So one of the downsides of Pinball Pinball Pinball is that the winner can often win by half a game, where they have the same losses as 2nd place but got to play one more game. I was thinking of running a small Flip Frenzy / Pinball Pinball Pinball tourney (probably under 20 players) in April but I wanted a finals component, maybe top 4 in a 3 game finals playoff just to eliminate any sour grapes that might come up from close finishes.
Any problems that anyone could see from an IFPA / Points standpoint or a general, would this be fun or not standpoint?
I think it improves the tournament to have some kind of finals. I’ve played it with 3 different playoff formats now.
Head to Head bracket - Top 8 are seeded by qualifying and play best of 3 matches on random games. This is fine but takes a while. Stays in the spirit of the event with 1v1 matches on random games.
PAPA groups - Pretty standard. Always feels like a good measure of skill, but is commonly used in lots of tournaments and can take up to a couple hours per round.
Final Frenzy - One additional hour of Flip Frenzy matches for the top 8 (or whatever). This one feels like the best choice in the spirit of the format, but there is some variance in the number of games played since it’s a pretty short time window. Not the most accurate measure of skill, but its fun, unique and wraps up fast. HT to @chuckwurt for the suggestion!
The location closes at 11pm, so a quick finals is necessary to shoehorn everything into a relatively small time window.
As for personal preference without a time constraint, I don’t know… they all have their benefits. If I want to win, PAPA group finals. If I want to retain the spirit of the format and prioritize the immediacy of “quick wins” in the finals, then Final Frenzy. It stung a little bit to go 12-1 on the night and take 3rd place, but I’m trying to “embrace the randomness”!
8 players made the cut. 6 started on games, 2 in the queue. That felt about right, but with varying game lengths there was a variation of 4-6 games played between players in that hour, which is significant.
I think trying to use games of similar play time would help to straighten things out a bit. Taking out the longest and shortest playing machines might be an experiment for next week.
Thanks Jdelz for sharing the data. Someone only got four games in the finals! which I mean based on the results didn’t factor in, but still. IMHO having the finals is to eliminate the vagaries that separate the top four results from the regular portion.
I’m a personal fan of skill verses luck or randomness. I know in pinbal it can be difficult but I’d like to minimize when possible. If doing the format of a time constrain I would have to agree that choosing machines with similar play times is crucial. It takes a little more input from the TD yet it’s well worth it.