Tuesday, 04 January 2011
Beer pong is definitely less about the beer nowadays and more about the pong. The game has changed a whole lot since my days of playing when I was in college.
Back in the day we divided up in teams of two, and sat ten cups at either ends like bowling pins filled with about one-third beer, and trashed talked and yelled unspeakables about people’s mother, all while trying to get one of our ping pong balls in a cup on the other side of the table. If we made it, then the opposing side would drink, and the first team to sink all 10 cups would win. It's very sophisticated. Okay it really wasn’t back then, but it definitely is now.
With a $50,000 grand prize on the line people come from all over to compete in The World Series of Beer Pong(WSOBP) held in sin city itself-Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the largest, and longest running organized beer pong tournament in the world, created by beer pong players, for beer pong players. At last year’s event it drew in over 800 participants from 45 US states, and 5 Canadian Provinces. All games are played on an 8-foot beer pong table, and WSOBP governs all gameplay. This is some real serious beer pong playing that goes down in the desert.
Teams entered the tournament by either buying-in and registering at bpong.com prior to, or won their way into the event by competing in an official Satellite Tournament. Players who bought-in to the tournament had to fork over $500+ apiece, which included a 4-night stay at the Flamingo Hotel on the Las Vegas strip.
The best teams hit about 70% of their shots on the eight-foot tables. That's like pitching a quarter into a parking meter slot seven times out of 10.
What I found to be pretty shocking was that it was more about pong than booze. Four of the 10 cups are filled with water, which works out to one beer per player per hour. Regular pongers pour more than that on their Raisin Bran.
In fact, drinking is optional. One team used only water in the first round a couple of years ago—Mrs. and Mrs. Lara and Kristin Mendez of New York City. That's right, two married women. Beer Pong: changing the world.
The tournament runs for 3 days, with the first 2 days being preliminary rounds for seeding purposes. Each team plays 12 games of beer pong over the course of two days.
Finals take place tomorrow, with the highest ranked 128 teams being entered into a bracket. In the 1st round of finals, the lowest ranked 32 teams out of the 128 will play against teams ranked 65-96. In the 2nd round of finals, the winning teams from round 1 will face off against teams 33-64. The winning teams from round 2 will be combined with the top 32 teams and entered into a 64-team double elimination bracket.
If the World Series of Poker and the National Spelling Bee can get on ESPN, why not the WSOBP? This may be a bit bold for me to say, but personally I think beer pong is more of a sport than poker.(I'm not saying poker is not a sport) I'm just saying it belongs on live TV.
Do you think you and your fellow pongers has what it takes to take on the best and win at the World Series of Beer Pong next year?