BAY CITY, MI -- Just one year after entering the air hockey market, Gold Standard Games is becoming a major player in the coin-op sport's tournament scene. This year, the Bay City, MI-based manufacturer owned by air hockey legend Mark Robbins has sponsored and equipped contests in California and Illinois.
The 2013 Illinois State Air Hockey Championships were held in April at Brunswick Zone in Naperville. When the action ended, Chicago's Billy Stubbs, who also is USAA (United States Air-Table-Hockey Association) World Champion, was holding the palm. Brian Accrocco and Pete Lippincott, both of Houston, took second and third places, respectively.
"We tested our prototype air hockey at Brunswick Zone last year, and it had double the earnings of the older tables on location," Robbins said. "We are tentatively planning a national and international level tournament for the late fall in Naperville."
PHOTO: Naperville, IL, players surround Gold Standard's Elite table.
The 2013 California State Air Hockey Championships were held in February at Dave & Busters in Irvine. Proairhockey.com and several local businesses were among the supporters. It was the first state-level contest organized by Cory Dzbinski and Kim Wenskay of Proairhockey.com, and it garnered thorough coverage on San Diego Union-Tribune's UT-TV.
Billy Stubbs won the California competition, too. Davis Lee Huynh of Sunnyvale, CA, a two-time world champion, took second and Joe Cain of San Ramon, CA, placed third.
"This tournament gave us an opportunity to showcase a prototype of our new Premium FEC air hockey table," Robbins said. "The response was great from both players and D&B's personnel. As expected, Dave & Buster's was a first-class venue for such an event."
Robbins purchased Shelti Inc., a maker of pool, dart and foosball games, in April 2010 and renamed it Gold Standard Games a year ago. He played a key role in developing air hockey products for Dynamo Corp., where he worked between 1985 and 1994, and held the USAA world champion title two times. Gold Standard began shipping three hockey table models earlier this year. | SEE STORY
To learn more about air hockey tournaments, visit goldstandardairhockey.com
PHOTO: Air hockey athletes in action at Dave & Buster's in Irvine, CA. "What an awesome spectacle for our guests," observed D&B's marketing manager Popeye Vasquez.