Sometimes there are great pinball players who suddenly or gradually stop going to pinball events, even though they are extremely good players who are regularly finishing near the top at major events. I assume that often the reason is personal issues regarding perhaps career or family, but there’s no way for me to know this if I do not know the player personally.
There’s a particular player who had an amazing run in PAPA under extreme conditions and won 2 circuit events who has not played in an IFPA sanctioned pinball event in a year. There is very little footage of him playing at pinballvideos.com but from his successes he seemed well on his way to “the top.”
There are also players who have played competitive pinball for a long time (5-25 years) who eventually stop going to pinball events, even though they are still in the 99th percentile of competitive pinball players in terms of skill. Pinball doesn’t really have a formal tour, pro circuit, contracts, or anything like that, so there really are never any official retirement announcements.
As someone who has only really been involved in competitive pinball for around 3 years, and not yet at the A-level of play, the IFPA site as well as game footage is my best resource as to who is good. Video is new, and it is not always easy to gauge historical success from the IFPA site, so I often wonder what could have happened if this player was in their prime during this event at this time.
This post is sort of vague but if it touches on anything that anyone would like to respond to, I’d love to read your answer.