IT NEVER DRAINS IN
Date: January 17th - 19th, 2014
Report by Bob Matthews
I.N.D.I.S.C. 2014 was a resounding success, hosting what turned out to be one of the strongest tournament fields of the year. We had nearly 100 players participate, from all over the country and as far away as Denmark (thanks for coming, Mads and Mikkel!).
We used a modified points format for the event, in-part based on the results seen at Pinballz. We've observed that using HERB, but not counting all of the machines in the rankings, tends to skew the results in favor of players with firsts and seconds - so much so that one player may be better than another on all but one game in the bank, yet still finish behind them in the standings.
To compensate, we reduced the point differential between first, second and third for this event, using 100-94-91-90-89, etc. instead of 100-90-85-84-83, etc. This appears to have achieved the desired result. Other tournaments using the "best X of Y games of qualifying" may wish to use something similar in the future. (Thanks go to Adam and Mark, who helped in these discussions.)
Karl's updated software continued to make things run extremely smoothly, and the players clearly appreciated it. Great job, Karl!
Jim did an interesting job mixing up the games this year, with a few rarely-used titles in the bank: Tee'd Off and High Roller Casino.
Tee'd Off had undergone extensive modification to reduce the use of "trap and repeat during multiball." Both games turned out to be fun changes of pace from the usual fare.
Despite the crowd, the lines were never that long, in part due to the 5-of-9 open and 4-of-7 classics formats that kept things well spread out.
The new location was roomy enough to accommodate both the players and the PAPA TV crew, although we're already discussing possible improvements for next year to make it easier for people to maneuver.
Having a significant prize pool for the B division clearly helped attendance, and the B players were duly rewarded for coming out, with a top prize of just over $1,000.
Qualifying had no byes this year, in part to reduce the urge for players already "in" to keep playing to improve their seed to get a bye, thus freeing up more chances for people below the cut to get in.
We ended up with pretty much the usual cast of suspects; I'll note that Keith was #1 qualifier in Open and #3 in Classics, with Robert Gagno qualifying #2 in both. Matt Cohn and Sal Ayoob led the B qualifiers.
The B division playoffs began with a tiebreaker for the eighth and final seed between Carl Borgentun and Craig Sengstock, taken by Craig. That victory was short-lived, however, as the four making the B finals were James Squires, Kevin Nickel, Andreas Petersen and Billy Brown, the latter in a close tiebreaker over Sal.
In the finals, Kevin won the first two games to clinch at worst a playoff for first, and won when Andreas was unable to win game three. Billy bested Andreas in a tiebreaker for second place in the B division.
In Classics, the final four came down to Keith, Adam, Jim and Raymond Davidson. Keith got off to an early advantage with a win on Paragon and second place to Jim on Laser Cue, but Jim won game three on Joker Poker while Keith could only manage third place, giving the title to Jim 8 points to 7. Adam got third, Raymond fourth.
After some rather intense (and time-consuming!) playoffs, The A division final came down to Keith, Robert, Zach and Andrei.
The finals got off to a thunderous start, as Keith blew up Dirty Harry to the tune of 6.1B, overshadowing a great game of 3.3B by Robert which was better than the highest qualifying score. But Keith put on an absolute masterclass for the PAPA TV audience.
Game two went a different way though, with Zach winning on Whitewater, leading to a 5-4-3-2 point situation going into game three. So it was still anybody's tournament.
Keith chose Tee'd Off for game three, but this time, none of the finalists were able to get on track, and Robert eked out a victory with just 91M.
This set up a tiebreaker between him and Keith for the title, played on Whitewater.
Keith make quick work of the tiebreaker, winning decisively to add yet another trophy to his extensive collection.
As for the impact on the rest of the Circuit standings, it was a case of the rich getting richer. Eleven of the top seventeen I.N.D.I.S.C. finishers were already ranked in the circuit top 20, so this event mostly served to shuffle the standings a bit and widen the gap for those wanting to secure their spot.
The last five spots appear quite at risk, but from Tim Hansen up looks relatively safe at this point.
© Pinball News 2014