Northwest Pinball Championships

The Northwest Pinball Championships, held June 1-3, is the third event on the 2012 PAPA Circuit schedule. The current leader in Circuit points is Trent Augenstein with 135. Both Adam Becker and Zach Sharpe have already won automatic berths into the Circuit final tournament with their wins at Pinburgh and Gameworks respectively. A third automatic berth will be given to the winner of the Northwest Pinball Championships this weekend, so we encourage all players to head toward Seattle and prepare themselves for one of the largest and best run pinball tournaments in the world.

In preparation for the event, Cayle George shared some insight into pinball, tournament play, and more.

What and where is the Northwest Pinball Championships?
The NorthWest Pinball Championships is one of the largest and most competitive pinball competitions in the world. It is a multi-day qualifying tournament followed by a day of finals, and is open to players of all ages and skill levels. This year the event is located just north of Seattle in Marysville WA. June 1st-3rd.

How did the event start?
The event was started in 2008 by Eden Stamm, one of Canada’s top players (finished 7th at PAPA 12 and 1st at Northwest Pinball Championships 2009). The goal of the tournament was to provide a first class tournament experience to players, and as the event has grown, that same goal remains.

What is your first pinball memory?
The first time I ever played a pinball was about 1985 after a day at the beach with the family – a restaurant we stopped in had a BlackWater 100. I was super excited to play it and was thrilled flipping the ball up into the mountains and terrain on the game. That games is so terrible, yet so awesome.

What game has the best art package and why?
Hardbody. Does it really need an explanation?!

Where do you think pinball is headed, both as an industry and competitively?
The industry, and sport have started to gain a huge amount of support and interest in the last few years. Manufacturers are starting to build some really exciting games, and the competition is stronger than it has ever been. It really is an exciting time for Pinball.

What design, toy, sound call, or pinball interaction reminds you how cool this game is every time it happens?
Super Jackpot in Attack From Mars. Bad….Ass.

What missed shot haunts you the most?
In no way does power-draining on F14 in the PAPA 14 finals haunt me. Not at all. Not one single bit.

What does it feel like competing at PAPA on Sunday?
It’s like getting kicked square in the nuts while cliff diving. Brutal… yet thrilling.

What do you want to tell any new competitors who may be reading this interview?
Get out there, compete, and have a blast! Always be sure to enjoy the sport – If it’s not fun, its not pinball.

PAPA thanks Cayle for his time in what is surely going to be a chaotic week of preparation. If you’re located in the Northwest, or even if you’re not, get your travel plans together and get ready to compete. In addition to the Northwest Pinball Championship, Seattle is going to be overrun with tournaments during a week that will be capped with IFPA9 on Bainbridge Island. If you’re a pinball player, it’s a great time to get involved!