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Pinball playing couple from Massachusetts ranked among the best in the world

Pinball power couple from Massachusetts among best players in world
Pinball power couple from Massachusetts among best players in world 01:52

EVERETT - Did you know two of the best pinball players in the world live in Massachusetts and they're also a couple?

Pinball wizards meet

You can often find Zoe Vrabel and Daniel Rone playing local league pinball games at BearMoose Brewing in Everett. Their love story began when Rone walked into a pinball tournament that Vrabel was running. Vrabel fell in love with the sport while living in Portland, Oregon in 2009.

"I found pinball in a dive bar right near the college that I went to in Oregon. I started playing in competitions immediately because I like to be better than other people at things. I have a pathological need to be good at stuff," said Vrabel, laughing at herself, "When I discovered pinball, it was like, oh, there is a way to prove to people that I'm good at something? I will absolutely be doing that."

World ranked pinball players

Vrabel is now the number one pinball player in the world in the women's rankings. Rone is ranked 47th worldwide in the open division.

Zoe Vrabel and Daniel Rone in Everett. CBS Boston

In June, he competed at the 19th International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) World Championship in California.

"That was the top 60 players in the world as well as the best in their respective countries," said Vrabel, who is also an IFPA Director for the tournament.

"The top 32 made the playoffs, and my goal was to get into the top 32," said Rone, who finished in a 7-way tie for 30th and missed the playoffs, "[Zoe] was probably the only person rooting for me, but it was nice that she was."

What happens on a pinball date?

When it comes to their dates, they are often looking to play pinball. Zoe says they have gone on non-pinball dates, only to discover pinball nearby, and then they become pinball dates. They also play split flipper, where each person works one of the flipper buttons, and they have to work together.

"I personally couldn't imagine not being with someone who played pinball as well as I did," Vrabel told WBZ.

Zoe Vrabel and Daniel Rone in front of a pinball machine in Everett. CBS Boston

She says typically women only make up 20-to-25% of pinball players.

"I would say if there is someone who is good at pinball, and you like them, you're probably going to try and lock them down," joked Vrabel, "'There's a good battle between us and our rivals in New Hampshire. They are the O'Neill's who are also a pinball power couple."

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