Summer in the City
Round 9 saw 65 players coming in on what was probably the warmest day of the year to date, with temperatures reaching the high 80's on the last day of April. It's not a bad life living in California, especially if you really dig Pac Man.
Shon shared the good news that finally the Elbow Room will have some decent pins thanks to him getting his foot in the door over in the Mission. I encourage our members to check it out. Who knows, maybe this could be another location for tournaments in the City?
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Eight is great!
Round 8 brought in 66 players on a beautiful Wednesday evening. Jeremy had just set up his newest acquisition, Stern's Star Trek, henceforth known as Trek. It plays beautifully and it didn't take long for our members to start posting their high scores. Gene X, our resident photographer celebrated his birthday with a win in Oakland on Tuesday, and brought in friends to help him celebrate.
James had the best round of the evening with a perfect 20+2, which propelled him up in the standings. Andrei had a good round of 19 along with Ryan H who killed it on AFM. It's a tough race around the 48th spot (which qualifies you for the postseason) right now with 10 players within 5 points of each other vying for 5 spots.
Good times at the Watch!
Round 7 saw 69 players duke it out on 16 machines that included the new WHO Dunnit & Centaur. Just home from Pinburgh, Andrei showed why he is a world class player and tallied a perfect 18+3 in a 3-player group. He thereby regained the lead in the standings. Other good scores were brought home by Jeremy & Josh (19 apiece), and Anthony Rocco with 18.
The race for top 8 is very tight, with 10 players within 4 points of each other jousting for 6 spots right now. No one is safe though, and it can all change very rapidly! Remember that the top 8 players get an automatic berth into the playoffs, while players ranked 9-48 will be competing for the other 8 spots. For more details go to the rules section.
Back after the break, the SFPD is still going strong. Matt shared the good news from the City Hall hearing from the night before. The entertaining video from the hearing can be seen here. Little did one know how enthusiastic the board members would be about pinball.
76 players showed up for what turned out to be a round with plenty of high scores. Chris H and Andrei shared the honors of best in show with 23 points each. Not far behind with 21 points came Matt W. A guest, Devin S from Canada/Australia/Japan took home a perfect 20. Jeremy managed to get 19 points, while South Bay tournament organizer Masha and Richard L got 18 points each.
There will be 2 tournaments at FGW in the coming week. See Shoot Again for details.
Mr. Richards doesn't like what he is reiding...
The acronym sheet - it's what the people want yo!
FGW and the SFPD. What better way to spend an evening is there? It even beats going to the DMV on Valentine's Day.
Jeff: We could always sue you know.
Another fun evening with the SFPD took place, with 72 eager pinballers from the City & beyond. Reid brought in a friend to spin records, and on a personal note, I think New Orleans funk makes playing pin even more awesome. Thanks DJ!
The PAPA Circuit Champion belt made an appearance, as well as Anastasia & Mark Steinman from the PAPA headquarters.
Mark is traveling the country in search for gaming personalities. And he is OK with winter in California.
Other notable scores came from Devon & Jeremy, who tallied 20, and 19 respectively.
Remember that the next round is already on Wednesday Jan. 29th!
The first round of the 2014 spring league has been played, and a record 72 members showed up for some fun in the Haight. We went with 4 banks, which helped keep things running smoothly. We have already filled up all the spots that are available, but if you want to come and play as a guest, passes are available at $10/night.
The reigning champ, Andrei, picked, as is tradition, his own bank of machines. He apparently chose wisely, because he ended up getting 21 points on the night. (Which is slightly below his average...better luck next time Drei.) Brian O picked up where he left and scored a Black Jack as well. Matt S and Jessica T both had great rounds and picked up a cool 20 points.
See you on Wednesday, 1/22 at 8PM!
Another season is in the bag! We have had such a fun season, with an astounding 79 members participating. Our playoffs and Flip Offs were exciting affairs, with the playoffs even going into overtime. We had the good fortune of having a sizable number of cameras on hand to document the evening, so special thanks goes out to Gene X, Autumn Swisher, and Sig & Co. Check the standings for the complete results. Briefly, here are the top 4 finishers in each tournament.
3. Matt W
1. Chris H
An dn ow fo ry ou re nj oy me nt....th ep ic tu re s!
The Sweet 16. Participants in the playoffs were: Top row L-R: Devon, Chris L, Brian, Bryan, Daniel, & Eric. Center row L-R: Jeremy, Andrei, Rob, Matt W, & Matt S. Bottom row L-R: James, Garrett, Per, & Andreas. Photo by Autumn Swisher.
The Next Generation! Top row L-R: Vincent van Gogh (Mickey), Richard L, Matt H, Matt T, Russ, & Scott. Center row L-R: Amber, Jeff, Zac, Chris H, & Gene X. Bottom row L-R: Shon, Anthony, Christel, Ryan, & Jay. Photo by Autumn Swisher.
James' high kicking style earned him 2nd place after a dramatic playoff with Andrei on Demo Man. Both players started with 2 bad balls, but Andrei put up 1 billion on his 3rd. Enter Squires. He had 500 million and museum mb lit when the ball drained. A match to remember for sure.
The first winner of the Ball & Chain trophy: JRS. He came oh so close to repeating.
Thanks to the O'Neills for bringing in their chilled brew for us to enjoy!
Jeff with some well deserved hardware.
Eric has just handed James his plaque for 2nd place. Awesome performance JRS!
We're looking forward to watching your movie Sig!
Allison & Andreas are 2 players to keep an eye on for next season. Beware!
The winner of the 2013 SFPD fall leauge, Andrei, telling us how much he will enjoy taking home all the trophies. Congrats Dr. Drei!
It was Judgement Day at FreeGoldWatch. Who would make it to the playoffs? Who would earn a spot in the Flip Offs? 48 members showed up and had some delicious pizza before diving in to the last round of the regular season. As a reminder, the top 16 players are in the playoffs, and players 17-32 are in the Flip Offs The Next Generation.
Brian O has been playing really well lately, and on the night he was the top scorer with 19 points. He made it all the way up to the 6th seed, which meant that he got to pick one of the playoff machines. He also stated that he'll bring a keg of home brewed beer to the playoffs on Dec. 4th! Bring a glass if that's how you enjoy your brew.
Other notables were Darren & Eric, who earned 17 points each. Darren thereby claimed the coveted 8th seed to earn himself a bye round in the playoffs. He had a busy night doing plenty of officiating as well as playing great pinball. Thanks Sweet D! Echa, Zac & Matt T each took home 16 points. In Matt T's case it meant solidifying his Flip Off spot, and Zac's strong play the last couple of weeks means that he also will play in that tournament.
Rob C took the last playoff spot with only a 1.5 point margin ahead of Chris H. It took 103 points to get in, and that comes to an average of 12.9 points/round over 8 rounds. Andrei earned the top seed with 165 points, with a monster average of 20.6 points/round. How do you think he does it? -I don't know.
Russ laid claim to the last Flip Off spot with 89 points, which comes to an average of 11.1 points. He ousted a cluster of 88-point players including Amber, Vanessa, Erin, & Tim. Tim looked to be a shoo-in, but he had the most house balls ever recorded for a round. Christel had a strong 14-point night, which meant that she leaped into the Flip Offs. Way to be clutch Christel. More than I can say for the Warrior's performance against the Grizzlies... But I digress.
Thanks to Vanessa for providing tasty treats and for always being so helpful!
Even if you are not qualified for the play- and Flip Offs, come on down on Dec. 4th to play pin and cheer for the players. If someone doesn't show up, you could be taking their spot!
See you on Wednesday 12/4!
Nine down, one to go. For a few rounds now, the attendance has been steady around 55 people. This round was no different, as 56 members showed up to play.
High rollers for the evening were Bryan L & Devon, who each posted a perfect 20 + 1 bonus point. Other notables were Garret & Andrei with 20 apiece, Chris L & Andreas with 18, and Eric with 17 points. Other than Andrei who sits pretty in the 1st spot, all of the aforementioned players needed a good score to improve their chances to secure a playoff berth. Way to handle the pressure guys!
It will all come down to the last round, so get some competitive practice in this Sunday, by participating in the 2-strikes tournament at FGW, starting at 1 pm. See details here.
See you on November 20th!
Pin o' ween!
We also had film maker Jason Scott visiting us to shoot footage for his upcoming documentary about arcades. Some of his pictures are shown below, and a more can be found here.
Brian & Allison O'Neill had a great evening with 16 points each, and their Red Sox won the first game to boot. Others with 16 points included Andreas and Andrei. Jessica T and Josh had their best nights with 17 pts, while the reigning champ took home 18. Chris H continued his hot streak and shared top honors with Matt H. Both flipped well enough to earn 19 points.
We also voted to have a separate playoffs for the 17-32nd ranked players at the end of the season. Amber, Jessica, & Andreas have all stepped up and volunteered to run it.
See you on November 6th!
Make a wish birthday boy!
The night was cold, but our hearts were warmed by Brittany's cup cake laden surprise for her husband Andreas. The song was sung, a candle was blown, & then we all of a sudden had pinball on our minds. The round went well, in part thanks to Jeremy's tireless tinkering with WOZ.
Of all 57 members who showed up, Matt W had the best score with 20 points (18+2) to add to his already impressive score card. Other notables were Russ, who had a season best 17 pts including a high score, and a trio had 16 points and consisted of: Ryan H, Damon, & Josh.
In the next few months, to my knowledge, there are more tournaments in the Bay Area than ever before, in such a short time span. If you have never played one before, make sure you try it at least once. It's really fun, and people are generally very helpful to newbies. For the most part the entry fee is $5, and the formats are varied. If you are a competitive player, this is your chance to earn yourself some wppr points before the end of the year.
For the one in Benicia, part of your entry fee will go to the Pinball Outreach Project headed By Nicole Anne Reik. Basically, she's putting pins out in hospitals, so that sick kids can have some fun and take their minds of whatever disease they are suffering from. For a complete listing of all tournaments, go here.
Remember that next round will be Halloween themed. The 3 best costumed members will each get a bonus point!
See you on the 23rd!
See something - Say something!
It was Anish's night! 2 hours and 20 points later, Mr. Perfect Score stumbled out in the cool San Francisco air, unprepared for what life now would become. The media, the sponsors, the female attention. All of these he could handle. His own expectations was what kept him up that night. And what about returning to his old stomping grounds at Molotov's? Would they even have him, now that he had reached this pinnacle of pinball? Well played Anish!
A straw poll shows that 50% of SFPD members are having a great time at our events!
The miracle play of Massenkoff. He is one of very few humans who is able to play pinball while looking away from the play field. And he makes women laugh at the same time! His Achilles' heel? -Get him a beer or two and he's more human.
Sixty players showed up for our 6th evening. Shrimp and rolls were eaten. Beer was guzzled. It felt like a homecoming of sorts after our 3 week break. The above mentioned Anish, had a perfect night with 20 points, only to be bested by Andrei with a 23-pointer. Other good scores were Jeremy & Daniel with 19 apiece. Gene X continues to impress with 18 points, between taking all these great pictures.
See you on October 9th!
Tu vuoi fare l'americano!
Gene X is back in town. And like a wild dog, he is leaving his mark wherever he goes.
Vanessa announces that you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here! Nah, she did great in the Henri's absence.
Karen is getting a look from above of R&B.
The half way round brought in 56 players, out of which 20 have a perfect attendance record. Speaking of perfect, the score card of the night belonged to Andreas, who not only won all of his games, but also laid claim to 2 high scores. Not far behind him, Andrei lurked with 20 points and 3 high scores. James came back from the desert and picked up 19 points. With 17 points, Amber and Matt W showed that they too want to make it into the playoffs.
It feels like we have hit our stride now. The beer is flowing, the pins are working really well (thanks Shon!), and everybody seems to be having a good, if not great time. People, this is what we are aiming for.
When you look at the standings, you'll notice two additions. The last column now has a heading called "Adjusted Score". This means that the 2 lowest scores have been dropped when computing the players' score. The ranking is also based on this, and not total score anymore. Total score will still be in there, but more for fun than for actual use. While I would like to take credit for this, I will happily announce that the man responsible is none other than Andreas, who sacrificed part of his sleep for the benefit of us all. The other smaller change is that the top 6 players' names now are in shiny blue (whaaaaat?), to mark that they get to choose machines in the playoffs.
See you on October 2nd!
Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Pepsi! Pepsi! Coke? Jon is trying to soak up Andreas' flipper skills.
The man, the myth, the legend. It's Erin "Sol" Ray! The man who may just usher in a new era of clothing optional pinball.
Never underestimate the determination of an O'Neill. And Brian brews his own beer to boot.
He he he, let's see if I can screw Per out of a point here... Nice try Jeremy, nice try.
Whatcha listening to Tim?
Round 4, aka the Burning Man/Bay Bridge Closure session. Out of our 79 members, 59 showed up and enjoyed the additional space created by Matt & his crew by racking the store's garments by the food table. The 3 separate wait lists were also a hit. Speaking of hits, E-Wag showed why he is also known in some counties as Bottle Smasher. Thanks for the invaluable help with drawing groups, and way to get everyone's attention!
As for the competition, Michael J showed off some serious skills and bagged a 20-point performance alongside the ever present Andrei. Other notables were Richard L & Ryan H with 16 points. Erin, Darren, Vanessa, and Josh, all had 15 points each for the night. New machines for this round were: Honey, Terminator 3, (where Leann got the high score), Baywatch, and Laser Cue (2xMichael J).
In the absence of Gene, there aren't many pictures from the meeting. Feel free to send me photos if you have any.
Also, don't forget to check out what the "Ball and Chain" trophy is up to.
See you on Wed. August 28th @ 7:30.
Round 3 set a new record for most participants with 69 players, which is pretty ridiculous considering that we're a pretty young league, playing on a Wednesday night. The games were spread out as much as possible, in order to make it easier to move between machines, but there was still a bottleneck around the bathroom where the wait list was put up. To make for a better experience, we'll put up a wait list for each bank of machines in the vicinity of that particular bank, instead of one list for all the machines. That way, you don't have to wade through the masses to get to your list. At least in theory... We'll see how it works out.
The abovementioned Devon had the second best score of the night with 19.5, topped only by myself with 20. Andrei, who came bearing gifts from PAPA, had 19 points while Jonny and Rob C both had 17 for the night.
My new favorite t-shirt! Get 'em from Matt & Co at FreeGoldWatch.
How many 'staches can you find in this picture?
Alessandra & Amber sharing some playing tips on Black Pyramid. This game will grow on you if you don't love it already. The replay is set at about 1.7 million.
16 new members showed up to make this round the most visited in SFPD history.
Newcomer Daniel had a great premiere with 17 points and a high score on DH. Other notables include Garrett with 18, James with 19, Andrei with 23, and Gene X with 17 points. If you didn't know it, Gene X is an outstanding photographer with a passion for pinball. His work can be seen on this site, as well as his own site.
The playoff rules are now set. I have tweaked them a little today to make them easier to understand and hopefully they will help make the playoffs a fun, fair, & phenomenal fest! If there are any questions, shoot me an e-mail or talk to me. I can be found in the Sunset, walking a little dog named Jimi, to and from FGW on most days.
See you on Aug. 14th!
One more important thing: The September 25th meeting (round 6) will be postponed to October 2nd, due to vacation. The updated schedule reflects this change.
We're back better than ever! The first day of the 2013 Fall league got off to a great start thanks to 52 pinheads who could have gone to the Fillmore and enjoyed The Cat Empire, but instead chose to come to FGW to light up the machines on this chilly evening in July.