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My first pinball tournament!

Pinball Monk

Pinball Player
Hi Folks,

I'll be playing in my first pinball tournament on August 9<SUP>th</SUP>. Since I’m new around here, I thought this would be a good general conversation starter. Here’s a link to the tournament page. http://www.p3tournament.com/p3tournament/newjersey/default.asp

Now I’d like any tips or advice regarding playing a tournament. I already know not to let the ball drain right away, and to pray before hand, so you can skip those tips. ;) What machines should I chose or avoid? What are the highest scoring machines regarding jackpots for example? Which machines are the stingiest regarding scoring? I’m going to scout http://www.thebreak.net (The Break Arcade) where the tournament is being held this coming week to see what machines I might be dealing with. The tournament director is probably bringing in machines since the website stated that there would be pins from various decades. So my scouting mission is really an excuse to play some pinball! :D Anyway, what would be your strategies and advice regarding my first venture into the world of professional pinball? :help:
Thanks,
Dave
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Pinball Monk

Pinball Player
I went to check out Eight on the Break yesterday and found out that the info on their website is a little out of date. The pins they have are as follows; Family Guy, Funhouse, Medieval Madness, Monster Bash, Revenge from Mars, Sharkey’s Shootout, (Tournament edition.) Spiderman, Terminator 3, and The Shadow. <O:p</O:p

The Spiderman machine is for sale for $3000.00. I played it and it was in excellent condition if anyone’s interested. I must admit I was disappointed that they didn’t have Cirqus Voltaire as stated on their website. (My favorite pin.) Since I usually only get to play real machines down the Jersey Shore once or twice a year, I’m very happy to have found Eight on the Break as it is only an hour from home vs. three hours to the shore. Dunellen is a beautiful little town by the way.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

Back to the machines, I played them all except for Medieval Madness, which was out of order, Family Guy and The Shadow which were claimed by the local kids. All the pins were in very good to excellent condition. Funhouse was in fact the only pin where I noticed the flippers seemed a little weak as some upper shots were hard to make, but I’m also a little rusty regarding real pins. Playing VP so much, I forgot the difference the weight of a real ball makes. It was my first time playing a Pinball 2000 game. Revenge from Mars is great fun and the physics are so good I forgot I was playing a simulation! I’d say my favorite of the machines I played had to be Sharkey’s Shootout. I really liked the combination of ramps, drop targets and bumper placement. Needless to say, I also played better on Sharkey’s overall.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

I’ll admit I’m a little nervous about the tournament. Time wise my games lasted from thirty seconds to thirty minutes with the average being somewhere in the middle. Well, I’ll just enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and maybe make new friends. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

Dave
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
This is a pretty quiet forums. :) People have always posted at VPF, but for some reason it's hard to get them to post at any other pinball forums. I can't offer any help on real machines as I haven't played many in the last 20 years, they are just too hard to find and I'm not a big fan of the last few decades of tables anyway.
 

Pinball Monk

Pinball Player
No problem bob. :) I still can't post or download over at VPF even though it says I'm logged in. I could still update the pin locator though, Go figure. I know what you mean about real pins. I'm really happy to find Eight on the Break. It's nice to play the real thing more than once a year.

Bob, I wonder if you could do me a favor. Could you download 3 machines for me that I'll be playing in the tournament from AJ's, if indeed you are able to download them? I'd really like to practice on them before the tournament. They are: Sharkey's Shootout, the Stern Spiderman (not that your version isn't good), and The Shadow. I have all the others. I already have rule sheets, but it is much better to play the machine - you understand. Again, if you can't, that's ok, but if you can, let me know and I'll pm you my e-mail. Thanks again. Take care, my friend.

Dave
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
Bob, I wonder if you could do me a favor. Could you download 3 machines for me that I'll be playing in the tournament from AJ's, if indeed you are able to download them? I'd really like to practice on them before the tournament. They are: Sharkey's Shootout, the Stern Spiderman (not that your version isn't good), and The Shadow. I have all the others. I already have rule sheets, but it is much better to play the machine - you understand. Again, if you can't, that's ok, but if you can, let me know and I'll pm you my e-mail. Thanks again. Take care, my friend.

Dave

Oh no! There is no Stern Spider-man VP table.... PM me your email address and I send you the other two. I suppose you'll need the ROMs too? I imagine your DL problem at AJ's is either your firewall or cookies or maybe you could make it a trusted site in your settings, but I'm not too good at solving these types of problems.
 

Pinball Monk

Pinball Player
Thanks Bob,
<O:p</O:p
I really appreciate the help. It will save me a lot of quarters and possibly keep me in for more than one round. It’s too soon for the Spiderman table, isn’t it? The other tables will be a big help. I’m pretty good with computers and I have no idea what the source of my problem is with VPF. I’ve already tried your suggestions to no avail. Not that big a deal. Thanks to you I’ll have what I need. I've PM'd you my e-mail.
<O:p</O:p

Thanks again Bob.
<O:p</O:p

Dave
 

Pinball Monk

Pinball Player
[FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Hi Bob, [/FONT]

[FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Both tables work fine. I'm all set. I'll dedicate my first round victory to you - there's no guarantee I'll make it to the second round.
03.gif
[/FONT]

[FONT=bookman old style, new york, times, serif]Dave[/FONT]
 

Theguyoverthere

Pinball Nudger
Pinball tournaments are quite fun! I went to my first one a couple months ago in June. The Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show I made it past qualifying, but then just barely missed advancing. (I was tied with the most points to move on, but then lost a tiebreaker on a Stern Spiderman, the very same machine I got a really really high score on earlier in the day). I ended up winning a nice $25 from getting the high score on Royal Flush, which to me seemed like total luck. That game is evil....

Tournament aside, I ruled the universe on Attack from Mars and got to play a bunch of other games I've always wanted to. Plus, Steve Richie was there!
 

Pinball Monk

Pinball Player
Sounds like you had a great time. I'm really looking forward to it. The one hitch is that oral surgery I was supposed to have on Monday has been delayed. This means I'll be playing in the tournament well-medicated. I hope all the pretty lights don't distract me. :colors:

I have a question, if you can answer it. (If you're as confused as I am, that's ok). Did you understand the rules for the tournament regarding scoring? I mean regarding if you and another player play 2 different machines, one, say, Dr. Who, where you could score millions of points rather easily, as opposed to a machine (Sharkey's Shootout) where you have to fight and play a long time to score a measly few hundred thousand. How are scores calculated? Is there some formula for balancing out the differences between high and low scoring machines?

I did read the rules on my tournament website, but it is clearly not written for the uninitiated. No big deal - if I come out of this with a t-shirt I'll be happy. I was just wondering if someone could explain it to me in layman's terms. I do know that I'll be playing different machines, and the site advised not playing the same machine twice in various rounds, as it could hurt your average score. Like I said, I'm just going to play for fun and what happens, happens - I just wondered if anyone knows how scoring works in tournaments in general. Thanks for your reply. Maybe we'll meet in a tournament one day - who knows?

Dave
 

Theguyoverthere

Pinball Nudger
Most tournaments work where you compete against all players on the machine, and how well you did compared to them determines how many tournament points you get. Example: Bob, Joe and Fred all play stern's new Spiderman. Joe scores the highest score, Fred scores the 2nd highest and Bob got 3rd. Joe would get like 50 points, Fred would get like 40 and Bob would get like 35. The next machine they play is Creature from the Black Lagoon. This time, Joe gets third, Fred gets second again, and Bob gets first, awarding them points accordingly. After you play all the tables, you add up their "points" to determine the rankings. Person with the least tournament points after qualifying gets eliminated. Then for finals it kind of does the same thing where first place on a machine gives you 4 points, 2nd gives you 2, 3rd gives you 1 and 4th gives you 0.

...depends on the type of tournament though.
 

Pinball Monk

Pinball Player
...depends on the type of tournament though.

Yeah...I took I look at the rules for the tournament you were in and the format is totally different from mine. Somehow, players in my tournament may not even play the same machines in the first round, I assume you are expected to reach a certain high score for whatever pin your playing to advance to the next round and then, maybe, you play the same machines from then on?

I assume I'll find out.;)
 

Pinball Monk

Pinball Player
I did better than I expected. I stayed in the top six for the first three hours. The machines for the qualifying rounds were Spiderman, Whirlwind, and Pinball Pool. The format was simpler than I thought. Practice time on other pins in the arcade and than the qualifying rounds.

As the day went on better players began showing up, or the other players just got better, and I started my downward spiral in the rankings. I was pleased and shocked to be in 6th place after the two rounds I played. I had so much fun I didn't realize til later that I had ripped the nail off my left pinkie. I think I did it in practice on "Sharkey's Shootout." My finger caught the rail, I think. No matter, I still had a great time. It's too bad that the PAPA tournament is so far away. Well, maybe next year.

Thanks for the support.

Dave
 
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