Michigan Pinball Expo returns to Oakland for fourth year



By Chris Peralta

The Michigan Pinball Expo is coming to the Oakland Center’s Banquet Rooms April 4-7.

“If you know what pinball is, then this is the mecca of pinball in Michigan,” John Kosmal, event organizer, said. “People under 20 or 25 don’t really know what it was like back in the day to walk into an arcade and see 60 or 70 games lined up. To see all the different colors, the lights, the sounds, I mean it’s basically like a traveling circus.”

During the event, pinball experts and fans will discuss, play and purchase pinball machines like the themed “Wizard of Oz” or “Avengers.”

Even though many of the modern pinball machines are themed, there is always something new with pinball, according to Kosmal.

Playing the game

After paying the entry fee, guests will be able to play any machine because they’re set to free-play.

Any college student attending the event can participate in the expo’s “College Night” from 7 p.m. until midnight, where $5 can buy five hours of play time if you show your Grizzly ID at the front door.

The expo will also hold tournaments, and registration will cost an additional $10.

There will be multiple tournaments. First prize for the main tournament is $1,000 and one person can walk away with $10,000 in cash and prizes, according to Kosmal.

Jack Guarnieri, more commonly known as “Jersey Jack” from Jersey Jack Pinball, will be selling machines like the new “Wizard of Oz” pinball machine.

Mark Szczepkowski, volunteer for the expo, describes it as a place where he can enjoy pinball with other enthusiasts.

Tickets for the Michigan Pinball Expo can be bought online through PayPal or at the door. Tickets cost $10 for children, $15 for adults.

If you want to bring a pinball machine of your own for the expo or if you want to volunteer, visit the Michigan Pinball Expo’s website at www.mipinball.com