Date: 18th & 19th April, 2015
Location: NFV Clubhouse, Unit 5, Turbinestraat, Veenendaal, Netherlands

The Dutch Pinball Masters (DPM) is traditionally held at the Dutch Pinball Association's (NFV) 'clubhouse' - the building where they store and repair machines owned by the Association and its members.

Last year they were in the process of moving to a new building and thus held the event in a nearby woodland lodge. This year everything at their new home fully was set up, complete with catering facilities and workshop areas.

The NFV's new clubhouse in Veenendaal
The NFV's new clubhouse in Veenendaal

Inside, the great majority of the space is taken up with pinballs. Around a third of the machines in the Clubhouse were used for the tournaments. The others were available for casual play or practice.

Some of the practice machines
Some of the practice machines

More practice games
More practice games...

...and more
...and more

However, the Clubhouse is a place where games can be stored and worked upon, so quite a few of the machines in the practice area were either switched off awaiting repairs, or had significant issues affecting gameplay.

For the DPM, a number of tables, chairs and parasols were brought in to provide a chill-out area where players could relax or eat.

Inside the clubhouse
Inside the clubhouse

The building is on an industrial estate some distance from any shops or eateries, so most people chose to either bring their own food or partake of the sandwiches, burgers, fries, drinks and assorted snacks available from the food counter at pretty reasonable prices.

The chill-out zone
The chill-out zone

The kitchen and food counter
The kitchen and food counter

The menu
The menu

Soup, soft drinks (and, of course, beer) were also available
Soup, soft drinks (and, of course, beer) were also available

But visitors weren't here for the catering. They were here to compete, and there were three competitive events taking place over the weekend - the DPM, the Classics and the Team Tournament.

Trophies for the three tournaments
Trophies for the three tournaments

All the tournament machines were on the left side of the hall, arranged in two rows.

The tournament machines
The tournament machines

The DPM used 24 machines - the entire right-hand row and half the left-hand row in the picture above - while the Classic used an additional six machines at the start of the left-hand row. Several stand-by machines were also available in case of machine failure.

The machines used were:

Dutch Pinball Masters machines

1 - Bram Stoker's Dracula

2 - Monster Bash

3 - Creature from the Black Lagoon

4 - The Who's Tommy

5 - Dirty Harry

6 - Red & Ted's Roadshow

7 - Pinball Magic

8 - Demolition Man

9 - Monopoly

10 - Indianapolis 500

11 - Corvette

12 - Star Trek: The Next Generation

13 - Fish Tales

14 - Medieval Madness

15 - Whirlwind

16 - Funhouse

17 - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

18 - Spider-Man

19 - Jackbot

20 - Congo

21 - World Cup Soccer

22 - Scared Stiff

23 - High Speed 2 - The Getaway

24 - Attack from Mars

Classics Tournament machines

1 - Viking

2 - Charlie's Angels

3 - Eight Ball

4 - Black Knight

5 - Paragon

6 - Nitro Groundshaker

The Clubhouse opened at 9:30am on Saturday, and play in the first qualifying round of the DPM began an hour later once the first group of 52 players had signed in and received their badges and score cards.

Players collect their badges and score cards
Players collect their badges and score cards

There were 104 players in total, and they were divided into 8 groups of 13 (groups A-H). The first four groups (A-D) played at 10:30am while groups E-H played at 2:30pm.

All matches were head-to-head
All matches were head-to-head

Each competitor played a single 3-ball game against every other member of their group. If they won, they scored 1 point. Otherwise it was a big zero. The score cards showed who the opponent was in each round and who took the player one position.

The DPM is under way
The DPM is under way

When all twelve rounds had been played, the four players with the most wins moved on to the play-offs on Sunday. In the case of a tie, the results of the matches between the tied players were taken into consideration to try to determine a winner; otherwise a tie-breaker game was played.

The scores were entered into a spreadsheet and the standings shown on a large TV.

Scoremeister Ad Jonker enters the latest results
Scoremeister Ad Jonker enters the latest results

The scores in each of the latter four groups
The scores in each of the latter four groups

By the end of play at around 7:30pm, all 32 qualifiers for Sunday's play-offs had been decided.

Meanwhile, qualifying in the Classics continued all day.

Playing on the six Classics machines
Playing on the six Classics machines

Entry to the Classics Tournament cost €3 ($3.37/£2.21) and consisted of a single game on any three of the six machines.

Daniele takes a shot at the Eight Ball
Daniele takes a shot at the Eight Ball

You could purchase as many entries as you liked at €3 a time from the NVF stand. In all, more than 400 entries were recorded.

Classic entries, as well as NFV merchandise, could be purchased from the NFV stand
Classic entries along with NFV merchandise could be bought at the NFV stand

Each entry was ranked based on the total ranking of all three games, so you needed a run of three good scores on the same entry to be in with a chance of qualifying. In addition a single good score out of the three could reduce the ranking of a previous entry, so it was possible to void your entry if you failed to get three good scores.

After day-long qualifying on Saturday from 11am to 10pm, there was an additional last-chance qualifying period on Sunday from 11am until 2pm. When qualifying closed, the top 16 were into the play-offs, with the top 4 getting two byes and the 5th-8th places getting one bye.

But the first tournament to be decided was Saturday evening's Team Tournament.

Twelve teams took part, and they were split into three groups of four based on the WPPR ranking of the team members. Every team played a match against each of the other three teams in their group, where a match consisted of two four-player games where two players from one team played against two from the opposing team.

Classics Tournament
Filthy Harold
Pinball DNA
Team Germany 1
Team OPA
Team Belgium
Team X
Germany 2
Team UK
Dutch Pinball Team
Den Overschot
Team Archiball

A 9-5-2-0 points system was used to score both games in a match, and the team with the most points earned 2 team points. If it was a tie, both teams received 1 team point each.

When all matches had been played, the top scoring team in each group moved on to the semi-final rounds along with the highest-scoring second-placed team.

In the semi-final, the best second-placed team played the top-scoring winning team in the same format as the matches above, while the other two winning teams played each other to decide who went into the final.

Two winning semi-finalist were Team DNA who beat Team Belgium by 21 points to 11, and Dutch Pinball Team who defeated Germany 2 by 20 points to 12.

They played in a very close final which saw the Dutch Pinball Team repeat their victory from 2014 to take first place by 18 points to 14. Team DNA were second, with Germany 2 winning the play-off for third place against Team Belgium by 25 to 7.

Classics Tournament
1 Dutch Pinball Team
2 Pinball DNA
3 Germany 2
4 Belgium
5 Switzerland
6 Team Germany 1
7 Team X
8 Filthy Harold
9 Den Overschot
10 Team OPA
11 Team Archiball
12 Team UK

Winners of the Team Tournament, Dutch Pinball Team
Winners of the Team Tournament, Dutch Pinball Team
(Paul Jongma, Albert Nomden, Dirk Klaver and Mark van der Gugten)

Second place, Team DNA
Second place, Team DNA

Third place, Germany
Third place, Germany

On Sunday morning the first round of play-offs in the DPM began, with the 32 qualifiers from the previous day paired up to play three-ball best-of-three games on machines drawn at random.

The sixteen winners moved on to the next round while the same number of losers dropped into the losers bracket to continue playing.

The same format was used in the winners bracket all the way through until the winner made it into the final. That was Daniele Celestino Acciari who beat Roy Wils 2-1 in the last round of the winners bracket to knock him into the losers bracket. Roy then faced Lieven Engelbeen in the last match of the losers bracket, defeating him on The Addams Family to face Daniele again in the grand final.

The first machine of the three-game final was chosen by Daniele and was High Speed 2 - The Getaway.

Daniele watches Roy in the first game of the final
Daniele watches Roy in the first game of the final

It didn't start well for Roy, with just 8.6M after his first two balls. By contrast, Daniele scored 136M on his first ball and then really hit his stride on ball two, playing multiple Red Line Manias to eventually end on a huge score of 1.325B points.

Daniele makes a game-winning score on ball two
Daniele makes a game-winning score on ball two

Faced with a near-impossible task, Roy decided to focus on game two and conceded the victory on Getaway to Daniele.

Roy's choice of Star Trek: The Next Generation was game two, and after poor starts of under 20M from both players, he recovered to lead by 112M to 35M after ball two.

Play move on to Star Trek: The Next Generation
Play move on to Star Trek: The Next Generation

Daniele pushed his score up to 211M on his third and final ball, but Roy got the main multiball going and soon passed him to level the match at 1-1.

The decider would be Daniele's choice as the winner of the winners bracket, and he picked out Attack from Mars.

It did seem like such a great choice after the first ball, with Roy leading by 2.15B to Daniele's 60M.

Roy starts the last game of the final
Roy starts the last game of the final

Roy doubled his score on ball two to 4.59B, but Daniele got fully into the game and put up an impressive score of 16.28B on his second ball which included several super jackpots and a Total Annihilation mode worth more than 7B.

It was a daunting task for Roy and now wasn't the time to get a rapid drain.

Will Roy 'rule the universe' of face 'total anihilation'?
Will Roy 'rule the universe' of face 'total annihilation'?

But unfortunately that's just what he got, to end on 4.826B, leaving Daniele the winner with a ball to spare.

Winner of the Dutch Pinball Masters 2015, Daniele Celestino Acciari
Winner of the Dutch Pinball Masters 2015, Daniele Celestino Acciari

Second place, Roy Wils
Second place, Roy Wils

Third place, Lieven Engelbeen
Third place, Lieven Engelbeen

Here are the full DPM 2015 results:

Dutch Pinball Masters 2015
1 Daniele Celestino Acciari
2 Roy Wils
3 Lieven Engelbeen
4 John van der Wulp
5 Paul Jongma
5 Edwin Nijs
7 Albert Nomden
7 Philippe Bocquet
10 Mark van der Gugten
10 Olli-Mikko Ojamies
10 Christophe Wozniak
10 Joonas Haverinen
14 Jens Flügge
14 Craig Pullen
14 Koen Heltzel
14 Norbert Broman
20 Rob Fransen
20 Ollivier Francq
20 Erwin Deutschländer
20 Greg Mott
20 Alain Boulieu
20 Jochen Ludwig
20 Dirk Elzholz
20 Glenn Pellis
28 Cayle George
28 Martijn van Aken
28 Florian Thomas
28 Sebastien Puertas
28 Michael Trepp
28 Aleksander Zurkowski
28 Taco Wouters
28 Arjan Neet
33 Peter Blakemore
38 Archibald Lefevre
38 David Mainwaring
38 Ernö Rotter
38 Jeremy Dorling
38 Jim Lindsay
38 Jonas Johansson
38 Martijn van Amsterdam
38 Nico Wicke
38 Nils de Kleine
38 Victor-François Machart
52 Axel Bouet
52 Bob Westenbrink
52 Dirk Klaver
52 Erwin Bouma
52 Frank Goeltl
52 Helen de Haan-Verbeek
52 Jaap Valent
52 Kate Morris
52 Kay Kuster
52 Mark van Duinen
52 Martin Ayub
52 Rob Overdijk
52 Roger Wijnands
52 Sylvain Grévin
52 Thomas van Clapdorp
52 Tobias Löfstedt
52 Victor Stulemeijer
69 Andreas Harre
69 Axel Werner-Schulz
69 Edy Flammer
69 Frank Wolthers
69 Gerard Vos
69 Heinz Baumann
69 Jan Anders Nilsson
69 Jasper van Embden
69 Joachim Reniers
69 Laurent Mahe
69 Mario Kertels
69 Mattias Jeppsson
69 Michel Lanters
69 Olivier Renders
69 Ramon Richard
69 Stefan Vesterling
69 Thomas Doepelheuer
69 Wolfgang Szymanski
84 Evert Brochez
84 Ivan Geentjens
84 Jasmijn de Jong
84 Justin van Schooneveld
84 Kristof de Block
84 Kyoo Barbaix
84 Matthias Flügge
84 Neil Fellender
84 Norman Heikamp
84 Stanislas Chabior
84 Stephan Luhn
84 Tim Slow
95 Joeri Stroobants
95 Hinnerk Helbrecht
95 Bas van Embden
95 Melanie Knop
95 Kelly Lembrechts
95 Jules Reivers
95 Tom Vis
95 Kevin Roelants
95 Steffen Grubert
101 Adelin Auriol
101 Bas Vis
101 Daniela Oymann
103 Kevin Sultana
103 Ronny van den Berk

Roy was also in the final of the Classic Tournament where he faced Andreas Harre.

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

Once again though, Roy seemed destined to take second place just as he had in the DPM and the Team Tournament. Andreas took a 2-0 victory to claim the Classics title.

Andreas had beaten Martin Ayub 2-1 to reach the final, while Roy has the same score against Michael Trepp. Michael and Martin played a decider for third place which Martin won.

Classics Tournament winner, Andreas Harre
Classics Tournament winner, Andreas Harre

Second place, Roy Wils
Second place, Roy Wils

Third place, Martin Ayub
Third place, Martin Ayub

With all the trophies and cash prizes awarded, the Dutch Pinball Masters 2015 came to an end.

The DPM format proves every year to be a popular one, guaranteeing everyone a minimum of twelve games in the qualification round. It is so popular that all the available places quickly sold out, leading organiser Albert Nomden to expand both the duration and the number of players for next year's DPM.

The rest of the crew at the Clubhouse also made everyone feel welcome and provided a very professional service. The Clubhouse is ideally-suited to holding events of this kind, with a ready-made supply of machines and service facilities.

When a tournament machine had a problem, the repair team were quick to attend to it. If it needed any soldering work, the machine was quickly wheeled out of the tournament area and into the repair room, while one of the standby machines was substituted.

We'll certainly be back in 2016, as long as we can get one of those much sought-after places before they all sell out.

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