Archive for the ‘CFF Friends’ Category

Showdown at Slabtown II Finalcap

‘Tis over! After three days of tournamenting, and mini-gaming, and plain ol’ regular playing, it has come to an end. Let’s get to details!

Robert Gagno with his victory envelopes 58 people competed in the Open tournament, and 49 in the Classics tournament. Strong turn-out! And folks really put a lot of work into their qualifying entries. You had to put up some hot scores in order to make it into the final rounds.

And then once the final round started, oh man, things got shaken up fast. Some big names got eliminated in the first round of the finals.

And through it all Robert Gagno emerged victorious in – get this – not one, but BOTH tournaments! He swept it! No easy feat. He played great throughout the tournament. And when crunchtime came, in the final rounds, he pulled it off like a champ. He came down with this parents, Kathy and Maurizio, and they all basically operated as a team throughout the weekend. Team Gagno. (On a personal note: I got 2nd place in the Open, and while I felt like I played pretty well, I’m not sad! It was totally cool to watch Robert sweep the event. Major props.)

Nice showing by Portland players in the event. All our constant playing and competing must be paying off… with DIVIDENDS! Whatever that means. Nice showing by the core CFF contingent, too. But there were some notable absences (Replay!).

Here are photos taken by Robert’s dad of the winners line-ups. Check out their flickr page for a lot more great pictures.

Classics Winners
Classics Division Winners. l-r: James Edes (4th), Cayle George (2nd), Robert Gagno (1st), Aaron “Dropshot” Nelson (3rd).

Open Winners
Open Division Winners. l-r: Fred “Fred” Franken (4th), Robert Gagno (1st), Steve Lampros (3rd), Ryan “ROM” Gratzer (2th).

Eden Stamm was top qualifier in the Open. Cayle George was the top qualifier in the Classics. Zoe “Legs” Vrabel was the top female qualifier, and she also won the PBR skateboard in a mini-tourney (thanks PBR!).

Big thanks to Aaron, Jake (Revtest), Fred, Eric, and Noah for organizing the event. And thanks to Slabtown for providing a rad venue. Mega thanks to Ricochet for their tight tournament machines, and for their really awesome mini-game machines. Here’s a video of Jeri from Ricochet showing off the NES Light Gun game.

Danny Backglass won the Time Machine reverse-flipper tourney, and Mike Smith won both the Tommy Bad Cats and the Star Trek NES Zapper tourneys. Way to go! Also, thanks to Quality Entertainment for their machine. Thanks to Chris Rhodes for bringing in Aztec, and for everyone who brought in their sweet machines. The line-ups were nice. Very well-rounded and interesting.

Check out this page on the message board for the full results.

Lastly, some pictures:


Grandmaster Danny Backglass watches, approves

Eden and Cayle in the Classics finals

Eden and Cayle in the Classics finals

More classics action

More classics action

Eden rocking some Royal Flush

Eden rocking some Royal Flush

DDT rocking the Frontier

DDT rocking the Frontier

Robert in game 1 of the final round.

Robert in game 1 of the final round.

ROM in the final round

ROM in the final round

See you next year!

Posted: August 2nd, 2010
at 6:09pm by ROM

Categories: CFF,CFF Friends,News,Pinball

Comments: 6 comments

The Pinball Map is Multi-City

Great news, people! Please read this general pinball service announcement:

As most pinballers in Portland know, the Portland Pinball Map serves this city well as the go-to source for locating pins in town. The map has an army of pals, many of them unknown and unacknowledged (until now: thank you), keeping the data up to date. When you stop into a spot and notice a machine has been swapped out, it’s only a matter of moments until *click click BAM* the website is updated. Easy as that. And with the next version of the iPhone app coming at ya shortly, users will be able add/remove machines and stuff straight from their phone. Plus what’s more, the Android app is shaping up curvaceously, and will be available sooooooon!

So, as I’ve pointed out, the map works well here because we have 1) a ton of machines, 2) hot data, 3) a really user-friendly website, and 4) an active user base that helps keep everything up to date.

But there are some other cities around the country with a bunch of public machines, too. And they wanted a map like ours – So! the Portland Pinball Map has expanded to cover other cities. First up are British Columbia (aka Vancouver, BC), and Seattle, WA. Their maps are basically separate sites, all under one domain. And it’s easy to switch from one to the next. See:


British Columbia


The new link for the site is (though still works, too).

If you already have the iPhone app, the next version will have these regions added to it. And any additional regions we add will be automatically added to the apps (no updating necessary).

We’re excited about these new regions. VRPA is managing the BC data, and they’re surely going to be on the ball with keeping things up to date. But for both regions we need to get the word out! If you live in either of these areas, please start using these maps! The cool thing about these is that you don’t have to send machine updates to someone, and then wait for the updates to be made live – you can do all the updates yourself. Cut out the middleman!

And we’re always adding more features to the maps. If you have suggestions, sock ’em to us.

Posted: June 15th, 2010
at 11:53am by ROM

Categories: CFF Friends,News,Pinball

Comments: 1 comment

Trackie!!!! Day

It’s been well over a year since the synchronized flipping of a fleet of tracksuit-clad warriors hit the streets of Portland. We swish-swished from bar to bar, tearing up machines, staying hydrated, stretching before and after, calibrating our stopwatches, and checking our pulses as we simultaneously checked on the pulse of the Portland pinball scene.

ddt trackie

And now tomorrow’s the day when we do it all again! So, pump up your shoes and step into a lifestyle of comfort and leisure. (Personally, I think of tracksuits as like stylish pajamas that are acceptable to wear outside…)

The day starts off at Ship Ahoy at 1pm. We’ll play there some, and then move on to the next spot, and after that the next spot, etc. DDT (pictured above) has planned all kinds of cool shit. Such as! Mini-games, like skillshot tests and various other styles of casual tournament play. So bring dollars ($$) to wager against your fellow tracksuiter. There will also be open casual play, if that’s all you’re feeling. But the real fun comes from betting! And trust me, there will be some fun and unusual mini-tournamos.

visoAnd there will be prizes!! We’ll have shwag and stuff, plus a load of VISO to fuel us along the way! The good folks at VISO have supplied us with goods to keep us fired up for the whole day. Attentive readers will remember about a year ago when we created a fake VISO logo and put it on this site for a couple months in order to pretend that we were sponsored or something (pictured right). Most of us drink a ton of the stuff, and we wanted to show our support for the local brand. Well, now they’re giving us stuff for real! Thanks, VISO!

If you don’t plan to be at Ship Ahoy at 1pm, but you still want to catch up with the group at some point, I will make a point of twittering our current location on the Portland Pinball tweetertweet. So, check that for the latest loc.

Also, bring cameras!

This is gonna be a rad day. See you tomorrow.

Posted: May 7th, 2010
at 9:20am by ROM

Categories: caravan of comfort,CFF,CFF Friends,Pinball

Comments: 2 comments

Dreamy keychain

Hey gang, and stars, and everyone in between – I thought I’d share an image of this super rad glow-in-the-dark-in-my-brain CFF keychain! It was made by pinball maven extraordinaires, Jeri Ellsworth and Trish of Ricochet Pinball. They presented them to us at the most recent Voodoo Too Classic Cup… so if you’re a member and you weren’t there, then your only chance of getting one is to be the first one to don a comfy sweater and then tell me how right I am about… I dunno, maybe about how colorful and crazy images of elaborate combo shots are enhancing the substance of this website like 2x-3x. Or, better yet! Design your own combo image and submit it. Because I have an extra keychain, and I’m willing to give it away!


A few lucky people got their CFF keychains in mirror color (like, it’s a mirror). So, if you’re like Danny Backglass, you can whip out the mirrored keychain while waiting for modes to start so that you can quickly check up on your carefully cropped bangs.

Thanks Ricochet! You guys are not only circuit board whizzes, and also not only righteous operators, but also good people. Sorry about complaining about machines when I lose. And sorry that I failed to restrain Danny when he kicked Road Show multiple times in front of you after I beat him in that tournament. I’m supposed to be his mentor in all things chill.

Posted: December 29th, 2009
at 6:46pm by ROM

Categories: CFF,CFF Friends

Comments: 4 comments

Shorty’s 12th: Total Success!

Once again we drank, we ate dogs and we played pinball.  However, this year we seemed to be better at the latter.  The event was kicked off (set-up weeks in advance) with our own Deathsave against good friend Carlos on Medieval Madness.  Jeff maintained his confidence, even though Carlos dropped twenty credits into the machine as the doors opened, and took his first win with Strongbow in hand.  Looking back now I probably should not have told everyone in the joint I wanted Cayle round 1 on TOTAN.  Well I got my wish, kinda.  We played TAF and let’s just say he hit 65+ bear kicks, toured the mansion 7+ times to put his score around 1.8 Bil and never even looked at ball 3.  Those numbers may actually be a little low considering I had found myself more interested in the heated battle between CAP and some dude on Fathom next to me.  And like most matches PDX pulled through.  There weren’t too many games on day 1, I think only 3-4 hours was how long it lasted.  Fred had the unfortunate fate of playing 3 matches, 2 of them back to back while others only played 1 match.  Sadly, he did not survive. Neither did Kickback or Emma, to my knowledge.  So with day 1 over at 7:00pm  we all headed to Deathsave’s for his half working line-up, including Flash Gordon, Centaur, Johnny Mnemonic, Firepower and Medusa.  The rest of the night gets hazy for some while others dozed off, some drank all night, some ate acid, some ate cheeseburgers, and I heard Mortal Kombat was even busted out.


Come Sunday morning with fresh donuts in our bellies (thanks Davis’s’s’ss’) and even more Strongbow in others our confidence was high.  Jake, Noah and myself all felt we had a long day ahead of us knocking people to the curb before we would fall fate to that which would happen to us all.  But for the most part we were unscathed:  Soundcard, Videomode, Rob “just call me JT” Timberlake, Slam Tilt, Zoe, Deathsave, Sauce, Eric and DannyB wer all still on the winners side.  Early in the day Zoe put a hurting on this guy 2-0 who may have seemed a little to confident on Speakeasy.  And when I mean a hurting I am talking doubling the score and if you remember those funky little outlanes she was nudging those draining balls back into play.  About this time the battle of the giants was taking place on TAF, however this time we weren’t so fortunate as Todd MacCulloch took down Autofire.  There was also some questionable play on IJ4 between Sauce and Eric.  The culprit was those pesky bangbacks,  there was no mention nor was it written that they were illegal and I witnessed Trent use a few as well.  Sauce prevailed.  Later in the day DannyB and Zoe both had monster wins on IJ4 as well.  Trent Augenstein knocked out the youngest and one of the strongest players in the event, Robert Gagno on IJ4 too.  Those matches were well into the 2, 3, 400 mil range.

p10002622Unfortunately DannyB lost to Robert Gagno’s mother Kathy (who is a solid player) on Evel Knievel, eliminating him completely.  At about this same time Soundcard was facing Lonnie Langford on TAF.  On this particular TAF the GC was 6.6 Bil with LWL right beside it.  Oh and Mike hates this game, so he’s fucked right, especially since Lonnie put up 400 mil to take game one.  Well you’re dead wrong, Soundcard won, call it luck, call it skill give the cred to the intimidation of the colors but CFFs own Soundcard has moved on to be one of the only 8 still undefeated. Rev-Tests untimely departure came at the hands of Noah on TOTAN.  It was a well fought 3 game series but the mighty Rev struck out. And I lost a friendly fiver on it.  Actually the next few big matches all happen on TOTAN as well,  Zoe fought hard and lost to some dude from Australia.  If she had only skipped the skill-shot and went straight for the lamp like she did on her battle against Sauce 3 matches later she too could have been primed for the top 8 in the winners circle.  But prior to Sauce and Zoe, Slam Tilt, Deathsave and Cayle were mowing down the field.  Rob was next to face one of Seattle’s favorites Lonnie on Fathom, after splitting the first 2 games and a malfunction on game 3 it was moved to Surf Champ.  Once again PDX prevailed and another big hitter was eliminated from the tourney by our own hands alone.  Soon after Rob faced Kathy Gagno on TOTAN.  At the same time Zoe was playing IJ4.  Both being in the losers bracket at this point and both being the only females left made this a huge match.  Zoe won 2-0 and Rob battled it out and won the 3rd game to clinch the top female prize to Portland’s own Zoe Vrabel.

p1000257 We were getting down to the nitty gritty, Mike played STTNG and at one point he looked frustrated but upon looking at the score and watching him make 7 straight shots and easily clinch the victory I was able to walk away to watch the big match-up going on between Trent and Eden on Fathom.  Trent won game one, Eden won game two and Trent put up 4+ mil on game three to seal the deal.  Maka was next on the list, and he still owes Soundcard and myself lots and lots of drinks for setting this one up.  For some reason (only a few still know why) he got to play Trent on Evel Knievel which everyone thought had been removed from the tourney but now was somehow back in.  Well, Maka is a machine, and what do machines do?  They produce! At this point I would like to apologize to Trent’s wife, Karen I believe it is, on behalf of Seattle from Portland.  It’s a shame and disgusting that amongst all our very friendly battles for the title there was a thief that rummaged her purse leaving things everywhere with no wallet to be found.  Her ID’s and credit cards were found later under a booth and I am hoping her flight was not missed because of this.

Zoe’s strong(bow) run finally came to an end on TAF, she won game 1, lost game 2 by a 4 mil bonus with scores in the 80 mils.  Very hard loss, and on game 3 Andy Pettersson got 2 EB’s and was just to much.  Soundcard played Elijah on TOTAN which was described by both as ugly ugly pinball, well more ugly for Seattle than Portland.  So Soundcard’s next opponent was either going to be Deathsave or Cayle.  Slam Tilt beat the guy who owns the Tiger Lounge on Champ Pub to make it to the finals and on game 3 Deathsave was playing split flipper with Cayle on his EB’s on Monster Bash.  So it was Soundcard and Deathsave on Champ Pub, very bad draw for Sound.  He conceded the second game to fellow CFFer stating the only money he had ever put in to CP was the 4 quarters to play those two games.  Also at this time Slam was getting beat by Cayle on MM.

p1000269And then there were 4. Deathsave and Andy on Speakeasy could be arguably the closest game of the tournament.  It came down to game 3, Deathsave got screwed by subtract-a-ball but then got 4 jokers to get it back but then lost it again.  He was up 400 thous to under 200.  Only Andy had 2 balls to his 0, Andy also got an add-a-ball and on his final ball he drained 48 thousand short and with 36 thousand bonus….but….he drained down the outlane and that means a free spin which landed him 15 thou and gave him a 3 thousand point win.  So next up Andy v Slam on Surf Champ.  Slam won game one and Andy won game two on his 5th ball double bonus.  It all came down to game 3, after ball 3 Slam had a strong lead, I told Fred all he needed was to get it up to 30 thou and he got it to 40 thou.  And two balls later the place went nuts.  CFF had finally made it to the finals at Shortys and we had our shot to take down Cayle once again.  Everyone got a beer and a smoke and after 5 we all gathered up front around Barracora.  It was going to be a single game match, which means Slam still had to beat Cayle twice.  Cayle opted to go second and watch how it played first.  After ball 1 Cayle had Slam 65 to 52 thousand.  After ball 2 even more bad news  Cayle had him 364 to 113.  But just to refresh your memory, it is a 5 ball game.

p1000272 On ball 3 I witnessed some of the finest 2 ball multiball flipper skills in my life.  Slam was slaying and he brought his score up to 783,000 by the end of it.  With 2 balls left Cayle fought back and made it close.  Going into Cayle’s 5th and final ball Slam was at 1.3mil to his 1.0 and when the bonus settled Cayle came up short with his 1.2 mil.  Which could mean only one thing.  Cayle’s veins turned to ice.  He chose to go first on this match and tilted his first ball, so things were looking good.  However, I later thought about it and am assuming he tried to tilt it to see what he could get away with.  I also forgot to mention during game one Cayle was slowly mastering the game.  He found the way to lock 1 ball and if his newly plunged ball drained the locked ball would be released essentially giving him an EB.  Oh and mentioning EB’s he figured that one out too.  Slam had no chance. Not even a lucky pecan was going to stop Cayle.  At 3.4mil on ball 2 with the ability to get an EB on every ball, not to mention locking 1 or even 2 to get the 3 ball multiball, the question of whether he would roll it or not was circling the room.  However, to many cheers and some boos, including from myself (for not rolling the machine,) Cayle won his unheard of 3rd straight Shorty’s Annual Pinball Tournament.  Congratulations to Cayle, you truly are a Pinball Wizard. There were many prizes given out.  Zoe won $50 plus a shirt or something.  Noah also got a shirt along with Soundcard who took 5th (one spot shy of cash)  Deathsave took 4th and won a roll of quarters and a hat/shirt.  Andy/birthday boy won something and a shirt but I can’t remember, I think it was $50 though.  Slam Tilt who battled so hard to come up just short won a pair of long john underwear.  For second place.  What a joke! Oh wait it was, he also received $100 and a PBR snowboard.  The long johns are just to keep those skinny little legs warm this winter.  And of course the grand prize.


So in short recap CFF had 3 in the top 5.  PDX probably had 8-10 in the top 25 or 30. Strongbow is good.  Kitty burgers should never be eaten.  Cayle will beat you.  Eden still has lightning bolt burns AND failed to bring me Molson.  For how much we all bitch about Shorty’s and said we will not go back next year, you all know we will. And if you are 135 yards out, use an 8 iron!

Posted: November 16th, 2009
at 4:58pm by dropshot

Categories: CFF,CFF Friends,Pinball

Comments: 13 comments

A word from our sponsor

If our sponsor was me… which, in a way, maybe it is?

Howdy Gangsters,

The best and the brightest are off at Shorty’s this weekend (I got a little tipsy last night, and totally failed to join with the ride that was available to me at like 7am this morning). Hopefully we’ll get some news from the front, to see how it’s going. But in the meantime, let’s reflect a little bit on some stuff that’s been hurting my brain to think about (full disclosure: thinking about anything hurts my brain). Shall we?

When playing pinball, whether you’re competing against the other initials on the board, or against the replay score, or against player 2 in a heated $competition$, or just against your inner demony things, you ARE competing. It’s difficult to remove that factor when playing pinball. If you care at all about how you play, then somewhere in you is a competitive drive. During the last year, we booted up the laptop and harnessed that drive. Nearly every week we’ve had around 20 people compete against one another at one of Portland’s many great pinball venues. Many of us have had shiny moments where we did well; ALL of us have had crappy moments where we totally flailed. But however we fared – it’s always in good fun. We respect one another as players, we accept newcomers to the fray, we keep egos in check, and we learn from mistakes. I have little doubt that all this organized play has allowed us to progress as players. And it’s also helped to strengthen the pinball community in Portland.

So I hope you represent well in Seattle!

Anyway, I totally forgot to post this winner’s picture from the Slabtown weekly that was a few weeks ago.

mad cash

But it’s an awesome picture! And worth sharing, even if it’s late. l-r: Emma (3rd), Steve (1st), Videomode (2nd).

That was a fun tournament. Good turn-out. We played on some fresh machines – Dr Who, Swords of Fury, and F-14 (in addition to all the others that were already there). Congrats to Steve for winning. I believe he’s now off in Hawaii, soaking it up at a 5 star resort.

This just in: News from the front!! Cayle vs Dropshot in the first round at Shorty’s. Holy cow!

Posted: November 14th, 2009
at 3:09pm by ROM

Categories: CFF,CFF Friends

Comments: 2 comments

CFF Meeting “BOG”

CFF Meeting @ “BOG” 10pm. Feel free to show up earlier line-up is IJ, IJ4, Dracula, POTC.

Posted: November 12th, 2009
at 5:02pm by revtest

Categories: CFF Friends,Events

Comments: No comments

Standard Regulation Blog Post

The results are in! After much pinball playing, and water and/or beer drinking, and Dodgers watching, one man and one man alone stood tall on his hindquarters, chin toward the stars, cash in hand, points in process, and said to all us losers, “Wot wot?” And that mensch of a man was… REVTEST. Congrats Jake “Revtest” McGhee, for winning the Standard Regulation Tournament at The Standard (22nd and NE Burnside).

Here are some action shots.

Dropshot, after being relieved of his duties as… I don’t know, what did he used to do again? Run weekly tournaments for a year straight? Something like that, who knows… anyway! here he is enjoying his freedom.


Also in that photo is our trusty laptop, which I just named Reggie, that contains the precious tournament bracketing software; plus Eric, monitoring Dropshot’s progress; and in the background is Zoe, maybe competing against Sauce.

And speaking of Sauce!


The battle rages behind him (l-r: Emma, Revtest, Jeff Weston, Dropshot), but all he’s thinking about is how awesome it is to be alive and playing pinball with pals. What a positive thinker, that dude. Little did he know that in just like an hour or two he would LOSE IN THE FINALS. Ha! Funny to look back now… that smile, once so full of hope.

The final match begins! On Black Rose.


And then it was over.

The final three celebrate their agreeable placements. (oh wait, Sauce is still smiling. I take back – partly – the stuff I may or may not have said about him earlier in this post.) Revtest with 1st, Sauce with 2nd, Dropshot with 3rd.


The place was kind of dark, so I didn’t take many photos. And my camera doesn’t do well with focusing when I use a flash in dark rooms… but rest assured, many other fun/fine folks were there, and they fought valiantly, and lost sadly. Your hero, me, got a respectable 5th place. I only played Twilight Zone and The Getaway all night! But the random game generator-picker for this tournament was my trusty 4-sided die. One can’t argue with that die. But I wish I could have at least played some Dark Knight 2K… oh well.

The machines were in top order. Ricochet’s Jeri was on hand the entire time, so when a ball bounced unexpectedly we were able to immediately whine to her, rather than wait until we were home and on the message board.

Until next time!

Posted: October 16th, 2009
at 6:28pm by ROM

Categories: CFF,CFF Friends,Hey,Pinball

Comments: 7 comments

Voodoo Too Classic Donut Cup

It was once guesstimated that not as many people would show up to a weekly tournament if it took place somewhere other than a bar. Too many of the regular contenders are hopeless alcoholics, was the reasoning. But you all proved that unnamed guesstimater wrong. Good show everyone.

19 fine folks entered tonight’s tournament. And that is good. And thus, from henceforth this tournament that ended like an hour ago will now be dubbed The First Annual Voodoo Too Classic Donuts Cup. So shall it be known!

As an 8x bonus, right before the battle commenced, our tastebuds (and not to mention our monstrous egos) were delighted to discover that Voodoo Doughnuts had made us a special doughnut platter, with a huge Super CFF Doughnut in the middle:

CFF Donut

Pretty amazing, huh? Thanks, Voodoo!

Also, thanks Ricochet for putting four sweet pins in the place.

All in all, I didn’t eat dinner, and instead just ate three doughnuts. Now, after my shocking loss, I’m trying to set things straight again by eating a lot of chips. But I don’t know. Sometimes losses are forever.

Congrats to Dropshot for being victorious. And congrats to Trish for getting 2nd place. I hope you’re both happy.

Posted: September 8th, 2009
at 10:48pm by ROM

Categories: CFF,CFF Friends,Pinball

Comments: No comments

Treasured Memories

and tender moments. Recollections of a pinball meeting.

Ducketts recently got a fourth machine, so we piled everyone into the minivan and had ourselves a meeting there.

The first two hours were spent, as usual, going over the agenda, and the previous week’s minutes/scores, and then setting up the bracket system to determine who will play what machine during the meeting.

After passing out our drink tickets, DDT stood back and monitored our activities, determining whether or not the system was “word.” It was.


I put up the first score of the evening. A steady 47million on Family Guy.


Bounceback could not believe it! He was like, “ROM, you’re really good at running modes.” And then, in my modesty, I thanked him.


But what is CFF without friends? Some say it’s just CF. (depends on what you think “CFF” stands for.)


Later on Sauce did a freaking bangback on Indiana Jones. Killer move!

See you all next time!

Posted: June 8th, 2009
at 10:26am by ROM

Categories: CFF,CFF Friends

Comments: 1 comment

« Older Entries