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The following was written and / or photographed by league members of the Pittsburgh Pinball League.
Sarah Clarke and DJ Riel recently hosted a recent PPL League Night. Both players sat down with Cryss Stephens, another PPL member, for a short interview.
Cryss Stephens – How does it feel having all of these people in your house?
Sarah Clarke – It gets to be a little overwhelming, but its awesome.
Cryss Stephens – Are you worried about messes being made?
Sarah Clarke – Not so much.
Cryss Stephens – Will you be playing league tonight?
Sarah Clarke – Of course!
Cryss Stephens – Will it affect your play knowing that some things might happen while you are in the middle of playing?
Sarah Clarke – I can generally tune out other things, like, I’ve been playing for league before, and knowing that machines could be breaking down, I can stay focused on my game. DJ might be the one who is affected by things like that (laughs)
Cryss Stephens – Has there been a league here before?
Sarah Clarke – Yes.
Cryss Stephens – How’d that go?
Sarah Clarke – It went really well! We had about 30 people here. It was hard to move around in the basement, but now we have a more spread out area.
Cryss Stephens – Are you expecting more than that to show up for tonight?
Sarah Clarke – Yes, actually. We have a few more machines so I know people enjoy having options.
Cryss Stephens – How many machines are you guys up to now?
Sarah Clarke – ..Slightly less than 20. I’ve lost track of the exact number.
Cryss Stephens – Whats’ next as far as machines?
Sarah Clarke – We have all my favorite machines that I wanted, all except for Batman The Dark Knight.
Cryss Stephens – What’s DJ’s favorite machine?
Sarah Clarke – Twilight Zone!
At this point, the interview continued with DJ.
Cryss Stephens – So why do you want to host the Pittsburgh Pinball League?
DJ Riel– Because pinball is awesome. Pinball is awesome, and I love to play pinball, And I love to be with pinball, and I love to have other people over that like to play.
Cryss Stephens – So how many games are you up to right now?
DJ Riel – …t w e n t y?
Cryss Stephens – How long does it take to prepare your machines and your house for league night?
DJ Riel – I’ve spent about 2-3 hours a day this week preparing everything with the help of (other league players), typical things, like wax and polish, clean glass, I had to do some minor tweaks and maintenance, you know, all those things that I like to do to get them tournament ready . Playing them at home is different than setting them up to play for league.
Cryss Stephens – Are you playing league night tonight?
DJ Riel – Of course I’m playing league night tonight!
Cryss Stephens – How do you balance concentrating the game you’re playing vs fixing other games that others are playing?
DJ Riel – The good thing about league is that if something goes down, we will always have the option to just take out the game as a last resort. What was really difficult for me was hosting the IFPA tournament here at The Sock Hop.
Cryss Stephens – How was that stressful?
DJ Riel– Because things needed to be moving smoothly and properly. There are a lot of things on the line there; there’s money, there’s WPPR points…
Cryss Stephens – How late do you think this night will go tonight?
DJ Riel – I’d say around 3 am. That MIGHT be when people get pinballed out.