I haven’t done one of these in a while. The opportunity landed in front of me to experience Einstein’s Pub first-hand (in advance of the approaching tournament on Sunday, December 10).
Earlier in the week, I had loaded the PayRange app (and added $10) onto one of my phones in anticipation of this possibility. Earlier in the day, I was a gallery host at FotoFest for one of the last days of the exhibition entitled Re/thinking Photography (which has since closed). After a couple of stops on the way home, I set back out to Einstein’s Pub in Katy.
I arrived shortly after 7:45 pm. All eight machines were powered up: The Champion Pub, Theatre of Magic, Star Trek, Attack from Mars (remake), The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Ghostbusters, and Iron Man. I wound up playing Attack from Mars, Star Trek, and Game of Thrones, with the majority of my time on Star Trek (the replay score was a touch under 21M, with a 100% boost).
My best scores on the night were, in order: Star Trek, 55.4M+; Game of Thrones, 254.8M+; Attack from Mars, 4.290B+. Looking at league nights past, they measure up fairly nicely, though not of the caliber that triggers the initials entry mode, and nowhere near triggering a wizard mode at any point. (Though to be fair about it, I was not constrained by only being able to play one extra ball were I to win multiple extra balls in one game. I might have had two extra balls in one of the games of Attack from Mars, though if I did, the additional extra ball didn’t affect the score that much.)
I did get to play one two-player game in the course of the night. Turns out Star Trek was her favorite game and before I asked her to join me in a two-player game, she played The Walking Dead and Theatre of Magic. Not surprisingly, I had a pretty good first ball (somewhere around 36M if I remember right, I didn’t keep records after each ball the way I did for the playoffs), so much so that she took to playing another game of The Walking Dead while waiting for me to finish. The final score of 51.7M+ was a bit short of my best on the night, but way more than enough to win over Ms. “Oops I So Didn’t Realize I Challenged A Pinball Wizard” and her 7.1M+ score.
It’s not that I was even trying to win by such a large margin; it just sort of happened. I guess some of it could be attributed to pent-up frustration from the “Star Wreck” games at the end of SCPL Season 5. Maybe I’m a bit different than most others in this respect, but I just play; I don’t have a separate “casual” play mode versus a “competitive” play mode. It’s all the same to me. To some, it may seem like I’m always in “competitive” mode. I hope this doesn’t cost me too many potential friendships. (Or, for that matter, dating opportunities!)
Overall, I had a great time getting in some much-needed practice, with the added bonus of getting some much-needed familiarity with Einstein’s prior to the tournament.