Announcing the 2016 California Extreme tournament

Hey everyone! Just wanted to make the official announcement that the 2016 California Extreme tournament will be taking place July 16-17, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. The long announcement is below, but for those who have participated before, here are the main bullet points:

  • We are going from unlimited qualifying to limited. Players will buy in to the tournament for $40 and receive 20 entries to distribute across the games as they wish. Top 5 scores count. We are targeting 12 games which will be spread across all eras, but that is subject to game availability.

  • We are moving locations outside the show area to the Cypress room, which is at the top of the stairs from the main lobby. The nice thing about this is that it really frees us up in terms of schedule and the like, and it means we won’t have to listen to Whack-A-Mole for 36 straight hours or be blasted by announcements all day. We’re hoping internet will be better up there too. That said, it is kind of a bummer being away from the show.

Beyond that its the same great time as always! Your TDs this year are myself and @JimiWolf. I will be putting out a call for games and scorekeepers soon.

Thanks everyone, hope to see you there!

The 2016 pinball tournament will be run on one bank of games from all eras of pinball design. The top 24 finishers advance to final matches that determine the winners.

Kids and casual players can try to qualify for bonus tournaments only for them, while still eligible for the main events! The Casual Division is reserved for players who have a World Pinball Player Ranking higher than 1000.

24 players make the finals in the main tournament; 8 in Casual; and 4 in Kids’.

Qualifying Hours: Friday 7pm-midnight, Saturday 10am-midnight

Qualifying Format: Modified Best-Game. 5 best results count across 20 entries.

Entry Fee: $40

Finals Format: PAPA-style, 4-player groups, 3 games per round, best 2 players from each group advance each round. All players re-seeded by qualifying seed after each round. In the Main division, the top 8 qualifiers get byes in the first round.

Kids’ finals will be held Saturday night at 5:00 pm. Main and Casual finals will begin Sunday morning at 9:00 am.

Prizes: top 24 in Main win cash:

1st prize: 26% of prize pool
2nd prize: 17%
3rd prize: 11%
4th prize: 6%
5th-8th prize: 4%
9th-16th prize: 2%
17th-24th prize: 1%
Additionally, the #1 scoring player on each machine in qualifying wins a $20 bonus.

Casual and Kids division payouts are TBD.

In the event a player qualifies for the Main finals, that player will be removed from the Casual or Kids’ Division, and will instead play in the Main finals.

Important note: there will be no tolerance for abuse of the tournament machines, which are coming from private collections. Similarly, there will be no tolerance for abuse of the tournament officials and scorekeepers, who have volunteered their time. Abusive players will be disqualified from the tournament without refund.

All other rules follow the full PAPA ruleset, including rules governing malfunctions and player errors.



Will I be able to buy fewer than 20 entries to try and attempt to qualify for cheaper?
No. $40 to play for everyone. Note that this is actually a price break, in past years 20 entries would have cost $50.

Will I need a show bracelet in order to participate in the tournament?
Yes. This will be enforced by the scorekeepers.

Will unused entries be refunded?

That Whack-A-Mole game is still in my nightmares.

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What, Trio? :stuck_out_tongue:

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If Trio is in the tournament I will pay your tournament entry

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Thanks for reminding me I was going to change the tiebreaker rules this year.


Will the point system be the 100 94. 91 89. 88. 87 plan for a “not all scores count” format? That would work better than the 100 90 85 plan that overweights #1 scores.

Last year we did 100, 97, 95, 94… and I’m planning on keeping it that way.

I vote for all tiebreakers on Trio. :slight_smile:

Psyched for this new format!

I vote for 4 game finals with at least one mandatory old game in the mix :slight_smile:


yeah i agree that somehow including an older game would be sweet!


Figures sound good, and I like Keith’s 4 game minimum one old idea, especially since CalEx dropped the separate Classics event.

@harmon1728’s format made finals be 3 games papa style, one from each era. Was pretty sweet.

I’m not even entirely sure what our lineup is going to look like so I can’t make any statements like that right now.

Hey, that sounds familiar. :slight_smile:

Thank you for changing the format.
Last year I decided to not participate again, and avoid the show all together.
The new format will most likely inspire me to compete again.


That’s what we used to do back when CAX was a three-format event with one winner from each facing off in a grand finale.

This will definitely be an interesting experiment. Wondering how this will impact prize pool… will be go up because of more participation (and potentially unused entries), go down because of less overall $$, or stay the same because the throughput bottleneck is the same?

Also, in my opinion, booooooo

Lack of PAPA sponsorship will already diminish the prize pool from previous years.