(Topic ID: 157352)

Pinburgh (replay fx) advice for a newbie


By 27dnast

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 50 posts
  • 25 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by flynnibus
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    #1 3 years ago

    Alright...let's kick this off. How many days should someone in the tournament plan to be there (at a minimum). This is my first Pinburgh...trying to figure out hotel, etc.

    I have more questions, but wanted to start this thread with this one. Hey newbs...feel free to chime in with more questions!

    #2 3 years ago

    I am a newbie too, so I will be following this thread closely. I got in late, and have over 50 people above me on the waitlist for the tourney, but I am hopeful I will get in!

    #3 3 years ago

    You have to be there all day Thursday and Friday (tournament is 10:00 a.m. - about 11:00 p.m. each of these days). You have to be there all day Saturday if you make the finals. So basically, arrive Wednesday and leave Sunday or Monday. It's a tightly-scheduled match play tournament so you MUST be there for each round.

    #4 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrJoe:

    You have to be there all day Thursday and Friday (tournament is 10:00 a.m. - about 11:00 p.m. each of these days). You have to be there all day Saturday if you make the finals. So basically, arrive Wednesday and leave Sunday or Monday. It's a tightly-scheduled match play tournament so you MUST be there for each round.

    What DrJoe said.

    #5 3 years ago

    Dr. Joe... can you explain how match play works?

    #6 3 years ago

    BEST advice you will receive on here:
    Go to Gaucho for lunch as often as possible. Think they're closed Sun and Mon.
    Stones throw from the convention centre.
    Argentinian bbq.
    Steak sandwiches that are out of this world.

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from 27dnast:

    Dr. Joe... can you explain how match play works?

    Everyone plays 5 rounds on Thursday. You will be placed in a 4-player group and assigned a bank of 4 machines to play. The bank consists of a DMD game from 1995ish and later, an EM game, and early solid-state game (1977-1983ish) and a mid-eighties to early 90's game. For instance, a bank may include Tron, Fast Draw, Fathom, and Whirlwind. You play all 4 games as 4-player games and come up with a win-loss record at the end of 4 games. 12-0 is the best you can do (beating all 3 others on each of 4 games) and 0-12 is coming in last place in each game. Then everyone is re-grouped and you repeat for a total of 5 rounds per day (each round is scheduled 2 hours apart give or take). The new groups are based upon your scores for the day.

    After day 1, the players are grouped into A, B, C, or D based on their record from Thursday. Top 4th of the field is A, next 4th is B, and so on. That day, you only play others from your own division. At the end of the day (which plays out the same as the first), the top 24 in each division qualify to play the finals the next day.

    All players must be present and on-time for each round.

    #8 3 years ago

    Good comfortable shoes!

    #9 3 years ago

    Thx DR Joe!

    #10 3 years ago

    The tournament is already sold out, isn't it?

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

    The tournament is already sold out, isn't it?

    It is. There is a wait list.

    #12 3 years ago

    Depends partly on if you're flying or driving. You will definitely want a room Wednesday through Saturday night, unless you have no interest in the rest of the show outside Pinburgh, in which case if you want to drive out LATE Saturday after finals finish you could skip a night of hotel. The tourney starts bright and early Thursday morning, and you better be there or you lose your spot.

    If flying, you can schedule a Sunday departure without worrying about having to miss finals as finals are on Saturday. Or you can schedule a Monday departure if you want to max out show time, as show closes at 5 Sunday, then you can enjoy other Downtown activities Sunday night such as Rivers Casino.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from hawkeye11:

    Good comfortable shoes!

    Dr Scholls insoles recommended. Need to educate those feet

    #14 3 years ago

    Can you bring a chair to sit in in between balls/games?

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    BEST advice you will receive on here:
    Go to Gaucho for lunch as often as possible. Think they're closed Sun and Mon.
    Stones throw from the convention centre.
    Argentinian bbq.
    Steak sandwiches that are out of this world.

    But does eating that improve your play or are your reflexes slower due to digesting it?

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Can you bring a chair to sit in in between balls/games?

    Not sure, but one thing you CAN'T do is move the red chairs!

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from GolfKill:

    Not sure, but one thing you CAN'T do is move the red chairs!

    Haha. Then hopefully they allow ppl bringing in small camping chairs.

    #18 3 years ago

    I didn't play in Pinburgh but I was at ReplayFX and I can tell you what I know:

    - wear comfortable shoes
    - the show is on concrete floor and some people find that uncomfortable. if you're one of those people, invest in a small cushioned mat
    - stay hydrated
    - stay well-fed and think ahead: bring some trail mix of granola bars with you
    - go up to the roof of the convention center every now and then for fresh air and amazing sights
    - don't be a yinzer

    and the most important thing

    - HAVE FUN

    #19 3 years ago

    Is there a hotel offering group rates?

    #20 3 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Can you bring a chair to sit in in between balls/games?

    I was in a group last year with a lady who brought her own fold up chair. You should be fine.

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from 27dnast:

    Is there a hotel offering group rates?

    Yes. see the papa/replayfx website for details on the hotel blocks. It may be sold out (again).

    #22 3 years ago

    One of these: amazon.com link »

    71PnLwPP9OL._SY606__(resized).jpg

    Sit down any time you're not playing.

    If I was going this year, I'd be tempted to buy a few pallets of those things and set up a vendor booth.

    #23 3 years ago

    These are amazing too. Moon Mats.

    image_(resized).jpeg

    #24 3 years ago

    I wish tournaments like this weren't so long. I love pinball, but 13hrs a day for 3 days sounds insane.

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from chubtoad13:

    I wish tournaments like this weren't so long. I love pinball, but 13hrs a day for 3 days sounds insane.

    Really? I wish there were more hours in the day. Haha

    #26 3 years ago

    I'm glad there's a lot of people that love to play pinball that much. I think I would just get burned out.

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from chubtoad13:

    I'm glad there's a lot of people that love to play pinball that much. I think I would just get burned out.

    It's not a solid 13 hours. There was a decent gap between rounds usually, unless your group played really long. And a break for lunch/dinner/whatever. It never felt long, really.

    #28 3 years ago

    Last years pin burgh was time well spent. I look forward to it again. I don't think I could ever get enough pinball.

    #29 3 years ago

    More tips:

    - Uber is much better than taxis, in my experience
    - grocery stores don't sell liquor, but you can buy beer from a bar to go (as a west coaster, that weirded me out)
    - definitely eat a sandwich from Primanti's
    - be prepared for humidity
    - this may sound goofy, but those little squeeze grip exercise thingies really help to keep your hands limber

    #30 3 years ago

    Don't move the f'ing chairs!!

    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from DrJoe:

    The new groups are based upon your scores for the day.

    I'll just add one (I hope) clarifying comment. Each time you are re-grouped, you end up in a new group of people with the same basic win-loss record. Thus you are always playing others at your level of performance. This also means that you may end up competing against the same individual more than once.

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from JOESCHALL:

    The new groups are based upon your scores for the day.

    Also, I would revise the above to say "the new groups are based upon your scores for each round."

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from TaylorVA:

    Don't move the f'ing chairs!!

    Just the cushioned red ones. Those were the union chairs. The plastic ones with the holes were non Union responsibility and able to be move. I know, because we used a batch of 4 of those after finals to tour around playing and Bowen confirmed we were ok.

    #34 3 years ago

    Come a day early or stay a day later(or both) and enjoy some of the unique things that make Pittsburgh a great place.

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from JOESCHALL:

    I'll just add one (I hope) clarifying comment. Each time you are re-grouped, you end up in a new group of people with the same basic win-loss record. Thus you are always playing others at your level of performance. This also means that you may end up competing against the same individual more than once.

    That's actually not true at all. Near the ends of the days, you play people with similar records. At the beginning, the opposite, and as the days go on the groups get 'tighter' around the same placing.

    #36 3 years ago

    Just to add to others, it's also the most epic fun I've ever had in all the time I've been in this hobby.

    Last year was my first Pinburgh. Day one, round one I'm grouped with Andrei Massenkoff, Julie Schober (both of who I know by reputation) and one of the guys from The Sanctum. No matter what happens in that group of games I've already got the privilege of playing against some of the best in the world. (And just to add sugar on top, I somehow ended up scraping the highest score from the group!)

    It's also just a fantastic social event. Every group you get to meet, chat and play games with three new guys or gals, from all over the planet who share the same hobby as you. The way you're re-seeded and re-grouped means that within a few sessions you should always be having close competitive games too.

    I signed up for 2016 the moment tickets came available. I'm just hoping for a good discount rate at a hotel now, because the pound is crumbling against the dollar at the moment, and it's looking like one expensive holiday right now!

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from Wizcat:

    . . . because the pound is crumbling against the dollar at the moment, and it's looking like one expensive holiday right now!

    Obviously you haven't traveled to your own country

    1 Canadian Dollar = 0.55 British Pounds

    #38 3 years ago

    +1 on comfortable shoes! it's the funnest pinball event on the planet, but boy do your feet pay the price.

    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    Just the cushioned red ones. Those were the union chairs. The plastic ones with the holes were non Union responsibility and able to be move. I know, because we used a batch of 4 of those after finals to tour around playing and Bowen confirmed we were ok.

    Thanks for the info. I'm bringing a blow up lounger.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from TaylorVA:

    Thanks for the info. I'm bringing a blow up lounger.

    There are some of those in the console area! It's a good place to leave your inebriated friends for a bit.

    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Haha. Then hopefully they allow ppl bringing in small camping chairs.

    They do, I brought one of those little tripod chairs with me, and people were telling me all day long how they wished they'd done the same.

    #42 3 years ago

    for newbies..

    do not underestimate the need to NOT be tired when starting the tournament. Do not drive up morning of. Go up the day before.. and enjoy one of the local events or go out to Ed's place and play his amazing arcade collection (coin op hof). Last year, we got to hotel, check'd in.. did the badge pickup when they offered it.. and then headed out to Ed's. But we also left early Wednesday so we could avoid traffic, be relaxed, and have time to do things on Wednesday up there. Heading up after work on Wednesday kind of nukes all that.

    Park your car for the week.. and leave it. The bus/train station is right there for downtown hotel people and is the cheapest way to park in downtown. Uber or walk everywhere else. There is plenty within walking distance for food during breaks, dinner, partying, etc.

    Plan to go home Sunday... morning or later will just depend on your energy level.. but stay the last night. Then you get some replay time and not stress about stuff.

    Plan whatever you need to stay comfortable in a loud environment and on your feet. The noise level is grinding as is standing around a lot. Shoes, shoes, shoes. I bring headphones to help fight back the overall noise level.

    Make sure your smartphone or tablet is full of power and consider bringing a battery pack. You will be on your phone all the time checking the website for groupings, etc.

    Pinburg is far more about FUN... its a cool format because you meet so many people and you get 'guaranteed' play until the cutoff.

    If you haven't booked a hotel yet, do it asap. I haven't heard anything about the availability within the blocks in a long time.. but downtown is not cheap, but the group rates were really good.

    Commuting in from outside the city is perfectly feasible for just tournament play.. but would probably suck after hanging out all late. We really didn't go back to the hotel room much during last year's event.. but it is nice to have as an option.

    Consider rooming up with someone. See if any of your friends are going. Once you start socializing with other players in the area, room sharing is far easier and drastically reduces your costs.

    Be warned... ReplayFx is not a cheap trip. This is not like going to Allentown or York. Between lodging, travel, entry, food, partying, etc.. It's a mini-vacation kind of expense. But it is worth it. I skip PAPA now and doubledown on Replay.

    Don't skip the seminars... last year some of them were really good (and its easy to forget/skip). Eugene Jarvis was hysterical and so approachable. The farsight talk was enlightening.

    There are several driving paths to get there from the DC area including ones that bypass the tolls... I'm still lazy and just take the turnpike. The tolls aren't that bad.

    If you want any more specifics.. feel free to PM me as well. The larger collective of FSPA/DMV people have been going to PAPA since Kevin restarted it and we have lots of people and trips up there. If you are the drinking type.. we do lots of that too

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    If you haven't booked a hotel yet, do it asap. I haven't heard anything about the availability within the blocks in a long time.. but downtown is not cheap, but the group rates were really good.

    Even though the Replayfx and Westin websites both say the blocks are full I just booked a room for all four nights at the reduced rate.

    #44 3 years ago

    For those driving in (or flying and plan on having a vehicle), there are TONS of hotels not more than 20 minutes away in Moon and Robinson townships near the airport that are substantially cheaper than staying downtown. It's an interstate straight shot right to the convention center.

    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from wxforecaster:

    For those driving in (or flying and plan on having a vehicle), there are TONS of hotels not more than 20 minutes away in Moon and Robinson townships near the airport that are substantially cheaper than staying downtown. It's an interstate straight shot right to the convention center.

    40 minutes of commuting back and forth every day? if you can afford to stay downtown I think it's worth that

    #46 3 years ago

    Daily downtown parking has to be at giveaway prices I'm sure....

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Daily downtown parking has to be at giveaway prices I'm sure....

    13/day for the weekdays... 5/day on weekend
    http://www.pittsburghparking.com/gstc

    Convention center was something like 15/day?? Can't remember

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    13/day for the weekdays... 5/day on weekend
    http://www.pittsburghparking.com/gstc
    Convention center was something like 15/day?? Can't remember

    Find someplace you can leave your car and then bus or Uber into downtown?

    #49 3 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    13/day for the weekdays... 5/day on weekend
    http://www.pittsburghparking.com/gstc
    Convention center was something like 15/day?? Can't remember

    Find someplace you can leave your car and then bus or Uber into downtown?

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from GolfKill:

    Find someplace you can leave your car and then bus or Uber into downtown?

    Or be thrifty the other 51 weeks of the year so I don't sweat $20-$40 when I'm taking my annual pinball vacation and stay in the hotel next to the convention center

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