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(Topic ID: 119032)

My first Tournament, any tips?


By chuckwurt

5 years ago



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  • 40 posts
  • 19 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by BadBrad97
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    #1 5 years ago

    So the Louisville Expo will be the first tournament I will try to qualify for. Any tips a first timer must know? Any things you wish you knew your first tourney? Thanks, cannot wait for the expo.

    #2 5 years ago

    Pace of play is going to be much different than what you are likely used to. Lots of waiting around. It's tough to overcome and takes some getting used to. Try to use your spare time as productively as you can.

    #3 5 years ago
    Quoted from ectobar:

    Pace of play is going to be much different than what you are likely used to. Lots of waiting around. It's tough to overcome and takes some getting used to. Try to use your spare time as productively as you can.

    Cool. Yeah, I will have my ipad with me. I plan to just research the games in the qualifying bank because most likely I will not have played any of them much less know what to shoot for. So when it is my turn to play a game, I get one game on it, then back of the line again?

    Then if I like my score on a particular game I turn that in? Then basically package my best scores on each game to make my strongest qualifying total?

    #4 5 years ago

    I just listened to a pinheadz podcast with PAPA World Champion Cayle George and he had some great advice for preparing for a tournament based upon whether or not you get any practice time.

    http://www.pinheadz.com.au/podcast/pppo12-pinheadz-pinball-podcast-ep12-pinheadz-mania/

    #5 5 years ago

    Have a great time....meet some new people and look forward to your next one...you stop getting nervous at about your 3rd one....good luck...........Joey

    #6 5 years ago

    I'm not familiar with that particular tourney, I'm sure someone else will chime in in that regard.

    Ipad is good, but you'll likely gain more from just watching other people play the machines you don't know.

    #7 5 years ago

    wear headphones

    #8 5 years ago

    Cool. Yeah, I don't get too nervous when I play because it's just for fun, I just like to be as informed as I can be before I get down to business so I don't make any rookie mistakes.

    #10 5 years ago
    Quoted from davewtf:

    wear headphones

    I definitely don't want to be that guy sorry haha. No gloves for me either. Like I said, just in it to have fun and maybe get a little lucky.

    #11 5 years ago

    Well this one is ridiculous, but since you asked......
    I like to pretend I am playing at home, and my wife or someone is yelling at me that we have to leave soon. Because that one last game that I fire up always seems to last forever and makes us very late getting out. Lol.

    But I really just enjoy meeting other pinball players and swapping stories in line.

    #12 5 years ago
    Quoted from Arcade:

    Well this one is ridiculous, but since you asked......
    I like to pretend I am playing at home, and my wife or someone is yelling at me that we have to leave soon. Because that one last game that I fire up always seems to last forever and makes us very late getting out. Lol.
    But I really just enjoy meeting other pinball players and swapping stories in line.

    Holy shit dude I do the exact same thing. My wife even calls me out sometimes, "I just heard you start a new game. Last game my ass." haha. But I totally agree with you, I always like to talk pinball with people who actually care about it too.

    #13 5 years ago

    Louisville last year was my first 'big' tournament. Here's what I learned.

    - Manage expectations. For me, there was a little bit of nerves, which seems weird for a pinball tournament. But its true.
    - The games will be set up harder than you think.
    - Saturday night is a cluster*. Long wait times with everyone trying to get in last runs. It's fun, but budget your time as lines will be long.
    - If you do make the cut line, expect to drop a few spots as people continue to play. If you are 14 out of 16 with 3 hours left in qualifying, you'll likely bleed out.
    - If you don't know what to do in a game, ask the guy in line next to you.
    - Setting a budget isn't the worst idea in the world. I think last year it was $10 for three entries.
    - Unless you hate it, spend some time in the classics division as well.

    It's a great tournament, looking forward to it myself.

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from williams:

    - Unless you hate it, spend some time in the classics division as well.
    blockquote>

    I am most excited for the classics qualifying. I will definitely try and qualify for that as well even though it will be much harder since there is only one division for that.

    #15 5 years ago

    Always keep in mind if you have a bad first or second ball that all you need is one to blow it up. Never count yourself out. Main thing is to just relax as much as possible.
    The games will be set up hard. Meaning, open out lanes, light tilt, and no extra balls so your strategy will most likely be different going in. Great luck!

    #16 5 years ago

    I was planning on going down for the Louisville show, any idea what pins will be set up to play for the tourney? Ive never been in one, not sure if I want to, but wouldn't mind knowing what there is to play. Thanks!

    #17 5 years ago

    Never take a lead for granted and just assume you've won by having a huge ball. I've lost plenty of games by staring to play loose because I thought I had a huge lead. On the flip side, don't think because you're far behind that you can't catch up. It's crazy how fast points accumulate on a killer ball.

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from ItsOnlyPinball:

    Always keep in mind if you have a bad first or second ball that all you need is one to blow it up. Never count yourself out. Main thing is to just relax as much as possible.
    The games will be set up hard. Meaning, open out lanes, light tilt, and no extra balls so your strategy will most likely be different going in. Great luck!

    Sounds like they will be set up like my games at home. I am not even sure if the shoot again light works on my games haha.

    #19 5 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I definitely don't want to be that guy sorry haha. No gloves for me either. Like I said, just in it to have fun and maybe get a little lucky.

    "that guy"?

    You mean the one that wins because he knows when he needs to cut away distractions?

    Okay.

    I've found recently that headphones can be a mixed bag. Sometimes you miss audio cues that can tip you off to something bad happening before you can assess it visually, but at the same time, having music you can jam to and just lose yourself in the game can be a MASSIVE benefit occasionally. I had what was probably one of the most ridiculous come-back wins in local tournaments on a Transformers Pro after having two horrible balls, I put the headphones in, turned on the dance music, and just WAILED away at Optimus and Megatron and had a bunch of super jackpots and 3+ multiballs on ball three..

    #20 5 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    "that guy"?
    You mean the one that wins because he knows when he needs to cut away distractions?
    Okay.

    Just saying that I don't take it too seriously. I get that others need it to concentrate, I just don't think it is necessary. BTW, are they listening to music or is it just to drown out the noise? Don't people want to hear the sounds of the games too?

    #21 5 years ago

    Oh I thought you were RUNNING a tournament....DOH!

    #22 5 years ago
    Quoted from Chitownpinball:

    Oh I thought you were RUNNING a tournament....DOH!

    haha no worries. I will be doing that too once a year.

    #23 5 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    "that guy"?

    You mean the one that wins because he knows when he needs to cut away distractions?

    Okay.

    Lol. You must be one of those pinball athletes. Do you use PEDs like mountain dew?

    #24 5 years ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Lol. You must be one of those pinball athletes. Do you use PEDs like mountain dew?

    Actually, I pretty much starve myself at tournaments. Went to Garage Gauntlet in Austin...got up at 5am, left dallas around 6am with a breakfast sandwich from Jack in the Crack and a cooler full of alchohol. Ended up drinking a guiness around noon, and then a shot of whiskey, and didn't have anything else to eat or drink the rest of the day. : |

    Also, see the edit above...

    I listen to music anytime I have my headphones in. It's more for myself than to take away the ambient noise..

    #25 5 years ago
    Quoted from ItsOnlyPinball:

    Always keep in mind if you have a bad first or second ball that all you need is one to blow it up. Never count yourself out. Main thing is to just relax as much as possible.
    The games will be set up hard. Meaning, open out lanes, light tilt, and no extra balls so your strategy will most likely be different going in. Great luck!

    Good tips! I really think the biggest challenge of tournament play is just staying relaxed and not getting anxious if you have a tough start and counting yourself out. Just staying focused and playing disciplined will get you a long way. I always try to start slow and take whatever shots the game will give me. If that means shooting the same ramp shot over-and-over just do it until other shots start opening up. Try to ball trap whenever possible and slow down the gameplay vs. just shooting stuff on the fly. I've never been one to wear headphones because I rely too much on the audible clues in the game but I can see how it can filter out distractions for some people which would be helpful.

    #26 5 years ago
    Quoted from Cheddar:

    I just listened to a pinheadz podcast with PAPA World Champion Cayle George and he had some great advice for preparing for a tournament based upon whether or not you get any practice time.
    http://www.pinheadz.com.au/podcast/pppo12-pinheadz-pinball-podcast-ep12-pinheadz-mania/

    Thanks Cheddar. I will check this out.

    #27 5 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    "that guy"?
    You mean the one that wins because he knows when he needs to cut away distractions?
    Okay.
    I've found recently that headphones can be a mixed bag. Sometimes you miss audio cues that can tip you off to something bad happening before you can assess it visually, but at the same time, having music you can jam to and just lose yourself in the game can be a MASSIVE benefit occasionally. I had what was probably one of the most ridiculous come-back wins in local tournaments on a Transformers Pro after having two horrible balls, I put the headphones in, turned on the dance music, and just WAILED away at Optimus and Megatron and had a bunch of super jackpots and 3+ multiballs on ball three..

    Biggest drawback to headphones is missing tilt warnings. Seen it happen to just about everybody that uses headphones.

    #28 5 years ago

    I learned there are WAY many people WAY better than me at pinball. Tourneys are a humbling experience...unless you make the finals.

    #29 5 years ago

    Sweep the leg.

    #30 5 years ago

    If they have the overhead cameras, definitely watch how the good players are playing to see how the feeds are behaving, how tight the tilt is, and what strategies they seem to be pursuing.

    If they don't, volunteering to do some score-keeping is a good way to observe some play. And usually you get paid in tourney entries so it helps with the cost.

    Plan to spend at least $150 if you realistically hope to qualify. And if there's a B Division, that's probably where you should set your sights for your first time.

    Play your natural style. If you're doing poorly you might be tempted to try and copy other players' styles because they're doing better. But a tournament is no time to change up your game plan.

    In most tougher tournaments, the games are set up to gimp the typical strategies, so be ready to look for the less obvious points. Again, observing other players is key.

    Shower.

    Don't fart.

    Have fun.

    #31 5 years ago

    haha. This is the second time I have heard about this. Good lord. I guess that is their intimidation tactic.

    #32 5 years ago

    Keep the ball from going down the outlanes, or the big hole between the flippers. You will be fine.

    #33 5 years ago

    ...unless you're in a "head to head" game of course

    #34 5 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    So the Louisville Expo will be the first tournament I will try to qualify for. Any tips a first timer must know? Any things you wish you knew your first tourney? Thanks, cannot wait for the expo.

    I will give you some tips about specific games once I'm at the show and see how they play. A lot of times, it comes down to knowing one very specific, simple, and basic thing to put up a big score. Like a specific feed, or bounce, a slap on the cabinet at just the right time, or a ramp to flipper shift/rollover, ect.

    #35 5 years ago
    Quoted from RipleYYY:

    ...unless you're in a "head to head" game of course

    Farting is a legit strategy.

    #36 5 years ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    I will give you some tips about specific games once I'm at the show and see how they play. A lot of times, it comes down to knowing one very specific, simple, and basic thing to put up a big score. Like a specific feed, or bounce, a slap on the cabinet at just the right time, or a ramp to flipper shift/rollover, ect.

    Thanks Matt. See you on that Friday if not before then.

    #37 5 years ago
    Quoted from nhm:

    Biggest drawback to headphones is missing tilt warnings. Seen it happen to just about everybody that uses headphones.

    Agree. Several times have been like "Was that one or two?"

    #38 5 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    Ended up drinking a guiness around noon, and then a shot of whiskey, and didn't have anything else to eat or drink the rest of the day. : |

    Ahhhh booze as a PED... Usually when I drink when I play I hit the groove for a few games, then start to suck when I get too drunk to care.

    #39 5 years ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Ahhhh booze as a PED... Usually when I drink when I play I hit the groove for a few games, then start to suck when I get too drunk to care.

    If you get drunk off a can of Guinness and a shot of whiskey...well... I don't know what to say, lol.

    #40 5 years ago
    Quoted from nhm:

    Farting is a legit strategy.

    Is it only legal when you are actually playing? If you are just watching and your opponent is playing and unable to leave the area, I think in that case, it is illegal.

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