High Stakes Tourney $4K Guaranteed For 1st


Are you actually qualified to make this statement? I think that many mental health professionals would quite disagree with you.


You need to build a reputable tournament in order to get the top players to come out to a tournament unless you are willing to fly us all out on your dime and play in it. I go to tournies where I know the TD’s that are running them or have a good track record so it won’t be a shit show. Every tournament I go to costs me $1500 to go to so I want to make sure it is worth the investment. Prize money is not one of the things that gets me to a tourney, it is the format, the prestige, the other players that are going, the machines and machine quality that will be played, and the city it is in, then the money… Wish you all the luck in pulling it off, if top players show and your tourney has good reviews you might see me there next time.


Not to drag this too far off topic, but I think the point is that it isn’t up to the TD to be a mental health expert. It’s their job to create a safe environment for all participants and to enforce the rules of the competition. In my opinion, the validity of the reason someone crosses social boundaries or commits rules violations is largely irrelevant.

Is it possible Dennis Rodman had some type of personality disorder? Sure. Does that mean he shouldn’t have received every technical foul and ejection he got? Again, I don’t really see it as relevant to the question of repercussions within the game.


I understand your viewpoint here. All I have right now is passion for the sport and a passion to help grow it. I just recently finished running the first ever tournament in Delaware (39 participants) and received very positive feedback from everyone in attendance. Many attendees came from DC, Baltimore, Philly, NJ, and even New York. I’m running my second event this Saturday and so far I have 45 people pre-paid, so hoping for another successful event. Looks like it will take me several more years to be known around the country, especially coming from little ol Delaware :smile:


Another way to get top players is to piggy back off another event. I help with flippers and pinvasion tournaments that both start on friday evening. If someone wanted to run a high end tournament thurs/finish early friday it would attract many of those top 100 players. Im not top 100 but i wouldn’t mind spending $100 to see what happens. I’ve pissed away a lot more money and time on dumber things.

I also enjoy playing with high ranked/rated players to learn from etc so the $100 would be worth it just for that.


You’re off to a good start though! Build up the local scene, help out in tournaments around you, see how things work and get to know people. Encourage others to have events and help them run them. It won’t even take a few years in some cases - the Delaware IFPA draw probably helps your case, especially to traveling players who might want to play in the SCS.

Right here! Get to know people and you’ll get to do cool things. Pre-tournaments are a good test of your wits; I can attest to that from the Pre-Pinburgh Kickback weekly. Who woulda thought that games would need to be planned around an upper floor weight restriction?


Having a name in your profile might help with being known. I don’t even know if I know you.


ehh… something I’ve already been doing for nearly 20 years thanks. But no one ever told me of the back channel where the TDs that have been tapped exchange the names and behaviors that we so eagerly want to share… but not in the open.


Sorry, your email briefing me on all the need to knows must have ended up in the spam folder for the last 20 years I’ve been part of leagues and events.

This is the type of cliquish crap that goes on that many seem obvious to. “oh if you need to know, you’ll already know…” wth is that?


It’s not like there is a cabal of TDs on a mailing list maintaining a blacklist. When I took over the CAX tournament, a group of players and area TDs came up to me and said “There is someone who is problematic, and he has been problematic for some years, and we would feel more comfortable if he wasn’t allowed to attend.” I looked into it and talked to some people and made a decision. Expand that across thousands of tournaments all over the country. That’s it really.


In my case, the channel is our country director or provincial rep (turns out it is the same person). They are very aware bad actors in our areas and very helpful providing support for TDs.


Have you ever asked?


My point being… avoiding these kinds of problems are relevant and meaningful to the operation of a competition… just like setup, rules, operating models, etc… all things we openly share in an effort to promote competitive pinball. On top of that, people like PAPA went to the next level and started making such information MORE ACCESSIBLE by capturing the knowledge and publishing it… and now those efforts have continued through IFPA and others… the point being, information is being shared and made MORE accessible so you don’t have to be ‘in the loop’ to benefit.

Yet here, the approach is 'Lets openly discuss problems… except dance around the topic of making that information consumable by others". I get it’s a touchy subject because of liabilities/etc but the path of “if you need to know, we’ll tell you” is counter to the longer journey we’ve been on which is capturing and publishing the ins and outs of running competitive events. IMHO…

I mean, just look at some of the response to this thread… instead of simply helping the guy with his concept and encouraging how to make it more solid… much of the talk has been around skepticism if he’s actually qualified to do it… These are the biases that are out there that people outside the circle are picking up on.


I agree with this part 100%, and I realize I am a big part of the problem. If people want to have continued discussion around ways bad actors attempt / succeed at cheating as either a player or TD and how to distribute that information, we should probably fork into a new thread.

@djreddog good luck trying to build up this event. I hope you have great success.


An experienced TD(s) is critical to a big event. If you haven’t been doing it for a few years and lots of tournaments, then you simply haven’t come across those scenarios that are affected by multiple rules, sometimes what appear to be contradicting rules. The other aspect is the impartiality and objectiveness that can be affected based on what ‘seems’ fair to one player and not the other, in contrast to the rules. It took a lot of mistakes that I learned from to get to the point where I feel I can be impartial and objective without remorse or feeling bad for a player to the point I consider ‘altering’ the rules to fit the scenario. Experience really is critical.

Two examples I learned from:

  1. Fairfax Pinball Open. Player A tilted through Player B’s ball. Pretty straight-forward right? Should have been but player A kept going on about how they barely touched the machine and it had been tilting all day. I made the incorrect decision and let them continue. Then Player B lost and I realized what a bad call that was, but had to stick with it.
  2. MAGfest 2015 in the test run leading up to circuit event. Meteor had 1 or 2 drop targets that wouldn’t stay up. Player 2 got 2000 points as soon as their ball 1 started. This was B division and two novices were playing. They didn’t get me the TD and ask. Player 1 just said it’s okay unless you beat me by less than 2000. Of course player 1 lost by 1000, so then he’s complaining. I let them replay the game. BAD CALL. a) they didn’t get me, so the game should have stood as-is. PERIOD. Of course Player 1 then won the damn game. UGH.

Those two were big lessons learned for me, and even though there seemed to be a level of what was right vs wrong, those decisions were not according to established rules. Experience trumps rocket science : )


Assuming you didn’t allow said person to compete - does that now mean the competition isn’t open to everybody and thus not sanctioned by the IFPA or eligible for ranking points?

For a number of years there has been ‘suspicion’ (OK not suspicion but actual hard core proof) that a very high ranked European player had been cheating in various different ways. Walking away from a machine in qualifying so he could restart, wiggling the coin door to activate ‘coin-door ball save’ and many other examples. The vast majority of people knew who this person was and what he was doing, and many simply stopped travelling to events he was attending. TD’s were either oblivious (hard to believe) or too intimidated to address the situation.
What has actually happened is that the format of tournaments and set-up of games has changed to stop this happening.
The frustrating thing is, is that the player in question is good enough to be at the top anyway without having to resort to cheating.

In a monthly league I run, it was brought to my attention last month (after the meet had finished) that a player was taking photos of his score in the practice session, and then submitting them as proof of his score in qualifying. I’ll be having a word with him when he next attends and putting the allegations to him - hopefully he’ll address his behaviour without further intervention from me, but he’ll be sure to have every other player watching him like a hawk anyway.
There is no prize money in this league, and only trophies for the top 3 anyway - I just can’t see the point in cheating in that instance anyway - who is he trying to kid/impress?

The bottom line is some people will always find a way to try and cheat, whatever the stakes. The higher the stakes the more chance that people will try and cheat.

Back on topic, I understand the thinking of the OP in wanting a high stakes ‘prestige’ to attract more players, but from my own experience the format of the comp is far more important than the prize. Concentrate on running tournaments that a range of skills of players enjoy competing in, you’ll soon get a reputation and word will spread and more people will attend.


If i lived within driving distance id pay the $100 bucks and if i got eliminated based on a poor td call or cheat id respond to it then.

The Power 100 wouldnt have the attendance if it didn’t piggy back Expo so I think its more about convenience to the player rather than just reputation.


I like the idea of high stakes tourneys. I’ve always dreamed about a VIP pinball tourney that was put on like a music festival. Multi-day with camping or cabins or condos. Maybe live music. Charge like $300-500/pp and put maybe 1/2 of that to the prize pool and the rest to paying for a killer venue and services. Would have to get a bunch of people to really do it up VIP style. Maybe all inclusive - food and drinks. One big tourney but lots of side tourneys all around the clock. 3am 3 strikes tourney! $333 guaranteed prize pool.


No there have been many examples of situations where a TD bans a player and the event remains eligible, and Josh has consistently deferred to the TDs judgment in these cases (even in one in which he and his brother were banned for winning too much.)


I’m not necessarily trying to attract the top 100 players. I’m just trying to attract people who don’t mind an entry fee of $100 with a chance to win $4000. My hopes were that being so close to MD/PA/DE/NJ/NY that there would be a large enough pool of players to pull from that would jump at this idea. However, it doesn’t seem that pinballers like to up the ante as much as pool players and bowlers.