Date: 11th-13th November 2022 Location: Voorhaven 12, 3024 RM, Rotterdam, Netherlands For its first post-pandemic show, the Dutch Pinball Open Expo set up home at the Dutch Pinball Museum in the Delfshaven region of Rotterdam. Delfshaven is built around the Nieuwe Maas river as a port to supply the pottery industry of the city of Delft, famed for its blue-and-white painted Delftware. Aelbrechtskolk waterway outside the Dutch Pinball Museum in Delfshaven The Museum building faces an adjacent waterway in an attractive location, while the windows have been decorated to resemble the mansion on the playfield of The Addams Family. The home of the Dutch Pinball Museum We arrived at the Museum on the evening of Thursday 10th November to get a look at the setting up ahead of the public opening on Friday afternoon. The entrance to the Museum The Museum was hosting a private gathering of their founders and sponsors on Thursday evening, which gave us the opportunity to meet a number of familiar faces as well as enjoying the numerous games and exhibits. The Museum was closed for a private event this evening Before we move onto the DPO Expo itself, let’s take a look around the Museum to see some of the machines and exhibits. No space in the entrance for a full game, so… Unlike some collections which call themselves a ‘museum’, the Dutch Pinball Museum really is an immersive educational experience, showing how pinball evolved from flipperless table games to the multimedia extravaganzas we play today. The entry desk, selling souvenirs and snacks as well as Museum entry Some of the playfields forming the ceiling of the ground floor Some of the souvenirs available to purchase Behind the entry desk is the main ground-floor room. You may have spotted an image of The Dude, Donny and Walter from The Big Lebowski on the wall in the picture above. With Dutch Pinball manufacturing the pinball machine based on that movie, it’s a theme you’ll be seeing a few times in this report, starting with a The Big Lebowski ‘shrine’ you encounter as soon as you enter the first room of exhibits. A 3D printed Dude model dominated the exhibit’s glass case In the main ground floor room you could play the very newest titles… Led Zeppelin, The Walking Dead, Star Wars, The Mandalorian and Aerosmith Above the games is a history of pinball timeline …and some of the oldest and most historically significant such as Humpy Dumpty and Balls-A-Poppin’ There aren’t many places where you can play these titles:Big Ben, Humpty Dumpty, Balls-A-Poppin’ and Double Action Some older, wall-mounted exhibits There was this rather beautiful spinning top game from 1853 known variously as “Table à Toupie” (Table with a Top) or “Jeu de Roi” (Game of Kings) or even “Devil Among the Tailors“. The spinning top game The aim is to pull a string wound around a top to spin it and sent it down the playfield, knocking over the pins as it went. Pulling the string to spin the top and send it onto the playfield It was such a fun game, we made this video showing how it works. The spinning top game at the Dutch Pinball Museum The Museum has many display cases featuring exhibits showing how various pinball parts are created, from sketches to schematics, from moulds to prototype and finished pieces. How to make Rudy’s face How pinball ramps are formed Not all the exhibits are hand-off though. There are others where visitor interaction is a requirement. How pop bumpers, chimes and score reels work As you move through the room you come to a recreation of the Twilight Zone backglass scene. Not the translite image, but the real thing instead Behind the Twilight Zone scene are the ground floor toilets, themed as… well, you can probably guess. The men’s toilet The women’s toilet As part of the founders’ and sponsors’ evening, the latest addition to the Museum’s historic collection was unveiled following an introduction from the owner of the Museum, Gerard van der Sanden. Museum owner, Gerard van der Sanden, welcomes the founders and sponsors The guests at the Museum The new addition is unveiled It’s a Gottlieb Knock Out, complete with mechanical boxers and referee Guests enjoyed playing the new Knock Out machine Throughout the evening, refreshments were available from the café at the back of the ground floor. The café at the back of the ground floor was open on Thursday and throughout the three days of the DPO Expo The team of volunteers working hard to keep everyone fed and watered The Museum usually occupies the ground floor and the two floors above. For the DPO Expo, two further vacant floors had been occupied to provide space for the tournaments, vendors, more free-play machines and the seminars area, as well as more catering provisions. While the fun was taking place below, teams of workers were unloading trucks and taking pinballs, parts, tables and equipment to the floors above in preparation for the DPO Expo’s opening. Setting up the DPO Expo on the upper floors The DPO tournament area is taking shape Lots more machines to set up …and more… These are looking ready to go though Pinball Universe brought lots of parts and machines to the DPO Expo Some of the new machine boxes To get to the upper floors, it was either a case of using your legs on the central staircase, or there was a single left available. The stairs were busy throughout the show This Gottlieb Genie playfield hovers magically in the stairwell There is a lift too, but dare you use it? We retired for the evening, returning on Friday morning to find the team busy with last-minute preparations. More machines arriving Pre-registration packages are compiled Wristbands, meal and drink tokens and raffle tickets The floor guide is positioned at the bottom of the stairs When 4pm rolled around, the registration desk team were ready as the first guests of DPO Expo 2022 entered. The team at the registration desk are ready The first guests arrive Although the Museum is a large building, for safety reasons it has a limited capacity for guests at any one time. As a result, attendance to the DPO Expo had to be restricted, with fixed numbers of tickets for four separate sessions on Friday evening, Saturday morning/afternoon, Saturday evening and Sunday. A reduced number of all-weekend passes could also be purchased. Most tickets sold out online, although a few tickets were available to be purchased on-the-day, while there were also a few last-minute cancellations which freed up places. Later, raffle prizes were put out for those with matching tickets to claim Sales at the Museum’s desk begin The café is also getting busy For those taking the stairs, the floor guide directs them while a nice surprise awaits them on each step. Five floors of fun Looking up from the ground floor to the top floor Don’t forget to look down too The lyrics fit perfectly With the doors open and the DPO Expo under way, here’s what visitors found on the five floors. Stern Pinball toppers were available at the Museum’s desk RS Pinball had a nice selection of machines from smaller manufacturers including Spooky, Pinball Brothers, American and Bitronic RS Pinball also brought the Heavy Metal game from Incendium and Stern This ultra-widescreen topper monitor attracted a lot of attention Also on the ground floor, Ministry of Pinball had a stand selling cleaning materials, decals, T-shirts, rubbers and more Goods on the Ministry of Pinball stand Moving up a floor, we have the next room of free-play machines Classic Williams/Bally DMD titles It wasn’t long before all the machines were in use An electric mix of DMD machines A couple of Alvin G. games The Museum is very family-friendly, especially if your family is named Addams Gomez’s view of the room The games at the front of the room Four more free-play games Further into the Museum, more free-play games Players getting practice before the first tournament begins Where to shoot in Stranger Things When you have a Guardians of the Galaxy pinball, you need a Groot to go with it He is Groot LED4PIN had a nice stand selling pinball LEDs Pinball Amigos had their Crazy Mansion game set up in an alcove PU Parts had a large selection of parts including 50%-off deals on many items They also had plush toys and T-shirts available Also in the PU Parts area was this lovely Indiana Jones with a twist… …because the controls were on the balcony above In addition, PU-Parts were running a high score leaderboard on games on their stand, with prizes for the top positions at the end of the show on Sunday. Two Stern games on the PU Parts stand with the Insider Connected leaderboard Prizes for the top three It wasn’t all physical pinball though, as there were a few digital machines from Digital Pinball. A choice of three digital pinballs If you wanted a manual for your DMD game, chances are you could get one here As we travel further up in the Museum, many more pinballs were on free-play, while others were dedicated to the tournaments. We also pass the museum’s Wall of Fame photo montage. Capt. Fantastic and Kiss bookend the Wall of Fame Photos of Gerard with many of the famous visitors to the Museum More free-play machines to enjoy Some modded and customised games A Whirlwind with a colour DMD Demolition Man on Steroids, with a tricky Twilight Zone Motor Show heads up this row of free-play games Lack of height is no barrier to playing when you have your own step stool A Jaws conversion of Fish Tales and a Cosmic Carnival from Suncoast Funhouse 2.0 alongside Weird Al’s Museum of Natural Hilarity, Thunderbirds and Godzilla Around the corner is a room of mostly older titles Some Stern Electronics and Gottlieb solid-state games As we reach the top floor, there were more vendors, more free-play machines, the seminars room, and a second café. PinSound had a series of machines set up with their replacement audio board Some of the PinSound-equipped games More PinSound in the row opposite Games to play at the back of the room More machines in the same row At the top of the Museum building Mirco Playfields had a big display of new and seconds playfields Damaged playfields were available for decorative use Up a slight ramp was a room which was split in two, with one half containing some special games. Two Magic Girls, two Guns ‘N Roses, Kill Bill and a prototype Pirates of the Caribbean Where else can you play not one, but two Magic Girls? The other half of the room was used as a café, selling hot snacks alongside cold drinks. The café was well stocked and maintained at all times Food and drinks were purchased using tokens bought at the registration desk At various times on Saturday and Sunday, the games area on the top floor was cleared so that seminars could take place. These were introduced by Jonathan Joosten of Pinball Magazine. The Jersey Jack Pinball pairing of Eric Meunier and Jean-Paul de Win were special guests and teamed up to present a seminar about their work on the games Pirates of the Caribbean and Guns ‘N Roses. The seminars area Eric began by describing the design process, showing the many iterations of the playfield layout and explaining how and why changes took place. Eric Meunier talks about designing Guns ‘N Roses and Pirates of the Caribbean An early version of the Guns ‘N Roses playfield design Jean-Paul de Win talks about creating the artwork and motion graphics in the game Jean-Paul talks about early Pirates layout challenges Eric Meunier and Jean-Paul de Win held their seminar three times – twice on Saturday and once on Sunday in order to give all visitors over the weekend the opportunity to attend. You can watch their first seminar right here. Following Eric and Jean-Paul for each of those three seminars was Eric Bartels who you may recall from our article about the finishing of Magic Girl. Eric spoke about the work he and the team in Wormer did to make the game not only playable but feature and code complete. Eric Bartels describes some of the changes he had to make to the Magic Girl design(picture: Jonathan Joosten) We have Eric’s seminar for you to watch right here also. After the Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions from Eric, Martin Ayub of Pinball News and Jonathan Joosten from Pinball Magazine teamed up to present new editions of their So You Think You Know Pinball? free prize quiz. Martin Ayub and Jonathan Joosten As in previous editions, as the questions were shown on the projector screen along with two possible answers. The audience stood up and moved to either the left or right side of the room depending on whether they thought the answer shown on the left of the screen or the answer on the right was the correct one. Those who chose wisely continued in the round to pick more correct answers, while those who picked a wrong answer were temporarily out. When there were only a few players remaining, they each got to pick a numbered ticket out of a box and collect the corresponding prize. Prizes included translites, mini-playfields, branded T-shirts, mugs and baseball caps, posters, postcard sets, books, a White Russian playfield toy, Magic Girl plastics, and a rug. Sponsors of the quiz included Jersey Jack Pinball, American Pinball, Dutch Pinball, Pedretti Gaming, the Magic Girl team, Pinball Magazine, Pinball News and PinSound. Everyone who took part also got to take home Jersey Jack Pinball Guns ‘N Roses key fobs and Dutch Pinball The Big Lebowski key fobs sets. Before we get into the various tournaments held at the DPO Expo, including the main Dutch Pinball Open itself, here’s our exclusive Twenty Minute Tour video walk around the DPO Expo 2022 at Dutch Pinball Museum. The DPO Expo is named after the Dutch Pinball Open, one of the two main tournaments held in the Netherlands along with the Dutch Pinball Masters. However, the status of the DPO seemed to be rather diminished this year, with even the name changed to simply ‘Main Tournament’ in the schedule. Perhaps that’s a recognition of the fact that there are also Classics, Team, Ladies, Flip Frenzy, Swiss and Youth tournaments taking place over the show’s three days. All of these tournaments took place on the third floor starting with qualifying for the Classics Tournament which began as soon as the event opened at 4pm. Qualifying for the Classics Tournament There were unlimited entries in the Classics Tournament, with competitors able to purchase three-game entry cards to try to put together three good scores on the same card. There were six machines from which they could pick and every player had a name badge with a QR code which was scanned by the scorekeepers to help register the scores. Name badges ElektraVikingParagonEight Ball ChampMata HariJungle Queen Qualifying in the Classics Tournament There was a pin board where players could put their badges to save their place in line to play a particular machine. The queuing system for the machines The area got rather crowded at times, especially in the area around the pin board as players tried to add their badge for their next machine. In the Classics Tournament area The Team Tournament was also held on Friday night starting at 7pm. Sixteen four-player teams took part in the Team Tournament. They were: (Not so) Great Danes(Denmark)Team UK(UK)Museum Magicians(Netherlands)Outlane Kings(Netherlands)French Froggs(France)Midland Marauders(UK)Dutch Pinball Team(NetherlandsTeam Pinball Club Eindhoven (Netherlands)Pinball Universe Competition Team(Germany)West Coast Pinball Team(Belgium)Dutch Drain Train(Netherlands)Team Kickback(Netherlands)Team Austria(Austria)YACK Antwerpen(Belgium)Rotterdam Pinball Corps(Netherlands)Team Ramps(Netherlands) Teams were split into groups of four and each team played a match against the other three teams in their group. A match consisted of two split-flipper pairs and four individual head-to-head games. Split flippers as Dutch Pinball Team play French Froggs Team Pinball Club play Midland Marauders in the Classics Tournament Points were awarded for winning each game in a match and the top team from each group progressed to the final four, where two teams played again head-to-head to get to the final two. Team Austria play Dutch Pinball Team in the semi-final As with all the tournaments, a live internet stream of the Team Tournament was provided by the JDL Pinball team of Jim and Dina Lindsay with Jim driving the feed and Dina setting up the rig on each machine. You can replay their live streams on their Twitch channel. Jim Lindsay presenting the live stream of gameplay in the tournaments Those final two were the Dutch Drain Train and the Dutch Pinball Team. Paul Jongma and Dirk Klaver play Jackbot in the Team Tournament final The Dutch Pinball Team were triumphant to win the first tournament of the weekend. In the play-off for third place, Team Austria beat the Outlane Kings. First place in the Team Tournament, Dutch Pinball Team Second place, Dutch Drain Train Third place, Team Austria The top three teams While qualifying in the Classics tournament would continue through Saturday, the Team Tournament final wrapped up Friday’s competitive action. Qualifying in the Main Tournament of the DPO was held in four sessions starting at 10am, 12:30pm, 3pm and 5:30pm. Each session contained 40 players, giving a total of 160 players. Some players had to drop out before the qualifying began, but there was a reserve list to fill their places. Players in each session were split into four groups of ten and played a single game against every other player in their group. Five machines were allocated to each group on which to play their games. The players with the most wins from each group progressed to the play-offs on Sunday morning. The Main Tournament qualifying Qualifying for the Ladies Tournament began at 10:45 and ran for four hours. The eight qualifiers were: Andrea EhrmannClaudine JansenDina LindsayEvelyne DesotHelen de Haan-VerbeekKatharina HagemannLisanne van ElkLuisa Granzow The winners from those semi-finals who progressed to the final were, Evelyne Desot, Dina Lindsay, Helen de Haan-Verbeek and Claudine Jansen. In the three-game final on Jackbot, Fish Tales and Deadpool using the 4-2-1-0 scoring system, it was a win for Helen de Haan-Verbeek who narrowly beat Dina Lindsay by 7 points to 6. Helen came third on Jackbot, second on Fish Tales and needed a win on Deadpool to secure first place overall with her 7 points. Dina was fourth on Jackbot, won on Fish Tales and was second on Deadpool to score 6 points. Claudine won the first game on Jackbot but was then fourth on the other two games to end on 4 points. Evelyne was second on Jackbot and third on the other two to also end on 4 points. Winner of the Ladies Tournament, Helen de Haan-Verbeek(picture: Victor Stulemeijer) Second place, Dina Lindsay(picture: Victor Stulemeijer) Equal third place, Evelyne Desot(picture: Victor Stulemeijer) Meanwhile, Classics Tournament qualifying continued until 7pm, with the finals starting at 8pm. More Classic Tournament play on Saturday The top 16 qualifiers made it into play-offs. They were: Bart VolmanHervé PierruMartijn van AmsterdamPeter KroissMark van der GugtenFranck BonaAndreas BernardHelen de Haan-VerbeekPaul JongmaJean-Louis ChevalierRob OverdijkDenis RitterJohn van der WulpDominique de CockJulian LegindPhilippe Craul Classic Tournament play-offs These quarter-finalists were put into four groups of four to play three games on different machines, using the 4-2-1-0 scoring for 1st-4th place. Classics Tournament play-offs The top two from each group made it into the semi-finals which followed the same system to produce a final four of Hervé Pierru, Mark van der Gugten, Bart Volman and Peter Kroiss. The final was played in the same way as the quarter- and semi-finals. The machines used were Mata Hari, Viking and Paragon. Consistency proved the key to winning the final, as Mark van der Gugten took second place on all three machines to score 6 points in total. Peter Kroiss won on Viking but was third on the other two, meaning he too got 6 points in total. After winning on Mata Hari to take 4 points, Hervé Pierru came last on the other two, staying on 4 points. Bart Volman won the final game on Paragon but had only picked up 1 point in the previous two games to end on 5 points. That left a tie for first place on 6 points by Mark and Peter. The tie-breaker game was Kiss which was won by Mark, giving him first place overall with Peter in second, Bart in third and Hervé fourth. The top three in the Classics TournamentBart Volman (3rd), Mark van der Gugten (1st) and Peter Kroiss (2nd)(picture: HeelHollandFotografeert) For those not playing their qualifying matches in the Main or involved in the Classics qualifying/finals, there was a Flip Frenzy tournament starting at 5pm on Saturday. Flip Frenzy is a format where some players are paired up on the available machines to play a single head-to-head game. When it the game is over, player 2 leaves the machine to join the back of the queue to play. Player 1 becomes player 2 on the same machine and the next in line becomes the new player 1. The result of another match is reported to the Tournament Director In this way, players constantly rotate through machines until the allocated time is up. At the end, the players with the highest total of wins-losses go through to the play-offs. The final was between Patrick van Hout, Stefan Riedler, Matt Vince and Eberhard Hattemer. With the 11pm closing of the Museum looming, the three-game final wasn’t going to be able to be completed on Saturday night. The first game of the three was played on Batman Forever, but the other two had to wait until 9:30am Sunday morning. Stefan playing the first game, Batman Forever The second game was played on Deadpool, after which Patrick was in the lead with 6 points, Matt was second with 5 points, Eberhard had 3 points while Stefan had yet to score. The last game was on Fish Tales. Matt playing on Fish Tales There was a moment of confusion where, on his final ball, Matt quickly let the ball drain while the ‘autocast’ insert was flashing which would save the ball, but the game didn’t register the ball had drained and just sat there until the ball saver timed out. After a nudge, the game registered the drained ball and went to the bonus count. The decision was to let Matt play another ball at the end to add to his existing score. That proved to be enough to win the game and, with Stefan claiming second place on the game, to win the tournament. Matt Vince wins the Flip Frenzy tournament The play-offs for the Main Tournament began at 10am on Sunday morning. The play-offs in the Main Tournament Talking tactics for Getaway Getting down to the semi-finals of the Main Tournament As players were knocked out of the Main Tournament they had the opportunity to take part in a Swiss Tournament in the same area where the Flip Frenzy was held. Gathering for the Swiss Tournament The Swiss Tournament initially puts all 44 players into groups of four to play 11 machines. When all the results are in, the groups are mixed up so that the top players play against each other, the bottom players also play against each other and everyone else plays against similarly-performing players. That way, it’s harder for the top players to stay at the top and easier for lower-ranked players to move up. The first round of matches is announced When either the time runs out or the planned number of rounds have been played, the top players then take part in play-off matches to decide the winner. In this case there were seven rounds and those players who made it through to the play-offs were: Daniel KruzinskiDirk ElzholzEd RojasFranck BonaHugo RitterKurt LouwieLefman KanLouis Hänsch Of those, Kurt Louwie, Hugo Ritter, Dirk Elzholz and Lefman Kan played in the final. The final of the Swiss Tournament In that final it was a triumph for Dirk Elzholz, who beat Kurt Louwie into second, with Hugo Ritter third and Lefman Kan fourth. Winner of the Swiss Tournament, Dirk Elzholz(picture: Victor Stulemeijer) Second place, Kurt Louwie(picture: Victor Stulemeijer) Third place, Hugo Ritter(picture: Victor Stulemeijer) In case you haven’t had enough tournament action yet, on Sunday morning the three divisions of the Youth Tournament took place. Sign-up for all age-based divisions took place at the Museum’s entry desk. Sign-up for the Youth Tournament Qualification play took place upstairs, with the finals being held on the machines in the seminars room on the top floor straight after the So You Think You Know Pinball? quiz had ended. The final founds of the three divisions of the Youth Tournament The final founds of the three divisions of the Youth Tournament The trophies for the three divisions The 9-11 division final The 12-16 division final Once all three division had been decided, the trophy presentations took place. Youth Tournament winners: Daniel (9-11), Lars (12-16) and Sam (8 and under) Which left only the Main Tournament final which was to be contested over three machines by John van der Wulp, Glenn Pellis, Carlo Vijn and Emil Dreiborg. The four finalists in the Main Tournament:Glenn Pellis, John van der Wulp, Emil Dreiborg and Carlo Vijn The three games to be played were World Cup Soccer, The Walking Dead and Ghostbusters, with John playing first on World Cup Soccer. John starts the final Emil took a commanding lead on the first ball with his 834M. John was closest with 78M, but nobody got close to catching Emil who took the 4 points from game 1. John was second, Carlo third and Glenn fourth. The Walking Dead was next. Glenn is player one on The Walking Dead It was a different game but the same ultimate story, as Emil made a strong comeback on his third ball to end in first place on 36M ahead of Carlo in second, John third and Glenn fourth. With two wins and the way the other placing fell, nobody could catch his 8 points going into the last game which was Ghostbusters. Emil got the 6x playfield scoring running and collected two gear awards of 400M+ to end his second ball on 1.3BN which was enough to win without having to play his third ball. John got closest with 545M, while Glenn scored 296M and Carlo 10M. Emil doesn’t need to play his last ball So, Emil was first overall, John second, Carlo third and Glenn fourth. Winner of the Dutch Pinball Open Main Tournament, Emil ‘Ed’ Dreiborg Second place, Jon van der Wulp Third place, Carlo Vijn The final four: Glenn, Carlo, Emil and John The conclusion of the Main Tournament marked the end of the DPO Expo 2022 and gave us our cue to head back through Rotterdam for the start of our long journey home. Crossing the Nieuwe Maas river on the way to Centraal Station Holding the DPO Expo in the Dutch Pinball Museum was undoubtedly a popular move, providing easy access by public transportation, plenty of fascinating exhibits inside the building, and endless shops, bars and restaurants within easy walking distance. The downsides were the cost to park a car (around €25 per day on the street), the distance to the nearest hotels and, even with the addition of two extra floors, the relatively cramped accommodation within the Museum, involving of lots of stair climbing and squeezing past people to move between the different areas. As you have seen, the NFV (Nederlandse Flipper Vereniging or Dutch Pinball Association) packed a lot of activities and games into the three-day DPO Expo, helped by an army of volunteers and commercial supporters who were all there to make it a fun and enjoyable weekend for everyone. As we have found with other shows returning after two years of enforced closure, there is a determination for everyone to catch up on all the new games, reconnect with friends and get back to socialising in the relaxed environment the DPO Expo and the Dutch Pinball Museum affords. Certainly, there were lots of smiling faces around. We hope you’ve enjoyed our extensive coverage of the Dutch Pinball Open Expo 2022. We look forward to returning to the Netherlands next year to wherever the DPO 2023 is held.