The main tournament had something like eleven games. Some were modern ones, including the most-modern available, Aerosmith. Some were solid-state games, like Flash Gordon and Volcano. Some were tables I knew tolerably well, like AC/DC and Iron Man. Some were perpetually baffling mysteries, like Genesis. Some I had no hint what to do about, like Judge Dredd. And all I really needed was to be decent enough on five of them.
So like, on Aerosmith, I put up the 63rd-highest score of the 89 people who tried the table. To get the sort of score that would put me in range of qualifying I'd have had to have done about twelve times better. I put Aerosmith to the side, trusting I could do better on other games. The advantage of this five-best-out-of-eleven qualification scheme is you can give up some games as just bad lots. I had similarly lousy luck on AC/DC and Iron Man and figured, you know what, focus on the older tables. I like them better anyway. But it's still rough going.
I have some help. All the games have tips available on PinTips.Net. And we, for a wonder, have Internet! Not through the convention center's Wi-Fi, which is locked up and private. But bunny_hugger dug out her Mi-Fi device, and put money on it, and we had 24 hours of service in our own little bubble. This also let us use an app to queue up for tables, and to check our standings so that we could pick the games we're most likely to improve our standings on.
Still, it's pretty much a slog. I can put together fair games on Flash Gordon and Viking, although their standing erodes over Friday night and Saturday morning. Genesis everybody but me has some secret understanding of; if I doubled my score it would still be somewhere around 25th place. I keep hacking away and put up a 27th-best score on Congo. And in the last hour of qualifying Wednesday I had a breakthrough, finally having a legitimately good game of Bram Stoker's Dracula. I got a little better on Knockout and Genesis too, but it wasn't anything big.
But it was enough. It brought me up to 393 total points, enough to reach into the B Division of the Main Tournament. The A Division was the top 16 players. The B Division was the next eight after that, except for people who were restricted by their high rankings on the International Flipper Pinball Association to playing in A or Nothing. I would be in the finals, junior division.
bunny_hugger had a rougher time all around. She beat me on a couple of the tables, but not by much, and she doesn't qualify even for B Division finals. She'll have the Women's Tournament to play, but neither the Classics nor the Main Finals.
Trivia: Sears was strictly a mail-order company through the second decade of the 20th century, with no physical stores. Source: The Great A&P And The Struggle For Small Business In America, Marc Levinson.
Currently Reading: Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers, Simon Winchester.
PS: Reading the Comics, June 3, 2017: Feast Week Conclusion Edition, a little late, but before the week is out anyway.