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(Topic ID: 112890)

Training for Pinburgh


By DarthXaos

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 49 posts
  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Snailman
  • Topic is favorited by 5 Pinsiders

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    #1 5 years ago

    OK What is the best way to train (besides playing pinball) for the biggest tournament ever?

    Any suggestions as to how a spend my pinball playing time/tokens? how much to watch videos? diet? exercises?

    What do the pros do to train?

    #2 5 years ago

    Set your games up hard with no extra balls and tight tilts. Play like every game matters.

    #3 5 years ago

    If one owns no games and can only play on location?

    #4 5 years ago

    I prefer location play to home play.
    By a wide margin.

    Find a good location and support it.

    Play with players who are better than you. Talk strategy with them, learn ball control techniques from them.

    13
    #5 5 years ago

    Practice standing twelve hours a day

    #6 5 years ago

    If you find yourself getting too used to a particular machine, change something about it. You will not have time to learn the in's and out's of every machine in Pinburgh like you may know them in your game room or league location. Instead of playing a game multiple times in a row, pretend only the first time you turn it on and hit start during each session is the game that matters, because in Pinburgh, it will be.

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from Newsom:

    I prefer location play to home play.
    By a wide margin.
    Find a good location and support it.
    Play with players who are better than you. Talk strategy with them, learn ball control techniques from them.

    Completely agree. When you learn how to win on dirty leaning location games with sticky flippers against guys with names like Slippery Pete and Lefty, Pinburgh is a piece of cake. d

    #10 5 years ago

    There are 10 fundamentals that must be mastered to win Pinburg. I will discuss one of the ten.

    Lesson 8 of 10: Calibration.

    Phase 1: Learn to read the personality of a machine ASAP. You gotta dance gracefully, right on the beat with every girl in the gym like you're Bing Crosby.
    Phase 2: ???
    Phase 3: Profit

    Or, if you spend your first few minutes at a new machine getting frustrated that it isn't behaving the way you expect, then you haven't learned to calibrate quick enough to compete at a high level.

    Get your calibration time down as low as you can. Approach a game "listening" for how it's playing...

    Yoda out...
    -mof

    profit.jpg

    #11 5 years ago

    Game knowledge is never a bad thing. Especially in a tournament like Pinburgh.

    Going trough the PAPA video archive should keep you busy for a while, and you will learn a lot.

    #12 5 years ago

    Stamina matters: Pinburgh lasts 10 hours a day for two and hopefully three days. If you can keep up a high quality of play for a long time you'll do well.

    Playing multiplayer games, against other players, would probably be my strongest recommendation. You'll get used to the rhythm of playing and not playing, and figure out what you do in the short downtime between balls. Watch everyone play! They're teaching you to play better, and their play gives you information about how a machine plays.

    #13 5 years ago
    Quoted from bkerins:

    Stamina matters: Pinburgh lasts 10 hours a day for two and hopefully three days. If you can keep up a high quality of play for a long time you'll do well.
    Playing multiplayer games, against other players, would probably be my strongest recommendation. You'll get used to the rhythm of playing and not playing, and figure out what you do in the short downtime between balls. Watch everyone play! They're teaching you to play better, and their play gives you information about how a machine plays.

    I watched you play and I still suck.

    #14 5 years ago

    The first time I ever went to PAPA (not to compete), I was not in "pinball shape" at all, and standing and leaning over machines for hours at a time was a struggle. Now, I play so much pinball that I can play all weekend at PAPA without being too miserable.

    In terms of getting in the competitive mindset during a game, I find that nothing does it quite like playing for a dollar a game.

    As the date approaches, there will really be one bit of preparation that will trump everything else: get a good night sleep! A friend of mine worked a midnight shift before Pinburgh last year, and he did not have a good time.

    #15 5 years ago
    Quoted from bkerins:

    Stamina matters: Pinburgh lasts 10 hours a day for two and hopefully three days. If you can keep up a high quality of play for a long time you'll do well.
    Playing multiplayer games, against other players, would probably be my strongest recommendation. You'll get used to the rhythm of playing and not playing, and figure out what you do in the short downtime between balls. Watch everyone play! They're teaching you to play better, and their play gives you information about how a machine plays.

    Are there any stamina-training exercises you do to "get in shape" for long tournaments?

    #16 5 years ago

    Things I wish I would have known before my first Pinburgh:

    1) Get comfortable with EMs and early solid state games. Modern DMD games aren't as prevalent as you think at Pinburgh. You will be playing on an EM and probably 2 older solid state games each round, and likely just one DMD per round.

    2) Look at tutorials and rule sheets. Watch Bowen's tutorials. But, keep in mind that on these machines, you're probably not going to be able to play like he does.

    3) Practice with 2-ball games. As in, set the games to 2 balls, or just let your first or second ball drain. You will have tons of house balls at Pinburgh, and learning to deal with that instead of getting frustrated is key

    4) Play as many different machines as you can, but keep switching it up to avoid getting too much into the groove of one machine. The AC/DC you play at Pinburgh will play nothing like the one you're dialed in to on your home turf.

    5) At Pinburgh, take the time to read the rule cards if you're unfamiliar with the game. Watch other players in your group and learn from them as they play. Often, there will be shots that are safer than the others, and ways you can exploit features (like lit spinners on EMs) for bigger points. You may just be chopping wood. It's a totally different way to play.

    6) Keep an open ear during the breaks. Everyone will be talking about the one that got away, or how difficult a certain machine was. This is beneficial in 2 ways: you will learn about some peculiarities of some games and you will also find that everyone else is having just as hard of a time as you are

    #17 5 years ago
    Quoted from zsciaeount:

    Things I wish I would have known before my first Pinburgh:
    1) Get comfortable with EMs and early solid state games. Modern DMD games aren't as prevalent as you think at Pinburgh. You will be playing on an EM and probably 2 older solid state games each round, and likely just one DMD per round.

    This x1000

    I had my ass handed to me by EM's and somewhat by early solidstate machines my first Pinburgh.

    They play much slower so you would think they are easier... that is not at all the case. Get time on EM's and early SS games, and don't be fooled into thinking there is nothing but luck on how to play these machines - there is skill and it is subtle beyond belief. The bonus is the skills form an EM translate all the way to a DMD; the reverse is not so much true - DMD skills do not translate terribly well to EM's in my experience.

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from DarthXaos:

    Are there any stamina-training exercises you do to "get in shape" for long tournaments?

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/mens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises-for-men/art-20045074

    #19 5 years ago

    drink plenty of shasta

    #20 5 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    There are 10 fundamentals that must be mastered to win Pinburg. I will discuss one of the ten.
    Lesson 8 of 10: Calibration.
    Phase 1: Learn to read the personality of a machine ASAP. You gotta dance gracefully, right on the beat with every girl in the gym like you're Bing Crosby.
    Phase 2: ???
    Phase 3: Profit
    Or, if you spend your first few minutes at a new machine getting frustrated that it isn't behaving the way you expect, then you haven't learned to calibrate quick enough to compete at a high level.
    Get your calibration time down as low as you can. Approach a game "listening" for how it's playing...
    Yoda out...
    -mof

    profit.jpg 10 KB

    Which is why I think playing on location is a valuable thing - learn to adjust to differing conditions, and quickly.

    #21 5 years ago
    Quoted from bkerins:

    Stamina matters: Pinburgh lasts 10 hours a day for two and hopefully three days. If you can keep up a high quality of play for a long time you'll do well.
    Playing multiplayer games, against other players, would probably be my strongest recommendation. You'll get used to the rhythm of playing and not playing, and figure out what you do in the short downtime between balls. Watch everyone play! They're teaching you to play better, and their play gives you information about how a machine plays.

    Good advice here, as usual.

    This tourney sounds like a tremendous amount of fun. The ongoing match play concept is very cool.

    Unfortunately, the stamina part has been the biggest deterrent for me/my son for attending. Being required to play at various times during the day, all day long is much different than, for example, an open qualifying format where one has the opportunity to play whenever they choose during that same time frame.

    I prefer not to play early in the morning and my son prefers not to play late at night. Man's got to know his limitations

    I seem to recall KME saying stamina is a skill. He's right

    #22 5 years ago

    Start playing people for money.

    #23 5 years ago

    One final bit of advice that I give everyone I play against, when they ask me about a game they don't know how to play:

    outlanes collect bonus

    #24 5 years ago

    Is Pinburgh a friendly style of competition or just intense and cut-throat?

    i.e. do groups tend to share strategies and help each other out with rules or is the competition so still that everyone has their game face on the whole time?

    #25 5 years ago

    You need to play as many machines as possible, if you cannot play them then go into the tutorials and gameplay videos and learn the rulesets of as many machines as possible. Knowing the rulesets is half the battle, the second is shot execution and control just comes from experience and you need to play a lot to anticipate the bounces and angles on all of these different machines. Lastly and this one really threw me is you have to check your emotions at the door it can be nerve racking playing in competition and you really have to have to be even keel and that will get you through but if you are unable to and nerves or angry get the better of you it will be a long tourney.

    Pinburgh is the best tourney in the world will see you all there again!!!!

    #26 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Is Pinburgh a friendly style of competition or just intense and cut-throat?

    I've been in the bottom division the last two years. It's all very friendly. I'm sure A division is a bit more intense.

    #27 5 years ago

    What a great thread! This is minor advice compared to what everyone else is saying but I think it could be valuable. Figure out if you play better with headphones and music on or not. There is a lot going on at Pinburgh and some people find it hard to concentrate, so they listen to music. You'll see some of the pros do this in a lot of tournies. Usually its really hard to hear the machine anyway. It differs person to person, so find out how you concentrate best. It's not so much about listening to music as it is a form of white noise to drown out the distractions.

    #28 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Is Pinburgh a friendly style of competition or just intense and cut-throat?
    i.e. do groups tend to share strategies and help each other out with rules or is the competition so still that everyone has their game face on the whole time?

    It's overall very friendly. Some take it too seriously imo - it really is a silly tournament in reality. You play dozens of machines for the first time ever, and you get 3 balls on each (5 on EMs) and some people expect nothing but perfect games. It's just not gonna happen. It's like a race car driver showing up to drive an unknown vehicle around an unknown course for 3 laps and expecting a world record.

    As for sharing strategies, coaching during play is not allowed at all. Outside of that, I won't share strategies with my immediate competitors in a 4 man group; not so much so I can win but out of respect for the other players in the group of 4 who may have studied up on the game or put in the practice time. After a round or outside a round, I will discuss any machine, all day, even if I might be competing with that player a day or so later.

    #29 5 years ago
    Quoted from bcrage88:

    check your emotions at the door it can be nerve racking playing in competition and you really have to have to be even keel and that will get you through but if you are unable to and nerves or angry get the better of you it will be a long tourney

    Agreed.

    The faster you can get past looking foolish or having a bad game/ball, the sooner you will have fun.

    You will have house balls, you will make the wrong shots, you will not know the vast majority of games you play, and you will have fun

    #30 5 years ago

    Stamina and Sleep are your main friends at Pinburgh.

    I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned as of yet. Bring hand sanitizer and perhaps a towel/rag to wipe the lockdown bar and flipper button areas on the game you are about to play.

    Many other people have and will be touching the game before and after they are done with each ball. You can simply wear gloves instead of course.

    #31 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Is Pinburgh a friendly style of competition or just intense and cut-throat?
    i.e. do groups tend to share strategies and help each other out with rules or is the competition so still that everyone has their game face on the whole time?

    My impression is that it's very friendly even among the top-tier players. Each player is different, of course, so there will be a few who want to keep their strategies to themselves.

    Helping a player while they are on the machine is a no-no, however; this is coaching and can have a significant negative impact on other players.

    A lot of the time I see the other 3 players watching together, talking to each other about what they see on the game. It's pretty cool.

    #32 5 years ago

    Also, avoid getting angry if/when rulings or malfunctions don't go your way or possibly even go against you. Random things happen in pinball that might benefit or hurt each player so feel free to get rulings when necessary, but be polite and thankful regardless of whether the outcome is for or against yourself or other players. Regardless of how or why you place first or dead last, you won't become the president of the world*, so keep it fun!

    * depending on the size of 'your' world naturally

    #33 5 years ago
    Quoted from bkerins:

    My impression is that it's very friendly even among the top-tier players. Each player is different, of course, so there will be a few who want to keep their strategies to themselves.
    Helping a player while they are on the machine is a no-no, however; this is coaching and can have a significant negative impact on other players.
    A lot of the time I see the other 3 players watching together, talking to each other about what they see on the game. It's pretty cool.

    Talking to other players between balls to discuss strategy is allowed, correct?

    I assume you play 4 player games and not 4 single player games in a row?

    #34 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Talking to other players between balls to discuss strategy is allowed, correct?

    Man it would be pretty boring if you couldn't talk to the people you're playing with for 10 hours a day.

    #35 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Talking to other players between balls to discuss strategy is allowed, correct?
    I assume you play 4 player games and not 4 single player games in a row?

    Some games (EMs and some games with certain gameplay features) are played 1 or 2 at a time instead of 4 player.

    Talking between balls is for sure allowed - again out of respect for the other competitors I usually don't dump strategies on players during the round (I don't care if I lose, but I don't think it's right to cause other players a loss) but there's no rule against it IIRC... if the player isn't currently playing I don't THINK strategy discussion is coaching? I could be 100% wrong on that.

    My conversation is usually geared toward observations of the specific machine ('man brutal kickout hey?'), or complementing gameplay ('nice save'), or asking about the individuals themselves. I generally try to avoid the "Oh just shoot left orbit all day" conversation on ToM for example. Again - I lose all the time, but if I tell player A about that, then he beats players B and C, I just acted as spoiler for the group and potentially manipulated the points outcome, regardless of whether I placed #1 or #4

    #36 5 years ago

    Finally, we've learned how to talk to each other.

    #37 5 years ago

    Nothing is needed but common sense. Don't tell one competitor something that would make another competitor angry and you'll be good.

    -1
    #38 5 years ago
    Quoted from Glarrownage:

    Figure out if you play better with headphones and music on or not.

    Agreed. I've spent the last year playing with and without headphones to get used to both. I must say that if you're like me and get nervous during competitive play, headphones can really make a difference in calming the nerves.

    #39 5 years ago
    Quoted from mot:

    Nothing is needed but common sense. Don't tell one competitor something that would make another competitor angry and you'll be good.

    If I know a ruleset or strategy for a game I will happily share with others if they ask.

    I hope they don't get mad when those of use that are cool with sharing are talking strategies between balls. If the rules allow it, I see no reason not to.

    I am actually thinking the regional crew that is going should/will likely start a little blog where we can all go and insert interesting game tidbits during the day to help each other out. Things like "clean spinner shot on X" or " go for left orbit on X for safe shot" or "left flipper on X is wonky" or "super tight tilt on X". To me the comradeship of event like this is something I was looking forward to and I am slightly surprised that others will get angry if you are talking pinball with others.

    #40 5 years ago

    I can't get into the whole headphones thing, because the audio cue is the best way of knowing if I've set off any tilt warnings. If more games had headphone jacks, I might find headphones useful, but the idea of listening to anything other than game audio during a game has never been my style

    #41 5 years ago

    I've never played with headphones. I might be amazing if I do. Or not...

    #42 5 years ago

    All I can say is I'm excited to be able to take a dump in my own hotel room this year.

    #43 5 years ago
    Quoted from tb0ne:

    All I can say is I'm excited to be able to take a dump in my own hotel room this year.

    I'm excited to take a dump in your hotel room, too!

    #44 5 years ago

    I am excited to not have to share a restroom with all you dumpers.

    #45 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Is Pinburgh a friendly style of competition or just intense and cut-throat?
    i.e. do groups tend to share strategies and help each other out with rules or is the competition so still that everyone has their game face on the whole time?

    Yeah I was in a final group to make the cut for the B Division finals and only one of us knew a game. Obviously he didn't tell us how to play it but we watched and afterwards he told us everything about it. Lots of fun and sharing I found. Lots of leagues build apps/cheatsheets too that they update throughout the tourney with notes like "Black Hole: lower PF kickout can come out blazing fast and if you keep your left flipper up it may lazarus on you"

    Also one thing I learned on my very first game is that some games have no ball save that you might expect to so be warned!

    #46 5 years ago

    I don't think the majority of players at Pinburgh take it overly seriously. But I will say this from experience. The higher up the groups you go, the quieter and quieter it gets. Very little chit chat, nothing that could be construed as coaching, etc. It's (almost) all business.

    Purpledrilmonkey, I agree with most everything you post. But I would never call Pinburgh silly. It is the best and most prestigious match play tournament in the world!

    #47 5 years ago

    Definitely play every style of game you game, you'll need all the skills. If you're on location, only play one game and then move onto another style one, that's how it's going to go. And when you find a game you've never played, pretend that game is all you get and see how you do. Many of the games, you (and people in your group) have probably never played, let alone know well.

    I had a great time last year as my first time. I found the vast majority of players very friendly. Even the ones that were more serious were still friendly between games and afterwards, just focused during each game. Most were willing to chit chat between balls but generally didn't share any strategy until after the game was over, and then were more than willing to explain parts of the game.

    I will say though it gets harder the later the rounds get so just keep at it. By the end you're playing with people almost exactly as good as you, which I think is pretty amazing how that works. I know I started getting a bit overwhelmed (and tired) day 2 and had to remind myself to just have fun.

    One of the best parts I think is getting to play with the variety of players. I'm still learning so playing with all the better players is really neat and I was amazed at how sharing and support most people displayed. Many times it was more us against the machine rather than against each other.

    My best advice is just have fun. And if you find you're not, try and figure out how to get back there. After all, you get to play pinball all weekend on hundreds of machines! (and arcade machines too this year)

    #48 5 years ago
    Quoted from DarthXaos:

    I can't get into the whole headphones thing, because the audio cue is the best way of knowing if I've set off any tilt warnings. If more games had headphone jacks, I might find headphones useful, but the idea of listening to anything other than game audio during a game has never been my style

    A lot of people at Pinburgh or any place with 100+ Pinball machines get quite loud. They do their best to disable the audio but many you cannot. The drone after a while just saps your bodies energy.

    #49 5 years ago
    Quoted from pinballcorpse:

    I prefer not to play early in the morning and my son prefers not to play late at night. Man's got to know his limitations

    Then Pinburgh is well-suited for you... and possibly for your son if he's cool with wrapping up by 11pm. I don't believe the first round of any day starts prior to 10am.

    And completely agree with you about not playing in the early morning!

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