Date: 18th - 20th March, 2011
Location: Salle Serge Reggiani, Avenue des Canadiens, 76470 Le Tréport, France

2011 was the year for France to host the European Pinball Championship.  Having built up their Flip-Expo event at the same location over the past few years, the Silverball team volunteered to hold the event in 2009 and used last year's show as a dry run.

The EPC was held at the Salle Serge Reggiani on the Avenue des Canadiens in the coastal town of Le Tréport.

The poster for the event
The poster for the event

The town sits on France's northern coast, about an hour's drive from the Belgian border and the ferries/tunnel to the UK. There are several hotels close to the venue and plenty of bars and restaurants, such as the Café du Stade just across the road, which became an unofficial retreat from the show when the noise and competition became too much.  Plus they had a mostly-working Jokerz pinball for that last minute practice.

We arrived at the venue on Friday afternoon while the show was still being set up and machines were being brought into the hall through the pouring rain.  If last year was the dry run, this year was the wet run.

The venue for the EPC 2011
The venue for the EPC 2011

Entry to the hall was included in the EPC registration, or cost €2 per day for non-competitors.

The hall was split into three main areas.

The hall during set up
The hall during set up

On the right of the picture above were two rows of free play machines, back-to-back.  The right-hand bank hosted the Country Competition on Friday night, but these machines were then available for general play - along with the left-hand bank - on Saturday and Sunday.

The free play machine rows
One of the free play machine rows

The other row of free-play games
The other row of free-play games

We made a list of the machines set up in the public area of the hall on Sunday morning.  A few machines had been removed and others had arrived, while others had been moved in and out of the tournaments, but these were the 61 non-tournament games set up in the hall on Sunday:

Attack From Mars
Banzai Run
Batman (DE)
Black Rose
Bounty Hunter
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Dr Dude
Elvira & The Party Monsters
Fish Tales
Guns 'N Roses
Harlem Globetrotters
Haunted House
High Roller Casino
High Speed 2 - The Getaway
Jet Spin
Johnny Mnemonic
Joker Poker
Last Action Hero
Lights Camera Action
Little Joe
Mr & Mrs Pac-Man
NBA Fastbreak
NBA Fastbreak
No Good Gofers
Olympic Games
Playboy (DE)
Playboy (DE)
Ripley's Believe it or Not!
Shaq Attaq
Silverball Mania
Star Trek - The Next Generation
Starship Troopers
Street Fighter 2
Surf Champ
Surf 'N Safari
Tales from the Crypt
Teed Off
The Addams Family
The Lord of the Rings
The Rolling Stones (Stern)
The Simpsons Pinball Party
Time Machine
Twilight Zone
TX Sector
World Cup Soccer
World Cup Soccer

The main central area and the right of the hall accommodated numerous vendors selling games, parts, accessories and assorted amusement bric-a-brac. 

These were: Silverball, Acrept/Pascal Janin, Cederman Gameparts (Carl Jacob), The Coin-Op Collector, Eric Rousseau, Rastermania, PinLED, Le Casino du Tréport, Chineur Brocante, Jeufa, Fred & Sylvie Collet,, Albert Médaillon, Lorenz, Patrick & André, Pascal Payet and Danny 60.

The second row of free play games with some of the vendor stands
The second row of free play games with some of the vendor stands

Vendor stands at the EPC
Lots of pinball spares at the EPC

Vendor stands at the EPC
Slot machines and signs for sale at the EPC

More games to play and for sale at the EPC
More games to play and for sale at the EPC

Vendor stands at the EPC
LEDs for sale at the EPC

Vendor stands at the EPC
Video games were also represented at the EPC

Vendor stands at the EPC
Boards, backglasses and records for sale at the EPC

Vendor stands at the EPC
Assorted pinball parts for sale at the EPC

Vendor stands at the EPC
Cabinet decals for sale at the EPC

Vendor stands at the EPC
Assorted amusement memorabilia at the EPC

LEDs, leg protectors, magnets and key rings for sale at the EPC

Some of the machines on vendors' stands were for sale, some were set on free play, others on coin play and others weren't available for play at all.

Games for sale and for play
Games for sale and for play

EPC merchandise for sale
EPC merchandise for sale

On the right side of the hall next to the stand above was a kitchen area which served hot and cold food and beverages throughout the show.

The kitchen area
The kitchen area

Because the kitchen was staffed by volunteers and not a professional catering company, prices were very reasonable, such as €1 for a bottle of water and under €3 for a large pate baguette.  Pizza, cakes, cookies and bottles of beer were also available at different times of the day for similarly attractive prices.

The far end of the hall was where the EPC individual tournament was held on Saturday and Sunday.  There was no separate Classics Tournament planned, so this was hosted by the Swedes three weeks earlier in Borås.  That left the main individual EPC tournament, the Country Competition and two Kids Tournaments.

So the first of these tournaments to get under way was the Country Competition.  This involved 16 teams from 10 different countries - France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium and Switzerland.

Before play began, the town's Mayor opened the event with a short speech.

The Mayor opens proceedings
The Mayor opens proceedings

The 16 teams were divided into 4 groups of 4 and each team played a match against the other 3 teams in their group.  Each match consisted of 2 players from each team playing a 4-player game on one machine while the other 2 players from both teams did the same on a different machine. 

The Country Competition gets under way
The Country Competition gets under way

Points were awarded for the positions in each game and totaled to give a points score for the match.  The total from the 3 matches gave the team their final total which was then ranked with all 15 other teams.  The top 6 teams then went into a final.

Each match was played on a pair of machines - typically, one older game paired up with one newer one.  The 12 machines used were:

Harlem Globetrotters &
NBA Fastbreak
Canada Dry &
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Medusa &
Time Machine &
Buck Rogers &
Dr Dude &

Although the rest of the show wasn't fully set up or officially open on Friday evening, spectators were welcome to watch the Country Competition and those machines not used in the tournament or set up for the EPC individual tournament could also be played.  Some 'early-bird' deals could also be found on those vendor stands which were set up.

Play was due to begin at 6pm, but with players still arriving and paperwork to complete, it was 6:45pm when the first game started.

As the competition got under way, the NBA Fastbreak soon buckled under the strain and was replaced by a Johnny Mnemonic, while the sensitivity of the tilt on a few of the machines drew comments from some players.

When all 16 teams had completed their qualifying round matches, the top six teams who progressed to the final were: Italia Tecnoplay Team: 69pts, Team Hungary: 60pts, Equipe de France: 59pts, Schweiz: 56pts, Dutch Pinball Team: 55pts & Spainball: 53pts.

These 6 teams then played a series of matches against each other using the same format as the qualifying round only with 5 matches per team this time.

This produced a victory for Team Hungary who beat last year's winners, Dutch Pinball Team into second place, with the Italia Tecnoplay Team in third.



1 Team Hungary
2 Dutch Pinball Team
3 Italia Tecnoplay Team
4 Spainball
5 Equipe de France
6 Schweiz
7 Team Sweden
8 Pinball Team Belgium
9 German Pinball Team
10 Playmaticos
11= UK Pinball Team #2
11= Amsterdam Pinball Masters
13 Pinball Team Belgium 2
14= Team Finland
14= UK Pinball Team #1
16 The Gratin Of Silverball

Saturday's action began at 10am when the qualifying round for the EPC individual tournament began.

The format was the same as the 2009 EPC held in the UK.  Each player could choose six of the available machines on which to play a single qualifying game.  The scores were ranked and ranking points awarded.  The total of a player's ranking points determined their overall position amongst the 154 players.

If a player got a single bad game there was a saving grace in the form of the 'joker' which every player could use to replay a game on one of their selected machines in an attempt to improve their score.  If they failed, their existing score stood, otherwise their new score replaced their old one.

The first games get under way as players size up the machines
The first games get under way as players size up the machines

There were 20 machines from which to choose the 6 to play.  They were:

Jet Spin
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Olympic Games
Buck Rogers
Rocky & Bullwinkle
Medieval Madness
Star Trek - The Next Generation
No Fear
The Lord of the Rings
The Simpsons Pinball Party
Big Buck Hunter Pro
The Rolling Stones
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Johnny Mnemonic

Some of the older games get some attention
Some of the older games get some attention

The outline rules were displayed in French and English versions at the entrance to the tournament area.

Mike Kindler surveys the rules
Mike Kindler surveys the rules

Scores were recorded on PDAs which allowed almost instant updating of the scores and positions.  A couple of mistakes were noticed but the players sportingly owned up to them and got them corrected.  There was also a short period of wireless network congestion, which resulted in a brief outage for the PDAs and a fall back to paper records.

Paper records of scores allowed games to continue without wireless connectivity
Paper records of scores allowed games to continue without wireless connectivity

A large screen at the back of the main row of machines cycled through the current standings on each game and the overall rankings.  Some of the lower rankings were not easily visible as they disappeared behind the backboxes, and by the end, with so many machine scores to display, the overall ranking positions only came around every minute or so which made for a fraught time for those on the cusp of qualifying who were moving up and down the rankings.

The current scores and rankings were shown on a large screen
The current scores and rankings were shown on a large screen

All the machines were set up to be tough to play and minimise game time.  Outlanes were set at maximum width and tilts were mostly very sensitive, although there was some variability in the tilt settings across the range of machines.

Early games are played before the machines become too busy
Brenn considers Stargate before the machines become too busy

Some players got their games out the way early in the day while others waited until later in the day to see where they could improve on the existing scores.  Ranking points were awarded to the top 45 players on each machine. 

The points awarded were fixed, with 100 points for the top scorer, 90 points for second, 75 for third, 60 for fourth, etc.  That meant the top points were not affected by the number of players who played the machine but got a lower score, and made the less popular machines more attractive for guaranteed ranking points.

The area got busier as the day wore on
The EPC tournament area got busier as the day wore on

When qualifying ended at 7:30pm these were the overall standings and the 36 qualifiers:

Pos Name
1 Timothée Hulin-Bouard
2 Krisztian Slalai
3 Daniele Celestino Acciari
4 Sylvain Grevin
5 Jörgen Holm
6 Laszlo Horn
7 Phil Dixon
8 Taco Wouters
9 Gérald Fleuriet
10 Nicola Pierobon
11 Martijn Van Aken
12 Julio Vicario Soriano
13 Martin Ayub
14 Jean Philippe Passarieu
15 Rafael Montes Benito
16 Andreas Harre
17 Albert Nomden
18 Stefan Proot
19= Fabrice Lefevre
19= Rasmussen Morten
21 Patrick Bodin
22 Franck Bona
23 Jilles Eijking
24 Albert Medaillon
25 Nick Marshall
26 Erno Rotter
27 David Deturck
28 Joel Wozniak
29 Lieven Engelbeen
30 Corentin Bucillat
31 Brenn Oosterbaan
32= Michel Dailly
32= Pierre Aubert
34 Vincent Chardome
35= Fabian Berranger
35= Carlos Javier Parra
37 Janne Toukkari
38 Tom Geneyn
39 Alain Boulieu
40 Zoltan Zsifkovics
41 Gabor Solymosi
42 Daniel Fassler
43 Stan Simpson
44 Antti Peltonen
45 Vincent Ratier
46 Jos Deboosere
47 Pierre Riesen
48 Didier Dujardin
49 Ludwig Jochen
50 Martijn Van Amsterdam
51 Miquel Juan Escuder
52 Peter Blakemore
53 Mikkel Sjolin
54 Christophe Magniez
55 Phillip Eaton
56 Vicente Zaragoza Gutierrez
57 Yan Baratte
58 Paul Jongma
59 Bert-Jan Brinkhuis
60 Vallejo Iratxe
61 Anthony Croes Lacroix
62 Nicolas Rees
63 Dennis Verleyen
64 Olli-Mikko Ojamies
65 Juan Antonio Bergasa
66 Stéphane Pinck
67 Harry Rolfe
68 Glenn Pellis
69 Kate Morris
70 Zoltan Babiczky
71 Eric Andries
72 Axel Bouet
73 Jean-Marc Paul
74 Giorgio De Stefani
75 Mark Van Der Gugten
76 Will Barber
77 Stefan Redetzky
78 Glenn Verhoosele
79 Alvaro Rosa Maiques
80 Tobias Lund
81 Nicolas Linqué
82 Matt Vince
83 Vincent Stevens
84 Mike Kindler
85 Nicolas Pytlak
86 Jérémy Reynaud
87 Alain Muller
88 Davide Del Prato
89 Pierre Thomas Colin
90 Dave Rolfe
91 Javier Nunez
92 Victor Machart
93 Dominic Escott
94 Jim Lindsay
95 Roman Kunovic
96 Loïc Grébonval
97 Cyril Bertat
98 Eric Rousseau
99 Joachim Reniers
100 Eddie Mole
101 Juan Antonio Martin
102 Pontus Qvarfordh
103 Rémy Luquet
104 Laurence Boulieu
105 David Grémillet
106 Frédéric Lefort
107 Timo Valkonen
108 Dave Willcox
109 Erwin Deutschlander
110 Olivier Renders
111 Stéphane Loriot
112 Pascal Van Wonterghem
113 Jean-Christophe Poulain
114 Pedro Diaz Gual
115 Christer Carlsson
116 Tom Loomans
117 Dirk Klaver
118 Franck Michaux
119 Christian Holmsten
120 Philippe Bergs
121 Alice Baffault
122 Rudy Flament
123 Thomas Bougard
124 Alexis Gueguen
125 Greg Mott
126 Frédéric Palluet
127 Clara Boulieu
128 Adrian Donati
129 Alejandro Yepes Pedra
130 Julien Geneslay
131 Laurent Detrez
132 Lene Andersen
133 Christophe Stevens
134 Kay Kuster
135 Laurent Van de Casteele
136 Mathieu Callu
137 Nicolas Gohier
138 Barbara Bernardin
139 Michel Rees
140 Nathalie Bergs
141 Julien Niceron
142 Fabien Baffault
143 Sébastien Droisart
144 Jean Dos Santos
145 Dimitri Verhoosele
146 Roni Valkonen
147 Sandra Aubèle
148 Aurélien Pavec
149 Johann Engrand
150 James Watson
151 Thomas Hare
152 Machteld Decloedt
153 Eric Gibert
154 Isabelle Girard

All places below the qualifiers are the final positions.

In addition, there were also two Kids Tournaments held at the event - one on Saturday and the other on Sunday.  Saturday's top three were:

Pos Name
1 Aurélien Detrez
2 Dylan Luquet
3 Jean Kunovic

With the first Kids Tournament and the individual qualifying places decided, all the machines were rapidly switched off and the hall vacated as everyone departed for a nearby hotel for a special guest dinner which began at 8pm.

The guest dinner
The guest dinner

The €30 dinner ticket bought guests a welcome cocktail, a 3-course dinner, a raffle ticket for a small selection of prizes and the chance to listen to the evening's guest speaker, Gary Stern.

Gary Stern gets a helping hand, or ten
Gary Stern gets a helping hand, or ten

Before Gary spoke, however, there was a prize raffle.  Each table of diners was named after a Stern pinball and everyone on the table got a numbered ticket.  A table was drawn followed by a seat number, and that lucky diner won a prize which ranged from a T-shirt and mug to the EPC show banner.

An EPC t-shirt and mug is the next prize
An EPC t-shirt and mug set is the next prize

The winner of the EPC banner collects his prize
The winner of the EPC banner collects his prize

The main prize in the raffle was a signed Avatar 3D translite which was claimed by Olga Petit.

The lucky winner of the signed Avatar translite
Olga Petit, the lucky winner of the signed Avatar translite

The raffle was followed by the start of dinner which consisted of a choice of smoked salmon tartare or chicken with vegetables, onions and beetroot to start, scallops, duck or rib steak for the entree, and apple pie for desert.  As expected, the food was of a high standard, though steak or duck eaters needed to like their meat cooked rare.

Part way through dinner, there was a quiz on Stern pinball with 10 questions about classic or moderns Stern games and a tie-breaker question to guess of the number of flyers Gary had brought with him to give away (60).

Gary then began his speech which was translated into French for the audience by Adeline Eaton.

Gary gives his talk with Adeline translating
Gary gives his talk with Adeline translating

Gary began by talking about his father's history in pinball and how he and Harry Williams worked together at Williams, before moving on to Stern Pinball today.  He stressed how the games are meant to be fun, but he also has to make the business work and pay the staff and the bills.

He talked about steps they are taking to produce a product for all three sectors of the market - home buyers, collectors/enthusiasts and operators/players - and emphasised that although some of the things they are doing now might seem nuts, they are doing them to preserve sales to the home buyer market.  He said they cannot make the same game for all three markets and they need all three or there wouldn't be enough sales to maintain the business.

One new area Gary spoke about is getting Stern involved in tournaments, through sponsorship of events or teams.  The Italian team was sponsored by Tecnoplay, Stern's distributor in Italy and that was something he wanted to see expanded.

After explaining the philosophy behind the reduction in game features and the increase in randomness, he said operators are telling him this is working to increase revenue from pinball.  He continued by saying they are making the premium (LE) model for collectors and will continue to increase what's included in the premium version.

He admitted they are still not sure what to do about the home (lite) versions but are still working on it.

Gary repeated his call to bolster pinball on location by asking bar owners to get pinballs back and guarantee them business with meetings or league nights.  If they location can't get someone to supply a pinball, think about operating one there yourself, he said.

Gary talks to the audience
Gary talks to the audience

The audience were then invited to ask questions.  These included (along with the answers):

- Why continue to use a DMD for scoring?
They are looking at different displays for the premium and home models.  For the first time, Gary said they would probably use an LCD for the premium model some day.

- Why use licensed themes?
It's not as expensive as you might think, it puts the Stern team in touch with other creatives and it by-passes the step of selling the concept of the theme to potential buyers.

- Why The Rolling Stones?
It's a great collector title with a very popular group. We can expect to see other rock 'n roll themes in the future.

- What is the future for Stern Pinball?
Gary said he's not going to live forever, so he brought a partner in to make sure the business outlasts him.

- What will Stern be making next?
The Rolling Stones Limited Edition

- How will Steve Ritchie take Stern to the next level?
He will be looking at different market segments and how to best fulfil them.

- Is it possible to increase the depth of the software in LE versions?
Yes, and this is something they are investigating.

Gary's talk continued for some time and the dinner finally drew to a close a little after midnight.

Fewer than 10 hours later, the hall re-opened and the top-ranked 36 players took part in the next round of the EPC individual tournament.

The organising team had been busy and had taken out several of the qualifying machines and added one new one.  The remaining machines were:




Jet Spin
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Olympic Games
Buck Rogers
Rocky & Bullwinkle
Medieval Madness
Star Trek - The Next Generation
No Fear


The Lord of the Rings
The Simpsons Pinball Party
Big Buck Hunter Pro
The Rolling Stones
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Johnny Mnemonic

In addition, Cactus Canyon was brought in to give a total of 10 machines.

The second round machines
The second round machines

This allowed the newest Stern machines such as The Rolling Stones, and Big Buck Hunter to be put into the free play area for everyone to enjoy.

The 36 players took part in a second qualifying round which worked much like the initial qualifying round, except each player had to choose 4 from the 10 available machines to record a qualifying score, plus there was no joker.

Play gets under way
Play gets under way

With only 10 machines to play, the qualifiers were split into 3 groups of 12. Qualifiers in positions 36-25 played first from 10am-11am, qualifiers in positions 13-24 played in the following hour and the top qualifiers played in the third hour.

The top 16 qualifiers from this round moved on to the quarter finals.  The second round positions were (qualifiers in bold):

Pos Name
1 Andreas Harre
2 Patrick Bodin
3 Jean Philippe Passarieu
4 Franck Bona
5 Michel Dailly
6 Timothée Hulin-Bouard
7 Jörgen Holm
8 Janne Toukkari
9 Julio Vicario Soriano
10 Taco Wouters
11 Nicola Pierobon
12 Martin Ayub
13 David Deturck
14 Jilles Eijking
15 Daniele Celestino Acciari
16 Martijn Van Aken
17 Carlos Javier Parra
18 Fabrice Lefevre
19 Albert Medaillon
20 Brenn Oosterbaan
21 Sylvain Grevin
22 Nick Marshall
23 Lieven Engelbeen
24 Gérald Fleuriet
25 Joel Wozniak
26 Corentin Bucillat
27 Erno Rotter
28 Laszlo Horn
29 Albert Nomden
30 Rafael Montes Benito
31 Krisztian Slalai
32 Stefan Proot
33 Vincent Chardome
34 Phil Dixon
35 Fabian Berranger
36 Pierre Aubert

After the two qualifying rounds, the format changed to knockout rounds all the way through to the final.

The 16 qualifiers were split into 4 groups of 4 and each group played a single 4-player game on a randomly selected machine, with the top 2 going through to the semi-finals.  Those quarter-final results were (qualifiers in bold):

Daniele Celestino Acciari
David Deturck
Franck Bona
Jörgen Holm
Julio Vicario Soriano
Nicola Pierobon
Martijn Van Aken
Timothée Hulin-Bouard
Jean Philippe Passarieu
Taco Wouters
Janne Toukkari
Michel Dailly
Jilles Eijking
Martin Ayub
Patrick Bodin
Andreas Harre

The 8 remaining players then played another knockout round on two randomly machines chosen by the highest qualifiers; Stargate and Creature from the Black Lagoon. 

Daniele chooses his next machine
Daniele chooses his machine

The two semi-finals
The two semi-finals

This semi-final round produced the final four:

Daniele Celestino Acciari
Timothée Hulin-Bouard
Franck Bona
Jörgen Holm
David Deturck
Nicola Pierobon
Martijn Van Aken
Julio Vicario Soriano

And so we get to the final of the 2001 EPC - a single 5-ball 4-player game played on Stern's newest game, The Rolling Stones.

The game was removed from the free play area and set up in the tournament area.  An overhead video camera was also positioned, so the audience could see the action on the playfield on the big screen.  The backboxes of the remaining machines were folded down so everyone could see clearly.

The video camera is set up
The video camera is set up

The four finalists with Gary Stern (L-R):
The four finalists with Gary Stern (L-R):
Timothée Hulin-Bouard, Daniele Celestino Acciari, Jörgen Holm & Franck Bona

First to play was Daniele who had little luck with his first and second balls before staging a partial recovery on his third to stand at 13.5M, with his last two balls to play.

Daniele plays his second ball
Daniele plays his second ball

Timothée played second and had the opposite fortune to Daniele, starting with a strong first ball and building on that success with his second to race ahead with 38M.  His third didn't add much to that, but his ball three total of 40.5M was three times that of his nearest challenger, Daniele.

Timothée races ahead on his second ball
Timothée races ahead on his second ball

Jörgen was third to play and got off to a reasonable start with a 6M first ball but wasn't able to build on that with the next two balls, standing in third place on 9.6M by the end of ball three.

Franck had the worst start of all four with poor scores on his first two balls before partially recovering to end ball three in last place on 7.2M.

With two balls left to play, these were the scores:

Name Ball 3 Score
Daniele Celestino Acciari 13.5M
Timothée Hulin-Bouard 40.5M
Jörgen Holm 9.6M
Franck Bona 7.2M

Ball four did little to help either Daniele or Timothée, adding just over a million to both players' scores.  Jörgen fared a little better and boosted his score by 6M as he worked towards starting several modes before collecting Rock Star multiball.

But it was Franck who got to grips with the game on ball four, starting Rock Star and Fast Scoring together to end on 22M.

Name Ball 4 Score
Daniele Celestino Acciari 14.7M
Timothée Hulin-Bouard 41.6M
Jörgen Holm 15.4M
Franck Bona 22.0M

It all came down to the last ball.

Daniele did well on his final ball, starting with a super skill shot and starting Rock Star multiball to nudge ahead of Franck and move into second place with his 23.7M total.

Timothée added another 6M to his total as he looped the centre ramp over and over to build up his bonus multiplier, but couldn't save the ball when it rolled out of the pop bumpers and down the side.  Still, with his 47.6M he must have been confident of taking the win.

Jörgen continued with his plan of starting Licks mode with Rock Star multiball, but was thwarted when the ball drained with just one letter of R-O-C-K-S-T-A-R to collect.  His 16.8M total put him in fourth place.

Which left just Franck to try to beat Timothée's total.

Franck steps up to play his last ball
Franck steps up to play his last ball

It looked to be all over when the ball headed for the right outlane with Franck on 26M, but a great nudge popped it into the inlane and set him up to start Album multiball followed by Rock Star multiball.

Just 2M behind and Rock Star multiball started, Franck gives Timothee a smile
Just 2M behind and with Rock Star multiball started,
Franck gives Timothée a knowing smile

Rock Star multiball was enough to take Franck's score past Timothée's, at which point he abandoned the game as the audience applauded the new EPC champion.

Name Ball 5 Score
Daniele Celestino Acciari 23,771,550
Timothée Hulin-Bouard 47,664,250
Jörgen Holm 16,695,050
Franck Bona 57,209,290

Franck gives his son a long hug
Franck gives his son a long hug

Straight after the final, the presentation of the trophies to the top four took place, with Gary Stern and Nicolas Linqué handing out the awards.

Fourth placed Jorgen Holm
Fourth-placed Jörgen Holm

Third-placed Daniele Celestino Acciari
Third-placed Daniele Celestino Acciari

Runner-up Timothée Hulin-Bouard
Runner-up Timothée Hulin-Bouard

EPC 2011 Champion, Franck Bona
EPC 2011 Champion, Franck Bona

In addition to his trophy, Franck also picked up €600 in cash, while Timothée earned himself €300, Daniele won €150 and Jörgen €100.

You can watch the final for yourself, straight from the video camera used for the big screen.  It is available on YouTube, split into four parts.

This was Franck's second EPC win, having previously triumphed in 1997 when it was held in Valkenburg in The Netherlands, making him the only player to win the Championship twice.

The prize-giving was not over though.  Sunday's Kids Tournament was won by Marie Raison who was not present to collect the award.  Sunday's top three were:

Pos Name
1 Marie Raison
2 Paul Baffault
3 Adam Bona (Franck's son)

Second-placed Paul Baffault
Second-placed Paul Baffault
Third-placed Adam Bona
Third-placed Adam Bona

There were also awards for the best female player which was won by Vallejo Iratxe who received a trophy and €100,

Best female player, Vallejo Iratxe
Best female player, Vallejo Iratxe

and the best senior player which was won by Pierre Aubert.

Best senior player, Pierre Aubert
Best senior player, Pierre Aubert

These awards brought the 2011 EPC to a close.

The event had been very popular with 154 competitors in the individual EPC tournament and 16 teams in the Country Competition. 

There were also around 1,500 paid entries to the show over the weekend which probably accounted for the difficulties finding an available machine to play during most of the show hours.

As with any show and major international tournament there will always be areas for improvement.  Comments made to us suggested more scoring displays would be a good idea, so players could easily see their current rankings instead of waiting for them to come round on the main screen. 

Given the number of visitors and vendors, a little more space would also have been helpful but otherwise the venue was modern, clean, nicely lit and well ventilated.  The area is also very pleasant and the accommodation options (including a camping site just a short walk away) meant most places were within a reasonable walking distance.

So congratulations to the EPC organisational team.

The EPC 2011 team
The EPC 2011 team

Finally, here's our exclusive Four Minute Tour of the EPC hall.

The EPC will be back in 2012 when it will be held in Spain.  We'll be there, of course, to bring you all the action.

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