Thoughts of a high buy-In Tournament?

I watched World Poker Tour last night for the first time in years and I was thinking a high buy-in tournament might be a neat idea.

-$500->$1000 Entry Fee
-EMs & older solid state pins (I think these film better & make a more even playing field)
-Live Twitch Streaming / Archived to Youtube

Winner would get $25,000+ , largest prize ever…



I like the idea but I’d want it to be a good test of skill. Im not going to argue if Em’s/ older solid states “even the playing field” or not - but if that is what you want, why not just gamble? No one would want to enter a high stakes pinball tournament where skill is measured less. At least, I wouldn’t. :slight_smile: (there’s a quote out there somewhere from eddie felson about how 9-ball ruined pool because it was good for tv…)

However, this idea has been bounced around a bunch over the years, and I think it would be fun. IMO, the way to do it would be to make a multi day event out of it, and give the event enough time to determine a true best player.

Choose games for a bank that are considered very skillful/good for comp.
Perhaps have a practice day/warmup evening.
Have a day of free (after the large entry) herb style qualifying. Herb qualifying determines seeding ONLY, and no one is eliminated.
After seeding, head to head bracket double elim. best of 7 in the winners bracket, best of 5 in the losers.



For me it would have to be a tournament with an established track record. Hey theres a high stakes tournament at some guys house… Hey there’s a second high stakes pinburgh, TAKE MY MONEY!!!

Don’t we kind of already have this with IFPA Worlds? Not quite what you were thinking but I think you’d be hard pressed to find 100+ people willing to throw in $1000 for a tourney.

Anyway, @cayle has a great idea for a format. I’d do it…but I’m crazy. How many people are really that crazy? Would be awesome if this could be made to work.

PAPA is kinda the (high stakes) tournament with a good track record. I’d say just give it time and let the buy-ins increase gradually as the hobby grows.

I’m going A div next time, hopefully make it to PAPA next year. That’s going to be high takes and I won’t be doing any taking.

I thought of doing this a couple years ago, something like a “West Coast Classic”, at the Pacific Pinball Museum. Especially now because they now “get” competitive play and the tech requirements involved for tournament-class games. Also, we have a critical mass of players locally, but even so, the response I got was fairly lukewarm.

I agree with both Cayle and GarrettHays that it would a) Have to be enough rounds to establish skill over luck, and b) would need to establish itself before it could draw fly-in talent.

INDISC, for example is huge now, but it took Jim B and crew a few years to build it up to what it’s become, and Jim is one of the most trusted names in tournament pinball.

I was given the advice to start at the local/state level and build from there, which I think is wise advice.

I think it’s a great idea, but it would be wise to go into it pessimistically and ensure you cover your costs, as opposed to shooting for the stars.

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Maybe the games are chosen by the people who buy into the tournament? Send in your machine selection with your entry fee.

Not for me. There is no way I could afford something like that.

I could either buy an archer prototype pinball machine, or just go to this tournament and pretty much hand the money directly to Keith.

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High buy -in tourney where I live would be $50. Even that much would scare some of the locals away.