🥁 🥁 🥁 Eric Stone!! And if you’re yawning & saying, “Hey no big surprise here,” well, it WAS, actually. Final rounds in this tournament were BRUTAL babees, and the competition was TOUGH. Eric’s fellow PinGolfers made him fight for this one. This re-cap from Jeff Palmer of FLIPS is an amazing look into all that goes into a big pinball tournament win:
“To those yawning about Eric winning yet again, let me share some details to wake you up.
As the third place finisher here, it was a great match.
Over the years, Eric, Dan and I have been in a lot of battles together.
Yes Eric won, (he often does) but even the weatherman couldn’t predict the shifting winds from pingolf.
Here is how close it was and an insight to the brutality of the format.
After game one on Aerosmith picked by Eric, the scores were 1 and 1 for Eric and Dan, 3 for Jeff and 5 for Michael. Eric and Dan already have a 2 shot buffer at a minimum and are obviously feeling good.
On to Last Action Hero picked by Eric. Both Eric and Jeff aced this hole in qualifying, but Dan hit a 2. Eric is not concerned about Jeff since if they both ace, Eric still maintains a 2 stroke lead. Eric is focused on Dan.
Eric misses the target on ball one by not cashing in on the multiball and Eric’s frustration clearly is heard by the crowd, and he knows right now he could turn over the lead to Dan.
The door is now open for Dan to take the lead on Eric acing the hole. Incredibly Dan almost follows the exact same missed multiball sequence and also falls short.
The door is now open for Jeff and Michael to gain ground.
Jeff aces the hole, but unfortunately Michael struggles and ends with a 4. Eric and Dan both regroup and end with 2s
So now the scores are 3, 3, 4, 9 With one game left. Jeff is now within one shot. Michael unfortunately is effectively out of contention being 6 strokes back. It is almost impossible to make up that much ground especially on 3 players.
Eric has a decision. All he has to do is pick a game he almost assuredly can do well on. It doesn’t matter what Dan and Jeff do. The format is such that if you make a hole in one nobody can outdo that. So aces the hole and if Dan does the worst that happens is a tiebreaker.
Eric’s pick will likely be a control game. But the games he can control are similar to what Dan and Jeff can control and after what just happened on LAH, he can not afford to miss a stroke.
After deliberation he picks Fish Tales. This is a very quick, straightforward game to ace, but can be tricky.
Dan did not get a hole in one on any of the 18 holes, however Jeff made a hole in one on this not once, but twice as did Eric. Clearly Eric is going for the win and not concerned if Jeff aces the hole.
Eric plays first and shockingly has a quick ball. The best Eric can hope for is a 2, but now he is in trouble. Dan is now in prime position to ace the hole, pass Eric and there would be nothing Eric could do to avoid 2nd at best.
Incredibly, Dan falls short, so now he and Eric are currently tied again.
All of a sudden Jeff has an opportunity to tie both Eric and Dan for first place and force Eric and Dan to catch him. There is a even a remote possibility of Jeff winning this
Eric and Dan can only hope Jeff misses this opportunity. Eric is audibly questioning why he picked the game. Dan is also in trouble. Both know that after a cushy 2 shot lead, there is a real chance of a tiebreaker needed or possibly a lower finish if Jeff aces and either or both has another house ball.
This is the biggest moment in the whole tournament right now and the tension and pressure is incredible. The place is silent aside from the fish tales music running.
Jeff autolaunches the ball. 6 ramps and a spinner to go. And then poof-quick ball drain. Eric and Dan breathe a heavy sigh of relief and Jeff knows he will not get a second chance with those 2 players-he is right. It’s over. The agony of defeat.
Michael is next, and has a quick ball following suit. Probably the lowest 4 player cumulative total on FT in ages. Crazyville
As expected Eric and Dan complete the hole next ball and there is nothing Jeff can do to catch them. Eric and Dan know this. Playing on is pointless but there could in theory be a swap at 3rd and 4th, but highly unlikely. Michael concedes to Jeff since he is so far behind. Jeff is 3rd, Michael will be 4th.
Eric and Dan go onto play a tiebreaker on Taxi,.which Eric aces and Dan falls short. Eric wins. Rightfully so. He played great.
The point of the long tale is this: There are generally no footnotes in the win loss column. People generally only remember winners.
Experiencing the above is what makes competitive pinball great.
However, if you were not there, yeah, yeah, yeah, Eric Stone the Florida State Champion and 3rd best player in the world wins a local event again. Yawn.
How he won it is the story that keeps you awake 🙂
Great job Eric, Dan and Michael. It was an honor to be in the final 4 with you .”
In addition to another kick-ass trophy on the shelf, Eric will earn the right to 50% off the registration fee into the 2020 IFPA Pin-Masters ($50 value). Our event is not only a IFPA Sanctioned Pin-Golf Tournament, but also a Satellite event for the IFPA Pin-Golf Tour: The 2020 Pin-Masters.