City Champ

 2016 CC logo

Welcome to City Champ 5!

This page will be dedicated to information regarding the PAPA Circuit event City Champ. Check in here to read official information from the organizers.




$40 to enter + ticket fee of $3 via Eventbrite + Coin drop for each game. Tickets will go on sale at 12:00 PM (Noon) Pacific Time, September 22nd, 2016. Go to to get your ticket!


Tournament Location

City Champ 5 will be played at Free Gold Watch in San Francisco. FGW is an arcade combined with a print shop. Due to the nature of this location, there is limited space to place chairs for players to sit in between rounds. Also, be prepared that physical space between machines will be tight. We strive to put on a fair, fun tournament, and we welcome players of all skill levels to participate. Free Gold Watch is located at 1767 Waller St. between Shrader and Stanyan. Tourists call the neighborhood “Haight Ashbury.” Locals call it the Upper Haight.



  • Match play!
  • Maximum 76 players.
  • Qualification will be 12 rounds in groups of 4 players, where new groups will be drawn for each round. Scoring will be 7/5/3/1. Parings will be random for the 1st round and tiered Swiss for subsequent rounds (similar to Pinburgh). The MatchPlay software we utilize to run the tournament picks games. Playing order will be balanced.
  • The top 28 players will qualify for playoffs. Seeds 1-4 get a bye round.
  • The first playoff round will be 6 groups of 4 players. Same scoring as before on a bank of 3 games. The top 2 from each group move on to the quarterfinals. The bottom 2 in each group will be placed in positions 17-28 depending on their point total in the round they were eliminated.
  • Quarterfinals will be 4 groups of 4 players, with the 1-4 seeds entering the playoffs. Same scoring as before on a bank of 3 games. The top 2 from each group move on to the semifinals. The bottom 2 in each group will be placed in positions 9-16 depending on their point total in the round they were eliminated.
  • Semifinals will be 2 groups of 4 players. Same scoring as before on 3 games. The top 2 from each group move on to the finals. The bottom two from each group will play 1 machine for 5-8th place.*
  • The Finals will be 1 group of 4 players. Same scoring as before on a bank of 3 games. If there is a tie, a 1-game tiebreaker will be played on a randomly drawn machine from the same bank that was used in the finals.

Games and banks will be drawn randomly before each round. Playing order will be balanced. In the playoffs, the higher seed has the choice of playing order on each machine. This means that a higher seed will NOT have machine choice. Banks will consist of 3 games from 3 different eras.  For example: Ghostbusters – NEW, Attack from Mars – MID, Harlem Globetrotters – OLD (This is our goal at least.)

*Original seeds are used to determine play order choice. 1 random machine is picked for this group. 



Round 1 will begin at 11 AM on Saturday. Players must be checked in no later than 10:30 AM. Each round will take approximately 30 minutes. Warm up on non tournament games will be available from 10:15 AM on Saturday. Practice on tournament games will not be allowed. There will be other games available for this purpose.


Rd 1 11:00 AM

Rd 2 11:30 AM

Rd 3 12:00 AM

Rd 4 12:30 PM

Lunch break

Rd 5 2:00 PM

Rd 6 2:30 PM

Rd 7 3:00 PM

Rd 8 3:30 PM

Rd 9 4:00 PM

Rd 10 4:30 PM

Rd 11 5:00 PM

Rd 12 5:30 PM

Tie breakers 6:15 PM

We will only play tiebreakers that have an impact on who will make it into the playoffs, and for getting a bye round. For other ties, we’ll use the built in tiebreaker (SOS) in MatchPlay. Tiebreaker matches will be best of 1 game on a random machine.


Sunday. (If play is quicker than planned, we will start rounds sooner than listed below.) Round 1 will begin at 11 AM on Sunday. Players must check in with the TD no later than 10:30 AM. Players with a bye can sleep in, but must be checked in no later than 11:30 AM.

1st Round                         11:00 AM

Quarterfinals                     12:30 PM

Semifinals                           2:00 PM

Finals                                   3:30 PM

Awards ceremony              5:00 PM


Prize money

In a field of 76 players, the pot will be around $2400. A share of the entry fee will go to cover costs for pizza for the volunteers, trophies, and other misc. costs associated with running a tournament.

Prize pot distribution:

1st 25%

2nd 20%

3rd 15%

4th 10%

5th 6%

6th 5%

7th 4%

8th 3%

9th-12th 2%

13th-16th 1%

Top qualifier: $50

Second best qualifier: $25


List of games

This is a tentative list. Games are subject to change, but the bulk of machines listed here will be used.

AC/DC Premium

Attack From Mars

Black Pyramid

Cactus Canyon


Demolition Man

Dirty Harry

Eight Ball Deluxe

Game of Thrones Premium

Harlem Globetrotters

Iron Man Vault Ed.

Medieval Madness

Metallica Pro

Monster Bash


Playboy, Bally

Stern Trek Pro

The Addams Family

The Simpsons Pinball Party

The Walking Dead Pro

The Wizard of Oz

Tron Pro

Terminator 2

World Cup Soccer

X-Men Pro


Getting to Free Gold Watch

Within San Francisco, the 43, 6, 33, and 7 MUNI bus lines all have stops within walking distance of Free Gold Watch. The same goes for the N-Judah train. Either the Carl & Cole or Carl & Stanyan stops are your best bet. Outside the city? BART and Caltrain are your friends.

You can track arrival/departure times at Routesy is also super handy for figuring this out, plus the transit stops nearest to your location: Routesy.

If you want a little more control over your arrival time, use Uber or Lyft, and to a lesser extent local taxis. Taxis can also be hailed with the Flywheel and Yellow Cab app.

Note that if you’re heading back downtown after 9PM, certain MUNI rail tunnels will be closed for maintenance and you’ll need to transfer to a bus at some point. As many an SFPD member can testify: Doing this with a buzz, sore feet, and a pocket full of quarters really sucks.

Ride-sharing services are preferable late at night, but beware of surge pricing.



 As of this update (September), there are no available discount rates for City Champ IV. We do have a couple of recommendations, however, primarily because they are relatively close to Free Gold Watch. (There are also AirBnB and VRBO options below.)


Stanyan Park Hotel

750 Stanyan Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

Stanyan Park is so close to Free Gold Watch that if you listen hard enough you might be able to hear Twilight Zone multiball kick off from your room. A boutique hotel with 36 rooms, the Stanyan Park is on the smaller side and quite popular, so consider booking ASAP if you like that “bed to pinball in 3-minutes” amenity.


The Metro Hotel

319 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117 USA

The Metro isn’t very close to Free Gold Watch (maybe a 20 minute walk), but it is right next to the bus line which runs down Haight Street. It’s also close to a ton of some of the most amazing restaurants on Divisadero Street, the border between the Upper and Lower Haight. It’s also not too far from Molotov’s bar, a regular haunt for drinking teams with a pinball problem (2 machines). There are only 24 rooms at the Metro, so if this sounds good to you, book now.



There’s a pretty good selection of places to stay near Free Gold Watch on AirBnB. Savvy ballers might want to pool their quarters by reserving a place with room for more than a couple. Below is a link to AirBnB listings in the 94117 zip code:



The grandpa to the AirBnB model was VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner), and it might have listings which you won’t find on AirBnB, too. Below are links for Cole Valley (the neighborhood next to the Upper Haight)

Haight Ashbury:

Cole Valley:



Parking in the Upper Haight is harder than the Gem shot in Tron. Sure, you can do it, but as many will testify, you can’t do it every time. Try to avoid driving, or be prepared to walk after you’ve parked elsewhere.

If you absolutely must drive, here are some parking options:


The ABC Parking Lot on Stanyan

No, it won’t be cheap, but it’s cheaper than a couple of parking tickets. Which brings us to option #2:


Street Parking

 There’s metered and free parking in the neighborhood around Free Gold Watch, but both are limited to about two hours. (Metered parking runs about $4.50 per two hours.)

Either way, every couple of hours you’ll need to set a Creature from the Black Lagoon smartphone reminder to MOVE! YOUR! CAR!


Parking Warnings

If you do find a spot on the street, make sure:

  • The curb isn’t painted red, blue, or green.
  • There isn’t a fire hydrant.
  • You’re not blocking someone’s driveway, not even by a foot. (Driveway owners will call to have you towed, which is expensive.)


Before you disregard any of these warning, please consult the SFMTA ala carte “pricing menu” here:


Also, look for signs like these, as they’ll tell you the street cleaning days/rules/limits:

In general, be very suspicious of abundant, free parking. Remember Admiral Akbar.

Special Bonus Parking Warnings:

Do not park in the McDonald’s or Whole Foods parking lot. They will tow you.

Do not leave anything in your car, no matter how marginal you believe the value to be. This includes things like your garage door opener, if you have one. Vehicle break-ins are common right now in SF, and in the Upper Haight in particular.


Food, Beer, & Caffeine

If you need a coffee to sharpen your reflexes, a beer to take off the edge, or some food to fuel your match, there are tons of options within a short walk from Free Gold Watch. Below is a selection of SFPD member recommendations.

You can see all of the food recommendations below and their relative distance from Free Gold Watch on the following map:



 Flywheel Roasters

This is the closest independent coffee joint, on Stanyan. Pour overs take three to four minutes, so if you’re in a hurry, grab an iced coffee straight-up or on nitro tap. Also carries pastries, bottled juices, and snacks.


If you’re coming down Haight Street towards Stanyan, Stanza is a choice spot. Small selection of pastries, good coffee.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods has a coffee bar, but it also has a selection of cold coffees in the refrigerated case near the checkout lines. Excellent spot for Stumptown bottles and Blue Bottle cartons.



Bars are everywhere on Haight St., as are a few bodega-style shops. Kezar Pub on Stanyan is practically connected to Free Gold Watch, and Murio’s Tap Room is just across the way on Haight Street. Most SFPD members will buy beer at Whole Foods or at Parkview Market on Frederick at Stanyan (



The food options below are listed in order of their proximity to Free Gold Watch. Where applicable you’ll also find some recommended menu choices. Once again, you can see these all on a map together here:

Some places on this list will let you order ahead via OrderAhead ( or GrubHub (


Kezar Pub

770 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Pub food and serious international sports hangout. The wings here are good.


Parada 22

1805 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Home-style Puerto Rican food. The mofongo is outstanding, but if you want a full belly on the cheap, go with a side of arroz amarillo and a side of habichuelas coloradas.


Whole Foods

690 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Aside from the obvious (it’s a grocery store), there are prepared foods here, a salad bar, pizza, burritos, etc.



672 Stanyan St. San Francisco, CA 94117

They have a few savory items here, but mostly it’s pastries, breads, and small cakes. The blueberry crumble cake is a go-to, plus the bread pudding.


The Citrus Club

1790 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

Noodle dishes inspired by Vietnam, China, Thailand, Japan, and Indonesia. The garlic beef with shiitake mushrooms is enormous (especially if you take it to the next level by adding shrimp).


Escape from NY Pizza

1737 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

Best choice for pizza in the neighborhood. Go with a to-go slice or two on paper plates from the XL thin-crust pies on display and get in and out for about ten bucks.


Stanza Coffee Shop

1673 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

Not the first choice you might go for food, but if you’re on your way back from Street Taco on Haight, it’s a good stop for an espresso and possibly a muffin, cookie, or other coffee shop sweet.


Street Taco

1607 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA

A newcomer to the Haight, Street Taco gets multiple votes from SFPD ballers. Two tacos for $7 and anything with al pastor are top choices here. Fast and simple.


Burgermeister on Carl

86 Carl Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

Burgers of size. Are you surprised? But the not-so-secret find here is the cheesesteak. The chicken version’s pretty good, too. This place is right off the N-Judah train stop at Carl & Cole.



901 Cole Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

Upscale Mexican food with a solid cocktail bar attached. This is mostly a dinner place, though the pro move is to grab brunch which runs Friday through Sunday. You might want to get a reservation for dinner, though if you show up on the early side you can usually score some of their walk-in seating at the communal table or bar. (We know you know guac is extra, but get it as a starter. It’s a ton of guac.)



941 Cole Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

French bistro and brunch cuisine. This place gets mobbed for brunch, so unless you go early, be prepared to wait. The good news is you can put your name on the list and let them know you’re next door at Finnegan’s Bar… where there’s also pinball.


Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery

1398 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

Seasonal pub cooking, but this is no house of fried cheese sticks. Quality stuff. The main attraction is the brewery, though. More of a sit down place, so don’t think you’re going to dash out and make it back before your next round starts.


Bacon Bacon

205 Frederick Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

This is a bit of a walk from Free Gold Watch, but is ground zero for excessive baconry. What started as a food truck now has this brick-and-mortar cafe which was famously featured on Saturday Night Live when a local bacon-hater complained about the constant bacon smell.  Opens early, closes early-isn (3PM). Not the top of the list for vegetarians, obviously.


Hyperlocal Info

 If you want to get clued in to local news, there are a couple of good sources for neighborhood news:



Bay Area Pinball Map


Useful SF Transit & Twitter Feeds:

SF Department of Emergency Management

SFMTA (MUNI & Transit Notices)

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

511 Bay Area


City Champ shirts

Coming soon…



Registered players

First Name Last Name City State
Jonathan Bair Oakland CA
Kevin Birrell Fall City WA
Sunshine Bon Concord NC
Chris Chinn Seattle WA
Robert Coli San Francisco CA
Chris Compton Decatur GA
Raymond Davidson Mukilteo WA
John Delzoppo Cleveland OH
Jessica DeNardo Portland OR
Maura Devereux San Francisco CA
Dominic DiPalantino San Francisco CA
Art Dodd Glendale Heights IL
Shon Dolcini San Rafael CA
Darren Ensley San Francisco CA
Jeff Fehervari Burlingame CA
Ellen Frankel Oakland CA
Jeff Gagnon Seattle WA
Jared Garvey Berkeley CA
Christine Gershtein Redwood City CA
Euguene Gershtein Redwood City CA
Bella Gershtein Redwood City CA
Leah Gosciejew Cleveland OH
Julie Gray Seattle WA
Dave Halper Boulder Creek CA
Tim Hansen Sunnyvale CA*
Matt Henri San Francisco CA
David Hermanas Los Angeles CA
Jeremy Herrman San Francisco CA
Gene X Hwang San Francisco CA
Tim Juchcinski San Francisco CA
Devon Kelly San Jose CA
Daylene Langum Oakland CA
Robin Lassonde Berkeley CA
David Lee Alameda CA
Josh Lehan Castro Valley CA
Chris Lindboe Albany CA
Derek Lipkin San Francisco CA
Germain Mariolle Redmond WA
Andrei Massenkoff San Francisco CA
Bob Matthews Thousand Oaks CA
Michael Mattsson Santa Cruz CA
Will McKinney Phoenix AZ
Mike Miller Oakland CA
Johnny Modica Brea CA
Aaron Nelson Concord CA
Allison O’Neill San Francisco CA
Brian O’Neill San Francisco CA
Alysa Parks Evanston IL
Zachary Parks Evanston IL
Andreas Pedersen San Francisco CA
Piotr Plachta San Jose CA
Erin Ray El Cerrito CA
Eric Raymond San Francisco CA
Ron Richards Long Island City NY
Jeannie Rodriguez Pinole CA
Jason Rosenberg San Francisco CA
Alex Samonte San Jose CA
Aaron Schneickert San Jose CA
Echa Schneider Oakland CA
Per Schwarzenberger San Francisco CA
Sanjay Shah Pompton Lakes NJ
Zach Sharpe Chicago IL
Austin Smith Brooklyn NY
Jonathan Snyder Berkeley CA
Nate Stellhorn Portland OR
Russell Sweetser San Francisco CA
Shannon Sweetser San Francisco CA
Matt Talley Carmel CA
Tony Urso San Francisco CA
Janel Valdez San Francisco CA
Mike Villarreal Berkeley CA
Eric Wagensonner San Francisco CA
Louise Wagensonner San Francisco CA
Jeremy Williams San Francisco CA
Matt Willmarth San Francisco CA
Zac Wollons San Francisco CA


Reigning City Champ


Waiting List

# First Name Last Name
1 Dave Stewart
2 Alexander Pierson
3 Nycole Hyatt
4 Lisa Ramon
5 Walter Hurwitz
6 Nate Robinson
7 Robert Wong
8 Andy Steinhauser
9 Jim Belsito
10 Chris Heilig
12 Carlo Vernale
13 Korey Green
14 James Frost-Winn
15 jessica rodgers
16 Damien Charlety
17 Jack Wasserman
18 Jessica J Thompson
19 Paul Caras
20 Forrest McDonald
21 Dan Dempsey
22 Gabe da Silveira
23 Zack DeSario
24 Amanda Sage
25 Alex Yeager
26 Alberto Santana
27 Max Stewart
28 Tony Lavigna
29 Kevin Williams


Participation by State

AZ 1
CA 56
GA 1
IL 4
NC 1
NJ 1
NY 2
OH 2
OR 2
WA 6