We Want You! Join the official Stern Army!

sternarmyThe IFPA and Stern Pinball are looking for members to join the Stern Army!

The Stern Army is the official street term and brand ambassadors of Stern Pinball, working in partnership with the IFPA to help create more tournaments and leagues at public locations.

The mission of the Stern Army:

1 – Expand the player community through events and leagues at public locations that include Stern pinball machines.
2 – Get more Stern games into more locations
3 – Get more people playing in tournaments and leagues at these locations
4 – Be the voices of the Stern brand!

We’re looking for IFPA endorsed event organizers to pioneer the creation of ongoing monthly tournaments and league featuring Stern pinball machines all around the world.

Stern Army members will be rewarded for recruiting new players, starting up events in new locations, and helping facilitate the sale of more Stern pinball machines to these locations.

If you’re interested in joining the IFPA and Stern family and becoming part of the Stern Army, please contact the IFPA at ifpapinball@gmail.com to learn more!

Competitive Pinball Is the Best Thing on Twitch Right Now

1470932165764987Vice’s online magazine Motherboard published an article about the growing scene of competitive pinball and the increased interest in streaming pinball content on Twitch. Click HERE to read the article.

IFPA Op-Ed: Pinburgh WPPR and Statistics from Bob Matthews

blog post courtesy of Bob Matthews

Pinburgh had a big impact on player rankings, as it always does, including on the 2016 World’s Greatest Pinball Player race.  I’ll take a look at all of this and give you some statistics on Pinburgh that I hope some of you may find interesting and or useful benchmarks in the future.

First, the winners:

Pinburgh 2016 – Top Four by Division

A:  Keith Elwin; Karl DeAngelo; Cryss Stephens; Raymond Davidson

B:  Preston Moncla; Todd MacCulloch; Greg DeFeo; Tim Sexton

C:  David Daluga; Heath Ashley; Tim Zollner; Larry Scott

D:  James Emanuel; Scott D’Agostino; Eugene Gershtein; Eric Priepke

Qualifying Statistics

So, you want to know how many points it took to make the cut for each division each round, or to be in the top 40 within a division?  Here it is.  Note that these include ties; if you want to be in tie-breaker-free, add half a point to each.

Divisional Cutoffs A B C D
1 8 6 4  
2 15 16 9  
3 21 18 15  
4 28 24 21  
5 34 30.5 27  
         
Top 40 Cutoffs A B C D
1 10 8 6 4
2 18 15 12 9
3 25 21 18 15
4 32 28 24 21
5 39 34 30.5 27
6 45 40 36 8
7 52 46 42.5 14
8 59 53 49 21
9 65 60 56 28
10 71 66 62 34

Yes, it’s a fine line.  Let’s say you had 26 points after game 1 of round 5.  There are now just three games left to play before the divisional cuts are made.  You could still end up in ANY of the 4 divisions! Get 8 or 9 of the remaining 9 points and you’re in A; 5-7 and you’re in B; 1-4, you’re in C; 0 and you’re in D.

Note that the spread between divisions moved very little between round 2 and round 5.  Adding more rounds, as some have suggested, will not widen the spread much.  Only a change in format, divisional restrictions or scoring will accomplish that.

Player Restriction Stats

There were 42 “A” restricted players; 36 made the divisional cut on points, 6 players were forced up [none by much].

There were 113 “B” restricted players; 89 made the cut on points, 24 players were forced up.

There were 121 “C” restricted players; 109 made the cut on points, 12 players were forced up.

I’ve heard many complaints that the divisional spreads are too narrow.  I’ve also heard comments that some non-A players who look like they might get into A entering round 5 sometimes sandbag a bit that round to drop down into B to avoid getting into what to them is a no-win scenario.  If true, that’s unfair to the rest of the field, since the players they sandbag against get more points than they should in round 5.  One way to address both of these issues is to allow players to be upside-restricted by choice, subject to reasonable constraints.  Right now, players in the top 50 must play in A, those in the top 200 must play in A or B, etc.  Perhaps players could be allowed to play no more than one division above their restriction, e.g. a “C” restricted player could choose to play no higher than B and an unrestricted player could choose to play no higher than C.

Performance in rounds 6-10, especially round 10

Everyone who made the “A” finals went at least 30-30 in rounds 6-10.

Due to the narrowness in initial point spread in the other divisions, everyone in B, C and D who made the playoffs went 32-28 or better in rounds 6-10.

Very few players in any division were “locked in” before round 10.  Here’s how things stood after Round 9 by division – – how many players had enough to make it in already and how many still had a chance, i.e. they were within 12 of the eventual tiebreaker.

A:  6 locked in; 100 others of 175 in the division were within 12 of the tiebreaker score.

B:  4 in; 106 of 163 within 12

C:  3 in; 116 of 170 within 12

D:  2 in; 103 of 157 within 12

Overall, 64% of the players in Pinburgh were still “playoff status undetermined” going into round 10!  [Yes, that’s by design.]

The players who made the biggest round-10 moves to make the playoffs by division were:

A:  Trent Augenstein – 10 points; finished tied for 20th

B:  Tyler Sutton – 10 points; finished 39th

C:  Jay Steinberg – 10 points; finished tied for 11th

D:  Kendall Van Pool – 9 points; finished tied for 20th

Playoff Stats

The “A” finalists included 23 “A” restricted players, 8 “B” players, 7 “C” players and 2 unrestricted players.

In “B,” 20 finalists were B restricted, 13 C restricted and 7 unrestricted.

In “C,” 14 finalists were C restricted, the other 26 were unrestricted.

There was significant disparity in the strength of the different playoff groups in the A division [it was also present in the other divisions, but not as pronounced].  Group 2 was the most brutal in round 1, with an average rank of 25 [been there, did that]; the other group averages ranged from 94 to 474.  Round 2 had groups 1, 4, 5 and 6 ranging from average ranks of 71 to 141, while group 2 was at 370, and group 3 had no one from the top 100 in it at all, with an average rank of 526.  In Round 3, group 4 was the tough one, averaging rank of 17, while the others ranged from 85 to 164.  By the semifinals, everything was tough.  But it does show that for Pinburgh, more so than for PAPA, what group you get seeded in makes much more difference in your potential fate.

Strength of Field

Pinburgh 2016 came in at 138 WPPRs for first, just a hair behind last year’s figure and 4 points shy of this year’s PAPA-A.  While this year’s Pinburgh had the most players ever, PAPA-A had more high-ranking European players in it, giving PAPA the higher value.  Only 3 of the non-North Americans in the top 50 attended Pinburgh this year; last year, we had 6.  PAPA-A had 13.

Frequent A Qualifiers

Qualifying in A is hard to do; doing it regularly is even harder.  Only three people have qualified in Pinburgh A each of the six years it has been held so far.  I’ll show each with their best finish in parentheses:

Keith Elwin (1st – 3 times);

Keith “Keefer” Johnson (3rd);

Jorian Engelbrektsson (5th).

Adam Becker is next best; he has made it five times (1st).

Eleven players have made four out of six:  Zach Sharpe (1st), Karl DeAngelo (2nd), Cryss Stephens (2nd), Robert Gagno (3rd), Andrei Massenkoff (4th), Sean Grant (4th), Steven Bowden (5th), Bob Matthews (5th), Josh Sharpe (6th), Andy Rosa (6th) and Roy Wils (11th).

It’s tough.  Really tough.  Any questions?

Frequent qualifiers in B and C are subject to being pushed up to a higher division if they make the finals, so I have not looked at the stats for those.

World’s Greatest Pinball Player Race 2016

Keith’s win at Pinburgh gives him a lead of just over 60 points on Zach and about 100 points over Jorian and Daniele.  He earned 138 WPPRs for the event, while Zach got about 70, Jorian just under 22 [not enough to make his top 20 results], and Daniele did not participate.  Two other recent events had impactful results:  Keith’s win at California Extreme, worth 58.62, and Jorian’s win at the pre-Pinburgh Pingolf event, worth 61.22.

As Josh previously posted, each of them has significant point decays pending, Jorian’s being the largest.  After crunching the decays, Keith will still lead Zach by 50, Daniele by 135 and Jorian by 160.

The key now is what will everyone do in their remaining events.  Based on past participation, Jorian still has at least three opportunities for big points:  EPC, the Swedish Open, and the Danish Open.  Daniele has EPC, Austria and Hungary.  Zach has Expo and Free Play Florida.  Keith hasn’t played in any high-point events after Pittsburgh the past two years, so unless that changes, his total is locked in.  Keith, Jorian and Daniele have all attended Expo at one time or another, though, so any who do could pick up some points there.

If Jorian, Daniele and Zach each replicate their previous performance at their remaining events, each would come up short of Keith.  Zach has the best shot, if he can win a couple of circuit-level events.  For Jorian and Daniele, even winning EPC would still leave either of them short; they’ll need to do more than just that.  And if either of them fails to make the top 4 at EPC, the task becomes much harder for them:  all three chasers have their low-end [18th-20th] results in the 30 point range.  Nabbing a 60 pointer [e.g. winning CalEx, pre-Pinburgh or a typical US or European circuit event] only nets 30 points of progress.  Thus, making up 100 points is hard to do that way; you either need a lot of those or the kind of big score you can only get with a high finish at a major.

Pinburgh Ranking Big Movers

Three other high Pinburgh finishers made nice moves into or up the top 25:  Cryss Stephens and Karl DeAngelo jumped in, and Jason Werdrick moved up 8 spots.

Jumping into [or back into] the top 100 were Levi Nayman, Todd Rafacz, Eden Stamm and Andrew Lee.

Fred Richardson and Jack Tadman made nice moves within the top 250.

Derek Thomson moved up about 200 spots, from the low 400’s to the low 200’s.

Jack Danger rose from 1002nd to 668th.

Steve Dunham moved up more than 500 positions, from 1408th to 887th.

Just making the A division got you a minimum of 10.22 WPPRs, enough to get you into the top 4,000.  Several players did that.

Congratulations to everyone who did well!

$tern Rewards Program – July 2016 Update

rewardThe IFPA is excited to announce that the following players have been now qualified for the $tern Rewards Program based on their July 2016 IFPA endorsed tournament performance! These players have until August 15th, 2017 to exercise their reward option.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – Keith Elwin
BIGGEST MOVER AWARD – Stephanis Koukis
BIGGEST MOVER AWARD – Sean Bueter
BIGGEST MOVER AWARD – Rick Rock

Detailed rules for the $tern Rewards Program, including an updated list of qualifiers, and updated list of rewards available can be found HERE.

World Pinball Player Rankings – Biggest Movers of July 2016!

jul2016moversThe IFPA is pleased to announce that the following players saw the biggest jump in their world ranking based on their July 2016 tournament performance.

The biggest movers for July 2016 included Stephanis Koukis from Pittsburgh, PA, who moved up 17,216 spots from the following results:

Pinburgh Match-Play Championship Main Tournament 363rd 30-Jul-16 6.34

Stephanis moved up to a rank of 4729th in the world, and currently sits in 688th place in the Pennsylvania SCS.

Sean Bueter from Winston-Salem, NC moved up 16,900 spots from the following results:

Selfie League at The Boxcar Main Tournament 14th 31-Jul-16 0.51
Abari Super Selfie League Main Tournament 13th 31-Jul-16 0.4
Abari Pinball Tournament #4 Main Tournament 13th 17-Jul-16 0.23
Level Up Monthly Pinball Tournament Main Tournament 17th 10-Jul-16 0.06

Sean moved up to a rank of 10726th in the world, and 63rd in the North Carolina SCS.

Rick Rock from Palmer, MA moved up 14,053 spots from the following results:

Silverball Rumble at Pintastic New England Main Tournament 38th 9-Jul-16 3.13

Rick moved up to a rank of 6428th in the world, and currently sits in 135th place in the Massachusetts SCS.

Congratulations to Stephanis, Sean and Rick, as well as the other players that saw a jump in their ranking from their July tournament performance!

Keith Elwin – IFPA’s Player of the Month for July 2016!

1Keith Elwin may have just won his 9th Major Championship, but he has more importantly been named the IFPA Player of the Month for July 2016!

Keith earned 196.76 WPPR points during July, including 138.14 points from his Pinburgh 2016 victory (the 3rd most WPPR points earned at any tournament in history). Keith also won California Extreme in July for an additional 58.62 WPPR points. With that July activity Keith reclaimed the world #1 spot from Zach Sharpe following the posting of those Pinburgh results.

The rest of the top 5 for the month of July included Karl DeAngelo from Fontana, CA with 168.58 WPPR points, Steven Bowden from Franklin Township, NJ with 157.25 WPPR points, Raymond Davidson from Mukilteo, WA with 133.51 WPPR points, and Jason Werdrick from Park Ridge, IL with 117.99 WPPR points.

Congratulations to Keith and the other top WPPR point earners of the month!

IFPA/POP GoFundMe hits $1100!

gofundmeThe donations just keep coming in!

We just hit $1100, closing in on our next goal of $1200, which would up the Women’s World Champion prize to $1000!

A big thanks to everyone that helped us crush this thing in such a short amount of time.

At $1100 and the 50/50 split for the campaign, this puts the top prize for the Women’s World Champion at $950 and counting, with $550 going to POP!

Visit the GoFundMe campaign here and spread the word!

$tern Rewards Program – June 2016 Update

rewardThe IFPA is excited to announce that the following players have been now qualified for the $tern Rewards Program based on their June 2016 IFPA endorsed tournament performance! These players have until August 15th, 2017 to exercise their reward option.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – Chris Chinn
BIGGEST MOVER AWARD – Paul Conley
BIGGEST MOVER AWARD – Nicole Pike
BIGGEST MOVER AWARD – Chris Doyle

Detailed rules for the $tern Rewards Program, including an updated list of qualifiers, and updated list of rewards available can be found HERE.

World Pinball Player Rankings – Biggest Movers of June 2016!

jun2016moversThe IFPA is pleased to announce that the following players saw the biggest jump in their world ranking based on their June 2016 tournament performance.

The biggest movers for June 2016 included Paul Conley from Portland, OR, who moved up 16,007 spots from the following results:

New England Pinball League League 86th 18-Jun-16 2.22

Paul moved up to a rank of 7637th in the world.

Nicole Pike from Bremerton, WA moved up 12,420 spots from the following results:

Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show Tournament Pin-Golf 44th 4-Jun-16 3.67

Nicole moved up to a rank of 5835th in the world, and 219th in the Washington SCS.

Chris Doyle from San Antonio, TX moved up 10,656 spots from the following results:

Bat City Open Main Tournament 31st 26-Jun-16 1.99
Bat City Open Classics 37th 25-Jun-16 1.12

Chris moved up to a rank of 6201st in the world, and currently sits in 127th place in the Texas SCS.

Congratulations to Paul, Nicole and Chris, as well as the other players that saw a jump in their ranking from their June tournament performance!

Chris Chinn – IFPA’s Player of the Month for June 2016!

29083The IFPA is pleased to announce that our Player of the Month for June 2016 is Chris Chinn from Seattle, WA. Chris earned a total of 117.02 WPPR points in June. This included the following results:

Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show Tournament Main Tournament 6th 5-Jun-16 36.32
Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show Tournament Pin-Golf 5th 4-Jun-16 28.93
Flip Flip, Ding Ding! Weekly Main Tournament 1st 30-Jun-16 6.81
Addaball Weekly Wednesday Flip Off Main Tournament 2nd 29-Jun-16 9.88
8-bit Arcade Weekly Main Tournament 4th 28-Jun-16 0.72
Slap Save Zine Launch Tournament Main Tournament 6th 26-Jun-16 1.45
Flip Flip, Ding Ding! Weekly Main Tournament 1st 23-Jun-16 7.62
8-bit Arcade Weekly Main Tournament 8th 21-Jun-16 0.24
Flip Flip, Ding Ding! Weekly Main Tournament 6th 16-Jun-16 1.12
Addaball Weekly Wednesday Flip Off Main Tournament 25th 15-Jun-16 0.98
8-bit Arcade Weekly Main Tournament 6th 14-Jun-16 2.46
Flip Flip, Ding Ding! Weekly Main Tournament 11th 9-Jun-16 0.42
Addaball Weekly Wednesday Flip Off Main Tournament 4th 8-Jun-16 7.08
8-bit Arcade Weekly Main Tournament 2nd 7-Jun-16 3.7
Flip Flip, Ding Ding! Weekly Main Tournament 3rd 2-Jun-16 1.7
Addaball Weekly Wednesday Flip Off Main Tournament 3rd 1-Jun-16 7.59

Chris is currently in the top qualifying position for the 2016-17 Washington SCS.

The rest of the top 5 for the month of June included Steven Bowden from Franklin Township, NJ with 115.99 WPPR points, Bob Matthews from Thousand Oaks, CA with 105.21 WPPR points, Germain Mariolle from Redmond, WA with 95.47 WPPR points, and Aaron Metz from Morgantown, WV with 90-72 WPPR points.

Congratulations to Chris and the other top WPPR point earners of the month!