BUFFALO, NY -- Innovative Concepts in Entertainment hosted its first-ever ICEBowl tournament in late December at the Buffalo (NY) Niagara Convention Center. Attracting 224 of the most proficient Super Chexx players from all over the country, the event was held in conjunction with Buffalo's HockeyTowne USA Fan Fest.
The two-day event offered some $20,000 in prize money to be distributed among the top 16 finishers. The doubles tournament was held on Monday, Dec. 27, and the singles matchup on Tuesday. Both competitions were played on 16 Super Chexx tables, with six rounds taking place between 12 noon and 5 p.m.; the final round of was held at 7 p.m. on each day.
The doubles faceoff ultimately pitted the Boston duo of Kenny Dubois and Al Cousineau against Buffalo's own Marcus Dublino and Mike Shearer. Dubois and Cousineau carried off the guerdon.
In the climactic wrap-up, 120 players engaged in fierce competition. The surviving "final four" -- Dubois, Mark Wojtkiewicz, also a Western New Yorker, Jeremy Davis from Connecticut and John Gaffney of Burlington, NJ -- took part in the final round, from which Gaffney emerged victorious.
The event, which received extensive media coverage, was the largest "bubble hockey" tournament ever conducted, according to Innovative Concepts in Entertainment.
The original Chexx game made its debut in 1982, and the game has attracted a very broad international following over the nearly three decades of its production. It incorporated a number of novel features, including the transparent dome (or "bubble"), which makes the piece suitable for unattended locations, and it found immediate favor in its United States and Canadian versions.
ICE continues to manufacture Super Chexx and other games in its own factory, which started out in Tonawanda before expanding to nearby Buffalo, and then growing again into its current facility about 20 miles to the northeast in Clarence. Super Chexx now is sold internationally, in both coin-op and home versions.
Since Chex, the company has branched out into the manufacture of a wide variety of amusement equipment. But the extraordinary devotion to Super Chexx shown by players all over the world has encouraged the company to explore the possibilities of setting up a more formal competition structure and schedule, with the objective of building the ICEBowl Tournament into an annual celebration of "bubble hockey."
Innovative Concepts in Entertainment is online at icegame.com.