Flip Frenzy Win% vs Win Differential

I am running a flip frenzy tournament next month and planned on having finals cut to top 8 based upon win differential (i.e your record is 10-7, your win differential is +3). I was asked by someone to use win percentage instead of win differential. That way someone is not penalized for being on longer playing games.

I understand that concern but think there are a couple of clear positives of using win difference instead. For one, it takes away the incentive for players with a good record to slow play. More importantly, it adds a strategic decision to stop scoring a ton of points when you have the game almost assuredly won. We will have some of the top players in the world there and I don’t want a newer player to have to wait 45 minutes to lose to a top 20 world player.

I will mitigate this also by not having some of the typical longest playing games as arenas in the event, for example Willy Wonka, Toy Story 4 and Mandalorian.

What do you guys think? I know matchplay defaults to win differential but I can see both sides. Thanks for any help!


Here is a link to the event: https://www.ifpapinball.com/tournaments/view.php?t=52038#

As someone who’s run multiple flip frenzies a lot of depends on the player base. As a TD, you probably know your player base the best. Reading the 5.8 thread I was honestly amazed by some of the more popular options for FF in a given region.

I personally like win% and have used it on/off in the past, but because MP doesn’t do it automatically I don’t do it if I don’t want to do the extra work.

However for our 1 ball flipper frenzy (haha) we used win %. But of course in this situation games are waaaaay quicker…

Either way part of the “metagame” of FF is figuring out when your lead is “enough versus the current player” and then seeing what happens. There’s also concessions but in my region that doesn’t happen that much…in fact when a top player asks for a concession sometimes the response is like “Oh now I’m gonna try extra hard / trap up even more!” haha

I’d go for % wins. The argument about slow play is valid, but it’s often true that some players will get “stuck” on many more long-playing games than others, which becomes a disadvantage regardless of how well they play (especially when using most wins instead of net wins). One option I’ve not seen discussed yet is a “that’s enough” threshold for long games: once a player gets to X, they must stop. If the other player also gets to X, it’s a split. The current software wouldn’t process it, but making a manual adjustment after the fact would be simple. X can be chosen so that it represents an expected player game time, e.g. it typically takes 10 (or 15) minutes to get to X; that way, things keep moving. The least fun part of FF is when two good players are paired on a long game and have to slug it out for half an hour or more while everyone else is getting in three or four games in the mean time. Yes, it’s satisfying to win games like that, but I’d rather do that in a different format. It’s super annoying when you lose - - you spent all that time for less than nothing.

I’ve ran over 30 frenzies in the past couple of years, never seen a 30 minute game. In fact I don’t know of too many games hitting 20 minutes. Just looked at some of my statistics from 2 recent frenzies with 35+ players. Godzilla Premium is the longest playing game at 8 minutes.

Frenzy #1 - 42 players. 2.5 hour time limit, no finals. Average games played 24.3. Most games played 29. Fewest games played 20.

Aerosmith Premium - Toybox disabled. 20 plays 06:26
Attack From Mars Remake LE 21 plays 06:21
Baywatch - Shark Flip disabled. 0 plays
Black Jack 22 plays 05:16
Comet 21 plays 06:04
Dialed In! (LE) - Tilts set to per ball. 17 plays 07:42
Eight Ball - Has powerball. 24 plays 04:20
Flight 2000 20 plays 06:10
Future Spa 24 plays 04:34
Guardians of the Galaxy (Pro) - Groot disabled. 20 plays 06:17
Iron Maiden (Pro) - Secrets disabled. 22 plays 05:14
Iron Man 23 plays 05:06
Jurassic Park (Pro) - Secrets disabled. 18 plays 07:11
Lectronamo 0 plays
Meteor 23 plays 04:34
Monster Bash (Remake) 18 plays 06:47
Night Moves 22 plays 05:57
Nine Ball 25 plays 03:41
Nitro Ground Shaker 25 plays 04:09
Space Shuttle 20 plays 06:07
Star Trek (Pro) 19 plays 07:47
Star Wars (Pro Comic Art) 19 plays 06:54
The Flintstones 3 plays 06:42
Twilight Zone - Has 2 powerballs. 22 plays 05:20
White Water 20 plays 07:04
Wild Fyre 23 plays 04:53
World Cup Soccer 94 0 plays
WrestleMania 12 plays 05:48

Frenzy #2 - 37 players. 2.5 hour time limit, no finals. Average games played 25.8. Most games played 29. Fewest games played 22.

Aerosmith Premium - Toybox Disabled. 12 plays 03:49
Attack From Mars Remake LE 13 plays 06:39
Avengers: Infinity Quest - Portal set to pass through. 12 plays 06:40
Baywatch - Shark Flip disabled. 12 plays 06:37
Black Jack 13 plays 04:25
Bobby Orr’s Power Play 13 plays 04:42
Butterfly (5-ball) - EB’s disabled. 14 plays 05:34
Centaur II 13 plays 04:57
Cirqus Voltaire (GARAGE) 6 plays 07:44
Comet 12 plays 05:43
Dialed In! (LE) - Tilts set to per ball. 12 plays 07:06
Eight Ball - Has powerball. 15 plays 03:47
Flight 2000 13 plays 04:30
Future Spa 16 plays 04:25
Getaway: High Speed II - Has tournament ROM. 14 plays 06:03
Godzilla (Premium) - Secrets disabled. 11 plays 08:00
Guardians of the Galaxy (Pro) - Groot disabled. 13 plays 06:11
Harlem Globetrotters - Bonus does not carry over. 13 plays 04:50
Iron Maiden (Pro) - Secrets disabled. 14 plays 05:04
Iron Man 13 plays 05:02
Joker Poker (5-ball) - EB’s disabled. 12 plays 06:30
Jurassic Park (Pro) - Secrets disabled. 9 plays 07:51
Lectronamo 0 plays
Mars Trek (5 Balls) 13 plays 06:14
Meteor 14 plays 05:10
Monster Bash (Remake) 14 plays 06:40
NBA Fastbreak (Ties broken with 1-ball) 12 plays 06:42
Night Moves 13 plays 05:11
Nine Ball 0 plays
Nitro Ground Shaker 13 plays 04:38
Rollergames - Has tournament ROM 0 plays
Rush (Pro) 12 plays 05:44
Space Shuttle 14 plays 05:24
Spirit of 76 (5 Balls) 12 plays 06:47
Star Trek (Pro) 12 plays 05:42
Star Wars (Pro Comic Art) 11 plays 05:19
The Flintstones 0 plays
Theatre of Magic - Has tournament ROM. 13 plays 05:52
Twilight Zone - Has 2 powerballs. 13 plays 04:33
White Water 0 plays
Wild Fyre 13 plays 04:59
World Cup Soccer 94 11 plays 05:18
WrestleMania 12 plays 05:48

That is a great way to count as 1/3 of a game

To me, this is the crux of the entire FF discussion and why I personally hate the format.

I promise you that the only possible way that those “newest players” will ever have a chance to become a top 20 player themselves someday is if they sit there for that 45 minutes and watch closely everything that top world player does to obliterate them on a game they thought they were pretty good at. And hopefully, they have a huge grin on their face the entire time as an entire new world of possibilities is unlocked right before their very eyes for free!!. This is the single most important thing you can do as a new player to improve. Watch someone better than you do what they do. In the olden days, this was the only possible way available to get better! And even today with pinballvideos.com and constant twitch streamers, there is no substitute for watching a great player play live and up close because you get to see all the nuances you miss in the “player cam”; their stance and footwork, and their nudging, etc.

Some folks obviously enjoy playing-as-much-pinball-as-you-possibly-can-without-ever-waiting and that’s great. I’m happy for them. Really. If these new players are uninterested in getting blown out by a top ranked player and just wants to take their L and get back in line, then that tells you all you need to know about how much the results from such a format should count in the rankings (hint: not very much). But I’m sad that these players are missing out on a wonderful opportunity.




Yep. I was pretty trash when I first started playing competitively, watching is absolutely the way I got better. Especially good point on the micro nudges/cabinet slaps and whatnot you’ll only see a player do live. Also in response to DJ, I did manage a 30+ min FF game once :rofl:


a 1,000 times, this ^^^^. I still remember my first TPF, and having a new world of pinball skill possibilities unlocked before my eyes as @DNO and Trent schooled me at pinball.


Game checks out.

Which way is more "Super Fun"™?

You missed the point. When 2 good players have a joint 20 to 30 minute slugfest, which Does happen, they’re at a huge disadvantage vs. those Average times you show. I never said anything about Average game times that long.

Actually as long as the format is just wins vs losses I play as long as possible on every game. I found I was actually playing worse even outside of FF when I spent time in FF rushing myself. I just went back to playing normally and I’ve made every FF playoff since then…end up like 10-1 while everyone else is 14-8 or something like that. I’d rather camp out on Iron Maiden for a half hour instead of end up on 2-3 coinflip EMs. If it was net wins of course that wouldn’t work, but the only one I ever saw set up for net wins was the very first one I played in.

but you can get randomed into quick games or the other player in that 30 min game may give up and you will be forced to play others.