Newcastle upon Tyne 2019

A new venue for our FOCAL gig in the northeast…

newcastle pic free

Date: Saturday 23rd March 2019.
Venue: PTE Social Club, Millers Road, Byker, NE6 2XP (location).
Admission: £15, including hot buffet lunch (PayPal preferable, please).
Admission + evening dinner: £30 (see details further down).
Doors open: 9:30am for a 10:30am start.
Presented by: James Robinson and Callum Todd.
Format: Classroom, with big screen graphics.
Finishes by: 6pm (evening dinner booking in city centre for 7pm).

We will be at the PTE Social Club, just a couple of miles east of the city centre in Byker (yes, as in Byker Grove) for our second tournament in Newcastle. The address is Millers Road, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE6 2XP.

Easy access from Newcastle rail station — a short walk to Monument, then two stops on the yellow Metro line to Byker.

How does it work?
First of all, everybody plays from start to finish — there are no knockouts!

There will be a big screen for the game graphics and everyone plays to the same letters, numbers and conundrums rounds. We try to replicate the studio conditions, giving everyone turns at picking the selections. There will be comfort breaks in between games, as well as our buffet lunch.

focal rapidness
We’ll be running a two-part format for the day:

Heats: Players will be drawn at random into groups of four for the initial heats matches. This means players will know at the start who they will be up against in their first three games. These will be 10-round matches — six letters games, three numbers games and a conundrum, LLNLLNLLNC.

At the end of the heats, everyone goes into groups of eight for the quarter-finals — in order of number of wins, total points scored, then +/- points difference. The winner from each heats group goes into Division A, the runner-up into Division B, third place into C and fourth place into D.

Finals: From here, everybody is seeded within their divisions to play a 9-round quarter-final (6L 2N 1C), 9-round semi-final and 14-round final (8L 4N 2C).

This will all be done in Swiss format, meaning everybody gets to play right until the end of the day, and we’ll keep you posted as the day goes along!

How do you get an overall winner?
After the semi-final stage, the two strongest contenders in Group A will sit out the last game, the mainstream final, to play the tournament’s showpiece Grand Final just after 5pm in front of an audience. What better way to round off the day than with the prospect of a high standard finish! So if you don’t make the top two, why not recharge your glass at the bar, sit back and enjoy the show.

What else do I need?
Pens and paper will be supplied, but please feel free to bring your own notebooks. We will only require your final scores from each game, not the full round-by-round declarations.

And there’s a dinner in the evening?
Yes, we have a group table booked for 7pm at Za Za Bazaar, priced at £15pp (websitedirections), which will be a brilliant way to finish off your fun in the Toon!

How much does it cost?
Admission costs £15pp for the event (including the lunch buffet) or £30pp if you also want to join us for dinner. You can make your booking with James now:

– By PayPal:
Event and dinner (£30), or
Event only (£15).
– By cheque (address available on request).

Any questions?
If you need any help, including any pointers on planning your journey or your stay, email us at