04/11/2013 09:59 EDT | Updated 06/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Autistic Vancouver man to play in world's biggest pinball tournament

An autistic Vancouver man will be competing at the world's biggest pinball tournament in Pittsburgh today.

Robert Gagno, 24, is a pinball champion, ranking first in Canada and 12th in the world.

His father, Maurizio Gagno, says Robert is very excited for the three-day tournament, where 400 players are expected to compete.

"He loves playing pinball and he'll get the chance to meet a lot of players from every corner of the world," he said.

"They all know Robert, he knows them... so there's a social part of it. And you know, he loves winning. He loves the people watching and clapping and cheering him on."

Maurizio says his son has several pinball machines at home to practice on, but he also plays machines all over Vancouver.

In all, six players from the Lower Mainland are headed to the championships, including Eden Stamm from White Rock, who currently ranks second in Canada.