Pinball! Pinball! Pinball! Tournament report and format discussion


Then have 2 in the queue?


image :slight_smile:


I agree, but I’m also willing to go with the “majority rule” in terms of feedback when it comes to certain things. Playoffs are pretty easy to implement and actually increase the TGP so more WPPR points are awarded. It also appears that a significant majority (70%) of people polled/responding want playoffs in my area.


i have got to say, with all the feedback and varying opinion i can’t wait to run our first one locally and see how it shakes out! :slight_smile:


Play in a different kind of event?

Please, please, everyone stop whittling down all the quirks that make this format unique (and fun as heck). When played with the Australian Flip Frenzy rules, it is indeed a frenzy, a mad dash to play much as you can, win as much as you can until the clock strikes zero and BAM, pencils down.

It’s not a format where the cream of the crop advance to play “real” pinball at the end. It’s a communal sprint that leaves everyone smiling & exhausted. If you’re not sweating at the end of a Flipper Frenzy, well, you’re probably in better shape than me, but that’s beside the point.

And no more of this “wins minus losses” crap. Just straight number of wins. Catch a bad break? Who cares, get back in the queue. Down a billion after ball one? Screw it, forfeit, back in the queue. Live, die, repeat. Up a billion after ball one? Maybe start draining on purpose to speed things along.

These extra layers of strategy (knowing when to cut bait, not playing a typically slow & surgical trap up style on certain games, because a slow win can be worse than a quick loss) make it so that someone who’s not the best pinball player can be the best Flip Frenzy player, at least for one night. And if you’re a great player who got unlucky with game or opponent draw? Suck it up and play the next tourney. You can’t lose 'em all.

I hope I speak for lots of mid to low-level players when I say I’m tired of every tourney format being structured to all but ensure the same faces end up in the finals every time. Pretty sure I’ve made significant contributions to at least a couple young players’ college funds over the last few years.

Not every pinball format needs to be chess. Bring back variance! You know why poker got huge on TV, at least for a decade or so? Because an accountant from Tennessee can catch a run of cards and beat the sharks. You know why amateurs don’t put up money to play chess vs. grandmasters? Because the best player always wins (zzz). If you want amateur pinball players to continue to line the pockets of Tilt Forum tourney grinders, maybe give them one format they can win occasionally… which also happens to be incredibly fun.

(This isn’t all aimed at you, chuckwurt. I hit reply on your post and just kept typing.)


That kind of event should not be worth WPPRs. There is room for many formats. Those that have bearing on who goes to SCS and competes for ‘best player’ titles should be skill based.


Next time we run this we’re planning to do a one-game sudden death finals for the top four finishers assuming there are fewer than 40 players.

This should preserve a lot of the randomness while still having a good face-off at the end and advantage to the top seed. We’ll see how it works but I think it will.


Can we talk more about this? I think the current Matchplay implementation that almost everyone is using is lacking and the actual format would be more fun and better balanced. The winner should have to go wait in the queue. I would really, really like to have the real flipper frenzy rules implemented.


Alright, it’s up - please give it your upthumbs if you agree.


Flipper frenzy with the Matchplay rules has been a big hit for us in 2019, and I look forward to running it all year.

The players requested finals. I obliged.

I’ve received great advice in the past from Trent to try and keep unique formats unique by making the finals the exact same format or similar if you add finals to a unique format. Hence my idea to run another round of frenzy for the top however many.

It’s still hectic, and lots of games are played. Especially when we’re in the last 10-15 mins. People are literally running from match to match.

I think most of the tweaks I and others have made for their events make it more fun. You don’t have to do it at your events, just what has worked best for our scene.

There’s still lots of parity even with all these tweaks. At the last flipper frenzy I ran, my wife made finals, and my step daughter almost got in but the last game (that started 1 second before the bell), changed her fate. That would’ve been the first time ever the three of us were in finals together. It was awesome.


I agree, but good luck getting WPPR nerds to agree that a winner should be punished by returning to the queue while a loser is rewarded by playing another game.

The “loser stays” rule is a subtly brilliant detail of the Aussie format that makes it so fast & furious. Since the loser remains on the same machine, s/he immediately starts a two-player game and plunges ball one while the winner goes back to record the results, before the next opponent in the queue is even assigned to the game. The next player drawn walks (runs!) over while player 1 ball 1 is already underway.


Fine, keep 'em. You don’t want Flip Frenzy spoiling the purity of WPPRs, and I don’t want WPPRs spoiling the purity of Flip Frenzy. It’s a deal.

There is absolutely skill in this format, including an entire extra layer of skill missing from nearly every other style of tourney. All of these are skills:

  • Playing a style which scores points quickly, not necessarily the most points possible regardless of time.
  • Swallowing your pride. If someone’s ahead of you and you know “I can beat this guy,” ask yourself if your time isn’t better spent on new game with a clean slate.
  • Knowing to quit when ahead. If you’re up a ton and think your opponent has a slim chance of catching you, let the ball drain.
  • Being near the machine when it’s your turn.
  • Not wiping the game with a towel, taking three drinks of water, and re-re-checking the flippers before each ball.
  • If you lost, learning from the game you lost on since you’re stuck on it. Use that machine knowledge to your advantage vs. the next opponent.
  • Also if you lost, pressing start on the next game immediately.

If two great players get matched up on GOT and spend 30 minutes beating each others’ brains out, they didn’t get unlucky, they played this format poorly.

Don’t worry, the usual names still end up at or near the top very often. Just not all the time.


I <3 the idea of having a finals in Flip frenzy format. I’ll probably try this at the venue with more casual /lower IFPA ranked players.

What was your cutoff and how long was finals? I assume it wasn’t just like top 4 playing in a Flipper Frenzy.


No idea. Never done it. Haha. Just thought of it today.

But I’m envisioning 6-8 and maybe 45 min to a hour. We have short playing games though. Almost all classics.


The next one I run will use this format instead of the PAPA format I used. Top 8 will advance to a 1 hour flip frenzy. Dope. Thanks.


You can do your one-game top-four finishers finals even if there are 100 players – the minimum 10% of qualifiers going to finals only applies if the qualifying was an indirect qualifying format. Flip Frenzy is H2H, a direct format, so take as few players as you want (and document) to the finals.


Indeed, you’re right. I’d conflated the 50% rule for all qualifiers and the 10%/50% rule for indirect qualifiers.


I don’t understand this, can you clarify how this works.

If you lost, you stay at the game. If you lose again you leave the game and the winner stays on the game, or do both players leave and 2 new people join?


Both players leave.

Those players are basically guaranteed not to play one another again for at least a few rounds since they re-enter the queue at the same time.


I was asked today if the software let you change the size of the queue once the tournament start. In case the 20% default end up being too fast or too slow depending on games and players…
Is that possible? I could not find the option at first glance?