Sports Simulation Board Games

PLAAY Games in Pittsburgh: 4th Annual "Commissioner's Surprise" Tournament with HOCKEY BLAST, November 10, 2018

Canadian PLAAY Gamers"Hockey Day in Canada!": "Great Eight" action from last year's tournament saw HOCKEY BLAST veteran Frank Albidone (Bruins jersey, bottom right) giving game tips to Mark Russell (at left), George Peete (across table) and Dave Schneider (to Frank's right, yellow cap) as Montreal battled Minnesota. Meanehile, George Kaldis (gray cap) pilots Calgary against Pittsburgh and Gary Chrosniak (red jersey) coaches the NY Rangers against St. Louis.

It's almost time to lace up the skates for another hockey season! To celebrate the new pro season, we're putting on our Fourth Annual "Commissioner's Surprise" HOCKEY BLAST Tournament, where EVERY team has a chance to win it all! THIS year, the action happens Saturday, November 10th, in Pittsburgh, PA. Even better, our event will be part of the Gaming Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania's November Game Day, where we'll link up with dozens of other local board gamers, who'll be playing all kinds of board games, new and old! It will be an amazing day of dice rollin' and card-flippin' fun! You're invited to join us: it's totally FREE, and no RSVP is needed—just show up and have fun!

Last year's event was played in Hamilton, Ontario and was an incredible, memorable day of exciting hockey action and sports gamer camaraderie. We had nearly two dozen PLAAY Gamers show up, from the USA and Canada. Read about the 2017 Commissioner's Surprise Tournament here. In the title game, Minnesota defeated Philadelphia for the Commissioner's Cup, joining previous Cup Winners Nashville (2016) and Chicago (2015). Who'll win it all THIS year? You can be there as it all unfolds, either as a spectator enjoying the action or as coach of one (or more) of the teams with HOCKEY BLAST Pro Hockey Game!

EVERY pro team from the HOCKEY BLAST 2017-18 Pro Season card set will be included in the tournament. It's single-elimination, and the match-ups are completely random—we literally draw them out of a hat! The previous year's real-life championship series teams always get a first round bye for this tournament, that's Washington and Las Vegas this time around. Speaking of which, the pro league's expansion to Las Vegas now gives us an un-even number of teams (31), so we've had to alter our format just a little bit for the 2018 event. We'll conduct a play-in game between the bottom two pro teams from the 2017-18 season, Buffalo and Arizona, streamed live on the PLAAY Games YouTube Channel Friday night, October 12th. The winner of that game joins the other 27 first-round teams, with match-ups drawn from the hat on October 11th (see pairings below). The Boston-Florida first-round game will be featured on our All Hallows Eve webcast Friday, October 26th.

The first round will produce fourteen winning teams, who will be joined by Washington and Vegas to form our "Commissioner's Surprise Sweet Sixteen," to be played entirely on-location in Pittsburgh. From there, we continue the random pairings until just two teams are left to play for the Cup. It's super fun, and very exciting. (Our 2017 event in Las Vegas saw all but one game go to overtime!)

The Gaming Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania's November Game Day happens November 10th starting at 10 AM at Baldwin Community United Methodist Church, 5001 Baptist Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236. You can get the location on Google Maps by clicking here. We're planning on starting our hockey tournament at 11 AM, the tentative schedule is posted below.

After the tournament, we're planning to grab some dinner somewhere and then attend the real-life Penguins-Coyotes game at PPG Paints Arena! What a perfect way to end an awesome day of hockey-themed fun!

Our "official" hotel for this event is the Hampton Inn Pittsburgh/West Mifflin, 1550 Lebanon Church Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236. Just like last year in Buffalo, we'll have an informal get-together in the hotel common area Friday evening around 7 PM where we'll play the last two first round games to complete our Saturday "Sweet Sixteen." You're welcome to attend that event as well!

If you have any questions, or if you think you might like to attend, please let us know! We’ll be excited to hear from you.

2017-18 "Commissioner's Surprise" HOCKEY BLAST Tournament Updates

The tournament pairings will be announced Monday night, October 15th in a live webcast from the PLAAY Games Facebook Page. Tournament play will began Wednesday night, October 16th, with results posted below. Teams in bold advance to next round, person(s) who played game in [brackets]...