It’s home to the Italian headquarters of Nestlé — one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world.
There’s no doubt you can find amazing prosciutto e melone here, and the Mediolanum Forum is one heck of an indoor sports arena.
Of course, I’m talking about Assago — a town in Milan planted in the northern portion of Italy.
However, from June 7-9, the center of attention in the area won’t revolve around the Swiss conglomerate. The sporting events and concerts and all the delicious food are going to have to take a back seat.
Because during those three days, it’s all about the IFPA16 World Pinball Championship taking place at the Double Pinball Showroom.
The betting odds have been released. It’s up to you to try and turn a profit.
IFPA16 – 2019 Pinball World Championship Odds to Win
The 2019 Pinball World Championship consists of 64 of the best pinball players from all around the globe. If you are interested in learning about the particulars regarding the event, feel free to read up on the IFPA16 tournament rules.
That link will also explain how individuals qualified, as well as shed light on the format of each round. A full list of the pinball games included is available on the website as well.
Now let’s look at the pricing, courtesy of MyBookie.ag.
Daniele Celestino Acciari+575
Julio Vicario Soriano+1500
Mark van der Gugten+6500
If you feel overwhelmed and have no clue who most of these people are, I’ll do my best to help you out.
Does Daniele Celestino Acciari Deserve to Be the Betting Favorite?
At 34 years old, you might argue that Acciari is past his prime and no longer at his best. However, when you look at what this dude has accomplished on the International Pinball circuit over the last couple of years, you might be singing a different tune.
During his 20 most recent International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) events dating back to the end of 2016, Daniele has racked up ten victories and five runner-up finishes. In the other five?
3rd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th.
Did I mention that Acciari, the third-ranked pinball player in the world, hails from Rocca di Papa, Italy? How about that he finished second at this pinball tournament in 2018?
Considering he will be playing in his home country and that both the second- and fifth-ranked players (Eric Stone and Keith Elwin) won’t be attending, getting on board Daniele Celestino Acciari at +575 isn’t such a bad idea.
Now that I’ve mentioned the three players who are in the top five of the official World Pinball Player Rankings, I bet you are wondering who the top dog is.
Raymond Davidson Is Sitting on the Iron Throne of Pinball
If you thought Daniele Celestino Acciari winning 10 of the last 20 pinball tournaments he entered was impressive, you’ll be astonished to find out that Raymond Davidson has won 12 of the last 20 pinball events he has participated in.
Two months ago, at the Texas Pinball Festival Wizards Tournament with 10 of the top 50 players in the world on hand, Raymond had no problem dusting off his competition. And as for last year’s World Pinball Championship, IFPA15?
All Raymond did there was take home the gold.
Despite going at this full bore for the last 11 years as a professional, 26-year-old Raymond isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. During his incredible run last year on the circuit, Davidson was able to win 43% of the events he signed up for, winding up in the top four 71% of the time.
It’ll be a long trip for a guy who lives 25 minutes north of Seattle, but I can’t think of any legitimate reasons not to think that he (and not Daniele Celestino Acciari) should be the favorite.
Who Is Jorian Engelbrektsson?
Jorian Engelbrektsson is a 37-year-old Swedish pinball player who burst onto the scene more than a decade ago. Jorian was crowned as the Pinball World Champion in 2007, becoming the first non-American to ever stake claim to that title.
Nevertheless, Engelbrektsson isn’t among the favorites this year in Assago because of a pinball tournament he won a dozen years ago. He’s lurking at +950 to win the IFPA16 because of what he has done during the last three instances he competed on a big stage.
Jorian won the European Pinball Championship 2018 and has since followed that up with two more victories at the Swedish Championships.
It’s fair to say that the level of competition at those aforementioned tournaments pales in comparison to what he’ll face in Italy, but as they say in sports, “a win is a win.”
Currently ranked 27th in the world, I’d feel much better about investing in Engelbrektsson had he been sitting in the +1500 to +1700 range.
Remember the Name: Escher Lefkoff
Back in 2008, Escher Lefkoff was just a five-year-old playing pinball in his grandmother’s basement. Sure, Escher had dreams of one day becoming a professional and even made outlandish proclamations about becoming the #1 pinball player in the world.
Fast forward to 2019 and examine what this 16-year-old teen has achieved, and perhaps Lefkoff was actually onto something.
I can point to all the practice and preparation, but I must also elaborate on his genes.
Escher’s father, Adam, spent countless hours chasing the dream of becoming a world-renowned pinballer. In fact, Adam has committed to attend IFPA16 as the 81st ranked player in the world and could have a spot in the tournament field depending on how things play out.
Escher is the REAL DEAL.
Don’t look at the freckle-faced teen as some kid who is just obsessed with pinball and happened to get lucky a couple of times in some big events. He’s won nine of his last 20 starts competing against people over twice his age.
If you want the truth, Escher likely understands the nuances of pinball better than the majority of this field.
He has the pedigree to wind up being one of the best pinball players who has ever lived. His rise to the top could very well include making some serious noise in Assago.
DO NOT BET ON THESE THREE PLAYERS!
Before I tell you who I think will win, I want to make sure you are aware of a trio of individuals who have no chance whatsoever, not because I don’t think they are good enough, but because they’ve already declined their invitation and won’t be in Italy during the second weekend of June.
- Julio Vicario Soriano
- Steven Bowden
- Franck Bona
Again, do not place a wager on any of these three winning the IFPA16. You’ll be drawing “stone-dead.”
My Pick to Win the 2019 IFPA16 World Pinball Championship
With as many young and extremely gifted players as there are in the field, it’d be easy to pick someone under the age of 30 to win IFPA16.
However, I know of at least one grizzled veteran who has enough moxie to get it done.
Colin MacAlpine is no stranger to success at the IFPA World Pinball Championship — he took 6th in 2018. The 43-year-old business director at a global supply chain in Austin, Texas, finished 2nd behind Zach Sharpe at the 2019 IFPA Pin-Masters on March 31st, the last time he competitively played pinball.
I can’t promise anything, and I most definitely won’t stamp my name on any guarantees. But I can confirm that Colin will be locked and loaded upon his arrival in Milan, and I fully expect him to build off his deep run at IFPA15.
If you want to follow my pick, or put money down on your own favored player, visit MyBookie.ag. They have odds for all the players, and there’s a $1,000 sign-up bonus available for new customers.