championship

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!

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!

State of Origin - How Does your State Stack Up in the Australian Championship Series

The Australian Championship Series for the 2016 season is upon us. Almost all of the 32 invitees will be arriving in Melbourne tomorrow, Thursday the 9th, to play some side tournaments and - more importantly - get a feel for the machines for the main event that starts on the Saturday.

Jack Hutchinson show's us how they save a ball up there in Brisbane. Photo by Matthew Venables photography  http://mvenables.com

Jack Hutchinson show's us how they save a ball up there in Brisbane. Photo by Matthew Venables photography http://mvenables.com

Who's going to win is one question, but Australia has four states being represented in the championship too, and which one do you think is going to perform better? Well one measure that could be used is which state will have the most top 10 finishers by the end, and the answer to that is not as cut dry and one might expect!

Let's have a quick look at some of the numbers and run some analysis:

Players Attending:

  • VIC - 13
  • NSW - 8
  • QLD - 8
  • SA - 2

Players Ranked in the Australian Top 20

  • NSW - 7
  • VIC - 4
  • QLD - 4
  • SA - 2

Historically Highest World Ranked Player

  • SA - Robert Macauley

Pinball 'Majors'* Tournament Champions

  • NSW - 2 (Paul Jones 2016 Brisbane Masters champion, Marc Bell 2015 Batcave Masters champion)
  • VIC - 1 (Jordan Tredaway 2016 Melbourne Matchplay Championship champion)

* Pinball circuit majors are considered as tournaments that adhere most stringently to IFPA rules of structure for qualifying as well as finals, entry requirements and adjudicating. The following are considered to be in this list: Brisbane Masters, Batcave Masters, Australian Pinball Championship, Pinball Expo, Queensland Pinball Open, and Melbourne Matchplay Championship.

So Victoria might have the home town advantage, as well as the most amount of players competing. Meanwhile NSW has a larger contingent of highly ranked and accomplished players, and South Australia the most experienced and decorated player. Unfortunately, Queensland can't even take the prize for travelling the furthest - New Zealand's number one ranked player David Peck would have something to say about that, and I'm sure will be happy to throw a spanner in the works and take the Australian Championship Series trophy across the ditch!

It's going to be very interesting to see how the tournament plays out over the coming days, and you will be sure to hear the news here first as it comes to hand. And remember, whatever state does eventually come out on top, it doesn't matter as long as we beat - as long as we beat - as long as we beat New Zealand!

Breaking! Meet the 2 Aussies that will Represent the Country in the World Pinball Championships

* Updated 18th Jan - Luke Marburg response added

News just to hand is that the two Australian players that will represent the country in the IFPA World Pinball Championships this June in Denmark has just been decided! Confirmed to attend - and now I'm sure quickly putting together travel plans - is Paul Jones from Wollongong NSW, and Luke Marburg from Melbourne Victoria!

Paul Jones. No stranger to readers of this site. He has a habit of winning - well - everything!

Paul Jones. No stranger to readers of this site. He has a habit of winning - well - everything!

Paul Jones has amassed a tournament record in a few short years that veterans would be jealous of - finishing 1st in pinball majors such as the 2016 Brisbane Masters, 2016 ACT Pinball Championship, and the 2015 IFPA Australian Championship Series. Paul was also Game the System's first ever Player Feature and you can learn more just by heading over to the People section of the site!

We contacted Paul and asked his thoughts on being invited to what would be just a dream for most:

"Obviously honoured mate to represent your country at anything - especially something that I am so passionate about. Can't wait to get over there amongst the best in the world and hopefully do my fellow Aussie pinheads proud. Really looking forward to it as it will be a great experience."
A rare site indeed - usually Luke is running the tournament, not playing in it!

A rare site indeed - usually Luke is running the tournament, not playing in it!

Luke Marburg has been a driving force in the resurgence of leagues and pinball tournaments in Victoria. This pro-active and motivated attitude toward the sport has been recognised by the IFPA world body as he was recently asked - and subsequently accepted - the role of Australian IFPA Country Director. He has also racked up an impressive record especially in the many Victorian pinball leagues, with no less than ten 1st place finishers.

We contacted Luke and this is what he had to say:

"I'm really excited. Getting an invite to the IFPA World Championships is a dream come true, and quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's a rare chance to meet and test my skills against the world's best. Glad to be heading over to Denmark with Paul; I'm sure we'll have a blast."

Congratulations goes to both players who are not only two of the very best players in Australia, but are also two of the nicest guys you could meet. I could not think of two better people to show the world how we drink beer - I mean play pinball and be ambassadors for the nation.

The 6 Huge Pinball Tournaments You Have to Watch

If you thought 2016 was packed full of major events, 2017 has swaggered in and said 'hold my beer' - there's 6 huge tournaments on the calendar and it's not even the end of January yet!

The 2016 Brisbane Masters was one of many major tournaments held last year. Photo by Matthew Venables Photography  http://mvenables.com

The 2016 Brisbane Masters was one of many major tournaments held last year. Photo by Matthew Venables Photography http://mvenables.com

The 6 tournaments not to miss! Click on the links to see further information and location details.

Coogee Flip Frenzy - 26th January - Sydney

Now in it's second year, the Coogee Flip Frenzy is set to unleash chaos on pinball players once more! An absolutely frenetic style of tournament and a hell of a lot of fun, get ready to flip fast and meet a lot of people - very quickly!

IFPA Australian Championship Series Final - 9th - 12th February - Melbourne

The event that a lot of people have been waiting a whole year for - mainly to see if they qualify! Unlike other tournaments, this calculates every tournament and the participants results for an entire year, and the best of the best (top 32 IFPA World Pinball Player Ranking point tallies) gets a special little golden ticket - or perhaps just an email - into this invite only event! This is not just an event that happens in Australia but all over the world!

2017 Pinball HQ Marathon - 20th - 26th February - Sydney

This annual event has been a staple on the calendar for a number of years now. And as the title suggests - it is a bit of a marathon or at least, it can be if you plan to qualify! Allowing an entire week for the qualification period and as many games as you care to do so. This can be very tough as only the largest scores will possibly compete with some of Australia's top players. And this year, like others, the Pinball HQ Marathon will play host to France's number 1 (and ranked 56th in the world) Franck Bona who attends once more.

New Zealand Kiwi Pincade - 2nd - 5th March - Auckland

Arguably the greatest pinball and game room tour in the world, the 2017 New Zealand Kiwi Pincade is on again and celebrating it's 10th anniversary! Don't take our word for it - just ask Gary Stern - CEO of Stern Pinball - who came along last year. Rumour has it some other Stern people may come along to this one too!

2017 Australian Women's Pinball Championship - 31st March - Gold Coast

The first of its kind! We are all very excited that this has been organised after many years of speculation. You can read all about this inaugural event in the blog post below this one!

Timezone Cooly Pinball Classic - 31st March - 2nd April - Gold Coast

There are no less than 5 pinball tournament events planned for this massive 3 days in the Gold Coast - including the Australian Women's Championships. If you are a tournament pinball player chasing those world ranking points, you would not want to miss out on this one!

It's on! See Australia's First Women's Pinball Championship

After years of hope, discussion and speculation that a Women's Pinball Championship could be organised in Australia, we finally receive word that yes, it's on, and it's on soon!

Naiomi Goodwin - current number 1 Australian women's pinball player.

Naiomi Goodwin - current number 1 Australian women's pinball player.

Announced via the popular Aussie Arcade forum, Jason Lambert - one of Australia's greatest pinball players and tournament organisers - has detailed the inaugural tournament structure:

Introducing the FIRST EVER Australian Women's Pinball Championship.
This event will be a part of the 2017 TZ Cooly Pinball Classic, to be held at Timezone Coolangatta on Friday 31st March.
AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Players will be able to pre-register or register on the night from 6pm.
Qualifying will start from 6.30pm, and we may consider late arrivals to join in until around 7pm.
Qualifying:
* All players will play 10 games (5 machines, 2 games on each), with scoring on each machine to be ranked highest to lowest.
* Points will be awarded for each game 100/99/98... etc.
* The top 4 points winners will advance to the finals (may go to Top 8 depending number of entrants)
* Ties for 4th place will be broken by a single game playoff on a machine chosen at random
Finals: (if Top 4)
* Top 4 players will play all 5 machines in a group of 4. IFPA Match play points will be awarded for each game (7/5/3/1)
* The winner will be the player with the most points won during finals. Ties for any placings will be broken by a single game playoff on a machine chosen at random.
Finals: (if Top 8)
* Top 8 players will be split into 2 groups of 4 according to their qualifying placing. Groups will be split as follows - seeds 1,2,7,8 and seeds 3,4,5,6.
* Each group will play 3 games using the IFPA Match Play scoring (7/5/3/1). Top 2 point scorers in each group will advance to the next round.
* Final group of 4 players will play a further 5 games together, continuing with the IFPA Match Play scoring. Points will NOT carry over.
* The winner will be the player with the most points during the final round of 5 games. Ties for any placings will be broken by a single playoff on a machine chosen at random.
Cost: $20 per player
As mentioned, players can pre-register and supply payment through the banking details to be listed above soon.
We have been looking at running this event for some time now, and we are pleased and very excited that this Women's Championship is coming to life. We all hope to see the best of Women's pinball on the Gold Coast at the end of March and see who will become Australia's first Women's Pinball Champion 
You can register here, via PM or via email dj_j2008@hotmail.com
Cheers,
Peter, Hollie & Lambo

Game the System is a keen supporter of diversity in pinball and would like to thank Jason, Peter and Hollie for taking the initiative and putting in the work to make this championship a reality. Just recently Game the System made a contribution to the 2017 IFPA Women's World Pinball Championships scheduled for March 16th in Texas USA. We also look forward to providing as much support as possible for the first Australian Women's Championship.

We contacted Naiomi Goodwin - Australia's current women's number 1 pinball player - and asked her thoughts on this exciting development;

"I think it's a pretty exciting opportunity to encourage women to play competitive pinball and I'm pumped to go head to head with the best ladies in the country.  I also appreciate that the male dominant nature of pinball can be intimidating for some women and an event like this may encourage more women to give it a go and hopefully eventually feel comfortable enough to transition into main comps. Personally I love playing against the guys but I'd also love to see more women in pinball and if an event like this can coax more women into pinball then I'm all for it!"

I would suggest going to the Aussie Arcade forum here to keep track of any announcement or up to date information. There is also information in the same forum regarding the other tournaments scheduled for the same time, with a total of five tournaments held over the three days!