Players agreeing to split a prize


Well, we just found out pinball was thiiiiiis close to being an Olympic sport.


Not joking.


Somehow the snowboarders manage to deal with drug tests.


Yep… thiiis —>

                                          <------ close!!    

Maybe Josh can hire the Russians to deal with WADA…


Hey @pinballprofile I would like to request that Josh tell this story on a future episode.


Non-pinball related: For those that haven’t already done so, go watch the “Icarus” documentary on Netflix regarding doping. Amazing story.


It’s not much of a story. I didn’t get through the APPLICATION, let alone the filing and dealing with the acceptance/rejection of that application.

I know that IFPA Italy has taken on the mantle of trying to tackle the Olympics campaign. Alessio and crew out there have been getting far more traction positioning pinball as an “E-Sport” compared to anything Zach and I have been able to do state side. I’ll certainly report back if there’s any news worth reporting from Alessio.

Alessio has secured the Italian Pinball Open to be part of some E-gaming thing. I have no idea what Hearthstone is, but Alessio was able to get their premiere pinball event in Italy to be part of this Hearthstone thing. We’ll see if that has any traction towards pushing pinball forward over there.



I quit the US chess federation when they agreed to drug testing to get into the Olympics in the 80s. There were no known performance enhancing drugs to test for, just one more privacy invasion.


It actually was inserted into the rules because it’s the safest legal method to pay prize money for everyone involved. Also, we run a competition with stated rules and prizes, period. As a TD, I have no more desire to permit players to split prize money than I do to change stuck balls rules mid-event. Whether all of the players agree or not is irrelevant. We go by what is written, and prize money splits are not allowed at PAPA events because the accepted allotment for prize money is written in black and white, just the same as every other rule in the book. Players who choose to set up splits publicly do so at the risk of being ejected from the tournament.

My advice to all players who compete at PAPA events is to follow the rules and own your own result.


With respect to those rules, if you caught wind of the final 4 of Pinburgh agreeing to a split, would you eject all 4 of them on the spot?


If I had complete proof of cheating? Yes, without hesitation.


Retroactively? Asking for a friend…


Same question . . . different friend . . .


Man those banners are flammable.


Show me your time machine, and we’ll talk.


Keep in mind the entire concept of prize money at a pinball event isn’t as simple from a legal standpoint as you would think. After years of running events, we still don’t have complete confirmation from the IRS that what we’re doing is totally legal. When we start talking about changing the rules and stated payouts while the tournament is actually happening because some of the players think it’s a good idea, we’re potentially causing massive auditing concerns that could have wide-ranging ramifications not only for our foundation but for the legality of pinball tournament prize pools in general. In the end, the safest way for everyone in this hobby to proceed is to go by the book and do what the rules say in all cases, prize money included.

This is more than a conversation about “collusion” or being a hard-ass TD, it’s a topic that, if handled incorrectly, could affect all of us down the road in a bad way.


Where was this for LAX? I asked about this before. How were the splits determined there? I get you cannot know dollar amounts up front because of the format, but percentages? Are those known?

How do I know that the $100 I won was correct? What if the splits you were using to try and safeguard yourself from from IRS audit said I was supposed to get $50 or $200? Would be nice to know.


Splits are an agreement between the players only. It’s not part of the tournament, or anything to do with the organizers. I really don’t see how the organizers of any event can enforce what players choose to do with their winnings

If for example I say ‘well I’m donating my winnings to charity’. Does that mean I’m not competing as hard now? What if all four finalists are inspired by my altruism and also agree to donate their winnings to the same charity? Or what if Escher and Escher’s Dad both make finals. How do we prevent one from handing money to the other after the event is over?

Sorry. It’s a ridiculous topic that obviously cannot be enforced, has no impact on the actual outcome and doesn’t need a huge thread to come to this logical conclusion.


My guess is 99% of everyone that responded to this thread, and especially the OP has never been in the situation where they make it to the final 4 with a large cash prize pool. (One person that responded was in this final four with me)

I HAVE been in this situation and when the payouts range from 1st $2500 to 4th $750, and the other 3 players ask if you would be willing to chop the pot to take home a guaranteed $1600 - HELL YEAH you’re gonna take it. Unless one of the players is top 10 in the world versus three players outside the top 100, yeah you will take the money.

I DID and happily took 4th place. And it didn’t affect our play at all. Everyone was still playing for WPPRs and trophies, yet everyone was happy and playing relaxed and quite frankly had a FUN time doing so.

Doubt me, you can find the video and watch. We were having a blast.

AND - we took the money prizes for 1st thru 4th that we were supposed to receive, then sat down and figured out the correct split.

If you haven’t been in the situation, your opinion is based on theory and assumptions, not reality ; )


Reading @mhs’s post, apparently it’s not a ridiculous topic.

Also see @mhs post: if he or another TD at a PAPA/Replay event witness or have proof that players are splitting a pot while playing in the event, then that’s grounds for dismissal from his events. To the extent that a TD witnesses it or has adequate proof, that sounds enforceable to me.