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A New Champion Arises at the “Best of The West”

Late Sunday night concluded the 2015 “Best of the West” Pong Championships. If you haven’t been following the action, here’s a recap: This past Friday, June 5th, started the festivities with a $2,000 kick-off tournament, in which Brandon Marx (AZ) and Mark Pimentel (CA) clenched the title for the second consecutive year.  Read more about their win here.

On to the Main Event:

Prelims began on Saturday, June 6th, and told another tale of Marx as Arizona led the way with a (22-8, +50) record to secure the number 1 seed heading into the playoff bracket on Day 3. However, the Vegas squad foreshadowed Day 3 drama pulling in right behind the AZ squad with a (20-10, +45) record.

Day 3 produced an upset in the 2nd round when the Ocean Grown Pong squad knocked off the reigning 4-time BOW champion Nor Cal team. The San Diego Kingz, led by Mark Pimentel, put down former WSOBP Champion Byron Findley’s new Californian team in the 2nd round to set up a semi-final match-up against the Las Vegas Kick Rocks team. The Arizona squad eventually sent the OGP team into the 3rd place game from the semi-final match-up that ensued following their upset of Nor Cal.

The Vegas boys prevailed against Pimentel’s San Diego Kingz, which put them in a position to win Las Vegas’s first BOW title upon defeating Arizona.

The Arizona men looked to be the favorite after 4 rounds of finals play (best of 25), leading the Las Vegas team 11-9 going into the final round; needing just 2 more wins to secure the 2015 Best Of The West Championship. Arizona took game 1 in the last round of play and it seemed inevitable that AZ would be claiming both the Men’s and Women’s titles. However, the Vegas squad had other ideas as they fought back to secure the next 3 games to set up a decisive game 5 (or 25) for all the marbles!

Dante Yell & Mike Wan (Vegas) vs. TJ Robinson & Vance Anzaldua (Arizona). Its triple OT and Arizona must rebuttal 2 cups in order to force a fourth overtime. Vance Anzaldua knocks down the two-rack to give his teammate an opportunity to keep the game alive. Robinson’s shot falls short along with Arizona’s title hopes.

Congratulations to the 2015 Best Of The West Main Event Champions:

Las Vegas Kick Rocks!

2015 Best Of The West Champions: Las Vegas Kick Rocks
2015 Best Of The West Champions: Las Vegas Kick Rocks

Players Include: Rickey Shepard (Captain), Justin Spurrier, Mike Wan, Brandon Herbert, Sam Henshaw, Curtis Armistead, Travis Parnell, Dante Yell, Ethan Wald, and Henry Pham

BOW ladies:

The Arizona ladies squad also found themselves in the finals vs. a familiar foe in the San Diego/So Cal squad. After a rough preliminary showing, the San Diego team picked up their play enough during the playoffs to will themselves back to the finals but still fell just short of defending their crown. This is the 4th time in 5 years that the Arizona ladies have taken the BOW hardware home with them.

Congratulations to the Arizona ladies squad on your 2015 Best Of The West win!

2015 Best Of The West Ladies Champions: The Arizona Squad
2015 Best Of The West Ladies Champions: The Arizona Squad

Players Include: Priscilla Kusmeriz (Captain), Shannon Kroll, Ariel Albrightt, Katie Ancona, Tracy Harsha, and Tonisha Harvin

Arguably, a just as impressive performance on the ladies front comes from one of only two female participants playing in the BOW Main Event. OGP’s Roxanne Huey led her team to a series win vs. the San Diego Kingz that ultimately resulted in her team cashing out with a 3rd place finish.

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Can’t get enough of 10v10 beer pong action? No worries, The Best Of The Midwest (BOMW) is right around the corner! This fall, September 11th-13th, teams from across the midwest will take flight to Chicago, IL, to determine who is the Best Of The Midwest!!

Check out BPONG.COM or HOMEbarchicago.com for more BOMW VI. information, or visit the Official BOMW VI. event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/873359099390775/

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Best Of The West Kick-off Tourney Recap and Day 2 Main Event Action

 

As Day 2 of The Best Of The West (BOW) tournament in San Diego, CA, wound down late last night, the kickoff tourney champs were crowned and the preliminary schedule was wrapped up, paving the way for Day 3 action.

Brandon Marx (AZ) and Mark Pimentel (CA) fight their way to the top of the BOW $2k kick-off tourney title.
Brandon Marx (AZ) and Mark Pimentel (CA) fight their way to the top of the BOW $2k kick-off tourney title.

In the Kick-off Tourney, Brandon Marx (AZ) and Mark Pimentel (CA) claimed the cash and the top spot in the kickoff tourney for the 2nd straight year. This championship is actually Marx’s 3rd straight BOW kickoff tourney win, having won the tournament with Travis Carl in 2013 as well.

Before claiming this win, Marx and Pimentel had to take down another AZ/CA pairing of TJ Robinson (AZ) and Ryan Smith (CA). The entertainment value of this finals matchup did not disappoint! As Game 1 began, it felt like the making of an enormous upset – to everyone in the building except Big Mark and Marx.

The chatter was high on the end off the table that was occupied by Robinson/Smith and rightfully so, as every advantage needs to be capitalized on. (Especially, in a finals match and even more so against such highly touted competition.) Ryan Smith stepped up to the table with supreme confidence in himself to sink the last cup left on the table to put Pimentel/Marx against the ropes and force rebuttal shots.

…this is where things got interesting…

Smith, without skipping a beat, continued to talk trash as he gathered his shot, even requesting the direct attention of his opponents while shooting. However, given the extensive experience of the Marx/Pimentel squad, Marx decided to utilize a defensive strategy best left to the top players on the planet and does so in flawless fashion.

With only one cup remaining on both sides, and in the midst of a flurry of trash talk (with $2k on the line, of course), Marx intercepts Smith’s shot mid-air (leaving no chance for a miss) and fluently bangs his rebuttal shot all in one motion. (At this point, Tim Mozgov and Fredrick Weis might as well have been standing on the other side of the table.)

Game 2 didn’t turn out to be as close as the first as Marx/Pimentel completed their quest to repeat. My guess is because of the manhood that was all but stripped from them at the end of Game 1.

Sam Henshaw (LV) / Justin Spurrier (LV) and Adam Conrad (CA) / Justin Miller (CA) tied for 3rd.

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Day 2 also concluded preliminary play for the 10v10 Main Event!

BOW all squads
Beer Pong players from across the West Coast unite at Johnny V’s in San Diego this weekend for the annual Best Of The West tournament!

In anticipation of this event, we had pondered the likelihood of Nor Cal continuing their dominance with a new roster. After Day 2, it seems that they are coming back down to earth, as they finished prelims (19-11, +5) and in the 4th seed. However, SOJO’s WSOBP battery mate (Tim “Byron” Findley) seems to have found a new Cali squad, “Cali’s Last Resort”, as they settled comfortably into the 3rd seed with a (19-13, +33) record.

Marx continued his quality play as he has led his Arizona squad to the top overall seed in preliminary play with a (22-8, +50) record.

Having almost zero hype leading up to BOW was the Las Vegas teams. The men (Kick Rocks) have secured the 2nd seed and the Vegas ladies have the top overall seed going into bracket play.  A good showing for sure!

The returning ladies champs (Southern California) fell to (4-8, -22) and slipped into the 4th  seed, as the 3-time ladies champion Arizona squad sits near the top of the bracket in a 2 seed with a (7-5, +13) record.

Who will take home the Main Event title and be crowned 2015’s Best Of The West?

Check back with us next week for complete tournament results!