Author Topic: Pinball Tourneys Bad Scores are Good for Practice  (Read 158 times)

Offline pinballcorpse

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Pinball Tourneys Bad Scores are Good for Practice
« on: April 15, 2018, 09:16:52 AM »
In today’s topic, we are going to discuss the competitive benefits of low scores. 

Most people love to post about wizard modes they reached, a great board score, and ultimately a massive GC that will hopefully linger for all future players stepping up to the game to see.

Players don’t really discuss stories about a score where someone double flipped their way to a better score against us. (Usually followed by a comment of woah, I just beat you! What happened, I thought you were good.) You glance at the screen and quickly note that even if you added the scores together, and multiplied it by 10, you still would not have earned a replay. 

Even though we know this is a bananas result, it is still proper to smile, shake their hand, tell them good job and congratulations. Let other people enjoy a victory. (Maybe sportsmanship is another topic.)

The truth is even the world champions have ridiculously low scoring games from time to time.   I frequently will take screenshots of scores while watching PAPA Circuit events, to remind myself that nobody is immune from low scores. There are even sites dedicated to low scores!

So how does this tie in with today’s topic?

When you are playing a low scoring game where in seems they used more air freshener on their garbage than you did on your garbage, change your approach. 

Pretend this is for all the marbles and “all you gotta do” is get X points.

If it is a head to head game, and you are on the last ball, mentally ask yourself what do you need to do to safely reach the goal. Seriously think about what needs to be done and how to get there. Forget about even reaching the multiball, a wizard mode or lighting a feature. 

If you are player 1, reverse it, pretend you are player 2 and that all you need to do is reach the higher score.  That is always the first goal anyway.  You MUST catch them, and then work on adding a buffer.  If you are player 2, then of course it is simply a matter of catching them.

Moreover, don’t even worry about if they are player 2 and ultimately beat you. Your training goal was to force yourself to catch a certain score. 

Some examples:

When you are at 43k versus 60k on Joker Poker, think carefully about those 17k points. (Well I have 5 in the Ace bonus bank, I can get 5 from a rollover skill shot, so I really need 7k after a successful skill,shot).  Trap up and hit the aces again. 

When you are at 3MIL on Metallica and your opponent is at 7MIL, where are the 4 MIL coming from? Do I want to try and hit sparky 6 more times? Should I short plunge, trap, and ramp combo, or combo fuel lanes? 

When you are at 70k on Gorgar and need 30 k more to reach 100k.  Short plunge trap, left scoop lather rinse repeat ? Bonus lanes almost done? Snake pit lit?

4 mil vs 6 mil on Scared Stiff? Skill shot to spider, and repeat Boney Beast? Multiball in reach? Bat ramps to extra ball for points?

In single player games, maybe the next tier is a replay value, or just an arbitrary number you make up. 

The tendency is to write off sloppy games, and maybe just hit the start button mid game.  (Oh that game stinks, I’ll just start over.). Treat every game as a lesson, and start training yourself to reach a certain score.

As you do this, expand the thought process to playing a 2ball game and then a 3ball or 5ball game. Pretty soon you will develop a strategy for reaching certain scores for qualifying and beating opponents in match play.

Thanks for reading!
"It's better to make it to the finals and play like sh*t than to not make it to the finals at all"-Josh Sharpe, pinball pro and IFPA president

Offline getyourselfahotdog

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Re: Pinball Tourneys Bad Scores are Good for Practice
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 12:53:51 PM »
Great topic, thanks for posting. I've always said your the best at situational awareness. I rarely if never have seen you opt to go first and pick the game when riding the bus. Great tips on working on this skill. That ball gets awful heavy when you realize your one shot away to pick up a victory in head to head play.

Offline Miracleman

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Re: Pinball Tourneys Bad Scores are Good for Practice
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 01:04:48 PM »

Players don’t really discuss stories about a score where someone double flipped their way to a better score against us. (Usually followed by a comment of woah, I just beat you! What happened, I thought you were good.) You glance at the screen and quickly note that even if you added the scores together, and multiplied it by 10, you still would not have earned a replay. 


All that matters in a tournament setting is who got the higher score.
It doesn't matter if I had the best game of my life but was still 10 points behind the winner, they won.
It doesn' matter if you had a 'bad game' and someone else had a 'rare good game', they won.
I love it when those not in the 'top 10' of Florida Pinball have a great run, Johnny's win at Al's party last year over some of the best in the state was awesome and hard earned.
Eric Stone winning nationals was also exciting because he came out of nowhere and matched that level of playing and WON.

I agree with most of what your post said, but the 'being polite and shaking their hand and let them have their victory because it's a bananas result' bit comes off as a diss of those who, maybe even for ONE GAME, played better than you and won.

Offline pinballcorpse

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Re: Pinball Tourneys Bad Scores are Good for Practice
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2018, 02:17:55 PM »
All that matters in a tournament setting is who got the higher score.
It doesn't matter if I had the best game of my life but was still 10 points behind the winner, they won.
It doesn' matter if you had a 'bad game' and someone else had a 'rare good game', they won.
I love it when those not in the 'top 10' of Florida Pinball have a great run, Johnny's win at Al's party last year over some of the best in the state was awesome and hard earned.
Eric Stone winning nationals was also exciting because he came out of nowhere and matched that level of playing and WON.

I agree with most of what your post said, but the 'being polite and shaking their hand and let them have their victory because it's a bananas result' bit comes off as a diss of those who, maybe even for ONE GAME, played better than you and won.
I’m sorry you took it that way.

I was not commenting on anyone’s result or performance, nor did I mention anyone’s name or any tourney.

Maybe I should have chosen my words and explained better. Perhaps I should have written let them enjoy the victory. Meaning: The losing player should not make verbal excuses, throw tantrums, curse, or say degrading remarks.

For a player to be polite and congratulate the opponent yet thinking something is bananas is not being disrespectful. It’s called being a good loser.

And yes I fully understand what constitutes a win in a tourney :)
"It's better to make it to the finals and play like sh*t than to not make it to the finals at all"-Josh Sharpe, pinball pro and IFPA president