Pinball Champion

After my stunning loss two weeks ago at the Shorty’s Annual Pinball Tournament in Seattle (88 people entered — I lost my first match, won my next two, and was eliminated in the fourth), I came back to Portland a sullen, broken (my wrist is broken) man.

But then the week after — last week — another tournament took place. This time it was in Portland, at Ground Kontrol. It was the finals for the Portland Pinball League‘s latest season. I had only attended one meeting this past season, and the points I earned that night didn’t even get entered into the scores. Therefore, I was entering the tournament with a last place ranking. Thus, my first match was against the points leader!

This tournament was of much more modest size: eight entered. But, like Shorty’s, it was 1-on-1, best 2 out of 3, double elimination.

Here’s a picture I took a few months ago. Jacob in Ground Kontrol:

Jacob and Ground Kontrol

So I vanquished the points leader. The co-owner of Ground Kontrol was the referee. He said, “Do you come in here a lot? It seems like you do.” I told him (not totally knowing he was the co-owner at the time) that I come in about once a week. But that’s not all the way true. I come in closer to twice a week.

Portland is a wonderful place for pinball. Many of the bars have machines. I play pinball, either at bars or at Ground Kontrol, about five days a week. As a result, I dream pinball nearly every night…. Anyway, in general, the bars have a more limited range of machines — there’s Family Guy, Spiderman, Lord of the Rings, Medieval Madness, Sopranos… and so on, at so many places. I love all those machines. But Ground Kontrol carries a fresh batch, and they are so well maintained. Lately I’ve been big on Star Trek: TNG, The Shadow, and Fish Tales. And Ground Kontrol is smoke-free!

Anyway, after the jump is my play-by-play of the tournament. If you don’t want to read it, here’s the end: I won! Continue reading