There’s been a lot of activity out here where I am based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was fortunate enough to stop by three league finals including the San Francisco Pinball Department’s (above), which I competed in, as well as Belles and Chimes’ first season tournament and the BAPA Season 20 final tournament as well. Each was different but all had a great spirit of enthusiastic competition and play.
San Francisco Pinball Dept.
Fall 2013 Champion: Andrei Massenkoff
Runner-up: James Squires (Spring 2013 and Inaugural SFPD league champion)
Chris Harkins focused on White Water – he won the Flip Offs.The O’Neills brought home brew!
The top finishing female competitor was Amber Marie Simon. League organizer Per Schwarzenberger showing focus on Lethal Weapon 3 Chrystel captured in a candid moment.Mickey (left) with Matt and Leann of Free Gold Watch where the league is hosted, chat with Flip-Off tournament manager Jessica. Some people played pinball, some people fixed machines. Many of the machines are owned and operated by Shon Dolcini (in hat), who diagnoses Baywatch with Darren and Challisa. Spring 2013 Champion James Squires hands off some bubbly to new champ Andrei Massenkoff.
Great prizes were up for the taking. The league also donated the most toys to the POP (Pinball Outreach Project) toy drive!
Games from every era were included in the playoff since the PPM has so many great options.
Season 20 Champion: Andrei Massenkoff
Runner-up: Josh Lehan
League President Eugene Gershstein discusses the bracket while Jeff and Masha look on.
BAPA uses QR codes and smart phones to keep track of the matches as well as the online brackets developed in house by team members.
A few of the machines in the back room including one of the best playing Congo’s!
BAPA has several families in the league where the next generation of pinball wizards are being groomed.
The aptly named Punishment beer was on hand during the grueling playoffs.
BAPA’s youngest finalist competes against her mom, appropriately, on Family Guy 🙂
BAPA also had awesome tokens to place on machines if you were up next. They were customized with the date, pinball initials and of course, were For Amusement Only.
Pinball can be a rough sport. In Northern California we have to worry about earthquakes too. In this case, though, a stuck ball required the glass to be taken off. When it was being slid back on, the glass just shattered randomly and this was the result…
Bella says: “I swear I didn’t do it!” while playoff host Chris Harkins uses the mighty Shop Vac to clean up the glass.