Big Buck Hunter Championship Marks Decade of Competition With Vegas Competition

Posted On: 11/17/2017

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LAS VEGAS -- The 10th Annual Big Buck World Championship lit up the Las Vegas strip at the Hard Rock Café on Oct. 27 and 28, 2017. The standing room only crowd gathered to watch some of the best players in the world compete in the highly-anticipated arcade eSports event.

"The Big Buck World Championship is a celebration of the many players and large community surrounding Big Buck Hunter" said George Petro, president of Play Mechanix, Inc.

During the first night of the two-day event, 2016's runner-up Kylie Hodsdon of Dover, NH held on to her winning streak at the 2017 Big Buck Ladies Tourney until the semi-final round when she was knocked into the reload bracket by Big Buck veteran, Melissa Romanik, San Francisco, CA. In the finals, Hodsdon once again faced Romanik, this time needing two victories to take the crown. Hodsdon narrowly won the first match by only a few hundred points, keeping her championship dreams alive. She sealed the deal in the second round of the finals, taking home $5,000 in prize money and the Jugs of Destiny trophy.

On night two, RJ Anguiano, Seattle, WA, blasted his way through the winners' bracket, defeating some of the best Buck Hunters from around the world, including three-time and reigning World Champion, Trevor Gartner, to remain undefeated throughout the entire competition. Taking top honors of 2017 Big Buck World Champion, Anguiano received Pappy's Jug along with more than $20,000 in cash and prizes.

"This year's competition really highlighted skill-based players and proved that anyone can become a champion," said Jessica Petro of Play Mechanix's.

One reason for this, Petro explained, is the traditional change up in game play on machines used in the competition. The company traditionally adds a twist to these games, such as a new character. This change, she said, levels the playing field for players who have not memorized all the standard levels of gameplay. This year's twist was "mirrored play" that changed some normal right to left action to left to right.

However, perhaps more significantly, the competition confirmed Big Buck's continued popularity. As Petro noted, 33% of all players in this year's competition were new to the annual event and game. "There were a lot of new players we've never seen before," Petro said. "Our youngest competitor played for the first time last year at 18, and returned this year at 19. There were definitely a lot of young new faces, and a lot of millennials."

In addition to the competition, attendees to the event were treated to an Sin City Elvis impersonator (white jumpsuit era) as well as a Bruno Mars look-alike and costumed Las Vegas show girls. This year's tournament also collocated with the inaugural Heads-Up Pinball Championship hosted by Stern Pinball Inc. and the International Flipper Pinball Association.

In addition to a steady stream of news via social media, company officials at Play Mechanix reported that more than 50,000 viewers logged on to watch the competition on Replays of the event can be seen at

Big Buck HD is the first 1080p high definition arcade video game. Created by Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix, the game combines prior hits Big Buck Hunter Pro and Big Buck Safari, Big Buck HD along with enhanced graphics and new challenges, awards and tournaments. Big Buck HD arcade games feature online connectivity via the company's proprietary CoinUp online system that allows players to track scores and compete against players from across the country for cash prizes.

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