STOW, Ohio – After hours of concentration and dedication, Rod Lawrence, of Stow, was named Pinball Champion of Ohio.
He won the title over the weekend during a tournament in Berea. He was up against some of the best players in the state.
“It's bracketed. You were seated based on the amount of points you got over the year and you played single elimination. Best out of 7 match play throughout to get to the final bracket to win,” said Lawrence.
He started playing competitively a few years ago and hasn’t stopped since.
When it comes to practicing, he doesn’t have to travel very far. He has a collection of pinball machines in his basement.
"I don't practice as often as you would think. I try not to burn myself out on it,” he said. “But, it is important to get a feel for each machine that you're going to play because there are subtle differences in each one, and you never know if some machines will play faster than others.”
Lawrence now moves on to the national championship in Denver. That’s held in May. Naturally, he hopes to win. If he doesn’t, though, he said he won’t be upset.
“It's going to be a great experience no matter what. I'm going to try to learn as much as I can, and with each event you gather a little bit more knowledge and a little bit more experience. So hopefully, I'll give it my best chance and represent Ohio. The sky is the limit; you never know what you can do,” he said.