Quoted from jlm33:
Small tourneys now earn peanuts.
Make them bigger!
Quoted from pkiefert:
I think what's frustrating about the ranking system...
those that are great players but can't afford to put $200 into entries at these type of tournaments don't show well in the rankings.
... I don't really have a solution to offer though. Wish I did.
Pkiefert, when I started playing competitively, I had a lot of your same concerns about pump and dump and the overall expensive of the events I was able to attend. It's just not cost effective to flush a bunch of money into a tournament when you feel like you don't have a chance.
I think the only solution is to build something better. And by "better" I mean something that suits the wants and needs of local players like yourself. Obviously that will mean different things to different types of players and it's rare (impossible?) for an event to cater to every type of player out there.
In the Cleveland area, a few of us newer players have put our efforts together to run some smaller scale, flat fee (usually $20) tournaments. It's been a welcomed alternative option for a lot of the local casual players who don't see the benefit in dropping a ton of money into an event where they don't stand a chance. It's never a good thing for someone to walk away feeling like they lost because they were the better player, but didn't have the deepest pockets.
Also, league play is a great way to get competitive experience, earn significant WPPR points and help to build the social circle of local pinball fans without spending a ton of money. I've been playing in multiple leagues over the last two years and I'd definitely say that playing in a friendly, competitive group on a regular basis has helped my game more than anything else. It's also moved me up in the world rankings more than I would have expected.
So in short, I'm suggesting to join a league, start a league, run small events and try to grow them. If you don't like how the big events are operating, there are a lot of ways to be creative and do things differently! The IFPA is easy to work with and they leave things pretty open ended to allow tournament directors to run all types of different events that suit the needs of their local pinball community.
Anyone who's interested in what the Cleveland Pinball Collective is up to can stay informed here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HAPPYDOGPINBALL/
Quoted from bcrage88:
It is these individual machine entry tourneys (like Chicago Flipout) where a person can just pay their way to the top 16 if they wish, get a few lucky games in the they are into the dance.
Expo Flip Out is my least favorite event that I've played in. Really exemplifies the deepest pockets theory. Plus all the waiting in line just kills my enthusiasm about putting in an entry. I'm sure it's a great money maker for the event, but it just doesn't have much value for mid-level players.
*raises hand* I have an actual question about base value. Or is this conversation just for adults whining about losing points?
What was the decision about how players add to the base value of an event?
Are players with less than 5 events counted as zero and players who have five or more events contributing 0.5 WPPR to the base value? Or is it a sliding scale for players who have between 1-4 events?
Example: Kidforce Pinball League - 105 players - Base value 23. Just curious how that base value was calculated. It seems like there would be more than 46 of those players with 5 or more events in their history, but didn't click through them all to be sure of that.
In most cases I see the WPPR 5.1 corrections as a good thing, as they addressed some imbalances that were gaming the system. Event values shifted down a bit to reflect the actual level of competition present, which is a good thing for the integrity of a WPPR point.
The main flaw I see is concerning new players trying to get something going in a pinball desert. Say someone starts a new league somewhere in North Dakota and they recruit 20 players with no experience, that event is essentially valueless until they've done five of them. In reality, those players would probably just be stoked to be playing an organized pinball league and wouldn't care much about WPPRs, but I could see it being frustrating for organizers in general who pull in a lot of new players only to see a minimal bump in their event value.
Looking at players who have moved up the ranks quickly, Alex Harmon from Michigan is a great example. He hit the top 100 in about a year and a half in a region that isn't particularly WPPR heavy. He just plays A LOT and travels to quality regional events. Plus he organizes large tournaments in his area. Oh, and he's really good too.
Just wanted to cite an example of the system working for someone quickly, but it takes the right combination of location, quality/number of events and most importantly, skills. Not enough events in your area? Make more happen! Not good enough? Get better!
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