By Tyler Barth
The sounds of flippers smashing the ball and announcers hailing the start of the bonus round soon will reverberate through Morristown like never before.
After years in South Jersey, the annual New Jersey State Pinball Championship is coming to the Morristown Game Vault on Jan. 18, 2020.
“I’m very honored that they chose my arcade to do this. It’s very exciting to be part of such a fun hobby,” said David Balsamini, owner of the Game Vault.
Balsamini, of Basking Ridge, is an avid pinball player himself. The former pharmacist opened the Game Vault in a former bank at 22 South St. in 2016. The venue contains more than a hundred machines, including arcade games and 22 pinball tables.
The state tournament will be a knockout tourney pitting the top 16 players in the state against one another. The field then will be whittled down until a winner is declared.
That winner will receive prize money, a trophy, and an invitation to play at the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) North American Pinball Championship in Denver.
“My goal is, I have an arcade that I bring to the community, and people can have fun, and my job is to keep the arcade working,” said Balsamini.
The Game Vault holds frequent pinball events, some of which count for World Pinball Player Rankings points.
Saturday’s finalists will compete from 11 am until about 6 pm, when a champion will be crowned. During the championship, the Game Vault will be open for players and spectators alike. It’s at 22 South St.