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Beer Pong Superstitions

Did you know Michael Jordan wore his blue University of North Carolina shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform for good luck? Tiger Woods always wears red on Sundays. Almost every athlete in every sport and level of competition has some kind of superstition. Beer pong players are no different.

If anything, beer pong players are more superstitious than average athletes. There are very few moving parts in a game of beer pong: Two players, ten cups and two balls to a side. There is little margin for error, so beer pong players are always looking for something to give them a leg up in competition.

Some players are superstitious as to what side of the beer pong table they shoot from. If they are used to standing on the right side of the table and you make them stand on the left, don’t expect a great game from them.

Some players have lucky shirts, shorts, shoes or hats (or whatever accessory you can think of). Sometimes, when you look at pictures of the same people from different beer pong tournaments, it’s hard to tell the difference because they are wearing the exact same thing. Of course, there are some of us who wear the same stuff because we don’t wash our clothes, but that’s a different story.

Some players need to bounce the ball a certain number of times before they shoot. Maybe they need to dip it in the water cup and shake it a few times before getting ready to shoot. Not to mention, there’s also those annoying players that need to take a few practice shooting motions before throwing the ball, like they’re lining up a tournament-winning birdie putt on the 18th green at the U.S. Open.

Some players have racks they always shoot at and ones they just can’t hit. They may be able to hit the 10 and 6 racks without hesitation, but give them an “ugly” rack with cups hit all over the place, and they may not want to shoot.

Some players need to have the hit cups placed on a certain side of the table before they shoot. Even if they are completely out of the way, they just can’t shoot with them being on the “wrong” side.

Some of us are superstitious about what we drink the day of a major beer pong tournament. Whether it’s a 40 oz. bottle of King Cobra Malt Liquor or an entire bottle of Jack Daniels, we can’t function without it.

What are some of your beer pong superstitions?

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Getting Better at Beer Pong

Once upon a time in the competitive beer pong community, you could count the elite players in the country on two hands. Whether you’re located on the West Coast or the East Coast, the same names would come up in every conversation. As the community grew and more and more players were exposed to the competitive levels of the game, something happened: Everyone got good.

The first World Series of Beer Pong I played in was WSOBP III. My partner at the time had made his debut the year prior and he told me we would be a cinch to make Day Three. He told me that players in our region played the best competition throughout the year and we would be so much better than everyone else. Our first opponent on the first day was a guy he had won a lot of money from off of cash games the year before. Those guys that apparently “sucked” beat us by 4 or 5 cups. It was more of the same for the rest of the tournament and we ended up NOT making Day Three, the first and last time I would miss Day Three.

It used to be that you could look at your preliminary schedule and figure out who the “easy wins” would be and what the “touch matchups” would be. You’d ask your friends if they knew any of the teams or players. Not anymore. You can’t underestimate anyone these days. Just because a player isn’t well-known or just because they don’t make a million posts a day in the National Beer Pong Facebook group doesn’t mean anything. Almost everyone who is signing up to play competitively at the WSOBP or Masters of Beer Pong can play and hang with the best.

So how do players become great players? I think there are three ways:

1. Natural Ability

As shitty as it is for the rest of us, some guys are just naturally good. The first organized tournament I ever played in also happened to be the first organized tournament that Sean Foster played in. My friend and I looked at the team Sean ^2 and, given our background in partying, figured it to be an easy win. Well, they smoked us. They finished 2-2 but went on to take second place in their very next tournament a couple of weeks later. Granted, Foster has become a much better player since then, but even from the beginning he was hanging with the best.

2. Practice

Practice anything and you’ll get better at it, right? In the case of Sean Foster, he took beer pong practice to the next level. He invented the “Pong Shot” ball return device. Basically, he’d shoot a ball at cups and it would roll back to him. Rumor has it he would take hundreds of shots a night. We know this because his ex-girlfriend would tell everyone how much he would play with his Pong Shot. While not everyone has a pong shot, we’ve all shot cups by ourselves from one side of the table, retrieve the balls, and shoot from the other side. Some practice with their partners, etc. While practice can’t replace real game experience, it can certainly take a player to the next level.

3. Experience

Neither the highest amounts of natural ability or practice can substitute for true game experience. There’s no preparation for how you’ll feel the first time you make the finals of a tournament. Almost all of us go through the “happy to be here” phase of a beer pong career. You’re in the finals, you’re guaranteed a prize of some kind, and you are just happy to be there. Once you get a taste of victory or defeat you’re left wanting more, but those first couple of times, it’s all good win or lose. But for most of us, it takes a while to get rid of the nerves you’ll experience shooting a big rebuttal shot, or coming back from a deficit with our backs against the wall. It takes a while to learn how to deal with distractions, and on the opposite end, how to get in your opponent’s head as well. In the end, you need to learn from experience how to get better.

There are no easy wins in competitive beer pong anymore. One day soon, if not already, a miss or two will cost you the win. Everyone will keep getting better.

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Drinkin’ Smokin’ Straight West Coastin’ Wins WSOBP VIII


The final table at this year’s World Series of Beer Pong was filled with familiar faces. But in the end, a new champion was crowned as Drinkin’ Smokin’ Straight West Coastin’ beat two-time WSOBP champion Smashing Time to win the World Series of Beer Pong VIII.

The teammates from California, Michael “Sonoma Joe” Sievert and Timothy “Byron” Findley, long considered two of the games premier players, have tasted success before. Both players have won numerous high-stakes beer pong tournaments, both individually and as teammates. But in what is rumored to be their final World Series of Beer Pong appearance, DSSWC finally claimed the elusive title of World Champions and its grand prize of $50,000.

“Feels pretty incredible,” Michael Sievert said of the win. “In everything I have ever done in life I have strived to be the best at what I do, and I have finally accomplished that with beer pong and it feels great.”

Making the final table for their first time in WSOBP play was no easy task. In winning their pod, they outlasted WSOBP VI champions “Standing Ovation” and one of last year’s winners, Ross Hampton, of “DanegeRoss.” As a reward for their difficult pod, they had the luxury of facing the only two-time World Series of Beer Pong champions, Michael “Pop” Popielarski and Ron Hamilton of “Smashing Time,” winners of WSOBP IV and WSOBP V in the finals.

While the day started with 160 teams hoping to take home the giant-sized check, the field was quickly narrowed to 128 teams after the single-elimination play-in round. The winners of each of the 16 pods then played in the Sweet 16 round, which left Smashing Time vs. Zach Gilkison and Ricky Posada of “The Blueprint” and DSSWC vs. Richard “Chewie” Patchett and Paul Toland of “Captain Esquire” in the Final Four.

Team “Albuquerque Owes Us Handjobs” was the #1 overall seed heading into the final day of competition with a 12-0 record in prelims and record +63 cup differential. Teammates Nolan Jones and Grady Hunt lost in the finals of Pod 1 to “Boom Goes the Dynamite,” teammates Michael Gramer and Ryan Rossell. Boom Goes the Dynamite was later eliminated by “The Blueprint” in the Elite 8.

Please check back soon for photos and more coverage of this year’s World Series of Beer Pong.

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WSOBP VIII Day Two Recap and Final Day Preview

Day Two of the World Series of Beer Pong concluded this evening in record-breaking fashion, with “Albuquerque Owes us Handjobs” earning the #1 seed entering the final day of competition.

Teammates Nolan Jones and Grady Hunt earned the top spot in style, breaking the two-year-old cup differential record with a 12-0, +63 margin. Over 12 games, the duo from the West Coast won each game by 5.25 cup games. Team Bangarang, tied for first place after Day One, finished preliminary play in second place with a 12-0, +58 cup differential.

While 372 teams hoped to make the final day and play for $50,000, only 160 were able to move on to tomorrow’s final round. The bottom 64 teams will play in a single-elimination round to advance into double-elimination pool play. The winner of each “pod” will play in two double-elimination brackets in the Sweet 16.

Here are the top seeds from each pod:

Pod 1: Albuquerque Owes us Handjobs (Nolan Jones and Grady Hunt)

Pod 2: Why you Mad? (David Talamantez Jr. and James Alanis)

Pod 3: Bangarang (Thomas Reap and Kris Fraser)

Pod 4: Don’t Crap Out (Mantis and Andre Mirzayan)

Pod 5: Hank&Dank (David Peacock and Brad Mosdell)

Pod 6: DanegeRoss (Ross Hampton and Dane Ellis)

Pod 7: PongZillA (Ben Robelin and Mark Pettitt)

Pod 8: SLEEPYFOX & SANCHEZ (Lenny O’Rourke and David Zajac)

Pod 9: This Ain’t Sea World (Mike Wan and Peter Rusch)

Pod 10: We Invented Swag (Mark Pimental and Arnold Colela)

Pod 11: Substance Over Style (Nick Barbera and James Riebl)

Pod 12: Super Squirrel Swag (Aaron Smith and Zach Johnson)

Pod 13: Indelible Ink (Andy Decaluwe and Scott Frew)

Pod 14: Presents Clinically Proven (Chris Kingsbury and Christopher Cross)

Pod 15: Sunny Side Up (Kevin Kwiatkowski and Michael Kloiber)

Pod 16: Bang Cup (Antonio Ayala and George Garcia)

Be sure to check throughout tomorrow for up-to-the-minute stats and results.

Good luck to all teams playing tomorrow!


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WSOBP VIII Day One Recap

The World Series of Beer Pong VIII officially kicked off this morning at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. When former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman opened the competition declaring beer pong the official sport of Las Vegas, the 372 teams in attendance erupted in cheers.

Day One of the World Series of Beer Pong is always a celebration. Every team starts with a clean slate and an equal chance at making a run at the $50,000 grand prize. Everyone is a contender on the first day. Teams do their best to rack up the wins and positive cup differential, positioning them in the best possible spot for a high seed in the third and final day of competition.

At the halfway point, the separation between the contenders and the pretenders begins to widen. While 41 teams remain undefeated win six wins at the halfway point, two teams sit tied in first place with the highest cup differential of +34. presents Clinically Proven and Bangarang are the two teams everyone will chase tomorrow. Chris Kingsbury and Christopher Cross, members of presents Clinically Proven, finished second overall in last year’s WSOBP. Both teams are poised to break the two-year-old cup differential of +60, set by Last of a Dying Breed two years ago.

DanegeRoss, last night’s East vs.West champion, finished the day at 6-0 with a +22 cup differential. Ross Hampton of DanegeRoss was part of last year’s WSOBP VII champion, Seek N Destroy. WSOBP VI champs, Standing Ovation, finished the day at 4-2 with a +20 cup differential. WSOBP IV and V champs Smashing Time, reuniting after last year’s hiatus, also finished the day undefeated with a +16 cup differential.

After the second half of preliminary games tomorrow, 160 teams will move on to the final day of competition. The bottom 64 teams will play a single-elimination round with the winners advancing to 128-team double-elimination pool play. The top 16 teams will advance to the Sweet 16 round, where they will play in two double-elimination brackets. The top 2 teams from there will play for the giant-sized $50,000 grand prize.

Tonight’s side events will feature Men’s Singles and Female Singles competition.

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DanegeRoss wins the East vs. West Tournament

It may be a new year, but it was the same old results for defending World Series of Beer Pong Champion Ross Hampton. Along with partner Dane Ellis, “DanegeRoss” won last night’s East vs. West tournament in the Eldorado Ballroom at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, kicking off the first official event of the World Series of Beer Pong VIII.

Hampton and Ellis, teaming up in their first official WSOBP event, are one of the favorites to win this year’s WSOBP $50,000 main event. The duo outlasted a field of 128 and beat RGVP, Cameron Chappell and Adrian Gonzales, representing, McAllen, TX, in the finals.

Smashing Time, two-time WSOBP champions reuniting for the WSOBP after a brief hiatus, finished third in the tournament. David Glaser and Edan Hemphill finished in fourth place. Kevin Kessler and Vince Catizone (Moment of Truth) tied for fifth place against Bangarang, Thomas Reap and Kris Fraser.

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The day we’ve all been waiting for

As I type this sentence, I am four hours and thirty-one minutes from landing in Las Vegas, Nevada for the World Series of Beer Pong VIII. Thanks to the trusty Wi-Fi from Southwest Airlines, I can tell the rest of the beer pong community is just as excited as I am by looking through my Facebook timeline.

This WSOBP will be a little different for me. For the first time, I will be making the trip out to spectate, not to compete. A veteran of WSOBP III, IV, V, and VI, my flights out to Vegas on the first of January are usually filled with a nervous excitement. Like everyone else, I’ve convinced myself it’s my turn to win the $50,000 grand prize. At this point I’m normally wondering where the cash games will be and who we’ll be facing on Day One.

Unfortunately, last year I could not get off work and had to miss the trip. It was the first WSOBP I had missed in five years. And for the first time, I realized how much it sucked to be stuck at home, living vicariously through my Facebook friends and text message updates. The WSOBP is an event that must be experienced in person to appreciate.

If there’s one thing the WSOBP has lacked over the years, it’s a lack of updates during the tournament. Things start promising enough, but once the ballroom sucks out your cell phone battery, the alcohol starts setting in, and the grind of the tournament starts to take its toll, the updates become few and far between. This year, I’m going to change that.

Later today, I’ll post a list of teams I will be paying particular attention to. While I’m not going to predict a winner at this point, I will highlight the teams I think will go far into the tournament. As the tournament progresses, I will keep you updated on featured matchups, highlights, etc. As there always is, I am sure we will see some sleeper teams play their way into contention. I’ll also do my best to provide updates during the side events as well, beginning with tonight’s East v. West Tournament brought to you by Trudeau’s reusable Red Party Cup.

In the meantime, please feel free to comment below if there are any teams you think I should be following closely.