City Champ 7, part of the Stern Pro Circuit, will be played December 15-16th, 2018, at FreeGoldWatch in San Francisco.
Tickets will go on sale Saturday, September 1st, 2018, at 11 AM Pacific time. A link to ticket sales will be posted here.
Welcome to City Champ 7, December 15-16th, @FreeGoldWatch in San Francisco!
This page will be dedicated to information regarding the Stern Pro Circuit event City Champ. Check in here to read official information from the organizers. If you are participating, make sure to read this information carefully, so that you know where to be at what time. If you have questions, please address them to: Per (at) sfpins dot o r g.
Additional Tournament: TBD. So far, there is none planned.
- Tournament location
- Prize money
- List of games
- Getting to the tournament
- Food & Drink
- San Francisco information
- City Champ shirts
- Registered players
$50 to enter + ticket fee of $3 via Eventbrite + coin drop for each game. Tickets will go on sale at 11:00 AM Pacific Time, Saturday, September 1st, 2018. Tickets will go on sale here: PLACE HOLDER
City Champ 7 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 in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, adjacent to Golden Gate Park.
Tournament Director: Per Schwarzenberger
Master of Machines: Darren Ensley
Head Officials: Brian O’Neill
Head scorekeeper: Andreas Haugstrup Pedersen
Plus numerous volunteers. Thank you so much for making this event possible!
- Match play!
- Maximum 84 players. (Up from 76 in years past!)
- Qualification will be 10 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 28 players who earn the most points will qualify for playoffs. Seeds 1-4 get a bye round.
- We will only play tiebreakers that determine who will make it into the playoffs, and for getting a bye round. Tiebreaker matches will be best of 1 game on a random “old” game with random playing order. For other ties, we will use the built in tiebreaker in MatchPlay that counts your 1st and 2nd place finishes.
If for example two players have the same point total at seed #8, and also have the same number of 1st and 2nd place finishes, we will use a randomizer to break the tie. This will be used only for the playoff bound players. For example, if three players are tied at seed #48, they will remain tied.
- In each playoff round, there will be groups of 4 players where the top 2 from each group advance to the next round, until we reach the finals. 7/5/3/1 scoring as before. We will only play tiebreakers when advancement is at stake. One game on the “old” machine in the bank that was used for that group. The higher seed gets playing order choice.
- Banks will be assigned to each group randomly before each round. The higher seed has the choice of playing order on each machine. Banks will consist of 3 games from 3 different eras. For example: GOT– NEW, MM – MID, EBD – OLD (This is our goal at least.)
- The first playoff round will be 6 groups of 4 players. The bottom 2 in each group will be placed in positions 17-28 depending on their point total in this round.
- Quarterfinals will be 4 groups of 4 players, with the 1-4 seeds entering the playoffs. The bottom 2 in each group will be placed in positions 9-16 depending on their point total in this round.
- Semifinals will be 2 groups of 4 players. The bottom 2 in each group will be placed in positions 5-8th depending on their point total in this round.
- Should there be a tie for places 5-8, it will be broken by a 1 game match. The higher seed has the play order choice, and 1 random “old” machine of any of the banks (except what is used for finals) is picked for this group.
- The Finals will be 1 group of 4 players. If there is a tie for 1st place, a 1-game tiebreaker will be played on a randomly drawn machine from the same bank that was used in the finals. Any other ties will be broken by 1 match on the “old” machine in the bank that was used for that group.
We will set the games to tournament mode where possible. Ball save will be set to OFF unless we deem that a particular game should have it ON.
Playoff banks are TBD.
Doors open 9:30 AM.
Player check in starts at 9:45 AM, and ends at 10:30 AM. If you have not checked in with the TD (Per) by 10:30 AM, your spot is no longer guaranteed. Players are responsible to find, and check in with the Tournament Director. Disasters can happen, so if you are on your way but can’t make it by 10:30 AM, call the TD on the number that has been provided to you in an email. (No texts please.) If you do this, you will be allowed to enter the tournament if you are present by 10:40 AM. If, however, at 10:30 AM, you have neither checked in nor contacted the TD, you will forfeit your spot to the first person on the waiting list. Bay Area traffic is BAD. Give yourself more than plenty of time to get to FGW.
(Below are approximate times. If play is quicker than planned, we will start the next round earlier than noted below.)
Rd 1 11:00 AM
Rd 2 11:40 AM
Rd 3 12:20 AM
Rd 4 1:00 PM
Lunch break (Everybody gets at least a 20 minute break.)
Rd 5 2:30 PM
Rd 6 3:10 PM
Rd 7 3:50 PM
Rd 8 4:30 PM
Rd 9 5:10 PM
Rd 10 5:50 PM
Tie breakers 6:40 PM
(If play is quicker than planned, we will start rounds sooner than listed below.)
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. Check in needs to be in person. A call or text message will not suffice. Players who are not present by the time that check in ends will forfeit their spot if an alternate is present.
Doors open 10:00 AM
1st Round 11:00 AM
Quarterfinals 12:30 PM
Semifinals 2:00 PM
Finals 3:30 PM
Awards ceremony 5:00 PM
The Nature of Pinball — The unique charm of pinball lies, in large part, in the physical nature of the game. Unfortunately, this means that unusual events and outright malfunctions cannot be prevented, nor can they be perfectly compensated for. PAPA attempts to strike a balance between compensating for malfunctions and accepting the physical nature of the game. – PAPA/IFPA rules, section 1.1
We will follow PAPA/IFPA rules strictly with a few modifications and amplifications, as follows…
- We ask all players to be respectful of the machines and refrain from any game abuse. Although we understand that players in other venues may be in the habit of taking out their frustrations on a machine, we hold a high standard in the Bay Area. Performing a “rage tilt” or otherwise abusing machines may result in immediate disqualification or official warning.
- We will ask that players anonymize their description when requesting rulings from judges. Rather than refer to player names when describing an issue, instead refer to Player 1, Player 2, Player 3 and Player 4.
- Extra balls will be disabled on machines if possible. If not, players will be allowed to fully play their extra balls. (This is different than the rule normally employed in SFPD League play.)
- Note that we will strictly follow PAPA/IFPA’s out-of-turn rule, even for extra balls. The affected player may choose to take over the ball in play, if possible, or he or she may choose to have the incident treated as a major malfunction.
- We will employ the “Good Sportsmanship” exception that if someone shouts “Ball Save” to a player who starts walking away from their machine, neither party will be penalized for providing / receiving coaching.
- City Champ is a four-person tournament, so we will use the same ball-3 irreparable catastrophic malfunction rule that Pinburgh uses. If a catastrophic malfunction (ie, a malfunction that ends the game for all players) occurs and the machine is irreparable (ie, can’t be fixed in a reasonable time, which we’ll say is three minutes) on the third ball, all results will be voided when the new machine is selected. That means even if Player 1 beats Player 2 before Player 3 has a catastrophic malfunction, Player 1 and Player 2 will still have their results voided and will start over with the others.
- Judges will not make any scoring adjustments. They have the discretion to void a player’s game score or to void all player’s games, but they will not add or subtract points from anyone’s score. The only time a calculation needs to be done is when a judge awards an extra ball on a new game to compensate a player for a major malfunction.
- During the qualifying rounds, in the case of a major malfunction for a player, we will not add a ball to the game in progress; instead the player will be provided with one additional ball of play in a new game. However, during the playoff rounds, we will add a ball to the game in progress, if the machine’s software supports that. The reason for this is that we have limited time to reset machines between rounds in qualifying.
The full PAPA/IFPA rule set can be found here.
In a field of 84 players, the prize pot will be $3100 ($240 to top 5 qualifiers and $2760 to the top 16 finishers). $420 will go to PAPA, which charges this fee from all circuit events. $84 will go to the IFPA so that they can distribute it
to Europe to the National Championship. The rest of the entry fees will go to cover costs for pizza and water/soft drinks for the volunteers, plaques, and other misc. costs associated with running a tournament.
Prize pot distribution:
Top qualifier: $100
2nd best qualifier: $50
3rd best qualifier: $40
4th best qualifier: $30
5th best qualifier: $20
List of games, to be updated.
This is a tentative list. Games are subject to change, but the bulk of machines listed here will be used.
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.
Ride-sharing services are preferable late at night, but beware of surge pricing.
As of this update (August), there are no available discount rates for City Champ 6. 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)
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. At last visit it was about $20 for 24-hours, but the price may have gone up recently. Which brings us to option #2:
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!
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 posted on poles near the curbs, 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:
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 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 (http://bit.ly/1LMO9zj).
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:
770 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Pub food and serious international sports hangout. The wings here are good.
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.
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).
Tony’s Slice House on Haight
535 Haight St. San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
Tony’s Slice House is currently the pizza-of-choice for SFPD League Nights. They’ve got the best pizza crust and offer a tasty selection of slices, as well as full pies. The menu also includes sides, burgers, and sandwiches.
Escape from NY Pizza
1737 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
Quick and affordable 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 to fifteen 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.
1607 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA
A newcomer to the Haight, Street Taco gets multiple votes from SFPD ballers. Two tacos for $8 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.
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.
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
Will be for sale at the event.
* Reigning City Champ
City Champ 6 is in the bag! Colin Urban is the winner!
|City Champ 6 results|
|12,Jared Garvey ,35784|
|15,Derek Lipkin ,33048|
|28,Gene X Hwang,13052|
|29,Jaime Uziel ,29804|
|34,Andreas Haugstrup Pedersen,15925|
|43,Robin Lassonde ,25696|
|56,Freaky Dave Halper,|
|60,Dominic DiPalantino ,30898|
|62,Jessica Jordan Thompson,|
|64,Forrest McDonald ,27246|
Results from City Champ 5
|9||Andreas Haugstrup Pedersen||15925|
|21||Gene X Hwang||13052|
|21||Mike Miller CA||26157|
$110 was raised for the Grateful Dogs Rescue in SF!
What’s a grateful dog?