In memoriam: William Thornton

Recently, I learned the unfortunate news regarding the untimely passing of William Thornton in early April. I did play in a few tournaments and league nights alongside William, though his job in the transportation industry unfortunately limited his opportunities to play pinball in the Houston area. William was a great person and remained friendly to me despite our completely opposing political views. He will be sorely missed in the Houston pinball community.

If you have not already, now is a good time to go back and read:

Late January through early May

So apparently I have some catching up to do. There have not been many tournaments; it’s mostly been “normal” trips to the arcade/bar, so I’m going to be posting mainly summaries. Some of them may be out of order, as there are some more recent events I want to give priority.

It is important to recognize that when I am documenting the highlights of one of my arcade visits, it is not necessarily a full-on endorsement of that facility. It’s the same with tournaments and leagues. I hope to organize tournaments and leagues in the near future but may find myself playing in whatever is available as there are only so many venues locally suitable for tournaments.

As much as I wish this were the case, not every establishment with five or more machines is automatically suitable for a tournament. Even then, not every establishment that meets the standards for what I’d consider to be a tournament/league ready venue will necessarily be willing to work with me or my league, or even to have such an event at all under the auspices of any league or tournament director. It’s disappointing but that’s the way it is.

As I get to documenting more recent events, I will have an important viewpoint to post; expect this to drop Wednesday at the latest (more likely Tuesday afternoon to evening) later this week, most likely Saturday (edit: due to some new information I’ve learned which I will need time to investigate). The full piece may not be on this blog; I will post a shorter summary with a link here if that is the case.

Speedy’s visit summary through January 28

This is a very quick summary of what I was able to put up through the last three weeks of January give or take. This includes one post-tournament game on January 24 but the actual tournament will be summarized in a later post. So yes, this will be slightly out of chronological order, something I don’t really like to do but which is unfortunately necessary to get caught up in a timely fashion.

  • TMNT normal game, 26.7M+ grand champion and Leonardo champion 1/24
  • TMNT final battle challenge, 20.7M+ 1/23
  • Iron Maiden, 321.9M+ 1/23 high score #1
  • Munsters, 19.1M+ 1/21
  • JP normal game, 254.8M+ 1/28
  • JP Escape Nubular, 275.0M+ 1/26
  • Deadpool, 205.5M+ 1/28
  • Super Pac-Man, 76,040 1/15
  • Q*Bert, 18,875 1/21
  • Millipede, 78,394 1/28
  • Track & Field, 96,110 1/23 (game has video issues but score is legible)

All in all I’m pretty happy with most of these, particularly Millipede, TMNT final battle, JP Escape Nubular, and Iron Maiden.


Game Preserve Tuesday Three Strikes, January 12

Not one of my better tournaments, so I’m going to go through it very quickly and summarize most of what I remember. TL;DR: I only lasted four rounds, meaning I avoided a strike in only one round; the rest of the tournament also went by fairly quickly.

Round 1 was Charlie’s Angels with Matt Rodon, Holden, and Fred Revnew (I would play first). We were playing this title as a two-player game since there were issues with the fourth player score display. On this game I’ve put up scores well into the hundreds of thousands on this game before, and even rolled over the score counter a couple of times. All of that meant jack spit this evening as I would put up a truly cringeworthy 36,610. Matt would put up a more respectable 205,420. Holden would put up a rather lacking 109,250, and Fred would seal the deal with a 327,910, most of it on one ball. So that’s strike one.

Round 2 would send me over to Star Wars with, Fred Revnew, Kevin Tooley, and Holden (I would be playing third). I never really had much of a chance. I was able to put up 84.7M+ after two balls, but Fred and Kevin signed off with 478.6M+ and 291.0M+, so my third ball would have needed to be a minimum of 207M and change for me to possibly be safe. It wasn’t, in fact, it was a real turd and I’d sign off with 98.4M+ good for third place and strike number two.

Round 3 would finally drop a bit of better luck on me. Holden, Dillon Neal, and Alyssa would be my opponents (I would play second). I was a bit worried at the start of ball 3 as it was a fairly close game. Holden had already wrapped up with 74.1M+, which could be no better than third. Dillon had 89.2M+ for the lead at that point, and Alyssa was way back with 21.0M+, both with a ball still left to play. I would call it a wrap with 132.8M+, Dillon would put a lid on it at 172.4M+, leaving Alyssa, who I had never seen play in a tournament prior to tonight, though to that point she had been the weak link in the group. I got a bit nervous, but finally got to exhale as she signed off with only 49.5M+.

Round 4 would bring on Game of Thrones, with Josh Merlet and Hunter Reed (I would play third). Hunter ran away with it posting a 288.4M+, Josh had put a lid on it with 17.4M+. I would start ball 3 with 7.2M+, not a high score by any means, but it should have been fairly easy for me to dodge a third strike here. Emphasis on “should”. I’d end the night with the third strike here putting up only 15.1M+ and give Josh another round that arguably, he didn’t earn (though he would bust out the following round anyway).

My finish: ninth place of 12 players. You’d think after the previous tournament I would have done better than that against many of the same players.

Eventually, Fred and Jack Revnew would agree to split first place after eight rounds, as it was getting late and they were the only two players left. I’d hang around and put in a few more games. Quick summary of the (better) non-tournament games that night:

  • Frogger: 17,290
  • Charlie’s Angels: 1,441,590 (where was this during the tourney?!)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: 109.7M+
  • Centipede: 34,857
  • Twilight Zone: 291.7M+
  • Tri Zone: 212,960

A site about one man's quests for record videogame highscores, pinball tournament championships, fame, and stardom.

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