Should I enter a tournament?

I went to ReplayFX a few months ago and it was a blast. I’m really good at pinball, but not so sure whether or not to enter a tournament, especially when there are very few machines around and I have to rely on digital pinball for practice.

I would thus be a Division D player. Should I go Pinburgh for ReplayFX 2016?


The answer to this question is pretty much always YES.


Hell to the yeah!

Give it a go and see if you like it.

If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, there’s Ace’s Break Away and Play.

I think it’s a great format for first timers because: you get to play for two full days without worrying about being eliminated, and the enormous bank of games makes it more about general pinball skills than knowledge of specific games.

I couldn’t believe how often no one in my group knew how to play whatever game we were on. Even if you had a lot of games nearby, you still won’t be able to adequately prepare yourself.

My advice is that if you only play modern machines, find an EM or early solid state (buy, borrow, or play on location) and play the hell out of that. I borrowed one a few weeks before Pinburgh last year, and it made a massive difference for me. Most of my opponents were really uncomfortable on the older stuff.

I also wouldn’t assume you’ll be a D Division player. :smile:

Yes you should enter.a tournament and yes you should play in Pinburgh next year. However, Pinburgh is like ten months away. That’s way too long to wait. Find something local (or somewhat local) to try first. Your first couple of tournaments are good learning experiences. Set your expectations low and you won’t be disappointed.

Also, take advantage of your amateur status as long as you can. Often tournaments have casual divisions that allow less experienced players a better shot at winning something. Read the rules for a tournament carefully before you sign up. Some tourneys have a point cutoff (like ranked 500th or lower) while others will say you can’t have ever won money. Pinball is as competitive as it’s ever been right now, so enjoy your low ranking while you can. Good luck!

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I appreciate the advice.

Being in the western part of West Virginia just makes it a huge disadvantage to me. There are no leagues here, and it’s as if I’m the only person who really enjoys pinball as a sport.

Pinball machines are expensive as well.

Location is probably more of an issue I’d say than owning a machine. How close are you to Columbus? There are quite a few tournaments coming up in November and you should try and make the drive to one of them. Maybe the game of thrones launch next weekend?

Yeah, why wait for ReplayFX 2016? If you can’t make it our to a smaller tournament in Pittsburgh or Columbus, why not go to PAPA 19 World Championships?

I’m located in Huntington and have been to Columbus before. More so on the outskirts of the city than downtown.

Problem #2: School. Don’t want to miss anything.

I’ll echo what everyone else is saying: Yes, you should go to Pinburgh because it’s awesome and if possible you should go to smaller tournaments in your area (however large). It’s a great way to meet people and have fun! And who knows, you may just make pinball friends that live closer than Columbus…

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Looks like Colonial Lanes has an EM that would be useful. :slight_smile:
Not sure what the scene is like in Cincinnatti or Columbus but I recommend hitting a tournament over there. Check out to see what’s out there. Pittsburgh is a good 4 hours away, but we are running a lot of informal tournaments these days that would be great for a beginner.

Metallica has been taken out according to what I heard. It will return, but who knows how long it’ll be gone.

This is why pinball is dead here. No one takes care of these machines :frowning:

There are also tournaments in Pittsburgh every month.

There is also a league in Pittsburgh and we have one or two players from WV as well. Perhaps you could carpool :smile:

I just started a monthly tournament in the Cincy area that had 18 participants the first month. 14 had never played in a tournament. They all had a blast and loved the 4 player groups I used throughout the tournament. I have already received word from most of them that they are going to make as many as they can. Just don’t worry about the results and just play pinball and have fun. I have never played in pinburgh, but it seems like the ultimate. Like others have said, you’re guaranteed two full days of playing pinball with tons of other people and lots of eras of games. It’s a must to participate in if you can. I hope to make my first appearance this year.


That’s awesome - congrats! How did you get so many people that had never played in a tournament before?

Actually I think it was a combination of things. The barcade I chose to have the tournaments at is fairly popular already so there were like 4-5 guys that regularly go to play pinball and we’re looking for tournaments to play in. Also I blasted Reddit specifically the Cincinnati sub Reddit so all the cool kids found out about it. Haha. Then the bar owners advertised on their Facebook page. I also emailed my pinball league to spread the word more. Then I just hoped for the best. Like I said, many of the players had been looking for something like this to start in Cincinnati for a while.

Also it was pretty funny watching some of these guys play. The regulars of the barcade that had most of the high scores on the pins used in the tournament were playing badly and getting all pissed and cussing and beating the lock down bars and what not. I was like, “well they got that part down already at least”. Haha.

Hopefully the turnout stays around 18-24 players going forward.

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