Gorgarsupperlip - The great thing about snailman is he doesn’t take feedback personally so we are free to speak openly
I plus one this. I think you and I are very much alike. We are pushed out of playing in “B” as we are considered “to good” but really aren’t good enough to win these tournaments. Yes, sometimes we can get on a hot streak or get lucky, like me at TPF this year but if you put us up against Phil, Robert, Colin, Garret, etc we will lose 75%+ of the time. Shoot, in the last 3 weeks I’ve probably played 20 games against Robert on my own games as well as games he’s owned. Think I’ve won twice…
Here is where my vomit comes from in the above. We (as a pinball community) are doing some GREAT things with bringing in new players into our world. But I think we are doing a very poor job in retaining those skilled competitive players that will need find the nut (blind squirrel analogy) in order to make a top 4 or win anything other than a local league event. So we basically fall into what I’m calling the pocket padders group. Not allowed to play in anything but “A” but realistically speaking are just giving our money to other people so they can feel like they can win something. It’s this feeling that I’m starting to get from pinball that has me 2 inches from the ledge of jumping off the cliff out of playing in leagues and tournaments and just sticking to playing at home with friends and family. The sad part is I once thought I was in the minority in feeling this way but I’m meeting more and more people that are backing out of competitive pinball because we all feel the same way.
Proof in point, those that know me know I used to LIVE for tournaments. I’d go to every one I could possibly go to. Now I don’t go to most and even was going to cancel my trip to TPF if I wound up 500 or less in IFPA.
Here is where I get my reputation of being an out spoken A$$ but at this point it is what it is. I’m not a fan of everyone getting a participation trophy for competitive events just to make them feel good. I want to see only the top players at that event be rewarded just like I see in every other sport. If I want to win something then I need to practice and play better but the most recent gut shot of getting kicked out of Bat City Open (for being “A” restricted) just to see 2 people that I consider every bit as good as me or better move on and get to play in the B finals really opened my mind and got me thinking about our sport.
here is my frustration. I don’t consider myself elite but am looped into that bracket. I stand no chance at winning a tournament that Keith, You and Josh show up to. I can get lucky and pass one of you or maybe even 2 but at some point that luck runs out. I know you consider me in that “elite” category, of which I think that’s just you being yourself (a genuine nice guy) but the facts are in the numbers. Look at my rankings against top 100 players or even top 200 players and my win % is beyond pathetic. I’m in the top 500 as I get a lot of points from playing in a league of 40 people of which only about 6 of them are their for anything but the drinking, socializing and apparently narcotics (recently learned this one…). But if you, John, Garret, Jason, Robert, Ray, Thomas, Mark, etc show up I realistically stand at best a 10% chance at winning and maybe at 20% chance at getting 2nd. That’s just a handful of people in Austin (I’m leaving some out too). If I can’t consistently be competitive against a dozen local players and am stuck in “A” it kind of loses that, “maybe I stand a chance” feeling that is NEEDED to keep the non-top players playing in tournaments.