High Stakes Tourney $4K Guaranteed For 1st

Who is in? 50 players minimum to guarantee $4000 for First Place. Event will be held in either northern Delaware or Southern PA. Event is tentatively taking place in March if interest is high enough. Format would be 3 hours of qualifying with A and B divisions broken out after qualifying. If you want a chance to win $4000, post up. $100 entry fee. No coin drop. Winner would not take all. Based on minimum 50 entries, $4000 to first, $300 to second, $200 to third, $100 to fourth all for “A Division”. “B Division” would pay $250 to first and $150 to second. More than 50 entries, the first place prize money for “A DIVISION” would increase. If I can’t get enough interest the tournament will not happen.

The premise behind this is that in addition to Pinball, I also compete in high entry pool tournaments and high entry bowling tournaments and usually once a month I can find a place within 2-3 hours of Delaware to go play in a high stakes pool tournament or bowl in a high stakes bowling tournament. So I thought why can’t we have one of these tournaments for pinball. Let’s see if we can make this happen.

While I’m going to be the TD of this tournament, I will also be playing in the tournament, so count me in. 49 to go.

3 hours of qualifying how? Best game? With 50 players 3 hours would only allow a few entries each.

Group Match Play. This won’t be a pump and dump format. One entry fee.

I would say you could get 6 maybe 7 rounds of matchplay in for 3 hours of qualifying. What are the rules for starting another round? 2:59 if a round ends do you start another one?

I would recommend just committing to 6 or 7 rounds. That way everyone knows how many there will be. In a high stakes event, could get some really salty people if they rounds aren’t entered and ran efficiently.

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Format isn’t 100% finalized. Open to ideas. Could easily guarantee 6 or 7 rounds then break out to finals. I will say I’m new to competitive pinball, a little more than a year under my belt and I’ve only ever directed 1 tournament so far. So I’m not in the know per se as to which format would work best.

I like to compete in general so this is why I’m throwing the idea out there. While I’m not a top 100 or even a top 1000 player I like to play against the best and if there is money on the line, that just ups the intensity and makes the challenge even better. I feel like I can compete with the best of them and if I can do that while also having a shot at some cool cash, count me in. Others will probably call me foolish, and I’m fine with that.


I definitely like the idea and if I was closer I would play. I would try to get the format to a place where the top dogs will want in. $100 entry for each person is close to pinburgh levels so you’ll have to make sure the format is a popular one.

I just had a 40 person event with 6 round matchplay qualifying with a matchplay final. I did get some gripes that it should’ve been at least 8 rounds for qualifying, but it seemed to work out well for almost everyone. This had no entry fee though, so who knows if they would’ve played for $100. Probably not. Haha. Interested to see how many players you get.

I would not be in, for the reasons you just gave: you’ve only run one tournament, and you plan to play in this one despite the high stakes. The lack of emergent details on format is also a concern, but that is very solvable.

You should consider finding someone to help run your event, or sit this one out. That will encourage more players to attend.

I’m glad you are considering organizing a big or growing event.


Duly noted Bowen. What would it take to get you specifically to play?

maybe @alwysmooth would help you… This sounds right up his alley. There are lots of tournament “pros” in the 95 corridor. I know Justin Bath would make a road trip to collect on 4 large :slight_smile:

Kevin, let me know if you want to assist. And I agree, the whole 95 corridor from DC to NY and everything in between should pull out quite a few players. That’s the goal.

Depends on when it is, format may need some thought. I would definitely not play if I ran it, those kind of stakes need to avoid any conflict of interest regarding rulings and game setup. Message me direct (you have my email)


Will do. And completely understand the conflict of playing and running it now that it’s been brought to light. If interest starts to pick up I’ll reach out to you and discuss things in detail. Thanks!

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For smaller stake tournaments it’s not a big deal, and quite frankly those types of tournaments wouldn’t happen if the organizer didn’t get to participate. But yeah, once it becomes more $$$ it’s best to take the example from PAPA and separate players from organizers. I do the same with my Pintervention Circuit Championship (happening in January), which is basically a PAPA Circuit Championship but for events in the Washington, DC area. I host it at my house and the prize pool is almost $2000 this year, so that would be a really bad conflict of interest with the advantage of playing at my house.

However, I play in my Pinholics Anonymous tournaments at my house (including this Saturday), but I no longer take home any cash prizes. If I place and would have won money, all prizes slide down one spot after me. This is the best compromise I could come up with. But not playing after going through all the effort to have fun at my house isn’t going to happen either.

Use your best judgement as you continue to host tournaments.


Isn’t part of the point of running it is so you have an opportunity to win $4000?

If you offer everyone a warm up period, follow Papa/IFPA rules and have a couple of other TDs to assist with calls, i dont see any conflict of interest issues. Isnt Josh playing in his high stakes Power 100 championship?

If i attended id find joy in beating the host of his machines if i was capable of doing that.

For Pinburgh/Papa the staff don’t participate because they’re to busy running an event for thousands of people.


I really don’t understand why there is a B division in your proposal and why it pays more than 4th.


F*ck yes I am! :slight_smile:

(Although I am limiting my entry to $100. I expect a few players to be putting in the max $500. I expect Chris Newsom thinks that the stakes still aren’t high enough.)

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Your last point is the other half of why playing in larger tournaments you’re running is not a good idea, and a big reason I don’t for MAGfest (PAPA Circuit event I run). It depends on the situation. The one at my house as example for big $$$ - that’s just too much work to begin with so I couldn’t play even if I wanted to do so.


Yea, id try to put in a decent qualifying entry to help with WPPRs but thats about it for playing. Lol

The main point of this tournament is to reward first place with a high amount. Nothing is final except the $4000 guaranteed for first. The other numbers and ideas were just thrown out there as a starting point.

What if 40 sign up? 4,000 winner take all? What if 32 sign up? Still 4K to the winner?