Do you play your tournaments sober?


Sample size of one, but in the tournament I played in today I played much more consistently than any tournament where I’ve had a beer (and I normally do not drink much, just a beer or two). I could tell my timing and reflexes were better. I know it seems obvious!


Alcohol does not help me. Reaction time is one thing, impulse control is another. A lot harder to stick to the script under the influence. If I’m so excited I can barely hang on (caffeine issue), having a beer might balance it out. But anything in the ‘fun zone’ isn’t helping. I can remember a couple times I put my initials in while drunk, but what do you expect if you play a game all night.

Weed is another thing, but in the interest of being discreet (nyc), hard to manage the perfect high.

Tournaments go 6 hours or longer. Staying hydrated and maintaining blood/sugar that isn’t wildly swinging is enough trouble. Like someone else said, sobriety reduces the variables.

Easier said than done y’all!!!


Of the four finalists at Pinburgh, I believe that only two of them drink, and the one that drinks more than the others (not during of course) was the winner.


During PAPA the gas station down the road from HQ had a pretty decent craft beer cooler in back where one could buy six packs and the like. Also 99 Beers up the hill from HQ has an awesome selection of draft and bottles, although pricier.


I like to have a beer or a drink to take the edge off if I’m getting a little uptight and playing poorly because of it. I really like to drink crown and coke or Sprite but find I have a harder time limiting that and playing well. Beer is much easier for me to limit. I got my highest point total at Pinburgh when I got a beer before hand. I carded an 11 on the stage set that had Batman in the group. I almost got that bounty coin Bowen was handing out for perfect 12s. Now did the beer get me almost there or did it prevent me from achieving it? Hmmmm?


My general impression in this thread is that if you have problems with nerves or keeping calm, then a drink or two is helpful and the inherent physical downsides are made up for (and then some) by the mental calmness that results. Then there comes a point after that where this is no longer true.


I’ve never consumed alcohol while in a tournament, even the local monthlies, but this is chiefly driven by the fact I rarely drink and I have always been the driver (as a general rule I drink nothing if I’m driving, even if it will be hours before I leave).

It feels like I do perform better caffeinated and if I eat before the tournament starts, but I’ve not done any objective measurement of either to confirm this to be the case.


I mentioned it on another topic, but I am a teetotaler, so yes, I will be sober 100% of the time at all events I go to. The only alcohol I consume is in medicine, and only if I am suffering an illness the medicine is designed for. I’m guessing it’s more the medicine than the alcohol, but even one teaspoon of that stuff seems to be enough where I make more errors in my driving and I feel drowsier than normal.

The reason I am a teetotaler is because my family has an extremely low alcohol tolerance, and don’t want to take chances with that. I’m also caffeine sensitive, so I cannot take any caffeinated drinks either. But I will respect everyone else by default unless I discover a reason not to respect them.


The main ‘positive’ of drinking is that it can help settle your nerves and boost your confidence - The main ‘negative’ of drinking is that it can slow your reflexes or impair judgement. The trick is balancing the pros and cons.

I’ve played tournaments completely dry (if I’m driving), just a couple of pints and having a couple more than intended.

I’ve noticed no discernible difference between dry and just a couple. Having a few too many has resulted in some absolute disasters, as well as some great games.

On a similar note I used to play darts to a very high standard. I ALWAYS played better at the 2-4 pint range, if I came out of that range the quality of my play dipped significantly, so much so that, as captain of the team, I always ensured that I played my matches during the middle part of the evening. Just a shame I can’t do that in pinball tournaments.


Exciting update. I played a tournament stone cold sober for the first time and still got 2nd place. I need to prepare for Pinburgh, cause no way can I maintain a perfect buzz for 3 days straight.


Yeah there are weird laws in PA about buying 6 packs and of course stuff in more expensive in the city. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from all of the PA tournies I’ve been to is to always bring your own beer when travelling to PA~


@BonusLord @sk8ball

Last I checked, Wegmans stores in PA had gotten around this, allowing them to sell beer in quantities smaller than a case including mixed six packs, etc. Not sure where the nearest one to PAPAHQ is or if that policy is consistent at all stores but worth checking out. Their prices are also pretty reasonable, in NY they’re usually the cheapest and the intarwebs says they’re cheaper than most distributors in PA. Wegmans is great!


PA laws just changed, you can finally buy six packs and even get growlers filled or grab individual bottles just about anywhere they sell beer. Wine too in many cases but you’ll still need to find a state-owned store for spirits.

That said, I don’t find alcohol helps me play any better and certainly has a deleterious effect past a certain point. For the good or the bad, I have to drink quite a lot to get to that point so I mostly don’t worry about it.

Now if the Colorado guys ever organize a Hunter S Thompson Classic tourney, I’d be in just for grins. And science, of course.


Or hit up the corned beef place and bring a few Yeunglings into the convention center in an oversized purse.


Potentially, a little Sativa can be nice… you don’t want to endure couch lock while playing a “serious” game.


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Lately I haven’t drank much during tournaments but I usually do better having had one beer or so. Just enough to take nerves down half a notch. I used to drink Crown and coke but I’ve found I’d drink it too fast and more than a couple an hour and I’d start loosing performance. I drink beer much slower so it self regulates lol.