(Topic ID: 144019)

I suck at competitive pinball. But I still love it. Am I insane?


By wizard_mode

3 years ago



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  • 84 posts
  • 41 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by CaptainNeo
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#48 3 years ago

1. If you get nerves, don't drink coffee within a couple hours of the tournament.
2. Lots of water - hydrate, so your muscles don't start doing weird things when the pressure is on.
3. Don't drink to calm your nerves. It will work, but it will kill your reaction speed.

4. Headphones helps for a lot of people. You can even just wear the headphones with no music and it will shut up the people asking questions in the middle of your game because they'll assume you can't hear them.

5. Focus just on your next shot or objective. If the other guy has 50M and you only have 5M, the only way you catch up is one shot at a time.

6. If a shot isn't working, don't force it. On Monster Bash, for example, sometimes right Bride ramp is just a non-starter, or right wolf man orbit. If creature isn't working either, I shoot the spinner all day. Maybe once you've got decent points on the board, try that hard shot again.

7. Don't be afraid to chat with other players about the game, but it's not always considered cool to do this with your match opponent, and never cool to talk to them while playing. While I'm waiting for my turn on Game A and not really watching closely because I know it well already, I will watch other games. I'll watch how the game is feeding from kickouts or half ramp shots, or how tight the tilt appears to be, or if the mystery awards are on tournament mode, etc. If a player is playing a different strat than my own, I'll ask him/her about it. "You didn't go for x...." "Yeah, I prefer to go for y because..."

8. A mental exercise you can try: at your next tournament, when your nerves are off the charts, take a "mental snapshot". Look around, remember the visuals, the games, the score display, the lights, the other players, the sounds, the smell of the bar, the feel of the floor beneath your feet. Really burn it into your brain. Next, when you're playing casually, close your eyes and vividly recall that memory, and then play a game and imagine you're playing against someone right at that moment. Sometimes it even helps to start a two-player game and play against yourself. If done correctly it can help get you used to playing "in fear" and maintain focus despite the pressure.

Hope this helps.

#60 3 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Seen any full grown adult temper tantrums yet? I have, and although hilarious, there is no place for them.

I actually had the pleasure of dealing with a guy who is pretty much legendary in this regard.

The people who completely lose it emotionally in competition are akin to the people on pinside who exist only to stir up drama in their posts, i.e. they're a small but inevitable minority. So, if you can learn to identify, ignore and deal with those people on pinside, you can do likewise with similar people in competition. The tactics are different but the end goal is the same: never let them take away your good time or your win.

#72 3 years ago

Everyone has a different standard for what's "too much".

Here's a vid of my friend Mads getting a bad ball at CAX. He was playing Bowen, so obviously no cake-walk match, and how awesome would it be to say, "I beat Bowen." Anyway, he was so pissed at himself he went off in Danish!! hahahaha

Edit: video corrected.

Is that too much for some of you? If it is, I guess maybe comp just really isn't for you, which is fine, no judgement. At the end of the day we ARE competing and I'm trying my best to put you in second place, and if I blow it stupidly, I will definitely have a few choice words for myself...

For me, the line has always been with people who simply can't let it go, or worse. They'll sulk for the remainder of the event, trash talk the event, the people putting it on, or the format, and blame all the above for their loss. They'll cheat if the opportunity presents, argue with the director to bend the rules, demand special treatment and so on. That's the truly unsportsmanlike stuff I occasionally see, but again, it truly is rare in pinball.

On the other hand, I've also seen incidents like with my friend Mads, and I overhear people on the sidelines go, "See? There goes those tourney players acting like man-children..." Some people will look for any excuse to look down on it and not give it a try. But these same people will yell at the TV at a game show or baseball game. Somehow it's not acting immature when they do it.

And let's be honest, many are just afraid to lose, and complaining about the players taking it too seriously is a diversion. So I say to them, "Well, if you just play pinball for fun and don't care whether you win or lose, you wouldn't care if you entered a tournament and got dead last, to the person taking it too seriously, right?"

#76 3 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Agreed with this. You can be mad & shit talk the game for sure, but personal against the people running the thing...not cool.
Uff that right outlane is killing him!

Oops, that was the wrong video, but when he "takes a nap" at the end is classic. That was five years ago and still cracks me up.

Here's the one where he flips out in Danish. Same match with Bowen but earlier game. I think it was a best of 3.

#82 3 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

This isn't even close to the type of tyraid I am referring to. But still unnecessary. There are better ways to handle yourself than that. Had I been playing the game next to that when it happened, I would've probably laughed and maybe lost my ball.

Fair enough that's a reasonable sentiment. Like I said we all have our individual thresholds. I've played in tournaments for example with live bands. I literally brought a pile of ear plugs at events I ran for awhile. A player freaking out next to me doesn't even register really. Although we do have a "no touching" rule, I.e. if you slide save and affect your neighbor's game, for example, that's potentially a penalty or DQ.

But more importantly is this example the kind of thing people think of when they say "some players take it too seriously"? and therefore don't want to play?

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