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Blog and News

November 11, 2012 - Brandon Marx

Midwest Top 25

Every day, week, month,and year, after every cash game, weekly, satellite, mid-major, and World Series of Beer Pong there is some sort of discussion(argument) going on in multiple locations across the country about who the Best in the World is, so we at Pongstars.net have decided to create our own ranking systems with our own criteria. These rankings will consists of the Top 25 Players of each respective region so that the recognition of stellar talent and high level of play is properly awarded, continuing with The Midwest which was compiled by respected players and organizers relevant to that region. The criteria used was very simple and will be shared but the value of each will not. Criteria is as follows: Satellites, Current Year Finishes, Last Year Finishes, Partners(Who/Amount), Overall resume, and 1 v 1. That being said, take a look at your current MIDWEST TOP 25 PLAYERS!!!

Ross Hampton (STL)- What can be said about Ross that has not already been made clear over the last year? The guy is known as the robot, and that is exactly what he is. The scariest part about Ross is that almost every shot looks exactly the same, from the form, to the timing. Unphased by pressure, Ross is always on fire, including his epic 9/9 title clinching performance. All this has helped him have arguably the most dominant year in beer pong history. 2012 has included a World Series title, World Series singles title, Louisiana Mid Major, West Coast Championships title (including singles), 15 satellite wins, and multiple other victories. If you are expecting him to be satisfied any time soon, keep dreaming.

Dane Ellis (MI)- Players who come across Dane Ellis for the first time may be deceived by his shooting form, but their doubts are quickly corrected as Dane rarely finds the time to miss. A regular in the winner circles for years, Dane has found a new gear in 2012 and has had one his most successful seasons to date, including six bids, and a Michigan State Championships title. Constantly on the road, Mr. Ellis has won across the entire Midwest and certainly made an impression on us all, including new W.S. partner Ross Hampton. Dane has always been searching for that signature win, and he has never had a better chance than this year’s series.

Nick Syrigos (STL)- Former World Series champion Nick Syrigos is still a destructive force in the pong community. His biggest win of the season was the West Coast Championships, where he took down fellow World Series Champion Pop in two games of a Best-of-3 1v1 finals. He often flies below the radar due to his quiet demeanor, but everyone in the game knows Syrigos will be a title contender until the day he decides to retire. Still playing with long time partner Dan Range, Standing Ovation will continue its quest to be the second team with two sets of World Champion dog tags.

Zach Gilkison (OH)- One of the most consistent singles players in the country, Zach has always found himself in contention for a Vegas singles title. Along with his ability to rely on himself, Zach also knows how to win as a team. Many may look at this website and point out that Zach doesn’t have as many bids as expected, but that doesn’t include all of his cash tournament wins. Though restricted more by work this year than in years past, Zach has still brought in a healthy bag of cash, praying on other player’s lack of experience, or fear of him. Zach has recently partnered up for the World Series, seeking out talent from outside the Midwest in the form of Ricky Posada.

Matt White (STL)- Perhaps the most underrated player in the country following the World Series, Matt was punished for succumbing to a large dose of alcohol. Somehow, a poor finals performance completely erased the memory of all of Whiteboy’s hard work in getting to the final table. A fiery talent that can take over a game against the country’s best, Whiteboy can be remembered hitting several crucial shots in Seek N’ Destroys first encounter with Bangarang at this past World Series. Since winning the $50k, Whiteboy was given a new challenge of proving once again how strong of a player he was. He has done nothing short of that with wins against all of the games best including former partner Ross.

Johny Fourdyce (IL)- A breakout player of the year in 2011, Johnny Fourdyce is as intimidating a player as you will find in the country. With good height and a soft touch, Fourdyce seemingly drills cups in bunches. He has been hindered this season by an overwhelming work schedule, but has still found the time to lock in 3 satellite victories. When Johnny does make it to a tournament he almost always wins, or takes second. With a full season of traveling and playing the sky is the limit for a player of his caliber. Look for Johnny and new teammate Kurt Heizmann to make waves at WS VIII.

Scott Frew (IL)- In his second full year of playing Scott Frew has continued to improve upon seasons past and has found a great deal of success. An active player in the community, he has traveled as much in the region as anyone. Currently he has the third most bids in the Midwest Region (4) and has pulled off wins against all the players above. Still short a career defining win, he has recently locked in with his long time friend (and mentor) Andy Decaluwe to help the Midwest make another run at World Series glory.

Andy Decaluwe (IL)- This year was proof for how a great player can still find success when experiencing the trials of having a full time job and a full slate of classes. Despite being held back from playing by his work/school, Andy managed to win his bid early, and win the Best of Midwest 2k. Andy has the potential to move way up on this list, having lost none of his ability, merely the opportunity to show it off. Don’t be fooled though, he has not lost his confidence, nor his will to win. No one has had as much success with so many different people as him, and he looks to add one more player to that prestigious list.

Chris Van Nest (STL)- Perhaps no one player in the Midwest is more involved with the beer pong scene as Chris Van Nest. He lives and breathes the game. He runs tournaments, promotes the game (and his players) and plays at a high level. A very high level. Van Nest somehow finds the time to consistently get better despite devoting so much time to the game off the table. Chris has only won a single World Series bid, but he also won several bids to both the Pongstars 10K and the West Coast Championships. He also recently won the AABP $1k in Tulsa. He (and W.S. partner Matt White) also made a deep run at the WCC, falling just short in the semi-finals. With him at the top of his game, STL once again has produced a contender.

Joe Moler (OH)- The other half of the team formerly known as Running Riot, Joe Moler is another Midwest stud that has been hindered by a busy year of work. With less availability to play he has not had as many victories as in years past. However, Joey has recently found the time and his form, winning the Michigan State Beer Pong Championships, defeating former teammate Zach G. in a 1v1 finals. With a vacant teammate spot, and a bid to sign up with, Joey has locked up Jake “Skeet Skeet” Christie and will look to once again show off his abilities in Las Vegas.

Kurt Heizmann (ILL)

Rob Dix (ARK/STL)

Josh Henderson (ILL)

Dustin Zahn (WI)

Ryan Bladdick (STL)

“Hoot” Kohensky (STL)

Nick Velissaris (IL)

Todd Felder (WI)

Brendan Dyelle (MI)

Chris Swanson (MN)

Tony Henry (WI)

Kevin Kwiatkowski (STL)

Jake Christie (STL)

Shane Loch (MI)

Steve Soller (OH)

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