Game the System

Podcast Episode 6!

Game the System Podcast Episode 6! Join us as we talk about a bunch of modern games including Resident Evil 7, Halo 5, Burnout Paradise Remastered, and John's adventures on the Nintendo Switch including Stardew Valley. We also talk about the recently announced Iron Maiden pinball machine, and the Commodore 64 Mini.

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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!

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!?

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The countdown to the 31st is on!

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

Which Australian State Came Out Tops at the Australian Pinball Championship Series

There were 4 Australian states represented at the recently held Australian Championship Series in Melbourne, but which state performed the best do you think? Well let's have a look!

The state rivalry at this years ACS was obviously a very serious affair. Here Paul Reid shows the other states how things get done in NSW. Photo by Matthew Venables Photography  http://mvenables.com

The state rivalry at this years ACS was obviously a very serious affair. Here Paul Reid shows the other states how things get done in NSW. Photo by Matthew Venables Photography http://mvenables.com

We discussed the state representation before, and for context purposes sake let's go over that again now;

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)
Brett and Naiomi Goodwin - 2016 PAPA World Flips Champions - had targets on their backs as everyone attempted to beat them in the Flips side competition and claim boasting rights. Photo Matthew Venables Photography  http://mvenables.com

Brett and Naiomi Goodwin - 2016 PAPA World Flips Champions - had targets on their backs as everyone attempted to beat them in the Flips side competition and claim boasting rights. Photo Matthew Venables Photography http://mvenables.com

So who are the ACS state champions for 2017? What state had more top 10 finishers in the main event than any other?

NSW - 4 Finishers!

And your new (completely non PAPA verified) world pinball flips champions, are Paul Jones and Pat Nichols! I'm pretty sure Brett and Naiomi are required by law to fly the flips championship trophy from the USA to it's new home here in Australia.. Photo Matthew Venables Photography  http://mvenables.com

And your new (completely non PAPA verified) world pinball flips champions, are Paul Jones and Pat Nichols! I'm pretty sure Brett and Naiomi are required by law to fly the flips championship trophy from the USA to it's new home here in Australia.. Photo Matthew Venables Photography http://mvenables.com

Brett Goodwin - 1st place

Matthew Venables - 3rd place

Paul Jones - 6th place

Marc Bell - 9th place

VIC - 3 Finishers

Johnny Crabtree - 2nd place

Jordan Tredaway - 5th place

Brian Schleibs - 7th place

QLD - 2 Finishers

Johhny did very well at this years ACS and did Victoria proud. Photo Matthew Venables Photography  http://mvenables.com

Johhny did very well at this years ACS and did Victoria proud. Photo Matthew Venables Photography http://mvenables.com

Jasen Mouritsen - 8th place

Rob Singh - 10th place

SA - 1 Finisher

Robert Macauley - 4th place

Congratulations to NSW for having the most players in the top 10. Here's hoping in future ACS events we see some representation from WA, NT, and Tasmania. It's too high stakes of a competition to not have serious contenders from all over Australia. And failing that, there's always lots of beers and stupidity - I think everyone enjoys that!

See Full Results! Australian Pinball Championship Series - One of the Greatest of All Time!

Three tournaments held over four days at the Thornbury Bowls Club in Melbourne Victoria have concluded and the results are in! See where your favourite player ended up in what was one of the greatest pinball tournaments ever held in Australia.

Brett Goodwin - 2014 ACS Champion, and now 2016 ACS Champion too! Photo courtesy Matthew Venables Photography -  http://mvenables.com

Brett Goodwin - 2014 ACS Champion, and now 2016 ACS Champion too! Photo courtesy Matthew Venables Photography - http://mvenables.com

IFPA Australian Championship Series

1     Brett Goodwin
2    Johnny Crabtree
3    Matthew Venables
4    Robert Macauley
5    Jordan Tredaway
6    Paul Jones
7    Brian Boxy Schleibs
8    Jasen Mouritsen
9    Marc Bell
10   Rob Singh
11    Grant Quinn
12   Greg Gee
13   Luke Marburg
14   Pat Nichols
15   Greg Siegele
16   Martin Robbins
17   Alex Nunn
18   David Peck
19   Jason Lambert
20  Paul Reid
21   Wal Dickie
22  Geoff Wills
23  Nick Hamhougias
24  Michi Henning
25  Stacey Borg
26  John Hutchinson
27  Chris Wade
28  Andrew Ferguson
29  Stuart Thornton
30  Marcus Sezonov
31   Gavin Drogemuller
32  John Ebejer

Australian Championship Series 2 Strikes Side Tournament

1     Greg Siegele
2    Grant Quinn
3    Paul Jones
4    David Holroyd
5    Rob Singh
5    Jordan Tredaway
7    Paul Reid
8    Robert Macauley
8    Phil Franze
8    Brian Schleibs
8    Marc Bell
8    Martin Robbins
13   Matthew Venables
13   Gavin Drogemuller
13   Geoff Wills
13   Jason Lambert
13   Andrew Ferguson
18   Brett Goodwin
18   Stuart Thornton
18   Chris Wade
18   Fab Ciccone
18   Greg Gee
18   Tim Chapman
18   Vicki Wills
18   Pat Nichols
18   Peter Collins
18   Luke Marburg
28  Jasen Mouritsen
28  Dejan Golja
28  Lisa Butler
28  David Peck
28  Lucas Bardin
28  Daniel Robar
28  Michi Henning
28  Rico Stanley
28  Naiomi Goodwin
28  Stuart McLean
28  Fred Olsen
28  Adam Clarke
28  Scott Kellett
28  Marcus Sezonov
28  Shane Butler
43  Mark Guardiani
43  Stacey Borg
43  James Smith
43  Sam Tedesco
43  Nick Hamhougias
43  Fraser Haigh
43  Nathan Dishpan
43  Brent Lockwood
43  Lorraine Posar
43  Andrew Heitmann
43  Adrian Wilson

Australian Championship Series Flip Frenzy Side Tournament

1      Johnny Crabtree
2     Robert Macauley
3     Greg Gee
4     Paul Jones
4     Matthew Venables
6     Greg Siegele
7     Wal Dickie
8     Paul Reid
9     Andrew Ferguson
10   Gavin Drogemuller
11    Marc Bell
12   Brett Goodwin
13   Adam Clarke
13   Stuart Thornton
15   Jordan Tredaway
16   Naiomi Goodwin
17   Andy Kay
18   David Holroyd
19   Brian Schleibs
19   Michi Henning
21   Pat Nichols
22  Dejan Golja
23  Stacey Borg
24  Alex Nunn
24  Grant Quinn
24  Tim Chapman
27  Phil Franze
28  David Peck
29  Andrew Heitmann
29  Marcus Sezonov
29  Fab Ciccone
29  Daniel Robar
33  Vicki Wills
34  Geoff Wills
35  Nick Hamhougias
35  Raphael Melkonian
37  Lorraine Posar
38  Daniel Brown
39  Curtis Thornton
40  Stuart McLean
41   Adam Dutton

A massive congratulations to all players as they nurse their sore arms and legs over the coming days. There may only be a few winners but all were grinners - the tournament was exhausting but super fun. Well done all.

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!

See the Top 3 that Smashed the Coogee Pinball Flip Frenzy Just Hours Ago!

* Update as of 27th Jan - Full results added

The Coogee Flip Frenzy was held tonight at Coogee Diggers and attracted both a tough and diverse field - with the usual competitive suspects as well as a good number of female and younger players which is very welcome to see. A testament to how much work tournament director Norbert Snicer has toiled and put into his Pinball HQ League, growing the pinball sport across Australia and demographics.

Paul must be getting tired of holding up trophies and posing for cameras...

Paul must be getting tired of holding up trophies and posing for cameras...

Paul Jones takes the win and yet another trophy to add to the mantel. Whilst newcomer - at least to these pages - Paul Higginbotham takes 2nd place and a very welcome return from David Loewy taking 3rd.

David Loewy 3rd (left trophy), Paul Jones 1st (centre) and Paul Higginbotham (right trophy) 2nd.

David Loewy 3rd (left trophy), Paul Jones 1st (centre) and Paul Higginbotham (right trophy) 2nd.

Congratulations to all players who came along for the night and showed what pinball competitions are best at - getting a goup of people together, enjoying each others company and the chaos of the silver ball!

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The 5 Best Players to Watch in the IFPA Australian Championship Series in February

The IFPA Championship Series finals are taking place all over the world in February, and Australia's top 32 champions will fight it out in Melbourne to see who claims the title in 2017. Previously held in Sydney in 2015 and Brisbane in 2016, now it's Melbourne's turn to show the world Australia's best.

This picture was taken at the 2016 Batcave Masters - where many picked up a majority of World Ranking Points going toward their ACS seeding this year. Photo by Matthew Venables Photography  http://mvenables.com

This picture was taken at the 2016 Batcave Masters - where many picked up a majority of World Ranking Points going toward their ACS seeding this year. Photo by Matthew Venables Photography http://mvenables.com

Here Game the System lays down the facts and figures - and boldy predicts the top 5 players most likely to stand above the rest and hold aloft the cup!

Jordan Tredaway - Here taking 1st place at the 2016 PAX Australia Pinball Championship.

Jordan Tredaway - Here taking 1st place at the 2016 PAX Australia Pinball Championship.

1. Jordan Tredaway - Australian Rank: 5th out of 1673 players

Location: Melbourne VIC

IFPA ACS Seed: 1st

Jordan is the youngest competitor in this years ACS and one of the newest competitors on the scene. He hasn't let time get in the way of clawing to the top of Australian pinball however - he's seeded 1st out of the 32 players, and has had a habit of winning just about every tournament he enters. His first major tournament win being the 2016 Melbourne Matchplay Championship, he also won the Melbourne Matchplay Flip Frenzy and the 2016 PAX Australia Championship. You will be sure all players will be dreading being matched up with Jordan in the ACS - even those that have been playing for over 30 years!

 

Paul Jones - Last years ACS Champion.

Paul Jones - Last years ACS Champion.

2. Paul Jones - Australian Rank: 6th out of 1673 players

Location: Wollongong NSW

IFPA ACS Seed: 5th

Not much needs to be said about Paul that hasn't already been said very recently - including news that he is one of two players representing Australia this year in the IFPA World Pinball Championships in Denmark (check post below this one), and that he's the defending champion having won the previous Australian Championship Series in Brisbane last year. The only other thing to be said is to try and avoid playing against him, and be sure to watch him if you're not!

 

Brett Goodwin (right) - Powered by caffeine...

Brett Goodwin (right) - Powered by caffeine...

3. Brett Goodwin - Australian Rank: 4th out of 1673 players

Location: Lake Macquarie NSW

IFPA ACS Seed: 6th

Brett is the type of player that effortlessly steam rolls opponents and doesn't break a sweat doing it. He's represented Australia in the PAPA World Pinball Championships and IFPA World Pinball Championships last year in the USA. He also happens to be the Australian Championship Series champion of 2015 which was held in Sydney. A very friendly and approachable guy, but just watch out if you're playing him - he's got a serious streak that won't let you get away with any funny business!

 

Robert Macauley (right) - Pinball and video game champion.

Robert Macauley (right) - Pinball and video game champion.

4. Robert Macauley - Australian Rank: 3rd out of 1673 players

Location: Adelaide SA

IFPA ACS Seed: 13th

This is a guy you need to keep an eye on... His outward calm and quiet demeanor is an interesting contrast (or perhaps compliment) to the level of skill he posesses with not just pinball, but all of gaming - his many world record scores on Twin Galaxies will attest to that! He was also one of the two Australian representatives for last years PAPA World Pinball Championships and IFPA World Pinball Championships in the USA along with Brett Goodwin. There's always been an air of unmatched skill in the top 4 ranked Australian pinballers, and Rob is the only one of those 4 attending the ACS this year. Don't underestimate this guy just based on his ACS seed this year...

 

Matthew Venables (right) practicing his other art - photography.

Matthew Venables (right) practicing his other art - photography.

5. Matthew Venables - Australian Rank: 15th out of 1673 players

Location: Sydney NSW

IFPA ACS Seed: 17th

You want a dark horse for this years ACS? Those who know Matthew will tell you he's certainly not a dark horse at all, but he has yet to take a major championship and therefore might fly under the rader of general recognition. He's always up there though, finishing in the top 5 of just about everything he enters. And he keeps getting better, and he keeps smashing every grand champion score that's around. At some point he's going to crack that 1st spot in a major - and it could be this time.

 

 

Interestingly, this years ACS may be remembered for the players who aren't competing rather than who is. All 3 of the players who have previously held the spot of Australian Rank number 1, and top 100 in the world, are unable to make it this time around for various reasons (even though each one did qualify). Peter Watt (Australian Rank 1st), Richard Rhodes (Australian Rank 2nd), and Steven Edwards (Australian Rank 8th). You can be sure many of players competing will be breathing a sigh of relief for that!

Peter Watt - Australia's current number 1, is unable to attend this year.

Peter Watt - Australia's current number 1, is unable to attend this year.

Here's the full list of 32 players and their seed for this years ACS. Any one of them can take the win on the day.

  1. Jordan Tredaway - Aus Rank 5th - VIC
  2. Greg Gee - Aus Rank 13th - NSW
  3. Luke Marburg - Aus Rank 9th - VIC
  4. Martin Robbins - Aus Rank 12th - VIC
  5. Paul Jones - Aus Rank 6th - NSW
  6. Brett Goodwin - Aus Rank 4th - NSW
  7. Jason Lambert - Aus Rank 7th - QLD
  8. Gavin Drogemuller - Aus Rank 31st - QLD
  9. Stuart Thornton - Aus Rank 21st - VIC
  10. Johnny Crabtree - Aus Rank 14th - VIC
  11. Pat Nichols - Aus Rank 18th - NSW
  12. Paul Reid - Aus Rank 23rd - NSW
  13. Robert Macauley - Aus Rank 3rd - SA
  14. John Hutchinson - Aus Rank 11th - QLD
  15. Greg Siegele - Aus Rank 10th - SA
  16. Rob Singh - Aus Rank 17th - QLD
  17. Matthew Venables - Aus Rank 15th - NSW
  18. Brian Schleibs - Aus Rank 25th - VIC
  19. Michi Henning - Aus Rank 46th - QLD
  20. Stacey Borg - Aus Rank 35th - VIC
  21. Jasen Mouritsen - Aus Rank 29th - QLD
  22. Andrew Ferguson - Aus Rank 19th - NSW
  23. Wal Dickie - Aus Rank 39th - VIC
  24. Geoff Wills - Aus Rank 49th - VIC
  25. Grant Quinn - Aus Rank 33rd - QLD
  26. Marcus Sezonov - Aus Rank 41st - VIC
  27. Marc Bell - Aus Rank 20th - NSW
  28. Nick Hamhougias - Aus Rank 32nd - VIC
  29. Chris Wade - Aus Rank 61st - QLD
  30. Alex Nunn - Aus Rank 43rd - VIC
  31. John Ebejer - Aus Rank 37th - VIC
  32. David Peck - NZ Rank 1st - Auckland NZ

The Australian Championship Series will kick off on the 10th February at the Thornbury Bowls Club, Melbourne Victoria.

 

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!