Space City Pinball League Season 8 Week 3: The bumpy ride continues

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

So here we are, the third week of a four-week mini-season. I really could use a good week here to stay as close to the top of the standings as possible. A nominal majority of the game lineup was the same (Deadpool, AC/DC, Metallica, and Star Wars); on the other hand, Pirates of the Carribean (new to league play), Guardians of the Galaxy, and CSI were swapped in for last week’s Ghostbusters, Iron Maiden, and Aerosmith.

I would be grouped with Marc Gammons, David Pollock, and Chris Gonzales. We would be assigned to Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Metallica, AC/DC, and CSI. At some point or another, I’ve put up relatively good scores on all of these, whether here in town on league nights, in casual play locally, or at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas during my trip there.

And so it would begin on Guardians of the Galaxy; I would play fourth, giving me what is commonly believed to be a nominal advantage. Both of my first two balls were lousy. I get to the point where I am able to start Groot Multiball to try to turn the game around and then… straight down the middle. Not the start I wanted. I would sign off with a paltry 6.4M+ not good for much of anything except last place.

Next up would be Metallica. I manage a decent score of 6.2M+ but Marc is playing behind me. He inches closer and closer, though he does rack up a couple of tilt warnings. Finally, I’m assuming I am dead as he crosses the 6M mark. And then he tilts, giving me a gift-wrapped second place behind David instead of the third place I would have expected.

We would continue on AC/DC, I would be playing second behind Chris. I would do well to eke out a second place finish here (16.9M+) ahead of Chris (16.6M+) and behind David (22.0M+). I had a good game, though not as good as the warmup game I played on this title. So far that’s eleven standings points across three games. I’m looking at either a miracle comeback to salvage a 25-point finish or a drop week.

Our fourth game would be CSI, where I would be playing first. I’m not sure what happened here, but the bottom fell out and I would barely eke out a third place (2.37M+) ahead of Chris (2.15M+). So much for eclipsing that great 204M+ score in Las Vegas. Oh, and that comeback I needed.

So we’d head into our game of Star Wars, and again I would have the first player slot. Not that it even matters at this point, but I wouldn’t get a whole lot of anything going here, finishing with a score of 80.6M+ which wouldn’t even be that good for a casual play score let alone league/tournament play.

Fifteen standings points in the new 7-5-3-1/7-4-1 scoring system is pretty much an assured drop week (it would have been 9 points under the old system). I’m still pretty much assured of an A division playoff spot assuming there are 16 openings (and it looks like there will be). Or, put another way, here is one possible scenario that would have to happen to push me to seventeenth or lower and B division (I may be leaving out a few players who could potentially do well enough to be part of the group to leapfrog me in theory, as it’s difficult to account for everyone):

  • I either don’t show up later tonight for week 4 or put up another 15 or worse;
  • Eight of the following happen:
    • Evan Kennedy puts up at least 18;
    • Chris Dyer puts up at least 21;
    • Matt Quantz puts up at least 21;
    • Melvin Jiles puts up at least 26;
    • Jack Revnew puts up at least 28;
    • Joe Cuellar puts up at least 29;
    • Marc Gammons puts up at least 29;
    • Jason Cortez puts up at least 31;
    • Tim Hood puts up at least 15;
    • Craig Squires puts up at least 19; and
  • At least eight of Craig, Evan, Chris, Matt, Melvin, Jack, Joe, Marc, and Jason are all grouped in separate groups. (Tim could theoretically put up 15 without a single first-place finish, so I exclude him from the list.)

If I put up a 19 or better, I’ve clinched A division for sure unless I’m missing something.

The best I can do is 90 standings points, by putting up a perfect 35. That might move me up as high as sixth, unless some players in the top five don’t show up tonight, in which case it could theoretically move me higher. It’s going to be a great night and a great finish to the regular season no matter what happens, though.