Players agreeing to split a prize


Oh you’ve conceived a system now that can detect if someone is really doing their best now at all times that is enforceable by TD that wasn’t present? Please do tell…


The system is being built not just for today’s events but where you are trying to take competitive pinball. The entire freaking point of the ifpa was to advance and promote competitive pinball. If you only look to the past… and not where you want to be… you’re already dead.

It’s funny how debating on what is above an outlane or not can go on for a week, but bring up another aspect of the event and people want to shut you down because it’s petty… that’s comical given some of the pedantic things argued at times.

Why would I answer things that distort things into something I didn’t say?

The point of a rules structure is to define the allowed boundaries, not just counter prior history.

Like I said before… if we could just count on everyone being a Boy Scout, we could thin half the rulebook. Somethings have to be defined because people will abuse intents if not spelled out otherwise.

People are not looking beyond the competitions they have now and are just thinking about the players themselves and impact on them. I’m trying to look beyond that and consider what it could do to an event’s public appeal/marketability if the big finish with all the stakes on the line gets undercut by player collusion to do what they want verse what the event was setup for.


I really don’t see the point of this argument. Splitting the money happens after the tournament ends. Should the players be DQ’d for making the agreement during the tournament? How else could they even be penalized?

I’ve been a part of, and witnessed plenty of splits and I’ve never seen it change even a little bit of how the game was played.


Sandbagging absolutely has been caught and penalized at Pinburgh.

Has every instance of sandbagging been caught and penalized? No. (But I’m personally of the opinion it’s not as big a deal as everyone seems to think it is. I think people say they sandbagged intentionally to cover up for playing like crap due to any number of reasons.)

Collusion absolutely has been caught and penalized at other tournaments I’ve been involved in.

If you want to say that changing the split of the prize pool is collusion - and I am not necessarily disagreeing with you - you’d have to catch something that is done after the end of the tournament being agreed to during the tournament. That is a LOT harder than catching someone intentionally cheating in the moment of competition, which is what sandbagging and collusion are.


Yes, and your argument is that people wont be competitive if the prize pool at the end is different and my stance is that in the current environment the cash prize is not the driving factor for why people play and compete in pinball tournaments. You want to look at the future but your argument spans completely on the assumption that money will drive the popularity of pinball as a competitive sport. I feel that non-pinball people wont get into the sport for a lot more reasons than a cash payout. To me, it’s more along the lines of the “that’s pinball” rulings and the slow pace of the sport that prohibits it’s commercial aspect of the sport.

Since it’s March Madness time. Why is college basket so much more popular during the March Madness tournament than the rest of the year? Is it because of the massive payout the winning team gets? Nope, it’s because at that point their is more meaning behind the games and people naturally want to see who is the best and wins. Kind of the same for pinball in my eyes. I’m never thinking, dang, that person just won _____ amount while I’m watching a stream. it’s more about the actual competitive environment of the situation. Doing the math and seeing if someone can pull it off.

Nobody here is trying to shut you up. But that’s a good try at trying to make others (and myself) look like petty people or “the bad guy”. You are making a lot of accusation about people and their possible level of integrity so asking you to provide some proof of those accusations is well within reason. I quoted what YOU said for a reason. You are the one that stated that people doing this undermine the competitive aspect of the event. So it’s well within reason for someone (several actually in this thread) to ask you to provide evidence of people tanking games and not trying to win because a pot was split. I can think of a half dozen or so major’s where splitting occurred and not one of them could I point to anyone and say they didn’t give it 100% when it mattered. I say when it mattered as I can think of at least 1 situation to where one player had it locked well in advance of the final game and you could tell they were just going through the motions, but why not, they already won…

I think what you meant to say here was, “Why would I answer a simple question that the answer in itself would hurt my hypothesis.”

The event was set up to provide a competitive environment for people to compare their skills with others. Prize pool or no prize pool the intent of the tournament is still the same. If competitive pinball becomes a popular event and media takes hold this whole conversation pretty much goes away as the prize distribution is much greater not to mention due to tax reporting concerns.

So, what is your take on prize pools that go to charity (or a large portion of them do)? Does that mean players don’t try as hard for that as well since they don’t get to keep the payouts anymore? I played in two of these events this past year and I couldn’t find one single person in the top 16 finals brackets that wasn’t trying their hardest to win first place.

All of this still goes back to - “Which still begs the answer to the question from spaynard. If you can’t tell me whom pot split in recent tournaments and whom no longer played at their best then you’re argument is null and void.” Because you’ve taken the stance that it “undermine the competitive aspect of the event” which would be easy to prove.


I suggest a “Beat It” style dance/knife fight in the parking lot, with a heavy emphasis on dancing of course, to determine the winner for all those involved in this obvious form of illegal collusion!


So do we agree that the behavior in question can be done in ways that could be evident or could be incognito? Sandbagging can be done in ways that are caught, it can also be done in ways that are not, and be just as impactful. Just like colluding can be done in ways that have tells, or be more discrete.

I think the conclusion from the pinburgh threads was “you can’t stop people who want to…” you can only make it banned behavior, put up some obvious limits, and try to de-incentivize people to do so. But you can’t actually stop it.

Which is basically the same here. Step 1 is to make it clear the behavior isn’t tolerated - otherwise you simply get “well its not against the rules”. That’s a requirement even if you don’t actively test for it (Uhh… drug rules in the IFPA rulebook anyone???). You set the expectation, even if you don’t have a vehicle to enforce it if it’s something important enough to you.

You don’t have to prevent it fully to have value in setting the expectation that the behavior is not inline with your intents. (Example: IFPA drug rule, IFPA wagering rules).

I’m not saying you can stop all examples of the behavior - but to expect that to be standard required to make it a valid rule is inconsistent with existing rules and is futile.

It takes two to tango… anyone wanting to split would have to risk offering it to another party that may, or may not, be as willing to play under the radar if it were banned behavior.


That is a simplification that ignores key points of the argument. Point one… The stakes matter. If people don’t agree with that, then I think they have rose colored glasses on. It also flies counter to all incentives people put out there. Point two… the stakes matter not just to the competitors, but to the attraction to the event. If you don’t think so, I ask again, why is IFPA driving increasing the prize pool? What reasons did Josh cite again to why increasing the prize pool was important? Was it the winners weren’t making enough or was it that increasing the stakes was important to grab the attention of people besides the competitors?

So I’ll play your game… you haven’t answered my question of why IFPA has risked alienating everyone for the drive to increase the prize pool of the events. Why do you believe that is?

Interesting example considering its one of the most popular events people chose to gamble over… and the gambling is not about who picks the #1 finisher, but who scored the most points which is NOT based on who is the national champ. Interest in the college basketball champ has been superseded by the BRACKET itself.

Also an interesting subject considering the whole idea of them being amateurs is such a hot debate.

So you don’t think people make any references to the stakes at hand when talking about the pressure or significance of a match on a stream? Step outside yourself for a minute… why are the prize pools even mentioned in competition coverage then? They aren’t reading the rulebook for people… THE STAKES MATTER. They are part of the build up of ‘significance’ to a situation. They are used to help build the drama or audience buy-in to a situation.

Why do media segments cover “what Suzie plans to do with her winnings” interviews? They want to build the idea of RELEVANCE and IMPACT that the result will have. And $$ and what it can do is a concept the mass public can relate to. No one cares if the athelete says “I really plan on cherrishing that trophy and putting it on my mantle where I can see it every day” - they want the “I really want to buy my mom a house, she’s the reason I’m here…” type of response. They want IMPACT the audience can buy into… so it drives the significance of what this result means to the competitors.

If your local newspaper said “Locals compete for IFPA Lousiana state champ title” or “Locals compete for $50,000 pinball championship” - which do you think is going to get a better chance at being published?

Never once I have named, or inferred ANY specific individual in this thread - nor have I accused any individual of anything nefarious. So you can put up or shutup on that front and cite me where I have, because that’s bullshit.

I’ve spoken to the influences on people

No I did not. I’ve said this has the RISK to undermine the competitive aspect and has CONSEQUENCES beyond the individual competitors involved as it can impact how the event is perceived by others (again, citing the examples above about how the Stakes matter in the public’s interest). VERY different statements.

All you need to do is go back to the first post where I said:
“But if you have two players colluding to share a prize regardless of outcome - doesn’t that undermine that spirit? By taking away the big prize incentive to win, doesn’t that hurt the competitive integrity of the event? Because such a decision guarantees an outcome for both players… removing or at least diminishing the ‘big lure’ the event has setup with the prize pool?”

Or where I said:
Does it not undermine the perceived risk/value of a competition when you significantly lower the upside and downside of losing? The adage of “it’s all on the line right here…” does not come from “he can only go UP from here” - there has to be risk or consequence of loss to make the suspense real.

"And having something worth fighting FOR - "

it(sic) part of the lure of people watching competition.

I would ask you stop twisting things into something they are not and expect me to respond to strawmen.

Yet isn’t that EXACTLY what is trying to be done in the competitive landscape now? There is a reason Josh is trying to replicate what they’ve done with Raw Thrills in the pinball scene… and none of it has to do with improving the challenge of ‘comparing their skills with others’. It’s all about visibility and driving interest from an AUDIENCE perspective.

I know that when it comes to the general public at large… the story of someone competing for something of significant value to them, that they can relate to, is more compelling than watching someone compete for good will. “celebrity jeopardy for charity” has a lot less suspense for people than watching someone winning a life changing amount of money. I also know, that the former probably feels alot more pressure than the latter to win.


You keep talking about “prize pools” which is a very big difference than what the 1st and second place winners get and your also trying to avoid your principle argument “undermine the competitive aspect of the event”. Again, your exact words so quit trying to pretend like you aren’t saying that as In order to “undermine the competitive aspect of the event” the actions taken by the players must reduce their willingness to compete (thus throw a game or fix the outcome). Their is still more at stake than just $$$ so to say nothing is at stake is a grows misrepresentation of facts.

I’ve pot split before and your statement is very clear that by pot splitting those that have done that have undermined the competitive aspect of the event. As such I take offense to that (as others did) as i 100% did not change my strategy or attempt to still win after making that agreement. In current payout standings (Pinburg excluded obviously for the $15K) I care a lot more about my WPPR and IFPA points than the $1K difference between 1st and 4th place. I go to all the tournaments I go to for the points as I see that as qualifying for major events. My goal each year is to make SCS, take first in my state and to qualify for the circuit. Will that ever happen, probably not, but I whole heartedly care more about that than the chump change in most tournament payouts. Shoot, I would have much rather had $0 and won TPF than taking 4th and getting the payout I did. That 50 point different means much more to me than the $$$.

You want my opinion or Josh’s on why they added the $1? Mine is to create more incentive for people to travel to the events and not to make it another local reach over tug circle. In current state only the top 3 (or was it 4) got any sort of payout in state and their was only a real reward for the person getting first (going to Nationals). With the new structure everyone (or top 16 in larger states) will see something which helps foot the bill for travel expenses but, to me, the biggest issue with state SCS finals is the junk points they are worth. You have to compete to qualify all year, go to compete against the best in the state, win and get 12 points (Texas as example) is a joke to me (sorry Josh, no offense intended). So under the old rules not only did you lose money going to the event but you got less points than I would get winning a local monthly league event. To me, at least having enough money to break even helps but even under the $1 rules I think SCS is still more about bragging rights than anything. I believe Josh feels that advertising the prize pool will help bring legitimacy to the sport and grow more sponsors. Even in a state the size of Texas (where I’m from) I’m betting the 1st place payout for SCS in Texas is still going to be less than $2K so we are still talking about chump change.

The rest of your comments I’m not wasting my time replying to as they are a continuation of what I feel is just “sour grapes” or an attempt to stir the pot on your part. Current state the payouts aren’t big enough to really matter IMHO. If we get to a point to where “Suzie” can buy something more significant than paying her travel expenses and a nice dinner for her family with her winnings then we can talk but I still beg the argument that at that point this is a non-issue. When pot splitting can cost you $5K, $10k, $25k, $100K, etc then you wont see it happening as the risk doesn’t outweigh the reward. Current state your pots aren’t big enough to drive that much of a difference thus why it occurs.


sigh Not one person has disagreed about that. Your argument train derailed 19 stops ago and I can’t follow it anymore. Suffice it to say, no tournament director worth their salt is going to be involved in changing the split from the posted amounts, but it is not possible to police what players do with their winnings after the completion of the tournament.


Where are these? Because if I have to piss in a cup, that tournament can piss off.


I’m not sure I’ve ever played pinball without drugs.


This disqualifies the entire West Coast from the SCS


Funny enough I actually went through the process of trying to register pinball for the Olympics years ago. There was this GIANT section on drug testing, what our organizational policy was, how we did our testing, etc.

Needless to say I threw that application in the garbage and went back to whatever it was I was doing before that :slight_smile:


Prize pool vs individual placements will be used by the promoters in whatever light serves them best. The pool is often used to promote an event simply because it’s bigger. But when you are talking about the finals… the stakes on the table are generally the topic at hand.

I’m not avoiding the competitive aspect - I’ve just had to spend a lot more time on the other angle because people can’t seem past the tip of their nose. They’ve locked onto “it doesn’t change how I play, so its no biggie” and can’t step back and look at how it impacts other elements.

How much it impacts a player is obviously going to be based on the individual. But it’s not new, or disputable thinking that having more at stake creates tension and pressure. How well competitors deal with that, is an individual thing. And it’s not radical thinking to say reducing the stakes, reduces how much is at risk.

How far that goes… and how much it would interfere with play, is going to be based on the individuals in question. That doesn’t negate it’s presence though, nor how it can impact impressions.

If the stakes don’t matter, why do the media reference it? Why do producers make segments about them? Because it’s part of the tools used to create attachment and interest.

And once again, you INSERT words that change the meaning. You say “in order to” - thus making the INTENT to reduce competition. That’s not what my statement means or projects. Stick to the words used and you’ll see the point is about the CONSEQUENCES not the INTENT or desired outcome.

Great - because I didn’t say that. You keep interjecting extremes in an attempt to discredit my statement and in doing so change what I said. I never said ‘nothing is at stake’. I said it diminishes aka weakens the big lure. To guarantee yourself a larger payout vs risk a smaller one… is a big deal.

So you take personal offense instead of being able to review the topic objectively. Got it. You go onto elaborate your personal motivation - Frankly I don’t care. It’s not you playing in every event, and it’s not you the potential audiences are being drawn with. The point is to look beyond an individual and look at how the structure and actions enable or hinder the greater event.

Well, it’s not just about spreading the love. It’s about creating something ‘worthy’ of attention and buy-in from sponsors and media. $$ is part of the picture, regardless of any one individual’s belief in the matter.

Buhaha… sour grapes over what? You think some winner stole my lunch money or something?

I agree most tournament payouts aren’t significant enough to sweat… but that doesn’t mean the rules don’t matter.


I really can’t tell if you’re joking or not…


Actually people inserted the point about not being enforceable as why this subject shouldn’t matter. They DID bring the subject of visibility into the topic. The comparison to sandbagging is to establish that the precedent in the rules today does not mandate that behavior must be fully squashed to be valid materials for the rules.

What you call ‘19 steps’ I say is responding point to point. That’s how logical discussion works… instead ofpeople just saying “Im right, your wrong” in circles.


There are 97 posts in this thread. Is there anything that hasn’t already been said, being said, here?


Everyone can just split the argument 48.5/48.5. We are all collusioners/winners.


Mandatory at the NKY Pinball Open. If it comes back negative you’re out of the tournament.