Playing the IFPA World Championships without grinding tournaments

Time to get real. In any individual sport, being considered one of the “world’s best” has one basic requirement: demonstrate the skills at that level by placing highly in multiple competitions over several years, and generally in a wide range of locations, against others who have previously earned their way into the “world’s best” club. The world at large doesn’t care how good a tennis player you are if you’ve never made a deep run at Wimbledon or another major. Nobody cares if you can shoot 65 for a round of golf at any golf course on the planet; can you do it against the Big Boys [or Women] under pressure on the tour [and they have “minor” tours to let you play you way into the main tour]? Bowl 300 or average 250? So what, again, can you beat Belmonte, Duke or whomever? For that matter, someone can claim to be a “great leader,” and may even have shown the skills of one, but if you haven’t put your butt on the line to get elected or make it to the CEO suite, the world doesn’t care. Same thing goes if you can blow up every machine at your arcade and have all the GCs. The “world’s best” programmer doesn’t do much good if (s)he’s just doing it for limited consumption. Skill matters - - Out There, where it’s dangerous.


Hello all! Before this topic goes off the rails, a few thoughts from a moderator and a reminder to check out Tilt Forums’ Code of Conduct/FAQ:

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I’ll let this play out for the time being and recommend that everyone participating in this discussion consider their posts carefully, lest the thread be locked.


Theoretically, in Florida (USA) three tourneys can do it.

  1. Win Free Play Florida (FPF). That is the state’s largest event and historically just that alone will earn enough points to be in the top 24. (Florida has been a super state each year and is on pace in 2020)

  2. Win the Florida SCS (or as a remote shot-come in second and play if the winner cannot attend)

  3. Be the highest finisher at Nationals without an invitation to IFPA Worlds. This would be the wildcard spot mentioned earlier.

Certainly 3 tourneys as the path to IFPA worlds is not grindy. I am guessing there are maybe a handful of the established players in the world that could pull something like that off.

Keep in mind at step 3, the wildcard is awarded to someone already not invited, so that means the “unknown” would have to win FPF, SCS and place at Nationals.

The only person who has pulled something like that off is Eric Stone.

When Eric Stone from Florida played in his first IFPA worlds, he had previously won FPF in 2016, then States in February 2017 and then Nationals in March 2017. The perfect hat trick.

However, even he played in way more than those 3 events and I seriously doubt he would have banked on qualifying for the Florida SCS by playing exactly one event.

In 2017 he also won FPF, which would have been sufficient on its own, but he did NOT win the Florida SCS in 2018.

Now he is so highly ranked, he will get invited regardless of anything else.

I digress. The point is; it theoretically can be done, but consistent overall play seems to be the best method.


Just to answer the very specific question you posted about the tournament you linked…

Stockholm Pinball Månadstävling
The winner (Jorgen Holm) won 22.63 WPPRs.

In a nutshell, your ranking is determined by your Top 20 performances. WPPR points decay a bit every year. On the first anniversary, they decay by 25%, then another 25% on the second anniversary and then they go away completely on their third anniversary.

The problem is that playing small tournaments like that one won’t ever get you enough WPPRs to get into the Top 64 players internationally. Even if you won 20 tournaments like that, all before December 31, it would only get you 452.60 WPPRs. That would put you into 102nd position internationally as the rankings stand today. Even winning 1,000 such tournaments wouldn’t help at all, because only your top 20 tournaments count.

You would have to start going to larger tournaments (and winning or placing very high in them) to accumulate enough WPPRs to get into the Top 64. The 64th ranked player has 547.57 WPPRs, currently. That means you would have to have an average of 24.20 WPPRs in your twenty best performances. (And remember, the points decay on every anniversary.)

That doesn’t mean that players can’t get into IFPA WC through another route, like being top in their country or through a wildcard championship, however. But again, I’d recommend going to some larger regional events or to the European Championship as a first step.

@zvrabes, Thanks for the reminders about the rules!


really shortest way:

  1. have a registered profile
  2. play in an ECS event and finish high enough to qualify for the ECS Finals (this year’s cutline was around place 110 and 26 points, f.e. top 22 at the EPC/top15 DPO/top12 DPM/top9 GPO/top8 Boras would have been enough)
  3. play the ECS Finals and be the highest finisher who did not already qualify (this year place 4 got the spot)
    sounds doable for somebody who already finished in the top8 at PAPA
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I’m confident that I would be in the top 64 if I was willing to spend time and money doing it, but I’m not. That’s why I’m trying to get some calculations regarding playing local tournaments and …possibly… get enough ranking points to get into the IFPA World Championships.

I don’t really know how the ranking system works. At all. More or less. But it seems like a really difficult task: just playing monthly local tournaments in Stockholm to get into the Top 64. But we need a mathematician who knows how the IFPA-ranking system works, and that’s not me. :slight_smile:

Thanks for this information. I’m trying to figure out how to get in here, into the IFPA World Championships.

Getting in there from just playing local monthly tournaments is out of the question then. Currently, I don’t feel like travelling within Sweden to go to tournaments. I’ve seen enough of Sweden. It’s not a great place. :zipper_mouth_face:

Tournaments in Copenhagen and Germany is an option. I do travel to Germany, a lot-ish. And one step (to even try “real” competitive pinball again) could be to plan a trip to Germany when there’s a pinball tournament. But that would have to be a place/city that I want to go to. I won’t travel anywhere solely for a pinball tournament. Or wait until I (probably, we’ll see) move to Germany. If that’s the way …things…

Germany has of them IFPA-ranking points within a (fairly?) short travelling distance, right?

Reminder: playing pinball and competing in pinball events is fun (or it should be). If you deem anything as “grinding,” you might want to reevaluate it.


What are these wildcard championships?

I think I get this.

If I play at my normal skill level I would finish in the “needed” position(s):
top 22 at the EPC/top15 DPO/top12 DPM/top9 GPO/top8 Boras

The plan could then be (since I like Germany): finish top 9 at German Pinball Open (right?) and then finish as high as possible in the ECS Finals?

Which means: I could be in the IFPA World Pinball Championships from playing just two tournaments?
If so: now we’re talking! :slight_smile:

Spoiler: it is not designed to accommodate an IFPA World Championship invite for someone who only wants to play in small local tournaments.

Nope! And apparently not have the world’s best pinball players in there (whether I’m included there or not). But it’s not possible in pinball since there’s no money in it, more or less. It ain’t tennis or golf. :wink:

To get a True World Championships there has to be money in it. It’s not gonna happen without it.

Show me the $1.000.000 e-gaming-ish prize pool and I’ll be there! :slight_smile:

Read up on Rating (as opposed to Ranking).

You can become a top 64 player in Rating by only playing in local events (assuming your competition is good enough).

I respect and honor Rating (though not everyone does).

Sort by Rating, plenty of players who barely travel, if at all, on that list. Given your other constraints, it sounds like ending up high on that list is a good goal for you:

There is also the Power 100, which takes the top 250, and ranks them by their record against only the other top 250. You could get to the top 250 grinding it out locally. If you’re good enough, you’ll be highly ranked in the Power 100, and get an invite to that tournament (which, format aside, has an even higher concentration of top players than IFPA).

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It should be fun. Yes! And I think it used to be fun, for a few years. PAPA (played it twice - never again!) was not a “fun” experience though. Tournament-wise. Meeting people was great! I seriously don’t like the qualification system. Even though I qualified on a high position the first time, with very few entries - i had very “limited” financial resources as a student, at that time.

My (small) tournament experiences here in Sweden, last year, is really bad though. It’s not fun. We played (mostly) on machines in really poor conditions, first of all. The rest is …well… it sure wasn’t fun (for me) in the long (a couple of months) run.

I’ve heard several (really good) players in Sweden calling it “grinding”. I guess something is …wrong… then?

So your argument is that the IFPA World Championship is not a true championship because there isn’t money in it? Do you also feel that an Olympic gold medal is equally invalid?

I won’t discuss anything more with you in this thread. I feel like you’re not constructive at all, in here. It will be getting worse if I reply. We can discuss in other threads. No worries. At this point this thread of this thread has gone pointless. Other people are helping me out to get a “shortcut” to the IFPA-finals. Help me do that instead! :slight_smile: I don’t know the IFPA-system/rules etc. but it seems to be possible to get in there.

This sucks, and I won’t discuss this bullshit. I will let the so called “näthat” continue in another thread. But you earned a heart on your post. From me. :slight_smile:

Read the constructive posts and you’ll find out.

Trying to read this but I give up. I think I will leave tilt forums and you will get rid of a potential good resource for the pinball community due to some idiots here. Whatever…

I know why I left the “pinball scene” the last time, and I know exactly why I left the “swedish scene” last year.

I think you need some so called “diversity” (it’s more or less non-existant here compared to other communities/“scenes” I’m involved in) in here. It’s (more or less) the same type of narrow minded people in pinball. And I have no hopes of improval really. I think I’m giving up on this and just continue to talk, PM and email to the people in pinball i like (there’s a few).

Since you have this attitude you will stay homogenous. It’s safe! Remain in your pinball bubble.
I don’t have much interested in spending time and energy to/in a community with people who (mostly) think in the same old patterns. Life is way too short for that and there are so many other rewarding things, people etc. to spend time and energy on rather than old white uppermiddleclass grumpy men. :expressionless:

I’m not upset, I’m not offended. I’m slightly sad though. For pinball in general. And feel that this is a waste of time. With these attitudes things are not going to change. And I guess you WANT more “diversity”, but it’s not gonna happen really. I think it has became worse. Way worse, than the early 2000s.

EDIT It seems like pinball has also gone in two ways: tournaments and collecting. The people who like discussing details in backglasses, themes or …whatever… have gone away. For the most part. At least on the internet. “People” just doesn’t care about things like that, it seems. I have some old friends (that I’m still in touch with) that “left”. I realize that the “pinball scene” isn’t for me really. Especially not in Sweden (it’s awful, to be honest).

This (forum) seems to be a bit better, but if I stay here I will stick to only discussing rules. I will have good input there Nothing else. It feels pointless and a waste of time (even though I got some good response in here, thanks!) since it takes too much energy “reading” all nonsense.

It is my experience that software developers are overrepresented in the pinball community, and I bet you’d have more luck finding someone willing to spend their “precious programming time” building this, rather than someone willing to create content for you on an ongoing basis.

My advice would be to just build it and make it useful, which makes it a lot easier to find people who want to help.