Pinburgh conundrum


I hear you. I agree the divisional restrictions are odd if the idea is that D is a “novice” division which I certainly don’t think it is seeing the calibre of players that made it into D finals. With 800 pinball players coming to compete it does seem more about just giving more people a chance to be competitive on day 2 and 3.


I would like to see a solution that insured a 3rd day of Pinburgh play but not sure what it could even be outside of just expanding divisions (by that I mean adding divisions). Certainly there were players that should have by and far been restricted out of D. I know of a few that said so themselves. Good job on qualifying for a finals and moving up in it some! Still waiting for that call to be on This Flippin Podcast! :wink:


You have some points here. So I say go with @mizary 'a ideas with Swiss pairings. Don’t see how that format could be gamed. You could also use zero restrictions. May the best 160-200 make it.


Note I said… “(minus game situational stuff like killing a game opportunity they had setup)”. What was throwing me was he was not limiting the 4th player’s maximum scoring potential… but what he was doing was actually forcing another player to take a point, so that the 4th player could not be in the top 2 total for the group.

IMO it falls under poor sportsmanship to win by blocking the independent path of another. But since it’s all match play… they aren’t truly decoupled. But it is dirty pool IMO.


I missed that bit about minus situational stuff :open_mouth:


Yes!! I literally listened to the Radiolab podcast episode about the badminton players on the way to Pinburgh and then forced the players in my group to listen to me retell the whole thing as we discussed a blatant sandbagger. I’d encourage anyone interested in this topic to listen, as it takes on many of the questions we’re asking here, like, “Is it a strategy? Is it within the spirit of the game? Is it only okay if you make it look good?”


Ha, yes, if “Pinburgh” = large tournament structured the way it is today, followed by a large thread on Tilt Forums about sandbagging, because the tournament format motivates a large percentage of the players to consider sandbagging.

I don’t think the format must be changed by any means, but that means the above, the cloud of sandbagging will always be there with the format as-is.


Just be aware that expanding the restriction to top 100 for A is going to put a few people in a position where they feel like they may as well not compete. There are folks that spike good tournament results and end up with somewhat inflated rankings until they roll off the 3-year list.

I don’t consider myself in this boat, but I’ll use myself as an example. I was 6th in A at Pinburgh 2015 due to a massive run of luck and good play, and my reward was something like 89 WPPRs which inflated my ranking from near 200 to 70-something. I’m nowhere near that level of player on a consistent basis, I think of myself as more of a high-B player in these kind of environments. But I could totally see someone looking at a single outlier good result as some sort of penalty at being locked to a division above where they feel they are skill-wise. PAPA has this to some extent by locking top 200 to A.

In a format where you have a limited amount of time to make a splash, I’m fine with A restrictions being top 50 because it’s SO easy to have a bad round or two. PAPA is a bit different in that you have time to spike those good games now.


So if I’m playing Radical in a match, and as player 1 I choose to sacrifice not going for multiball as a way of playing possum to not risk locking a ball for my opponent, purposely not trying my hardest on that game on that ball . . . I should be DQ’d? :slight_smile:


[quote=“mikeS, post:220, topic:2953, full:true”]
If you purposely stay out of the rankings and avoid IFPA tournaments for the purpose of gaming Pinburgh and winning a few hundred bucks than so be it! If you tighten up restrictions you can make sure that this player doesn’t get away with it for more than one year. [/quote]

You don’t have to stay out of IFPA tournaments. Try looking up the ranking of Bowen Kerins… Or Chris Newsome.

The problem isn’t at the top - it’s in the vast majority. You are asking for precision from a system that doesn’t have it across the baord. The narrower the bands are… the more precision you are asking of of the system.

It’s fine to look at your foot… and estimate the size of a room assuming your foot ~12". It’s entirely different to build something expensive or uncorrectable using your foot as your guide.

Look at top B qualifiers… the top 4 were ranked 205, 2129, 165, 542.
Top C qualifiers…447, 817, 831, (?)

It’s not unfair to say that outside say the top 250 or so… the quality of an IFPA ranking quality really starts to slide… and not too much further goes to junk when it comes to comparative measurements.


No, because you are still doing your best to win that game. Not the same as intentionally throwing the game.

Stupid Radical…


I remember that tiebreaker [but not whether or not I was in one of the groups]. I’m all with Josh on this entire issue. Making your best effort to win the event may involve losing a game at times, or even placing a strategic 2nd or 3rd in a group of 4. If the TD or whomever is writing the rules doesn’t like that, change your format! So long as your format makes it possible that losing a game or otherwise doing less than a player’s best at any time increases that player’s chance of winning the event, the player is entirely within their rights to do so. They are doing their best to win the tournament. That’s the whole point! The format is ON YOU as the TD. If avoiding Keith, Zach and Bowen until the final four is the path to victory, then change your seeding process so that those who perform the best at each stage get choice of whom they face in the next round. If you don’t like someone “strategically underperforming,” then make the format one that never rewards it, as current seeding based on qualifying position often does.


Larry mentioned trying your hardest every game, every BALL :wink:


No, you’re still playing hard (I assume), just choosing different shots based on that particular game. Not much different that avoiding the MB lock because you may have a history of bricking it. Sandbagging is when you deliberately play to score fewer points than an opponent. Denying free locks for opponents is not that. There are other ways to get points on Radical that do not involve potentially helping the next player… choosing those methods is simple game strategy.


Definitely worth a listen. Everything in this thread comes up in the podcast. The rules committee just happened to have a rule on the books that said something like ‘you have to try your best’ so when the players were purposely making plays to lose (I could picture what they were describing and it made me laugh out loud) even after several warnings, they all got the DQ.

I will bow out of this thread. I can see it is an ‘agree to disagree’ situation. We do need clarification from Pinburgh organizers what their rules are attempting to address for everyone’s sake. I had an amazing time and didn’t see any of the behavior mentioned in this thread. In fact, in the last game I played in finals, I entered with 0 chance of advancing as the 2 in a 7632 group. But how I played mattered to the 3 and the 6. So I played my hardest and won it. The 7 played their hardest too, and came in 2nd even though the game meant nothing to him either. Had the 3 overtaken me, the playoff would have happened.


Yes, this is the conundrum really. On one hand I can’t blame people for doing what it takes to place themselves in the most favorable position… on the other hand, it sucks that the format encourages that. Hence my question to even play in Pinburgh again. I’ll probably come back anyway, match play is a blast… but the fact sandbagging will always be present is a bummer.


Yup! That’s fine imo.


I’m not trying to be a smart-ass here, but if the tournament rules say you are eligible for Division D, does it matter where people “think” you should be? I’m just trying to understand that argument because I see it being made frequently.


This is what the Pinburgh format already uses, tiered Swiss pairings.


Okay that makes sense. Now what about @mizary 's format change idea to eliminate sandbagging? Thought that was very interesting.