Pinburgh Round 10 "Diversion"


I like this, it gives more of a head-to-head feel to things. This could produce:

1-4-5-8, 2-3-6-7 as Bowen has proposed - - steal the 2nd bye

9-16-17-24, 10-15-18-23, 11-14-19-22, 12-13-20-21 - - steal one bye

25-40-41-56, 26-39-42-55, 27-38-43-54, etc. - steal your way into the cut

beyond #56, go by groups of 4 consecutive positions as in prior years


Is there any data on distribution of people’s round 10 seedings that qualified? It might make sense to do 1 in and 3 out around the 40 cut if it’s common enough for someone who was ranked 60+ in the past to qualify.


In 2016, 34 out of the top 40 at the end of Round 9 advanced to the finals.

In 2017, 33 out of the top 40 at the end of Round 9 advanced to the finals.

More data can be found if you’re looking for something specific. Thanks!


No worries my friend :slight_smile: <3


I wonder how many of the 200 groups are in sandbaggable situations. Maybe a data query filter just after session 9 can be used to identify a much smaller number of groups that are at high risk of sandbagging, and these groups can have a TD present.


We do not have the volume of TDs to support close watching of even one group. With the old format I would estimate 6 groups per division that were in potentially collusive situations.


I still think this is the way to go… there has to be a reason other games do it, why wouldn’t it work for pinball? That way there’s no “he said / she said” or any awkward scenarios where someone with no chance would feel pressured into draining a ball on purpose to let someone get in… Everyone decides up front and then if not everyone agrees, it’s war!


It’s not up to us as players to decide who makes the finals, it’s up to us to play our way in. This isn’t MTG or Chess or any other game with draws. 6-6-6-6 is not a draw, it is a very specific scenario (difficult to achieve) where all four players earn 6 wins each.

6-6-6-6 by agreement would open the floodgates to what would be possible. The groups behind you might get creative with their negotiations and knock you out of what you thought was a sure thing. Get some 7773 and some 8880 followed by 9933 and TT22. Maybe even find a 12 behind that. There would of course be some money changing hands. But, how can it be stopped? Maybe this type of agreement could be reached in round 9 as well. Maybe round 5, instead of sandbagging you have a discussion with your group and see if there are a couple people who want 10s and a couple who want 2s. If there are, great!

I think allowing 6-6-6-6 by agreement would set a terrible precedent, and thankfully it is currently forbidden by the rules.


I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree then. I honestly think there would be no floodgates or anything like that. In chess or MTG it is forbidden to offer someone something, so anything having to do with money would be against the rules. You’re simply giving players an option to opt out of the 10th round if they are all in a good enough position.


In MTG these rules are necessary because players can force a draw through gameplay; if you ask WOTC why intentional draws are allowed, they’ll talk about how players can time out or otherwise draw in a different fashion.

Such is not the case in pinball. I don’t know why MTG didn’t decide to implement a play-your-best policy instead, but they must have some good reason (tough policing, as we know). It would surely make for some terrible streamed matches!

Some other CCGs, such as Yu-Gi-Oh, do not allow intentional draws.


But you could theoretically force a 6-6-6-6 draw through gameplay…

Interesting, I didn’t know other games do not allow it. Is it because in Yu-Gi-Oh you simply go by who has the lowest life total once time runs, so once again it’s because you can’t draw in normal gameplay? I would argue in the pinburgh scenario, a 6-6-6-6 tie would be a “draw through gameplay”, but that’s just my take on it.


“Theoretically” yes, by having players deliberately not play their best. (Also this is not just theoretical.)

It’s definitely an interesting and challenging issue. My opinion is that we cannot stop players from playing out and making a 6-6-6-6 (or similar result when the players know they all need at least 4 or 5), thus the need for different player assignments.

MTG could solve this problem by taking all players with the potential for reaching top 8, then pairing those players off (1 vs N, 2 vs N-1, etc) instead of the usual Swiss. However, this has some potentially nasty consequences: for example if 12 players are in striking range you get 6 vs 7, and those players can intentionally draw, making 6 and 7 secure while a better-seeded player has a match they must play out.


It seems to me that anytime a TD or referee has to fall back on a rule that says a player must play to win it is a sign that the event hasn’t been properly setup. If there is an incentive for a player to lose a match to win something within the tournament then this is an incentive problem.

In Pinburgh the incentive problem seems to be one of the following:

  • Money. Lower finishers may receive more money than higher finishers.
  • Play time. People would rather get the chance to play on day 3 rather than finish as high as they could.
  • Prestige. Some people would rather be #1 in a lower tier rather than finishing as high as they could.

Now there are very good reasons that the staff may not want to change these incentives to prevent ‘sandbagging’. People may balk at giving all the money to the elite players. Having everyone play on day 3 may be too time consuming. I’m not sure how you’d deal with the prestige problem to be honest.

In the end, these are tradeoffs. Making it a moral issue doesn’t change the fact that the incentives are skewed. I for one am not terribly worried about sandbagging. I would police unsportsmanlike conduct. I would make tweaks that lessened the incentives to throw games. But I wouldn’t make large changes to the format (no prize money to lower tiers or four separate tournaments) just to prevent a players from optimizing their play for their desired outcomes.

Pinburgh is the most fun I’ve had at a tourney and I wouldn’t mess with it too much. :slight_smile:


Ok. Perhaps the 24 people, give or take, comprising these 6 groups, give or take, could be entered into a head to head single elimination tourney for session 10 instead of the usual group play format used during the previous 9 sessions and using the same games pool they would have played in 4 person group play format with the other 194 groups playing the usual 2016 session10 format. The top finishers in the head to head tourney advance and join the group format qualifiers to fill out the playoff round.


Might be better off to think of ways to add an incentive to success in rounds 5 and/or 10.

Some options:

  • Rounds 5 and 10 could have different scoring like 6 2 1 0 - Maybe then people would be too greedy with the option of 1st places giving them a chance at huge gains. (also, I’m not sure I would be confident about the proper sandbagging strategy here, lots more of unknown risk)

  • Monetary prizes for certain totals in rounds 5 and 10. Say a 8 earns you $30, a 9 $40, an 11 $50 and a 12 $100.

  • Others?


I like the idea of monetary prizes in rounds 5 and 10, but with 200 groups playing not sure you could pay as low as 8.


Or an interesting twist… what about awards for round 5/10? Biggest jump? ‘Making the grade’… ‘From out to in!’… The medallions seemed like they were liked this year… maybe build on that and have some fun with it too. Consider donkey prizes for those who fell just off the cut or something. I mean, just be creative… maybe it just brings some fun to the event even if not monetary awards. Give them their 15 seconds of fame on the stage with Bowen… and just have some fun with the commentator too.


Or a 2 point subtraction from all 4 players’ 10-round aggregate scores in round 10 if all 4 players would have qualified before the subtraction. J/K


This would mean the sandbagging takes place in round 4, and now has an extra incentive, because plumetting your rank in round 4 (or earlier) means you have an easier round 5 (more chance at cash) AND you can still make sure your points total leaves you qualifying for the lower division you were aiming for


Problem - round 10 6/6/6/6 collusion leads players to game the system to all advance

Solution - any score card turned in for RD 10 with all 6s AND players are ranked 40 or less (or whatever the cutoff is) is forced to additional game. Player order determines 9, 7, 5 or 3 points.

This will put the best two in and the worst two out based on one additionl game. If people want to collude and put everything on a single unknown game let it happen.

It will delay tie-breakers but probably would stop collusion.

I also support the idea of simply letting it happen…if you’ve battled 9rounds and are in a place that the whole group can advance and no one wants to play for a bye on Saturday then so be it. It isN’t really different than earning a bye on Sat except you are eliminating yourself from having a chance to get two bye’s on Saturday.