City Champ 10

City Champ 10
November 4-5, 2023
Free Gold Watch
1767 Waller St
San Francisco, CA 94117

Details below are for City Champ 9. Updates for City Champ 10 coming soon.

Tournament location

City Champ 9 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 Directors

Gene X Hwang & Jared Garvey

Master of Machines

Darren Ensley

Head Official

Eric Wagensonner

Plus numerous volunteers. Thank you so much for making this event possible!

Tournament Format

The qualifying format is group match play. The player limit is 76 players. Qualifying will be 12 rounds in groups of four players. New groups will be drawn for each game/round. Scoring will be 3/2/1/0. Pairings will be random for the first round and tiered Swiss for subsequent rounds (similar to Pinburgh, RIP). The Match Play software we utilize to run the tournament picks games. Playing order and arena draws will be balanced.

The 24 players who earn the most points will qualify for playoffs. Seeds 1-8 get a bye round. We will only play tiebreakers that determine who will make it into the playoffs, for getting a bye round, and first overall seed. Tiebreaker matches will be best of 1 game on a random game chosen from a bank of games deemed to be playing well by the tournament directors with random playing order. For other ties, we will use the built in tiebreaker in Match Play that counts your 1st and 2nd place finishes.

If for example two players have the same point total at seed #10, 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.

Playoffs format

  • In each playoff round, there will be groups of four players where the top two from each group advance to the next round, until we reach the finals. The scoring will stay 3/2/1/0. We will only play tiebreakers when advancement is at stake. The higher seed has the option to pick a game from one of the banks not played by the group that round that is not currently being played or can defer this selection.  Order choice will go by the highest seed of players that did not make game selection. 
  • Three banks of four games will be available for play in the finals. The Banks will consist of games from four different categories. For example: EM – Jet Spin, SS – Fathom, Late SS/Early DMD – Monster Bash, Late DMD/LCD – Iron Maiden.
  • The EM, SS, Late SS/Early DMD games in each bank will be chosen by the tournament directors. The top seeds will then have the opportunity to choose the Late DMD/LCD game in the banks from a list of games provided by the tournament directors. The number 3 seed will get to choose the first game, followed by the number 2 seed, followed by the top seed.  The top seed will then get to place one of the games into a bank of their choice, followed by the second seed.
  • The top seed in each group will be able to choose which bank to play on starting with the group with the highest overall seed. They may also swap one of the games in the bank with a game of the same era in a bank that has not been selected by any other groups yet if they want to. No more than two groups can play on a single bank. A player may not choose the same bank in consecutive rounds, but bank selection may be deferred to the next highest seed if a player wishes to do so. The top seed in the group will still retain the right to swap a game after bank selection even if they defer bank choice. The games will be played in the order: Late DMD/LCD, EM, Late SS/Early DMD, SS. If a second group chooses the same bank, they will begin on the Late SS/Early DMD.
  • Order selection on the first game will go in order of seeding (top seed gets first selection, next highest seed gets second selection). In subsequent games, order selection will be in the reverse order of the result of the previous game (last place gets first order selection, 3rd gets second selection, etc.).
  • The first playoff round will be four groups of four players. The bottom two in each group will be placed in positions 17-24 depending on their point total in this round.
  • Quarterfinals will be four groups of four players, with the 1-8 seeds entering the playoffs. The bottom two in each group will be placed in positions 9-16 depending on their point total in this round.
  • Semifinals will be two groups of four players. The bottom two in each group will be placed in positions 5-8th depending on their point total in this round.
  • The Finals will be one group of four players. A tie-breaker game will be played for any ties in the final group. 



Doors open 9:15AM. Practice time on tournament machines allowed until 10:00 AM.

Player check in starts at 9:30 AM, and ends at 10:00 AM. If you have not checked in with the tournament director by 10:00 AM, your spot is no longer guaranteed. Players are responsible for finding and checking in with the tournament director. Disasters can happen, so if you are on your way but can’t make it by 10:00 AM, call the tournament director 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 10:15 AM. If, however, at 10:00 AM, you have neither checked in nor contacted the tournament director, 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 Free Gold Watch.

Below are approximate times. If play is quicker than planned, we will start the next round earlier than noted below.

  • Round 1: 10:30 AM
  • Round 2: 11:10 AM
  • Round 3: 11:50 AM
  • Round 4: 12:30 PM
  • Round 5: 1:10 PM
  • Lunch break (everybody gets at least 20 minutes)
  • Round 6: 2:40 PM
  • Round 7: 3:20 PM
  • Round 8: 4:00 PM
  • Round 9: 4:40 PM
  • Round 10: 5:20 PM
  • Round 11: 6:00 PM
  • Round 12: 6:40 PM
  • Tiebreakers: 7:20 PM


Players must check in with the tournament director no later than 10:30 AM. Players with a bye can sleep in, but must be checked in no later than 12:15 PM. 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.

If play is quicker than planned, we will start rounds sooner than listed below.

  • Doors open: 10:00 AM
  • First round: 11:00 AM
  • Quarterfinals: 12:45 PM
  • Semifinals: 2:30 PM
  • Finals: 4:15 PM
  • Awards ceremony: 6:00 PM

Tournament Rules

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.) Please make tournament officials aware of games with extra balls if not already noted on the machine, so we can adjust them between rounds if necessary.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. During sessions, any player whose machine “rolls over” to a zero score is responsible for confirming this with his or her opponents before and after the rollover occurs.
  8. Tournament officials may declare a player as a winner of a game in progress; that player will get 3 points for that game. This will generally occur only if the pace of the tournament is at risk due to exceptionally good play. The affected player must stop play immediately. Any other player reaching the same score in that game will also receive 3 points for that game.
  9. When requesting rulings, players are expected to protect any balls in play by trapping, standing near the machine, preventing passers-by from launching balls, etc.
  10. The tournament officials request that any situation which seems out of the ordinary be brought up to officials. Even if you know what the ruling ought to be, please raise it with a tournament official so we can ratify the decision and so officials can spot chronic problems sooner.

The full PAPA/IFPA rule set can be found here.

Prize money

In a field of 76 players, the prize pot will be $4600. $380 will go to PAPA, which charges this fee from all circuit events. $76 will go to the IFPA so that they can distribute it 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 (assuming full field of 76 players):

  • 1st: $1000
  • 2nd: $750
  • 3rd: $500
  • 4th: $250
  • 5th-8th: $150
  • 9th-16th: $80
  • 17th-24th: $40
  • Top qualifier: $100



Bank 1: Wizard, Eight Ball Deluxe, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Iron Man

Bank 2: Blue Chip, Harlem Globetrotters, Fish Tales, Deadpool

Bank 3: Royal Flush, Dr Dude, Addams Family, Jurassic Park


Adam Abeyta
Alex Lambert
Andrei Massenkoff
Anna Neal
Cameron Dale
CC Castaneda
Corey Casella
Damien Charléty
Daniel Costa
Danny Zhang
Darren Ensley
David Elrod
David Lee
David Hill
Derek Lipkin
Derek Price
Echa Schneider
Eric Garcia
Eric Wagensonner
Francis Irwin
Gabe Da Silveira
Gene X Hwang
Gina Collecchia
Greg Dunlap
Hillary Jacobson
Jackie Olson
Jaime Uziel
Janel Valdez
James Barron
Jared Garvey
Jay Collins
Jeannie Rodriguez
Jeff Claybaugh
Jeremy Williams
Jim Belsito
Johnny Modica
Jonathan Soon
Jonathan Bair
Jon Oberto
Jose Godinez
Josh Lehan
Josh Campoverde
Karl DeAngelo
Kwang Chong
Kyle Smith
Leslie Ruckman
Louise Wagensonner
Luke Baxter
Luke Ramirez
Mark Pearson
Mathew Peterson
Matt Henri
Matt Willmarth
Michael Mattsson
Michael Palero
Michael Orrin
Michael Hosier
Mike Villarreal
Nic Stein
Nick Yahnke
Peter Soriano
Raymond Ashby
Rob Mullner
Robert Coli
Roland Nadeau
Russell Sweetser
Shannon Sweetser
Steve Stein
Tom Isaak
Tony Lavigna
Walter Hurwitz
Wesley Stein
Will McKinney
Xavier Marin
Zac Wollons
Zack Ellingson


1. Oli Notteghem
2. Kat Barrett
3. Gen Egea
4. Ryan O’Donnell

Additional Tournaments

Emporium Beforium
Thursday, August 11 | 6:30pm

Emporium SF | 616 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Pre-City Champ Flip Frenzy
Friday, August 12 | 7:00pm Sign Ups, 7:30pm Start

Alamo Draft House | 2550 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

City Champs Last Call Tournament
Sunday, August 14 | 11:30am Start

Free Gold Watch | 1767 Waller St, San Francisco, CA 94117