Date: April 10th 2008
Location: Pinball-Shop, Uhlandstraße 1, 71101 Schönaich, Germany

Report by Andreas Gräber

On Thursday 10th April 2008, the 2nd Burgstall (Castle-Barn) Pinball Tournament was held by the regional Pinball League of Stuttgart.

The first tournament was held for children from my son´s soccer club but this was the first time we had played a fully competitive tournament. It was great fun and it gave the opportunity for many other players from Stuttgart to have a little tournament play.

Normally we play in the Stuttgart league with 6 players in familiar atmosphere. Now, though, the season is over and we are waiting for the big final on 6th September.

When organising the tournament, we were very quickly able to get professional help from Thomas Ziegler with his Pinball-Shop. He has over 400 machines in stock from the 1950s to the newest Stern games and he hosted the tournament in one of his three showrooms.

Trophies for the winners
The trophies and prizes

The tournament was announced on the German pinball forum and before long, the registration list for the maximum 20 players was full.

We played the tournament in the "Hurricane Mode" thanks to Röbbi Sutter. Considerately, Röbbi gave me his Excel sheets to use to run the tournament. There's more about the Hurricane Pinball-Club in the recent Pinball News report and at www.hurri.ch

Games in the hall
A few of the games in the showroom

The Hurricane Mode makes it less stressful for the players. We played 5 Rounds and every round the player was mixed with others in a different group. It allowed plenty of time for talking and looking around in the very nice game halls.

Players during warm up
Players getting some practice

In the first round we played the following machines:

  • Bally Black Jack (1976)
  • Gottlieb Spirit of 76 (1975)
  • Gottlieb Super Mario (1992)
  • Stern World Poker Tour (2006)
  • Stern Grand Prix/Porsche Custom Pin (2005)

Porsche backglass
The Porsche GT3 translite

The Porsche Custom Pin was really awesome. With so many little details, the players found it fascinating. It took many months to create this masterpiece.

Porsche side art
The cabinet side art

Porsche playfield
The modified Grand Prix playfield with Porsche artwork

Over 50 machines were running in the Schönaich showroom. We saw Electromechanical, early electronic, Sys11, Data East, Gottlieb, WPC, WPC95 and Stern.

Games in the hall
Some more of the showroom games

Everything, especially the EM and early electronic machines were in mint condition and looked like new.

The games in the showroom
Some of the newer games in the showroom

It was a very familiar and friendly atmosphere in the showroom and with more than one row of machines, all the players could play comfortably and without stressing each other.

Games in the hall
Porsche, Monster Bash and Lord Of The Rings

Games in the hall
An UltraPin alongside more dot-matrix and solid state games

After the first round, the 2 best players went straight into Round 3 (the final). Jochen Schuhmacher and Andreas Gräber got these glory places.

The remaining 8 players fought in round 2 to secure the last 2 places in the final.

It was late in the evening and we decided to play a 4-player shoot-out to decide the places. Dirk Meckes won his shoot-out on the Terminator 2. Marco Wopkes was the winner on Star Trek – The Next Generation.

After 3 hours we started the final on Creature From The Black Lagoon.

Jochen Schuhmacher and Dirk Meckes very quickly took the lead and they stayed ahead right to the end. With the last ball it was Jochen who got the first place, followed by Dirk. With much luck Andreas Gräber grabbed third place. Marco, a great player and champion got the fourth place.

The winners
Andreas, Jochen and Dirk with their trophies

For the award ceremony, it was Pinball-Shop's Thomas Ziegler who awarded the cups to the winning players. For last place we had a little surprise - Steffen Kupfer won a Pinball Miniature.

So we had a great deal of fun and the people who don't normally play tournaments or in leagues were really surprised how much fun it was. I think gave some good publicity and promotion to the pinball community. As a result, we got over 1300 clicks on our thread in the German Pinball Forum.


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