WPPR formula change to v5.3 for 2017!


With the pingolf rules, it seems that score / objectives are two distinct categories. Is there a way to run a sanctioned tournament where some of the machines have a goal of a certain score and some of the machines have a goal for a certain objective?


I’m sure we can find a way to make that work, as long as the way the holes are scored are consistent for the round. (Consistent being either the flat 1 stroke penalty for not reaching the goal or the tiered method)


Greg nailed it. Case in point. Our local launch parties. I grew tired of having them be worth next to nothing. We would run them on a Friday evening. One qualifying game. Then top eight played one game each. Winner was getting less than 2 points. Those tourneys took about 3 hours to run.

This last one(Ghost Busters), we held it on a Saturday. Started at 10AM. Two qualifying games added together to make your qualifying score. Then top 16 played in PAPA style groups of four. Tourney was not done until about 5pm so about 7 hours. Winner got 11.01 WPPR’s.


Here’s a fun one to take us off the selfie debates. Was going to email josh directly but with 5.3 announcement let’s debate this format idea here.

Let’s see how this fits in to 5.2/5.3/9.8 and so on.

Poker League. X number of weeks(let’s say 8 for now). Two worst weeks dropped.

Each week players get paired up in groups of 4(and threesomes if we need to). 4 or 5 (still deciding) games preselected for them. Each group is handed 72$ worth of poker chips divided evenly. Groups of 4 everyone gets 18$. Groups of 3 everyone gets 24$

At the start of a game everyone antes a set $ amount up to play the game. Everyone plays ball 1. Your ball 1 score is the cards you were dealt. Before the start of ball 2 player one can bet or call. Then player 2 either matches the bet, raises or folds like poker. Then same for player 3 and so on. Then ball 2 is played with everyone still in. Before ball 3 this is repeated. End of ball 3 winner takes the pot. Basic poker rules.

This goes on for say 5 games. At the end of the 5 games however many dollars in chips they have left is their points won in for league that night. Now some could just place their ante each game, play ball one and always fold and walk away with some points for the night. With the 3/4 players groups having different total chips per player(but same overall chips available for the taking for the night) the antes will be different in each group size. Likely 1$ ante in 4 player groups and 2$ ante in 3 player groups. Over 5 games if some one just placed their ante, played ball 1 and folded in a 4 person group that would be 13$ points they get for the night. In a 3 person group that leaves 14$ points.

End of season winners based on total points accrued over the 8 weeks minus the 2 lowest. Interesting to see how people strategies shift over the season.

Now is this something the ifpa would back? Under 5.2 all I can see is questions about gambling away points arising but you gamble all the time when you play. I need big points on my last ball of eight ball deluxe. Do I risk going for drops and bonus multipliers or play it a bit more safe and Lane out on the left orbit. Hell some games even let you gamble away points in the game. I see no issue in how the games are formatted

Under 5.3 I can see problems with not everyone playing full games per say. Also making sure everyone plays 50% of the games. As long as they play ball one(required after making required ante) it counts as playing correct? Now over the course of the 8 weeks the data from each match would have to be taken and see how many balls were played by each player? Would this fall into the new golf TGP calculator. Or would it be more like 5 games a week X 6 weeks of counted scores / average balls played per player over the 8 weeks?

Confusing enough?

Alternatively I’ve been thinking about running it as a single day event too. Timed. Say 6 hours. Groups of 3/4. Play X number of games a round. 100$ worth of chips given per player. Only eliminated if you lost all your chips. Play as many rounds in time allowed or set number of rounds ahead of time. Reseed tables(groups) based on number of chips everyone has. End of time or rounds and everyone is ranked based on chip count.


No Limit Pinball was actually pretty hot for a while. I know Lyman would host an event after Pinball Expo for a few years and we always played No Limit for it.

Format is fine . . . we would lump this into the ‘keep track of the number of games the winner of the tournament played’ (much like the Pinball! Pinball! Pinball! format). Each game counts as 1/3rd.

Not confusing at all, but only because I personally have a ton of experience playing this style of format. It is a ton of fun!


Ok so regardless of everyone else if over the course of the 8 weeks top player played all 5 games every week equaling 40 games the event has a TGP of 13 games? Now this is matchplay grouping really so does this get the 2x multiplier? And count at 26?


I knew it wasn’t completely unique as a tournament. I’ve talked with Bowen and JR about their days of it up here. Wasn’t sure if those were ever on the ifpa books.


Yep. A player would have to participate in at least 4 weeks to be included in the final standings.


Already assumed that but not until 5.2 :wink:



I have experience running these events, a poker clock, and suggested ante structures based on how long you want the event to last. They’re fun. You don’t play “rounds”, you just play dealer’s choice, keep playing until enough players are eliminated to cause “tables” to be broken and moved together. Set rounds will encourage players to hoard chips early and then just ante out in the last few rounds.


Can’t really do that for a league structure but I get that for a single day event.


Yea , the time / effort to earn a WPPR is just becoming more and more and we dont see instant results since it takes 3 years for the standings to get caught up. While i think its neat to have an event on the IFPA calendar i think the amount of events earning WPPRs would be reduced by the elimination of low hanging fruit events. A lot of folks dont have the time/resources to run events that earn a lot of WPPRs. The local barcade has 10 pins and with 40 people and 4 hours a 3 strike event works out well but earns hardly any points. I also dont think i get much traffic from being on the ifpacalendar. The benefit is folks in columbia,sc and raleigh,nc and us try not to book events on the same days.

So , maybe some folks wont bother with ifpa if the events dont earn much points. Personally i might look at 8 monthlys with low points and 4 quarterly that would earn more points if i can get owner to change his hours on those 4 days.


Hey Kevin, I looked over some of your results. Looks like you guys suffer from the same thing we suffer from in our league. A lot of unrated players not adding to the overall points. But it looks like you have quite a few who are close to getting their 5 events done. Keep doing what you’re doing and those points will go up.

Also, it’s really hard to get decent points out of head-2-head three strikes. You might try taking advantage of the 2x machines for playing in groups of four. With 10 machines and around 40 players you would have almost zero groups sitting around waiting for their turn.


When playing in groups of 4 wouldnt 1 game take as long as 2 head2head? Im not sure it would actually save time and if we have 44 people we’ll have 40 people waiting on 4 players. This is what ive been brainstorming. How to get the most points with the time and resources i have to work with.


4 people group are in average as long as 2 x head to head, that is why it is graded 2x TGP. The formula has been optimized so there is no “unfair balance” in the type of format.
The format itself do not make the pts but the qty of players and time spent playing game does.

4 hours weekly 3 strike tourney in a barcade should definitely be rated lower than what they used to be. Even if it does not count as much as earlier and it will take 3y to flush out the other scores, we still get a lot of traffic for people to compete for state points or cash payout.


Be careful having this as your priority. I’ve seen (and played in) events where maximizing WPPR’s was the priority, at the expense of fun and socializing. The events grew stale VERY quickly, and were abandoned because people quit showing up. The cool part is that you can adjust as you see attendance either wane or grow.


This is suuuuuuuper true. Sometimes I feel like I’m letting down my pinball community by not tinkering with our format to maximize the number of WPPRs our weekly tournaments can get, but then I realize that 40 people are showing up every week for cash and fun and a decent amount of boints without me having to do the tedious work of figuring out how to create a WPPR-optimized event. Even though pinball machines tell you, “It’s more fun to compete!”, keep the emphasis on FUN rather than COMPETE.


I may have found a quirky pitfall. It relates to the math about how one of the new WPPR formula v5.3 rules seems to amplify the importance of one of the existing WPPR formula v5.2 rules.

It’s a little complicated and a bit iterative, so bear with me. It won’t come up very often, but it’s not vanishingly rare either.

The new rules state…

[O]nly players that participate in at least 50% of the games used in determining those qualifying positions will be included in the final results.

The existing rules state…

For tournaments where fewer than 50% of the field is removed in the qualifying process, the IFPA considers this ‘seeding’ and will not increase the TGP.

The issue is with measuring the size of “The Field” in the new context. Does the field include ALL players who participated in qualifying? Or does it just include players who participated in at least 50% of the qualifying games?

Further, the wording of the new rule does not contemplate multi-phase qualifying formats, which cause a problem that we’ll unexpectedly come to later.

An example…

  • Assume a monthly Selfie League with 6 machines, for which all 6 scores count for each player.
  • Selfie qualifying play is unsupervised, therefore 0% TGP contribution.
  • The top 12 people are eligible for the playoffs.
  • Playoff format is best-of-7 head-to-head (uncommon, but see below).
  • Top 4 qualifying players get a bye for the first round.
  • 32 people play during the month.
  • 22 people collect all 6 scores, 10 people collect 2 or fewer scores. Therefore, only 22 players will be eligible for WPPR points

In this example, how big is the field and what percentage of the field has been removed in qualifying? Is the field 32, so (32-12)/32=62.5% of the field has been removed? Or is the field 22, so (22-12)/22=45.5% of the field has been removed? Or is the field just 12, as will be explained later?

It seems you could argue that “The Field” includes all participating players (32), even if they just played one game. If so, then everything else is simple. It opens you to somewhat abusive formats (“first game free”), but those have mostly been neutered with last year’s rule change. It also means that upon submission, the TD would have to note how many non-WPPR eligible players participated (10 in this case). That’s doable, but I’m a little uncomfortable with the idea if the TD is not submitting names to back up their claim.

Things get more complicated if “The Field” excludes people who didn’t play 50% of the qualifying games. If this is the case, it (unexpectedly?) affects the first round of playoffs, since now “the IFPA considers this ‘seeding’ and will not increase the TGP”.

TGP is now calculated as a Top 8 best-of-7 format. The round of 12 contributes no TGP. Fine.

But here comes the quirky pitfall…

This, in turn, means you’ve now slipped into one of those weird two-phase qualifying formats: (a) an unlimited qualifying phase where 6 games count and (b) the first ‘playoff’ round where 7 games count. So (with the existing wording of the new rule), players who have played less than 50% of 13 games aren’t WPPR eligible. Only the 12 players who qualified for playoff spots are WPPR eligible. The other players 20 are not.

You may claim that my example was somewhat contrived because the playoffs used an uncommon best-of-7 format. It was. But I actually did that to make the discussion simpler.

[Why? It starts getting really complicated when you use more common formats, like 5 of 8 games qualifying with 3-game 4-player matchplay playoff rounds, because you start spiraling into an iterative calculation where you limit the field, which affects which rounds are seeding, which further limits the field, which could further affect seeding, which… etc.

All of a sudden, you have to start counting how many irrelevant qualifying games people played, because it will affect whether they achieve 50% of the total games played and, therefore, whether they show up on the WPPR list.

And, by the way, are 4-player matchplay groups twice as valuable for determining minimum game count as head-to-head (like they are for TGP)? Sheesh!]

In thinking through this problem, a solution could be to tweak the wording of the new rule to specify that it relates only to the first phase of qualifying…

[O]nly players that participate in at least 50% of the games used in the first qualifying phase will be included in the final results.

Perhaps that is a little ambiguous (what is the first phase? does it mess up formats without qualifying?), but something along those lines would at least prevent the iterative problem.

Lastly, I’ll acknowledge that because these are subtle points, it may not be worth changing the wording at all. Maybe it’s better to leave it as is and simply clarify interpretation (in a forum like this) ahead of time. That’s completely fine too. Just wanted to raise awareness about the pitfall.

Thoughts appreciated.


Reducing the field is based on all the players we would count as “participants”. So if 140 people played, but only 60 people played at least 50% of the qualifying games required, you could only advance 30 players max to finals if you wanted that qualifying activity to count towards TGP.

In this selfie league example, you’ll be submitting 22 players as competing in the tournament, the other 10 players will be removed from the submission.

With qualifying for the selfie league, it’s already ‘meaningful’ for TGP, so the 50% rule doesn’t really apply.

What does matter is the number of players you have to advance to finals for the “Direct Play” portion . . . which is 10%. This 10% number would be based on the 22 ‘active’ participants, so you would have to advance at least 3 players to finals (which you do in your example), instead of 4 players if it was based on 32 players in total having competed.

“The Field” for IFPA purposes only includes those players that are meaningfully competing to win (which is where we are setting that bar of at least 50% of the games counting towards that qualifying standing).

Your selfie example isn’t good because your qualifying is already meaningless :slight_smile:
(Let’s go ahead and just assume it’s a good old fashion HERB tournament where qualifying DOES COUNT towards TGP):

Don’t worry about finals rounds in the ‘total game count’. We’re going to go ahead and assume that once players reach finals, they are ‘fully vested’ as a participant. This is strictly a “qualifying rule”. So for any 3-strike tournament where it’s ready-set-go, all players that participate will count in the final standings.

Anddddd reading the rest of your post you came up with the conclusion that’s actually happening :slight_smile:

This is only a QUALIFYING RULE . . . once you weed out those players after qualifying, the rest of the players are ‘good to go’ as fully vested participants for the rest of the tournament.


Great! Thanks for the clarifications, @pinwizj .

How you always reply so quickly and so thoroughly I’ve never figured out. Do you have a time machine?