PinFest Tournament 2018


Appreciate the insights, Greg. If we’re not taking lessons learned from every event to improve the decisions for events moving forward, then we’re not improving the experiences we provide for players.


I agree 99%. Unfortunately, there are places with choice.

“Any player who tilts their own ball, which then results in a tilt warning given to the following player will not have any consequences for the first offense. The player with the warning will be allowed to continue play as normal, or choose to have the ball played on a fresh game.”

“A player who plays out of turn in a multiplayer game will receive a score of zero. The affected player may choose to take over the ball in play, if possible, or he or she may choose to have the incident treated as a major malfunction”


I meant more in terms of TDs making up the choice, which I see happen all the time. (Although I agree those should be eliminated as well)


Well now it seems pretty clear that I was unjustly robbed of the title!

Corey, you owe me a bite of your next grilled cheese sandwich at the Rail.

Had a great time and was very happy to make the A cutoff. Looking forward to my next tournament.


Done and done.

Note to everyone: We also have a photo gallery of the event and winners that was posted on PinCrossing’s Facebook page:


Corey, congrats on running the tourneys… while it’s rewarding (in a sick way? :stuck_out_tongue: ) to organize/run these events… from the sounds/looks of it, yours may have been even more exhausting.

I suspect @bkerins may already recommended this for your Pinburgh-style finals, but just in case: have the players play the games in a bank (Pin 1, Pin 2…) in a predetermined order vs having the players get to choose what pin in the bank is played next. It will take less time for choosing, and players with the advantage of choosing best position will know which pin on which their playing that chosen position. This would mirror the bank/game/order selection process successfully used at Pinburgh, and makes for much less game-waiting when you have more than 1 group on a bank.


Thanks Colin! Agree that it’s rewarding (definitely in some kind of sick way?).

Bowen was kind enough to share some insight into Pinburgh structure as went into later rounds. In recent events that I’ve been involved with in the Philly area that have involved banks, we would play at venues where there weren’t simple physical groupings of machines (some upstairs and downstairs, some spread across the rooms), so we would add in game choice as an additional factor. The forced-order declaration would address where the machines aren’t grouped together.

We’ve even done four-game banks where there are three games in the round, and game choice plays a fun factor into decision making (i.e. it’s Game 3 and Iron Man and Comet are left: Do I pick Iron Man to force us to play a game I like, or pick a lower position and take a chance on game I might not know very well?).

At PinFest, if we’re able to get the same back row AND group the machines in nice groups of three or four, we can easily implement a straight-ahead left to right like they do at Pinburgh which will help out with potential jams-ups (and reduce time which is at a premium for the show).


We know that the Match Play event did not run smoothly. This is a personal disappointment because we ran a similar event at the York show and by all accounts that was a great event. It did not translate here to PinFest and we’ll think about either cutting it completely or modifying the format to be a better experience next time. Because we saw that the double-elimination format didn’t work well for Match Play, we pivoted to PAPA-Style Finals in Main and by all accounts the Main Finals were much smoother as a result.

Corey, thank you to you and your team for organizing the tournaments. I played in the Match Play event and had a blast. We had a few hiccups finding games in the early rounds, but your staff helped quickly field any questions and my rounds ran without a problem. I cannot speak to the finals (just missed the cut off!) but I really hope that the event comes back next year for those of us who want to compete but can’t make both days of Pinfest for the main tournament. Thank you again for all your hard work in organizing and running this event!


It was my first time attending the Festival and the Tournament. (And my first time in Allentown!) I had a great time and thought everything went remarkable well.

Thanks to Corey, the officials, techs, scorekeepers, streamers and everyone else for making it such a great event.

And congratulations to Jason Zahler for the big win!


Although I understand your point and would rule similarly in most circumstances, I disagree with setting such a high bar.

When I am the Tournament Director, if there is consensus among the players in the group as to what happened (ie, “we all saw the score reel skip”), I feel that that is sufficient for me to accept the players’ statements, even without a tournament official witnessing the malfunction.

However, I’m not arguing that that is what happened in this case. And I’d also agree that if there is any confusion, uncertainty or disagreement among players, the score should be voided.

Similarly, I think that players’ opinions, when thoughtfully constructed and respectfully delivered, are appropriate and are an important feedback mechanism for tournament officials. In the hot and heavy scrum of a tournament, there can be a lot of pressure for a quick decision, and I’m sure most TDs would agree that the subtler points of the IFPA/PAPA rules can occasionally be overlooked.

For example, at Pinburgh a few years ago, my machine had a major malfunction which resulted in a loss of ball on a modern Stern (AC/DC). The Tournament Director ruled I’d get a compensation ball on a new game. Because AC/DC is a game where you build toward awards (I had made a lot of progress toward all three multiballs), I asked the TD to consider changing the machine settings from 3-ball to 4-ball in the middle of the game, so I could get my compensation ball in the same game. (This is explicitly stated as the procedure in the IFPA/PAPA rules. It is technically possible on Sterns from LOTR forward.) The official agreed and asked a tech to do so. It made a big difference to my score.

For many years, I meekly accepted officials’ rulings, even when I knew they were half-correct or plainly incorrect, because I didn’t want to ‘cause trouble’. After years of being a tournament official myself now, I’ve learned how to respectfully assert my opinion to an official, making sure to do so calmly and, of course, to always accept the official’s decision as final. I feel that this is as important a tournament skill as any flipper pass.


Tournament was great. I was looking through some players scores and of the ones I saw (only looked through some players so there could be more) I noticed three players with 25-27 entries played. Being that the tournament was 24 entries max it looks like there may be a glitch in the never drains software that allowed a few people to play past the 24 entries or maybe a few more entries got added to certain players due to a machine getting taken out really early? Wanted to bring it up in case it was the former so that the glitch could hopefully be fixed before it affects another tournament using the software as it did seem to have an affect in one instance in Pinfest where one of the games past the 24 max entries for a player caused them to make finals and if it had not been played another player would have been in instead.


Maybe in future streaming of tournaments will add this to arsenal might help glareimage


One of those players with more than 24 entries was me. I had 25 entries.

A situation arose where someone else’s score was incorrectly recorded under my player record. The score was higher than any of my actual scores, so it gave me points I didn’t deserve.

I brought it up to Corey. He voided the erroneous entry’s score and gave me another entry to compensate.


I may have to bust out my PAPA sombrero next year.

Not only does it help with glare, it prevents any opponents who are viewing the live stream from seeing that secret move that gets you the big points!


Hey Harry! Glad you had a good time with the event despite the rough start. At our normal PinCrossing League tonight, we’re already cooking up ideas on how to run a Friday event for people who can only make the first day of PinFest. @ericwag was also providing some good ideas from leagues that he’s involved in on how we address long-running games, especially in an event where we’re not trying to max out TGP.

I do love the format, and as of now we’ll attempt it at the York event if there’s going to be an event there (with some improvements, of course).

This…might actually work, ha. Jay is already cooking up engineering plans on how we deal with it next year.

In short, we had the ability to override the 24 max if need be, in situations like the one that Eric mentioned. We had a handful of human errors where people were given incorrect scores, logged against the wrong game, or other issues of the sort that caused them to have a void marked against them that shouldn’t have actually counted as a void, so a bonus game was awarded.

Karl wrote in some awesome code that gave the Reg Desk a view into the number of entries a person would have after purchase. If it would have put them over 24, there was a nice big WARNING with an override option. All overrides were raised by the Reg Desk with me, and I approved them in the cases where they were needed.

For everyone, I was able to get Finals logged into MatchPlay, which will also end up in @haugstrup’s MatchPlay Ratings system.

IFPA standings for both events will get sorted and submitted by Friday.


You weren’t one of the players I saw with more than 24 but that explains it! Thank you for the clarification.


During the WiFi meltdown and possibly at other times. Multiple attempts were made to enter scores as “voided” which resulted in multiple voids being recorded for the same “entry” . This should explain all of the totals over 24 . Happened to me.


Yes, as Ed noted there was a point during the event where our wifi took a nap, and another where NeverDrains went offline for a few minutes.

Many thanks to Karl who I was able to get a hold of quickly and we were back up and running a mere few minutes later. Thanks, @kdeangelo! Multiple voids were given out to people who should have only gotten one, at which point extra tickets were given to those affected.


IFPA results from the tournament are posted:

Match Play:


Just a post-mortem note on this one-

I think everything turned out really well.

The biggest thing was the 20 game bank. A huge success. Lines were not an issue, ever, and I doubt anybody had any trouble hitting their 24 entries, even those who did the match play event. I was finished with my entries by 6pm on Friday. Didn’t even need to consider using the hour of exclusive time granted to volunteers and people who brought games on Friday night.

I do think, that with so many games and lines not being an issue, might want to dial it back ever so slightly on game difficulty. Some of them were pretty nuts, including the transformers jacked up with wood blocks, and the Iron Maiden with no posts.

Also, might be possible to start the main tournament an hour earlier. We made it with 20 minutes or so to spare but that 8pm deadline looming is pretty brutal. Again, with 20 games, I don’t see lines and getting through 24 entries being an issue again if you do it the same way.