2017-2018 PAPA Circuit Events


I feel like I saw bat city on that list this morning…

We were hoping to get Pintastic in too as it’s a totally different crowd than the 24hour. The Cleve made a comeback it looks like.


In my experience at LAX it is mostly because all the top level players from out of state that are only there for the tournament really add to the waiting that is involved to play. There are a lot of competitive players I know going to LAX that won’t do more than a few entries to get some KY points.

I think if LAX was not a circuit event it would have the same number of participants, it just would consist of more local/regional players.

For someone like me though I’m fine with it as I want to compete in as many circuit events as possible.


I’d say there is actually a mix.
Half the less experienced players I have talked to about large events that I have run whine and moan in the way you describe - they only want to play in events they feel like they have a very good chance at walking away from with a top finish.

The other half are super excited ™ at the opportunity to be playing with, alongside and match up with some of the best players.

I think its highly personal to the type of person you talk to.

My own data set from the NorthWest says that the complainer group is loud, but actually quite smaller than the group that appreciates mixing it up with “the pros.”


We definitely saw this at the Bat City Open last year. The majority of local players didn’t want the pressure or were otherwise not into it. I haven’t looked up the numbers recently but we saw somewhere around a third of the local “usual crowd” league and tournament players participate in the circuit event.

Cost is also a factor here - some people want to support the event and like competing, but when you’re spending a couple hundred bucks to fully participate in a tournament that you expect you’ll lose it’s a tougher sell. Ideally novice divisions can alleviate this somewhat.


I also think some formats do better than others here. The perception of having to spend more than others is one driving force, and that perception can be removed in several ways (fixed number of entries, match play). The downside is a lower prize pool compared to unlimited best game qualifying.


So - TPF entries were already fully sold-out before it made the list.

What, if any practical impact on the event is Circuit status going to have at that point? Generally I’d expect a bump in the top-50 player participation but if they hadn’t already signed up it’s unlikely they’ll get in unless the show organizers/TDs make some kind of exception.


I think that might be an accurate portrayal of who is vocal about the issue, but I’m not so sure it’s an accurate representation of the participation levels.

If you take a look at the most recent numbers, it starts to look like lower-level/casual players are more likely to participate when they aren’t guaranteed a thorough pummeling.

Main: 72
Classics 78

Main: 176
Classics: 150
Rookie (IFPA Rank >2000): 75 (29 of which participated in main, 27 in classics)

~200 players, every Monday.


I think this says more about the format of these 3 events, and the time/energy/money one must invest to play in each, as much as anything else.


I’ve heard the same thing – nobody wants spend the day waiting for their turn to pay to have their ass handed to them on the most difficult machines they’re likely encountered since the year prior. I think even a small prize in a simple, heavily restricted division would go a long way – perhaps the top 4 qualifiers ranked 1500 or worse play off for $100


I can attest to this @ LAX we have participated for the first few years even when it became a circuit event. Then in 2015 we put in just enough entry’s to have a complete ticket. For the purpose of qualifying for KY SCS. (and we did) Then last year we decided the waiting times and standing in line and if 1 or the other of us qualified having to get up early Sun. so we wouldn’t get to stay and have fun with our friends and we have games on the floor that have to be packed up…so we didn’t play at all in 2016. In 2015 Hubby made finals for B division, went to bed early so we could be there for finals early Sun. morning. Got there found out it was a 1 game playoff higher seed picked game and it winner moved on. Hubby won first game then lost 2nd game so basically played all that time to qualify got up early to be there on time played 2 games and was done. I know that changed last year, cause they had 2 out 3 playoffs and 4 player final round and a friend played and won B division.
I’m sure there alot of pluses to have your event be a circuit event…I have even discussed this with the guys that run LAX and I know that this year they have added some other tournaments that are running during finals so others will have a chance to play and maybe win so I know for a fact that it has cut back on alot of the local players competing and it is not because of the competition! It is just too much of a time/money drain than anything else that makes it not any fun to participate.



Interestingly, at a glance, it appears participation levels are inversely correlated to time/effort levels. MNP requires weekly travel to venues, with venues up to 30mi apart. NWPAS requires at least one, and up to three 4-player 5-game qualifying rounds. NWPC is (was) a pump-and-dump.




PAPA site just now still had 6 events with BAT as #6.


Yeah, it switched back to six since I posted that screenshot. No idea…


The biggest challenge for me as a TD, regardless of the event prestige or size, is trying to overcome objections from potential players that they aren’t yet good enough to compete. Not many people who are new to competitive pinball want to pay to get their ass kicked…not even $5 at small local monthlies. Why does that surprise you?


It surprises me because I’ve been “paying to get my ass kicked” since I started competing. How else do you get better?

Seriously though- if a tournament is only fun if you win, that might say more about the format than it does about who is showing up to play. The odds of me beating Keith Elwin at Pinburgh last year were laughable but it was still an amazing time.


6 Events.


At Louisville specifically, there is an entire B division for players ranked 800 - ?

It will have way more than $100 in it.

Louisville Arcade Expo

Allow players ranked at a certain level to compete for free, get them hooked to competing.

At my semi-regular knockout tournaments, I just have separate A and B pots. If you’re ranked above a certain level you only contribute to and benefit from your pot.


B Division is great, and serves a fantastic purpose, but it is still a world apart from anything local casual players are going to touch. I really feel like there should be something in the 1500-2000 range.