It really depends what you are trying to achieve
I like a league style format followed by head to head for the finals.
Each player plays each game once and records their score. Scores for each table are then ranked. 1pt for bottom score, each score higher gets 1 pt more, until the high score on that machine gets the same no. of pts as players. Total the scores for each machine.
Top 10% (multiple of 4) then contest the finals in a head to head knockout final, or semi-final if numbers dictate.
Can accommodate any number of machines in qualifying format
Can play games in groups or as single player (thus allowing more choice of games)
The majority of players play the same amount of games no matter what their level of skill, meaning ‘newbies’ aren’t eliminated straight away.
Can randomly select groups for players to play qualifying in, meaning that people meet and play with different people. Thus making new friends or learning tips.
Simple to understand for everybody.
If there are significantly more players than machines can end up with delays waiting for a machine.
Not worth massive amounts of WPPR (but not every comp needs to be about the points)
If a machine irreparably breaks down during qualifying will affect games already recorded.
Generally speaking the better players always rise to the top and make the finals.
The finals can be tweaked from a single game to multiple games (PAPA style) if wanted. Although having a single game final, speeds the tournament up meaning less waiting around for those that didn’t make it. It also allows a bit more variance in the winner each month. Nothing is more boring than seeing the same player win each and every month, especially if they are significantly better than everybody else present.
I like this format as a tournament more suited to the casual player, set in a bar. It’s the format I use for my monthly Monday Night League comps, and is very popular with all of the skill levels.
I also run a single game high score comp on the latest/newest machine on the night. This has 2 benefits. It allows the newer players to get their 5 tournaments in quicker. It also has a lot more variance in the finalists due to the fact a single bad game from the best player will knock them out of the finals, while a newer player who has a good game will make the final. For some people it’s the only chance they’ll have of winning a competition. This then encourages them and gives them motivation to enter more, and bigger comps.