World Pinball Player Rankings – Biggest Movers of August 2016!

aug2016moversThe IFPA is pleased to announce that the following players saw the biggest jump in their world ranking based on their August 2016 tournament performance.

The biggest movers for August 2016 included Derrick Bidlingmeyer from Harrisburg, PA, who moved up 15,610 spots from the following results:

 River City Pinball Monthly Tournament – USA Main Tournament 1st 1.16
 River City PInball League League 3rd 0.24

Derrick moved up to a rank of 9813th in the world, and currently sits in 915th place in the Pennsylvania SCS.

David Konwiczka from Buffalo, NY moved up 12,685 spots from the following results:

 Buffalo Pinball Open Main Tournament 48th 2.96
 Buffalo Pinball Summer Open Classics Classics 46th 0.72

David moved up to a rank of 5964th in the world, and 404th in the New York SCS.

Michael Hodge OH from Cleveland, OH moved up 10,581 spots from the following results:

 Kidforce Collectibles Summer Pinball League League 50th 1.56

Michael moved up to a rank of 8641st in the world, and currently sits in 278th place in the Ohio SCS.

Congratulations to Derrik, David and Michael, as well as the other players that saw a jump in their ranking from their August tournament performance!

Steven Bowden – IFPA’s Player of the Month for August 2016!

166The IFPA is pleased to announce that our Player of the Month for August 2016 is Steven Bowden from Franklin Township, NJ. Steven earned a total of 185.50 WPPR points in August. This included the following results:

 Modern Pinball NYC Super League Main Tournament 1st 45.49
 Buffalo Pinball Open Main Tournament 4th 36.16
 WORLD CUP PINBALL ’16 Main Tournament 1st 16.64
 PinCrossing Summer Classic Main Tournament 7th 4.05
 Buffalo Pinball Summer Open Classics Classics 10th 10.69
 Buffalo Pinball Summer Open Classics Classics 3rd 21.68
 Charity tournament at Modern pinball NYC for Project Pinball Main Tournament 1st 13.91
 Summer 2016 at 8 On The Break Dunellen NJ (side charity ) Main Tournament 1st 24.87
 Summer 2016 at 8 On The Break Dunellen NJ (half charity ) Main Tournament 3rd 12.01

Steven is currently qualified in 6 different states for the SCS, including Georgia(1st), New Jersey(1st), New York(2nd), Kentucky(3rd) and Pennsylvania(15th).

The rest of the top 5 for the month of August included Trent Augenstein from Delaware, OH with 122.67 WPPR points, John Flitton from Canada with 94.68 WPPR points, Adam Becker from Keswick, ON, Canada with 94.57 WPPR points, and Greg Poverelli from New York with 76.99 WPPR points.

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

HP Technology at Work – Pinball wizards

pinball-wizards_banner_tcm_245_2321487The September 2016 issue of the Hewlett Packard eNewsletter included a piece on pinball featuring newly sponsored player Zach Sharpe. Click HERE to read the article.

Jorian Engelbrektsson wins 6th Major Championship!

epcflipperest(photo courtesy of Gioco News)

The legacy for current World #3 [player]Jorian Engelbrektsson[/player] grew even greater this weekend, as he became the 2nd player in competitive pinball history to capture his 6th Major Championship (Keith Elwin is the only player with more – 9). With respect to the European Pinball Championship, Jorian became the first 4-time winner in tournament history, and has won 3 out of the last 4 EPC’s. For Jorian, this was also his 11th top 4 finish at a Major, one of only 4 players in history to hit that double digit level (Elwin, Sheats, Kerins are the other 3).


After missing PAPA and IFPA in 2016, with this EPC victory Jorian jumps back into the discussion for the World’s Greatest Pinball Player chase for 2016. Those results should hopefully be submitted sometime this week.

To view the most current list of Major Championship stats, click HERE.

IFPA and Gridiron Support to host the 4th Annual Super Bowl of Pinball – $50,000 in prizes up for grabs!

unnamedThe IFPA and Gridiron Support are pleased to announce that the “King of Shock Rock” –

Alice Cooper, and his charity – Solid Rock – is once again teaming up with Coach Ditka’s Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund for the 2016 “Flippin’ With the Greats” Pinball Campaign.

Pro Football Hall of Famer – Mike Ditka and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer – Alice Cooper are excited to partner with the IFPA to raise money and awareness for their respective charities, while bringing the competitive pinball experience to their NFL and Rock & Roll Fans!

Once again, Players will be competing for WPPR Points, as well as

Tens of Thousands of $$$$ in Cash and Prizes, including a BRAND NEW PINBALL!!!!

The 2016 Flippin’ With the Greats campaign will again consist of 2 elements:

  1. A Fantasy Football Club where IFPA members can support their favorite NFL team (and win cool stuff) by simply buying an IFPA medallion Personalized with their name, IFPA number, and the NFL team they support. Great prizes will be distributed to FFC Participants throughout the season.
  1. A Nationwide series of tournaments to be scheduled throughout the NFL season, culminating in the SUPER BOWL Pinball Party at Alice Cooperstown in Phoenix, Az.

Lots of Pictures from last year’s event (with Alice in attendance!) can be seen HERE.

For Details on the FWTG Fantasy Football Club, including how to register, format, prizes and more, click HERE.

For Details on the FWTG Tournament Series, including registration fees, format, prizes and more, click HERE.

The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund (GGAF) is a non-stock, non-profit 501(c)3 organization, providing financial grants and “pro bono” medical assistance to retired NFL players in dire need.  The organization focuses on the humanitarian side of post-football related issues, which include coordination of social services to retired players who are in need due to a variety of reasons including inadequate disability and/or pensions.

Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

Solid Rock Teen Center’s goal is to make an everlasting difference in the lives of teens.

The Rock Teen Center provides a creative sanctuary for teens …”Allowing teens to build confidence and discover their passion through music, dance, self-expression & creativity”

Support and Follow our 2016 Flippin’ With the Greats Pinball Campaign by joining our 2016 IFPA FWTG Hall of Fame Pinball Series “group” on Facebook, click HERE.

and “Like” Gridiron Support on Facebook at


Andrew Ferguson – Game the System Player Feature 3!

GTS003-Ferguson-galleryblog post courtesy of Marc Bell

What do you get when you cross a pinball competitor, collector, operator, taxation lawyer, and part time magician and keen gaming (including gambling) theorist? You get a man with a tremendously rich history of games in Australia, and a man with endless entertaining stories; a man called Andrew Ferguson.

All of us here at Game the System are very happy to present to you our third player feature, and this one is the biggest yet with twelve slides! The amount of content produced was bursting at the seams and we feel we only scratched the surface of Andrew’s past as well as continuing adventures. Indeed, there was much we had to leave out in order to keep this series immediate and impactful as is our goal of the player features. So who knows, we may revisit some of that additional content sometime soon…
For now, please enjoy the slides. Perhaps you’ll learn a thing or two about Andrew that you can question him on next time you run into him at the next big pinball tournament! I’m sure he wouldn’t mind talking to you about his lucky coin…

You can see the Player Feature on Andrew by visiting:

Flippers Arcade: Fall Pinball Bash – November 18th-20th, 2016

13906684_10209868093889326_8103312361185536942_nblog post courtesy of Keith Brown

Registration is now open for the PAPA Circuit Event at Flippers Arcade in Grandy North Carolina for November 18-20 2016. Here is link to register for the event and if you register by October 1st 20 free tokens for event.
We also have a Facebook event where we will update daily on changes and questions can be answered quickly through the Facebook event here is that link
Hope to see you at the OBX Flippers Fall Pinball Bash. Have a great day!

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 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!