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Portland Pinbrawl 2015 – And the winner is…

Players battled it out on over 30 pinball machines in fantastic condition thanks to our techs. Photo by Dylan Higgins.

Players battled it out on over 30 pinball machines in fantastic condition thanks to our techs. Photo by Dylan Higgins.

Mako Honig locked in an epic game of "Funhouse" where one shot could make or break a champ. Photo by JohnNils Olson.

This year’s Portland Pinbrawl once again had an exciting finish! The final match pitted Maka Honig of Seattle against Raymond Davidson, also of Seattle. Maka reached the final undefeated, and Raymond’s only loss was to Maka on “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Being a double elimination tournament, Raymond needed to beat Maka twice to emerge victorious, and could not afford to lose a match. The pressure was on!

Portland Pinbrawl 2015’s finals machine was “Funhouse”, the 1990 Williams classic designed by the legendary Pat Lawlor. It’s a tough and very unforgiving table, and scoring 5 million will usually earn you a replay. Being really good at pinball, both players had no trouble doing so.

Raymond quickly won the first two games and thus the first match, then won the first game of the second match, putting the pressure on Maka. For him it was win or go home time, and he won the second game handily.

After 13 hours of playing pinball, it all came down to one game. The winner would take home the grand prize of $750 cash and the 2015 Pinhead Trophy. The loser would take home $500 – and the regret of having come so close without succeeding. Maka led with a strong ball 1, and continued to build his lead on balls 2 and 3, finishing with 18,752,830 points. When Raymond stepped up to play his final ball, he only had 6,592,500 points. Many thought the deficit was too large to overcome. But Raymond chipped away at it, until he activated Funhouse’s “Millions” mode. Each shot into the trap door would score more points. 1 million. 2 million. 3 million. Suddenly, Raymond had 15,453,500 points, and one more shot would score 4 million, pushing his score past Maka’s. Could he do it before the trap door closed? The seconds ticked down. Raymond lined up his shot…yes! The ball went in the trap door, putting him in the lead. There was no more to play for, so he turned around, victorious. After the bonus was counted, Raymond’s final score was 21,729,800, almost 3 million more than Maka’s. If he hadn’t made that last shot, things may have ended differently.

Raymond Davidson takes on "Funhouse", a tough game that demanded precise play. Photo by JohnNils Olson.

The final results:

1st Raymond Davidson
2nd Maka Honig
3rd Tim Tournay
4th Aaron Nelson (a previous Portland Pinbrawl champion)
5th Kevin Birrell
Garret Hays
7th Kevin Nickel
Andy Cobb
9th Jeff Gagnon (also a previous champion)
Blake Mitchell
Robert Gagno (another past champion)
Todd Rafacz

We’d like to thank Raymond and Maka for the suspenseful final matches as well as everyone else who competed, Isaac Ruiz and Team Brackelope for officiating a very well-run tournament, PAPA for sanctioning Portland Pinbrawl as part of their official tournament circuit, PBR for promotional prize items and a tent, Hopworks Urban Brewery for more prize items, and last but not least, the Ground Kontrol tech team for tuning our tables to tournament trim.

If you missed out, don’t worry – Ground Kontrol will host Portland Pinbrawl 2016 next April. Save your quarters, and start practicing now!

Ground Kontrol CEO Jeffrey McEachin awards Portland Pinbrawl 2015 Champion Raymond Davidson the coveted "Pinhead" trophy. Photo by JohnNils Olson.

Ground Kontrol CEO Jeffrey McEachin awards Portland Pinbrawl 2015 Champion Raymond Davidson the coveted “Pinhead” trophy. Photo by JohnNils Olson.