What up, Pinside? I'm newish to the hobby but am quite good (thanks, good hand-eye coordination!) I have been playing regularly at a local arcade and have made some friends who own machines. Last weekend I was invited to a "tournament" hosted by some people I've met in the scene.
So it was a day-long event with around 30 people or so. The buy-in was $35 which would go towards a prize pool. They also had some shirts made and offered some snacks/drinks/booze so despite it being a bit of a rip off, I assumed it was decently run. Boy was I wrong.
Things were going well for yours truly in the first few matchups but I started to get some alarm bells ringing when I noticed this guy named Trevor watching me intently. I've never met Trevor, but he seemed to be a friend of the guy who owned the place. Well in one of the first few rounds, wouldn't ya know it we were matched up against each other. After my first ball (which admittedly wasnt great) he came up to me and said something like "be careful about tilting through."
Now, I had tilted my ball but didnt need any shit talking from him about it so I just nodded. My friends and I are VERY competitive so I'm used to people trying to get in my head! I had a very good ball 2 and ball 3 was one of my best ones ever so I did a small celebration to throw some shade back to him. He tells me not to hit the table (ok I did, but not hard and he's not even the owner so wtf).
Anyways after the round (which I won) I immediately see him go up to the owner to tell on me. The owner comes up to me a few minutes later and you can tell he's a little uncomfortable and he asks me to please take it easy on the machines. I was a bit embarassed because i don't know him super well, but I told him that Trevor might be mad that I beat him and that he had also tilted. The owner wasnt really listening but said no big deal.
During the lunch break my friend and I are playing on one of the machines casually and in comes Trevor to interrupt our game. He tells me (not asks, tells) to move my sprite off the glass and makes a big show of wiping up a bit of condensation or something where the can was.
1) the drink wasnt even in our way
2) we were being very careful about not spilling it
3) we would have cleaned any mess after we were done playing.
I'm almost certain he went to tell some exaggerated story to the owner about this. It's clear that this guy has it out for me.
A few more rounds go by and there are just a few groups left in the tourney. Trevor and I are on the same table again so here we go. I'm playing fourth. I'll spare you the play by play, but this guy LUCKS into TWO multiballs in a row on his last ball and I drain my third. I was pretty frustrated and gently kicked the machine.
Trevor says loudly not to do that (so everyone can hear him tattletale). I say whatever, but then the owner comes up and after hearing all the lies from Trevor he's clearly been poisioned against me. He tells me to leave. Normally that would be whatever, but I paid to be in the tournament and so I tell him I want my money back for the unjust removal. He says I'd probably be eliminated after the other matches are played out because I got fourth, but that's bullshit because I might get first the next round. Anyways after a long back and fourth I don't feel like arguing anymore because he's clearly got his mind made up and he's making a HUGE scene so I just leave.
I guess what I'm looking for some confirmation that this is clearly grounds for a refund, right Pinside? I left my shirt at the tournament so this guy can't deny me one based upon that and I only hade a few sprites while I was there so I clearly didn't get my money's worth. I'm really just shocked at how unprofessional the whole thing was and was wondering what y'alls experience is with poorly-run tournaments.