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The following was written and / or photographed by league members of the Pittsburgh Pinball League.
On November 15-16, 2007, the Pittsburgh Pinball League had its first week of play. 16 participants played Spiderman, Attack From Mars, Family Guy, and Medieval Madness in the back of the Southside Beehive. Since then, the Beehive has grown in size to include the Rowdy Buck Bar. The PPL has grown as well.
This Saturday, the league will celebrate its 6th Birthday by wrapping up Season 18 with the playoff finals. 112 players will be able to take part in a day of pinball, food, and fun. Player will be placed into groups of 16 to battle for cash prizes and bragging rights.
Regular Season Champion, Mahesh Murthy, will be hoping his strong play continues as he looks for his first A Division Title. But the path will be tough as Jon Replogle, the winner of the Doublewide Grill charity tournament held yesterday, has a high seed. Also in the way will be past champions: Cryss Stephens, Al Thomka, and Matt Clark. The final contender will be the winner of a three player playoff between Travis Hurst, Todd Williams, and James Emanuel.
The competition during the regular season was very tight, with many places decided by the final games this past weekend. DJ Riel found himself just below the A cut due to Cryss’s win on Harlem Globetrotters in their last game. Also just missing the A cut was Ray Giorgi, as newcomer Brandy Hesidenz took a win on Xmen. They will battle for the B Division crown. Joining them will be past champion Doug Polka, and a few great female players Virginia Hendricks, Mish Paul, and Sarah Cunniff, who hasn’t let pregnancy stop her from playing very well in her first season. The remaining divisions are full of good players and solid newcomers to the Pittsburgh Pinball scene ranging in age from 6-60.
At the end of the playoffs, a drawing will be held to award a Williams Flash to one of the players. Then the attention will turn towards the PPL vs FSPA battle. Coach Pete Hendricks will be joined by DJ and Sarah. Also on the team is Matt Schwab, a recent edition to the league who has shown solid improvement and has earned the nickname “Mini Crush”. The last member is Ty Konopasek, who hopes to add his name to the likes of Henderson, Lefkoff, and Rosa as the future stars of the game. The competition will be on PAPA TV starting around 6pm. Tune in to catch the call of this first-time event!