While I was plummeting to the not-quite-bottom of the 12 people in ``A'' Division, bunny_hugger was competing from her spot at the top of ``B''. She ended up being the 13th-ranked person of the 16 who showed up and so was the highest seed in that division's contests. You might have quirked an eyebrow at sixteen players being grouped into one group of 12 and one group of 4. The reason is they thought about twenty people would show up, and a couple folks couldn't make it is all.
As the top seed she was in principle playing against weaker opponents, but, all she could do is defend her position, not improve it any. Some bad games and she could tumble down to 16th place. Spirit-crushing, yes, but still ranked above everyone who missed the finals. But they also had her favorite machine of all time, FunHouse, and she'd played that particular table enough to know its quirks and be pretty sure of a win on it.
She won her first match. She even put up a FunHouse score something like ten million points over her opponent, a pretty fair edge. She even set a personal high score on the table. She also played Star Trek 2013 with a new batch of code that treated her very well, giving her the highest score she's had on that game. (The new version of the game adds ``medals'', bonus points, for basically playing out the modes. This is to discourage the folks who beat the game by letting timed modes time out, keeping control at the cost of making the game dull to watch.) Her opponent let her keep playing after she'd won --- it's normally courteous and saves time to take a knee, plus it feels great --- just to see how good her score could be. CST saw that final ball and teased her for running up the score.
She'd lose her second match, though, and be put into the Loser's or Consolation Bracket, and have to fight her way back. Since I went to the A Division Loser's Bracket and then into not being much needed, I had time to watch most of her play, and her struggle to not plummet to the bottom of the division.
Trivia: Lt General Harmon's May 1949 study of the Air Force concluded that atomic bombing of the Soviet Union would reduce its industrial capacity by 30 to 40 percent, rather than the 50 percent the Air Force had predicted, and warned that excessive optimism about atomic attack capabilities should be avoided. The report was withheld from President Truman. Source: The Vulnerability of Empire, Charles A Kupchan.
Currently Reading: User Unfriendly: Consumer Struggles with Personal Technologies, from Clocks and Sewing Machines to Cars and Computers, Joseph J Corn.