Space City Pinball League Season 5 Week 7: Last chance to make a splash

Note: Due to recent events, Shawn no longer recommends participation in Space City Pinball League events until further notice. Please see this post for more information and the Bayou City Pinball League website for alternatives.

I entered tonight’s match with a chance, however small, of making the A division finals. I was in 17th place by one point, though with others also able to improve their scores, I really needed my best performance to keep hope alive. This week’s grouping: Brian Foytik and Fred Revnew. This week’s games: Star Trek, Aerosmith, Game of Thrones, Kiss, Ghostbusters, (Medieval Madness, The Walking Dead).

The night would begin innocently enough on Star Trek. Fred ran up a mind-blowing score of 119.2M+, most of it coming on the first ball. Most of this came on the first ball. Realistically, once I came up to play ball 3 with Brian’s 51.3M+ behind me, I knew just getting a second place was going to be a challenge. I had 25.6M+ going into ball 3, and wound up with only 27.2M+, so my game of Star Trek was more like a Star Wreck. To boldly lay an egg where no man has laid an egg before… (Brian finished with 55.4M+.) One game done, one standings point. Not the start I wanted to say the least.

Next game: Kiss. I don’t even know what to say to this. Against a player like me, Brian’s 6.1M+ should not be good enough for second place. I have a history of doing terribly on this particular table, and tonight’s 4.0M+ was no exception. Fred, again, blew it up with an 87.1M+. Two games, two standings points, and it’s starting to look like I can “Kiss” my hopes goodbye.

On to Aerosmith. I had a relatively lousy score going into ball 3 (I didn’t record it, but I want to say it was under 1M) facing, again, higher scores from Fred and Brian (10.5M+ and 3.1M+ respectively). Hardly insurmountable scores, but my confidence was pretty low given what the night had brought so far. Fortunately, for once, I was able to pull off a clutch performance, scoring a massive 94.1M+ which was not that far from the lowest high score of 110M+ (which could have been higher had I not had the game end a bit early due to a stuck ball). That didn’t matter; what did was that I finally got a first place and kept hope alive for a bit longer. Three games, seven standings points.

The next game would be Game of Thrones. Fred put up a 1.117B+, with over 800M or so of that on the first two balls. Brian wound up putting up 137M+. I barely managed 4.8M+, as all three balls were pretty much a disaster (though I started to get things going on ball 3). Game of Thrones? More like Flushed Down the Thrones. Four games, eight standings points, and although I didn’t know it at the time, I needed at least a second place to keep any hope of making A division finals alive.

Finally, Ghostbusters. Our game was delayed due to an issue with the machine malfunctioning for the prior group (Blake Dumesnil, Erich Stinson, Lisa Shore, and Clay Harrison). Apparently right as our game on Game of Thrones ended, Ghostbusters had reset sometime during the third ball (and did not record the scores earned up to that point, showing instead the prior game’s final scoreboard). I’m not sure of the details on the ruling, as I didn’t follow it that closely, but fortunately, the machine didn’t reset when we played it. With a finish of 10.7M+ next to Brian’s 55.4M+ and Fred’s 51.2M+, I would finish the night feeling, well, rather busted. I would replace my low score of nine points from week 4 with… nine points. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in math to see that that’s a gain of exactly zero.

I’m either 21st, 22nd, or 23rd depending on where the tiebreakers fall. I’m going to go ahead and return for the finals next week, even though I’m in B divison, again, as I still have a chance to improve upon last season’s B divison 3rd place finish. What’s particularly frustrating is that I look at the standings, and right above me in what shows as 19th place is Rob Torres. He only played the last four weeks (weeks 4, 5, 6, and 7), and finished with 71 standings points in four weeks above my 69 in my best five out of six weeks. Don’t get me wrong, Rob is a great player and a great guy, and I admire what he was able to pull off. At the same time, however, it reflects just how poorly this season wound up going for me.

Fortunately I have a few days to clear my head before next week’s finals. Comicpalooza at the George R. Brown Convention Center is this weekend and I will be staffing the Extra Life booth for a good chunk of the day Saturday. If you’re going to be there, feel free to come by and say hi.