Best Use of Pinburgh Practice Time?

What are some thoughts on best uses of the practice time before Pinburgh? Due to the scope of the tournament and number of machines, it would be impossible to play them all - so what is the best use of your time? I have seen a couple of suggestions:

  • Try to play as many of the games as possible (but slim chance of pulling that game/bank);

  • Try to play as many games of a specific era or manufacturer as possible;

  • Try to play the unfamiliar/rare games that are not in your area;

  • Try to play a “mock” bank on the bank causing you most anxiety;

  • Walk the rows to read the game cards;

  • Forget practice, extra hour of sleep!

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It feels a bit like studying the morning of an exam. If you’re not ready by then, an extra hour likely won’t do you much good. I plan on getting a decent night’s sleep (we’ll see) eating a good breakfast, and mainlining coffee in the run up to the start time.

Can’t wait!


I mix it up as much as possible:

  • Play the fastest game I can find
  • Play the slowest game I can find
  • Play any new Stern
  • Play any Gottlieb SS
  • Play a System 11
  • With any remaining time, play anything I can find that’s different from anything else I’ve played (classic Stern, classic Bally, Gottlieb S3, etc.).

Remember to report any tech issues you find to a tech or TD


I’m gonna find the World Poker Tour and see how it plays differently from mine. So if I happen to get on it in competition… I don’t try playing exactly like mine at home…


I think the extra sleep is worth more. But I’d like to at least play 1-2 balls on 3-4 machines. Try to find a stern with lightning flippers if you are not used to playing sterns with lightning flippers. If you aren’t used to EMs then maybe just focus on them - just getting used to the mechanics. Try some tap passes, lane passes, dead bounces. I also like to test the tilt on each game I play… For me ~15min of practice is plenty.


Revenge! I will find places I failed badly at in past years and prove to myself I can do it. I am looking at you Avaturd! Also on that list is my bank of death (which I know will is probably broken up now), Sapranos, Pat Hand, Medusa and ???.


Use that time for more sleep or a longer breakfast :slight_smile:


Find the skill shot on Fireball and 4 Mil BC… then back to bed


Find TX sector and hope it’s cranked to 11.


Nah . . . find someone that has already found the skill shot and get that info from them. STAY IN BED AS LONG AS POSSIBLE (people without kids may have a different opinion on the importance of sleep when you can get it).


I look at the practice hour as one straight hour to play Interflip Dragon.


If you haven’t been to Pinburgh before, it’s probably worth playing a bit if for no other reason than to realize that most games aren’t set up extra difficult. No need to psych yourself out about assumed game difficulty.


I think this is important. This year I plan on using some time in that hour to really get a feel of what the tilts are like in a variety of era of games. PAPA/Pinburgh games have a “reputation” of being difficult, and in the past this has caused me to play more tentatively then I should have when doing some preliminary checks in the first hour will help level-set expectations.

My intent is to play a variety of eras across a few banks to get a general feel and focus on fun titles that I don’t get to play very often.

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Josh took the words right out of my mouth.

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I feel the same way. I have not played many “TILT ENDS GAME” games in competition, and I am worried that seeing that piece of paper on the backglass might play with my head if I do not try them out first.

Except we never mention the breakfast joint by name :wink:

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Lol literally was going to type this exactly :rofl:

The sacred texts!


I would recommend watching the PAPAtv Live stream this weekend, where Steve Bowden is going to show off the game banks. With each game under the camera, you may be able to gain some hints at how a game will play differently than you’re used to - like if posts or rubbers are missing, or if Doug put lightening flippers on something you would not at all expect.

(Hint: Doug has put lightening flippers on something you would not at all expect.)

Anyway, that might help you figure out your machine testing approach for Thursday morning.