Quoted from Bond_Gadget_007:
This is more of a gameplay question, but I want to know how many owners have decent games/points without short plunging to Tortuga wheel all day long.
I generally don't short plunge because it's not that hard to bring the ball back under control, and because I like getting Key letters lit and/or making progress towards Parlay. With the standard 5-second ball save, it's possible to get two Key letters from a single plunge if you go through the left or right top lane and let the first ball drain during the ball save.
As far as tournament strategy is concerned (with extra balls off), it's pretty much "ignore everything except Tortuga and the chest." The ship can come in handy as an add-a-ball during Heart or Tortuga multi-ball. (Sink the ship once another multi-ball is down to two balls to bring a third ball into play.) If extra balls are on, I try to complete the first kraken and—opportunistically, during multi-ball—Jack. That's to get the extra ball reward at the center shot. Once that is lit, I ignore the kraken and Jack because they aren't worth enough points to warrant mucking around with them.
Once jackpots are maxed at 2 million, I keep grinding jackpots for as long as possible. Ideally, I try to get one multi-ball ready (without starting it) while another multi-ball is running, so I'm playing multi-ball pretty much the entire time. My best score that way is 638 million. That's without short-plunging, and without defeating Davy Jones.