Retirement has made me a bit of a lazy blogger. I know you’ve all been wondering what went down, how Sonoma and Pimentel managed to come in third, and just who in the hell is Bob? We’ll get to all that soon enough.
Friday, August 3rd – WSOBP Satellite
Friday night started us off with a WSOBP satellite. With only four months to go, most studs already have their bids so the restrictions are starting to show. Some players (Sonoma and Pimentel specifically) had partners they had never met before lined up for the event. One of those partners, enthusiastic ABQ player Travis Kozlowski, managed to show up to the bar sans ID, and so was escorted out. No worries, Pimentel called out for a random partner, and he picked up Clovis’s Jacob Fritz-Monzel.
As this weekend was my retirement tournament, Gabe and Gillooly were in charge of running the satty, leaving me to drink my face off. This endeavor resulted in making a rather poor bet with 7 other ABQ players. If any of us went 0-2 on either of our teams, we had to buy a round of shots for everyone else in the bet. 7 shots later and I was in a bad/good place. I don’t exactly remember at what point I got knocked out, but I do remember the finals. Sonoma and ABQ’s own Tyler Holt faced off against the last minute team of Pimentel and Jacob (tough luck, Travis). Before the game began, the Cali players made a deal not to take any of the three balls, putting all the pressure on the NM half. Both played great, but Tyler proved the better after hitting all three of the last cups to end the game (Sonoma bricks like a champ).
After the tournament it fell to the few of us who had sobered up enough to drive to take all the out of towners back to the hotel. Let me tell you about driving drunk AZ players: don’t do it. If you absolutely must, be sure Marx and Arnold are in separate vehicles. I’m not sure how I avoided getting pulled over with these guys yelling at every bystander and vehicle we passed, but we made it back to the hotel. Go ahead and search YouTube or Facebook for videos of the homoerotics that took place in their room that night, it’s good stuff.
Saturday, August 4th – SWC $5k Main Event
Ugh. Waking up early enough to set up after a night like that was not a pleasant experience. Luckily I got a couple beers down off the bat, and things were back to par. We had a lot of last minute and close to last minute bails for the main event (looking at you El Paso, Louisiana, Colorado), but still had plenty of players which promised for a great day of pong. For those of you new to the game, or weekly-only players, let me tell you that all-day tournaments are a different animal. We’re not sprinting here, this is a marathon. I had managed to pick up the local stud David Glaser for the main event (after we were both bailed on by Louisiana), and so had high hopes for the day. After our first two prelim games, however, we clocked in at dead last. LOL beerpong. Our third game was against the Cali studs Sonoma/Pimentel, and I told Glaser this would be our first win. Lo and behold, it was. We didn’t lose again until the winners bracket finals (I’ll get to that in a minute).
After prelims, Marx took the top seed for the second year running, going undefeated. Locals Gabe and Sonny took the two seed at 7-1, which was humorous as the night before Gabe was supposed to be playing with former Arizonan Josh Bird. Bird ended up bailing, without so much as a phone call or text. For the record, if you’re planning on Bird showing up for an event, don’t. Anyway, Gabe lucked out and picked up Sonny after Matt Stinson realized he couldn’t actually work until 4 in Phoenix and still make it to ABQ (seriously guys, think these things through!). The third seed was taken by local favorites Edan and Corey, followed by yours truly and Glaser. Probably most surprising was Pimentel and Sonoma coming in at 10th. The desert air and Southwest food apparently was doing wonders on Seivert’s digestive system. Ask him how many times he shit that day.
Anyway, we all know prelims are just practice, the bracket is what counts. This is also where the legend of Bob came to be. First, a little backstory. If you’ve ever been to the Series, BOW, or any ABQ tournament, chances are your favorite ABQ player is Andy Thomlison. The big ginger is the nicest guy in the game, so nice that even Mr. Ronny Hamilton wanted to have a chat with him outside after last year’s East vs. West. Anyway, even if you know Andy, most likely you’ve never met his dad. Bob is a tall, skinny, older gentleman with a killer mustache. It’s hard to understand him when he talks, but somehow you always know he’s talking about taking someone “out back”.
Anyway, on this particular Saturday, Bob was picked up by another local player Aaron Burkhalter. This was largely a novelty team, and weren’t expected to go too deep in the bracket. The fell to the losers bracket after the first round. Then something magic happened. A father/son face off took place when Andy had to play his father, and Bob showed us all where the talent in the family comes from. The next game they faced There Is No Off Switch, comprised of Mr. Nubz himself, Vance Anzaldua, and the rookie AZ star, TJ Robinson. Bob wasn’t having any of these young punks’ shit. He and Aaron ran 10-12, and knocked out the AZ stars. TJ announced his retirement from beer pong at the scene, and according to Facebook it seems Vance has followed suit. Bob ends careers, guys.
In the same bracket, the 1 seed Marx/Arnold ended up losing to the last minute ABQ team We Sleep in Cars (Manny Marquez and Brent Harrison). Glaser and I were running the winners bracket, and hearing that the favorites were knocked into the losers bracket already was music to my ears. We ended up facing them in the bracket finals. I never knew what heartbreak really was before that loss. I had to leave the bar and have a moment with God before returning for the third place game. We ended up facing Pimentel and Sonoma for third place, after they were eliminated by Edan and Corey. Both teams were visibly disappointed. Going from a very real chance at $3k to playing for $500 really takes a lot out of you. We shot terrible, and walked away empty handed.
The finals showed how exhausted each of the remaining four players really were, as both teams shot pretty badly. Even with an excited crowd supporting each side, the match proceeded slowly until Marx and Arnold finally pulled off the win. Congrats to Marx for taking his second SWC title in a row, and to AZ for continuing their dominance of the Southwest pong scene. (It hurt to write that sentence).
We had another cash tournament afterward, but I honestly don’t remember much of it. People were more interested in Marx absolutely corrupting everyone’s memories of Bohemian Rhapsody and other songs on the karaoke machine.
Sunday, August 5th – Singles Satellite
Being the nice guy that he is, Pimentel put up Sonoma’s bid as the prize for the Singles Championships. Two rough nights of pong and drinking can take a lot out of you, and that was apparent on everyone’s face as we stumbled back into the bar. Waiting until noon to start drinking was also rough (stupid NM laws). The most exciting game of the day was between Sofie and Arnold, when Sofie was able to hit last cup first in both regulation and the first OT. Arnold was a dick, though, and knocked her out in the last OT.
Ultimately, Marx faced Pimentel in the finals, and took the bid. Everyone hates Marx, yada yada (yah I know this is his site, and?). With that, it was time to call it a day.
It was my last tournament to run, and as bittersweet as that is, I’m glad to enjoy my last few months of pong as a player and not an organizer. It was good to see everyone, and I look forward to one last hoorah in Vegas! See you in January!