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December 30, 2012 - Brandon Marx

The South Heads to Las Vegas – 2012

Albuquerque, New Mexico
“Cheech and Pong”
Edan Hemphill and Corey Bareford

Over the past two years these two have emerged as the strongest team out of ABQ. They broke the top 33 at last year’s Series, their first, and plan to never finish that low again. The team’s loud antics during distraction are their trademark, along with Edan’s incredible reach across the table. Though many had argued that he and ABQ’s other local star, Glaser, should have teamed up this year, Edan’s chemistry with Corey can’t be denied. If they can get over the nerves that plagued them Day 3 last year, expect a very deep run from this team.

“10 Inches Soft”
David Glaser and Sonny Amparan

It’s been three years since they joined the SWBP scene and these two still look 19. Glaser’s easy going and calm nature is a stark contrast to Sonny’s loud mouth and abrasive attitude during the game. These two also broke the top 33 at their second Series last year. Most of us in ABQ assumed that would be 10 Inches’ last year as a team, but chemistry won out once again, and they are making another go at it. Glaser is tied for the most satellite wins in the South this year.

“No Chance”
Gabriel Montoya and Jeremy P.

Few teams have had as many highs and lows as ABQ’s No Chance. Teaming together for the first time in 2010, the two had an amazing year with 2 satty wins, countless cash wins, and a 9th place finish at WSOBP 6. It has been a rocky road since then, as the two struggled against a quickly growing ABQ pong scene. At Series 7, the two bombed on Day 3, failing to find a rhythm after their play-in game. Since then they have been working on their mental game, and with one last Series before Clawless’s retirement, plan to hit that black carpet one last time.

“Fuckin’ Cry About It”
Joseph “PeeWee” Lyle and Tyler Holt

There aren’t many who don’t know PeeWee after his performance at the Series last year. He took 5th place at last year’s Series singles event, 3rd and 2nd in back to back Battle of the South singles, and took 7th at the Mesquite $10k. Tyler is a new kid to the ABQ pong scene, but has proven himself more than capable playing at the top level. He joined the rest of ABQ’s top talent in taking first at this year’s Battle of the South. Since Beth’s retirement, PeeWee has been on the lookout for a new regular partner, and Tyler was more than happy to take that spot. Don’t sleep on these two.

“Choke and Stroke”
Ben White and Jordan Zachry

Pegged as one of the top up-and-comers in ABQ last year, Ben has had a pretty decent year, winning back to back satellites with Glaser. Jordan has been on the verge of becoming a top player all year, and if he is able to overcome his anger on the table, he can prove to be a valuable asset to the team. Since this will be this team’s second Series, they plan to improve upon last year’s performance.

“Burque Bombers”
Andy Thomlison and David Kozlowski

I don’t know if there’s much more I can write about these two that hasn’t already been said. They’ve been with the ABQ pong scene since the beginning, and have narrowly missed Day 3 the past two Series. Last year they finished Day 1 with a 5-1 record, confident that 2012 was their year, only to be crushed on Day 2. Andy finally won his first bid this year in a singles satellite, which is just the boost he needs to finally get over that Day 3 hump. By the way, if you haven’t had a drink with the Bombers yet, that should be one of your goals for this year.

“No Name Necessary”
Jack Smothers and Mekko Shije

Following his third or fourth retirement from pong (it’s hard to keep up), Jack is at it again with a new partner. Last year was Jack’s first Series, and he decided to go last minute with newly-21 player Victor Amparan, who proceeded to experience a drunken 21-year-old’s Vegas, missing games and cups all week. After the terrible partner experience, it’s surprising Jack ever returned to pong. That changed when new player Mekko joined the scene, and proved his worth by steadily improving his game every week to the point that it’s unsure who will emerge as the A-player in Vegas. Expect a deep run if these two are able to share the beer on the table.

“D&D Management”
Dusty Fleming and Derek Chavez

These two hail from the Corey Bareford school of beer pong in Albuquerque. Even though they only come out sporadically, they always end up running deep and are always highly coveted as satty partners. Derek won his first bid earlier this year with Gabe, and seems like he never needs to practice to play at his best. Dusty is one of the friendlier ABQ players, and will gladly give you a hug after he puts you under the table..

“Help Fight Pong Flu ”
Chris Gillooly and Mannie Barela

Since rejoining the ABQ scene after last year’s sojourn to AZ, Gillooly has been showing off what he learned at the Pongstars Palace. With a more consistent shot, he constantly takes players who are still expecting 2011-Chris by surprise. This year he is playing with another new ABQ player, Mannie B. Mannie is part of a new crowd that joined the ABQ scene in recent months, and is eager to prove what young blood is capable of.

Mighty Morphin Mary Jane Bangers
Lucas Henderson and Chris Hultquist

Lucas had a chance to play with PeeWee in last year’s Series, but sadly wasn’t quite old enough. Hultquist played with the whirlwind that is Mr. Satty himself, Manny Marquez. This year Hultquist and Lucas will probably be taking a much more relaxed approach to the game, though you shouldn’t take that to mean it’ll be a walk in the park. Lucas won a bid last year with Corey, and Hultquist has made the finals of two satties this year, just barely missing out on the title. If they can hit that right amount of drunk, and Lucas keeps from taking out the table mid throw, don’t be surprised if you find yourself staring down a rebuttal.

“Here For The Beer”
Vinny Vega and DJ Buenviaje

These two bring the party element back into beer pong. They’re not in it for the competition, so plan for drunken hijinks if you see them across the table. True to their name, the primary goal of this team is to drink, pong comes second. Expect to see them at the poker table as often as the pong table.

“Exit Strategy”
Ian Hays and Garrett Lehman

Though not technically ABQ, the Clovis team can be found in ABQ so often that they’ve been adopted by the SWBP family. If it weren’t for the utter lack of talent in Clovis, Ian may have made a bigger name for himself by this point, but instead he relies on Facebook stalking and joke theft to get his name out there. He finally won his first bid since 2010 playing with ABQ’s PeeWee, but unfortunately his regular partner Elliot couldn’t commit to the Vegas trip. Instead Ian picked up fellow Clovis stud Garrett, who plans to take advantage of his own relative obscurity to take his opponents by surprise.

North Texas

“The Young and The Banging”
Ryan Bladdick and Rob Dix

Dix placed 94th in last years World Series his first time around. Even though, he has been playing competitively for a year and a half, he has made a name for himself. Whether it was from his unorthodox shot, his “Ask” saying, or his skill of banging cups, everyone has taken notice. Rob worked hard this year by traveling to St. Louis to face some of the best in the Midwest. He was even invited to play on the STL, BOMW #1 squad, and winning. Dix headed down south a few times where he placed 2nd in the Quest for $7K in Louisiana. He has also taken down the AABP $1K in Tulsa. Dix has been able to win one WSOBP satellite this year, which may not seem like too much of an accomplishment, but he has taken 2nd, five times, all being sent home from the hands of Mr. Hampton. Bladdick hasn’t traveled as much as his partner, due to shoulder surgery, but he made the most of it when he did. Bladdick had the best win/loss record on STL’s #1 squad at BOMW. He traveled to Pongstars $10K and placed decent. This will be his 1st World Series. The one time that the Young and Banging played together, they took 3rd in the Dallas $2K. With Bladdick back 100% from surgery and Dix being hungrier than ever, The Young and Banging will be taking down some some big names this year on Day 3 of the World Series VIII.

“Bob Spill Water”
Cameron Johnson and Andrew Hill

Hill and Johnson are two of the most competitive and consistent players in Texas. Hill is coming off a year where he took down two $1K’s at Bidapalooza and AABP $1K both in Dallas. He also had four WSOBP satellite wins. Johnson also had some impressive wins with three WSOBP satellite wins this year. He also took down the AABP $1K in Dallas with his partner, Hill. Both players had a strong showing at BotS, where they lead their squad to a 3rd place finish. This is both players 2nd year at the World Series, where Johnson finished 48th and Hill was just a spectator. Even though they may not have traveled outside of the South this year, they are wanting to show the other players that they can dominate wherever they play. Bob Spill Water should be making noise on Day 3 this year, and surprising a lot of other players at World Series VIII.

Ryan Conley and Craig Palmisano

Wu-Tang consists of Ryan Conley and Craig Palmisano. We have been playing together for over 5 years. We graduated from the same high school up in a small town of Chatham Illinois. Ryan graduated at moved to Tulsa to live closer to his mom and Craig moved 2 years later for school. 5 months after moving to Tulsa Craig and Ryan started playing beer pong at bars. Although nationally we go un-noticed, locally we are known by almost everyone. When we team at a tourney the word “Wu-tang” gets whispered amongst everyone there. For almost 3 years random people refer to us as the beer pong guys who we have never met… Well remember meeting anyway. Ryan’s name has been plagued by every restriction list issued in Tulsa for the past 6 months while Craig has been focusing on work. This will be the first time playing in together in Vegas since they won the Tulsa beer Olympics 2 years ago from winning the events: bags, quarters, and the beer pong tournament. Tulsa may have a reputation for trolling and not traveling but these two will show you the Wu-Tang ain’t nothin to fuck with at World Series VIII.

Lafayette, Louisiana

“Undeniable Force”
Seth Beglis and Jordon LeJeune

This is only the second WS these two have attended yet they have been playing together for a very long time taking money and winning tournaments all over the south. With the first year in the books for them they look to improve on the day 3 performance by making a deep run this year as was expected last event. Seth has proven himself from the east to the south and back showing he is ready for the big stage! Hopefully Jordon is just as ready to make that run with him!

“Cajun Mix”
Blake Foreman and Trevor Banks

These two have had some success in the south but none of which has transitioned to the national stage. Blake and Trevor will be looking to change all that this time around especially after a years worth chemistry stemming from WS 7. Their last attempt included a very disappointing final loss on day three, so they will be looking to make a deep run at WS 8. Hopefully Trevor will actually show up to the games instead of being passed out drunk in his room like previous years. Look to keep Cajun Mix in your sights as they strive to make a deep day three run.

Blain Sonnier and Shawn Comeaux

These two players are veterans to the game and have now become teammates. Shawn will be making his debut to the WSOBP as well as his first trip to Las Vegas. Known for his consistent shooting ability, Shawn will be looking to make a name for himself with his vodka on the rocks as his fuel of destruction. Blain is the guy who will get the job done when you have a cup that has to be hit. Blain has been to three majors in his career making the final day in all three and his hoping that experience can help lead them to a strong WS 8 showing.

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