of the venue, but having eighty players and around forty powered-up pinballs in a confined space with no air-conditioning in 25C+ temperatures meant something had to be done.

Neil arranged for several industrial air-conditioning units to be hired and located around the building, generously paying part of the cost of hiring them himself.

One of several industrial air-condition units brought in for the five days
One of several industrial air-condition units brought in for the five days

Although the temperature didn’t reach the highs of the following week when a new UK record of 38.7C (101.7F) was reached, it was still toasty outside during the five days and would have been unbearable inside without the air-con units.

Neil also got the team personalised T-shirts and secured a sponsorship deal with London brewer FourPure Brewing Co. to provide players over 18-years-old with several cans each of their tasty Pils Lager, Session IPA and Indy Lager brews.

FourPure Brewing Co. generously sponsored the Fantastic Five Days with their flagship beers
FourPure Brewing Co. generously sponsored the Fantastic Five Days with their flagship beers

With everything set, the first tournament of the five days was the Flip Frenzy on Wednesday. Matt delegated the running of the tournament to Nick Hamill who briefed players about the format and how to submit their scores.

Nick explains how the Flip Frenzy works
Nick explains how the Flip Frenzy works
Forty players were pre-registered for Wednesday's Flip Frenzy
Forty players were pre-registered for Wednesday’s Flip Frenzy

The format used sixteen machines and put a random pair of players on each to play a single game with the result noted on each player’s score sheet.

Trophies for Wednesday's Flip Frenzy
Trophies for Wednesday’s Flip Frenzy

After the first game is over, player two leaves the machine to move onto the next available machine as player one in a new game. Meanwhile, player one on the original machine stays on but becomes player two in a new game against the next player in line to play.

In this way, everyone (after the first round) gets to play two games on each machine – firstly as player one, then as player two – against different opponents, before moving on to a different machine.

Play began at 7pm for ninety minutes, with a thirty-minute break at 8:30pm. Play continued at 9pm until the final games at 10:30pm.

The Flip Frenzy is underway
The Flip Frenzy is underway
Match results were recorded on paper and handed in at the end of the tournament
Match results were recorded on paper and handed in at the end of the tournament

The games were all set up to be tough to play, with no outlane rubbers on the posts and minimal or zero ball save timers. Although this initially came as something of a shock, most players soon embraced the potential for quick ball times and planned their strategies accordingly. It also ensured lots of games were played and there was minimal waiting involved.

Machines in the Stern room were mostly for practice but were used for the Flip Frenzy too
Machines in the Stern room were mostly for practice but were used for the Flip Frenzy too

Live streaming was set up by Neil on his own Twitch channel. He had a wireless mobile camera rig which could be wheeled around and positioned over any suitable game before the match began.

Neil's wireless camera rig mounted over The Addams Family
Neil’s wireless camera rig mounted over The Addams Family
Neil commentating on his live stream from Flip Out London
Neil commentating on his live stream from Flip Out London

When 10:30pm came around and the last games were completed the results were announced, with the winner being the player with the most wins. No play-offs were used, so any ties were decided in favour of the player with the highest win percentage.

The winner was Nick Marshall who won seventeen games in the three hours of play. Jack Burden and Hugo Ritter both had fifteen wins, but Hugo had played more games, making his win percentage lower and giving him third place. Keith Burden was one win behind on fourteen for fourth place.

Nick Hamill presented the trophies.

Winner of the Flip Frenzy, Nick Marshall
Winner of the Flip Frenzy, Nick Marshall
Second place, Jack Burden
Second place, Jack Burden
Third place, Hugo Ritter
Third place, Hugo Ritter
Fourth place, Keith Burden
Fourth place, Keith Burden

The full results are:

1Nick Marshall17​
2Jack Burden15​
3Hugo Ritter15​
4Keith Burden14​
5Daniel Nowak13​
=6Hervé Pierru12​
=6Matt Vince12​
8Rayne Passmore11​
9Archibald Lefèvre11​
10Stan Simpson11​
11Victor-Francois Machart11​
12Cezary Glowala10​
=13Martyn Iles10​
=13Rodney Comegys10​
15Chris Poyntz9​
=16Ben Pike9​
=16Vin Jauhal9​
=18Greg Mott9​
=18Nick Hamill9​
20Matt Silk9​
21Denis Ritter9​
22Dan Lewell9​
23Wayne Russell9​
24David Tucker8​
25Sam McCourt8​
26Ivan Miles8​
27Mike Parkins8​
28Tim Thornton7​
29Rafal Wasik7​
30Punk Stig7​
31Kirk Sadler7​
32Roy Smith7​
=33Alex Berta6​
=33Dan Andrews6​
35Edina Berta6​
36Kate Rothwell-Jackson5​
37Josh Iles2​

Tidying-up then began for the Flip Out London team, so they could spend Thursday concentrating on getting the games cleaned and any repairs done before the doors opened for the second tournament of the five days.

The Club is normally open every Thursday evening for the Flip Out London League, but as this was a special event the Super League took over instead, keeping the same basic format but expanding it.

Trophies for Thursday's Super League
Trophies for Thursday’s Super League

For the Super League there were twenty games available, from which players had to pick fifteen to play. They had to do this before they entered the building, so they couldn’t choose on the basis of how others were playing or how easy or difficult it looked.

The machines available were:

  • Black Knight: Sword of Rage
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Metallica
  • Iron Man
  • The Walking Dead
  • Attack from Mars
  • Cirqus Voltaire
  • Eight Ball Deluxe
  • Robocop
  • The Shadow
  • Iron Maiden (2018)
  • Terminator 2
  • Dirty Harry
  • Junkyard
  • AC/DC
  • Spider-Man
  • Avatar
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • Medieval Madness
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (Stern)

Other machines were available for general play or for practice.

Free play or practice games
Free play or practice games
Tournament Director, Matt Vince, explains the format
Tournament Director, Matt Vince, explains the format

All the scores on each machine were ranked and the twelve players with the greatest number of points moved on to the play-offs at 10:30pm.

Play begins in the Super League on Thursday
Play begins in the Super League on Thursday
More games in the Super League
More games in the Super League
The rankings were shown on the big screen
The rankings were shown on the big screen
The streaming rig was in use again
The streaming rig was in use again

They were: Cezary Glowala, Archibald Lefevre, Denis Ritter, Tim Thornton, Rafal Wasik, Matt Vince, Sam McCourt, John van der Wulp, Punk Stig, Mike Parkins, Greg Mott and Stan Simpson.

Players checking their standing
Players checking their standing

The first four players went straight into the semi-finals, while players ranked 5th-12th were split into two four-player groups to play a best-of-three quarter final using the 7-4-2-1 scoring format for each game.

The top two from each group then played the top four qualifiers in two more groups of four, with the top two from each of those groups making the four finalists.

They were: Tim Thornton, Rafal Wasik, Sam McCourt and John van der Wulp.

The final was again played on three machines. The first was Eight Ball Deluxe, where John’s 645,500 score took first place and 7 points. Tim’s 571,500 wasn’t far behind and got him 4 points, followed by Rafal in third and Sam fourth.

Sam won the second game on Guardians of the Galaxy, with John second, Rafal third again and Tim fourth. That put John in the lead on 11 points, Sam second on 8 points, Tim third on 5 points and Rafal fourth on 4 points.

The final game on Cirqus Voltaire provided a win for Tim, with Rafal second, John third and Sam fourth. That meant John was the winner with 13 points, Tim was second with 12 points, Sam third on 9 points and Rafal fourth on 8 points.

Tournament Director Matt Vince presented the trophies.

Winner of Thursday's Super League, John van der Wulp
Winner of Thursday’s Super League, John van der Wulp
Second place, Tim Thornton
Second place, Tim Thornton
Third place, Sam McCourt
Third place, Sam McCourt
Fourth place, Rafal Wasik
Fourth place, Rafal Wasik

The full results are:

1John van der Wulp
2Tim Thornton
3Sam McCourt
4Rafal Wasik
5Denis Ritter
6Matt Vince
7Cezary Glowala
8Archibald Lefevre
9Punk Stig
10Mike Parkins
11Greg Mott
12Stan Simpson
13Neil McRae
14Matt Silk 
15Ed Rojas
16Daniel Nowak POL
17Hugo Ritter
18Robin Kemp
19Thomas Doepelheuer
20Hervé Pierru
21Peter Blakemore
22Kirk Sadler
23Ad Jonker
24Ivan Miles
25Joshua Iles 
25Vin Jauhal
27Martyn Iles 
28Clive Bush
29Nick Hamill
30Barry Spours 
31Roy Smith
32David Fowler UK
33Dan Lewell
34Suppressed Player
35CJ Brown UK
36Charlie Lawn
37Rayne Passmore
38Caroline Abbott 
39David Tucker
40Tony Molloy
41Victor Machart
42Edina Berta 
43Alex Berta 
44Mark Reeve 
45Wayne Russell 
46Diane Bush
47Ben Leigh 
48Patrick Doe
49James Fowler
50Russell Doe 

Day two was then over. Some more clearing up and repair work was needed, followed by a complete re-shuffle of the machines before the club re-opened the next evening for the start of the UK Pinball Open and UK Pinball Classic.

Some practice games were available to help players warm-up (while the air con helped them cool-down again)
Some practice games were available to help players warm-up (while the air con helped them cool-down again)

The UK Pinball Open would play two groups (A & B) of up to ten players per group in the first round on Friday evening at 7pm. Groups C & D would play at 10am on Saturday, E & F at 2pm and G & H at 6pm.

Each group would be allocated ten machines to use, so the pinballs at the club were rearranged to provide each group with their own area in which to play.

Additionally, qualifying in the UK Pinball Classic began on Friday evening, giving those players with Saturday time slots for the Open a little extra time to get their Classic games in. There were ten Classic games set up in a side area of the club next to the tournament desk.

Neil McRae was Tournament Director for both the Open and Classic, so he explained how the games would be played.

Neil tells players about the format and the rules of the two tournaments
Neil tells players about the format and the rules of the two tournaments
Players about to begin their games on Friday evening
Players about to begin their games on Friday evening

Let’s begin with the UK Pinball Classic, which was played on ten pre-DMD titles using the Drains Tournament Manager (DTM) software to queue players on each machine, record the scores and display the standings. All the players for this were pre-registered and their details already entered into the DTM system.

The right bank of five Classic machines
The right bank of five Classic machines

Each player had ten entries, with each entry being a single game on one machine of their choice. All the scores were ranked, but only the highest score on their best six machines counted.

The left bank with the remaining five Classic machines
The left bank with the remaining five Classic machines

That meant players could play six different machines and then use their remaining four entries to either replay previous machines or try different ones. All the scores were recorded into the DTM system by volunteer scorekeepers using tablets.

Keith records Kirk's Classic score
Keith records Kirk’s Classic score

The machines used were:

  • Centaur
  • Embryon
  • Farfalla
  • Fathom
  • Flash Gordon
  • High Speed
  • Pinball Champ
  • Quicksilver
  • Space Shuttle
  • Spooky

Qualifying in the UK Pinball Classic started at 7pm on Friday and continued until 11pm, resuming again at 10am the next day and running until 10pm. The top twelve players from the qualifying round would proceed to the play-offs on Sunday morning.

Savouring the moment at the end of the first day of qualifying
Savouring the moment at the end of the first day of qualifying

Meanwhile over in the Open area, the first games were starting. The format was a single game against each of the other nine players in your group, with the win or loss being recorded.

All players were all given personalised score cards showing the order of their games – who their opponent would be, which machine they would play, and in which position they would play (first or second). They could then record a ‘1’ for a win, or a ‘0’ for a loss.

The trophies for the tournaments
The trophies for the tournaments

This section of the tournament closely mirrored the Dutch Pinball Masters, so the organisers brought in Ad Jonker from the Netherlands, who designed that system, to help with the UK Pinball Open. Ad worked out the matches in each round to make sure players had a fair mix of opponents, machines and play positions, printing out all the score cards for each round.

Some of the UK Pinball Open 2019 machines before the tournament began
Some of the UK Pinball Open 2019 machines before the tournament began
More of the Open machines
More of the Open machines

The machines used in the Open were:

  • AC/DC
  • The Addams Family
  • Attack from Mars
  • Avatar
  • Batman Forever
  • Black Knight: Sword of Rage
  • Cirqus Voltaire
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Dialed In!
  • Dirty Harry
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Iron Maiden
  • Iron Man
  • Junkyard
  • Medieval Madness
  • Metallica
  • The Shadow
  • The Simpsons Pinball Party
  • Spider-Man
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Terminator 2
  • The Walking Dead
The results were entered at the end of each session, and the standings shown
Score cards were handed in and the results entered at the end of each session

Although four hours had been allocated to the first two groups, the choice of machines and the tough set-up meant both groups completed all their games within two-and-a-half hours.

By 11pm, everyone had completed all their Open and Classic games for the evening, allowing the Flip Out London team to prepare for Saturday’s busier day.

Groups C & D began their Open qualifying games at 10am, by which time any machine issues had been fixed and they had all been given a clean.

Players in Saturday's rounds of the UK Pinball Open 2019
Players in Saturday’s rounds of the UK Pinball Open 2019

Qualifying in the Classic tournament also started at 10am, giving players plenty of time to play their ten entries.

More UK Pinball Classic qualifying games
More UK Pinball Classic qualifying games

Although the first round of the UK Pinball Open was like the Dutch Pinball Masters, the subsequent rounds were quite different. For a start, nobody was eliminated after the group stage.

More games from the Open
More games from the Open

That’s because the tournament followed the Flip Out format from Pinball Expo where everyone goes into a double-elimination ladder, but the better you do in your group, the more byes you get through the early rounds. There was a chart on the wall showing the system.

The play-offs ladder
The play-offs ladder

Those who finished at or near the bottom of their group started the play-offs at the far-left side of the ladder, which meant an earlier start time. The top players could enjoy a leisurely Sunday morning, starting their games in the afternoon.

Not everyone can win a trophy today
Not everyone can win a trophy today

A leisurely Sunday, that is, unless they were one of the top Classic qualifiers in which case they might have had to be back at Flip Out London at 8am for the quarter- and semi-final matches.

The top twelve qualifiers (with their points scores) were:

1Cezary Glowala494
2Roberto Pedroni492
3Kirk Sadler488
4Nick Marshall481
5Stan Simpson480
6Daniel Nowak477
7David Fowler469
8David Tucker466
9Mirko Plumari462
9Vin Jauhal462
11Craig Pullen460
12Andrew Foster458
The two quarter final matches in the Classic
The two quarter final matches in the Classic

The top four players got a bye into the semi-finals, but players in positions 5th-12th had the play in one of two groups of four using the 7-5-3-1 scoring system across three games. The top two from each quarter final moved on to the semis.

The second quarter-final
The second quarter-final

David Fowler, David Tucker, Daniel Nowak and Stan Simpson went out at the quarter final stage, while Cezary Glowala, Vin Jauhal, Kirk Sadler and Andrew Foster missed out on the final by losing in the semis.

That left Roberto Pedroni, Nick Marshall, Mirko Plumari and Craig Pullen to contest the final of the UK Pinball Classic 2019.

The first game of the three-game final was played on Flash Gordon.

Mirko Plumari begins the final on Flash Gordon
Mirko Plumari begins the final on Flash Gordon as Nick, Craig and Roberto watch

Mirko had a great first ball scoring 627K, but Craig did better with 776K. Meanwhile, Nick only got 147K while Roberto had a bad first ball with only 25K.

Ball two only advanced Mirko’s score by 50K, while Craig solidified his lead on his second ball with a 941K score. Nick bumped his score up to 202K while Roberto was unable to move out of fourth place with his second ball.

On the final ball Mirko ended on 713K to take second, while Craig put in a great performance to more than double his score to 2.049M and take the win. Neither Nick nor Roberto did anything to change the situation, making them third and fourth respectively.

The second game was Quicksilver and it proved a near reversal of fortune for all players. Roberto won with 1.518M, ahead of Nick in second with 1.172M. Craig was third close behind on 1.117M while Mirko was fourth with his 281K score.

Nick was second on Quicksilver
Nick was second on Quicksilver

Going into the third and final game, Craig was in the lead with 10 points, Nick and Roberto both had 8 points, while Mirko had 6 points. That meant anyone could still win.

Game three was Space Shuttle and by the start of his third ball, Mirko was leading with 521K. Second was Craig on 321K while Roberto was third on 133K and Nick fourth on 85K.

Craig was leading on points going into the last game of the final
Craig was leading on points going into the last game of the final

The final ball only boosted Mirko’s score a little to 607K to stay in the lead, but Craig overtook him to finish on 808K.

Nick could only raise his total a little to 93K, leaving Roberto an uphill task of scoring 675K if he wanted to win the game and take the final into a tie-break.

Roberto playing his last ball of the UK Pinball Classic final
Roberto playing his last ball of the UK Pinball Classic final

The great last ball never came, with Roberto draining with his total on 218K which gave him third place.

So Craig was the clear winner on 17 points. Roberto and Mirko were tied on 11 points, with Mirko winning the tie-breaker game, while Nick was fourth. Matt Vince presented the trophies.

Winner of the UK Pinball Classic 2019, Craig Pullen
Winner of the UK Pinball Classic 2019, Craig Pullen
Second place, Mirko Plumari
Second place, Mirko Plumari
Third place, Roberto Pedroni
Third place, Roberto Pedroni

The final positions in the UK Pinball Classic 2019 were:

1Craig Pullen
2Mirko Plumari
3Roberto Pedroni
4Nick Marshall
5Cezary Glowala
7Vin Jauhal
7Kirk Sadler
7Andrew Foster
9David Fowler UK
10David Tucker
11Daniel Nowak POL
12Stan Simpson
13Keith Burden
14Robin Kemp
15John van der Wulp
16Rafal Wasik
17Hugo Ritter
18Tim Thornton
19Thomas Evrenos
19Wayne Johns
21Matt Vince
22Greg Mott
23Mike Parkins
24Denis Ritter
25Hervé Pierru
26Peter Blakemore
27Jack Burden
28CJ Brown UK
28Rich Mallett
30Sam McCourt
31Tony Molloy
32Chris Poyntz
33Olle Strandh
34Archibald Lefevre
35Victor Machart
36Nick Hamill
37Thomas Doepelheuer
38Ad Jonker
39Rodney Comegys
40Punk Stig
41Ed Rojas
42Alex Berta 
42Luke Grayson 
44Mats Sahlberg
45Matt Silk 
46Enrico Giorgio de Stefani
47Mike Kindler
47David Mainwaring
49James Fowler
50James Adams 
51Roy Smith
51Gabi Molotov Gavrilita
53Arvid Flygare
54Edina Berta 
54Wayne Russell 
56James Gadbury
57Tom Fletcher UK
58Francesco Sacco
59Rayne Passmore
60John Whitfield
60Jim King
62Dan Lewell
63Caroline Abbott 
64Simon Harper
65Phoebe Lewell
66Johan Flygare
66Ben Leigh 
68Rob Endo
69Nick Baxter-Sibley
70Effie Lewell
71Lukasz Dziewulski
72Lucy Vince
73Antonella Iannotta

It was hoped to run a fifth tournament – the Pinball News Cup – as a consolation tournament for those who didn’t qualify for the Open play-offs but after the format was changed so everyone qualified, there was no time left to run the Cup on Sunday. It will take place at Flip Out London a little later this year.

So, only the UK Pinball Open play-offs remained.

Each round of the play-offs – both the winner bracket and the loser bracket – had a scheduled start time, and unlike some tournaments, the timetable proved to be accurate with some rounds even able to start earlier if the players were ready.

One of the later matches in the UK Pinball Open 2019
One of the later matches in the UK Pinball Open 2019

The first of the two players to make it to the final was Roberto Pedroni who remained undefeated in the winner bracket having qualified second in his group.

The route to the final
The route to the final

His opponent in the final was Craig Pullen who after getting knocked into the loser bracket straight away, won thirteen games in-a-row to win that bracket and claim his place in the final.

Roberto Pedroni and Craig Pullen before the start of the UK Pinball Open 2019 final
Roberto Pedroni and Craig Pullen before the start of the UK Pinball Open 2019 final

The final was a best-of three affair, with Roberto having choice of machine on the first and third games, or play position throughout. He opted to pick the machines and chose The Shadow, playing as player one.

The final is underway
The final is underway
Roberto plays first
Roberto plays first

Roberto’s first ball didn’t go so well. He scored 8.55M which wouldn’t normally put him in the lead, but Craig had a worse start, tilting his first ball while trying to save it, ending on less than a million

Craig is player two on The Shadow
Craig is player two on The Shadow
Oops!
Oops!

Roberto’s second ball wasn’t great either, boosting his score up to 12.8M. Craig didn’t do any better, finishing his second ball with a 2.9M total.

The third ball was where both players finally got to grips with the machine. Both started Khan multiball, but Roberto had a better game and got Sanctum multiball too to win the game by 166,330,330 to Craig’s 91,460,550.

Craig then got to pick the machine for the second game and chose Dialed In! which had been a reliable ‘banker’ game throughout the tournament. Again, Roberto was put in as player one.

The start of the second game of the final - Dialed In!
The start of the second game of the final – Dialed In!

It look to be a wise choice, as Roberto only scored 7,900 on his first ball compared to Craig’s 108,940.

Roberto almost doubled his score to 14,000 on his second ball. Meanwhile Craig cemented his lead with a ball two total of 532,470, which proved to be enough to win the game, despite a fight back by Roberto on his third ball to end on 73,230.

So, with one game each, the championship would be decided on the third and final game, picked by Roberto as AC/DC.

He got off to a good start this time, starting multiball and racking up a total of 42.263M on his first ball.

Roberto gets multiball on his first ball
Roberto gets multiball on his first ball

Craig also started multiball, but his was over all too quickly to leave him on a score of 11.187M.

Roberto’s second ball wasn’t anywhere as good as his first, adding just 7M to end on 49.380M. In contrast, Craig had a much better second ball as he added another, better, multiball to nudge ahead of Roberto with 50.420M.

Craig had a much better second ball
Craig had a much better second ball

It really was all down to the last ball.

Roberto had another impressive multiball, but also collected some valuable song and combo jackpots from the drop targets, taking his game end total right up to 210.524M.

Craig needed to match Roberto’s performance, and he too got multiball again. However he didn’t manage to earn so many points from it, and drained his last ball soon afterwards while only on 65.344M

Craig congratulates Robert at the end of the final
Craig congratulates Robert at the end of the final

That made Roberto Pedroni the UK Pinball Open 2019 champion. Craig was second, while David Tucker who lost to Craig in the final of the loser bracket was third ahead of John van der Wulp who was fourth.

Winner of the UK Pinball Open 2019, Roberto Pedroni
Winner of the UK Pinball Open 2019, Roberto Pedroni
Second place, Craig Pullen
Second place, Craig Pullen
Third place, David Tucker
Third place, David Tucker

Here are the full results.

1Roberto Pedroni
2Craig Pullen
3David Tucker
4John van der Wulp
5Jack Burden
6Mirko Plumari
7Enrico Giorgio de Stefani
8Andrew Foster
9Nick Marshall
10Rich Mallett
11David Mainwaring
12Matt Vince
14Tim Thornton
14Arvid Flygare
14Wayne Johns
14Hervé Pierru
20Tom Fletcher UK
20Tony Molloy
20CJ Brown UK
20Thomas Evrenos
20Denis Ritter
20Ed Rojas
20Joshua Iles 
20Mike Kindler
28Olle Strandh
28Cezary Glowala
28Sam McCourt
28Kirk Sadler
28Rodney Comegys
28Matt Silk 
28Gabi Molotov Gavrilita
28Paul Owen
36John Whitfield
36Archibald Lefevre
36Greg Mott
36Rob Endo
36Daniel Nowak POL
36Martyn Iles 
36Alex Berta 
36Mats Sahlberg
44Vin Jauhal
44James Adams 
44Antonella Iannotta
44Simon Harper
44Francesco Sacco
44Punk Stig
44Robin Kemp
44Peter Blakemore
52Luke Grayson 
52Victor Machart
52Nick Hamill
52Johan Flygare
52Wayne Russell 
52Keith Burden
52Thomas Doepelheuer
52Caroline Abbott 
60Lukasz Dziewulski
60Jim King
60Rafal Wasik
60Effie Lewell
60Hugo Ritter
60Nick Baxter-Sibley
60Stan Simpson
60David Fowler
68Dan Andrews 
68Edina Berta 
68Mike Parkins
68Ben Leigh 
68Phoebe Lewell
68Roy Smith
68Dan Lewell
68Sarah Vince
76Chris Poyntz
76Justin Day
76Ivan Miles
76Adrian Terruli 

The trophy presentations concluded the Fantastic Five days of pinball at Flip Out London.

The reaction to the move of the UK’s premier tournaments to Flip Out London has been hugely positive, and the expansion of the event into a five-day series has been much appreciated. Having completed this first edition there were lessons learned about the smoothest way to prepare the club, the number of people the club can happily accommodate at its present size, and the way information is conveyed to players.

These are minor issues however, and there is no doubt players are already looking forward to next year event. The challenge for the organisers is how to make it even bigger and better for 2020

Just before the doors were closed on Sunday night, five of the ten founder members of Flip Out London still in attendance gathered to mark the end of their first ever Fantastic Five Days.

Five of the founding members: Martin Ayub, Matt Vince, Mike Parkins, Tim Thornton and Neil McRae
Five of the founding members: Martin Ayub, Matt Vince, Mike Parkins, Tim Thornton and Neil McRae
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One Comment

  1. Ben Leigh

    August 6, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Great round up and review of an amazing pinball event Martin! Credit to all those involved organisers and volunteers. Let’s go bigger and better next year with 7 days of pinball! Looking forward to pinfest in a few short weeks.
    Was sorry to miss out on flip frenzy but am sure there will be other events based on that Format.

    Reply

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