It’s time for the tournament report you’ve all been waiting for. Silver what? No, I’m talking about the Zen Tournament, also known as the Super-Ball, the traditional end-of-season party for the league. Yes, there was a split-flipper tournament again for the fifth season, held back on December 8th… in other words, just as the end-of-term crunch started, which then blended into the holiday crunch. That’s my excuse, anyway.
The format for the tournament changed for the first time, so that competitors would choose games instead of playing on three pre-designated machines. This allowed things to move more quickly and introduced an additional element of strategy.
As happened last season, we had an odd number of people. This was resolved last time by having Mike S. play on two teams, including both teams in the finals. I volunteered to double this time, but Chris objected, saying that it would cause unnecessary waits, as I would not be able to be in two places at once. The suggested alternative was to recruit someone from the bar, so Matt went off to find someone. I told Chris, “You realize this means your partner is going to be some random person, right?” His reaction suggested he had not considered this possibility. But that’s how Matt decreed it would go, so Chris was assigned our new acquaintance Vince to be his partner for the night. Despite his inexperience with tournament play, Vince proved to be a good shot and with some coaching on rules from Chris, he did a great job. Everyone tried to talk him into playing in the league next season.
My partner this time was Matt and we made it to 3rd place. It was a great run that included hitting replays on at least two games. The final match was between Mike S./Greg and Sarah/Sam, with the win going to Team S. Sarah looked happy but Sam looked overjoyed at taking home the coveted Zen trophy.
That brought Season 5 to another fun conclusion. Season 6 starts next week. I hope you’ll join us. As for a certain other recent tournament, rest assured that a report is forthcoming.
Here are a couple of photos of the happy winners… and you can find more in the photo gallery.