Date: 10th & 11th November, 2018
Location: De Voorste Venne, Anton Pieckplein 71, 5152 LZ Drunen, Netherlands

After last year’s 25th anniversary extravaganza at Evoluon in Eindhoven, this year the Dutch Pinball Association’s (NFV) DPO Expo returned to a more familiar scale and an equally familiar location.

We were back at the De Voorste Venne, a former car museum in the town of Drunen which was the home of the Dutch Pinball Open and the subsequent DPO Expo since 2013.  The venue is owned by the town’s council and was closed after the 2015 DPO Expo for refurbishment work to be carried out.  That work was recently completed and the DPO Expo was able to return.

There have been significant changes both inside and out.  There is a new entrance on the opposite side of the building to the old one, while a new cafe has been added along with multiple new rooms and corridors linking the different wings.

We arrive on Friday evening after a forty-minute drive from Eindhoven Airport to check out the progress setting up the show.

The new entrance to the building faces the main car park
The new entrance to the building faces the main car park

As we arrived, everyone was taking a break and having a buffet meal in the new cafe.

Dinner time!
Dinner time!

In the corridor outside the main hall, the registration and merchandise desk was being set up.

This will be the entrance to the show tomorrow morning
This will be the entrance to the show tomorrow morning

Inside the main hall there were plenty of games, but a lot still needed setting up before the show opened on Saturday morning.

The main hall was almost deserted during the dinner break
The main hall was almost deserted during the dinner break
Many games were set up, but many more were still on their backs
Many games were set up, but many more were still on their backs
More pinballs for the show
More pinballs for the show
There was a large crowd of workers though
There was a large crowd of workers though
Twilight Zone is always a favourite at shows
Twilight Zone is always a favourite at shows

Sadly, the open balcony which previously afforded interesting views of the show floor below has been truncated and boxed-in to create some office and meeting spaces.

The former balcony
The former balcony
Below the new offices, the bar had received a refresh
Below the new offices, the bar had received a refresh

Thankfully the seminars hall hadn’t changed, so there was still the large stage and plush banked seating for the audience.

The hall used for the seminars
The hall used for the seminars

While a couple of tournaments would be held in the main hall, the Dutch Pinball Open along with the Ladies, Kids and Interland Tournaments all took place in a dedicated tournaments room on the opposite side of the complex.

Setting up the tournament machines
Setting up the tournament machines and systems
The layout for the tournaments room
The layout for the tournaments room

Having explored the new complex and checked on the show’s progress we retired to our hotel for refreshments, returning just before the show opened at 10am on Saturday.

Saturday, just before the opening of the DPO Expo 2018
Saturday, just before the opening of the DPO Expo 2018

Entry to the DPO Expo cost €15 per day for adults and kids eleven and older, while younger kids got in free.  There were also pre-registration package deals available which included show entry, a T-shirt and a poster for €50.  Entry to any of the tournaments cost extra with the exception of the Kids Tournament which was free to enter.  Wristbands were given out with different colours each day for the guests and for the staff.

Buying show entry
Buying show entry
T-shirts were also available to purchase
T-shirts were also available to purchase
Flyer posters could also be bought for many popular titles
Flyer posters could also be bought for many popular titles
Collecting a pre-registration pack
Collecting a pre-registration pack
Checking wristbands
Checking wristbands

Once inside the hall, the first vendor table was selling more posters, along with manuals and schematics.

Posters, parts and paperwork
Posters, parts and paperwork

Opposite this stand was the first bank of free play machines.  All the machines in the hall which were not used in tournaments or brought for demonstration only were set on free play and available to play.

The first of the many free play pinballs
The first of the many free play pinballs
Continuing along the front wall we have more free play pinballs
Continuing along the front wall we have more free play pinballs

The next bank of games was used for the Classic Tournament which had qualifying throughout Friday and up until 12:30pm on Sunday.

The bank of Classics Tournament machines
The bank of eight Classics Tournament machines

The eight machines used for the Classic Tournament were:

Centaur Mata Hari
Centaur II Paragon
Eight Ball Viking
Fathom Xenon

Beyond those eight were lots more free play pinballs, two of which also featured Pin Stadium enhanced lighting systems which really helped in that dark end of the hall.

A long row of free play games
A long row of free play games

PinSound had their replacement sound board installed into many machines.  These were designated by the PinSound topper on the backbox and, often, by sets of headphones to allow players to fully experience the new, enhanced soundtracks.

Some of the PinSound-equipped pinballs
Some of the PinSound-equipped pinballs
Nicolas and Paola at the PinSound booth
Nicolas and Paola at the PinSound booth

Continuing back up the aisle we have a lot more free play games.

The free play machines got pretty busy during both days
The free play machines got pretty busy during both days
There was a mix of pinball glasses, common parts and complete mechanisms on sale at Carl Jacob's stand
There was a mix of pinball glasses, common parts and complete mechanisms on sale at Carl Jacob’s stand

The start of the next aisle featured the two most recent Jersey Jack Pinball Games – Pirates of the Caribbean and Dialed In!  Naturally there were queues to play both.

The two newest JJP titles
The two newest JJP titles

Further down the same row were Team Pinball’s The Mafia and Spooky Pinball’s Total Nuclear Annihilation.

Pinball - the game for all ages
Pinball – the game for all ages

At the end of the row and next to PinSound was a big booth from iPinball.nl who brought a few video games as well as a good selection of pinball, and had most of them available to buy.

The iPinball stand
The iPinball stand
Kids doing what kids do
Kids doing what kids do
Guitar Hero and Mortal Kombat II video games alongside a new Deadpool Pro pinball
Guitar Hero and Mortal Kombat II video games alongside a new Deadpool Pro pinball
More pinballs on the iPinball stand
More pinballs on the iPinball.nl stand
More pinballs on the iPinball stand
More pinballs on the iPinball stand

Just along from the iPinball stand were Pinball Universe who were still setting up as the show opened.  However rather than pinball, this time they were promoting the latest product for which they are distributors, the new Atari Pong physical tables.  They had two here for guests to play and they were in use throughout the show.

Atari Pong at the Pinball Universe stand
Atari Pong at the Pinball Universe stand

After Pinball Universe there was another long row of pinballs.

More free play pinballs
More free play pinballs

Backing onto these was a row featuring a mix of DMD and older titles.

The start of a long row of free play pinballs
The start of a long row of free play pinballs
Older free play pinballs further down the row
Older free play pinballs further down the row
Some of the older titles
Some of the older titles
The older games were popular with the younger generation
The older games were popular with the younger generation

At the far end of this row was the first custom game at the show.  This was a back-to-back pinball called Good vs Evil from Mission Pinball in which players battled against each other and could shoot balls onto the other’s playfield.

The Good vs Evil game
The Good vs Evil game
The two playfields had identical layouts but the lighting effects reflected which side was which
The two playfields had identical layouts but the lighting effects reflected which side was which
There are multiple ramps, with a path from one side to the other
There are multiple ramps, with a path from one side to the other
The game runs on the Mission Pinball Framework software
The game runs on the Mission Pinball Framework software

Opposite the Good vs Evil game were two in-development titles from Pinball Amigos – Despicable Me Pinball Madness and The Crazy Mansion.

The Pinball Amigos stand
The Pinball Amigos stand
Despicable Me Pinball Madness
Despicable Me Pinball Madness
The Crazy Mansion with two Red & Ted heads in the backbox
The Crazy Mansion with two Red & Ted heads in the backbox
When you cannibalise games for custom designs you often have a lot of parts left over
When you cannibalise games for custom designs you often have a lot of parts left over

Heading back towards the bar area, the next stand was from Pinballshop.nl who were selling assorted parts, cleaning materials and miniature pinball models.

The Pinballshop.nl stand
The Pinballshop.nl stand
Miniature pinballs
Miniature pinballs from TinyPin
Pinballshop.nl also had this beautiful acrylic-case mini video pinball
Pinballshop.nl also had this beautiful acrylic-case mini video pinball for €5,000
Inside the acrylic mini video pinball
Inside the acrylic mini video pinball

The next vendor stand was from LED4PIN who were selling many different styles, colours and shapes of LED for use in pinballs.

The LED4Pin stand
The LED4PIN stand
A sample of their LEDs
A sample of their LEDs
LED4Pin also had some manuals for sale at their stand
LED4PIN also had some manuals for sale at their stand

The next vendor was Mirco Playfields.  The stand featured numerous new playfields for game refurbishment and for wall-hanging decorations, as well as a good selection of pinball spares such as posts, lane guides and pop bumper parts.

Parts for sale at the Mirco Playfields stand
Parts for sale at the Mirco Playfields stand
Some of the many playfields on sale
Some of the many playfields on sale

In addition, Mirco Playfields also had their new Red Cals, ultra-thick and glossy cabinet decals.

Rad Cals for sale at €400 a set
Rad Cals for sale at €400 a set

Next to Mirco Playfields were more free play games which were also used on Sunday for the Swiss Tournament.

Another block of free play pinballs
Another block of free play pinballs

In front of this last block of free play games was a small counter selling snack food such as burgers and French fries, and a seating area where guests could eat their purchases.

The seating area
The seating area

Next to the seating area was the main bar.

The main bar
The main bar

Jack Danger was a special guest at the show and was stream live from various locations around DPO Expo 2018 on his Dead_Flip Twitch TV channel.

Jack Danger broadcasting from DPO Expo 2018
Jack Danger broadcasting from DPO Expo 2018
A view of the central area
A view of the central area

Here’s the full list of the 136 free play titles:

AC/DC Pro Mafia, The*
Addams Family, The Mario Andretti
Addams Family, The Maverick
Attack from Mars Medusa
Avatar Metallica Pro
Back to the Future Metallica Pro
Batman (DE) Millionaire
Batman (Stern) Mustang Pro
Big Hurt, Frank Thomas’s Nitro Ground Shaker
Black Knight No Fear
Black Knight No Fear
Black Knight 2000 Party Zone, The
Bride of Pinbot, The Machine Pinball
Capt. Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy Pirates of the Caribbean (JJP)
Capt. Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy* Pirates of the Caribbean (Stern)
Casanova Pirates of the Caribbean (Stern)
Casbah Pistol Poker*
Charlie’s Angels Playboy (Stern)
Checkpoint Police Force
Cirqus Voltaire Popeye Saves the Earth
Creature from the Black Lagoon Power Play, Bobby Orr
Cue Ball Wizard Rescue 911*
Deadpool (Pro) Revenge from Mars
Deadpool LE RoboCop
Deadpool Pro Rollergames
Demolition Man Seawitch
Dialed In! Secret Service
Dirty Harry Shrek
Dolly Parton Silver Slugger
Dr. Dude Sopranos, The
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s Sopranos, The
Dracula, Bram Stoker’s Spider-Man
Dragonfist Star Trek – The Next Generation*
Earthshaker! Star Trek (Bally)
Eight Ball Star Wars (DE)
Eight Ball Deluxe Star Wars (Stern)
Elvira & the Party Monsters Stargate
Elvis Stop Go
Fireball Surf ‘N Safari
Fish Tales Surf ‘N Safari*
Flash Gordon* Tales of the Arabian Nights
Flintstones, The Tales of the Arabian Nights*
Freddy – A Nightmare on Elm Street Taxi
Freefall Terminator 2
Getaway, The – High Speed 2 Terminator 2
Ghostbusters Pro Terminator 3
Goldeneye Theatre of Magic
Good vs Evil Theatre of Magic
Grand Lizard Time Machine (DE)
Guardians of the Galaxy Premium Time Machine (DE)*
Harlem Globetrotters Title Fight
Harley Davidson (Stern) Tommy, The Who’s
High Speed Tommy, The Who’s
Hot Shots Tommy, The Who’s*
Independence Day Total Nuclear Annihilation
Indiana Jones (Williams) Trident
Indiana Jones (Williams) Twilight Zone
Indiana Jones (Williams) Twister
Iron Man Walking Dead, The
Iron Man Waterworld
Judge Dredd Wheel of Fortune
Junk Yard Wheel of Fortune
Jurassic Park Whitewater
La Retata Whitewater
Lethal Weapon 3 Who Dunnit
Lord of the Rings, The World Cup Soccer
Lord of the Rings, The* WWF Royal Rumble
Lord of the Rings, The* X-Files, The

*indicates machine was not working or depowered when we made our list on Saturday afternoon

You can look around DPO Expo 2018 for yourself in our exclusive Sixteen Minute Tour video as we show you all the games and vendors in the main hall, along with a look at the seminar room and the tournaments area.

That’s how the main hall looked, but there are two other rooms where DPO Expo activities were taking place.

The first of those was the seminars room which hosted a range of talks over both days, as well as the finals of the Kids and DPO tournaments.

The seminars were organised and introduced by Jonathan Joosten.

Jonathan introduces the first seminar speaker
Jonathan introduces the first seminar speaker

The first seminar was at midday on Saturday and featured Mirco Steffen from Mirco Playfields.

Mirco Steffen
Mirco Steffen

Mirco began by talking about and showing his new Rad Cals cabinet and backbox artwork decals.  He said he has eight titles now, with more coming soon. They fit below siderails and are cut out around the legs to prevent damage from the legs.

He also announced that Banzai Run playfields, plastics and backglass are all available and are printed using same inks, so the colour same on all for first time. There are many new Williams/Bally playfields coming, plus more from Gottlieb and Stern Electronics.

Mirco said he is waiting on Disney to approve Indiana Jones playfield artwork. He also talked colour matching on faded cabinets, and the problem of cabinet size variances when creating decals.

The second seminar featured one of the special guests at DPO Expo 2018, Jim Patla.

Jim Patla
Jim Patla

Jim is a game designer of such legendary titles as Mata Hari, Playboy, Kiss, Centaur, Silverball Mania and Space Invaders.

He began by talking about his start in pinball, working with Ted Zale to learn game design while creating mechanisms and in-game features. Ted retired in around 1968 and Jim’s first solo game design was 4 Queens.

Jim talked through many of his game designs, continuing with Monte Carlo, El Toro and Circus, through to his personal favourite, Centaur.

Jim also described the three-week trip he did to Europe to talk to distributors to find out what they disliked about Bally games, and the way that changed the features put into the company’s products. 

At 2pm Jean-Paul de Win took to the stage to talk about the motion design work he has done for Jersey Jack Pinball’s titles.

Jean-Paul de Win
Jean-Paul de Win

Jean-Paul explained how he got into pinball twenty years ago, and played the showreel he sent to Greg Freres at Williams which got Greg to hire him as an intern just before the company shut down their pinball division. He contrasted that with his current showreel show the work he did for the four Jersey Jack Pinball titles – The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, Dialed In! and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Concentrating on Pirates of the Caribbean, he listed the main team members involved in the game’s creation before talking through the game’s extensive rules and the playfield layout.  He showed the development process for several of the designs used on the display, including the initial character selection and how the screen is divided into areas for each of the Pirates movies. 

 The second special show guest was next on stage to talk about his career creating pinball art.

Paul Faris
Paul Faris

Paul Faris has spent thirty-five years creating pinball art, and was recently contracted to Deeproot Pinball to work with Dennis Nordman on his game for them.

Paul explained how Bally wanted to bring art in-house rather than use Advertising Posters who were doing the artwork for all four pinball manufacturers. Paul said he wasn’t a fan of pinball art up to that point but was hired to head up the new art department. The first full game he did was Night Rider, followed by Evel Knievel and Eight Ball. He talked about all his game designs, citing his inspirations and how he frequently used his family members as models. Then, after discussing his backglasses for Goldeneye and Twister, he showed the work he did on a number of video games.

After Paul there was the latest edition of the So You Think You Know Pinball! quiz, hosted by Jonathan Joosten and Martin Ayub, respectively Editors of Pinball Magazine and Pinball News.

In the quiz, which was open to everyone, players were presented with a series of two-choice questions.  If they thought the answer was the first choice they moved to one side of the room, and if they thought it was the second choice they moved to the opposite.  When the correct answer was revealed, those who got it wrong sat down while everyone else continued to the next question.

When there were only a few players remaining who had got all the questions correct, they were all invited onto the stage to pick a ticket for one of a series of prizes from Jersey Jack Pinball, Stern Pinball, American Pinball, Pinball Magazine and Pinball News.  When all the prizes had been awarded, the quiz came to an end and everyone was invited to help themselves to some assorted pinball decals from Stern Pinball.

Sunday’s seminar schedule began at 11am with a talk featuring Janos Kiss from Team Pinball.

Janos Kiss
Janos Kiss

Janos introduced the other two members of Team Pinball, saying they wanted to develop their first game – The Mafia – under the radar.

He described how he got into gaming, playing computer games on his home PC, then playing Street Fighter 2 in arcades. It was there that he later played his first pinball, The Addams Family.

Janos explained how he knew The Mafia‘s designer, Balaint, and the artist, Atilla, and showed various stages of development of the playfield design and artwork. 

One of the most striking games in the main hall was the head-to-head pinball Good vs Evil, and the creators were next on stage.

Jan Kantert and Philip Kallbach
Jan Kantert and Philip Kallbach

 Jan Kantert and Philip Kallbach claimed they had got drunk and decided to build a pinball, choosing a good vs evil theme.  The idea, they said, lent itself to a direct head-to-head style of play.

The game they built uses two standard-width playfields and cabinets locked, back-to-back, with a score display arch in the centre.  They showed the conversion from paper drawing to CAD, and described how the head-to-head element works in the gameplay.

They built a prototype playfield using foamcore, then the first whitewood with no inserts, a second whitewood with inserts fitted and art printed on an overlay.  The final version will be digitally printed and produced, like the whitewoods, by Mirco Playfields.

The duo showed how they made the flatrails and ramps for prototyping and for the final version. Development began with a P-PROC control system but later changed to the Fast Pinball system, while they also developed their own boards.

 Although they had both given their own solo seminars, special guests Jim Patla and Paul Faris teamed-up to present the final seminar of this year.

Paul Faris and Jim Patla
Paul Faris and Jim Patla

Jim and Pat began with their work on the Bally title Playboy, talking about the development of the game and how Hugh Hefner had provided input into both the game and artwork designs, including how the backglass design should be arranged and who the two women flanking Hugh should be.

Jim talked about the development of the electronics for the first solid-state games, the problems with delays on flippers, slings and pops, and the confidence at Bally that electronic pinball was the way forward.  This contrasted to the scepticism at Gottlieb and the problems they experienced with their early solid-state boards.

Jim and Paul
Jim and Paul

They turned to the game Space Invaders, describing how they developed a way to do selective mirroring on the backglass so the central area was not darkened by the mirroring material but the surrounds were. Paul talked about how he drew the creature which would end up in the backbox art before the release of the Alien movie, but how both were inspired by the art of H.R. Geiger which resulted in several similarities. 20th Century Fox got upset with the alien’s depiction in Space Invaders, threatening a lawsuit before the matter was eventually settled.

Jim talked about Centaur and how he was inspired by the game Balls-a-Popping and wanted the multiball launch to be invisible so balls suddenly began appearing on the playfield. Paul came up with idea of black and white which Jim liked, saying how it would also be cheaper with fewer screens needed, so he could use the money saved elsewhere in the game. 

At the end of their talk, the pair held an autograph session.

Jim and Paul sign flyers, backglasses and posters
Jim and Paul sign flyers, backglasses and posters

Jim and Paul brought the seminar schedule to a close.  The stage was then set up with four pinballs for the finals of two of the tournaments.

Talking of tournaments, the main competitive event was the Dutch Pinball Open which was held in the tournament room.

Twenty-four modern pinballs were set-up in a U-shape on the left side of the room.

Qualifying in the Dutch Pinball Open
Qualifying in the Dutch Pinball Open
Qualifying in the Dutch Pinball Open
Qualifying in the Dutch Pinball Open
Qualifying in the Dutch Pinball Open
Qualifying in the Dutch Pinball Open

Competitors could choose any eight of the twenty-four machines on which to make a qualifying score.  The scores on each machine were ranked, and at the end of qualifying, which was 9:30pm on Saturday, the forty-eight top players qualified for Sunday’s play-offs.

The twenty-four machines used for the DPO were:

Aerosmith Pro Iron Maiden Pro
Attack from Mars Medieval Madness
Congo Monster Bash
Deadpool Pro Pirates of the Caribbean (JJP)
Demolition Man Roadshow
Dirty Harry Shadow, The
Doctor Who Space Station
Fish Tales Spider-Man
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s Star Trek – The Next Generation
Getaway, The – High Speed 2 Star Wars (Stern)
Hoops Whirlwind
Indianapolis 500 World Cup Soccer
The DPO organisers at the tournament desk
The DPO organisers at the tournament desk

As well as the eight games, DPO competitors had a ‘hard joker’ they could play.  This allowed a ninth game to be played – either as a replay of one of the original eight, or on a ninth machine in which case the score replaced the lowest-ranked score from the first eight.  In either case, if the score was worse than the one it was replacing it still counted.  A peg board system was used for machine queuing where a player put their badge under the next machine they wanted to play and waited until their badge reached the top.

One of the two peg boards
One of the two peg boards

The forty-eight qualifiers were:

1 Albert Nomden 690
2 Roy Wils 663
3 Dominique De Cock 606
4 Peter Andersen 601
5 David Deturck 571
6 Jean-Paul de Win 570
7 Thomas van Clapdorp 563
8 Sylvain Grevin 551
9 Peter Blakemore 546
10 Benjamin Gräbeldinger 545
11 Ivan Geentjens 538
12 Mario Kertels 535
13 Taco Wouters 528
14 Glenn Pellis 526
15 Martijn van Amsterdam 520
16 Joachim Reniers 511
17 Pieter van Leijen 510
18 Emil Dreiborg 497
19 Jaap Valent 491
20 Wilbert der Kinderen 487
21 Sam McCourt 485
22 Sebastien Puertas 482
23 Norbert Broman 481
24 Joris Van Neijenhof 478
25 Hans Bijsterveld 470
26 Marc Steinmeier 468
27 Mark van der Gugten 466
28 Edwin Nijs 464
29 Matthieu Drai 462
30 Jeremy Dorling 458
31 Dirk Elzholz 457
32 Stefan Poland 451
33 Michel van den Elzen 449
34 Bas Vis 446
35 Arjan Neet 439
36 Anthony Rorive 438
37 Bjorn Brand 436
38 Raphaël Duez 434
39 Peter Zeeman 432
40 Rob Overdijk 427
41 Ralph Beckers 426
42 Stefan Hänsch 424
43 Helen de Haan-Verbeek 413
44 Daniel Kruzinski 408
45 Rich Mallett 402
46 Jürgen Schmitz 401
47 Martijn van Aken 401
48 Eko Elens 400

The play-offs began at 9am on Sunday with a series of head-to-head, best-of-three, double-elimination matches.  Players were paired up and played up to three different machines, with the first player to win two games continuing and the other player joining the loser bracket.  Loser Bracket matches were only a single game.

Play in the last few rounds of the DPO
Play in the last few rounds of the DPO

While the DPO play-offs were taking place, the final couple of hours of qualifying in the Classic Tournament were taking place in the main hall.

The last few games in the Classic Tournament qualifying round
The last few games in the Classic Tournament qualifying round
The last few games in the Classic Tournament qualifying round
The last few games in the Classic Tournament qualifying round

The format here was as many entries as you liked in the time available, with each entry costing €3 and giving three games.  All scores were ranked, and the set of three scores with the highest number of ranking points was a player’s qualifying entry.  The highest ranked sixteen players continued into the finals on Sunday afternoon.  Those competing were:

1 Bart Volman 257
2 Rich Mallett 253
3 Mark van der Gugten 251
4 Archibald LEFÈVRE 247
5 Christophe Berry 243
6 Sebastien Puertas 242
7 Tim Thornton 239
8 Jim Lindsay 237
9 Peter Andersen 230
10 Roy Wils 227
11 Paul Englert 235
12 Taco Wouters 227
13 Albert Nomden 226
14 Didier Dujardin 225
15 Torsten Eid 224
16 Bas Vis 223

The play-offs on Sunday afternoon followed much the same best-of-three, head-to-head format as the main DPO except it was single-elimination with no loser bracket.

The final was between Peter Andersen and Torsten Eid and was played as a single game on Centaur.

Peter was player one and put up 748K on his first ball, compared to Torsten’s 178K.

Torsten Eid was player two on Centaur
Torsten Eid was player two on Centaur
Peter steps up to play his second ball
Peter steps up to play his second ball

That great first ball of Peter’s set him up nicely to win the final, while in the play-off for third place Taco Wouters beat Paul Englert.

The top three in the Classic Tournament - Peter Andersen (1st), Torsten Eid (2nd) & Taco Wouters (3rd)
The top three in the Classic Tournament – Peter Andersen (1st), Torsten Eid (2nd) & Taco Wouters (3rd)

For those who missed out on the last rounds of the DPO, there was a Swiss-style tournament held in the main hall on Sunday afternoon.

Play in the Swiss Tournament
Play in the Swiss Tournament
More Swiss Tournament games on Sunday afternoon
More Swiss Tournament games on Sunday afternoon

When all the rounds had been played, the winner was Daniela Thomas, who beat Mart Oenema into second place, with Kevin Roelants in third.

The top three in the Swiss Tournament - Kevin Roelants (3rd), Daniela Thomas (1st) & Mart Oenema (2nd)
The top three in the Swiss Tournament – Kevin Roelants (3rd), Daniela Thomas (1st) & Mart Oenema (2nd); picture by Rens Hooijmaijers

The tournament room also hosted a Ladies Tournament and the Interland Tournament.

The Ladies Tournament featured seventeen players who were split into two groups and played head-to-head against each other member of their group.  The top four from each group progressed to the knock-out round of single game sudden-death games.

The winner of the Ladies Tournament was Helen de Haan-Verbeek who beat Tiny De Bie in the best-of-three final, with Evelyne Desot third and Dina Lindsay fourth.

The Interland Tournament is an annual challenge between teams from the Netherlands and Belgium.  Last year the Dutch won, but this time the Belgian team were triumphant and get to hold the trophy for the next twelve months.

The finals of the Kids Tournament and the main Dutch Pinball Open were held on the stage in the seminars hall where four machines were set up.  The machines were Deadpool, Congo, Iron Maiden and Total Nuclear Annihilation.

The Kids and DPO final machines
The Kids and DPO final machines
Trophies, cash prizes and medals for the winners
Trophies, cash prizes and medals for the winners
Jack Danger streamed and commentated on the finals
Jack Danger streamed and commentated on the finals

The Kids Tournament was split into two divisions – one for the youngest players and another for older players up to fifteen-years-old.  Various prizes had been awarded outside the tournament room earlier in the day, but the final four played out their deciding games on the stage.

Prizes in the Kids Tournament
Prizes in the Kids Tournament
The two divisions start their finals on Deadpool and Iron Maiden
The two divisions start their finals on Deadpool and Iron Maiden

We’re still awaiting the final standings for the two divisions, but here are the two groups of winners.

The top four in the Junior Division - Linus (4th), Rotern (3rd), Daniel (1st) & Louis (2nd)
The top four in the Junior Division – Linus (4th), Rotern (3rd), Daniel (1st) & Louis (2nd)
The winner of the Youth Division, Lilly - Daan was 2nd, Christian 3rd and Ole 4th
The winner of the Youth Division, Lilly – Daan was 2nd, Christian 3rd and Ole 4th
The top four in both divisions of the Kids Tournament
The top four in both divisions of the Kids Tournament

Then came the final of the DPO.

There were three finalists.  Ralph Beckers and Thomas van Clapdorp remained undefeated in the winner bracket, while Albert Nomden defeated Peter Andersen to win the loser bracket and claim his place in the final.

The audience for the DPO final
The audience for the DPO final

The three-game final used the 5-2-0 points system to score each game and determine the top three places.  Play began on Total Nuclear Annihilation.

Thomas was player one but only managed to score 70K with his first ball.  Albert played second and scored a decent 600K with his ball one.  Ralph played third but had a quick drain with only 19K scored.

Albert has a strong start on the first game
Albert has a strong start on the first game

On the second ball Thomas and Ralph both put in better performances ending on 243K and 259K respectively.  Albert, meanwhile, had a shorter second ball but maintained a healthy lead, ending on 714K.

Thomas needed a great third ball to catch Albert but didn’t get it, finishing his game on 374K.  Albert pushed ahead to cement his advantage with a game total of 1.012M.  That left Ralph a steep task to catch Albert and a slightly easier one to beat Thomas.

Ralph tries to save the game on Total Nuclear Annihilation
Ralph tries to save the game on Total Nuclear Annihilation

He finished on 557K to take second place (2 points) behind Albert (5 points), with Thomas in third (0 points).

Game two was on Deadpool.  The player order rotated which meant Albert began.  He scored 39M on his first ball, while Ralph couldn’t match that and scores 18M. Thomas, meanwhile, playing third made the best start of the three by racking up a decent 92M.

Albert only improved slightly to 49M on his second ball, while Ralph tilted in multiball when on 45m. Thomas had a quick second ball, ending with 95m.

Ball three changed everything. Albert started Disco Multiball, plays it well and boosts his score up to 303M. Ralph also starts Disco Multiball but doesn’t keep it going as long and ends his game with 139M. Thomas needs to beat both the others to be in with a chance of winning overall.  He does pass Ralph but drains soon after with a total of 160M. 

That puts Albert in an unassailable position with 10 points, while Ralph and Thomas have 2 points each.

 So, the third game on Iron Maiden was a decider for who would take second and third places.

Neither had a good start, with Ralph draining quickly on 8M. Thomas plays next and does likewise, but only manages 5M. Albert does the best of the three and scores 22M on his first ball.

Things didn’t get any better for Ralph with his second ball which drained even faster than his first, adding just 1M.  By contrast, Thomas starts Mummy Multiball followed by Trooper Multiball and racks up a reasonable 199m.

Thomas has a good second ball
Thomas has a good second ball

With the pressure off, Albert has great Trooper Multiball and ends his second ball on 258M.

It’s the last ball for each player and Ralph has a mountain to climb. Sadly though he drains fast on 10.6M for third place in the game and third overall with 2 points. Thomas needs another 60M to catch Albert but ends his game on 206M following a tilt to take second overall with his 4 points. Albert didn’t need to play his third ball, having won this and the previous two games for a maximum 15 points.

Prizes were then awarded, with trophies and cash prizes for all three finalists.

The top three in the DPO 2018 - Ralph Beckers (3rd), Albert Nomden (1st) and Thomas van Clapdorp (2nd)
The top three in the DPO 2018 – Ralph Beckers (3rd), Albert Nomden (1st) and Thomas van Clapdorp (2nd)

 In the closing ceremony there were flowers presented to the organisers of various aspects of the DPO Expo, such as the tournaments, the seminars, and the machines in the main hall.

Flowers for the main show organisers
Flowers for the main show organisers

There was also a draw to award two prizes to those who brought machines.  Each machine got you one entry and the chance to win either a PinSound board or a PinStadium LED lighting kit.

The two prizes for machine donors
The two prizes for machine donors

Jack Danger drew the two winning tickets, both of which were held by Winfred de Ruijter.

Jack draws the winning tickets
Jack draws the winning tickets

The ceremonies to award the prizes and trophies brought the DPO Expo 2018 to a close, meaning the machines and stands could be torn down, packed away and moved out of the De Voorste Venne complex.

Time for those remaining to stop playing
Time for those remaining to stop playing
Putting away the show machines until next time
Putting away the show machines until next time

It was nice to be back in the familiar surroundings of the De Voorste Venne and to see the improvements made over the past couple of years.  The new cafe at the front, the improved tournament room and the fresh look to the rest of the building made it an even better facility than it was previously.

The DPO Expo was using all the available space with machines flowing out of the main hall into the corridor, and a good mix of vendors inside the hall.

The seminar schedule was full and varied, although the lack of any PA system in the main hall might have meant some people missed the start of some of the talks.  The special guests of Jim, Paul and Jack were well-received and proved popular choices.

There were a few teething troubles with lost or confused scores in both the DPO and Classic Tournaments, but these were minor and by-and-large both events ran very smoothly.  The extended open qualifying for the DPO made the session much more relaxed and never seemed to result in long queues to play.  With the popularity of the Classic Tournament though, it could have benefited from more space and being back in its old location on the opposite side of the room, or even in the corridor outside the hall.

So, after last year’s extravaganza the DPO Expo is back in Drunen, back to its hall-busting size, with more popular seminars and enjoyable tournaments.  All in an upgraded facility which is pretty easy for everyone to reach.

See you there next year.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Ben Logan

    November 20, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Constantly amazed by the quality of you guys’ coverage. Fantastic photos and writing. Thanks!

    Reply

  2. Arne

    November 26, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Excellent report and photography. Really enjoyed DPO on Saturday!

    Reply

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