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Media spotlight shined on US state pinball champions

Image by George Etheredge for The New York Times
Image by George Etheredge for The New York Times
The best pinball players around the US have been locked in battle recently in a bid to win their state championship and earn a spot into the IFPA US National Pinball Championship.

As part of the prize package for each IFPA State Pinball Championship, the crowned state champion wins free entry into the IFPA US National Pinball Championship.

The 2017 national championship will be held near Dallas, Texas on March 16.

It was around this year’s state championship, held on February 11, that a number of stories began popping up in mainstream media publications and websites about pinball, the players and the resurgence pinball has had in the past five years.

Stories focused on players who dedicate so much time outside of work to pinball to be the best, the cult-like status and following pinball has and the skill that goes into playing for high scores.

Storm, Zen, Greg Poverelli and a handful of other pinball players who battled it out at the New York state championship were interviewed by The New York Times:

“The new machines are more complex, but you’re basically using the same skills that are applicable to old machines,” said Greg Poverelli, 26, of Flushing, Queens, the defending champion and top seed.

Those skills include quick reflexes, patience and hair-trigger timing with the flippers to best direct the ball.

Strategic strengths include knowing when to keep batting balls and going for broke and when to cradle the ball in the crux of the flipper and deliberately aim it toward certain targets for more methodical scoring.

You can read the NYT story here.

Mike Lund and Dan Newman are just two players Dylan Woolf Harris interviewed for his pinball piece that appeared in Salt Lake City Weekly. Mr Woolf Harris said of Mr Lund and Newman:

To say these players love to play pinball is a gross understatement.

They talk strategy and design, they trawl online classifieds looking for used machines, they post on pinball forums, they watch YouTube tutorials.

One imagines their fingers twitch at night as they dream. They listen to podcasts, such as locally produced “The Pinball Podcast.”

You can read the SLCW story here.


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