First to Three Wins - Group Match Play

The Jeopardy Greatest of All Time is happening now, which is pitting Ken/Brad/James against each other in a multi-game series.

The format is that they are playing until the first person wins three games; essentially a best of seven, but with three players involved.

I thought this would make for an interesting Finals Format.

  • First to two wins in a three-player group (Best of Four)
  • First to three wins in a three-player group (Best of Seven)
  • First to two wins in a four-player group (Best of Five)

Of course, you could go more extreme than that, but those types of matches would take forever.

  • First to four wins in a three-player group (Best of Eleven)
  • First to five wins in a three-player group (Best of Thirteen)
  • First to three wins in a four-player group (Best of Eleven)
  • First to four wins in a four-player group (Best of Thirteen)

It makes for what I think is an interesting hybrid between group match play (multiple players) and head-to-head elimination (1st place is the only thing that matters).

While it could be fun for a bracket, I think it could be good specifically for a Final 3 or Final 4.

Has anyone done anything like this previously?


I think Vancouver Regional Pinball Association does first to 2 wins group of 4, 8 or 12 player ladder or something

How about first to three consecutive wins? Never ending pinball action!

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I’ve played in a comp like that (it was actually my first ever 100% TGP win).

The whole competition was in that format rather than just the final, although with a slight modification.

In each group of 4 the first 2 players to get 2 wins progressed. Once a player had their 2 wins they didn’t take part any further so it became a group of 3.

In addition, if you came last twice in your group you were automatically eliminated.

The final was simply played first to 2 wins.

It worked really well, was easy to understand, and everyone enjoyed it. I’ll have to use the same format in an upcoming tournament.

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I know that Sweden tourneys often use this format. I’ve never played in this format, but it seems quite interesting – albeit a bit longer # of games (and duration) than the ubiquitous 3-game format.

@DDH For the format, how is playing order determined for each pin?
And what is the TGP used per round of this format?

Borås Pinball Open and Borås Pinball Classic Open have used a variation on this for years.

Four-player groups get a list of six machines to play. They go off and play and only first and last place count. As soon as a player earns two wins, they move on and the group continues as a three player group with the next game. A player is also eliminated if they have two last places. The group continues until two players have advanced or two players have eliminated themselves.

This is a really fun format as you are playing both to win and not to get last.

Since this is a non-standard playoff format, IFPA counts the actual matches that the winner has played for TGP, so if the player who wins plays super efficiently and moves on in two games every round, TGP could end up below 100%. However, this has never happened (knocks on wood). This, of course, would also depend on what the qualifying round looks like. At least the first two games are calculated at 2x, but then the group can move to 1.5x and 1x games as people move on or are eliminated.

At BPO or BPCO, eight games are played in qualifying and there are byes to be earned. Then, these four-player matches are played for three rounds followed by head-to head, best-of-five matches in the semis and final.

Play order is seeded based on qualifying for game one and then I believe 4th place chooses position first on the next game, then third and so on.