Date: 26th-28th August 2022 Location: Mercure Daventry Court, Sedgemore Way, Daventry, NN11 0SG, UK. The end-of-August public holiday can only mean one thing; It’s time for UK Pinfest. We are back at the Mercure Daventry Hotel for the fourth UK Pinfest show. All four have been held here, starting in 2018, with a one year hiatus due to Covid in 2020. The Mercure Daventry Hotel’s main entrance FRIDAY We arrived at midday on the Friday. The main show hall was still being built-up with around half the total number of pinballs expected having arrived. Setting up machines in the main hall More machines to be set up The front row of machines including the games from the Pinball Amigos The main tournament area Some games arrived by the van load, others by car Inside the main hall on Friday afternoon Along with the games in the main hall, as selection of modern titles are set up in the hotel’s lobby on pay-to-play thanks to Chris Brimacombe and Pinball Heaven. Each game costs £1, or you can get 3 games for £2. All money raised would be donated to charity. The games in the lobby were very popular before the main hall opened on Friday Rush Premium, Godzilla Premium, Stranger Things Limited Edition and Guns ‘N Roses Limited Edition Meanwhile, the Pinball Classic competition was being set up in a side room called the Priestly Room. A big prize for the winner of the Pinball Classic competition This way for the Pinball Classic competition Shaun Harvey sets up the Classics room ready for Saturday’s qualifying rounds The Classics machines Trophies for the Pinball Classics competition Meanwhile, back in the main hall, more games were arriving and being set up. More machines now in the main show hall A nice row of Solid-state Gottlieb machines ‘Behind-the-scenes’ with the power and PA equipment Machines for the Main Tournament Trophies for the Main Tournament The show doesn’t open to the public until 7pm tonight, and that is only for VIP pass holders. For everyone else, doors open at 10:30am tomorrow. Outside the main hall there were two stands – one for show tickets and another from London Pinball selling assorted pinball parts and paraphernalia. The corridor outside the main hall The UK Pinfest show desk with show organiser, Philip Murphy On-the-day ticket prices for UK Pinfest 2022 ranged from £10 for the Saturday evening session to £20 for Saturday or Sunday, £35 for both days and £50 for the whole weekend with the Friday and Saturday VIP sessions included. Pre-show ticket purchases had also been available at a reduced rate. The rooms at the hotel were also available at a special show rate of £65 for a single room and £75 for a two-person room. Both rates included a buffet breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. The London Pinball stall Back in the hotel’s lobby, attendees’ time was split between the pay-to-play machines, the bar and the food service counter. The Lobby bar area Many people were leaving nothing to chance and had brought their own beer The food counter in the lobby As Friday’s opening time drew closer, the main hall started to look more complete. The main hall on Friday evening Here’s the schedule of events across the weekend: Friday, Saturday and Sunday at UK Pinfest 2022 The VIP session began at 7pm and soon the hall was busy with players wearing VIP-access wristbands checking out the range of machines available to play. The main hall on Friday evening The main hall on Friday evening Ad Jonker brought his one-of-a-kind Aladdin’s Tales of the Arabian Nights from the Netherlands Created by Wil Angenent, it uses a new playfield design running the original software One-handed pinball on Elvira’s House of Horrors The first two competitive events were held on Friday evening. Stall Ball was run by Neil McRae of Domino Arcade on a The Shadow machine with a first prize of a new Nokia Android phone. Neil starts the Stall Ball competition In Stall Ball, the aim is to put the ball into a saucer, scoop or lock. Do that and you can walk away, let the next player in line take over and join the back of the queue to carry on playing. If you should drain the ball though, you are out. There was a long line of players but it moved very quickly, so even if you were at the very back you probably only had a five minute wait to play. As players were knocked out, the queue shortened and the time between turns reduced. The queue ran around three sides of the hall, but it moved quickly The eventual winner was Glen. Friday’s Stall Ball winner, Glen Meanwhile, in one of the side rooms, the Ladies Tournament – organised by the Scottish Pinball Association – was taking place on a linked pair of NBA Fastbreak machines. The Ladies Tournament on Friday night Play in the Ladies Tournament The tournament ran late, so at midnight the final round was deferred until 10am on Saturday morning. At midnight, the lights were switched on, the games switched off, and the show hall closed until Saturday morning. Game over for Friday at UK Pinfest SATURDAY After breakfast, the final of the Ladies Tournament has held on the two NBA Fastbreak machines. Sarah Vince and Pauline Bird were in the final. Sarah and Pauline in the final of the Ladies Tournament In the final, Sarah triumphed with a score of 33 points to Pauline’s 22. Moira and Hayley were joint third, having lost in the semi-finals. Sarah Vince receives her trophy from Ailsa Clunie of the Scottish Pinball Association With the Ladies Tournament decided, it wasn’t long before the NBA Fastbreak machines were back in action with the NBA Challenge tournament, also organised by the Scottish Pinball Association. The first rounds of the NBA Challenge begin Across the corridor, the Pinball Classic tournament was getting under way too. Entry to this cost £15 which comprised of a £10 registration and 5 x £1 games on any of the machines. Additional games could then be purchased at the same £1 price. Shaun registers another player Play in the Pinball Classic competition Meanwhile, the main hall was preparing to admit Saturday’s guests at the appointed 10:30am opening time. The corridor outside the main hall as the doors were about to open The first guests through the door on Saturday The hall quickly filled with guests and the sounds of pinball being played The machines were soon nearly all in use This Super Hoops from Bitronic is a rare title to see Pinball Amigos had their corner of the hall to display their games The Pinball Amigos had their Crazy Mansion alongside this Dispicable Me game London Pinball had a stand next to the main doors, selling assorted new and re-claimed pinball parts, clothing, mugs and much more. Items for sale on the London Pinball stand Items for sale on the London Pinball stand Further into the hall, 1 Stop Pinball had a stand selling new pinball essentials such as rubbers, bulbs, locks, flasher domes and cabinet protectors, as well as a big selection of pinball LEDs. The 1 Stop Pinball stand Items for sale on the 1 Stop Pinball stand At the back of the hall, the main tournament started with players registering and playing their qualifying games. Paul registers another player in the main tournament Craig is one of the first to play Nearby, the Youth Tournament, run by Dan Lewell, started at midday. After an initial qualifying round, the top eight players progressed to the play-off rounds. They were: Effie LewellMichael AwPhoebe LewellJames AwStephen DonatiLucy VinceQuentin ReynoldsCallan Kinloch They were split into two groups of four, with each group playing a single game on either WWF Royal Rumble or Twilight Zone. The top two scorers from both groups progressed to the final. On WWF Royal Rumble, it was Lucy Vince and Michael Aw who made it into the final, while Phoebe Lewell and Stephen Donati came top on Twilight Zone. The final was played on Batman 66. The Youth Tournament final on Batman 66 Lucy Vince was triumphant with her score of 62,126,160, ahead of Phoebe Lewell on 34,250,820. A close third was Michael Aw with his 31,562,740, while Stephen Donati was fourth on 9,912,750. All the top four received trophies and prizes of Amazon gift cards from organiser Dan Lewell. Winner of the Youth Tournament, Lucy Vince Second place, Phoebe Lewell Fourth place, Stephen Donati The top four: Phoebe Lewell, Lucy Vince, Michael Aw & Stephen Donati Later in the day, as several competitive events were underway and the number of visitors increased, the hall began to get pretty full, especially around the tournaments area. The hall was getting full The hall was getting full Although all the pinballs in the main hall were physical machines, there continues to be quite some interest in playing virtual pinball. We ran into a team of organisers from the popular Elite Virtual Pinball Weekly Challenge group on Faceboook who play weekday, weekend and longer virtual pinball competitions where players all play the same pre-announced table and submit their scores online to determine the winner. Organisers of The Elite Virtual Pinball Weekly Challenge group on Facebook An overview of the main hall If it got too crowded inside the hall, there was always space to relax in the sunshine on the patio just opposite the main hall’s entrance. The patio area outside the main hall Qualifying in the main tournament ran all day, while behind those players the finals of the UK Pinball League were being held to find the regional and national champions. The machines available to play were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Stern), Godzilla, Batman 66, Black Jack, Eight Ball, Joker Poker, Lethal Weapon 3, Hot Wheels, Jurassic Park (Stern) and Fish Tales. Players in the main tournament Meanwhile, a row of machines adjacent to the tournament area was being used for the finals of the UK Pinball League, with the A Division playing on Saturday morning and the B Division in the afternoon. Playing in the UK Pinball League finals The UK Pinball League operates six separate leagues, dividing the country into South-West, Midlands, London & South-East, Northern, Scottish and Irish regions. Each region sends their top-ranked players to this national final which is split into an A Division for the very highest ranked, and the B Division for the second tier. The exact number from each region who qualify for the national finals depends on the number of players taking part. The machines used were Genesis, Spider-Man, Revenge from Mars, Paragon, High Speed 2: The Getaway and Elvira’s House of Horrors. The A Division finals All players in each division play each of the six machines and their scores are ranked with points awarded. The two players with the most points are straight into that division’s final four, with the other two places coming from a play-off between the 3rd to 6th placed players. In the A Division that left a final four of Nick Marshall, Will Jarvis, Andy Foster and Josh Iles. Due to time constraints, the final was a single game played on a machine chosen by the highest qualifier, Nick Marshall. Nick chose Spider-Man but it was Will Jarvis with the highest score of 105,229,180, with Nick Marshall second on 57,596,330, Andy Foster third with 6,738,340 and Josh Iles fourth with 6,135,100. The main hall closed at 6pm for a one hour break, before reopening to VIP ticket-holders at 7pm. As on Friday night, there was another Stall Ball competition held on The Shadow and run by Neil McRae. Time for Stall Ball The winner was one of the Pinball Amigos, and he got to choose between a Nokia phone and an Apple watch as his prize, choosing the latter. The winner of Saturday’s Stall Ball Speaking of winners, the winner of the Best In Show award was announced on Saturday evening. The award went to Ant for his stunning Terminator 2. Ant receives his Best In Show award from UK Pinfest organiser Phillip Murphy Ant’s game include countless custom parts across the playfield, inside and outside the cabinet, and in the backbox too. The winning Terminator 2 game Even the cabinet side has LEDs in the Terminators’ eyes SUNDAY The show opened again at 10:30am on Sunday. Sunday’s opening 10:30 was also the time for the resumption of three competitive events. In the main tournament, there was an additional qualifying session until midday which gave those not taking part in the other events a last chance to put in a card of three scores which would rank in the top 24 entries and get them into the play-offs later in the day. Sunday’s qualifying session in the main tournament While that was taking place, the final rounds of the Pinball Classic competition began. In the qualifying on Saturday there were eight machines – Flash Gordon, Genie, Lady Luck, Locomotion, Sorcerer, Star Gazer, TX-Sector and Xenon. The top two scorers on each machine progressed to Sunday’s play-offs. Those sixteen were: Alan JonesAndy FosterCraig PullenDavid DuttonDavid Fowler UKGreg MottIan WalmsleyMark SladeMartin FoxMatt VinceOwen LloydPeter BlakemoreRich MallettSebastian EiselinShaun RussellWilliam Dutton They were then divided into four groups of four players and given three machines to play. The play-offs in the Pinball Classic competition Points were awarded for the finishing position in each game using the 4-2-1-0 system. When all three games had been played, the two players with the most points in each group progressed to the final eight, where the same system was employed to reach the final four. They were Andy Foster, Matt Vince, Craig Pullen and Peter Blakemore, and the games they would play (using the same 4-2-1-0 scoring) would be Locomotion, Sorcerer and TX-Sector. Andy Foster starts the final of the Pinball Classic on Locomotion Andy won on Locomotion with 776,440. Matt was second on 275,030, Craig third on 207,310 and Peter fourth on 127,380. On Sorcerer, Peter took top spot with his 2,290,200 compared to Andy’s 1,210,510, Matt’s 1,181,410 and Craig’s 1,176,410. Peter won on Sorcerer That meant, going into the last game of the final on TX-Sector, Andy had 6 points, Peter had 4 points, Matt had 3 and Craig 1 point. Theoretically, either Andy, Peter or Matt could win. Craig plays on the last game, TX-Sector As it turned out, Craig won with Matt second, Peter third and Andy fourth. That gave Craig, Matt and Peter 5 points each, while Andy won with his 6 points. There was a 3-way play-off for the remaining places on Lady Luck which was won by Craig with 688,550 while Peter was second with 515,000 and Matt third on 138,520. The top prize was £1,000 thanks to sponsorship of the competition by Home Leisure Direct. Trophies and cash prizes were awarded by the competition organiser, Shaun Harvey. Winner of the Pinball Classic competition, Andy Foster Second place, Craig Pullen Third place, Peter Blakemore Fourth place, Matt Vince While the Pinball Classic play-offs were taking place, across the corridor was the Under-12 division of the NBA Challenge competition. The NBA Challenge’s Under-12 division The quarter-finals featured Owen Craven, Effie Lewell, James Aw, Daniel Vince, Michael Aw, Ethan Campbell, Lucy Vince and Callan Kinloch. Owen, Daniel, Ethan and Lucy made in into the semi-finals, which set up brother vs sister final as Daniel Vince played Lucy Vince. Daniel Vince vs Lucy Vince in the final Although it was close at the end of the third quarter with Daniel leading 34-31, Daniel widened the gap in the final quarter to win by 51 to 39. Winner of the NBA Challenge Under-12 division, Daniel Vince Before the next batch of competitive events began, there was a presentation in the main hall to induct the latest members of the UK Pinball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame began in 2008 at the UK Pinball Show and continued through the UK Pinball Party years until 2015, after which there was no national UK show for two years and so new inductions were paused. Now that UK Pinfest is firmly established as the main UK show, the induction presentations resumed for the two UK-based inductees of 2022. Pinball News Editor, Martin Ayub, made the announcements. The first inductee was Paul Brock, who established and runs the highly popular online discussion forum, Pinball Info, which has grown to become the central point for pinball activities across the UK. UK Pinball Hall of Fame inductee, Paul Brock(picture: Ailsa Clunie) The second inductee wasn’t a single person, but was a team instead. The Northern Light Pinball team organise the pinball element of many gaming shows, which both helps support the show and brings pinball to many players who are new to the game. They also run events which have raised huge sums for their chosen charities. The Northern Lights Pinball team(picture: Ailsa Clunie) Martin also made two announcements. The first was the creation of a Nominations and Inductions Committee drawn from across the country and representing many different aspects of the game to consider future nominations for induction into the UK Pinball Hall of Fame. The Committee members were all introduced to the audience. The second was the creation of a website at ukpinballhalloffame.com to honour all the past inductees and provide a way for suggestions for future inductees to be sent to the Committee for consideration. Details of the Committee’s make up is also included. The new UK Pinball Hall of Fame website At 2pm the main NBA Challenge quarter-final rounds began on the two linked NBA Fastbreak machines. Trophies for the NBA Challenge top three The four pairings were: JMAC vs Naomi PorterChris Miller vs Kevin DonovanRichard Batten vs Ben LeighPaul Brock vs Clive Bush JMAC, Naomi, Clive and Paul made it through to the semi-finals, with Naomi and Clive going head-to-head in the final. Naomi Porter and Clive Bush in the NBA Challenge final As with the Under-12 division earlier, it was a close fought battle until the fourth quarter where Clive took a commanding lead to win the final 48-37. In the play-off for third place it was a win for Jon (JMAC), with Paul ending fourth. Trophies were awarded by Alisa Clunie. Winner of the NBA Challenge, Clive Bush Second place, Naomi Porter Third place, Jon (JMAC) The last competitive event was the main tournament, also known as the UK Pinfest Battle and run by Wayne Johns and Paul Garner. Organisers of the main tournament, Paul Garner and Wayne Johns The top 24 qualifiers took part in Sunday afternoon’s play-offs which began around 2pm. The top 8 players received a bye through the first round, while the remaining 16 took part in head-to-head three-game matches with the first to get two wins going through to the quarter-finals. The top 8 players were: Nick MarshallCraig PullenRich MallettYuen AwBrad AtwoodJeremy DorlingGreg MottAndy Foster They were joined in the quarter-finals by: David DuttonDavid TuckerNeil McRaeAlan BuddWayne JohnsLuke GraysonMatt VinceSteve Akroyd Each round followed the same best-of-three pairings until the final four were decided. They were Andy Foster, Matt Vince, Brad Atwood and Rich Mallett. The final four: Andy Foster, Matt Vince, Brad Atwood and Rich Mallett The three machines drawn for the final were Black Jack, Fish Tales and Jurassic Park, representing one ‘classic’ machine, one DMD and one modern Stern. A single four-player game would be played on each machine, with the 4-2-1-0 points system for first to fourth. Andy starts the first game on Black Jack The final, like much of the qualifying and play-offs, was streamed live on the Pinball Live stream on Twitch, where you can watch each day’s action. There was also large monitor showing the playfield of each game in the final. Watching the gameplay on the playfield camera’s monitor The first game, played on Black Jack, was won by Andy with 637,170, compared to Matt’s 120,050, Brad’s 69,870 and Rich’s 58,120. The second game on Fish Tales again saw Andy and Matt at the top, although the order was reversed this time, as it was for Rich and Brad in third and fourth respectively. Rich starts on Fish Tales So, going into the last game on Jurassic Park the scores were: Andy Foster4 + 2 = 6 pointsMatt Vince2 + 4 = 6 pointsBrad Atwood1 + 0 = 1 pointRich Mallett0 + 1 = 1 pointThe scores after two games That meant only Andy or Matt could win overall, with whichever of them scored the most on Jurassic Park being crowned the champion. Brad played first on Jurassic Park Brad took an initial lead after the first ball, but nobody had scored that many points yet. Andy changed that, putting in a decent second ball of over 200M which gave him a solid lead going into everyone’s third and final ball. Andy finished his game in the lead on 275M. Matt started his third game on 58M and needed a strong third ball which didn’t come, adding just 4M before the inevitable ball drain. Brad ended the game in second place with 82M for third place overall, with Rich in fourth with his 40M. Matt congratulates Andy on his win Andy Foster4 + 2 + 4 = 10 pointsMatt Vince2 + 4 + 1 = 7 pointsBrad Atwood1 + 0 + 2 = 3 pointRich Mallett0 + 1 + 0 = 1 pointThe final points total Wayne Johns then presented trophies and cash prizes to the top four players, with the winner, Andy, picking up his second £1,000 cash prize of the day. Main tournament winner, Andy Foster Second place, Matt Vince Third place, Brad Atwood Fourth place, Rich Mallett Awards were also given out for the UK Pinball League regional and national finals winners. Some trophy winners had already left for their journey home, but most were still at the show to collect their award in front of the audience. After a single game decider played on Spider-Man, the winner of the A Division was Will Jarvis. Nick Marshall was second, Andy Foster was third and Josh Iles fourth. UK Pinball League A Division winner, Will Jarvis UK Pinball League A Division 3rd place, Andy Foster UK Pinball League A Division 4th place, Josh Iles The B Division final was played on Gottlieb’s Genesis machine and was won by Conrad Chambers, with Kirk Sadler second, John Parkins third and Andy Brock fourth. UK Pinball League B Division winner, Conrad Chambers UK Pinball League B Division 3rd place, John Parkins The last awards went to the winners from the UK Pinball League’s six regional divisions. They were also presented by Wayne as UK Pinball League’s Overall Coordinator. Irish Region UK Pinball League Irish region, 1st place, Keith Borland UK Pinball League Irish region, 2nd place, Alan O’Grady London & South East Region UK Pinball League London & SE region, 1st place, Matt Vince UK Pinball League London & SE region, 2nd place, Neil McRae UK Pinball League London & SE region, 3rd place, Yuen Aw Midlands Region UK Pinball League Midlands region, 1st place, Nick Marshall UK Pinball League Midlands region, 2nd place, Wayne Johns UK Pinball League Midlands region, 3rd place, Phil Dixon Northern Region UK Pinball League Northern region, 1st place, Will Jarvis UK Pinball League Northern region, 3rd place, David Dutton Scottish Region UK Pinball League Scottish region, 1st place, Gary Fleming UK Pinball League Scottish region, 2nd place, Lynn Cowan UK Pinball League Scottish region, 3rd place, Alan Irving South-West Region UK Pinball League South-West region, 1st place, Peter Blakemore UK Pinball League South-West region, 2nd place, Luke Grayson UK Pinball League South-West region, 3rd place, Greg Mott The awards presentations ended this year’s UK Pinfest. With the time now after 6pm and the show officially closing at 4:30pm, many machines had already been broken down in preparation for the journey home. Still plenty of work at the end of the show for the machine donors For some the journey home would be relatively short, but for others it wouldn’t begin until the following morning after another night spent in the show hotel. Loading up at the end of another successful show Congratulations to Philip and all those involved in another great UK Pinfest show. With this being the fourth year, most of those running the show, the tournament and the other events are all familiar with what needs to be done, but it’s still a ton of work and each year throws up new surprises and challenges. However, it was clearly very successful, with attendance up significantly and the main hall nearing capacity on Saturday. Despite the great turnout it never became overly crowded though, as you can see for yourself in our exclusive Ten Minute Tour video looking around the machines and tournaments at the show during the busy period on Saturday afternoon. We’ll be back at Daventry next year for UK Pinfest 2023. Check our Diary page for dates and more details just as soon as they are announced.