Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Pinball Tournament Marks the End of Oakland's Pinball Ban
By Mollie McWilliams
on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 4:32 PM
Starting tomorrow, pinball wizards who are 18 or older can visit the Fruitvale Station RadioShack for a shot at making it to the finals. Competitors must hit 50-million points (if you haven't played pinball in forever it's really not that
high), and those who accidentally flip the ball into the drain one too many times on their first visit have until Sept. 20 to meet the mark. But wizards can't go around bragging to all their friends at the arcade after hitting the 50 million mark — only the top 16 will advance to the finals. The top players will battle it out in a bracket-style elimination tournament until the best player gets his or her name at the top of the scoreboard. And what does the winner walk away with (besides bragging rights)? A pinball machine of course.
So take few practice flipper swings, and good luck!
Fruitvale Radio Shack (3040 E 9th St.), (510) 532-5898, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., free to compete.
Until recently, kids had to take their quarters across the border to Berkeley to get their hands on a pinball machine. But after 80 years, Oakland finally came to its senses and realized that pinball is not a gateway game to betting on the ponies and allowed the machines back inside city limits. And to celebrate the game's return, RadioShack and Stern Pinball Hail are hosting a pinball tournament.
About The Author
Mollie is the Web Editor and has been with SF Weekly since 2010.