Return to zero, and the Texas Pinball Festival

This past February 11 came and went with little fanfare, but something happened on that day. Something quite noteworthy, and perhaps something rather unfortunate in a way, but it is what it is.

As of 2022 February 11, I no longer have any active IFPA-endorsed events in my player history. I had taken a voluntary hiatus from competitive pinball play as of June 2019, and had planned to resume right around the time the COVID-19 pandemic hit. (Once the pandemic hit and the IFPA temporarily suspended endorsing events, the earliest I could have had some type of IFPA-endorsed events in my ranking history would have been last August.)

This is, of course, only a temporary situation. I’m not giving up on competitive pinball, and I’m certainly not giving up on playing major tournaments and the chances at fame, honor, and prizes that go with winning them.

On that note, this coming Friday through Sunday, March 25-27, is the Texas Pinball Festival. I will be competing in the Wizards tournament. It’s my first tournament in almost a year (despite my attempts to organize tournaments in the interim). Time permitting, I may be issuing live updates, probably on my Mastodon account. More about that later (I will be posting again prior to my departure from Houston).

But first, I need to clear the air about something. When it comes to competitive pinball events, I still intend to play to win. Of note, however, is the often-overlooked yet quite important difference between the object of the game and the object of playing the game. The object of the game is to win, get the highest score, etc; the object of playing the game is to have fun and enjoy the experience.

These two objectives should not be, and are not supposed to be, mutually exclusive. That is, one should be able to both play to win and play to have fun, and neither have to give up playing to win in order to have a good time nor have to give up having a good time in order to play to win.

I hope to continue to enjoy whatever competitive pinball experiences I am able to participate in for the remaining time I am able to do so on a regular basis. The day may come where it’s just not fun any more; I obviously hope that day is far into the future, if it ever arrives.


It’s gonna be a while before you see anything like this again.