Critical Hit Houston: Charity Pinball Tournament! December 3.

The Space City Pinball League will be hosting a “Critical Hit” charity pinball tournament on Saturday December 3 at The Game Preserve!

This tournament will follow a standard “three-strikes” group match-play format. Players are placed in groups of 3-4 and play on a random machine. The bottom two players of each game receive a “strike”. Players who recieve three strikes are eliminated. Importantly, the format has a special twist: it incorporates card-based “role playing game” elements. Players can earn and buy “spell cards” that grant them special powers, which they can use to their benefit in the tournament. Some example spell cards are:

  • Confusion. Change you group’s selected game to one of your choosing
  • Darkness. Play entire game with score displays covered.
  • Forbiddance. Swap a specific player from your group with a random player from a different group.

There are 20 different cards in total. All players with a world ranking between 1-250 will receive one random card at the beginning. All other players will receive two random cards.

It costs $10 to enter the tournament. Additional donations are encouraged.

Phase 1: Match Play / Earn Spell Cards – 3pm-5pm
Players placed into random groups of 4 (sometimes 3). The top two players after each game will earn a random spell card. Upon the conclusion of Phase 1, any remaining spell cards will be auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity pool. Games and positions will be randomly assigned during this phase. New players can join any time during this phase.

Phase 2: 3-Strikes – 6pm. 
Players placed into random groups of 4 (sometimes 3). The bottom two players after each game will receive a strike. In the case of a 3 player group, only the 3rd place player will receive a strike. Players are eliminated from the tournament once they receive 3 strikes.

All money collected during the tournament will be donated to one of the following local charities, which will be chosen by the champion:

Can’t make it to the tournament but still want to contribute? Contact Phil at

Special Thanks to Karl DeAngelo, who created the “Critical Hit” concept, format, and playing cards.

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