Date: 18th & 19th November 2023
Location: NH Congrescentrum, Locht 117, 5504 RM Veldhoven, Netherlands

Welcome to our coverage of the Dutch Pinball Open Expo which, this year, is being held in the city of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands.

The DPO Expo was last held in Eindhoven in 2017 when it was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the NFV (Dutch Pinball Association) with a huge show at the UFO-shaped Evoluon. Six years later and we’re back in Eindhoven but this time the venue for the DPO Expo is the NH Congress Center in the south-western suburb of Veldhoven.

THURSDAY

The DPO Expo is held on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th November, but we arrived on Thursday so we could spend a night in central Eindhoven and see the Glow art exhibition.

Our first night in Eindhoven
Our first night in Eindhoven

Glow Eindhoven is an annual week-long display of various illuminations held at twenty-four locations dotted around the city. Exhibits range from sky lights to building projections to light installations.

Some of the buildings illuminated for Glow 2023
Some of the buildings illuminated for Glow 2023

Check out our gallery below to see some of the Glow Eindhoven 2023 sights:


FRIDAY

So, on Friday morning we took a 20 minute taxi ride to Veldhoven and the NH Congrescentrum.

NH is a large Dutch hotel chain, and the NH Congrescentrum is a large convention centre complex combined with a sizable hotel.

The entrance to the hotel
The entrance to the hotel

The hotel part is clean and pleasant, offering good facilities and a nice large area for working or socialising, selling plenty of drinks, snacks and various essentials.

A sign in the lobby tells you you're at the right hotel
A sign in the lobby tells you you’re at the right hotel
The area for socialising, working or shopping
The area for socialising, working or shopping

The picture of the entrance to the hotel above really doesn’t do justice to the sheer size of the complex. It’s huge, with numerous conference rooms, catering facilities, bars, and a couple of vast halls at the far end from the hotel entrance. There’s even a small chapel in the grounds.

The view of the complex from the road
The view of the complex from the road
Part of the accommodation block
Part of the accommodation block
The building housing the conference halls
The building housing the conference halls

The public entrance to the DPO Expo is at the far end of the complex, although it can also be accessed through interior corridors from the hotel rooms.

This way to the DPO Expo
This way to the DPO Expo

From inside the hotel, it’s a long walk to get to the DPO Expo’s area.

This way to the show
Another way to the show

There are thousands of open-air paid parking spaces a short walk from the main entrance, which is just as well since the NV Congrescentrum is not close to any other facilities, such as shops, restaurants, bars, or a train station. However, there are two bus routes with a stop right outside the hotel, offering pretty-frequent services into Eindhoven.

The 19 and 319 buses stop right outside
The 19 and 319 buses stop right outside

This picture of the complex’s layout shows in bright green the spaces used by the DPO Expo.

The DPO uses the areas in bright green on the left
The DPO uses the areas in bright green on the left

Let’s see what that looks like in reality.

The two main halls used for the DPO Expo
The two main halls used for the DPO Expo

The two halls – Kempenzaal and Genderzaal – are combined into one, with the far end used for the tournaments and the hall closer to the camera above used for free play machines. The free play area also contains tables and chairs for consuming the food and drink available from the catering desk and the bar which are also in the hall.

Some of the machines waiting to be set up on Friday lunchtime
Some of the machines waiting to be set up on Friday lunchtime
The machines are no use without legs
The machines are no use without legs
Machines being set up for the Classics tournament
Machines being set up for the Classics tournament
Machines to be used for the Ladies and Second Chance tournaments
Machines to be used for the Ladies, Kids and Second Chance tournaments
Pinball Universe turned up as we were outside taking photos
Pinball Universe turned up as we were outside taking photos
They brought a bunch of games but are mainly selling parts
They brought a bunch of games but are mainly selling parts

In a side room – called the Genderfoyer – a truckload of games from Dieter Van Es will be set up, although the trailer had only just turned up when we were taking pictures.

A side room to be filled with pinball and arcade games
A side room to be filled with pinball and arcade games

There is corridor leading from the main hall to the public entrance. This will have vendor stands when everything has been set up.

The corridor for vendor stands
The corridor for vendor stands

Finally, we come to the public entrance, where the NFV will have their show entry desk. There are also coat racks and a machine to pay for parking.

The public entrance's lobby
The public entrance’s lobby
There may be plenty of parking, but it's not free
There may be plenty of parking, but it’s not free

In addition to the free play machines, the tournaments and the vendor stands, there are also several screenings of the movie about Roger Sharpe – Pinball: The Man Who Saved The Game – as well as a seminar by Barry Driessen of Dutch Pinball and the So You Think You Know Pinball? prize quiz by Martin Ayub and Jonathan Joosten.

A poster advertising the movie screening
A poster advertising the movie screening

The screening, seminar and quiz will take place in a separate presentation room, located a little way back towards the hotel.

The Baroniezaal presentation room
The Baroniezaal presentation room
Inside the presentation room
Inside the presentation room

We’ll be back tomorrow with the opening of the DPO Expo 2023 when, we have no doubt, all the work currently taking place will have transformed the hall and corridors with hundreds of pinballs and lots of vendors stands.

SATURDAY

The DPO Expo officially opened to the public at 10am, but with the first rounds of tournaments starting soon after, guests were allowed in around thirty minutes earlier.

There was already a sizable queue waiting at the entry desk to either pick up their pre-purchased tickets or to buy on-the-day entry.

The queue to enter the DPO Expo at around 9:40am
The queue to enter the DPO Expo at around 9:40am
Those waiting in the lobby had the opportunity to play this Collector's Edition of The Godfather
Those waiting in the lobby had the opportunity to play this Collector’s Edition of The Godfather
Collecting pre-purchased tickets at the entry desk
Collecting pre-purchased tickets at the entry desk

Once past the desk, there were copies of recent editions of the NFV’s Spinner magazine to buy, plus some flyers and a pinball repair book.

Spinner magazine is sent by post to all NFV members
Spinner magazine is sent by post to all NFV members around four times a year
NFV reprints of pinball flyers and a pinball repair book available to buy too
NFV reprints of pinball flyers and a pinball repair book available to buy too

Along the corridor towards the main hall, the first batch of free play pinballs were available to play. This row contained fourteen machines.

The first of the free play pinball machines
The first of the free play pinball machines

A little further along the corridor were the first vendor stands. Eric Boes was selling posters, flyers, and manuals from his stand.

Eric Boes' stand
Eric Boes’ stand

On the opposite wall, the Micro Playfields stand had numerous new playfields – some were ready to install in a game, while others were rejects sold as wall decorations – along with a selection of pinball parts.

The Mirco Playfields stand
The Mirco Playfields stand
More from Mirco Playfields
More from Mirco Playfields

Next to Mirco was a stand from Guus Arens, former NFV president, who is now promoting digital pinball games and was also hosting the first ever Dutch Digital Pinball Championship on his stand.

The Dutch Digital Pinball Championship stand
The Dutch Digital Pinball Championship stand
The trophies for the top three
The trophies for the top three

We’ll continue with more tournaments in a moment, but let’s finish the list of vendors at the DPO Expo this year.

Carl Jacob’s Jacobs Amusementsspelen had a stand with lots of Stern Pinball backglasses, translites and toppers, as well as a few backglasses for older titles.

Jacobs Amusementsspelen's stand
Jacobs Amusementsspelen’s stand

Pinball Universe’s PU-parts business had a smaller selection of items than last year but were taking orders at their stand, where they also had a nice display of new games.

The PU-Parts 'desks'
The PU-parts ‘desks’
The American Pinball and Stern Pinball machines on the Pinball Universe stand
The American Pinball and Stern Pinball machines on the Pinball Universe stand
The Stern Pinball Insider Connected leaderboard machines
The Stern Pinball Insider Connected leaderboard machines
Pinball Universe were also running Insider Connected high score leaderboards for their Godzilla and Iron Maiden games
Pinball Universe were also running Insider Connected high score leaderboards for their Godzilla and Iron Maiden games

Design Flip Arcade had a stand selling bespoke artwork for cabinet interiors, display panels, bottom aprons, and much more.

The Design Flip Arcade stand
The Design Flip Arcade stand

Christophe Lienard’s Pinball Pleasure, besides bringing a bunch of new and recent titles – including the Elton John Platinum – had a long table selling assorted pinball paraphernalia.

Christophe Lienard's Pinball Pleasure stand
Christophe Lienard’s Pinball Pleasure stand
Items for sale on the Pinball Pleasure stand
Items for sale on the Pinball Pleasure stand

Christophe’s Elton John game was a popular machine long before the show opened to the public, with show staff and guests keen to get some time on the game before the crowds descended on it.

The Elton John game had lines to play it all day
The Elton John game had lines to play it all day

While we’ve started looking at games available to play, let’s continue and show you all the machines set up on the show floor this year.

The layout of the combined hall put machines and vendor stands all the way down one side and across both ends too. One end of the hall accommodated all the tournament machines while the opposite end featured numerous rows of free play machines, back-to-back.

Between those two blocks the hall was split, with catering counters and tables occupying most of the width, but free-play and vendor stands filling the remaining space.

Looking down at one end of the halls towards the free play machines
Looking down at one end of the hall towards the free play machines
Looking the opposite way towards the tournament areas
Looking the opposite way towards the tournament areas
Some of the many pinballs in the main show hall
Some of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
More of the many pinballs in the main show hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall
Rows of pinballs at the free play end of the hall

In the middle section of the hall was the food and beverage area, where hot and cold drinks could be purchased, along with main meals, side dishes and snacks.

The dining area
The dining area
There were floral arrangements on most tables
There were floral arrangements on most tables
Some of the snacks available to purchase
Some of the snacks available to purchase
The beverage selection included sodas, wines and plenty of different beers
The beverage selection included sodas, wines and plenty of different beers
Food and drinks could be purchased with either Euros or tokens given to show volunteers
Food and drinks could be purchased with either Euros or tokens given to show volunteers
Refreshments were purchased at the tills
Refreshments were purchased at the tills

At the opposite end of the hall from all the rows of free play games were three tournament areas – one for the Main Tournament (a.k.a. the Dutch Pinball Open), another for the Classics Tournament (also used for the Youth Tournament), and a third for the Second Chance Tournament (also used for the Ladies Tournament and the Flip Frenzy Tournament).

Part of the Main Tournament area
Part of the Main Tournament area
Play in the qualifying round of the Main Tournament
Play in the qualifying round of the Main Tournament

The Classics Tournament area contained 14 machines:

Magic
Embryon
Jungle Queen
Mata Hari
Harlem Globetrotters
Centaur
Quicksilver
Blackout
Viking
Paragon
Eight Ball
Flash Gordon
Fathom
Elektra
Some of the Classics Tournament machines
Some of the Classics Tournament machines
More Classics Tournament pinballs
More Classics Tournament pinballs
Trophies for the top three in the Classics Tournament
Trophies for the top three in the Classics Tournament


Located between the Main and Tournament were Jim and Dina Lindsay with the JDL_Pinball streaming set-up.

Jim Lindsay at the JDL_Pinball streaming desk
Jim Lindsay at the JDL_Pinball streaming desk

The third tournaments area was used for several competitive events.

The third tournaments area
The third tournaments area
Pinballs in the third tournament area
Pinballs in the third tournament area
More pinballs in the third tournament area
More pinballs in the third tournament area
More pinballs in the third tournament area
More pinballs in the third tournament area

Not everything at the far end of the hall was tournament-related though. There were regular games as well as customised pinballs and the homebrew section.

Although still very popular, there were shorter lines than we had seen before to play The Big Lebowski on RoPinball’s stand down near the tournaments. Possibly because there was another The Big Lebowski at the show.

The Big Lebowski stand from RoPinball
The Big Lebowski stand from RoPinball

Artcade Furniture had two coffee table fully playable pinballs on their stand.

Two coffee table pinballs from Artcade Furniture
Two coffee table pinballs from Artcade Furniture
The homebrew and customised games section
The homebrew and customised games section

Let’s take a look at the homebrew projects at the show.

The Factory Workers game
The Factory Workers game

Factory Workers is a re-themed Williams Millionaire game, with the original code but custom artwork.

Factory Works by Sint Lucas
Factory Works by Sint Lucas

Future Space was not powered up all the time we saw it, but it looked like an interesting design.

Future Space
Future Space
The Future Space playfield
The Future Space playfield

Probably the most innovative design is Hypnotron II which eschews traditional playfield artwork and instead uses a projector mounted overhead to beam animating image sequences, playfield awards and gameplay information onto the playing surface.

The Hypnotron II homebrew
The Hypnotron II homebrew
The projected images on the Hypnotron II playfield
The projected images on the Hypnotron II playfield

Backing onto this row of homebrew games were two more.

Space Singularity and Super Mario Bros.
Space Singularity and Super Mario Bros.
Space Singularity by Rebellion Pinball
Space Singularity by Rebellion Pinball
Super Mario Bros. by Pinball Amigos
Super Mario Bros. by Pinball Amigos

Another recent release was at the show, with Barrels of Fun’s Labyrinth game.

Labyrinth from Barrels of Fun was at the show thanks to Dutch Pinball head, Barry Driessen
Labyrinth from Barrels of Fun was at the show thanks to Dutch Pinball head, Barry Driessen

In addition to the main combined hall, there is also the Genderfoyer which we last saw as an empty room. That was how we left it on Friday night when everyone left for dinner. However, by Saturday morning it had magically filled with pinballs from Dieter Van Es.

The Genderfoyer on Saturday morning
The Genderfoyer on Saturday morning

Let’s take a look at what Van Es Amusement had brought.

Pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer
Free play pinballs in the Genderfoyer

Outside the Genderfoyer was the corridor leading back to the main reception desk beginning with Guus Arens’ digital pinball stand which was actually another tournament area, with competitive contests on both Saturday and Sunday.

At Saturday lunchtime there were correspondents from two TV outlets reporting from the show, interviewing the Jim Jansen and Winfred de Ruyter from the NFV.

NFV PR Spokesman, Jim Jansen, is interviewed by Eindhovens Dagblad
NFV PR Spokesman, Jim Jansen, is interviewed by Eindhovens Dagblad
Winfred de Ruyter interviewed by Eindhovens Dagblad
Winfred de Ruyter is also interviewed by Eindhovens Dagblad
Jim Jansen interviewed by Hart van Nederland
Jim Jansen interviewed by Hart van Nederland

Saturday also saw the start of screenings and seminars in the Baroniezaal. Pinball: The Man Who Saved The Game was shown three times on Saturday while at 2pm Barry Driessen from Dutch Pinball gave an update about production at his company, as well as answering questions from the audience.

Barry talks about the Dutch Pinball operation
Barry talks about the Dutch Pinball operation
Dutch Pinball's Barry Driessen
Dutch Pinball’s Barry Driessen

After Barry, at 3pm Martin Ayub from Pinball News and Jonathan Joosten from Pinball Magazine hosted their popular So You Think You Know Pinball? free prize quiz.

So You Think You Know Pinball? hosts Jonathan Joosten and Martin Ayub
So You Think You Know Pinball? hosts Jonathan Joosten and Martin Ayub

They asked the entire audience a series of questions with two possible answers. Those who got the correct answer continued to the next question, while those who were wrong were out of that round.

When there were four or fewer contestants who hadn’t got an answer wrong, each of them came up to the front to draw a ticket for one of the numerous prizes generously donated by Jersey Jack Pinball, American Pinball, Stern Pinball, Pinball Brothers, Dutch Pinball, ColorDMD, Barrels of Fun, Pinball Magazine and Pinball News.

The duo had so many prizes to give away they ran out of time during Saturday’s one-hour slot, so they offered to run an impromptu second quiz the following day at 12:45 for Sunday’s show visitors.

Time to take a look at the many tournaments at the DPO Expo.

The Main Tournament had qualifying on Saturday in 4 time slots, each with up to 60 players.

Players in the qualifying round of the Main Tournament
Players in the qualifying round of the Main Tournament

Those 60 were divided into 5 groups of 12 with each group having a bank of 7 machines to play.

Everyone in a group played a single game against each of the other 11 players in their group, meaning they played 11 games in total during qualifying.

More qualifying in the Main Tournament
More qualifying in the Main Tournament

When all the games in the group had been completed, the 3 players with the most wins in each group progressed to the play-offs. That’s 3 players from 5 groups which totals 15 qualifiers per time slot.

When a head-to-head game was over, the winner recorded the result
When a head-to-head game was over, the winner recorded the result

In addition, the 5 fourth-placed players in each of the 5 groups played a 2-ball shootout on another machine. The highest scorer from that match joined the 15 to make a total of 16 qualifiers per time slot.

More matches in the Main Tournament qualifying
More matches in the Main Tournament qualifying

With 4 time slots, that resulted in a total of 64 players continuing into Sunday’s play-offs.

Another head-to-head qualifying group match
Another head-to-head qualifying group match

Running alongside the Main Tournament was the Women’s Tournament, the Flip Frenzy, the Digital Pinball Championship and the Classics Tournament.

The Women’s Tournament began at 10:30am with 17 players taking part.

Qualifying used a ‘Flip Frenzy’ format where players were ranked according to the number of games won minus the number lost. The top qualifier, Helen de Haan-Verbeek, won all her games. She was joined by the next 7 qualifiers in the play-offs.

The 8 qualifiers were:

  • Helen de Haan-Verbeek
  • Eva de Jong
  • Anne Sophie Tremeau
  • Petra Uyttenhove
  • Corinne Sibiak
  • Dina Lindsay
  • Machteld Decloedt
  • Tirza Wichelhaus

The semi-finals used the familiar 3-game, 4-player, 4-2-1-0 scoring to select the 4 finalists. They were Helen de Haan-Verbeek and Petra Uyttenhove from the first semi-final, joined by Dina Lindsay and Anne Sophie Tremeau from the second.

In the final – played in the same format – resulted in a tie for first between Dina and Petra, with both players having 15 points.

In a tie-break game on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Petra won to take first place. Dina was second, Helen third and Anne fourth. Sadly, the final of the Women’s Tournament took place while we were busy hosting the quiz, but if we get pictures of the trophy presentations we’ll add them here.

Out in the corridor, there was the first Dutch Digital Pinball Championship.

The Dutch Digital Pinball Championship stand
The Dutch Digital Pinball Championship stand
The trophies for the top three
The trophies for the top three

Entry to the Dutch Digital Pinball Championship was free for NFV member, or €10 for everyone else.

Play in the Dutch Digital Pinball Championship
Play in the Dutch Digital Pinball Championship

As with the Women’s Tournament, the Dutch Digital Pinball Championship was decided during our quiz, but we’ll bring you details of the results as soon as we get them.

The Flip Frenzy Tournament took place after the Women’s Tournament in the same area and essentially followed the same format, with ‘flip frenzy’ qualifying followed by a final featuring the top 4 qualifiers in a 3-game 4-2-1-0 scoring contest.

43 competitors took part, with the 4 finalists being:

  • Patrick van Hout
  • Christoph Granzow
  • Bjorn Brand
  • Carsten Wieske
Watching the final of the Flip Frenzy Tournament on the Stage Flip stream
Watching the final of the Flip Frenzy Tournament on the Stage Flip stream

After games on Whitewater, Frankenstein and Avatar, the winner was Patrick van Hout, with Bjorn Brand second, Christoph Granzow third and Carsten Wieske fourth.

The top four in the Flip Frenzy Tournament: Bjorn Brand (2nd), Christoph Granzow (3rd), Patrick van Hout (1st) and Carsten Wieske (4th)
The top four in the Flip Frenzy Tournament: Bjorn Brand (2nd), Christoph Granzow (3rd), Patrick van Hout (1st) and Carsten Wieske (4th)

Across the hall, players in the Classics Tournament could buy entries of 10 games spread across any of the machines used for the event, with a maximum of two games on any single machine.

Some of the Classics Tournament machines
Some of the Classics Tournament machines

The 14 machines available were:

Elektra
Fathom
Flash Gordon
Eight Ball
Paragon
Viking
Blackout
Quicksilver
Centaur
Harlem Globetrotters
Mata Hari
Jungle Queen
Embryon
Magic
More Classics Tournament pinballs
More Classics Tournament pinballs

The top 16 players from the qualifying round played in the quarter-finals which were held at the end of Main Tournament qualifying, which was scheduled for 9pm.

Trophies for the top three in the Classics Tournament
Trophies for the top three in the Classics Tournament

Unfortunately, the Main Tournament’s qualifying overran by around 90 minutes, meaning the Classics Tournament play-offs didn’t get underway until nearly 11pm, just as the show hall was closing to the public.

An hour before that at 10pm, Dutch Pinball began their After Party in the lobby between the show hall and the seminars room. Barry was the host while Jules DJ’d the event, which was free to all show visitors and ran until 1am.

Jules Reivers and Barry Driessen of Dutch Pinball at their after party
Jules Reivers and Barry Driessen of Dutch Pinball at their After Party
The After Party had its own bar, with the first two drinks paid for by Dutch Pinball
The After Party had its own bar, with the first two drinks paid for by Dutch Pinball

There was also a free raffle for a bunch of Dutch Pinball prizes, including a playfield from The Big Lebowski, a translite, a couple of rugs and some of the playfield toys.

Prizes in the raffle at the Dutch Pinball After Party
Prizes in the raffle at the Dutch Pinball After Party

Meanwhile, back in the main hall at the Classics Tournament, the 16 qualifiers from earlier in the evening were split into 4 groups of 4. Each group played three games on different machines with a 4-2-1-0 scoring system.

The final rounds of the Classics Tournament
The final rounds of the Classics Tournament

The qualifiers were:

Barry Hoeben
Bas Vis 
Benjamin Gräbeldinger 
Daan Rosvelds 
Daniele Celestino Acciari 
Emil ED Dreiborg 
Ivan Geentjens 
Jan Anders Nilsson 
Kurt Louwie 
Lefman Kan 
Norbert Broman 
Paul Englert 
Philippe Craul 
Rene Dorr 
Rob Overdijk 
Taco Wouters 

Those 16 were reduced to 8 and then to the final four of Ivan Geentjens, Lefman Kan, Philippe Craul and Daan Rosvelds.

Playing in the final of the Classics Tournament
Playing in the final rounds of the Classics Tournament

The tournament was finally decided shortly before 2am when, having taken second place on the first two games, Daan Rosvelds triumphed on the third game, Fathom, to take first place overall. Lefman Kan was close behind in second, with Philippe Craul equally close in third and Ivan Geentjens in fourth.

Third place in the Classics Tournament, Philippe Craul
Third place in the Classics Tournament, Philippe Craul
Second place in the Classics Tournament, Lefman Kan
Second place in the Classics Tournament, Lefman Kan
Winner of the Classics Tournament, Daan Rosvelds
Winner of the Classics Tournament, Daan Rosvelds

SUNDAY

On Sunday there were six competitive events – the play-offs for the Main Tournament, a Second Chance Swiss Tournament for those who didn’t qualify for the Main, three divisions of the Youth Tournament, and a Veterans Digital Pinball Championship.

The Veterans Tournament was played on the digital pinballs by those aged 55 and over. It was won by Peter Kroiss, with Martÿn Groen second, Hans Bijsterveld third and John Stals fourth (apologies if any name spellings there are incorrect).

Guus Arens with the top four in the Veterans Digital Pinball Tournament; Peter (1st), Martyn (2nd), John (4th) and Hans (3rd)
Guus Arens with the top four in the Veterans Digital Pinball Tournament; Peter (1st), Martÿn (2nd), John (4th) and Hans (3rd)

Over in the Second Chance Swiss Tournament, the ‘Swiss-style’ format was used, where the 64 players were divided into groups of 4 to play single first-round games. When all 16 games were over, players were ranked and re-divided into groups of 4, with ranks 1st-4th playing together, 5th-8th playing together, right down to 61st-64th playing together.

Playing in the Second Chance Swiss-Style Tournament
Playing in the Second Chance Swiss-Style Tournament

This continued until 8 rounds had been played, when the top 8 went into the two 4-player 3-game semi-finals and then the same for the final 4.

Playing in the Second Chance Swiss-Style Tournament
Playing in the Second Chance Swiss-Style Tournament
Playing in the Second Chance Swiss-Style Tournament
Playing in the Second Chance Swiss-Style Tournament

The 8 qualifiers were:

  • Albert Medaillon 
  • Anne Sophie Tremeau 
  • Benjamin Kispal 
  • Didier Dujardin 
  • Eric Houtteman 
  • Kevin Sultana 
  • Nicolas Roux 
  • Willy Sachet 

At the end of the semi-finals, Willy Sachet, Eric Houtteman, Nicolas Roux and Albert Medaillon had made it to the final, which was won by Albert after the first two games on High Speed 2: The Getaway and Fish Tales.

Albert in the final rounds of the Second Chance Tournament
Albert in the final rounds of the Second Chance Tournament

During the afternoon, apart from another couple of screenings of the Roger Sharpe movie and the second edition of the So You Think You Know Pinball? prize quiz, there was also a seminar by Ronald den Bekker about the Factory Workers pinball conversion by students at the Sint Lucas creative community in Eindhoven.

Ronald den Bekker from Sint Lucas talks about creating new graphics for the Factory Worker game
Ronald den Bekker from Sint Lucas talks about creating new graphics for the Factory Worker game

Back in the main hall, there were three divisions of the Youth Tournament – 8 and under, 9-11 and 12-16. They mostly played in the same area as the Classics Tournament with many of the same machines but with a five swapped out for more modern titles.

The play-offs for the 9-11 Division
The play-offs for the 9-11 Division
The play-offs for the Youth Tournament
The play-offs for the Youth Tournament
Play-offs in the Youth Tournament
Play-offs in the Youth Tournament

The youngest division finished first, with Sam taking the honours ahead of Seth and Kyle.

8 and Under Division third place, Kyle
8 and Under Division third place, Kyle
8 and Under Division second place, Seth
8 and Under Division second place, Seth
Winner of the 8 and Under Division, Sam
Winner of the 8 and Under Division, Sam

The 9-11 Division was the next to conclude. The final was held on the Hot Wheels machine on the Pinball Universe stand.

The final of the 8-11 Division
The final of the 9-11 Division

The winner was Victor, with Rayen second and Luisa third.

Third place in the 9-11 Division, Luisa
Third place in the 9-11 Division, Luisa
Second place in the 9-11 Division, Rayen
Second place in the 9-11 Division, Rayen
Winner of the 9-11 Division, Victor
Winner of the 9-11 Division, Victor

Then it was the final of the 12-16 Division which was played on Pinball Universe’s Legends of Valhalla machine.

The final of the 12-16 Division
The final of the 12-16 Division

The 12-16 Division was won by Daan, with Eva second, Theo third and Daniel fourth.

Third place in the 12-16 Division, Theo
Third place in the 12-16 Division, Theo
Second place in the 12-16 Division, Eva
Second place in the 12-16 Division, Eva
Winner of the 12-16 Division, Daan
Winner of the 12-16 Division, Daan

In the Main Tournament, the maximum number of players was expanded this year to allow up to 240 competitors.

Trophies and prizes for the top three in the Main Tournament
Trophies and prizes for the top three in the Main Tournament

As we saw, the new format led to some of the qualifying sessions running late. That was repeated on Sunday for the play-offs which began at 10am.

The trophy for the winner of the DPO Main Tournament
The trophy for the winner of the DPO Main Tournament

The play-offs began with all 64 qualifiers from Saturday playing in 16 groups of 4.

Those qualifiers were:

Alexandre Bouet
Anders Helboe Poulsen 
Andy Brock 
Anthony Rorive 
Axel Bouet
Axel Vercauteren 
Barry Hoeben
Bart Rasing 
Bart Volman 
Benjamin Gräbeldinger 
Carl Bierkens 
Carlo Vijn 
Christophe Sibiak 
Clément Cloarec 
Daan Rosvelds 
Daniele Celestino Acciari 
Dirk Klaver 
Emil ED Dreiborg 
François de Wrangel 
Gene Aw 
Glenn Pellis 
Guido Ehrmann 
Hammadi Haouas
Jan Feth 
Jan Gröppel 
Jan Hop 
Jean Luc Di Meglio 
Jeremy Dorling 
Jim Lindsay 
John van der Wulp 
Jorn Dujardin 
Joël Wozniak 
JP Congnard 
Kurt Louwie 
Lefman Kan 
Louis Hänsch 
Mark van der Gugten 
Martijn Groen 
Martijn Ewalds
Martijn Van Amsterdam 
Mathijs van Loo 
Michel van den Elzen 
Nils de Kleine 
Patrick van Haasteren 
Paul Englert 
Paul Jongma 
Philippe Craul 
Pieter van Leijen
Pontus Qvarfordh 
Quentin Binet 
Quint van Kessel 
Rakesh Kanhai 
Raphael Granzow 
Rob Martens 
Roel van der Kreeft 
Roy Wils 
Sebastian Eiselin 
Simon Metz 
Simone Fontana 
Steven De Maer 
Thibaut Dejaegher 
Timo Hendriks 
Tom Altenbach 
Tom Verbruggen 

Each group played 3 games on different machines using the 4-2-1-0 points system. The top 2 from each group continued to the second round of play-offs, with the three ties which were created being decided by another game on a fourth machine.

One of the first rounds of play-offs in the Main Tournament
One of the first rounds of play-offs in the Main Tournament

That cut the numbers remaining from 64 to 32. Those 32 played 8 four-player games using the same system to reduce the competitors to 16 for the quarter-finals, then to 8 for the semis and then the final four.

Play-offs in the Main Tournament of the DPO Expo
Play-offs in the Main Tournament of the DPO Expo

The four who made it through to the Main Tournament final were Daniele Acciari, Emil Dreiborg, John van der Wulp and Bart Volman. They would play their 3-game final on The Walking Dead, Scared Stiff and Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast.

John won the first game, with Bart second, Daniele third and Emil fourth.

The final was shaken up by the second game, with Daniele winning on Sacred Stiff, with Emil second, Bart third and John fourth. That gave Daniele 5 points, John 4 points, Bart 3 points and Emil 2 points, leading to several possible outcomes for the winner depending on what happened on Iron Maiden.

In the event, John narrowly managed to repeat his win from the first game – by just over 1M – points to end on 8 points. Daniele was just second for a total of 7 points. Emil was third to create a tie with Bart on 3 points. That tie was decided by an extra game on Doctor Who which Emil won to take third.

Third place in the Main Tournament, Emil Dreiborg
Third place in the Main Tournament, Emil Dreiborg
(picture: Ad Jonker)
Second place in the Main Tournament, Daniele Acciari
Second place in the Main Tournament, Daniele Celestino Acciari
(picture: Ad Jonker)
Winner of the DPO Main Tournament 2023, John van der Wulp
Winner of the DPO Main Tournament 2023, John van der Wulp
(picture: Ad Jonker)
Dutch Pinball Open Main Tournament 2023 top three - Emil Dreiborg, John van der Wulp & Daniele Celestino Acciari
Dutch Pinball Open Main Tournament 2023 top three – Emil Dreiborg, John van der Wulp & Daniele Celestino Acciari
(picture: Ad Jonker)

Now you can join us at the DPO Expo as we show you around in our exclusive Pinball News Eighteen Minute Tour walkthrough video in glorious UHD 4K, shot early on Sunday morning before the show became too crowded.

The Main Tournament ran on long after the DPO Expo show closed at 6pm, eventually concluding around 9:30pm by which time we were at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport waiting for our (delayed) flight home. So, many thanks to Ad Jonker for covering the end of the final for us. You can watch all the key games from the Main and Classic tournaments on the JDL Pinball channel on Twitch.

That concludes our coverage of events at the Dutch Pinball Open Expo 2023.

The venue in Veldhoven is an impressive one with good facilities with plenty of friendly and helpful staff members. The arrangement of halls worked well, providing easy access to set up the machines and stands. The seminars/screening room was suitable separated but not too distant from the main show hall. Meanwhile, the attached hotel provided good facilities for eating, drinking, exercising and working.

The hotel’s rooms were perhaps a little basic in terms of facilities, but were clean enough and perfectly adequate for a weekend of pinball. It is a huge complex though with many similar-looking passageways. We frequently found lost guests wandering the corridors looking for either their room, the reception desk or the pinball show. We were even (briefly) unable to find our own hotel room one time, before we had thoroughly worked out the layout of the buildings.

The remote location of the complex, while understandable, meant there was no easy way to get into central Veldhoven without the use of a car if you wanted alternative dining or entertainment options.

The show itself all seemed to work very smoothly. Congratulations to the large team who worked for months to prepare and then run everything over the weekend.

It was great to see the two recent releases – Elton John and Labyrinth – both available to play, thanks to Christophe and Barry respectively. There was also a good selection and variety of machines to play. We can’t recall a time over the weekend where there was a problem finding a vacant machine to play.

There might need to be some work done to tighten up the timescale of the Main Tournament, especially if running late impacts other events such as the Classics Tournament play-offs. However, there was a good selection of competitive events to enjoy across the two days, including the Flip Frenzy, Women’s Tournament, Youth Tournament, Second Chance, Classics, and the first Digital Pinball Championship. The team worked hard for long hours to make sure there were no technical issues.

Speaking of the duration, we’d like to see the return of the Friday evening DPO Expo session in some form or another to extend the weekend and possibly provide an earlier qualifying session for the Main Tournament to ease the pressure later on Saturday.

Although nothing has been signed yet, we understand the DPO Expo may be returning to this NH Congress Center for next year’s show if a suitable weekend is available.

We’d certainly be happy to return to Veldhoven, but we’ll be back to report from the DPO Expo 2024 wherever it ends up being held.

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2 Comments

  1. SAMUEL CITERNE

    20th November, 2023 at 5:52pm

    Hello, Do you know the next location and dates for the next DPO in 2024 ?

    Reply

    • Pinball News

      20th November, 2023 at 5:56pm

      As far as we know, neither the location nor the dates for 2024 have been set yet. There is the possibility the DPO Expo may return to Veldhoven, but nothing has been agreed.

      Reply

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