(Topic ID: 262569)

I got into Pinburgh! What should I know?

By SKWilson

4 years ago


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    There are 64 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 4 years ago

    Just for funsies, I decided to try to buy a Pinburgh ticket. I screwed up my first chance because I wasn't prepared for all the different events listed. Oops. But, after seeing a FB post about continuing to refresh, I tried again and again and..., and got lucky.

    I have never participated in a tournament (will now hit up the local tournaments). So I want to know what I should know about competing (if you can call what I do competing!) in Pinburgh.

    Share with me (and our fellow tournament noobs):
    1. Overall tips/tricks/hacks
    2. Tips for playing games you've never played before
    3. How the tournament works (Yes, I will re-read the rules.)
    4. Anything about your past experiences that others should know

    On a personal note, I am somewhat an introvert, so the fact I'm doing this is actually kinda scary.

    Thanks in advance!

    #2 4 years ago

    If you know what machines you will play, you can get tips on how to play them on https://pintips.net/
    You likely have little chance of making good on your 1st tournament, so go into it with the idea that you just want to have fun and meet people that have probably been playing pinball longer than you have been alive.

    #3 4 years ago
    Quoted from Dent00:

    If you know what machines you will play, you can get tips on how to play them on https://pintips.net/
    You likely have little chance of making good on your 1st tournament, so go into it with the idea that you just want to have fun and meet people that have probably been playing pinball longer than you have been alive.

    Believe me, I am going in with no expectations. LOL

    #4 4 years ago

    Sit whenever you can, and have fun.

    #5 4 years ago
    Quoted from timtim:

    Sit whenever you can, and have fun.

    I second the sitting. I went in 2018, it exhausted me a ton. It’s long and brutal - but so much fun. You’ll see some rare gems and play with some cool people.

    #6 4 years ago

    Be ready for some seriously hardcore nerds/geeks.

    #7 4 years ago

    Bob M's EM guide

    #8 4 years ago

    Every machine will be set up as difficult as possible. You can forget about making big moves.

    Tighten the tilt on your machines, open up the outlanes to their hardest setting, jack up the back legs, and give them a good waxing.

    17
    #9 4 years ago

    Congrats! So cool that this event is what will get you into competitive pinball for the first time...

    Quoted from SKWilson:

    1. Overall tips/tricks/hacks

    There is about 60 minutes of practice on the tournament games before the tournament starts. Use that if you can. After that, you can't touch the tournament machines outside of what you are assigned to during a round.

    The first year, I went crazy and spent all the time between rounds playing the free-play games outside of the tournament area...thinking it would make me sharper when my next round came. I think ultimately, it just wore me out.

    You have all day Saturday and Sunday to play those games. I'd recommend playing one or two right after a round ends, and another 1-2 games right before the next round begins. But otherwise walk around, talk to people, go outside, get something to eat...maybe even take a nap if your hotel is close and you have time.

    Outside the conference center, a walk along the river is less than a minute away. You can also go up to the roof, which has good views, benches to sit on, and peace and quiet...if you need it.

    The tournament games become available for all to play once the last group has finished on Friday night around 10:30pm. Those remaining 2-3 hours on Friday night before close are the best time to play the tournament machines. Play the ones that you've never played before, or ones that you need to get revenge on for treating you poorly in one of your rounds.

    Another tip is that the late night food options are pretty limited in Pittsburgh.

    Lots of people say to sit whenever possible, wear comfortable shoes, or even bring a padded floor mat to stand on. I've never had issues, but I could see it being a problem. It's a hard concrete floor.

    Quoted from SKWilson:

    2. Tips for playing games you've never played before

    Ask other people how to play the games. Figure out who the best players are in your group or in your bank and watch them. See what they're aiming for. See how the feeds are for various shots.

    Seriously, watch people play the game you're about to play. Pinburgh is the one tournament I *always* do this for...you only get one attempt at each game, and no practice.

    Bob Matthews' EMcyclopedia (https://soldmy.org/emguide/index.php/Main_Page) and Pintips can be helpful on older games, but I find them not to be too much help on modern games. For modern games, try to figure out how to start modes and one or two multiballs. You don't need to blow up games to do well in this tournament...you just need to find a way to get points and avoid last place finishes.

    Even though all the games are published in advance, you can't learn them all, and you're only going to play 40 of the 300 anyway. Instead, I would recommend playing games from eras that you're less familiar with. If you play mostly modern games, find some 70s and 80s machines to play. Being well rounded in terms of eras is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success at Pinburgh. Most of your opponents will not be equally comfortable across all eras.

    Quoted from SKWilson:

    3. How the tournament works (Yes, I will re-read the rules.)

    Day 1 (Thursday) is five rounds. Each round is a four player group, where your group plays a bank of four different machines (one each from: the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s...with a little wiggle room at the edges of those ranges). Each game scores 3-2-1-0 (for first, second, third, and fourth place, respectively). So each round you will earn between 0 and 12 points.

    As the rounds progress, you will be increasingly grouped with players closer to where you are in the standings.

    And the end of Day 1, the players are split into five groups: A,B,C,D,E.

    Day 2 (Friday) is exactly the same, five rounds, except you only play against others within the division that you qualified for. At the end of Day 2, the Top 40 in each division advance to the finals on Saturday.

    In the Top 40, it's four player groups where the top 2 advance to the next round and the bottom two are eliminated.

    Quoted from SKWilson:

    4. Anything about your past experiences that others should know

    Personally, I find that keeping track of my points in a round, and in the tournament as a whole, does not make me play better. It makes me nervous and puts more pressure on the situation. There is no reason that you need to adopt a "I'm behind and need to make up points" mentality if you take a last place on the first game in a bank.

    The "width" of a Division is often around 3 points. In other words: the cutoff for A Division was a tiebreaker at 35 points, and the cutoff for B Division was at 32 points. What this means is: every single point matters. I say that not to put pressure on winning, but just to emphasize that getting a 3rd instead of a 4th on any game is very meaningful, and you should never write off a game or a round. Sticking with it and grinding a last place into a first place in a close match just one time can move you up an entire division.

    Have a short memory about what happened last ball/game/round. The only thing that matters when you're at the machine is the ball in play.

    People are nice! Chat with them. Easy things to ask: Where are you from? Have you played this game before? Have you played in Pinburgh before? You will probably be bumping into these people for the next few days, so it's nice to see some familiar faces and have people to root for.

    I highly recommend watching at least some of the A Division finals on Saturday. It's the only place in the world you get the chance to sit in a crowd of 500 people to watch pinball. Even if you don't think you'd enjoy it, at least stop by for a few minutes to experience it.

    #10 4 years ago

    Don't forget to wash that Pittsburgh smell outta yer clothes asap.

    #11 4 years ago

    @ryanwanger These are the types of tips I am looking for! Thank you!

    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    I highly recommend watching at least some of the A Division finals on Saturday. It's the only place in the world you get the chance to sit in a crowd of 500 people to watch pinball. Even if you don't think you'd enjoy it, at least stop by for a few minutes to experience it.

    I was planning on it. (Always watch the stream.) But what makes you think I won't be IN the A finals?

    #12 4 years ago
    Quoted from SKWilson:

    But what makes you think I won't be IN the A finals?

    A cool thing about pinball is that the best player in the world could be someone we've never heard about. Maybe that's you!

    Quoted from SKWilson:

    On a personal note, I am somewhat an introvert, so the fact I'm doing this is actually kinda scary.

    I think most people in pinball are on the introverted side of things. All of us started out playing in pinball tournaments and feeling awkward because we didn't know anyone. Play in some local tournaments and find out which of them are going to Pinburgh!

    #13 4 years ago

    As soon as it came up and i went to book tickets it was sold. Literally 5 secs max. Must be our shit internet in Australia. If it said sold out, could I have refreshed it again with the option of getting a ticket? Mehh did it twice and no luck. Not sure if I was doing anything wrong.

    #14 4 years ago
    Quoted from KYLEDM5:

    Be ready for some seriously hardcore nerds/geeks.

    Reminder... you are on a pinball message board. Lol

    #15 4 years ago

    I love replayfx. It is my best show experience. The shear volume of machines is crazy and they all play amazing. So fun to watch the best in the world go at it as well.

    #16 4 years ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    As soon as it came up and i went to book tickets it was sold. Literally 5 secs max. Must be our shit internet in Australia. If it said sold out, could I have refreshed it again with the option of getting a ticket? Mehh did it twice and no luck. Not sure if I was doing anything wrong.

    When the tickets went on sale, refreshed the page, saw the tickets available, selected 1 and then started looking at everything else in the list. When I clicked buy (or whatever), it changed to sold out. I may have refreshed a couple more times with no luck. Then I saw a post on FB about continuing to refresh. I took my phone and my dog outside, and pulled up the site. I hit refresh a couple times and voila! This was 18 minutes after the tickets went on sale. I guess the key is to not give up.

    #17 4 years ago

    Noooooooo... lol didnt know thats how it worked... If i knew that you could refresh even when it said it sold out I would have kept going..

    10
    #18 4 years ago

    You should know that your two best friends are a fresh pair of crazy comfortable shoes and a chair.

    If you don’t have to play first, watch everyone’s first ball before yours closely to learn as much as possible.

    Plunge purposefully. Every. Single. Time.

    What I mean is, almost every game has a very important plunge. Find it, and capitalize. You’d be surprised how many games you can win by plunging better than the rest of your group.

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Plunge purposefully. Every. Single. Time.

    This is a great one, particularly for 70s and 80s games. Know where your release was on ball 1 so you can make adjustments on subsequent balls.

    10
    #20 4 years ago

    Just make sure it's your ball you're plunging.

    #21 4 years ago

    Go play the lottery

    10
    #22 4 years ago

    MY TIPS FOR PINBURGH.

    So with input from some friends I made a list of things you should know if this is your first Pinburgh.

    1. ALWAYS double check that the correct player number is up.

    2. If you drink alcohol, buy it ahead of time. It’s very difficult to find a place in DT Pittsburgh.

    2a. You can bring a backpack into Pinburgh with snacks and drinks.

    3. Bring a backup power bank for your phone, you will be on it a lot.

    4. If someone walks away from a ball save, keep your mouth shut. Also stay at your machine until you see the bonus countdown so you don't walk away from your ball save.

    5. Wear comfortable shoes. Sit as often as you can.

    6. Stay hydrated. Bring your own water.

    7. Remember a win in round 1 counts the same as a win in round 10.

    8. The sit-down restaurants can be expensive. The best bang for the buck imho is ****** (sorry not sharing this as i don't want all of you there making the line longer )

    9. Pay attention to the schedule and don't be late. Pay special attention to the “after dinner” rounds 4 & 9. It seems like I’ve seen and heard a lot of people show up late thinking it starts at 6:30.

    10. Don't be a jerk. Don't put up with people who are being jerks.

    11. Watch your opponents game and others in your bank to see how kick outs are, flipper strength, tilt, etc.

    12. Ball savers are turned off on many games. This likely includes the super secret skill shot to the left outlane on Iron Maiden.

    13.. Tilts are all going to be pretty tight, so tilting thru on solid states and EMs is a real possibility so use caution. Be extra careful on “tilt ends game” machines.

    14. Double check your score sheets before signing and turning IT in. Take a photo too. At the end of the tournament it's nice to see how you did on different machines.

    15. Have fun! You are going to have bad balls, bad games, and bad breaks. It's a long tournament, and letting yourself get mentally defeated will only take away from your enjoyment and level of play.

    16.If you're staying downtown, almost all hotels only offer expensive valet parking. There are numerous city garages around that are significantly cheaper.

    17. Carry a pen with you for score-keeping.

    18. Try and make some time for enjoying the rest of the convention.

    -1
    #23 4 years ago

    tmontana Excellent list!

    #25 4 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Reminder... you are on a pinball message board. Lol

    I rest my case.

    #26 4 years ago

    Practicing a Death Save will earn you real brownie points.

    #27 4 years ago
    Quoted from Fulltilt:

    Practicing a Death Save will earn you real brownie points.

    I'll get right on that!

    Should I practice bang backs and rage tilting, too?

    #28 4 years ago

    Get ready to see the most nerdy t-shirts in your life.

    #29 4 years ago

    I would practice empathy. It seems to be waning in recent Pinburgh years. It's welcomed with open arms. Helps buffer those insane "I'm not doing as well as I think I should and you are going to know about it" mad as hell bitching, outbursts, and insults.

    #30 4 years ago
    Quoted from ahanson:

    Just make sure it's your ball you're plunging.

    Lol...I often wondered how anyone could ever make this mistake...until I did it...at Pinburgh.

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from hayrebear:

    Lol...I often wondered how anyone could ever make this mistake...until I did it...at Pinburgh.

    Ouch.

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from hayrebear:

    Lol...I often wondered how anyone could ever make this mistake...until I did it...at Pinburgh.

    I feared it going in to my first one, so I always check the paper, then check the display before playing. Period. Always.

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    I feared it going in to my first one, so I always check the paper, then check the display before playing. Period. Always.

    Heh...this was definitely a failure on my part regarding the display. Makes for a fun, albeit face-palmable, story afterwards. We were playing the SS version of Cleopatra with extra balls. Previous player got an extra ball, walked away, and I stepped up. Double checked the backglass and proceeded based on the light flashing near my player # (instead of taking a good look at the display).

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from PinballSTAR:

    Meatballs. That’s it. Meatballs.

    Most definitely! I was out there for the SCS a few weeks ago and stopped in for breakfast. Delicious!

    IMG_9540 (resized).JPGIMG_9540 (resized).JPG

    #35 4 years ago

    I don't really play competitive pinball, but I was there last year with a lot of people that played and the thing I heard the most was don't be afraid to call someone for a ruling or game issue. A guy I know was playing a game last year and the player before him intentionally tilted a game so hard that a ball came out of a lock in a lock stealing game. He never called for a ruling from a TD and should have. If something doesn't seem right player or game wise, call someone before it's too late.

    #36 4 years ago

    I'm going to try meditation between rounds. Couldn't hurt.

    #37 4 years ago

    My buddy and I are going and have never been before either...so this info is really helpful. I have a few questions:

    1) Is there any realistic time during Thursday and Friday to check out the show?

    2) When does the tourney actually end? Does it end for everyone except for A finals on Friday night?

    Thanks!

    #38 4 years ago

    Yes, there is plenty of time to check out the show, there are gaps between sessions (unless you have some epic long games) and for meals.

    The top 40 in each of the 5 divisions make finals Saturday morning.

    Don't know who wrote this but all newbies should read this:

    https://images.pinside.com/b/11/7e/b117e97303584d6495c3f0806b01c2bee8b976dd.pdf

    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from per3per3:

    My buddy and I are going and have never been before either...so this info is really helpful. I have a few questions:
    1) Is there any realistic time during Thursday and Friday to check out the show?

    There's some time between rounds and at dinner break to check stuff out - just keep your eye on the clock. Also time Saturday (whether you make finals or not) and Sunday, because the games don't leave.

    Quoted from per3per3:

    2) When does the tourney actually end? Does it end for everyone except for A finals on Friday night?

    Top 40 in all five divisions play Saturday, starting early.

    And there's always the intergalactic to jump in on too!

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    Don't know who wrote this but all newbies should read this:

    I think I put that together last year. Note: Any dates and times mentioned may not be accurate because it's last years; obviously.

    #41 4 years ago

    Don't drive on the Ohio turnpike, through construction zones, and UNKNOWINGLY pick several screws with your tires. Get to Pittsburgh when your low tire light comes on. Then go out to check on your car on Friday and see it has a flat tire. Get eliminated early so you can spend ALL DAY Saturday looking for a tire store that's open that has 255/35/19 tires in stock so you can go back home. (One screw was through the sidewall so it couldn't be plugged)

    Other than that, I have no pointers.

    #42 4 years ago

    Make sure you come see me. I'll be one of the guys with the light-up tool carts fixing machines on the freeplay side.

    #43 4 years ago

    How's the restroom situation?

    #44 4 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Don't drive on the Ohio turnpike, through construction zones, and UNKNOWINGLY pick several screws with your tires. Get to Pittsburgh when your low tire light comes on. Then go out to check on your car on Friday and see it has a flat tire. Get eliminated early so you can spend ALL DAY Saturday looking for a tire store that's open that has 255/35/19 tires in stock so you can go back home. (One screw was through the sidewall so it couldn't be plugged)
    Other than that, I have no pointers.

    Good thing I'm flying in.

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from SKWilson:

    How's the restroom situation?

    Pinball people and large crowds of the general public, along with tons of children; usually a recipe for impeccable hygiene and cleanliness. The bathrooms are generally an oasis, a shangri-la if you will. You'll enjoy just hanging out there during your down time.

    -1
    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Basically an oasis, shangri-la if you will. You'll enjoy just hanging out there during your down time.

    I usually only hang out in restrooms at gay bars. (And I see there are some near the convention center.)

    #47 4 years ago

    The first thing you need to do is ........... pay me an absurd amount to rent my house for the week of Pinburgh. I have 6-7 machines there, 18 miles from Pinburgh location and 6-tap system.

    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from tmontana:

    5. Wear comfortable shoes.

    I just had a revelation about this. I tend to play differently when wearing shoes. I rarely wear shoes at home (I hate shoes), so adding an inch (or whatever) in height actually changes my perspective on the playfield. I guess I need to practice in shoes.

    Is there anything against playing in your sock feet?

    #49 4 years ago
    Quoted from SKWilson:

    Is there anything against playing in your sock feet?

    Sitting around in socks all day, gross.

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from SKWilson:

    Is there anything against playing in your sock feet?

    If you’d like to have horrible planter fasciitis after a weekend of standing barefoot, be my guest. Haha

    There are 64 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

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