Papa 20


If it’s things like 0s that are concerns, we did have a discussion on this topic awhile ago ( PAPA scoring schemes ). There are other scoring schemes that can be used to make all of the results more interesting.

One standout example that was given was that 500M on GOT was the same as 2M. @bkerins made the argument that those were below-average scores and shouldn’t be considered, but I would argue that on an otherwise-tied ticket, those scores most certainly should be considered vastly different. Sure 500M is no 2B, but it’s no 2M either.

I haven’t even seen the announcement or whatever, just what was on this thread, so I don’t know all the details right now on explanations for the switch. However, I do wish more consideration was given to widening the scale and keeping the format substantially the same than going PND.


Since there seems to be a lot of negative feedback from top players, I’ll jump in and say that as a B player the last two times I made it to PAPA, I’m also incredibly disappointed. I’ve had both my greatest success and most embarrassing defeats of my life at PAPA HQ, and I’ve always looked forward to returning as often as I could and espoused the virtue of the format to anyone that didn’t know and was willing to listen. If PAPA goes to a P&D format, which I have no problem with in and of itself, I’ll have to seriously consider if I want to spend the additional cost on travel and lodging to go across the country when I can possibly do two regional events instead for a similar outlay.


Limited PAPA style . . . $300 entry, 6 tickets. Who’s in? :slight_smile:


eeek, yea, I’d be in, I think I’d still give it a shot, that would be interesting for sure.


Even if finishing better than bottom 10% is a win for me, if the format lives, I’m in.


I think Adam said it the best, but just wanted to chime in to add my support to the “Keep PAPA…PAPA” side. Never got a chance to go, but looked forward to attending in the future. PAPA was the ultimate “TEST YOUR MIGHT” event and even watching the last minute qualifying stream was much more intense and entertaining than the majority of events. Echoing others that would choose to forgo PAPA with Herb qualifying as major tourneys with that experience are everywhere these days.

PS. It goes without saying that any of these criticisms are specifically directed towards the format and not towards the PAPA crew, without whom my competitive pinball experience would be significantly lessened and incomplete.


C/D player here. This change would almost guarantee I don’t play in PAPA world championships ever. Like others have said, I can get the best game format at any of the other events closer to me for way cheaper. Not to mention I hate pump and dump :slight_smile:


Gene brings up some good points.

First,[quote=“genex, post:49, topic:2108”]
the format seemed so intimidating.

It was an intimidating format to learn while standing in the PAPA Headquarter. This happen, because I failed to prepare thinking the PAPA Format was the same old same old format that I had seen before.

Brian Dominy and Donny White had to explain to me why I might be required to throw out a top score because the ticket would not support it. This was the beginning that cause the opening of my mind to the PAPA Style strategy being involved and which set it aside from other formats. Even the Pinburgh match play style, which is a monster for different reasons. Both of these named tournaments are held annually at the Pinball Asylum because of the complexity and strategic values. Hopefully, for that introduction to what they are missing in Pittsburgh.

Like Keith said, I would hope that integrity is not suffering because of money or prize payouts. If it is, start a gofundme and I will be there to support it.

Second, [quote=“genex, post:49, topic:2108”]
I’m curious to how the feedback to PAPA was based on which categories people competed in.
I just hope it is not just blanding for the masses. Not everyone will understand this PAPA format arriving at PAPA for the first time, it might take some thought and dedication.

Third, I agree and believe that the PAPA crew is awesome and applaud their tireless efforts to make these shows better and better.


For what it’s worth, I preferred the old system as well, simply because it was different. All the other tournaments around the country did their herbs and pingolfs and whatever, and then there’s PAPA. Biggest tournament, biggest prizes, toughest format. Seems right. Admittedly, I stopped going to PAPA after it got moved from summer to winter/spring… I really liked being able to bug out and run to Kennywood when I hit pinball overload. I have competed in the last two Pinburghs, but you cannot make a Kennywood run in that format.

My vote (if any balloting is taking place) is to keep old format. And move it to May :smile:


Do I still have to pay $20 at door? lol


I’ll echo what everyone else is saying as well.

My gripes are with the change to the format, the Staff and crew of the Replay Foundation are second to none in my books. I have nothing but admiration and respect for them.

I’d really like to understand better why this change was deemed necessary. I assume they are monetary, but you know what they say about assuming.


This is some sad news.

Adam pretty much said it best. So I’m not sure what else to say.

I find this an incredibly tragic takeaway - In talking with many other tournament organizers, we always felt that papa offered something special, unique and, quite simply amazing - out of respect we never wanted to steal the papa format - we felt it had its place at the most prestigious tournament in the world.


PAPA 20 Recent Changes…

Best game format…

Machines from all eras…



It’s PAPA’s decision to publish the feedback if they want to. I trust them deeply and am confident they would never make such a change lightly.

Maybe dozens of people shouldn’t have sent feedback panning the format and tournament, or more people should have sent feedback saying how much they like it. Changes get made based on player feedback, they don’t happen for no reason.

I wonder, if PAPA 19 had been a “normal” Circuit event and not a protected one, whether its player-feedback rating was good enough to keep it on Circuit. If not, that would be a strong signal to the organizers that the format and style should be changed.

And, just my opinion, but it’s insulting to some of the best event organizers in the world when top-tier players respond to this by saying the organizers’ decisions are “bullshit” or “a great shame” or “incredibly disappointing” or that the organizers should be “better than this”.

Instead, we should give the organizers some time and opportunity to explain the reasoning behind the changes, and understand that they are not making these choices arbitrarily.


As a long-time non-fan of pump-and-dump, I too am curious as to where the feedback to make this change came from. Divisionally skewed? Open or Classics? One nice thing about the tickets was if you had a good one in Classics early in the day, you could work on your letter division or just play the building for the rest of the day. Yes, having a good first couple of games and then a zero or two sucks, but as Bowen says, “play better.” I’m fine with a lower A pool if the format is kept; I want the Martian trophy.


I think you might be underestimating the importance of this format to ‘hopefuls’ like myself. I’ll somewhat echo what I said earlier. As someone who still has never qualified for A division, conquering this format really means a lot to me. PAPA makes a decision to remove this and that opportunity has passed. Had I started playing pinball when I was younger then I might be able to say, “OK i had my chance at qualifying in this format against the best players in the world and I just couldn’t do it.” So for me personally, I’m just not done and the hunger drives me.

Having said that (going out on a limb because I know I’m not the voice of everyone), I don’t think anyone here is deliberately trying to insult the PAPA organizers. We’re not ungrateful. We love the opportunity to compete. We are extremely appreciative of the work you yourself put into Pinburgh/tutorials/etc. We are extremely appreciative of PAPA and all they have done for competitive pinball. We complain because we care.


It definitely seemed reversed from the current trend of people moving away from “Best game pump and dump” style. I thought this was the format most disapproved by players in general.

Ticket style qualifier (not even sure what to call it… “EX-PAPA Style…”) was done in some tournament that I went to. Maybe not as main stream because it is more difficult for casual player to understand? NOt sure if it really is more difficult for a casual crowd since it is the same baseline for everyone.

VFO this year had a good mix of Main bank limited best game and Classic unlimited PAPA style. This could have been an alternative instead of making it all best game? It gives different experience to players by having different format, limited or not if getting more $$$ is important (could be resolved with % prize pool to make sure they don’t go in the red).

I am thinking there was not a lot of other tournament doing PAPA-Style just because there “was” nothing quite like PAPA after all :slight_smile:


Why not keep A div as is and change the lower divisions to herb style? Based on the reactions in this thread, it seems that most of the highest level players prefer PAPA qualifying to herb. This way A will continue to offer an additional level of world championship level difficulty, while catering to the “more fun” players who probably won’t be attempting A qualifying anyway.


In theory that makes sense, but it might be an ordeal on the admin side to have different formats running concurrently.


PAPA 19 was my first. I had a great time. I had no issues with the format. I found it unique and challenging.

My only issue with PAPA is the length of the lines, especially on Classics. I can’t really make it to Pittsburgh consistently twice a year. I prefer Pinburgh, but only because I get more actual play time.

In my view, the original format should be left alone, (if they can make it financially feasible for them). There should be some serious time and energy spent figuring out how to keep the players playing, not just sitting in line. I thought the format at INDISC was very effective at reducing lines.