So which do you think was a harder feat to achieve ?

(1) The original “Acciari” in PAPA Circuit Finals (year 2 ?) from Daniele himself. To start in the bottom group of 20 great players and not come last in a four player match 16 games in a row against, arguably, increasingly skilled (although “cold”) players, until surviving to the end and then beating the remaining other three awesome players in a 7 game, papa-style super match to win the belt


(2) Keith Elwin’s “Acciari” run this past weekend at Expo, where he started as the lowest seed in the “A” Division of a huge best-two-out-of-three, double elimination bracket - and played three matches on the winners side before Joe Katz sent him down to (7 ? ish) matches on the losers side, and then two final matches against Zach Sharpe, without him ever losing two out of three games and every competitor having two game picks against him… And, and… IM, WWE, and a GB Premium were in the bank… and, oh yeah, he hadn’t played a single ball on any of the 9 games before finals began…

Both remarkable feats, really. But which do you think was “harder” (and since the formats are inherently different, there is no right answer here, ya ?) - just perhaps and interesting discussion (or not) about the relative merits of it all…

In Daniele’s favor, I would say that four player games are much more grueling than two player games, and to string 16 of them together without tripping up enough to lose even one of them is mind-blowing. He gets major bonus points for the jetlag from Italy, too!

In Keith’s favor, he had to play near flawlessly for a full day, and then play his best for another 6 hours the next day!! And did I mention that he played like 10 games of WWE, lol… Think about that. I would find playing 10 games of WWE in a year to be challenging! But in one day ? Sheesh.

Also, PAPA’s overhead lighting is stellar. Top Notch. Elwin had to play through the “Expo Glare” on Saturday afternoon

Now, a “strike” against Elwin’s difficulty level would be that GoT was in the bank and his mastery of that game is silly. I’m pretty certain when he got to play it that he never had less than 3 bils on a game and a few in the 6bil - 7bil range… Beatable ? sure. But if you want to give Keith a better chance in a tournament (and burn through all of @FunWithBonus cell batteries!) , throw a GoT in there and see how that goes…

Keith played in a Sternament, while the Circuit Finals for Daniele featured games from all eras and although they weren’t picked often, Daniele had a much broader range of games to trip up on than Keith, so advantage Daniele… IM and GB are still way more controllable than Quicksilver and Jungle Queen et al…

Also, Keith was in Daniele’s tournament, but Daniele wasn’t at Expo this year, so that’s gotta count for something to, right ? And of course, Jorian made a very similar run to Keith this year at Expo a couple of years ago (3 years ago) where ST was his GoT - and he went to the losers bracket in his first match, so the precedence of insane Expo runs had already been set, and could be repeated again. The Circuit Final run can never be repeated because the format has changed, but even if it hadn’t been changed, I would bet against it ever happening again…

So I’m gonna say Daniele’s run in Circuit Finals was harder, but Keith’s run this past weekend was still insanely good.

Now, which would you rather have, the Circuit Winner’s belt or a NIB Stern from Trent ?






This is a big deal. Much respect to all the players that play well dealing with jet lag. While I have had plenty of experience with jet lag outside of pinball, I had no idea how much it impacts your pinball skills, until my first experience playing on jet lag at the German Pinball Open. I was qualified near the top after group match play, but there was a brief break prior to the next phase, and my body/mind decided that it would rather be sleeping. I hit the jet lag wall, and proceeded to crash out in a big way.

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I’d vote for Daniele, because he couldn’t afford even one bad game until the finals. Keith occasionally lost a game during a match, either due to his play or his opponent’s. Still an awesome run, though, especially having to take down Z twice in a row.

I’ll throw in one other item. In Pinburgh and PAPA, you qualify [pretty straightforward at the Four Horsemen level], get some byes probably, then play matches where you often get to pick the game. But at EPC, I think you have to play more rounds than in any of these others [I’m sure Cayle or one of the Swedes will correct me if I’m wrong], plus play random games, right? So Jorian’s ability to win EPC as regularly as he does is remarkable in its own way, as is Daniele with IFPA.

As for KME and GoT … maybe do an update to Roger Sharpe’s “yes, it’s a game of skill” episode?

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I’d rather have the belt over the machine. Any machine can be bought.

Honestly, I’d be thrilled to be in the final 4 with Keith or Daniele at a major tourney so I could have that photo on my wall :slight_smile:

Fair enough, Jeff. But I think the sentimental value of winning a pinball machine in a tournament (especially one as steeped in pinball history as Expo) would be as good (if not better) than that awesome, awesome Circuit Champion belt. And since I would probably want to be buried with either if I ever won it, lol, I could at least play that machine my whole life, whereas I could only wear the Belt for “special” occasions. :-).

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I think Danielle wins out as well. It was absolutely insane everyone kept taking me to WWE to the point of it being my number 2 choice behind GOT had I ever gotten to choose a game :wink:


Would’ve taken you to TWD and…PBR?

So was the go-to strat on WWE still tag team MB all day?

Yep. There were some insanely high pin values though, that may or may not have been the result of 8x play field x 3x Cena eat all, but to be “safe” in finals, the game was power cycled each time. There definitely seemed like there could be a carryover or not-resetting value in there somewhere with some of the huge to not-huge results… Only the Rosa’s know for sure, lol. I had easily 10x ball time to Andy in our match, but he had 350+ mil to my 125 grind… ymmv indeed!

If KME says Daniele then that settles it, but I found this interesting:

Daniele get’s two extra ‘outs’ in a 4 person game. KME has to win but Daniele doesn’t have to come in first, he just has to not lose. He is 3x more likely to have an opponent who has a bad game; assuming all players have the same likelihood of having a bad game, which is BS of course. :wink: So KME has to beat people at a game of their choosing while Daniele only has to put up the 2nd worst score.

I’d be more scared of head to head, but that’s because I often rely on others having bad games to save me from my mediocre play. :wink:


Both of those were ridiculously hard to do, but the best performance at any tournament was likely Keith at Pinburgh this year. The only group he didn’t win (including the playoffs) was when he already clinched top qualifier.

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I vote for Daniele for a reason I don’t think has been mentioned. Expo finals were the best of the players who entered into that tournament. The Circuit final run by Daniele was all players who had already excelled at other PAPA Circuit events and proven themselves to be the best of the best.

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