There wasn't just the one tournament going on at Pinball At The Zoo. Another five machines were reserved for the Flip Off MS Tournament and when there was free time from qualifying for the main I could go over and try for the side tournament. So after I had qualified for the main tournament, B Division, I went over to play a few games for that. And I might, conceivably, possibly, have qualified except that I was called over for the Main Tournament B Division playoffs.
Here's what makes this technically a mistake: if I hadn't tried any of the qualifier games I wouldn't have been listed as competing in the tournament. But I did, with an incomplete qualifying card. As a result I was scored as finishing at 55th in the group. (It was a group of 108, though, so I had a couple good games.) bunny_hugger, who did put in a complete card --- even if she didn't qualify for the playoffs --- ranked at 39th. And as a result she's listed as beating me in the tournament --- spoiling my perfect record of beating her in International Flipper Pinball Association-credited competitions.
Of course this is a perfectly silly ``mistake'' and I'm not sorry for making it. For one, I'm not threatened by losing to her. (Or anyone, I like to think.) For another, we both earned ranking points for playing, and improved our world standings. And as the name might suggest this side tournament was organized as a charity fundraiser against MS; my entry fee presumably made things a little bit easier for someone.
But neither of us would compete in the Flip Off MS side tournament, nor in the Main Tournament after I bombed out. This was probably for the best. The actual tournament-competition took an excessively long time, rather longer than last year. Part of this is that many of the same people were in the A Division for the main tournament and the side tournament. So it was very easy for someone to be waiting for the results of another match, possibly requiring the completion of yet other matches in the other tournament, and the gridlock was fierce. And as these were all top-notch players on mostly modern games the games could go on forever.
Last year the tournaments we saw in Pinball At The Zoo were wrapping up by about 5 pm, an hour before the nominal close. A couple years ago, we learned, they'd gone on until 9 pm. We would stick around until 6 pm this time and see there wasn't much evidence the tournaments were going to be finished anytime soon. So we would have lost a lot of the day waiting around for tournament play, or for tournaments to finish, if we had to play in them.
Trivia: Before its launch the Juno rocket which would lift Explorer 1 was referred to in communications between Huntsville and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as ``Missile 29''. Source: This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age, William E Burrows.
Currently Reading: Beggar Thy Neighbor: a History of Usury and Debt, Charles R Geisst.