ToPS Tournaments


Couldn’t you just set the game to 1 free credit per game for a GC and turn off replay and any other credit awards when running a tops tournament? I mean really you could even leave replays on and you would have to GC the machine every time to get 2 credits, I guess I’m not to worried about making up a few bucks in the pot for someone who can do this on a regular basis. If I feel it gets excessive I can shut down all replays on it.


There are ways around it like your suggestions.

I’m just cautioning if you don’t keep an eye on it, you could be making up a lot of money at the end of a tournament.


I appreciate you bringing that up I went and changed all the credit award settings to help minimize that.


I disagree. Best case, you win a game on points, you get a special and you get the GC score. First replay for points may be easy, but getting specials and the GC score on any modern Stern is never easy. Even if you do manage to pull off all three on the first game, the replay score is now around what you just scored on your last GC game due to reflexing. So now it gets even harder to get multiple replays.

Even if you are a badass location player and can continuously GC the game (and also collect specials), it’s going to take several games and an hour or more to accumulate enough free credits to play a few Tops games. You never want to play for an hour or more straight, then play for money. My best game is typically the second game of the day. First game is warmup, then I’m good to go. No way I’m playing for an hour straight (can’t take a break or someone will steal your free credits), then playing a cash tournament game. Fatigue has usually set in by then and my time is worth more than a few free credits. It just doesn’t make sense on a number of levels.

On my games, I gave one credit for a GC score and the typical one replay score. I ran a bunch of Tops tournaments and the coin box never came up short. Neil Shatz, Rick Stetta, Andrei Massenkoff and Mark Conant all played in my tournaments. Those four guys are legendary location players. If anyone was going to try to run up a bunch free credits to play Tops for free, it would be those guys. They didn’t attempt it because it’s too hard and not worth the time or effort.

Forgot to mention that I ran a few for less experienced players. Can’t recall if I set it at a certain ranking (can’t participate if you’re ranked higher than X), or if I just asked the guys above not to play. Either way, those worked too and the players appreciated it. Little guys won cash.


So this is how I set them up today 1 credit for GC 1 for replay. That way non tournament players can still get replays and hell if you GC it then I’ll happily pay for your tournament game.

Thanks guys for the discussion how do the payout structures work are they pre-set in the software or up to TD?


in menu: set special for POINTS (not replays). set matches at 2%, set replay score high. I’ve ran plenty of tops and it works out fine. ive had some tops get the pot to almost 1k so my settings must do the correct job and players are quite happy.
payout the top 4 scores. done deal.
pinball these days don’t really have to offer replays, esp so easily that a location person can spend a buck and play free games for an hour. people who spend coin these days (players under 35) are used to quick spending, like redemption games. they aren’t used to getting “free game” opportunities. that is a thing of the past. ops/locations cant make money giving out free games.


Preset. You can pick 1-5 winners, but not the percentages.


So my trial run finally ended it went well for minimal advertising of them. My Thoughts so far.

5 in one location is too many I will try 3 next time and make a strong advertising push.

Some games showcase it better than others Batman 66 & Spiderman Vault are great Star Wars, Maiden and Deadpool not so great to much stuff in attract mode wish I could get it to cycle through more often or somehow showcase it better. Deadpool was set to show money but didn’t show winnings at end.

Wish I could pull up tournament details and possibly make changes. I know changes could get iffy I think you just need to be fully transparent. I would have changed the end time like 3 days in once I realized the mistake I made then would have announced said change on all platforms with more than 27 days left to play I don’t think it would have been an issue. I forgot what time it ended then it ended EST not PST have to make sure my time and date are set properly OOPS thats on me.

Im sure more can be done to make these awesome i’ll have a brainstorming session with my core group of players this time around and report back with their thoughts on it. They all enjoyed it and want to play again so thats fun.

Thanks everyone for all the info and feedback.


Good stuff. Not being able to change anything once started keeps everyone honest. Players know the op can’t make changes. Seems like we manually ended one early once for some reason, but that’s about all it will let you do.

On the Spike games, remember you also have your custom message to get players attention. Not sure on Spike, but I remember the clocks being horribly off at the end of a month long tournament on Sam and/ or Whitestar games. Like an hour or more. So give yourself some wiggle room on the finishing time. Nice work so far.


Thanks, this is fun.

I set up 3 more on Maiden, Star Wars and Batman66 got the clocks all synced up and ended them at bar close the night before our Monthly tournament so winners can collect at the main event.

I really wish as an operator I could customize the attract modes more, like toggle the 1400 champions on or off. the R2D2 saves Eddie from Deadpool and turned him over to batman champion isn’t really necessary in the attract mode.

The name ToPS (Tournament Pinball System) needs more publicity I’m surprised that when I mention them or bring them up in conversation no one knows what I’m talking about. I might see about making a short ad/tutorial video to boost awareness, You know with all my free time;)


As a player I agree with @Revtest it would be nice if the ToPS leader board cycled through more often in attract mode or if there were a way for the player to bring the leader board up (hitting both flippers while in attract mode or something similar).

Also it would be nice if the oporator had some options with game settings other than ToPS on or ToPS off like the ability to turn extra balls on.