It’s an idea I am tossing around for a new tournament format. I’d like to bounce this idea around with more experienced tournament event planners, participants, and judges. I’d like to hear what you have to say!
It’s a 3 strikes and you’re out variant. The theme can be any type, but for this example we will use a “zombie” theme. The undead horde is out hunting for fresh meat and all the pinheads are running as fast as they can towards higher scores to leave the less fit players behind to their horrific tournament fate!
The results of the games will be recorded and the participants as the event progresses to make sure the win/loss record and the payout of the event is accurate. Each player puts in $10.- and matches of competitors are drawn from a random source.
For the first round of play everyone starts the round as “human” and plays a 3 ball game. If you lose thr first round, you are now a “bitten” player. Each “Human” who “outruns” his opponent receives $1.-
The second round of play. From this point on, byes are never given to “human” participants as running from the undead is tiresome work. Also, the more “infected” player, always goes first. If both competitors are the same (human vs. human, bitten vs. bitten, or zombie vs. zombie, a coin flip or to-sham-bo will determine order) All “bitten” players play 3 ball games. All “human” players play 2 ball games. If a “bitten” player loses they are now transformed into “Zombies”. Any player who turns a “human” to “bitten” receives $1.-. Any player who turns a “bitten” player into a “zombie” receives $2.-
The third round gets tougher for all players.
Zombies play 3 balls, but if are eliminated, are out of the tournament. Eliminating a zombie awards the opponent $3.-
Bitten players play 2 balls. As before, turning a bitten player into a zombie awards the winner of the match, $2.-
Human players play only 1 ball. As in the previous rounds, any player who turns a “human” to “bitten” receives $1.-.
Another detail to note is that if any player has to play fewer balls than their opponent. They get to play second in the order of play. The tournament continues when there is only one human pinhead left playing. The last “human” player wins the remaining pot of the tournament. If all humans during the last round are bit, there is a playoff (# of balls between 1-3 will be selected and agreed upon by the remaning humans, and the order will be coin flipped (ro-sham-bo’d) between all of the last humans for the prize.
Now my biggest concern has to do with tracking the players and the payout. For example, with 12 people playing and putting $10.- in, the undead payout should be for the wins. I also think that each round should pay out. This way scores-win/losses are not left to chance:
human to bit: (11 x $1.-) $11.-
bit to zombie: (up to 11 x 2) $22.-
Zombie to deadly dead: (up to 11 x $3.-) $33.-
That is a maximum of $66.- in undead payouts to the players of the tournament. This leaves at least $34.- to the survivor.
One of the reasons I’d like to do this kind of a format is that many of the tournaments that I play, there are many players who do play, but never see any money back from the events they participate in and they fall into disinterest, in some cases, leaving the pinball community altogether. This format also offers many less skilled players a double or triple opportunity to beat more skilled players. So, unless you go 0-3, you are going to win at least $1.-. I know this isn’t much, but for some players, it makes all the difference.
Any ideas, comments, criticisms and additions to this initial format are appreciated. I’m planning to break this out at Dory Hill, for a Saturday evening event. Should be fun!
Note to self: bring single dollar bills to the event… that would be a good idea. The undead don’t take kindly to not getting paid.