The Sure Shots: Inside the Little-Known World of Hypercompetitive Pinball

The Sure Shots: Inside the Little-Known World of Hypercompetitive Pinball

RAYMOND DAVIDSON, the world’s number-one-ranked pinball player, needs a strong start on Batman ’66. The blond-bearded blond-bearded 26-year-old 26-year-old steps up to the machine—a new model bearing the faces of the Joker, the Riddler, and other villains from the old TV show—and wipes the sweat from his hands on his jeans. Then he grabs the plunger and lets the ball rip. It flies onto the playfield, then rockets up a ramp at the top left. The machine flutters and pulses with light. “Shoot for the Batcave!” it exclaims, as Adam West brawls with riff raff on the LCD screen. “Collect All Umbrellas! Shoot the Batphone!” The ball hits a target at the top right three times, then zooms up the left ramp again. Davidson, sporting a black G Fuel hat and a black hoodie, stays loose and upright, making excited little kicks when the ball nearly drains. When it … Read the rest