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Beer Pong Champs
February 3, 2013 - Brandon Marx

Beer Pong Champs: Drinkin’ Smokin’ Straight West Coastin’

Each year, hundreds of players from around the world join together in Las Vegas in hopes of being crowned the Beer Pong Champs of The World. With the Midwest claiming this prestigious honor for the last two years in a row, a new champion and familiar face emerged as champions of WSOBP 8.  Less than a month since the dust has settled in Las Vegas, Pongstars.net sits down with Michael “Sonoma Joe” Seivert and Timothy Byron Findley of team “Drinkin’ Smokin’ Straight West Coastin’ to take a candid look at their championship victory as well as another weeks worth of shannanigins that we’ve all come to know and love as the World Series of Beer Pong.

Pongstars.net: Congrats on the win guys! First off, how long have you two known each other and exactly how long has “DSSWC” been a team on the national pong circuit?

DSSWC: We’ve known each other for a little more than 4 years. We have been playing together since February of 2010.

Pongstars.net: What was it like finally hoisting the “big check” above your heads and what are your plans for the money?

Sonoma: It felt good to finally get that weight off my shoulders. With the money, I’ll be taking a few vacations and plan to invest some. The rest will probably be spent traveling to Vegas to see Reed and Rosie.
Byron: It was absolutely surreal. It’s been a goal of mine since my first series when I saw Fat Kid and Chauffeur take it down. They were the first people I ever met through pong. Was great to have both of them there this year, along with everyone else who was buying us drinks and sitting in our corner. I plan to save most of it, buy a few drinks for the people mentioned, and go on a vacation or two.

Pongstars.net: It seemed like the organizers of this years WSOBP 8 focused more on the party aspect rather than the competitive side of the game, with costume contests as well as other different additions to the week long festivities in an attempt to draw in new teams and players. Do you feel like these changes helped or hurt the WSOBP as a whole?

DSSWC: We think it helped for future events. It was by far the biggest “party” we’ve been to at one of these. Making it less focused on the competitive side doesn’t mean there will be less competition. Everyone seemed to have a blast this year. Obviously we had a great time.

Pongstars.net: This was DSSWC’s 3rd World Series as a team, and you two are certainly no strangers to the famed “Black Carpet”. Tell us, how did this World Series compare to the previous two, and what was your mindset heading into day 3 and the ridiculously competitive bracket you two found yourselves in?

Sonoma: We knew we’d have to beat really good teams if we were gonna win. Didn’t matter what round. We just talked about not pressing and having fun with the experience since we thought it would be our last time playing together.
Byron: Admittedly, it wasnt the most desired pod, but we felt like they didn’t want to see us just as much. You know you’re not gonna win a series without beating some really tough teams.

Pongstars.net: On your way to the final table, DSSWC crossed paths with a former world championship team (Standing Ovation) as well as 1/2 of last years winners (Ross Hampton of team “Seek and Destroy”). In your opinions, which game was tougher? Or was there a completely different game in which DSSWC was pushed to the brink of elimination?

Sonoma: We didn’t bring our A game in the first game against Standing O and they made us pay. We shot much better the rest of the way. Ross put us on a one cup rebuttal that could have ended our run. So Id probably say that was the tougher match up.
Byron: We had a number of tough games. But of those two matches I’d say the shooting was probably better against Dangeross for both teams. Both games were really close. But I love playing against Dane, so I was excited to see them in our bracket finals. Was definitely a good omen.

Pongstars.net: DSSWC faced off against Ron Hamilton and Mike Pop of team “Smashing Time” in the finals of this years WSOBP, the most decorated team in WSOBP history. With your prior accomplishments as well as this years world championship, where would you say this places DSSWC as far as the greatest beer pong teams of all time?

Sonoma: I would say that Smashing Time still has a slight edge over us by winning two World Series titles, but over the past 3 years we have put together a resume that can rival anyone.
Byron: If we manage to repeat we can talk about that. But I think we stack up with any team on the table.

Pongstars.net: Over the past few years, competitive beer pong has seen a number of top players from around the country joining forces for various mid majors and majors; despite the formations of these so called “super teams”, DSSWC remained loyal to each other. How much of a role did “partner loyalty” play in DSSWC decision to continue on as a team all these years?

Sonoma: We believed we were a super team from the beginning, I was one of just a few people that knew the true talent level of Byron, the main difference between us and other super teams is that we have a great friendship off the table so it makes everything that much easier for us.
Byron: Sonoma and I teamed up after both tying for 9th with different partners that year at WSOBP V. Went on to win AC. We felt like we formed a super team on the West Coast. I think a lot of people forget I know how to shoot a third ball too. There’s not a lot of players who I’d just make one and get out of the way for. Just ended up becoming friends with one of them.

Pongstars.net: Sonoma, before this years WSOBP, you made it clear that win or lose, this was going to be your final WSOBP. But when word began to spread of the $100K going down in Las Vegas in July, you quickly backed off those comments. Now that a month has passed since claiming the title of beer pong champs, are you still planning to stick to your retirement plans? And if not, do you see DSSWC making an appearance in the biggest Beer Pong tournament EVER?

Sonoma: At the current time I am putting my retirement plans on hold, the recent talks of a $100k and the chance to come back to the series one last time as the defending champion is an opportunity I find hard to pass up. Our schedule will be scaled down considerably from last year probably playing in 10 or less events this year. You will definitely see DSSWC at most of the bigger events going on this year.

Pongstars.net: Byron, do you see yourself continuing your beer pong career post-DSSWC? It’s hard to imagine you standing next to anyone other than Sonoma Joe.

Byron: I had been planning on this being my last series for a few months. 6 in a row is a lot. Rumors had been flying that Sonoma and Mark would team up afterwards, lets not talk about how scary that would be. It was hard to imagine playing with anyone but Daniel. But this has worked out okay. The whole week we said the only way we’d keep playing was if we won. So I guess that means we’ll see you this summer.

Pongstars.net: With that being said, what are some realistic expectations for you two as a team heading into 2013?

DSSWC: We don’t plan on making it to many events this year. Masters and defending in January but haven’t talked much past that.

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Sonoma Joe and Byron, but whatever the coming year may bring, it has certainly been a pleasure sharing the table with these two legendary pongers! Congrats again guys on an amazing run and being crowned this year’s Beer Pong Champions!

-Valdez

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