Papa 20


In what way did you find the format at INDISC effective at reducing lines?


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Yes, that’s it. At INDISC, I would just get in the digital queue, then go play another game in the free play area. Or, just hang around and talk to friends, etc. It was a lot more pleasant experience than sitting in a row of too-close-for-comfort chairs waiting 20 minutes to play for 2 minutes.


Queuing INDISC-style doesn’t so much reduce lines as give you an idea of your wait time and, most importantly, let you be physically somewhere else for much of the time you’re waiting.


Exactly, the Intergalactic-whatever tournament at Pinburgh had the same issue.


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As a TD years ago, I had to try to write my own PAPA tournament software program. I got close but it was one of the toughest of all the tournament formats that I attempted. Thank you DTM for opening up the door to this format.

With that being said, I do believe that other TDs stayed away for this reason plus some other reasons. It is seemly harder to introduce more than say a 3 strike, match-play which could be caused by explaining the voiding ticket strategy. It does not make sense to a newer player, I know, I was there and now I explain to others the format with joy and vigor.


Can anyone who is proposing that the format stays come up with an appealing plan as to why and how PAPA A could remain ticket-style for the next 5 years?

PAPA A has never been as large as the EPC in the past 5 years. It hasn’t even been as large as Flip Out in the past 5 years. Of course, this isn’t true for PAPA in general. The PAPA event gets larger and larger each year. And in order to preserve the format more and more divisions have been added in order to try to keep A division intact.

If you keep everything exactly the same for the next 5 years as it was in PAPA 19, how does that help acomplish any of PAPA’s stated goals?

Our goal is to create and promote the world’s greatest pinball tournaments.

With a stagnant format that can’t support more players? That loses tons of money every year? That has to discourage play in its only open division?

encourage friendly competition, and spread enthusiasm for the game among casual gamers.

Despite the lack of growth in the A division, which I believe was necessary to preserve the format for this long, PAPA was growing tremendously. This growth was addressed with more resources in the form of more divisions, staff, volunteers, and games. All of these changes put way more strain on PAPA to keep this event going without much more of a reward. I’d wager a guess that for every additional dollar from new players that came into the facility more was spent to make that possible. There never could be a “break even” point in the PAPA 7-19 format because all these new players had to be shifted to other lower, cheaper divisions or encouraged to spectate only. The prize pool could never grow either, especially for A division, since more players couldn’t complete in A division.

I’m not saying that the new format is the best change, but it’s a change nonetheless. Without any changes this entire tournament cannot survive as a world-class pinball tournament. I’m absolutely certain that PAPA can become a much better event. PAPA has demonstrated in recent years that they’ve been able to tremendously grow 2 formats: The PAPA Circuit, and Pinburgh. They’ve been able to subdivide and stagnate the PAPA event to keep it afloat for about as long as possible.

Good luck to @PAPA_Doug @mhs @chesh and all the PAPA crew on continuing to promote competitive pinball and continuing to create world-class events.


It seems that lots of people love the Pinburgh format. Why is that not used more often?


Number of games required for a large-scale event is insane. We just had a match play event here in SoCal and had to limit the players to 48 due to only having 12 machines available. Max # of players = #games x 4.


Pinburgh format has a specific start time, people just cant show up and play a few entries and leave. etc

Pinburgh / Group-Match Play is my favorite format.


What Karl said, sheer volume of games required makes it very hard to run.

I just finished my 2,000 sqft building and am currently filling it with games, then I plan to run a Pinburgh format and a PAPA format up here in Canada.

But it still won’t match anything that PAPA does, no one can match that. Which is why so many of us a distraught over the change.


I’m sure that’s the issue. I dont know how many games fit in the PAPA facility, but during PAPA, it was interesting that 90+% of them were sitting idle at any one time.

IF things have to change, it seems like someone should create a format that uses all of the awesome games at PAPA, rather than just a small subset.

I’d be much more interested in traveling if I knew I’d be playing more than sitting.


ReplayFX + Pinburgh uses them all just about.


How does changing it to Herb style grow A? Just curious… Under the current system the top finishers in B get bumped to A the next year so in theory A should be growing.


Yes, all the games in the building will be on free play.


I’m a B player and at $25 a pop I wouldn’t compete in A because if I got a bad game or two the entry is bad. Now the attempts 3 for $12 are valued at $4 and id be willing to spend $200 to squeeze into 24th to break even.


Can you explain why you think that you have more chance in Best Game format?


The impression I get is that this would likely be the way things go for PAPA 20, because it could use the same queueing system as INDISC.


I don’t necessarily think I have a better chance but for $192 to get 48 individual entries compared to PAPA 19 where it was $200 for 8 cards. I feel i get a better value and maybe I can put up 6 decent games.