My own personal highlight was playing Attack from Mars against Andrei Massenkoff in the finals of the Nutcracker Duel.
In a best of 3 match, I squeaked by with a win on game 1. Basically we both sucked.
In game 2, I had about the same score (around a Billion maybe) and Andrei put the smack down. A few Billions later, I knew it was going to game 3.
Andrei started, and put up a good ball 1. Somewhere in the 3.5 billion area. I stepped up and ended just behind him at 3 billion (both of us just going for multiballs). It was a great start for me, and the best I had ever done on an AFM.
Andrei comes back on ball 2 nearly doubling his score. Ugh.
Then the magic happened. I got in a zone, and eclipsed his score. Somewhere in that blur of playing (multiball after multiball) I noticed that I had many of the major shots close to completion, but none actualy done. I recalled my PAPA tutorial research (thanks @bkerins) and was able to actually pull of the billion shot.
I, at this point, was talking while playing, letting the few spectators know that I had only ever seen that done on the tutorial! (This was past midnight, if I remember so most had left long before).
After the dust settled, I had beaten his score on ball 2 by a decent amount, but still less than a billion separating us.
Ball 3, Andrei tilted pretty quickly, and I didn’t have to play ball 3 (against Andrei F-ing Massenkoff!).
I won the match, but had to go again with him, as he had a strike to give.
We battled on GnR, and thankfully my knowledge and experience on that machine helped me give Andrei his final strike (winning 2 out of 3 games in it).
If anyone had asked me if I thought I had a chance to beat him before we started (in 2 consecutive matches) I would have said hell no.
It was by far my best tournament moment ever!