How To Be a Pinball Wizard

How To Be a Pinball Wizard

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Date(s) - 03/16/2019
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Pittsburgh Pinbal Dojo


Our 2 hour “Pinball 101” class at the Pittsburgh Pinball Dojo, 2 N. Balph Avenue, will start by introducing players to the very basics of pinball machines. There will be plenty of hands on time during the class to try out what you’ve learned, and the Dojo will remain open after the class for folks to take time to practice.

If you don’t know the difference between a slingshot and a pop-bumper, we’ll walk you thru the anatomy of the components you’ll find on a pinball playfield. We’ll briefly discuss the different eras of pinball machines, and get you started on all the basics of starting a game and how you take turns when a multi-player game with friends.

We’ll take you from just trying to keep the ball from draining to a more controlled style of play. We’ll introduce you to some basic ball control skills you can use to slow down the game and start to tame the randomness inherent in pinball. We’ll cover shot aiming, cradling the ball, dead bouncing, and moving the ball to the flipper of your choice. We’ll talk about the role of nudging, and explain warnings and the inevitable tilts you’ll experience as you start to play better.

Then we’ll explain some overall scoring strategies, and explain how you start to think about improving your scores. Well explain bonus and bonus multipliers. We’ll talk you thru locks, multiball and jackpots. Finally, we’ll give some examples of game-specific goals for getting bigger scores.

There will be a chance for more hands on time, and one on one time with the instructors after the formal class ends so you can work specific issues or get feedback and maybe some goals for what to work on.

The class will be led by Jon Replogle and Jake Kolojejchick. They are both on the board of the Pittsburgh Pinball Dojo.

Jon has been a active member of the local Pittsburgh pinball community for the last 20 years. He’s a member of the Replay Foundation team organizing the world’s-largest Pinball and Arcade festival which fills the David Lawrence convention center every July. Jon is an announcer on PAPAtv YouTube and Twitch broadcast streams doing play-by-play for national circuit tournaments, and weekly broadcasts on game strategy. Jon is 32nd in the International Flipper Pinball Association world players rankings, and finished 4th in the latest PAPA World Championships and is a top finisher in Pittsburgh Pinball League pretty much every season. In the “real world” Jon invests in commercial and residential real estate, and you might have seen him play in local bands Flashback and Dancing Queen.

Jake started playing competitive pinball in 2010, and has been pretty much “just OK” at pinball ever since. In his spare time, Jake repairs and restores pinball machines. He teaches pinball repair classes with the Replay Foundation and works with the the team setting up Pinburgh, the largest pinball tournament in the world. Jake plays on PAPAtv and assists with the technical production of tournament broadcasts. In the real world, Jake consults for companies needing help with user experience design, software architecture, and business strategy for decision support systems.


Bookings are closed for this event.

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