A story for you from the final of the 2011 EPC in France this March. The final was played on Rolling Stones and was a great one watch.
The four finalists were:Daniele Celestino Acciari (Italy), Franck Bona (France), Jörgen Holm (Sweden) and Tim Hulin Bouard (France).
The "Stones" was set up in a pretty challenging way as all players had quick drains and tilts during the final. This may have been tough for the players but it made it exciting for the viewer.
The following is from memory, which isn't that reliable so please make allowances if the report isn't spot on.
Tim started off playing great controlled pinball and by the end of ball 2 had build up a clear lead with about 38m, while all the other players had quick drains or tilts and scores between 14-20m.
From watching Tim it was that the secret was to get the multiballs going for jackpots and keep them going, adding balls if possible (not sure how). This both increased scoring and guarded against the quick drains.
Ball 3 was the killer ball for some because both Daniele and Jorgan managed to start multiball but failed to capitalize. I can't recall what happened with Jorgan but I remember balls colliding cruelly for Daniele right at the start of multiball and heading down the outlanes. Tim didn't do much better but retained a healthy lead. Frank had a better ball that took him clear in 2nd place at around 28m?.
On the final ball both Daniele and Jorgan still failed to get a decent run of the ball and had fast drains or tilts-maybe both.
Tim looked like hammering home a victory but then had an unstoppable drain, that left his score at around 48m?. That left Frank with a real challenge to win the game.
Frank is a very extrovert character and was pulling out all the stops to keep in the game, including an amazing ball save that moved the game massively in the overhead camera but somehow didn't tilt the game. Having used up all the tilt warnings he managed to get multiball going again and claw back Tims score before the balls drained. I think when the bonus counted up he had over 53m.
The Stones was a very good choice for a very exciting final-great to watch. Frank was an emotional winner which, isn't surprising when you consider that he is a Frenchman winning the EPC in France in front of his family.
Franck Bona (France)
Tim Hulin Bouard (France)
Daniele Celestino Acciari (Italy)
Jörgen Holm (Sweden)
RS was a great choice of titles for the final and as a result it was great to watch!