Looking ahead and other miscellaneous post-season thoughts

Note: Due to recent events, Shawn no longer recommends participation in Space City Pinball League events until further notice. Please see this post for more information and the Bayou City Pinball League website for alternatives.

Okay, so it’s been a good five days (give or take a few hours) since my historic first place in the B division playoffs. I still have a hard time believing it’s for real, and I don’t think it has anything to do with not having the trophy yet (the cash portion of the prize has been in the bank and is already partially spent).

I don’t know when the next season will start until it’s announced, but sometime in 2018 March is a possibility. So it’s too soon to think about that. The only definite things coming up are the tournaments at The Game Preserve (which I may be able to start attending again in early 2018) and Einstein’s Drainiacs (at, obviously, Einstein’s in Katy) due to resume in December. There is also the Texas Pinball Festival Wizards tournament, which for me is also not guaranteed as I did not have enough room to comfortably afford the $70 before entries sold out. I am, however, on the waiting list as of whenever my “purchase” of a waitlist spot is processed. (“Purchase” is in quotes because it’s using the shopping cart software but the waitlist spot is priced as a $0.00 item.)

I do want to make it to another big tournament besides the TPF Wizards tournament, especially if I never make it far enough down the waitlist. The most likely candidates are Cactus Jack’s in Oklahoma City in late April and the Bat City Open in Austin in June, not necessarily in that order. At this point though, finances permitting, I’d take just about any trip to play in just about any tournament outside of at least Houston, if not outside of Texas, just to see how I measure up with people I know nothing about with regard to pinball skill.

The next couple of weeks (weekends in particular) I’ve got a relatively full schedule, either with various volunteer shifts or family affairs. I do need to find time to play some pinball, even if it’s just whatever is at Hay Merchant or Poison Girl. I don’t practice nearly as much as I should. I don’t think any amount of practice would have prepared me for being in the spot I was in game 3 of the semifinals, needing some 8.5M points on Medieval Madness just to be able to catch up in a game where I absolutely, positively needed to win to stay in the tournament, and then coming through with enough to put me at over 28M with a commanding lead.

That (game 3 of the semifinals) was really the game of the tournament for me. Yes, I did need to win the two games in the finals, and at least a third place in the final game, to bring home first place. But none of that even happens without what I did on ball 3 on Medieval Madness in the semifinals. A game, I might add, that for a long time I hated because of the terrible luck I had; for a while it was an accomplishment to get through a whole game without tilting.

Medieval Madness is still not my favorite game of those we have recently played in the league; that honor would go to Dialed In, with Batman 66 and Ghostbusters not far behind. (I do miss The Hobbit and Game of Thrones, though.) But I’ve learned to make the most of it no matter what game I wind up on in any given round or on any given league night. That’s something I had trouble with as recently as two seasons ago (and arguably during the playoffs last season as well).

I will update with my next planned appearances as I know more information. To my fans and followers, thanks for being a part of this. I do appreciate it.