See pinball wizards prove their skills at the upcoming World Pinball Championship

Shaggy May 5, 2010 0

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The pinball festivals and competitions just keep on coming and this month it’s International Flipper Pinball Association’s turn to host a world-class tournament. They do so every year, with last year’s event taking place in London, UK and this year the championship is headed to Cokato, Minnesota USA. I’ll let some of the press release do the talking about the event:

This will be the stage when the IFPA7 World Pinball Championship showcases the best of the best from around the world in what will be a true pinball marathon; a test of wills and endurance over two and a half days of battle against the whims of that little silver ball. Can Josh Henderson of Plainfield, IL at the age of 12 (and the youngest player) meet the challenge. Or will 55- year old, Bob Matthews of Thousand Oaks, CA (the oldest competitor in the field) withstand the pressure. Will the more than 8,400 miles of travel that Sunao Kono and Tatsunori Naruke of Japan have to endure, affect the precision necessary to take the top prize. Will anyone stand in the way of possible history in the making with Bostonian Bowen Kerins attempting the unfathomable as three-peat World Champion?

With a prize package of over $14,000, including a brand new pinball machine from Stern Pinball, IFPA7 promises to be a transformative event in the ongoing remarkable history of pinball. From Japan to Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom; from Sweden and The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Italy and Brazil to Canada and, of course, the United States–these elite players will descend upon the state of Minnesota to claim the title of “World Pinball Champion”.

Sounds to me like it can shape up to be a battle of epic proportions – perhaps not as legendary as the battle over the Donkey Kong high score but epic nonetheless. Hit the post break for the full press release. Here is a link to the IFPA website which also includes a participants and games list.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE……..

TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
The World’s Best Pinball Wizards
Battle For The Greatness Of Being Crowned #1
The lure of the silverball endures after more than a century as the iconic entertainment attraction. And on May 21st to the 23rd in Cokato, Minnesota, representing thirteen countries, the world’s top 64 players will also show what the competitive sport of pinball is all about.

It is safe to assume that in 1871, when Montague Redgrave of Cinncinati, Ohio patented his “Improvements in Bagatelle” pin game, that he had no idea what he was unleashing on future generations of game players. A simple, downsized modification of the classic French game, it gave rise to the embryonic beginnings of an entirely new industry that would evolve from elegant mechanical design and manufacturing artistry to the influence of battery and then electrically powered and, finally, electronic creations that have fascinated the young and young at heart for decades.

Pinball has always been a cultural centerpiece and a truly global phenomenon with stylized graphics, spellbinding light and sound effects and the unpredictability of a 2.6 ounce silver ball traversing multiple fantasy worlds under glass. Who doesn’t remember the first time they ever encountered a pinball machine and the emotions that it magically bestowed upon us?

Well, today’s state-of-the-art technological wonders still feature all the ingredients emblematic of pinball–flippers, bumpers, targets, spinners and so much more to beguile and test our mettle. But there are those who have been able to take playing pinball to a totally different level where the controlled focus and concentration result in spectacular performances that have to be seen to be believed.

This will be the stage when the IFPA7 World Pinball Championship showcases the best of the best from around the world in what will be a true pinball marathon; a test of wills and endurance over two and a half days of battle against the whims of that little silver ball. Can Josh Henderson of Plainfield, IL at the age of 12 (and the youngest player) meet the challenge. Or will 55- year old, Bob Matthews of Thousand Oaks, CA (the oldest competitor in the field) withstand the pressure. Will the more than 8,400 miles of travel that Sunao Kono and Tatsunori Naruke of Japan have to endure, affect the precision necessary to take the top prize. Will anyone stand in the way of possible history in the making with Bostonian Bowen Kerins attempting the unfathomable as three-peat World Champion?

With a prize package of over $14,000, including a brand new pinball machine from Stern Pinball, IFPA7 promises to be a transformative event in the ongoing remarkable history of pinball. From Japan to Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom; from Sweden and The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Italy and Brazil to Canada and, of course, the United States–these elite players will descend upon the state of Minnesota to claim the title of “World Pinball Champion”.

The International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) was created for the express purpose of encouraging, supporting and endorsing competitive pinball throughout the world. The organization provides oversight and assistance to not only the establishment of pinball leagues, but also tournaments (over 200 events are being held annually) and other promotional activities. “We have been extremely successful in creating a global community of pinball players and enthusiasts,” states Roger Sharpe, Co-Director of the organization.

The World Pinball Tour features over $150,000 in cash and prizes given away each year. With nineteen international country directors, the IFPA has additionally created the first official player ranking system, which awards points based upon player performance. The World Pinball Player Rankings (WPPR) includes over 7,500 players from 27 different countries.  And these numbers keep increasing with the revered entertainment attraction—pinball—continuing to draw in men, women, boys and girls—all looking to embrace the timeless battle of man versus machine.

Stern Pinball, headed by legendary pinball icon Gary Stern, and one of the IFPA7 World Pinball Championship sponsors, is the only coin-operated amusement pinball manufacturer in the world. The company produces 2 to 3 models each year and will be showcasing their latest release at this World Championship event. For more information regarding Stern Pinball, Inc. please call (708) 345-7700, email to info@sternpinball.com or check the company website: www.sternpinball.com. Other corporate sponsors include the leading video game manufacturer in the world, Raw Thrills as well as Betson Enterprises, Play Meter Magazine, GameWorks and the American Amusement Manufacturers Association.

And, for more information regarding the IFPA or any of its participants, please contact International Flipper Pinball Association co-directors, Roger Sharpe (rogsharpe@aol.com 773-961-1562 or 847-506-9903) or Steven Epstein (epstein4@aol.com 908-754-0934) or check the organization website: www.ifpapinball.com as well as www.pinballrankings.com).


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