Pinburgh "Exceptionally Good Play" - TGP Question

I so passionately hate this type of post. Just because someone doesn’t see the point it is now a “trolling” attempt and people applaud them for saying that. The use of “troll” is a derogatory term so I’m actually surprised it’s not moderated more as well.

Here is why this isn’t a Trolling attempt:
This is a very valid question that was posed and it could have very real implications on point payouts for smaller events. It may not be an issue for Pinburg types of events but I for one would love to see this rule used more often. I can’t count the times that I’ve been playing in match play events and 1 person is blowing up a game and the rest of us are bored out of our minds waiting for the next round to start. It impacts the overall length of time played at an event as well of which I’ve seen several people forced to bow out of their finals opportunities due to an event running well passed it’s planned time. I personally would love to see this rule expanded and used more often as it would promote a lot more fun at events as their will be much less risk of people waiting long duration’s between rounds.

If your event uses a mercy rule, the event will be worth 1/3

Asked and answered.

So Northwest show will now be worth 1/3? Shouldn’t it just not count that particular game?


As Josh said earlier we are not interested in trying to figure out:

“So on the second game of the 3rd round there was a mercy rule and then again on game 3 of round 4 and game 2 of round 1”

We look at it as “Does any game played have the potential to end with only a single ball played?” if the answer to that question is yes = 1/3

Simplest solution is five second mercy rule for every game. 78 games needed for 100% TGP. You’ll need a good tie-breaking method.

I once saw Pin-Golf results that were all in the range of 25-30.

They played 25 holes with ridiculously low par scores (some of which you could get off a plunged skill shot), just to get max TGP.

They then played a one-game playoff with anyone that had a ‘perfect round’ of 25 to declare the winner.

#WPPRexploits :slight_smile:

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When we were discussing this specifically for plundered balls, @pinwizj mentioned something about if the data was available, only applying the fractional TGP if the machine in question was played by the eventual winner. Would this expand to only impacting TGP if the mercy rule was triggered?

With regards to plundered balls the data we would be looking for would be:

A) Is it possible to plunder balls? (Turned off in software or via tournament mode)
B) Was it used in the event

A similar thing happened in the BPSO classics where they used Beat the Clock, any round where it was used, that game got 1/3, so instead of 1 TGP it was .33 TGP.

The difference is the potential.

You’re talking about specific instances of a specific game where only that game it is possible to play 1 of 3 balls.

With a mercy rule, ALL games have the potential to end in a single ball hence ALL games become 1/3.

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For the record, though all whitestar games have a score limit set to 10B-10 (I can’t remember if we removed this on HRC or later or not), if the game is in tournament/competition mode, it’s supposed to roll.

Personally, I’ve only ever 9’d Twister.


This is a direct contradiction of the Pingolf TGP rules. It is technically POSSIBLE for every game to end in one ball.

The reason I complain that people making these topics are trolls is because of this very thing… it just ruins things for everyone else when there was absolutely no need to because nobody was abusing the mercy rule.

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Also, two players rolled over Heavy Metal Meltdown earlier in the same round.

The issue was partly caused by leaving the inlane rubbers on the backup WPT. When the primary WPT went down and out, the backup was wheeled in, and whoops!

The original post here was made by someone legitimately interested in the question, surely not attempting to draw a response like “fine, everything is 1/3 now”.

Without evidence of abuse of the system, I feel events should get full value. The decision to mark the entirety of Pinburgh as 1/3 value because of one game out of over 8000 played is not sensible to me. There is no abuse or attempted abuse involved. Whatever.

Also, if there is evidence of abuse, such as the cheap 25 game pingolf, the organizer of the abusive event should have their eligibility suspended or terminated.


My goal in posing the question to begin with was certainly not to troll, and apologies to you Raymond if it came off that way. I’m trying to legitimately look for ways to improve the quality of events for attendees of events that I run. The impetus of my question is the event that I am running this upcoming Saturday. It involves using some machines on the show floor that we won’t have keys for and won’t have the ability to make adjustments to ahead of the event.

While it is not a Circuit-level serious event, I am still attempting to strive to get the event to 100% TGP while still being conscience of reasonable time limits. If we have an event of 48 people and one group happens to be crushing a specific machine, I as a tournament director want to know what recourse I have to ensure that the tournament still rolls on in a reasonable way while still earning the TGP the format dictates.

I like the Pinburgh rule because it gives us major flexibility to “keep the trains running”.

I agree with this, as I just had this happen last weekend in an event that I attended where we all waited around for an extraordinarily long game of Dirty Harry. It is my motivation for asking. I am trying to ensure a fun and entertaining event that isn’t unreasonably held up.

I debated whether I even asked the question or not, and just ran my event as-is with the hopes that no-one “tattles” on the event. I thought it would be best to get clarification because what I don’t want is a post-event “penalty” taking away 66% of the value of the event because I felt the need to use it during a single round of qualifying. My understanding is that the Buffalo Summer Open Classics Division ended up losing value as a result of inclusion of a specific game ( My assumption is that it was intended to be 100% but then had value taken away after the fact; I don’t want this happening to this event.

I also debated whether I asked privately for clarification, but I think the introduction of this rule is a potentially valuable tool for tournament directors on the assumption that it could be used with nuance; and the answer from the IFPA is that it can’t.

Given that this is the answer, I’ll echo the frustration with that as a policy position. We currently have no recourse to stop an in-progress runaway game for the sake of the flow of the tournament without sacrificing literally 66% of the value of the event, especially when I (or anyone playing by the rules I presume) would be willing to provide evidence of when it gets used. You have Pinburgh on the very extreme of that that loses 66% value because of a decision made that affected 4 of the 840 players for 1 out of ~8,400 games played in qualifying.


yeah, about that. Giving two players in that group 3 wins actually had a non-trivial affect on over 150 other payers in the tournament. It occurred during Round 6, once the divisions were set, so any player in the “A” division was slightly adversely affected because one of those two guys deserved one less win and one more loss, and both of them, at the time, were ahead of many of the 166 other players in “A” chasing them!

I don’t have the slightest problem with Pinburgh implementing that rule, but I sure wish they could do it without creating an “extra” win in the process (either call it a “tie” and give each 1/2 a win, or have some sort of 1-ball playoff or coin toss to determine who “wins”). One extra “win” may seem trivial, but if you’ve ever played in Pinburgh, you know that is not actually the case.


I was the bubble boy to get into A playoffs this year. 1 win would have gotten me in.

I’m now officially mad at WPT forever. :angry: I’ve never actually played one, but when I do I’m going to be sure to hate it. :stuck_out_tongue:


Subtracting a point from either of the players involved in that game would not have affected who made it into the playoffs.

This. The same 40 players would become finalists regardless of the implementation. There was no effect. Asking the victorious players to sacrifice a half-win is not a reasonable solution, because those players were told to stop. And the tiebreak is clearly not going to happen; those players are already both excellent AND holding up the entire rest of the tournament. Even saying both players were “given” 3 wins ignores the fact that both had to play for a substantial time and get a substantial score.

Other ideas welcome, but I feel like we have the right rule in place.


The WPT just needed to be setup a little more difficult, I was in a group too that went way over time in one round as well just lucky there was a break at that time. It didn’t help that there was a couple longer playing games in the bank as well. I am sure you won’t see that bank together next year and pretty sure you will be a tougher setup on WPT. Considering there were over 70 banks and there was a issue with really one machine that played too long nothing needs to be changed IMO. 299/300 setup fine is a pass in my books.

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Just to clarify this ‘mercy rule’ stuff, as I’m now getting private emails about the nuances of this rule.

There’s a difference between all games having a known ‘mercy score’ ahead of time . . . versus a TD calling for the mercy rule based on a specific instance due to ‘whatever circumstances’ are happening.

The WPT Pinburgh example follows that second description. There was no WPT Mercy Score of 100 million going into Pinburgh. There were other games on WPT during Pinburgh where players scored over 100 million and weren’t told to stop. The mercy rule was called on that one specific game of WPT, and as Bowen mentioned it had more to do with Heavy Metal Meltdown playing extremely long compounded with WPT going long.

I have no problem declaring those individual games as 1/3rd value, assuming the winner of the tournament played a game where a mercy rule was applied and that player was told to stop.

I don’t believe ANY tournament has a full list of predetermined mercy rule scores for every game, so the actual impact of entire tournament being graded at 1/3rd value shouldn’t actually be a real world issue.


Yes, the immediate response for the remainder of Pinburgh 2018 was to separate those games (Big Guns and Meltdown traded places). Pulling the inlane rubbers from WPT was probably enough, but wee didn’t want any further risk to the schedule.