- World No. 1 Raymond Davidson is favored to win the 2019 Stern Pro Circuit Pinball Championship
- Davidson has won the last two IFPA World Pinball Championships
- He also won 12 tournaments in 2018
You could say that Raymond Davidson plays a mean pinball. Just 26, he’s been hitting the bumpers for 11 years and currently reigns as the No. 1-ranked pinball player in the world.
A computer software programmer from Mukilteo, Washington, Davidson won the 2017 and 2018 International Flipper Pinball Association World Championships. No wonder that oddsmakers list Davidson as the chalk to capture the 2019 Stern Pro Circuit Championship.
2019 Stern Pro Circuit Pinball Title Odds
|Who Will Win 2019 Stern Pro Circuit Pinball Title?||Odds (02/19/19)|
Davidson captured the 2018 world title on Canadian soil in Keswick, Ontario. He became the ninth player to win back-to-back IFPA world championships.
How the Stern Pro Circuit Works
The IFPA Stern Pro Circuit consists of 20 events. Players compete in a ladder format similar to pro bowling and play down until one unbeaten player is left standing at the end of the tournament.
Points are earned at each stop on the circuit and after completion of the 20 events, the 40 top pinball players from 2018-19 qualify to play the in the inaugural Stern Pro Circuit Championship, beginning March 9th in Chicago.
— ??️O?️-O-M?️Tℹ️C ?️ℹ️N?️?️LL? (@FunWithBonus) June 5, 2017
Opening-round play seeds players into 10 groups of four players each, with the top two players advancing out of each group. They are seeded into five four-player groups in Round 2, again with the top two in each group advancing.
The remaining 10 players are placed in a ladder-style bracket, ranked based on their original seeding. The bottom four players compete in a single-game format, eliminating the lowest-scoring player, and then then next-lowest seed enters, with the same formula deployed.
This continues until there are just two players remaining, and they play a two-of-out-three match for the title.
Davidson is Pinball’s Dominant Player
Davidson took up pinball at the age of five and was soon beating his father. By the time he was 11, he was entering competitions. With 1153.93 points, he is the current IFPA Stern Pro Circuit leader.
— ??️O?️-O-M?️Tℹ️C ?️ℹ️N?️?️LL? (@FunWithBonus) April 11, 2018
His initial world title was earned in Denmark, but Davidson isn’t living a life of luxury off his pinball exploits. He won $1,000 for his each of his world title triumphs. He also received an arcade-quality pinball machine and a WWE-style championship belt for his efforts.
Other Stern Circuit Contenders
Keith Elwin is the only other player on the Stern circuit with more than 1000 points accumulated so far this season, sitting second to Davidson with 1004.82.
Forbes – “So, who is the LeBron James of pinball? Sharpe, who is by no means in the autumn of his pinball career, mentions that 46-year-old Keith Elwin, of Carlsbad, California.” https://t.co/8b3aXWlT5r
— Stern Pinball (@sternpinballinc) October 17, 2018
A pinball machine designer for Stern, Elwin, 46, is the most decorated player in pinball history. He has won a record 10 majors among the four Grand Slam events of pinball – IFPA World Championship, PAPA World Championships, European Championships, and Pinburgh Match Play Championship. He’s also 60-12 lifetime against Davidson.
Trent Augenstein (+900) finished third at the 2018 championships. Cayle George (+1200) was the 2011 IFPA world champ and lost the 2017 final to Davidson. Josh Sharpe (+6000) was the losing finalist in the 2016 world championship.
Zach Sharpe (+1200) is only ranked ninth, but his 86.37% winning percentage against the world’s top 250 players over the past three years is second only to Elwin (87.15%). Davidson (83.68%) ranks third in this category.
In the last two years, Davidson’s been the one to beat, though, and we don’t see anyone beating him.