Date: August 13th - 15th, 2010
Location: Barcelo Daventry Hotel, Sedgemoor Way, Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 0SG, United Kingdom.

Report and pictures: Pinball News
Additional photography: Andrew Heighway, Gary Flower, Olli-Mikko Ojamies

The UK's biggest pinball event took on a new face this year as the UK Pinball Show gave way to the first ever UK Pinball Party, held at the Barcelo Daventry Hotel.

The venue for the UK Pinball Party
The venue for the UK Pinball Party

The UK has had a regular annual show in the shape of the UK Pinball Show since 2005, but following organiser Nick Bennett's decision not to hold a show this year, Andrew Heighway stepped up to the plate and formed the UK Pinball Party.

The mix was broadly the same as before - a hall full of pinballs and vendors, combined with several tournaments and an awards dinner with a special guest.  There was also an added video games element which we shall look at a little later.

To help ensure a good supply of games for visitors to play, Andrew drove around the country in the days before the Party, picking up machines in a 7.5 tonne truck and delivering them to the venue.  To help him with those collections, Peter Blakemore also hired a truck to pick up games from the South West of England to bring to the Party.

Games already arrived in the hall
Games already delivered to the hall on Friday morning

The first two machines are set up
The first two machines are set up

Those pickups continued right up to the show opening time of 5pm on Friday, while other machines arrived with their owners throughout the day and on Saturday morning.

The main public entrance to the show was at the far end of the pictures above.  At the opposite end of the hall was a stage and it was here that the Pinball News-hosted tournaments and presentations took place.

Computer systems on the stage with tournament games in front
Computer systems on the stage with tournament games and seating in front

Once a core of machines had arrived, they could be laid out according to the floor plan and the electrical cables arranged.  Andrew Harris had designed the electrical plan which was then implemented on the day by Chris Williams.

Andrew and Chris discuss the power arrangements
Andrew Heighway and Chris Williams discuss the power arrangements

With the power outlets organised, machine set-up could begin in earnest.

Eddie Mole and Darren Ball set up the main raffle prize - a Party Animal
Eddie Mole and Darren Ball set up the main raffle prize - a Party Animal

More machines are set up
More machines are set up

Nick Marshall, Phil Dixon and Mark Squires set up a machine for that evening's UK Pinball Team Tournament
Nick Marshall, Phil Dixon and Mark Squires set up an Elektra for that evening's
UK Pinball Team Tournament

As the clock ticked on towards opening time, the packing materials were cleared away, the power cables tidied and the computer systems readied for the public opening.

Entrance to the UK Pinball Party cost £5 for Friday and £10 for Saturday or Sunday.  Tickets could be purchased either on the door or in advance through the website, which also offered discounted packages including accommodation at the Barcelo and places at the special awards dinner on Saturday night.  A three day show ticket was also available, saving £5 off the individual day prices.

Andrew Heighway and his family staffing the front desk
Andrew Heighway and his family staffing the front desk

There were plenty of souvenirs available at the front desk.

A small selection of the items for sale at the front desk
A small selection of the items for sale at the front desk

There were also several vendors selling new and used spare parts, translites, pinball memorabilia and numerous other pinball-related items.

At the front of the hall opposite the front desk, Pinball Mania had a good selection of new items to help repair or maintain your game.

Dave Emery with Lisa and Andy Netherwood at the Pinball Mania stand
Dave Emery with Lisa and Andy Netherwood at the Pinball Mania stand

Apart from selling items from his stand, Andy Netherwood was also to be found roaming the hall looking for faulty machines to repair and bring back to life as quickly as possible for the visitors to enjoy.

On the right-hand side of the hall, Gary Flower & Dennis Nordman were selling pinball flyers, translites, documentation and clothing.

Dennis Nordman's and Gary Flower's stands
Dennis Nordman's and Gary Flower's stands

Dennis's stand included this Whoa Nellie! T-shirt, modelled here by Lorena Sibson.

WhizBang T-shirts were on sale at Dennis Nordman's stand
Whoa Nellie! T-shirts were on sale at Dennis Nordman's stand

Dave Willcox had a wide variety of new and used pinball parts on sale at competitive prices at the adjacent stand.

Dave Willcox's stand
Dave Willcox's stand

Meanwhile, over the other side of the hall Albert Medaillon was selling his range of LED kits (when he wasn't competing in any of the tournaments).

Albert Medaillon's LED stand
Albert Medaillon's LED stand

Right at the front of the hall, Millisoft were demonstrating their Pinterface pinball control system, which allows almost anyone to design their own set of rules, add sound, light and display effects, and run them all on a PC system.

The Millisoft stand
The Millisoft stand

To help show how their system worked and the possibilities it offered, they brought along a custom home-built Star Trek game which ran using the Pinterface controller and features an LCD panel in the backbox for scores, instructions and video clips.

The Millisoft Star Trek
The Millisoft Star Trek

It wasn't all pinball though. In the room next door was a display and demonstration of classic video games systems set up as a precursor to the R3PLAY show being held in Blackpool this November.  Although they were all video game systems, even here there was a strong pinball presence.

Some of the video games consoles available to play
Some of the video games consoles available to play

Thirteen different console or computer systems were set up.  They were:

Amiga 1200
Atari 2600
Atari 7800
Namco Arcade Joystick
PC engine
Playstation 2 (1 slim, 1 regular)
Playstation 3
Prinztronic V5500
Sega Multimedia/CDX
Space Invaders TV Plug-in
Xbox 360

More games consoles
More games consoles

The video games proved very popular with the younger visitors and it gave newcomers a possibly more palatable introduction to pinball before they moved next door to try the real thing.

Pinball on the Xbox
Pinball on the Xbox

Soon after the show opened to the public at 5pm, it was time for the first competitive event of the weekend - the UK Pinball Team Tournament.

Tournament Team members Anne Raison, Adeline Prevost, Dawn Raison and Jayne Raison at the tournament desk
Tournament Team members Adeline Prevost, Anne Raison, Dawn Raison and Jayne Raison at the tournament desk

The tournament desk on the stage took registrations, handed out player badges and sold special pin badges across the three days. It was also the hub for the tournament scoring system by Philip Eaton and Dawn Raison, which once again used handheld computers to input the scores from the floor below over wi-fi.  Overall rankings and individual machine scores were then displayed on two projectors on either side of the stage and a monitor at the front.

The PA system in the hall was provided by Dawn Raison and Mike Parkins, and it was used throughout the weekend not only for tournament announcements, but to welcome visitors to the show, for the various prize giving ceremonies, the awards dinner and for the prize raffle.

The machines used in the tournaments varied each day and were arranged in an arc around the stage, allowing easy viewing of all the scores as the games took place.

Players ready themselves for the Team Tournament
Players ready themselves for the Team Tournament

Seating for competitors or spectators was provided along the front of the stage while the additional monitor showed detailed breakdowns of the individual tournament scores to supplement the information on the projector screens.

Team Tournament players make their preparations for the competition
Team Tournament players make their preparations for the competition

Headed by Nick Marshall, the Team Tournament featured 16 teams of 4 players, split into groups of 4 teams, all of which played 3 of the 12 available machines against other teams in their group. 

Winning a match would earn a team 5 points, losing earned them nothing. This was followed by a bonus machine which all 4 teams in the group played, earning them either 9, 5, 2 or 0 points depending on their score.

Gary Flower and Dennis Nordman - one half of Team WhizBang - talk tactics with Wild Zero's Eddie Mole
Gary Flower and Dennis Nordman - one half of Team WhizBang - talk tactics with Wild Zero's Eddie Mole

Entry to the Team Tournament cost £10 per team (£2.50 per player) and registration was pre-booked through the show website with a maximum of 16 teams taking part.

Wild Zero:
Greg Mott, Eddie Mole,
Peter Blakemore, Nick Hill
Team Finland:
Olli-Mikko Ojamies, Jussi Kahola,
Timo Valkonen, Ilkka Hieta
The Creatures from the North:
Garry Speight, Eddie Lehan,
David Dutton, William Dutton
Redeye Pinball - Scotland:
John Higgins, Ian Fitzpatrick,
Chuck Tibbitt, Michael Connochie
The United Nations of Pinball:
Peter Scheldt, Albert Medaillon,
Phil Dixon, Nick Marshall
The Modfathers Part 2:
Stan Simpson, TV's Wil Barber,
Mark Squires, Mike Kindler
Yorkshire Puddings:
Kate Morris, Jim Lindsay,
Charles Lindsay, Nigel Lunt
Drain Daemons
Paul Cowan, Alan Syson,
Colin Hampton, Darren Ball
Team SDTM:
Craig Atkins, Roger Thornton,
Mike Parkins, Dan Hardy
The Addam's Family:
Nick Critchlow, Mark Hawkins,
Adrienne Critchlow, Lynn Hawkins
Team WhizBang:
Dennis Nordman, Martin Ayub,
Gary Flower, Poibug
For Amusement Only:
Paul Owen, Dave Langley,
James Watson, Ross Hamilton
The Pinball Predators:
Tom Hare, Brenn Oosterbaan,
Dave Sibson, Lorena Sibson
Lords of the Pin:
Franck Bona, Yann Baratte,
Kevin Dorothé, Cindy Rivas
Fliptastic Four:
Adrian Donati, Jim Brady,
Paul Reddington, Phillip Eaton
The Oddballs:
Richard Wade, Doug Smith,
Marie Irshad, Dominic Clifton

The winning team members would all receive trophies, medals and certificates while second to fourth placed teams won medals and certificates as well.  All the trophies up for grabs over the weekend were on display in the tournament area.

The glittering prizes - laser etched crystal trophies and medals
The glittering prizes - laser etched crystal trophies and medals

The Team Tournament qualifying round progressed quickly and to schedule, continuing until the results from all four groups were recorded.

Group A Pts
Creatures From The North   24
The United Nations Of Pinball  10
Team SDTM  7
Yorkshire Puddings  5

Group B Pts
The Pinball Predators  19
Lords Of The Pin  15
Drain Daemons  10
For Amusement Only  2

Group C Pts
Wild Zero  24
The Modfathers Part 2  10
The Fliptastic Four  10
Redeye Pinball  2

Group D Pts
The Addam's Family  19
Team WhizBang  15
Team Finland  10
The Oddballs  2

So, the Creatures From The North, The Pinball Predators, Wild Zero and The Addam's Family went through to the four team final.  This was a 4-player, 4-ball game where each team member played 1 ball.  The team with the highest score at the end was the winner.

The final machine was drawn at random by Adeline and ended up being Indianapolis 500.

Eddie Lehan plays his ball on Indianapolis 500
Eddie Lehan plays his ball on Indianapolis 500

By the time it came to the last ball, the Creatures From The North didn't need to play their fourth ball as they had already won.  Second were Wild Zero with The Pinball Predators in third and The Addam's Family in fourth.

Pos Team Name
1 Creatures From the North   230,000,000
2 Wild Zero  110,080,960
3 The Pinball Predators  61,970,590
4 The Addam's Family  26,000,850

The prize-giving ceremony then took place with Dennis Nordman presenting the awards to the four teams in the final and Tournament Director Martin Ayub making the announcements.

The Addam's Family receive their fourth place awards
The Addam's Family receive their fourth place awards

The Pinball Predators are presented with their medals and certificates
The Pinball Predators are presented with their medals and certificates

Second placed Wild Zero also receive their prizes
Second placed Wild Zero also receive their prizes

And finally, the winners of the 2010 UK Pinball Team Tournament, Creatures From The North.

Dennis Nordman presents the trophies to
Dennis Nordman presents the trophies to:
William Dutton, David Dutton, Garry Speight & Eddie Lehan

Ahead of the individual tournaments which would run on Saturday and Sunday, there was a 3-day-long simple high score challenge running on Mike Parkins' Cactus Canyon. When the High Score Shootout closed at 4pm on Sunday, whoever had the highest score would win a special trophy.

While the Team Tournament and the High Score Shootout were taking place on Friday, more games had arrived and been set up in the rest of the hall.  So when the show re-opened on Saturday morning, there was a wide range of pinballs - from Contact to Iron Man - for visitors to enjoy.

Contact side-by-side with a Cirqus Voltaire
Contact side-by-side with a Cirqus Voltaire

Iron Man and Big Buck Hunter were there too
Iron Man and Big Buck Hunter Pro were there too

Paul Cowan gets a handle on Demolition Man
Paul Cowan gets a handle on Demolition Man

You're never to young too flip out
You're never too young to flip out

In all a total of 107 pinballs and 5 videos were set up in the main hall.  Here are the pinballs:

Aladdin's Castle Jurassic Park - The Lost World
Apollo 13 Medieval Madness
Attack from Mars Medieval Madness
Bad Cats Mephisto
Bad Cats* No Fear
Batman Forever No Good Gofers
Big Buck Hunter Pro Operation Thunder
Big Fair Party Animal
Big Guns Party Zone
Black Knight 2000 Party Zone
Black Knight 2000 Pink Panther
Black Knight 2000 Pirates of the Caribbean
Black Rose Revenge from Mars
Black Rose Road Show
Blackout Road Show
Bram Stoker's Dracula Rocky & Bullwinkle
Bram Stoker's Dracula Rollercoaster Tycoon
Cactus Canyon Scared Stiff
Checkpoint Scared Stiff
Cirqus Voltaire Silverball Mania
Contact Solar Fire
Defender South Park
Demolition Man Speakeasy
Demolition Man Spectrum
Doctor Who Star Trek (DE)
Doctor Who Star Trek (Millisoft)
Dr Dude Star Wars Episode 1
Eight Ball Deluxe Stargate
Elektra Stargate
Elvira & The Party Monsters Starship Troopers
Elvis Strange Science
F-14 Tomcat Surf 'n Safari
F-14 Tomcat Tales of the Arabian Nights
Fire Mountain Terminator 2
Firepower II Terminator 3
Fish Tales The Bally Game Show
Fish Tales The Champion Pub
Futurama (Demo) The Lord of the Rings
Gold Wings* The Machine - Bride of Pinbot
Guns 'n Roses The Shadow
Haunted House The Shadow*
High Speed The Simpsons Pinball Party
High Speed 2 - The Getaway Theatre of Magic
High Speed 2 - The Getaway Theatre of Magic
High Speed 2 - The Getaway Torpedo Alley
Hyperball Twilight Zone
Indianapolis 500 Varkon
Indianapolis 500 Vector*
Indianapolis 500 White Water
Indianapolis 500* White Water
Iron Man White Water*
Jokerz Who Dunnit?
Judge Dredd World Cup Soccer
Judge Dredd*  
* Machine not working when the list was drawn up

The video games were: Defender, Space Invaders Part II, Cruisin' USA, Golden Tee and Real Ghostbusters.

The opening of the show at 10am on Saturday also heralded the start of the qualifying round of the UK Pinball Open.

Seven of the previous day's Team Tournament machines remained, but five had been exchanged to give a total of twelve for competitors to play. They were:

Attack from Mars Fish Tales
Bram Stoker's Dracula High Speed 2 - The Getaway
Cirqus Voltaire Indianapolis 500
Creature from the Black Lagoon Medieval Madness
Dirty Harry Terminator 3
Doctor Who World Cup Soccer

The format was a familiar one with some tweaks to turn what was previously a 3-day event into a single day tournament.

Players in the UK Pinball Open qualifying round
Players in the UK Pinball Open qualifying round

Qualifying ran from 10am until 4pm and during that time competitors could choose 6 of the 12 available machines and play a single qualifying game on each of them. The scores achieved would be ranked against all other scores on that machine and ranking points awarded, starting with 100 points for the top score, reducing as you moved down the list.

An overall ranking table showed each player's points from their 6 games along with their total number of points. The 24 players with the highest points totals would move on to the next round.

There were 60 pre-registered players who were guaranteed a place in the tournament plus another 12 entries which would be sold for £10 ($15) on a first-come, first-served basis when the show opened at 10am. A queue formed for these and in the end 26 players were waiting to buy entries to the Open. The 12 available places quickly sold out and the remaining 14 hopefuls were put on a waiting list in case they could be fitted in later in the day.

Players in the UK Pinball Open
Players in the UK Pinball Open

At 1pm, with 3 hours of qualifying gone and another 3 to go, enough competitors had played their games to allow the 14 players on the waiting list to be included. If everyone had waited until later in the day to play their games it may not have been possible to include them, but the judgment was made by the team to allow them to take part, meaning everyone who wished to play was accommodated. With 2 pre-registered players not able to attend, the total number of competitors in the UK Pinball Open 2010 was 86.

When qualifying ended at 4pm, there was just one last game in progress, so when that ended and the score was recorded, the rankings for the qualifying round were complete.

Pos Name Points
1 Franck Bona 490
2 Martin Ayub 476
3 William Dutton 476
4 Greg Mott 433
5 Nick Marshall 431
6 Phil Dixon 424
7 Yan Baratte 412
8 Andy Heighway 394
9 Adrian Donati 385
10 Garry Speight 382
11 Brenn Oosterbaan 372
12 Dan Hardy 366
13 Janne Toukkari 363
14 Mike Parkins 357
15 Kate Morris 353
16 Ed Duckworth 339
17 Tom Hare 328
18 Nick Hill 325
19 Eddie Mole 323
20 Jussi Kahola 315
21 Peter Scheldt 312
22 Olli-Mikko Ojamies 311
23 John Higgins 308
24 Steve Jones 303
25 Petri Taurio 302
26 Timo Valkonen 301
27 Colin Hampton 292
28 John Oliver 289
29 Martyn Raison 289
30 Paul Cowan 289
31 Albert Medaillon 288
32 Mark Alexander 286
33 Stan Simpson 286
34 Martin Wardle 281
35 Alex Wilcox 280
36 Eddie Lehan 279
37 Dominic Clifton 275
38 Alan Syson 274
39 Graham Rowley 273
40 Aid Cooper 268
41 Chuck Tibbitt 266
42 Tony Smith 257
43 Mark Squires 250
44 Roy Bussink 243
45 Matthew Vince 241
46 Will Barber 237
47 Dave Willcox 234
48 Peter Wignall 227
49 Dave Langley 224
50 Phillip Eaton 224
51 Neil Fellender 218
52 Jim Lindsay 217
53 Kevin Dorothe 216
54 Mike Kindler 208
55 Harriet Hawkins 200
56 Janine Timson 198
57 Doug Smith 195
58 Charles Limdsay 192
59 Nigel Baker 188
60 Paul Owen 187
61 Jayne Raison 184
62 Andrew Larsen 180
63 Lorena Sibson 178
64 Roni Valkonen 178
65 David Dutton 176
66 Louise Mansell 176
67 Alex Hooper 174
68 Ian Fitzpatrick 174
69 James Watson 168
70 Gary Edge 167
71 Jim Brady 167
72 Malc Lashley 167
73 Peter Blakemore 167
74 Paul Hawkins 163
75 Ilkka Hieta 146
76 Dave Rolfe 131
77 David Rogers 130
78 Mat Larsen 119
79 James Baker 103
80 Adam Burns 91
81 Dennis Nordman 91
82 Amy Duckworth 89
83 Marie Irshad 81
84 Fiona Franklin 79
85 Harry Rolfe 66
86 Tony Mansell 47

A full breakdown of all the points earned on each machine can be viewed on the UK Pinball Open webpage.

The second round (quarter-finals) began straight away. In this round, the 24 players were split into 12 pairs and played a single 2-player game on a nominated machine. When all the games were completed, they moved on to a second machine with a different partner to play another 2-player game. This continued 2 more times until everyone had played 4 games on different machines, each with a different partner.

Before each new game, players were given 30 seconds of warm-up playing time to get a feel for the machine, the tilt sensitivity, the skill shot strength and other important factors. When the first player's 30 seconds were up, the second player took over for their 30 seconds before the game began for real.

The scores on each machine were ranked and the total ranking points for each player were shown on the screens. Greg Mott had devised a player/machine schedule which balanced the ranking of players so each player would be ranked against an even spread of qualifiers.

When all games were finished, these were the second round rankings. The top 8 players would progress to the semi-finals.

Pos Name Points Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4
1 Martin Ayub 364 100 FT 100 WCS 82 DW 82 AFM
2 Peter Scheldt 347 100 CFTBL 100 DH 82 CV 65 T3
3 Janne Toukkari 312 100 MM 82 I500 65 BSD 65 CV
4 Nick Marshall 268 100 I500 82 HS2 50 T3 36 AFM
5 Franck Bona 265 100 HS2 65 DW 50 CFTBL 50 CV
6 Brenn Oosterbaan 263 100 DW 100 BSD 50 MM 13 HS2
7 William Dutton 228 100 T3 65 MM 50 BSD 13 FT
8 Adrian Donati 225 100 AFM 65 CFTBL 36 I500 24 MM
9 Garry Speight 214 100 CV 65 DH 36 FT 13 I500
10 Greg Mott 188 82 DH 65 WCS 36 BSD 5 CV
11 Yan Baratte 181 82 MM 50 AFM 36 T3 13 CV
12 Nick Hill 166 82 BSD 36 CFTBL 24 WCS 24 DH
13 Eddie Mole 165 82 WCS 65 I500 13 T3 5 AFM
14 Mike Parkins 158 82 T3 50 HS2 13 WCS 13 DW
15 Phil Dixon 147 82 CFTBL 36 DH 24 BSD 5 WCS
16 Dan Hardy 137 50 DH 50 I500 24 T3 13 CFTBL
17 Kate Morris 127 50 WCS 36 DW 36 MM 5 CFTBL
18 Andy Heighway 125 65 HS2 50 FT 5 I500 5 DH
19 Jussi Kahola 123 50 DW 36 HS2 24 AFM 13 MM
20 Tom Hare 118 65 AFM 24 HS2 24 DW 5 FT
21 Steve Jones 113 82 FT 13 DH 13 BSD 5 HS2
22 Olli-Mikko Ojamies 111 65 FT 36 WCS 5 DW 5 BSD
23 Ed Duckworth 85 24 FT 24 CFTBL 24 CV 13 AFM
24 John Higgins 70 36 CV 24 I500 5 T3 5 MM

There were two semi-final rounds. In the first, the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th ranked players from the second round played a single 3-ball game on a randomly drawn machine. In the second, the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th did the same on a different machine.

The first group played on Dirty Harry and the second on The Getaway. The top two players from each semi-final would go into the final.

The first semi-final
Franck Bona plays in the first semi-final

The first semi-final
Brenn Oosterbaan plays in the second semi-final

The semi-finals saw all four remaining UK players drop out to play in the 5th-8th place play-off, and Peter, Janne, Franck and Brenn go into the final.

Semi-Final 1 (Dirty Harry)
Pos Name Points
1 Janne Toukkari 681,427,230
2 Franck Bona 427,887,900
3 William Dutton 200,565,880
4 Martin Ayub 151,758,160

Semi-Final 2 (High Speed 2 - The Getaway)
Pos Name Points
1 Peter Scheldt 325,185,120
2 Brenn Oosterbaan 297,051,500
3 Nick Marshall 154,046,490
4 Adrian Donati 92,425,200

With the four finalists decided, the 3rd & 4th placed semi-finalists played another game to decide places 5th-8th. The machine drawn at random was Doctor Who and the result of that game was:

5th-8th Play-Off (Doctor Who)
Pos Name Points
5 Nick Marshall 315,630,040
6 Martin Ayub 169,349,080
7 Adrian Donati 23,119,300
8 William Dutton 21,446,450

Only the final match remained, and that was to take place one hour later at the guest awards dinner, downstairs in the CATS suite.

Once the Open was ready for its finale, it was time to present the trophies for Saturday's UK Pinball Kids Tournament.

There were two Kids Tournaments held at the UK Pinball Party - one on Saturday and one on Sunday. They were separate high score competitions with trophies awarded for both. Saturday's was held on The Simpsons Pinball Party and after 50 entries, the final standings were:

UK Pinball Kids Tournament (Simpsons)
Pos Name Points
1 Martyn Raison   43,726,750
2 Roni Valkonen  25,688,220
3 Benjamin Lawrence  13,800,790
4 Tim Raison  7,418,320
5 Alex Donati  5,867,410
6 Matthew Darlington  4,671,360
7 Michael Donati  4,338,450
8 Christopher Steven  3,840,710
9 Nathan Lawrence  3,605,860
10 Alex Darlington  2,899,670
11 Giuseppe Bastillo  2,253,600

Martyn Raison's top score was almost double that of his nearest challenger and gave him first place. Roni Valkonen did likewise to secure second ahead of Benjamin Lawrence in third.

Martin Ayub presents the awards to: Roni Valkonen (2nd), Benjamin Lawrence (3rd) & Martyn Raison (1st)
Martin Ayub presents the awards to:
Roni Valkonen (2nd), Benjamin Lawrence (3rd) & Martyn Raison (1st)

The doors to the hall shut around 7:30pm and visitors either went off to freshen up ahead of the dinner, went straight to the dinner or made their own arrangements for the evening.

Those who went straight to the dinner got to see the final of the UK Pinball Open taking place.

The four finalists:
The four finalists meet their foe:
Janne Toukkari, Franck Bona, Peter Scheldt and Brenn Oosterbaan

The trophies. medals, certificate and cash prizes for the finalists
The trophies. medals, certificate and cash prizes for the finalists

The final was held on a beautifully restored Williams White Water, designed by the Party's guest of honour Dennis Nordman who watched the Open reach its conclusion. He was joined by the many dinner guests who enjoyed the action in person around the machine, or by watching on a projection screen.

Dinner guests watch the final on the screen
Dinner guests watch the final on the screen

First to play was Brenn who got off to a respectable start to take an early lead after everyone's first ball.

Brenn was first to play in the final
Brenn was first to play in the final

That lead continued through the second ball and into the third where Brenn ended on a total of 320,551,430.  Janne's score got up to 150,421,710 before his game came to an end and Franck nudged ahead of Janne with his 173,756,830 total.

That meant only Peter could beat Brenn's score and take the champion's title.

Peter played last in the final
Peter played last in the final

The ball lock kickout got the ball stuck - as it had earlier in the game - and the glass had to be removed to free the ball and place it in the shooter lane.  Peter then needed to shoot the lock to start multiball, but a vicious rebound off the lock target send the ball into the drain, leaving Peter on 301,264,960, just short of Brenn's total.

Final (White Water)
Pos Name Points
1 Brenn Oosterbaan 320,551,430
2 Peter Scheldt 301,264,960
3 Franck Bona 173,756,830
4 Janne Toukkari 150,421,710

So Brenn Oosterbaan won the  UK Pinball Open 2010.  Dennis Nordman presented all the finalists with their prizes as the audience returned to their seats for the start of the evening's dinner.

Brenn receives his prizes from Dennis
UK Pinball Open 2010 winner, Brenn Oosterbaan
receives his prizes from Dennis

After the 3-course meal had been served, Andy Heighway welcomed everyone to the dinner and the first of the evening's awards were presented.

The idea for a Hall of Fame began with Nick Bennett's UK Pinball Show in 2008 when John Trudeau, Martin Ayub and Andy Netherwood were inducted, and continued the following year with Steve Ritchie, Gary Flower and Nick Bennett.

Three new Hall of Fame inductees were added at the UK Pinball Party.  The first of these was Mark Squires who was instrumental in getting the first UK Pinball Shows off the ground, runs the Swavesey event and looked after many of the pinball repairs over the weekend.

Mark Squires receives his trophy and certificate as he is inducted into the UK Pinball Group Hall of Fame
Mark Squires receives his trophy and certificate as he is inducted
into the UK Pinball Group Hall of Fame

The second inductee was the evening's guest speaker, Dennis Nordman.

Andy presents Dennis with his induction trophy and certificate
Andy presents Dennis with his induction trophy and certificate

The final new entrant to the Hall of Fame couldn't be in the hall as he was 4,000 miles away in a Chicago branch of Barnes & Noble booksellers. But that didn't stop Gary Stern accepting his induction and giving an acceptance speech via a video link with the UK Pinball Party.

Gary Stern appears at the show on a video link
Gary Stern appears at the show on a video link

Gary Stern had his induction certificate sent to him before the show, and at the end of his speech he held up the frame to show it to the audience at the hotel.

The audience listens to Gary's acceptance speech
The audience listens to Gary's acceptance speech

Gary wasn't the only one to make an appearance at the dinner by video.  2008 inductee John Trudeau recorded a message for the audience in which he expressed his regret at not being at the show, recalled his time working with Dennis and spoke about an upcoming pinball project he is working on with pinball enthusiasts in the UK.

John Trudeau's video message
John Trudeau's video message

Last year's guest speaker Steve Ritchie also sent a message to the Party which was relayed to the audience by Gary Flower.

After Steve's message, two more presentations were made.  The first was the Pingame Journal award for the best pre-1990s machine at the show which went to Dave Roberts for his Elvira & The Party Monsters.  Although he sent his games, Dave wasn't able to make it to the show himself, so his award was collected by his friend Will Barber.

Will Barber collects the award on Dave Roberts' behalf
Will Barber collects the award on Dave Roberts' behalf

The second award was for the best dot-matrix game at the show and this was won by Darren Ball for his White Water which was used in the UK Pinball Open final.

Darren Ball collects his award from Andy
Darren Ball collects his award from Andy

Dennis then stood up to give his presentation about his life in the pinball business, starting with his innovative designs for pinball cabinets which got him into pinball in the first place.

Dennis talks about his early cabinet designs
Dennis talks about his early cabinet designs

His original design for Demolition Man
His original design for Demolition Man

He spoke about his days working with Greg Freres on the "Party" games - Party Animal, Party Zone, Elvira & The Party Monsters - as well as his dirt biking days and the trouble that landed him in.

As the designer of two Elvira-themed games, Dennis talked about his fun experiences working with her and the trade shows they visited to launch the games.

He also brought us up-to-date with his latest projects including the Whoa Nellie! game he and Greg are creating.

You can hear Dennis's talk at the UK Pinball Party for yourself.  Just click the play button on the audio player below, click the link to the MP3 or right click it to download the file.

Audio available for download Dennis's presentation in mp3 format, 128Kbps, 33MB

Get the Flash Player to hear this audio clip.

The awards dinner ended with Andy thanking the many people who contribute to the UK Pinball Party and congratulating the UK Pinball Open finalists and all those who received awards at the dinner.

With that, the dinner ended and guests either stayed to chat with Dennis or retired to the Fuel bar upstairs for the remainder of the evening, while the dining room equipment was derigged.

The Party's third day opened to the public at 10am, but for some the work to get the show ready had begun more than an hour earlier.  The 12 tournament machines from the UK Pinball Open had to be returned to general play and the 8 machines used in that day's UK Pinball Classic had to be installed and made tournament-ready.

The tournament began soon after the show opened and despite some teething trouble with a couple of the machines, before long all 8 machines were in use. 

The UK Pinball Classic gets underway
The UK Pinball Classic gets underway

This continued most of the day with around 500 games played before the qualifying round ended at 3pm.

The top scoring player on each machine then progressed to the semi-finals.  A player could only qualify on one machine, so if they came top on more than one, the machine where they had the greatest lead over the second-placed player was their qualifying machine and the next-placed player on the other machine would go through.  This introduced a second level of strategy to the qualifying round.

UK Pinball Kids Tournament continued with a second daily tournament and a new machine to play.  Out went the Simpsons Pinball Party and in came a Bally Game Show to provide some additional variety.

The UK Pinball High Score Shootout also continued until 3pm when the winner would be declared and there were other events being held in different parts of the hotel.

The Millisoft team moved from their stand in the hall to set up in an adjacent room and present a seminar on their Pinterface system.

The Millisoft seminar
The Millisoft seminar

The narrow doors prevented the Pinterface-driven Star Trek getting  into the seminar room, but it was set up just outside for guests to play and examine the workings.

For those players who had pre-qualified through the 5 regional heats, the final of the UK Pinball League was also taking place at the UK Pinball Party.  Organised by Greg Mott, five machines were moved into the Westerburg Room for the start of the 2-hour practice period which began at 11am.

White Water, Creature, Dirty Harry and Cirqus Voltaire
White Water, Creature, Dirty Harry and Cirqus Voltaire

The fifth UK Pinball League Final machine - Twilight Zone
The fifth UK Pinball League Final machine - Twilight Zone

When the practice period ended at 1pm, the 19 competitors were split into 4 groups of 4 and 1 group of 3, and everyone played a single 4-ball game on each machine.  Scores were recorded and then ranked, and the player with the most points at the end would be the UK Pinball League National Champion.

The 95 games took over 2 hours to complete, thanks in part to the 1 billion+ score on Twlight Zone by Nick Marshall and the 2 billion+ score on Creature by Martin Ayub.

When all the scores had been entered into the computer by Dawn Raison, the final rankings were:

Pos Player Total Points
1 Martin Ayub 83
2 Stan Simpson 74
3 Eddie Lehan 68
4 Nick Marshall 67
5 Peter Blakemore 59
6 Martin Wardle 55
7 Tom Hare 55
8 Benny Benstead 54
9 Terry Sullivan 54
10 Garry Speight 51
11 William Dutton 46
12 Phil Dixon 45
13 Roy Bussink 45
14 Eddie Mole 42
15 Greg Mott 41
16 Chuck Tibbitt 35
17 Dave Langley 26
18 John Higgins 26
19 Will Barber 24

So last year's winner, Martin Ayub, retained his title of UK Pinball League Champion with Stan Simpson in second and 2007 League Champion Eddie Lehan in third place.

Martin Ayub receives his trophy from UK Pinball League Coordinator, Greg Mott
Martin Ayub receives his trophy and certificate
from UK Pinball League Coordinator, Greg Mott

Full scores from each machine can be found on the show website in the UK Pinball League Final area.

After the UK Pinball League final presentations, Greg handed out a number of trophies and certificates to the top players in each of the League's five national regions, the best young players and the best female players.  Details of the winners from each region can be found on the UK Pinball League website along with information on how to join the upcoming season.

Sunday afternoon proved to be a busy time.  Apart from the UK Pinball Classic, UK Pinball Kids Tournament and UK Pinball League final, there was also a prize raffle.

Tickets were £5 for a strip of 5 tickets or £10 for 3 strips and all proceeds from the draw went to Great Ormond Street hospital for sick children. 

Prizes included many pinball-related souvenirs such as translites, T-shirts and plastics from Stern Pinball, T-shirts from Marco Specialties as well as beach towels and miniature slot machines from Electrocoin, a mobile phone from Mark Squires and Nokia, a laptop computer from Simon Phelps/SPC, a croquet set from Pete Matthews, a Party Animal translite signed by Dennis Nordman from Steve Padgett and a Revenge from Mars network kit from Jim Askey.

The star prize was the Party Animal machine signed by Dennis shown at the start of this report.

The prize raffle draw takes place
The prize raffle draw takes place

Winning tickets were drawn on the stage in the tournament area and announced by Andy.  Prizes - along with a selection of game plastics donated by Stern Pinball - were then handed over to the lucky recipients by Dennis.

Raffle ticket buyers wait to see if they have won
Raffle ticket buyers wait to see if they have won

After all the winning tickets had been drawn, Andy and Dennis distributed the remaining pinball plastics by throwing them into the crowd.

Catch 'em if you can
Catch 'em if you can

Once the raffle was over, the final stages of the UK Pinball Classic tournament could be competed.

The top scores on each machine are shown below and the qualifier is highlighted:

Big Fair
Name Score
Brenn Oosterbaan 2,025
Peter Scheldt 1,646
Nick Marshall 1,371
Tony Smith 1,160
James Baker 1,085

Name Score
Albert Medaillon 1,401,850
Timo Valkonen 1,361,310
David Dutton 1,182,790
Ilkka Hieta 820,440
James Watson 665,820

Eight Ball Deluxe
Name Score
Franck Bona 12,729,340
Janne Toukkari 6,672,810
Brenn Oosterbaan 4,359,630
Tony Smith 3,453,490
Alex Wilcox 2,620,250

Name Score
Timo Valkonen 2,073,930
Janne Toukkari 1,709,600
Nick Marshall 1,624,440
Tony Smith 1,274,950
Darren Ball 1,208,320

Fire Mountain
Name Score
Albert Medaillon 536,270
Ilkka Hieta 503,160
Peter Scheldt 460,910
Jussi Kahola 419,040
Brenn Oosterbaan 355,130

Firepower II
Name Score
Janne Toukkari 2,157,080
David Dutton 1,979,380
Brenn Oosterbaan 1,115,260
Nigel Lunt 1,040,570
Ilkka Hieta 981,710

Haunted House
Name Score
William Dutton 892,720
Janne Toukkari 654,400
Paul Cowan 596,300
Petri Taurio 465,990
Nigel Baker 359,130

Pink Panther
Name Score
Albert Medaillon 1,208,810
Franck Bona 1,166,990
Yan Baratte 909,100
Kate Morris 611,340
Peter Blakemore 430,690

As with the UK Pinball Open, the eight semi-finalists were split into two groups and the top two from each group's game went into the single game final.  The bottom two from each goup went into a play-off for 5th-8th place.

In the semi-finals it was Brenn, Janne, William and Yan who were triumphant and went on to face each other in the grand final held on Elektra (which was drawn at random).  Of the four, only Janne had played recorded a top 10 score on Elektra earlier in the day, so he had to be the favourite to win.

The final takes place on Elektra
The final takes place on Elektra

Janne put up a good score of 2,200,630 but it wasn't enough to beat the previous evening's Open winner Brenn, as he scored 2,521,400 to wrap up his second win of the weekend.

Janne was second, while Yann was third with a score of 1,519,440 and William was fourth on 735,220.

In the play-off for 5th-8th, it was Franck Bona who won the game on Haunted House with his score of 598,940 to take 5th. Timo Valkonen's 334,560 earned him 6th place, while Albert Medaillon's 316,370 and David Dutton's 132,000 gave them 7th and 8th places respectively.

The presentations were held straight after the final and hosted by UK Pinball Classic head Mike Parkins.

Fourth placed William Dutton
Fourth placed William Dutton

Third placed Yann Baratte
Third placed Yann Baratte

Second placed Janne Toukkari
Second placed Janne Toukkari

UK Pinball Classic 2010 winner, Brenn Oosterbaan
UK Pinball Classic 2010 winner, Brenn Oosterbaan

All four finalists won laser-etched crystal trophies, medals, certificates and cash prizes.

And the good news kept coming for Brenn as he also won the UK Pinball High Score Shootout on Cactus Canyon with a score of over 90 million set early into the competition.

Brenn with his UK Pinball High Score Shootout trophy
Brenn, now also with his UK Pinball High Score Shootout trophy

Finally, the top three in the day's Kids Tournament held on the Bally Game Show were presented with their trophies.

Keeping the win in the family, Saturday's winner Martyn Raison gave way to his younger brother Tim as the two of them took the top two places.  Saturday's second-placed Roni Valkonen took third place on Sunday.

UK Pinball Kids Tournament (Game Show)
Pos Name Points
1 Tim Raison   12,593,950
2 Martyn Raison  8,481,450
3 Roni Valkonen  7,471,440
4 Michael Donati  4,142,120
5 Alex Donati  3,307,040
6 Rebecca Hill  2,731,260
7 Jack Hill  1,959,050
8 Ryan Ladyman  581,010

Roni Valkonen took third place
Roni Valkonen took third place

Martyn Raison was second
Martyn Raison was second

The winner of Sunday's UK Pinball Kids Tournament was Tim Raison
The winner of Sunday's UK Pinball Kids Tournament; Tim Raison

With all the tournaments completed and the prize presentations over, the first UK Pinball Party came to a close and the packing away could begin.

It would take several more days for all the machines picked up before the show to be returned to their homes and quite a bit longer for all the boxes of cables, paperwork and assorted pinball parts to be sorted out.

Everyone who went seemed to agree the UK Pinball Party had been a success.  Holding it in a hotel in the same way as some other shows removed any travelling time and avoided any exposure to the weather (which took an unseasonal turn and rained for most of the weekend).

The selection of games was nicely varied, including some of the more unusual games such as Mephisto, Varkon, Fire Mountain, Elektra, Spectrum and Aladdin's Castle.  Pretty much everything ran to time - even the Team Tournament which always seems to overrun at shows all around the world.

Dennis Nordman was an excellent show guest and speaker - always happy to talk about his games, sign anything thrust under his nose and present awards across the three days, in addition to his entertaining and informative dinner presentation.

Naturally, thoughts now turn to the 2011 Pinball Party and we'll have full details in our Diary section just as soon as they are available.

Finally then, you can tour the UK Pinball Party show for yourself with our exclusive Three Minute Tour video. Just click on the picture below to play the video.

Back to the shows page

Back to the front page