Date: 20th & 21st May, 2017
Location: Vallecas, Madrid, Spain.

We haven’t visit Madrid for a pinball tournament since Spain held the European Pinball Championship there back in 2012. This time we were attending the Torneo Madrileño de Pinballs, better known as TMAP.

The venue for the two-day event was a nondescript building in an industrial area on the southern side of the city which is the permanent home to the private Millonaria pinball club.

For those not familiar with the Millonaria location there was no signage to indicate any pinball presence resides here, let alone the fact that it is the home of a major Spanish tournament.

The unexecptional building on Camino de Hormigueras
The unexceptional building on Camino de Hormigueras

However, if you enter the building through the unlocked third door, take the lift up five floors and follow the sounds of flippers flipping, you come across the tournament registration desk.

The tournament registration desk
The tournament registration desk

Playing in the two tournaments – modern and classics – cost €60 per person. Players could also opt to take an organised lunch held in another part of the building for an additional €20. Those who took the lunch received green wristbands, while those who made their own arrangements wore an orange wristband. As you can see, with no catering facilities nearby, the vast majority decided to have lunch at the venue.

The list of players with their lunch choices
The list of players with their lunch choices

Upon registration, players received an orange shoulder bag, two score sheets (one for the modern tournament and one for the classics), a pen and a wipe cloth.

The two score sheets and pen
The two score sheets and pen

Alongside the registration desk, the lobby also provided a seating area and there was a vendor with a selection of pinball LEDs and other generic parts.

Pinball parts for sale
Pinball parts for sale

From the lobby, a short corridor led past a group of upright video games into the games room, where the eighty-nine machines were arranged in four long rows of around twenty-two machines each.

Video games on the way to the pinballs
Video games on the way to the pinballs

More classic videos
More classic videos

The first two rows of machines
The first two rows of machines

The second two rows
The second two rows

The classics machines were arranged back-to-back down the centre of the room, while the modern pinballs backed against the walls. The rear of the room was open to a multi-storey car park which provided access for loading or unloading machines and gave a small seating area for relaxation between games.

The back of the room
The back of the room

To help with the relaxation, there was a bar selling soft and alcoholic drinks along with some snacks. Beers were only €1 and gin & tonics €3, both of which were very well received.

The bar menu
The bar menu

The classics machines were largely composed of Spanish games, making an unusual selection of rarely-seen titles for the non-Spanish players attending.

Black & Reed, Big Horse and Poker Plus
Black & Reed, Big Horse and Poker Plus

Mr Evil, Centaur and Full
Mr Evil, Centaur and Full

Here’s a full list of the machines.

300
30’s, The
Addams Family, The
Aerosmith Pro
Avengers Pro
Back to the Future
Big Horse
Black & Reed
Bumper
Cabaret
Canasta ’86
Canasta ’86
Centaur (Bally)
Centaur (Inder)
Chamonix
Champion Pub, The
Cherokis
Class of 1812
Corvette
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Criterium 75
Dardos
Demolition Man
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s
Dragon
Elvis
Fairy
Family Guy
Fans
Fantastic World
Fiery 30’s, The
Flintstones, The
Full
Funhouse
Getaway, The: High Speed 2
Ghostbusters LE
Grand Prix
Guns N’ Roses
Incredible Hulk, The
Indiana Jones (WMS)
Indianapolis 500
Jacks Open
Jake Mate
Jalisco
Johnny Mnemonic
Judge Dredd
Jurassic Park
Kiss
Kiss Premium
Luck Smile
Master Stroke
Metallica Pro
Mississippi
Mr Evil
NBA Fastbreak
NBA Fastbreak
Nemesis
No Good Gofers,
Pirates of the Caribbean
Poker Plus
Popeye
Pro Football
Revenge from Mars
Roadshow
Rolling Stones, The
Running Horse
Scared Stiff
Sea Scare
Seven Winner
Shamrock
Skyjump
Spider-Man VE
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Wars Episode 1
Stargate
Striker Xtreme
Stripping Funny
Super Bowl
Tales from the Crypt
Terminator 3
Theatre of Magic
Twilight Zone
Underwater
Up Away
Whitewater
World Cup Soccer
World Cup Soccer
X-Men Magneto LE

At the front of the room was the tournament desk where results were entered into the computer system, while a large poster showed the player groups, machines to be played and the results.

The matches in the main and classics tournaments
The matches in the modern and classics tournaments

Both tournaments worked in the same way; only the machines used and how they were played changed between the two.

Trophies for the classics tournament
Trophies for the classics tournament

Modern tournament trophies
Modern tournament trophies

Players were divided into three groups – A, B & C. In each group, everyone played three- or four-player games across nine rounds, so everyone got to play everyone else in their group. Machines were allocated in a semi-random way – keeping each group to a fixed selection of machines – which meant players would often get to play the same machine twice (or more).

In each match, points were awarded depending on finishing position, with 3 points for first, 2 points for second, 1 point for third and 0 points for last place. That meant a maximum of 27 points were available if all games were won.

The classics tournament was played first.

The classic tournament begins
The classics tournament begins

Because many of these machines were single player only, each player in a match played their game in isolation, recording their score on paper and working out the points after the last player in the match finished their game.

Play in the classics tournament
Play in the classics tournament

The points were then recorded on the poster.

Recording points in the classics tournament
Recording points in the classics tournament

When all the matches in a round were over, a call went out on the PA to start the next round while the previous round’s results were entered into the computer. The current standings were shown on a monitor.

Current standings
Current standings

The eight players with the most points in each group qualified for the play-offs on Sunday morning. The first four received a bye through the first round (12 players), while the next four would have to battle it out in four three-player games with only the winner moving on (4 players).

Players check their position
Players check their position

The classics tournament qualification ended around 12:30pm, with the first rounds of the modern tournament starting immediately.

Lunch was scheduled for 2pm, so there was just time for a couple of rounds of qualifying before the break.

Unlike the classics, all modern tournament matches were played as regular four-player games.

Lunch is a big deal in Spanish pinball tournaments and two hours are usually allocated to enjoy it. Those who had signed up for the organised meal went down to the entrance and across to the unit next door for the catered meal, complete with drinks.

We opted to enjoy the hot sunny weather and headed to the nearby town of Vallecas for a leaisurely lunch at a cafe with street-side tables. A nice iced Estrella beer rounded off the meal of bocadillos filled with anchovies and tortilla, alongside other assorted nibbles.

Play didn’t resume until 4:45, when the remaining seven rounds of the modern tournament qualifying took place. Each round took approximately 30 minutes, so everything wrapped up around 8pm.

Players relaxing after completing their games
Players relaxing after completing their games

We were staying at a nearby Ibis Budget hotel which while cheap (€37 a night), modern and a few minutes’ walk to the venue, was basic and not in a great area. So, we made a quick trip back to freshen up before setting off for the centre of Madrid courtesy of Alejandro Yepes Piedra, who had invited us to take part in the tournament and took care of us all weekend.

Central Madrid on a Saturday night is amazingly packed with people. The bars and restaurants are crowded. The streets are crowded. The subway is crowded. It’s like rush hour, every hour.

But it’s also vibrant, exciting and enjoyable. We grabbed a big dish of paella, a couple of jugs of sangria, and headed for Plaza Mayor to explore the city.

Sunday’s action began at 9am for those who finished in positions 5th-8th in their group. The top four skipped this round and so could turn up later, making sure they didn’t arrive too late.

The Pinball News crew were back bright and early on Sunday morning
The Pinball News crew were back bright and early on Sunday morning

The modern tournament
The modern tournament

Both classics and modern tournaments again followed the same format. Four groups were made, and three three-player games played with points awarded. Only the player with the most points joined the next stage, so it was a tough round to survive.

As well as the modern and classics tournament, there were several side competitions set up on machines at the back of the room.

Play in the side competitions
Play in the side competitions

The pairs competition held on Guns N’ Roses had each player play one ball and then play the third ball in split-flipper mode.

Players in the pairs competition
Players in the pairs competition

The blind pinball competition has a paper shield over the flippers of an Indiana Jones machine. The player with the highest score won. Meanwhile there was a one-ball competition run on Avengers.

The remaining play-offs all consisted of four-player groups playing three games per round, with 9-6-3-1 scoring – a system which seemed inherently likely to produce ties. The top two players in each group progressed to the next round, reducing the initial sixteen players to eight and then to a final four who would compete for the top four places.

The classics final took place first and it was a sudden-death single five-ball game played on Master Stroke. The four finalists were Rafitas, Alexxx, Inderman and Cisco120 (everyone uses nicknames in Spain).

The four classics tournament finalists
The four classics tournament finalists:
Inderman, Rafitas, Cisco120 & Alexxx

Alexxx played first on this single-player game.

Alexxx starts the final in the classics tournament
Alexxx starts the final in the classics tournament

Hi score of 600.600 set the target for the rest to attack.

Rafitas played next but fell short with 518,100. Inderman was third to play and his total just beat Alexxx, scoring 633,300 to lead the field.

Cisco120 was the last to play.

Cisco120 plays the last game in the four-player final
Cisco120 plays the last game in the four-player final

He sailed past Inderman’s score on his third ball, ending his game when his score reached 657,900.

So, Cisco120 won, Inderman was second, ALexxx third and Rafitas fourth.

Winner of the classics tournament, Cisco120
Winner of the classics tournament, Cisco120

Second place, Inderman
Second place, Inderman

Third place, Alexxx with his fiancee
Third place, Alexxx with his fiancee

Fourth place, Rafitas
Fourth place, Rafitas

The top four in the classics tournament
The top four in the classics tournament

The full results of the classics tournament are:

Classics Tournament Results
Pos Name
1 Cisco120
2 Inderman
3 Álexxx
4 rafitas
5 BonelessChicken
5 Santy
7 Ángel
7 DINO
9 Quercus
9 PinballBCN
9 Cga pozuelo
9 Mainwaring
13 Baptur
13 ROMEO
13 Rayo
13 Julio
17 Pochoguerrero
17 Rafa
17 shaolins
17 DAN
21 IKE1
21 Mirloblan
21 NBSJOSE
21 KURSH
25 Fhk
25 Fede
25 LUCIUS
28 Richart
28 Druida
28 Pipo
31 BURN RUBBER
31 Carro
31 KROM
34 Luigivampa
34 Roskalion
36 Javi
36 Capitán
36 Alucinoff
36 Multiball
36 Pulgarin
41 Lieven
41 Juaney
43 Lucky Luke
43 hassanchop
43 Federo
46 Glen
46 Troshinsky
48 ajal
48 Danidrummer
48 Pimiento
48 Drator
48 Jmfl1977
53 Leberry
53 KRISMA
55 Sarten
55 Ayub
55 Tropoglar
58 Shh-ware
58 APE
58 Jetlager
61 Gabrielo
61 Neo-Jesus
61 IronBall
64 metroider
64 Fari
64 dMode
67 DarkZeroIce
67 VIC
67 Rubensaos
70 marchales
70 Igmabor
70 DJ HULK
73 Ronko
73 Gregorio
73 iliciman
76 Steiner
76 tinkui

Then came the final of the modern tournament. This was also a single game, played on the club’s newest acquisition, an Aerosmith Pro. The four finalists were Rafitas (again), Martin Ayub, Julio and Leberry

The four modern tournament finalists:
The four modern tournament finalists:
Rafitas, Martin Ayub, Julio and Leberry

Leberry began the final.

The final of the modern tournament begins
The final of the modern tournament begins

Leberry made a solid if unexceptional start, scoring around 2M. Martin then played next.

Martin is player two in the final
Martin is player two in the final

A quick bounce down the left outlane didn’t give Martin much of a start, although he did light a couple of locks.

Julio did a little better, scoring just over a million, while Rafitas had the quickest first ball of the four, not putting up much of a score yet.

Julio picks his song as player three
Julio picks his song as player three

Leberry started a three-ball multiball to take a solid lead, but Martin and Julio both held out to lock all six balls and maximise their scoring potential. Although it was a risk, it paid off for them both. Leberry ended on 55M, but Martin overtook that with his 61M total. Julio had the much better multiball, however, ending his game on 121M. Despite putting up a valiant fight, Rafitas’s game never really got going and he ended up in fourth.

So, Julio was the winner, Martin was second, Leberry third and Rafitas fourth. Trophies were awarded by the event organisers.

Winner of the TMAP 2017 modern tournament, Julio
Winner of the TMAP 2017 modern tournament, Julio

Second place, Martin
Second place, Martin

Third place, Leberry
Third place, Leberry

Fourth place, Rafitas
Fourth place, Rafitas

The top four in the modern tournament
The top four in the modern tournament

Here are the full results:

Modern Tournament Results
Pos Name
1 Julio
2 Ayub
3 Leberry
4 rafitas
5 Rayo
5 Ángel
7 Mainwaring
7 Quercus
9 Gabrielo
9 Lieven
9 Troshinsky
9 PinballBCN
13 Cisco120
13 Richart
13 VIC
13 Juaney
17 dMode
17 APE
17 Tropoglar
20 ROMEO
20 Lucky Luke
20 Pipo
20 ajal
20 BonelessChicken
25 Shh-ware
25 shaolins
25 IronBall
28 Ronko
28 Mirloblan
28 NBSJOSE
31 Fhk
31 Fari
31 tinkui
34 Rafa
34 Igmabor
34 KURSH
37 Carro
37 KROM
39 Baptur
39 marchales
39 metroider
39 Fede
39 DJ HULK
44 Druida
44 Álexxx
46 Pimiento
46 Santy
46 Alucinoff
49 Inderman
49 Cga pozuelo
49 Multiball
52 BURN RUBBER
52 Neo-Jesus
52 DINO
55 Luigivampa
55 hassanchop
55 Rubensaos
58 Pochoguerrero
58 Roskalion
58 LUCIUS
61 DAN
61 Glen
61 Jmfl1977
64 Sarten
64 Drator
64 Pulgarin
67 DarkZeroIce
67 Gregorio
67 Jetlager
70 Javi
70 IKE1
70 Federo
73 Steiner
73 Capitán
73 KRISMA
76 Danidrummer
76 iliciman

Awards were also given to the winners of the side competitons.

Winners of the pairs competition, Druida and Ronko
Winners of the pairs competition, Druida and Ronko

High score competition winner, Pipo
High score competition winner, Pipo

Blind pinball competition winner, Ironball
Blind pinball competition winner, Ironball

There was also an award for the Interstellar Championship of Monza, although we’re not quite sure how this was decided.

Winner of the Interstellar Championship of Monza, Jetlaguer
Winner of the Interstellar Championship of Monza, Jetlaguer

With all the awards presented, the event closed at the very civilised time of 4pm. That meant we still had the rest of the day free to return to central Madrid for plates of tapas and some nice cold drinks.

Like most Spanish tournaments, TMAP 2017 was run in a relaxed though professional way. With the vast majority being local players, everyone seemed to know how it ran and what was expected of them. Those unfamiliar with the venue might have had trouble finding it – we knew the address but still couldn’t work it out until someone showed us – but once inside the format and rules were immediately understandable.

The relaxed timescale also worked well for us. Having a two-hour lunch break split up the day nicely, and the sensible finish times on both days allowed us to enjoy the city – something not always possible with other tournaments.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to TMAP 2017. Thanks to all the organisers.

While the area around the venue is not the most attractive (and we would probably choose to stay closer to the centre of the city next time), we welcomed the format, the collection of machines, the weather and the hospitality, and would love to spend some additional time exploring Madrid on our next trip.

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