IFPA Australia celebrates 2022-23 Australian Championship Series

This past Saturday, we saw 112 players right across the country battle it out over 6 hard-fought State/Territory Championship events.

This format was originally intended to be first ran back at the start of 2021, however with the COVID-situation at the time, along with IFPA competition on hiatus, this past weekend was the first attempt at running a similar style event to that of the North American Championship Series.

Not only did the winners of each tournament earn the title and the right to call themselves an IFPA State Pinball Champion, the Top 4 finalists in each State also earned their spot in the Australian Championship, to be held later this year in Brisbane on 6th & 7th May.

We now effectively have our first 24 finalists just about set for the Australian Championship, with the remaining 24 finalists to be invited based on their best 20 results from all Australian IFPA events from 2022. Invitations will be sent out over the coming weeks.

Here at IFPA Australia, we’d like to send our Congratulations to the Top 4 winners from each State Championship as follows:

A.C.T.:
1st – Aaron Draper, 2nd – Paul Chamberlin,  3rd – Shannon Paull, 4th – Tom Lefebure
Full results – https://next.matchplay.events/tournaments/92539/standings

N.S.W.:
1st – Jayson Walsh, 2nd – Aaron Crichton, 3rd – Andrew Gliatis, 4th – Collin Metcalfe
Full results – Currently unavailable

Qld:
1st – Paul Jones, 2nd – Curtis Sahariv, 3rd – Jason Lynch, 4th – Jason Lambert
Full results – https://next.matchplay.events/tournaments/92887/standings

S.A.:
1st – Tom Casey, 2nd – Robert Macauley, 3rd – Ronald Opitz, 4th – Dion Vuurens
Full results – https://next.matchplay.events/tournaments/92407/standings

Vic:
1st – Ryan Cee, 2nd – Richard Rhodes, 3rd – Daniel Luth, 4th – Brodie Dixon
Full results – https://next.matchplay.events/tournaments/92191/standings

W.A.:
1st – Anthony Cirillo, 2nd – Glenn Twiddle, 3rd – Brett Smith, 4th – Brett Paton
Full results – https://next.matchplay.events/tournaments/92794/standings

2023 Epstein Cup teams are set!

Team USA currently holds the Epstein Cup for another 4 months before it is once again up for grabs at IFPA18 in Germany on Thursday night June 1st, 2023.

8 players per side earn the right to represent their country in this prestigious event, so let’s take a closer look at the rosters for both sides.

Team USA includes:

  • Current World Ranked #1 and 2-time Major Champion Escher Lefkoff from Longmont, CO
  • 2-time Major Champion Raymond Davidson from Elk Grove Village, IL
  • 1-time Major Finalist Jason Zahler from New Jersey
  • 2-time Major Champion Cayle George from Seattle, WA
  • World ranked #7 Neil Graf from Appleton, WI
  • World Ranked #10 Steven Bowden from Palatine, IL
  • World Ranked #15 Carlos Delaserda from Columbus, OH
  • 1-time Major Champion Colin Macalpine from Austin, TX

The 8 members of Team USA 2023 have accounted for 7 Major Championships along with 24 Major Championship Top 4’s.

Team Europe includes:

  • 1-time Major Champion Arvid Flygare from Lund, Sweden
  • World Ranked #8 Viggo Löwgren from Furulund, Sweden
  • 2-time Major Finalist Peter Andersen from Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1-time Major Champion Johannes Ostermeier from Munich, Germany
  • World Ranked #26 Paul Englert from Aachen, Germany
  • 4-time Major Champion Daniele Celestino Acciari from Rocca di Papa, Italy
  • 1-time Major Finalist Markus Stix from Graz, Austria
  • World Ranked #27 Andrew Foster from Southport, United Kingdom

The 8 members of Team Europe 2022 have accounted for 6 Major Championships won along with 19 Major Championship Top 4’s.

For more details on the event, click HERE.

IFPA18 World Pinball Championship field is almost set!

The IFPA18 field is nearly set, with 77 out of the 80 players locked in. The IFPA European Pinball Championship, IFPA Women’s World Pinball Championship and IFPA North American Pinball Championship Satellite spots will all be up for grabs to fill the final 3 spots.

20 countries will be represented at IFPA18, along with 15 players in the field that have won a Major Championship at some point in their career (Keith Elwin, Daniele Celestino Acciari, Escher Lefkoff,
Raymond Davidson, Cayle George, Eric Stone, Arvid Flygare, Colin MacAlpine, Zach McCarthy, Johannes Ostermeier, Zach Sharpe, Robert Sutter, Andrei Massenkoff, Paul Jongma and Jim Belsito).

At rank #67, David Dahl-Hansson from Sweden became the last player above the cut line.

Check out the field HERE.

Arvid Flygare is the First SweCS Champion

The inaugural IFPA Swedish Championship Series finals were played at LPA – Lund Pinball Academy in Lund, Sweden the weekend of January 27th-29th of 2023.

Every Swedish tournament in 2022 counted toward qualifying and Viggo Löwgren was the top qualifier with a mind-melting 1514 WPPR points earned just in Sweden in 2022. He was also IFPA’s global player of the year. Arvid Flygare qualified second with an almost as impressive 1368 WPPRs earned in Sweden. For contrast, the third qualifier earned 593 WPPRs and the cut line for the 64th ranked player was 155 WPPRs.

917 players participated in qualifying across 306 tournaments in Sweden during the year. Players from three countries attended the final.

For the 64-player final, everyone was seeded into groups of 16 where everyone played everyone once in a round-robin format and the top 6 players in each group went through to the best-of-seven head-to-head rounds. At the end of the bracket only Marcus Hugosson and Arvid Flygare remained. Their final battle went to seven machines with some huge matches on the way. For game 1 on Harlem Globetrotters, both players ended ball 1 with around 1-million points. On Road Show, Marcus played Super Payday and Arvid earned an astonishing 10+ jackpots during his first multiball. The seventh game came down to Godzilla Pro and Arvid put up 1.3 billion for the win.

Arvid earned 130 WPPRs for his win, the most ever awarded for a tournament in Sweden, including EPC and IFPA World Championships held here. Plus, this tournament was only rated at 240% TGP.

IFPA SweCS qualifying for 2023 is already under way with a 300% TGP final planned for January 2024.

Photo: David Dahl-Hansson

IFPA Women’s North American Championship Series Announcement

Now that the 2022 qualifying season has wrapped up, we would like to congratulate all players who participated in the inaugural IFPA Women’s North American Championship Series and to extend our thanks to the organizers who facilitated these events.

We also want to thank all of the organizers/tournament directors and players who provided feedback and suggestions about what worked well and what could be improved moving forward. Based on that feedback, we are introducing some changes for the 2023 qualifying season that we believe will improve the experience for organizers and participants.

Schedule: Feedback was split on whether it was more convenient or less convenient to hold WNACS events on the Sunday directly following NACS events. We recognize that this depends on the size and scope of the pinball community in each region, not to mention the geographical remoteness of available venues. For 2024, WNACS Day will be held on January 21st, which is the Sunday immediately following NACS Day. For people who are organizing in regions where this scheduling presents a challenge, please feel free to reach out to collaborate on potential approaches that can reduce the burden. 

Qualification:

Qualifying for the IFPA Women’s North American Championship Series is based on results from any IFPA-endorsed tournament held throughout the year in each eligible state/province. Qualifiers will continue to be drawn from open events and women’s events in each state/province. A state must have 2 or more sanctioned women’s events in order to have a 16-player championship. In states/regions where there are fewer than 2 sanctioned women’s events, there will be an 8-player championship. There will not be “super states” that qualify for 24-player championships based on the total number of players and events held in a state/province for the 2023 qualifying season, but we are evaluating the concept for future implementation.

Beginning with the 2023 qualifying season, there will be a 20-event cap for each “side” of the standings (open/women’s). A player’s best 20 events on each side of the standings will count toward their standing. 

All IFPA Women’s North American Championship Series events will be held on the same day. No player will be eligible to play in more than one WNACS event. We plan to have a Women’s North American Championship event that the championships funnel into, and will announce additional details as we have them.

Seeding:

We plan to simplify and automate the seeding process to make it more accessible to organizers/tournament directors and players and to avoid confusion. Our goal is to have a process and infrastructure that more closely resembles NACS. This includes automated seeding and public visibility into RSVPs so that there is increased transparency into which state/province players have declared intent to play in on the IFPA website.

Beginning with the 2023 qualifying season, the following changes to seeding will be enacted:

Qualifiers from the “women’s” side of the bracket will now receive the odd seeds in their respective competitions, and qualifiers from the “open” side of the bracket will receive the even seeds. The goal is to continue incentivizing participation in women’s events even as both types of events remain valuable for the player field.

Players will not be locked into a specific side of the rankings until all participants have been finalized. This will ensure that players who performed well in both open and women’s-only events are afforded the highest possible seed based on which competitors commit to attend.

When organizers/tournament directors have exhausted all potential qualifiers from one “side” of the qualifying standings, they may draw from qualified players on the other “side.” This is a change from the inaugural year, made with the goal of having a full bracket wherever possible. (Note: This applies only for the regions that are eligible for a 16-player championship. Regions without a sufficient number of women’s events will continue to draw 8 participants from the open rankings.)

Fees and Prizes:

The entry fee will stay at $20, to be distributed according to the same percentages as our inaugural year (40% to 1st place, 30% to 2nd place, 20% to 3rd place, and 10% to 4th place). However, any additional cash, goods, or services gathered by organizers can be distributed to competitors based on organizer discretion. Organizers with concerns about entry fees and/or cash prizes related to state or venue restrictions should reach out to the IFPA for guidance.

Communication:

In order to improve communication and to ensure that there is clarity among organizers and players about how WNACS tournaments should be run, the IFPA will provide a shared document that outlines the structure and rules of play well in advance of the tournament date. The goals are to (1) ensure that each tournament is run using the same rules/structure in each state  and (2) to ensure that tournament directors feel supported and well informed in orchestrating their individual events.

The IFPA will also provide draft email language for tournament directors to send to players who have qualified/are close to the cutline for WNACS to help alleviate strain on organizers/tournament directors, as well as to ensure that players have the most up-to-date information.

While our primary means of communication will continue to be email and posts on the IFPA website (which automatically go out through our social media channels), we also recently introduced an IFPA Discord channel dedicated to women’s pinball. We believe that this will facilitate additional instantaneous communication among players and organizers and allow frequently asked questions to be crowdsourced to knowledgeable members of the community. Please note that while the IFPA Women’s Board is a part of the Discord server, we cannot guarantee we will see each and every post, so any communication that requires direct IFPA input should still be emailed to ifpawomen@gmail.com. Anyone who organizes or participates in women’s pinball events can join the Discord channel by joining the IFPA Discord Server and adding themselves to the ifpa-womens public channel.

Women’s State/Provincial Representatives:

Beginning this year, we are establishing a set of women’s state/provincial representatives. These representatives will work in concert with their state/provincial representatives to increase the awareness of competitive pinball and to facilitate the state/provincial women’s championships in their respective states. If you organized a women’s championship in this inaugural year, please let us know in the next few weeks whether you are interested in continuing as an IFPA women’s representative for your state/province.

2022-23 IFPA North American Pinball Championship – FINALISTS

As the dust settles from NACS Day, we’re excited to announce the participants for the upcoming IFPA North American Pinball Championship. The champions from every State/Province/District get invited, with the runner-up serving as the only available alternate. The list below is the current seeding based on player confirmations of attendance. The top 11 seeds will receive a bye in the first round. Click HERE to view the bracket as it looks right now.

The IFPA North American Pinball Championship will feature nearly $50,000 in cash and prizes. This is in addition to the $140,000 awarded on NACS Day across the continent. Similar to the State/Province/District level, every participant in the IFPA North American Pinball Championship will walk away with a cash prize.

1 Escher Lefkoff 28 Kevin Kuntz
2 Raymond Davidson 29 Matt Peace
3 Jared August 30 Anthony Lambos Jr
4 Colin MacAlpine 31 Nick Zendejas
5 Eric Stone 32 Jordan Dechaine
6 Luke Nahorniak 33 Erik Wurtenberger
7 David Riel 34 Steve Hill MO
8 Derek Price 35 Tanner Wade
9 Dalton Ely 36 Dan Stephney
10 Colin Urban 37 Ted McGinty
11 Brian O’Neill NH 38 Don Brownback
12 Joe Lemire 39 Josh Craig
13 Will McKinney 40 Geoff Alterman
14 Jack Tadman 41 Tyler Zimmerman
15 Stephen Prusa 42 John Monkus
16 Lonnie Langford 43 Chris Wamsley
17 Adam Becker 44 Matthew Gatwood
18 Matthew Richardson 45 Steve Dobbins
19 Dave Hubbard 46 Logan Harding
20 Austin Trent 47 Dan Dolney
21 Robert Gagno 48 Eric Marz
22 Mike Tzanakos 49 Ben Dowie
23 Kaylee Campbell 50 Gerry Eismann
24 Nick DeStefano 51 Matt Wason
25 Fred Richardson 52 Ben Cressy
26 Tyler Aas 53 Pat Herrington
27 Nick Mueller

Special Invitation to the NYC Pre-release Screening of ‘Pinball’

MPI invites you to join us for a special pre-release screening of the award-winning MPI Original Film Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game on Thursday, February 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Regal Union Square in New York City. The event features a pre-show Meet & Greet with directors Austin and Meredith Bragg who also participate in a Q&A after the screening.

Starring Mike Faist (Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story), Crystal Reed (Swamp ThingTeen Wolf), and Dennis Boutsikaris (Better Call SaulThe Bourne Legacy), Pinball is based on the true story of Roger Sharpe, GQ journalist and real-life pinball wizard, who in 1976 helped overturn New York City’s 35-year ban on pinball.

RSVP now for this special showing!

2023 IFPA Pin-Masters – Prize package BOOSTED!

The IFPA is proud to announce that courtesy of Stern Pinball we will be adding a NIB Stern Pro pinball machine to the prize pool ($6999 value) for the upcoming 2023 IFPA Pin-Masters World Pin-Golf Championships.

The 2023 IFPA Pin-Masters will be held March 10th-12th, 2023 at District 82 in De Pere, Wisconsin.

Details on the event can be found HERE.

Registration is currently open. Click HERE to register.

Young rising star Luukas Marttinen is the first FINCS Champion

Finland had its first Country Championship Series running in 2022. It was played in nine selected tournaments by different organisers around the country. All in all there were 158 players participating in tournaments from 9 different countries including etc. Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Italy. The Final tournament was played last weekend at Pinball Union arcade at Tampere. 32 best players were there to challenge each other to be a first FINCS Champion. After a long day the winner was 17-year old rising star Luukas Marttinen from Mikkeli, FInland. His calm and brave style took the place and made others fight for second place. Other players in the final were Jussi Kahola (2.), Perttu Pesä (3.) and Olli-Mikko Ojamies (4). Congratulations to Luukas and all the other winners.

There were also two players participating who were in the top 1 & 2 of Most Played Events ranking last year –  1. Mikko Nurmi, 202 events and 2. Pauli Lindholm 154 events. Great job!

The tournament was supported by FLIPP – Finnish Pinball Players Association.

Photos: Jussi Rantala, Marco Suvanto

2022-23 IFPA North American Championship Series media

The coverage across the US and Canada of the IFPA North American Championship Series was incredible . . . too incredible to post every individual piece separately.

We did our best to put everything we could find out there on one page for easy referencing. Click HERE to check it all out.