Paul Jones - Your New Australian Number 1 Pinball Player

A big congratulations goes to Paul Jones, newly crowned Australian number 1 pinball player according to the international player rankings website: https://www.ifpapinball.com/rankings/country.php?country=7.

Australia's new number 1 pinball player according to the international pinball player rankings.

Australia's new number 1 pinball player according to the international pinball player rankings.

Paul has long been dominating the Australian pinball competitive scene, usually winning or nearly winning in the last few years worth of tournaments. However, to climb to number 1 in the country rankings takes a very long time of consistent and exceptional play - the few that have reached this pinnacle previously have been there for a very long time indeed. To match and overtake those historical records is incredibly difficult and time consuming, especially because those up the top are still competing too! To say that this is a momentous occasion is no exaggeration, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a new face take the top spot.

This achievement was finally reached by Paul after the latest major event: The 2017 Brisbane Masters. The competition held from Friday 21st July to Sunday 23rd included a number of side tournaments as well as the main event itself, where Paul took a 1st place in the 3-Strikes competition, 2nd in the Flip Frenzy, and 5th in the Masters.

Previous people to have reached the title of Australian number 1 included Peter Watt, Richard Rhodes, and Steve Edwards. We now welcome Paul Jones to this very exclusive list of people.

Australian Jordan Tredaway Wins the PAPA 20 World Pinball Championships B Division

Jordan Tredaway, the 16 year old from Melbourne who has been lighting up the local scene in the last few years, has just taken B Division in the toughest pinball competition in the world - PAPA 20!

Jordan (left) poses for a photograph at the 2016 PAX Australia event - photo by ausretrogamer.com

Jordan (left) poses for a photograph at the 2016 PAX Australia event - photo by ausretrogamer.com

Congratulations goes to Jordan, who adds this massive victory to a long list of wins including the 2016 Melbourne Matchplay Championship - one of last years major national tournaments.

In what will also be known as the year the younger generation put their stamp on professional pinball, Escher Lefkoff, just 13 years old, won the A Division of PAPA 20 just hours ago. The youngest player to ever win the World Championships. Congratulations Escher!

Escher just moments ago holding the giant PAPA World Championship trophy - screen captured from the PAPA live stream.

Escher just moments ago holding the giant PAPA World Championship trophy - screen captured from the PAPA live stream.

We All Love Playing Pinball, But Why?

Dr Jennifer Hazel, co-founder of Checkpoint.

Dr Jennifer Hazel, co-founder of Checkpoint.

When you ask this question you'll get a variety of answers from different people. Some might think of the sights and sounds that they like, others might answer in a more abstract way saying that they enjoy the challenge or the physical nature of the game. No matter what, I think we would all agree when I say that playing makes us feel good. There is no doubt that playing pinball, and games in general, has some psychological benefit.

In an effort to try to understand those benefits Dr. Jennifer Hazel is currently conducting a research project that aims to tease apart this complex interaction between humans and games. Hazel is the co-founder of Checkpoint, a charity that is investigating links between gaming and mental health. While their work is mainly oriented towards video games, I have no doubt that much of their research could be applied in pinball settings.

Their current research project is looking to identify the types of games that induce a flow state. A flow state is described in psychology as a total cognitive congruence with an activity. All pinball players have experienced it. Most commonly refereed to in pinball as being "in the zone", its those times when you just can't miss, or the ball just stays up with little effort. You can't be distracted by what is going on around you, and your actions just seem to flow without any thought. Research has shown that being in this state of ultimate concentration is psychologically beneficial and Dr. Hazel wants to learn more about how it happens in gaming.

Checkpoint has put the call out for gamers to contribute to their data to help them learn more about the psychological benefits of games. If you'd like to contribute to the research you can find their survey here.

Author: John Pansini

Paul Jones Wins the 2017 Timezone Cooly Pinball Classic !

Are we starting to think this man is unstoppable yet? Probably a good thing seeing as Paul is representing the country in the World Championships in just a few short months time!

Paul Jones (centre) taking the spoils. Jason Lambert and Hollie Mills either side - organisers of the tournament including the Australian Women's Pinball Championship.

Paul Jones (centre) taking the spoils. Jason Lambert and Hollie Mills either side - organisers of the tournament including the Australian Women's Pinball Championship.

Two days of qualifying and finals - yet another massive pinball tournament held in Australia - and we have our winners and grinners. Paul Jones 1st, Russell Dagger 2nd, Richard Rhodes 3rd, and Tim Chapman 4th. Well done to everyone.

Congratulations to Esther Ahronheim - Your first Australian Women's Pinball Champion!

The inaugural Australian Women's Pinball Championship went for a very long time, until around 2am in fact. But endure the ladies did and Esther Ahronheim comes out on top! 

Esther far right competes in her home country of Japan.

Esther far right competes in her home country of Japan.

Esther has been playing in the competitive pinball scene for quite some time and is no stranger to marathon events such as the Batcave Masters, Brisbane Masters, Melbourne Matchplay Championship, New Zealand Pincade, and let's be honest - just travelling in general - she's from Japan!

Top 4 below. Congratulations to all players and we can't wait for next years.

1st - Esther Ahronheim

2nd - Irene Watt

3rd - Hollie Mills

4th - Naiomi Goodwin

The Latest Game the System Player Feature Live! - Dana Pepcak In Depth on the Eve of the Australian Women's Championship

If you have played competitive Australian pinball in the last few years, or attended the long running Z Ball Pinball League, you would know the initials DNA - Dana Pepcak is arguably the most accomplished women's pinball player in Australian history.

Click on the banner to proceed to the Player Feature, and remember to scroll down to see the in depth interview!

Click on the banner to proceed to the Player Feature, and remember to scroll down to see the in depth interview!

Click on the banner above or click here to see the full feature.

Dana has not only won various league championships such as Z Ball and the Australian Pinball League, she also finished 2nd in the NSW State Championships behind the then Australian number 1 Richard Rhodes, and ahead of Australian number 2 Steven Edwards (and made Gary Stern sign her trophy, of which he was quite chuffed to do so!).

The competitive aspect of Dana's pinball play hasn't been much of a focus for her in the last year or so however, with the Z Ball league her one exception. But the good news is Dana will be attending her first major tournament in some time, and will be at the inaugural Australian Women's Pinball Championship which is just around the corner - tomorrow night in fact!

We wish Dana and all of the players good luck, and we hope you enjoy this new Player Feature on Game the System - a small departure from our usual format with an in depth interview included!

New Zealand's Own Danielle Peck Wins the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival Women's Tournament!

Danielle Peck - your new Texas Pinball Festival Women's Champion.

Danielle Peck - your new Texas Pinball Festival Women's Champion.

If you follow pinball competition you already know Danni - she is one of the worlds best female competitors in the pinball scene. Likewise if you attend Australian and New Zealand major tournaments you would have met her many times as one of the players you hope you don't draw in your round.

And now, just hours ago, Danielle took out the Women's Wizards Tournament at the 2017 Texas Pinball Festival - not only beating a very tough field, but beating the current Women's World Champion Helena Walter!

Congratulations Danni from all of us here at Game the System and your Australian / New Zealand fans. Onward and upward to the PAPA World Championships just weeks away!

Wildball Round 2 - The Sydney Pinball League is on Now!

The monthly calendar event highlight for those who are lucky enough to have registered a spot - the Sydney Wildball Pinball League is on again for 2017, the second round!

FullSizeRender.jpg

This time we are up north on the Central Coast. A bit of a trip for the majority, but a worthwhile trip with an amazing collection of Electro Mechanical machines from the 60s and 70s, and some early Solid States from the late 70s and early 80s. You don't get to see these around too often, and this is why Wildball is loved so dearly - attendees get to touch and play machines most people have never even seen with their own eyes.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Who will take out this round? Updates as they come to hand posted here!

Final results of round 2:

IMG_2679.PNG

See the Best in Australia and the World - Women's Pinball Championships (and a Player Feature Teaser!)

Helena Walter is your IFPA Women's World Pinball Champion for 2017.

Helena Walter is your IFPA Women's World Pinball Champion for 2017.

Two events almost back to back that celebrate and promote women in pinball - and they can't get any bigger than these! The IFPA Women's World Pinball Championships just completed in the USA with Helena Walter taking 1st place. And the upcoming Australian Women's Pinball Championships on the Gold Coast on March 31st.

Game the System is very proud to have contributed to the IFPA Women's World Pinball Championships prize pool as diversifying and therefore growing the sport is one of our goals. So it is with great pleasure to see that the championship was live streamed on Twitch, and garnered great support and attention from the community and widespread media.

The fun continues past the World Championships though, and soon - March 31st to be exact - we will see Australia's very first Women's Championship, and we can't wait to see who is crowned the first Australian number 1 women's pinball player! As of the 17th March there are a massive 22 players registered for this inaugural tournament:

1. Hollie Mills
2. Esther Ahronheim
3. Naiomi Goodwin
4. Kirsty Watt
5. Irene Watt
6. Dana Pepcak
7. Michelle Clark
8. Vicki Wills
9. Mel Geeves
10. Chelle McIntyre
11. Lee Hutchinson
12. Christine Allgaier
13. Leolie Bayley
14. Shellie Mills
15. Alana Kelly
16. Michelle Wykes
17. Emily Cosson
18. Tanya Lowe
19. Sarah Bishop
20. Evelyn Singh
21. Cheryl Wright
22. Carole Quinn

To compliment the excitement and build up of this event, Game the System will soon be posting our 5th Player Feature, and while we can't give too much away until we are ready, we can at least say that it is indeed one of the incredible players on the above list! Would you like a hint? How about a teaser with the photo below!?

GTSTeaserMarch2017.png

The countdown to the 31st is on!

Day 4 Running Updates - The Asia Pacific Pinball and Arcade Event of the Year - Pincade!

Update 7:40pm - Franck Bona wins the System 11 World Championship. Tim Chapman 2nd and Richard Rhodes 3rd.

The New Zealand Pincade, already legendary across the world as the largest Pinball and Arcade gathering in the Asia-Pacific region, is on again and celebrating it's tenth anniversary!

This is but one of the many game rooms attendees will get to experience during Pincade 10.

This is but one of the many game rooms attendees will get to experience during Pincade 10.

The schedule is packed across four days in Auckland, including various game room visits in the city and surrounds, as well as major world ranked tournaments that will test the locals and international competitors alike. Here's what's in store for the 146 registered attendees.

Day 1 - Two game room tours and a 3 strikes tournament

Day 2 - Two game room tours

Day 3 - Three game room tours and a pingolf tournament

Day 4 - The System 11 World Pinball Championships, and a Classics tournament

Stay tuned to this post as we update as photos and stories come to hand!

The System 11 World Championship final qualifying standings with top 32 going through:

IMG_2608.PNG

And the Classics Tournament: 

IMG_2609.PNG

Richard Rhodes Wins the Pincade Pingolf Tournament!

The tournament went all day and across two venues in Auckland New Zealand. But after the dust settled, Richard Rhodes took out the final in a game he has his name on in the credits - Scared Stiff! Well done to Richard.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Marc Bell finished 2nd, and Simon Haxton 3rd. Steve Edwards rounds out the top 4.

Day 3 Running Updates - The Asia Pacific Pinball and Arcade Event of the Year - Pincade!

The New Zealand Pincade, already legendary across the world as the largest Pinball and Arcade gathering in the Asia-Pacific region, is on again and celebrating it's tenth anniversary!

FullSizeRender.jpg

The schedule is packed across four days in Auckland, including various game room visits in the city and surrounds, as well as major world ranked tournaments that will test the locals and international competitors alike. Here's what's in store for the 146 registered attendees.

Day 1 - Two game room tours and a 3 strikes tournament

Day 2 - Two game room tours

Day 3 - Three game room tours and a pingolf tournament

Day 4 - The System 11 World Pinball Championships, and a Classics tournament

Stay tuned to this post as we update as photos and stories come to hand!

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Day 2 Running Updates - The Asia Pacific Pinball and Arcade Event of the Year - Pincade!

The New Zealand Pincade, already legendary across the world as the largest Pinball and Arcade gathering in the Asia-Pacific region, is on again and celebrating it's tenth anniversary!

FullSizeRender.jpg

The schedule is packed across four days in Auckland, including various game room visits in the city and surrounds, as well as major world ranked tournaments that will test the locals and international competitors alike. Here's what's in store for the 146 registered attendees.

Day 1 - Two game room tours and a 3 strikes tournament

Day 2 - Two game room tours

Day 3 - Three game room tours and a pingolf tournament

Day 4 - The System 11 World Pinball Championships, and a Classics tournament

Stay tuned to this post as we update as photos and stories come to hand!

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_2506.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_2534.JPG
IMG_2536.JPG
IMG_2537.JPG

Day 1 Running Updates - The Asia Pacific Pinball and Arcade Event of the Year - Pincade!

The New Zealand Pincade, already legendary across the world as the largest Pinball and Arcade gathering in the Asia-Pacific region, is on again and celebrating it's tenth anniversary!

This is but one of the many game rooms attendees will get to experience during Pincade 10.

This is but one of the many game rooms attendees will get to experience during Pincade 10.

The schedule is packed across four days in Auckland, including various game room visits in the city and surrounds, as well as major world ranked tournaments that will test the locals and international competitors alike. Here's what's in store for the 146 registered attendees.

Day 1 - Two game room tours and a 3 strikes tournament

Day 2 - Two game room tours

Day 3 - Three game room tours and a pingolf tournament

Day 4 - The System 11 World Pinball Championships, and a Classics tournament

Stay tuned to this post as we update as photos and stories come to hand!

Day 1 Updates! 

We arrived in New Zealand! Too late for the first tournament but who cares. It's time to enjoy high rise Pinball in Auckland.

FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_2463.JPG
Yep this is Auckland alright. 

Yep this is Auckland alright. 

IMG_2475.PNG

Updated with Full Results - France's Franck Bona Wins the Coogee 2017 Pinball HQ Marathon

* Updated 28th February - Full results added

The two time European Pinball Champion, and currently ranked 48th in the world, Franck Bona from France sweeps the Australian competition and wins the 2017 Pinball HQ Marathon.

Franck Bona 1st place (right, eyes closed thinking about how much beer he can buy with that money), Paul Jones 2nd (left) and Richard Rhodes 3rd (centre).

Franck Bona 1st place (right, eyes closed thinking about how much beer he can buy with that money), Paul Jones 2nd (left) and Richard Rhodes 3rd (centre).

Our locals did give him a good run for his money though, with IFPA World Championships representative Paul Jones coming 2nd, and former Australian ranked number 1 Richard Rhodes finishing 3rd. Full results will be reported as they come to hand.

Full results:

1 Franck Bona
2 Paul Jones
3 Richard Rhodes
4 Greg Gee
5 Paul Higginbotham
6 Pat Nichols
7 Paul Reid
8 Brett Goodwin
9 Greg McMahon
10 Naiomi Goodwin
11 Andrew Waszkiewicz
12 Matthew Venables
13 Gavin Drogemuller
14 Mark Tibbetts
15 Michelle Clark
16 Dejan Golja
17 Andrew Ferguson
18 Zac Veron
19 Reon Seeney
20 Peter Menzel
21 Duncan MacDonald
22 Aaron Crichton
23 Michael Morrison
24 Lindsay Dawtrey
25 Martin Snicer
26 William Gill
27 Regan Rist
28 Ian Hooper-Richardson
29 Lisa Conroy
30 Daniel Barden
31 Rod Brooks
32 Larissa Goscombe
33 Chrysanthe Psychogios
34 John Arena
35 Ralphe Nunn
36 Josh Goscombe
37 Angus Macarthur
38 Jett Reid
39 Norbert Snicer
40 George Alexandrou
41 Nicholas Little
42 Cherryl Brooks
43 Kerby Reid
44 Glen Crowe
45 Jamie Brodrick
46 Dominic Rogers
47 Ken Owen
48 Zdenka Snicer

Paul Jones Awarded Top Qualifier at Pinball HQ Marathon 2017

The top 24 finalists at the currently running Pinball HQ Marathon has been locked in, and the top qualifier award goes to Paul Jones!

Paul Jones receives the trophy for top qualifier at the Pinball HQ Marathon 2017.

Paul Jones receives the trophy for top qualifier at the Pinball HQ Marathon 2017.

An incredibly tough field including big names such as Richard Rhodes and Franck Bona, an even more amazing achievement for Paul considering that the Marathon allows for unlimited qualifying scores for an entire week. Well done to Paul Jones and good luck to the 24 finalists who will be battling it out all day today!

Updated Finals Standings! Meet the Marathon Pinball Players for 2017 - Pinball HQ Marathon Qualifying on Now!

* Updated Sunday 26th for finals

The Pinball HQ Marathon, now in it's 4th year, is on again with qualifying taking place all week! It's not just called a Marathon for the sake of sounding exhaustive - if you wish to qualify you will have your endurance tested as competitors attempt to get within the top 24 finalists by posting scores all week, 11am to late every day. Not only that, but there are 16 different pinball machines you have to register scores on. I'm tired just thinking about it...

Norbert Snicer awarding the first Endurance Medal to Jett Reid, the first under 15 year old to play all 16 qualifying machines. Photo from the Pinball HQ Facebook page.

Norbert Snicer awarding the first Endurance Medal to Jett Reid, the first under 15 year old to play all 16 qualifying machines. Photo from the Pinball HQ Facebook page.

There will be the usual prizes, cash and trophies for the top finishers for the event. However, in addition, there are a swathe of prizes given out to competitors including; highest ranked rookie, highest rank qualifier, highest ranked female player, highest ranked under 15 year old, highest ranked under 10 year old, and an endurance medal for all players under the age of 15 who play all of the 16 qualifying machines! Norbert, the organiser of the Marathon, has really pulled out all stops for this tournament.

Fresh out of the shipping container - Aerosmith is Stern Pinball's latest machine, and not only is it part of the Pinball HQ Marathon tournament, but it's the only one currently in the country! Photo from the Pinball HQ Facebook page.

Fresh out of the shipping container - Aerosmith is Stern Pinball's latest machine, and not only is it part of the Pinball HQ Marathon tournament, but it's the only one currently in the country! Photo from the Pinball HQ Facebook page.

It's Thursday morning as of this writing, and so we are well into the qualifying stages. Here are your qualifying leaders so far, with two days left to go before finals on Sunday!

* Updated finals standings - Top 24 are through for today's main event.

1    PAUL JONES
2    RICHARD RHODES
3    FRANCK BONA
4    PAT NICHOLS
5    BRETT GOODWIN
6    PAUL REID
7    GAVIN DROGEMULLER
8    MATTHEW VENABLES
9    GREG GEE
10    ANDREW FERGUSON
11    ZAC VERON
12    REON SEENEY
13    GREG McMAHON
14    MARK TIBBETTS
15    NAIOMI GOODWIN
15    MICHELLE CLARK
17    DEJAN GOLJA
18    DUNCAN MACDONALD
19    PAUL HIGGINBOTHAM
20    MICHAEL MORRISON
21    REGAN RIST
21    ANDREW WASZKIEWICZ
23    PETER MENZEL
24    AARON CRICHTON
25    LINDSAY DAWTREY
26    MARTIN SNICER
27    IAN HOOPER-RICHARDSON
28    WILLIAM GILL
29    DANIEL BARDEN
30    LISA CONROY
31    ROD BROOKS
32    LARISSA GOSCOMBE
33    CHRYSANTHE PSYCHOGIOS
34    JOHN ARENA
35    RALPHE NUNN
36    JOSH GOSCOMBE
37    JETT REID
38    GEORGE ALEXANDROU
39    NORBERT SNICER
40    GORAN KLEUT
41    ASHLEY KINGSTON
41    NICHOLAS FREESTONE LITTLE
43    GLEN ANTHONY CROWE
44    KERBY REID
45    CHERYL BROOKS
46    JAMIE BRODRICK
47    KEN OWEN
48    ZDENKA SNICER
49    MICHAEL ANDERSON
50    JENNIFER MILLER
51    YVETTE TAM
52    TIM McREIS
53    TREVOR WALSH
54    JACK JOSEPH KINGSTON