(Topic ID: 5085)

Andrei Massenkoff wins PAPA 14 World Championships!

By jonnyo

8 years ago

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  • 21 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 years ago by Leigh
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    #1 8 years ago

    Andrei Massenkoff a pinball wizard from San Francisco, has just captured the most prestigious crown in the pinball universe by winning the Expert Division of the Professional Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA) World Championships, held annually in Pittsburgh, PA, among an international field of top competitors. Through three days of grueling qualifiers, he went into the Playoff rounds as the the 3rd highest seed, and then went on in the Finals to unseat reigning champion Keith Elwin, who has won the event a staggering three years in a row.

    Andrei went into the event ranked 11th in the world, and had a 3rd place finish at California Extreme. He took 2nd at the PAPA event last year and should move into top 5 territory in the World Rankings with the victory.

    Massenkoff, a longtime competitor and member of the Bay Area Pinball Association, extends the legacy of the club which includes previous World Champions Bowen Kerins and Rick Stetta.

    For his efforts, Andrei takes home a check for $10,000, and in keeping with the tournament's tradition, likely a very large trophy.

    On a personal note, having played quite a bit with Andrei, I feel he's the best "on the fly" shooter in the world. He's sort of the antithesis of "ultra-control" play that is quite prevalent. In multiball, he prefers to keep all balls moving as opposed to trapping one or two balls and playing with one. His ultra-fast reflexes and strategic brain keep the point train firmly on the tracks. I have learned a lot from playing with him!

    Andrei is also a great supporter of pinball tournaments and always takes time to help players improve their game.

    He's super hungry, super-competitive, super positive, and practices constantly. He worked for the win and got it when the pressure was on. Huge congrats!!

    Please help me congratulate Andrei by leaving him a comment:


    #2 8 years ago

    Congrats, I'd like to see some footage of the action from this weekend.

    #3 8 years ago

    One question... How can something be "Professional Amateur"? Aren't these mutually exclusive terms?

    #4 8 years ago
    Quoted from jarjarisgod:

    One question... How can something be "Professional Amateur"?

    Great question, I hope somebody has good answer.

    #5 8 years ago
    Quoted from jarjarisgod:

    One question... How can something be "Professional Amateur"? Aren't these mutually exclusive terms?

    It's...Professional and Amateur Pinball Association. The key word here being AND. Most people seem to drop the AND part of the title.

    #6 8 years ago

    That clears it up Wes. Thanks!

    #7 8 years ago
    Quoted from jarjarisgod:

    e question... How can something be "Professional Amateur"? Aren't these mutually exclusive terms?

    My opinion is it means the organization offers competitive options across the range of pinball talents. There are 3 divisions at PAPA: A, B, and C.

    Here's my subjective classification of the PAPA levels.

    If you're a first-timer at PAPA or don't know where you stand, you would likely compete in the C division.

    C division is probably ideal for those who have played in leagues and maybe a handful of local tournaments. Maybe you won a local league? You have a few games that you're really good at and know the rules up and down. Time to test yourself against others who have done likewise and see where you stack up.

    B Division is for experienced tournament competitors. You've hit local events and you tend to finish well or high, with the occasional win. You always qualify for the finals in local events. You've maybe traveled a state or two and done alright. You know you're good, you got most of the local high scores. You're highly skilled but not "elite" - there's still a few players out there you occasionally run across that made you feel like a n00b.

    A Division is all out. No one you know can beat you consistently, even the best. You've traveled all over to play in tournaments, sometimes in other countries. You know more about how to work the rules than the guys who wrote them - in fact, the guys who wrote them appreciate your feedback. You want to face off against the best in the world.

    #8 8 years ago
    Quoted from jarjarisgod:

    One question... How can something be "Professional Amateur"? Aren't these mutually exclusive terms?

    Even the best of the best would struggle to earn a living playing pinball, so I think, as Bowen says, that being a "professional" player is a bit of a misnomer.

    #9 8 years ago

    They're neither hosting a world championship regardless that it is open for international contenders.

    They're neither having a "world HQ" or even an HQ, which they like to call it, given that it is their only location.

    So professional or not professional, that's what the name is anyway. A name and brand, which I assume is commonly known, was started by different people than those of todays PAPA.

    Dispite the exaggeration, PAPA is for sure the biggest pinball event.

    Congratulations to Andrei. So close to the top last year and a well deserved win for 2011.

    #10 8 years ago

    Congrats to Andre! I saw him play a bit at CAX and was blown away when he showed up saturday morning and smoked my decent qualifying score on an HS that was playing astoundingly difficult thanks to a weak upper right flipper. Then Elwin showed up, saw the shit upper flip and proceeded to inlane pass over and over for freeway awards and easily set the high score for qualifying.

    Quoted from soren:

    They're neither hosting a world championship regardless that it is open for international contenders.

    I'm not sure why they can't be hosting a world championship. If they have the most top ranked players show up for their tournament each year then I think it's fair to call it a world championship. Whether or not players from outside NA choose not to come is up to them. World headquarters on the other hand, I agree it's a bit silly. Just headquarters should cover it.

    #11 8 years ago

    Playing STTNG - he flips a lot!!

    #12 8 years ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    Playing STTNG - he flips a lot!!

    Yes, Andrei shoots a lot of shots on the fly.

    Amazingly, there's another top player around here named Neil Shatz. Neil is one of the best "control" players in the world, taking a lot of time to set up shots, or patiently exploiting a "boring" mode over and over. Their styles could not be more different.

    #13 8 years ago

    Which machines do they play on?

    #14 8 years ago

    Man, am I clueless sometimes! I was just in Pittsburgh the other day, during the tournament, and I had no idea it was going on.

    #15 8 years ago

    This is starting to sound like RGP, if we are discussing the semantics behind "professional" and "world".

    Build a bigger place, get more people from across the "world" to show up, and then you can make that claim as well.

    A professional competitor, in any sport or contest, is usually denoted by the fact that you can make money doing it. "Making a living" off of it, has nothing to do with being professional. It just states you are the best of the best.

    If I'm the 3rd string quarterback for an NFL team for my entire career, I probably made the league minimum. If my career was only 5 years, you'd still call me a professional football player even though I doubt I'd be making a living off it after my career was over.

    Last I checked it's only called PAPA HQ, and yes it's only one location. Not sure why you need more than one location to call some place a headquarters, but secondly tournaments all over the world award free PAPA tournament entries to those that win smaller tournaments. Hence, we all come to PAPA HQ to determine the champion. I guess the other argument is the IFPA decides this?

    #16 8 years ago

    I fully acknowledge the size, professionalism and status of PAPA. Just look at how the event is evolving and the level of innovation regarding the overhead camaras and lots lots more. Respect.

    Still the IFPA ranking system and setup of their annual tournement is closer to what I consider a rightful way of the winner (or top of the ranking) to claim holder of the title of world champion.

    In golf, for instance, you have the four majors. A winners of these is acknowledged as being the very best, as these tournements attracts the best players. But neither brings any title of world champion.

    Stritcly speaking, lads.

    #17 8 years ago

    So strictly speaking, the world champion needs to hold both belts? I'll buy that.

    PAPA really promotes pinball. When I tell people I'm going to the World Pinball Championships, they actually seem somewhat interested. I just spent my day before 4 days at PAPA at an incredible party, and it was an experience. I went last year, and to Pinburgh and as a player, it's incredible.

    If it's not the World Championship, it sure does get people to show up, because it was great to see so many people in one house playing. I think the turnout was much higher than last year. It's so much fun.

    #18 8 years ago
    Quoted from Leigh:

    Which machines do they play on?

    There were 479 players registered to compete at PAPA 14.
    4176 entries were recorded, 1188 of which were voided.
    767,811,442,668 points were scored during qualifying.

    This link will have the scores/games/rankings for all the tournaments. You can see player scores, games scores, what was played. There were 3 classics tourneys that qualified and ended the same day. Thursday - Saturday. The A, B, and C divisions qualify for 3 days until Sunday. The top 16 in each division get in. Plus there are Juniors/Seniors tournaments, and mini tourneys on other machines.


    #19 8 years ago

    Great time was had - especially the after party!!! I managed to qualify for the 4th position in C division mostly with the help of my #1 qualifying score on T2, figures the one game I dont know I do the best on.

    The competition even in C was fierce - if you look at the scores and say I can do that all day long on my machine at home, think again. I originally planned on being in B with my friends but the way the games are set up really puts you in your place quick.

    They take posts out - add extra wide rubbers to certain areas (link in avatar, ball barely fit in, same with start mode on Tommy) and put the rules on extra hard, increase playfield pitch with no extra balls, change flipper rubbers and angles etc. ughhhh

    The lower division sometimes you can get lucky but the B and A division there really isn't much luck these guys are just really good.

    Here is a pict of Andrei Massenkoff - with his trophy and 10k


    #20 8 years ago

    Andrei lives in SF. He's gonna need seismic bracing for that thing.

    Yes, I agree with VT8man. "Professional" generally refers to the top level of a game or sport.

    I like IFPA as well, but it has its flaws. There are areas that hold a lot of tournaments, sometimes multiple events per week. So players there have many opportunities to point their way up. Since it's your top 15 events that count, you just keep playing and playing until you get some good finishes.

    But yes, to be the undisputed champion, to take IFPA and PAPA in one year, that would do it. I think only Rick Stetta has done that, back in the early 90s.

    #21 8 years ago

    Thankyou VT8man

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