Author Topic: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion  (Read 6274 times)

Offline John I

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FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« on: May 01, 2016, 02:07:26 PM »
FPF just sent out and announcement of the pinball tournament.   Dan and I are glad to be the tournament directors this year.  This is a Free Play Florida branded tournament and we will be looking to make it the best tournament ever in Florida.  Though it is not a PAPA Circuit Tournament this year, we do expect a large amount of out of state players due to the IAAPA Show being the weekend before.   We are working on a detailed tournament page for the FPF website, but for now here is a cut and paste from the announcement email:

Free Play Florida is proud to present the 2016 FPF Pinball Tournaments!

We listened to your ideas and recommendations and you’re going to love this year’s IFPA sanctioned pinball tournaments at Free Play Florida!  First we would like to proudly introduce 2016 FPF Pinball Tournament Directors, Dan Spolar and John Ilgenfritz.

Dan has been involved in the Florida pinball scene for over a decade, helping found the Pinball Asylum in sunny Naples Florida, as well as producing top notch pinball tournaments across the state.

John brings with him a wealth of knowledge in the area of pinball setup and repair as well as years of tournament and collecting experience. 

We are excited and proud to have them on board to direct this year’s pinball tournaments, so please send them a message of congratulations and a warm welcome to the show!'

Here are some of this year’s Tournament details:

-    Over 1800 square feet of private tournament playing space just off the main show hall
-    Pinball player’s lounge-style seating including sofas and tables to relax and recoup for your next game!
-    WPPR Points and IFPA sanctioned
-    Live score updates on flat screens and via your smartphone or tablet
-    The latest DTM tournament software with queue management
-    Bank of 8 games for the Main tournament
-    Bank of 5 games for the Classics tournament
-    Frequent prize pool updates as the pot grows

Thanks to your survey responses we have made strides to bring to you the best pinball tournament in the south east.  So get your flipper fingers loose because the 2016 FPF pinball tournaments are going to be AWESOME!

Lastly, a great tourney needs great volunteers!  Please let us know if you are interested in lending a hand!(add email again)
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Offline Miracleman

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2016, 05:14:36 PM »
Sounds GREAT!
I will be there!

Offline bjones

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2016, 06:20:12 PM »
Thanks for posting John.  Hope to see you all there

Offline Baiter

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 05:50:08 PM »
What is the format of the tournament?  I've seen a lot of movement toward limited Herb, which I think is a good idea.

Offline pinballcorpse

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 06:39:59 PM »
Standard pay to play unlimited Herb format, 8 choose best 5 in main.

Looking forward to it :)


 

   
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Offline John I

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 11:14:38 PM »
We don't see a need to go with a limited Herb, though I personally like the concept for huge tournaments like Texas.  As big as that tournament was, they probably should go to multiple divisions next year rather than limiting the play so much.  As for FPF, the pay-per-play does in a way limit things compared to the unlimited play for a single fee tournaments.  We are expecting a big field because of out of state players, but with expanded line-ups in the Classics and Main tournament compared to last year and tough/fair machines we hope to keep the lines to a reasonable level.  The queuing system also helps.  We can always add a game or two to the Main tournament if the field appears to be expanding before the show weekend arrives...

I'd like to keep this thread active for suggestions and questions.  We're putting together a more detailed description and rules page, but there should be no surprises.  Also, we are working directly with Karl to tweak the scoring software for the tournament and hope to provide better status of the pot value as it grows.  Karl's software is already fantastic and revolutionary, so I don't want to promise anything beyond what we have already seen.  The Free Play Florida show runners have promised to help provide scoring volunteers and we should have fast Internet and tablets available to maximize the system.  We also have plans to provide real time video of game play.  This adds a lot to the fun of the event in my mind.

Both Main and Classics will have the maximum TGP of 100%.  In layman's terms that means that both tournament should provide the top finishers a whopping amount of WPPR points considering the size of the field and the quality of the players. 
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Offline pinballcorpse

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2016, 10:55:52 AM »
The FPF/SPF tourney represents the flagship of Florida pinball tourneys.  This is not a slight against any of the other great tourneys in Florida, but it is indisputable that FPF/SPF has consistently drawn in the best pinball players year after year and showcased incredible talent.  No other tournament in Florida offers this many WPPR points or the opportunity for locals to play with world class players in our own back yard. 

While it is known that this year FPF will not be a PAPA circuit event,  this tourney will still draw in top players from Florida and around the USA. Circuit voting will come back around and I suspect FPF will get back on the Circuit very soon. Many players enjoy coming to Florida and they also know there is great competition in our state. 

FPF will also be the last major opportunity for Florida players to gain maximum points toward one of the coveted 16 spots for the Florida State Championships.  So the qualifying competition will be intense jockeying for every possible fraction of a point.

I appreciate that John, Dan and the FPF organizers are working hard to carry on the tradition of the SPF/FPF tournaments.  I also want to thank Donny as well for all of his hard work on this tourney in the prior years. 

Looking forward to seeing and competing with everyone in a few months.

Support Florida Pinball !
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Offline Baiter

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2016, 12:30:14 AM »
We don't see a need to go with a limited Herb, though I personally like the concept for huge tournaments like Texas.

I've probably discussed to death the reasons why I don't think unlimited herb is a fair qualifier, and I haven't played in one for a few years as a result.  I do enjoy the format and understand the attraction to the strategy, but to make it fair for everyone it needs some sort of play constraint unrelated to the logistics issues in large tournaments.

Offline John I

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2016, 05:37:34 PM »
Yeah I do agree about the Herb format having flaws.  To me the unlimited voids takes a lot of the variability that makes pinball fun out of play.  On any given Sunday the worst team in the NFL has a chance the beat the best team in the league.  "That is why they play the game!"  Every play counts and they just can't line up again to replay a fumble to turn it into a touchdown.  In golf, a huge field shows up and the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday are Qualifying rounds.  People who miss the cut go home and people who make the cut play Saturday and Sunday.   Every stroke counts - even the qualifying strokes count in the final score on Sunday.

I can't think of another sport where there is unlimited qualifying and do overs like in pinball unless you want to count poker tournaments that give multiple buy-ins. 

In pinball the game has a lot of built-in variability.  The more chances each player has to chop away at a game, the more certain it is that the best players will always qualify higher.   So in my mind the unlimited qualifying takes away a lot of the "any given Sunday" nature of what a true sporting competition should have.  Once the Finals start the top qualifiers also benefit from multiple byes, but at that point a "hot" player does have a chance to upset the better players because of the head-to-head play.   Problem is that "hot" player might not have qualified to begin with because of the unlimited format.

That said, there are ways to minimize the bad aspects.  Having a Main and a Classics running concurrently makes it harder to play oodles of times on any machine.  Having more than just five games in the tournament helps too.   As I said above the $10 for 3 games keeps the number of plays down for most players.  Maybe the price should go up the more you play haha...

That brings me to the true "unlimited Herb" tournaments.  I am talking here about Herb tournaments where you pay a single price for truly unlimited play.  In last year's Point Monsters, I played Sinbad at least 20 times.  I know there were people who played more.  Same with the recent Pinball Lounge tournament.  I played at least 15 games on Fan-Tas-Tic and I only played on Friday night!

The flip side of the coin is that people travel long distances to tournaments and spend a lot of time and money doing so.  For that reason it is understandable they want to play as much pinball as possible.   A top player from California who flies to Florida to play in a tournament doesn't want to get knocked out in qualifying because of limited games; meanwhile some not-so-good player catches fire for a few games to make the Finals.  I understand the sentiment, but I still don't agree. 

So anyway my favorite format is the PAPA format, though it is not perfect either.  It rewards consistent play and still allows variability from the occasional house ball.  It does not reward playing one great game following 20 crappy games.  On the other hand it still has one of the inherent problems of the Herb format: you get to play dozens of games that don't count (voids).  The Pinburgh Matchplay format is good for this because every game counts.  You can mix a few bad games in, but good consistent play is rewarded.

Unlimited play while not even close to my favorite, works at the Point Monsters and the Pinball Lounge because everyone is pretty much there to do one thing: play pinball until their arms fall off.  At a show like Free Play Florida there is a whole lot more to do beside have a marathon at the qualifying area.  I watch players like Bowen and the Sharpe brothers play for a couple of hours, post their scores and leave until Finals start on Sunday morning.  How cool is that?  To me the perfect big show qualifying format would let each player be done with qualifying in a few hours and let the chips fall where they may.  At that point we can go out on the floor and play Whoa Nellie, eat, socialize and enjoy the show.

Unfortunately the Herb format is so familiar and entrenched, it might be tough to introduce a format that makes more sense.  Some slight tweaks would be good for a start.   
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Offline pinballcorpse

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2016, 09:11:25 PM »
The "any given Sunday" argument is not a solid counter-argument to unlimited qualifying. On any given Sunday, a team has multiple possessions and opportunities to score as often and as high as they can inside a fixed time frame. (Sound familiar?) Nobody tells the team you each get exactly X possessions, and that's it.

Sure it is possible on any given Sunday that the worst team can beat the best. It's exciting when it happens.  However how would all teams feel if more upsets were encouraged by choosing fields with some random potholes and obstacles or there was some arbitrary play or time restriction in place to give the underdog a chance of beating the historically better skilled team.   

The way it should be is simple: On any given Sunday, the team that plays better and makes the fewest mistakes wins.

That said, at any given pinball tourney, with unlimited qualifying, there are numerous examples of lower ranked players qualifying (and finishing) higher than the known, higher ranked favorites. Upsets are plenty with the tried and true format without seeking ways to create more.


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Offline Baiter

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2016, 12:53:32 AM »
The goal in a tournament is to attract the competitive players, and you do that by making it, well, competitive.  Competitive players are attracted by WPPR points and money, but even money in big tourneys rarely covers travel expenses to an event, so lets consider that money isn't really the attraction... it is a monetary loss in most cases, even for the winners.

Being a skill based competition, eliminating randomness is important to competitive players, and there is a tipping point where randomness gives way to consistency.  In a 1 game match between a IFPA #100 a #4000 ranked player, odds are the #100 player will win, but in a single game you will encounter the "any given sunday" effect, so 1 game isn't enough.  We have a monthly tournament here with double elimination, which means you lose two 1-game matches and you are out... and "any given sunday" applies here as well as it's not uncommon to see the winner as a lower ranked player.  More common for the monthlies is triple elimination match play, where we start to see randomness fall away and better players more regularly rise to the top.

In unlimited Herb format, everyone has the potential to play a lot of games.  Randomness falls away if you are only taking the highest scores, and better players will fairly consistently rise to the top, but that randomness factor starts creeping in.  Lets say it takes 5-10 games for a top seeded competitor to put up a great score on a machine, and it takes 15 games for a lesser player to accidentally blow up a game.  In a multi day unlimited herb format, even a lesser player has the ability to accidentally blow up an entire bank of machines with enough attempts, and all of a sudden the best qualifiers is a muddled mess of great players and average players who had a string of accidentally great games. 

Statistics should prove there is a game limit that achieves the proper competitive balance, somewhere between 3 and 10 tries per game is my wild guess, which starts to make limited herb look more competitive than unlimited.  Point Monsters works in this way because everyone is playing for the same fixed number of hours, waiting in lines, and the maximum possible attempts per player isn't very high.  Multi day unlimited herb allows for quite a few games to be played, and more often than not you will see the best players playing more attempts than the lesser players as they try for higher seeds.  The best players already have a skill advantage over the field, but with more attempts than their lesser opponents, it starts to make it feel futile for the average player to bother in the first place.  Unlimited Herb is also called pump and dump because it has a perceived effect of building the pot, but it's self defeating -- constant lines prove there's a hard limit to pot building, so that excuse quickly becomes invalid.

TPF this year realized all this before the tourney started (due to the # of participants), so they used a fixed fee with game limits to handle the volume.  Equal cost and chances for all competitors.  As I understand the issue with FPF this past year were the waits, something that would have been easily addressed with the same solution, and also have the side effect of a fair qualification system.  I still have a hard time believing any argument for unequal qualifying chances among participants is fair to all participants... it may be fun for some, but it doesn't make for a fair competition. 

To me it smacks of an immature/weak governing body that allows such formats, reminds me of situations that I've seen in other sports.  Maybe it just takes time to build enough rules to get to the point where the fairness question starts going away, for example they've cracked down on Superleague, and require finals for Pin Golf under the pretense that match play is a more valid format than individual play (I'm undecided on that point myself, as I agree with the Superleague issue, but not sure I agree about the Pin Golf changes because it is typically done with 4 player games). 

That's a lot more rambling than I intended, hopefully there is some constructive information above :)


Offline John I

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2016, 08:16:05 PM »

Sure it is possible on any given Sunday that the worst team can beat the best. It's exciting when it happens.  However how would all teams feel if more upsets were encouraged by choosing fields with some random potholes and obstacles or there was some arbitrary play or time restriction in place to give the underdog a chance of beating the historically better skilled team.   



Haha, I get the point but that is a little bit of an exaggeration if that is what you think I am suggesting.  In short, I am saying that the Herb format is way out of balance when compared to any other sporting event.  The idea is to make the format more sporting, not to make it completely random and unfair.   
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Offline pinballcorpse

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2016, 09:08:29 PM »

Sure it is possible on any given Sunday that the worst team can beat the best. It's exciting when it happens.  However how would all teams feel if more upsets were encouraged by choosing fields with some random potholes and obstacles or there was some arbitrary play or time restriction in place to give the underdog a chance of beating the historically better skilled team.   



Haha, I get the point but that is a little bit of an exaggeration if that is what you think I am suggesting.  In short, I am saying that the Herb format is way out of balance when compared to any other sporting event.  The idea is to make the format more sporting, not to make it completely random and unfair.   

I know you are not suggesting that.  I just thought the idea of having potholes/gobble holes on a football field was amusing :)



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Offline John I

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2016, 12:06:26 AM »
We have announced a list of the Main Tournament games.  Keep in mind that we will also have six games in the Classics, so there will be plenty of machines to play!  Also, we are hoping to get started early on Friday at 10am.  So if you want to arrive early and get some quality time in for qualifying, you can spend some extra time out on the show floor later enjoying all the sights and sounds.



From Facebook:
The Main Pinball Tournament will consist of 11 tournament ready pinball machines.

Here are names of 10 of those machines:

• Mystery Title to be named as soon as we can confirm with confidence
• Barracora- SS
• College Queens- EM
• Flight 2000- SS
• Grand Prix- EM
• Harlem Globe- SS
• Iron Man- DMD
• Metallica- DMD
• Outer Space- EM
• Radical- SS
• World Cup Soccer- DMD
• Alternate- Devils Dare- SS

*Titles can change.

Classics Tournament Pinball Machine line-up will be added tomorrow so stay tuned.
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Offline John I

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Re: FPF 2016 Tournament Announcement and discussion
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2016, 01:29:21 AM »
Classics!

Here are the names of the titles that we selected:

• Abra Ca Dabra- EM
• Bon Voyage- EM
• Meteor- SS
• Quarterback- EM
• Sinbad- SS
• Volley- EM
• Alternate- 2001- EM

*Titles can change.
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