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Classic Games (Games) Games

Keith Elwin Wins Pinball World Championship 110

Yesterday, writes reader woohoodonuts, "Keith Elwin won the world pinball championship in Pittsburgh, PA for the third consecutive year. The weekend-long event fielded 406 players from all over the world and distributed over $36,000 in prizes. The three games chosen in the final round were Stern Cheetah, Bally The Addams Family, and Bally Creature from the Black Lagoon. Keith scored over 500 million points on his final ball with $10,000 on the line to defeat fellow American, Andrei Massenkoff, by nearly 300 million points." Next year's gathering is slated for August 11-14, also in Pittsburgh.
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Keith Elwin Wins Pinball World Championship

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  • by splutty ( 43475 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:07AM (#33262278)

    The bar I worked at had The Addams Family pinball machine for about a year.

    Very good memories there :) "Thing! Lend a hand!"

    I'm glad there are still some of these weird people around that actually like a game of pinball! Way to go!

  • by Telecommando ( 513768 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:49AM (#33262498)

    The magnets don't move and they aren't exectly hidden but TZ is a fun game. If you want to talk about taunting your dreams, try repairing one of them, that will give you fits. TZ is one of the hardest machines to keep running. Medeival Madness and Addams family run a close second and third.

    But I find it interesting that two of the three games in the final round are from a company no longer making pinball games. Truly the era of pinball is coming to a close.

  • by Chelloveck ( 14643 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:31AM (#33262804) Homepage

    But I find it interesting that two of the three games in the final round are from a company no longer making pinball games. Truly the era of pinball is coming to a close.

    Well, considering that there's exactly one company currently making pinball machines...

    Dude, the era of pinball ended more than a decade ago. I was there, working at Capcom Coin-Op programming pinball machines when the bottom fell out. All the manufacturers shut down within just a few years, between 1995 and 1999. Stern had shut down their line years ago, but they re-opened after everyone else quit. As I understand it, Gary Stern himself decided that someone had to keep making machines. I don't know if it's even profitable; it's a labor of love.

    /me is the proud owner (and programmer of!) Big Bang Bar [], due to be the next on the manufacturing line when Capcom got out of the biz.

  • by sjonke ( 457707 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:42AM (#33262872) Journal

    I can't believe this got posted on Slashdot, and am thrilled that it was. Such a great, great event. If you like pinball in the slightest, you need to head to Pittsburgh next year for PAPA 14. The tournament is the emphasis, but the PAPA facility is huge and filled wall to wall with one of the largest and most amazing collections of pinball machines in the world. Everything from "bingos" to the newest pinball machines. You don't need to play in the tournament to enjoy this event, though it's even better if you do play in it. Also you can pick up essential skills just by watching the top tier players, and this year there were 3 HD video cameras that made it possible to actually see them play. Hopefully next year more cameras will be put in place so that all the games can be watched, or perhaps just more HD cameras, with the facility able to switch which are shown on the big screens. That would make it possible to keep the action showing on the screens during the finals without needing to fork out for more TVs.

  • by Sonny_Jimbod ( 836857 ) on Monday August 16, 2010 @09:27AM (#33263332)
    I agree that Gary Sterns loves making pinball and that Stern doesn't make as much money as they used to. Trouble is, they are stuck in a catch-22 situation. It costs a lot of money to make a fun pinball, the cost of the designers, playfield manufacture and putting it all together all add up to be a lot. The more complicated a table is, the more it costs to produce. Also, traditionally new players don't really like playing the complicated games, as they don't have much of a clue as to what is going on. What Stern has been doing for the last couple of years now is just knocking out machines for as cheap as possible, with little in the way of features for the more discerning 'pinhead'. This is good (I suppose) for first time players and operators, but it sucks for anyone with half an interest in pinball. He's got rid of most of the good designers so now most Stern tables are just boring rehashes of ones from previous years. He really is treading water trying to keep the company afloat. It really is a shame to see machines from Williams/Bally during the mid-90's and what is being made today. A lot gets said on mailing lists as to what the future of pinball is, but I'm betting is going down the same route as Harley. The baby boomer demographic who has a bit of spare cash burning in their pocket is disappearing, and once they are gone, Pinball just isn't appealing to kids who have played Xbox/PS3 etc. I really hope another company pops up, but it's not likely.
  • by TheHawke ( 237817 ) <rchapin.stx@rr@com> on Monday August 16, 2010 @09:59AM (#33263736)

    Shades of Raul Julia: "FIIFTY MILLLION!!" And there was great rejoicing (while the ball went down the drain).

    Tilting: "Heh heh heh, you're a funny guy!"

    That thing sucked more quarters out of my pocket in one day compared to when Gauntlet hit the streets.

    I don't think Cousin Itt is ever going to like me; I used him as target practice every time he came up.

We cannot command nature except by obeying her. -- Sir Francis Bacon