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Photo TR: PAPA 10 - World Pinball Championships

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[Note: Sorry for the blurry photos, but they had "no flash" signs everywhere]


This past Saturday, I headed down to Carnegie, PA for the annual PAPA pinball tournament. The field is divided into three classes (A,B, and C) and I fall into the C or casual player.


While I managed to get the #2 score on one of the machines, I tanked on the rest and ended the tournament ranked #39.


Here are the photos in all their geeky glory:


PAPA is now held annually in Carnegie, PA (Next to Pittsburgh). In previous years, the event was held in New York City and Las Vegas.


The PAPA building.


Early on Sunday morning, the registration desk was nice and quiet.


When you first walked in, to the left you could see the machines they were using for mini-tournaments. These mini-tournaments are more for fun than anything and include everything from one-hand play to having the flippers hidden (AKA Tommy mode).


Chris, one of my co-workers used Sunday morning to practice on some of the open machines.


The warehouse that the event is held in contains hundreds upon hundreds of machines. Both new and old.


The "Classics" finals were held on Saturday, but the area was still being used for both Junior and Seniors entries.


Ship Ahoy Playfield in the open machine area.


Junior and Senior qualifications


Another shot of some open machines. There has to be about 10 rows in this particular room.


Back in the competitive area, some A level players were trying to qualify at the last minute.


My co-worker, Chris, competed in the B level. He didn't do nearly as good as he would have liked finishing dead last in both of his entries.


More practice machines.


The Junior finals are now underway. Some of these kids were pretty damn good!


Senior finals also ran with the juniors.


They may not look like much, but these are some of the best pinball players in the world.


Circus Voltaire (Programmed by TPR member Cameron) was one of the machines used for the A Level Championship.


Break Area


More last minute A Level qualifiers.


Sorry, but I did not stick around for the finals (which I sure that Lyman won) but the event itself was a blast!

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Awesome pics Ted! I have a good buddy that's a pinball enthusiast (although he's more into refurbishing them than competitive play), so I've kind of picked up more of an appreciation for pinball machines over the years.


Do they allow spectators at this event? It kind of seems like something that would be cool to check out.

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^ Yes. Spectators are allowed and encouraged. The event comes by once a year so it would be easy to pair with a weekend visit to Phantom Fright Nights


Also, they have hundreds of machines open for play during the tournament. If your friend is into refurbishment, he would be quite impressed with their collection. And they are all in tip-top shape.

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^ Yes. Spectators are allowed and encouraged. The event comes by once a year so it would be easy to pair with a weekend visit to Phantom Fright Nights


We just might have to keep that in mind for next Fall. Great, yet another thing to do in October. Ah, if only there were more weekends in the month.

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Ted, I had no idea you were going to PAPA! Many of my friends were there (obvious), and I would have gone too but I am frantically trying to get ready for Pinball Expo (which is in Chicago in a week and a half).


I was lucky enough to be at both PAPA 3 and 4 (back in the early 90s) when they were held in New York City. It's a terrifically fun event, and each year I think about doing a combined PAPA and Kennywood trip.


Cameron ("Memory Is The First To Go") Silver.

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OMG! I think I just had an orgasm! I love pinball. I'll have to go to this event next year. It gets harder and harder to find pinball machines in arcades today. Most are going with games where you win tickets for crappy prizes ala Chuck E Cheese. Great report and pics!

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Nice geeky trip report Ted.


I always loved playing pinball. It got a little different when they changed from the old style to the "new" ones where it is almost like a video game. I remember playing the Star Trek version a few years ago where the trigger was a fazer to shoot the ball out. Kinda cool and different.

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Pinball machines OWN!



Thanks for the great TR, Ted! I love pinball and would easily choose it over a video game, any old time, lol.


The row of machines in the Break Room looked insane! So many of them....


Thanks for sharing your trip (and playing) to the tournament.

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