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December 22, 2011 - Brandon Marx

The South Heads to Las Vegas

The South is so spread out and disjointed it’s strange to think of as a cohesive pong region, comparable to the East or Midwest. Regardless, the region has become the fastest growing pong community in the country, constantly getting bigger where other regions have shown signs of stagnation and decline. With that growth in mind, it’s only a matter of time until one of these teams finally brings the check home. Currently there is an argument as to whether Arizona is the West or the South, so for arguments sake, they will be split up between the two.

Phoenix, Arizona

“Stupid Fucking’ Easy(SFE)” Brandon Marx and Zack Luckey
One of the premier teams coming out of Arizona this year compiled of two of the Top 5 no matter how your ranking is made. SFE has two mid-majors on the books together playing in the 2010 ECBPC taking 4th and the Return to Mesquite tying for 13th. Between the two of them, they have loads of experience and look to use that to their advantage to surpass Brandon’s 5th place last year and Luckey’s best finish of 33rd.

“Hakuna Matata” Nathan Cunningham and Mitch Leighton
Veteran and satty killer in Az, Nathan Cunningham hopes to lead newcomer Mitch Leighton in his first WSOBP. Nate has destroyed nearly all satellites he has played in this year taking 9 overall victories, most recently with Mitch. Nate is no stranger to the big stage double dipping his bracket final last year and making it to the Top 16 with then partner Josh Bird. Hopefully Mitch can do what Josh couldn’t and provide Nate with those “security balls” deep in the tournament.

“Pursuit of Perfection” Solomon Hall and Vance Anzaldua
Probably one of the most interesting games ever witnessed at a WSOBP event contained these two cup killers! In the winners bracket of their final facing Cali Swagger(Bo lewis/Barrett Allison), they were forced to rebuttal when Bo slipped, taking out the entire table sending the game into OT. Even with that momentum, these two were not able to prevent the double dip from happening and since then have been on a mission of preparing to redeem themselves. Most recently they took down the $1k tournament as apart of the Annual 3 Day hosted by Fast Times Entertainment in Arizona.

“Kim2” Kim Nguyen and Kim Thompson
The quintessential Queen’s of Vegas partying, these two do not miss a beat, or a drink, or a cigarette break! They are everywhere at all times having the time of their lives and making sure that everyone else is as well! Whether down by a full rack of cups or winning a single game, you will always see the same smile from these two girls and that will usually come with Slut Nation underwear or Party with Sluts T-Shirts.

“We Swim Naked” Justine Huff and Sofia”Nugget”Carrasco
Rarely is a team name formed by an actual action of the two partners, but that is not the case here! They strive to have the time of their lives whenever possible, whether that’s in a hot tube at a house party or behind the beer pong table taking down some of the best talent AZ has to offer. Justine is out to prove that she is the premier female player in the country after nearly perfecting her new shot and will stop at nothing to do so. Most recently taking down the All-Female Satellite during the West Coast Championships with Lauren Braley. She has decided to team up with newcomer Sofie to make sure she experiences the WS the proper way. Sofie has as much dedication and talent as some of the best females in the country, she does phenomenal under pressure, plays to her partners strengths, and practices non-stop but always manages to have a great time. Aside from just having the time of their lives during the main event, they’re main sights are set on teaming up with the members of SFE during the co-ed tournament.

“A Reason for Retirement” Sven Eberson and Josh Bird
The longest running attendance of beer pong events located in Arizona belong to none other than Sven Eberson and his fantastic Goku style hairdo. This is his return to the big show after regrettably taking last year off while sitting at home watching non stop updates from everyone. He loves the thrill of the big game and the big shot and has the mouth/game to make it all work. For WS VII, it was basically the luck of the draw that brought Josh Bird his way and I doubt he couldn’t be any happier at this point. Last year at this time Josh was playing astoundingly, same as the year before, but much was to be said about things today after a significant 5 month drought that saw some of the most horrendous from this stud in the making. However, in the last 2 months he has drastically turned things around, playing like he belongs in the Top 5 by going to the finals in back to back $2k and $1k tournaments with partners that made everyone forget he was even there to begin with.

“Welcome to Heartbreak” Mike Donnelly and Shane Grove
Formerly known as “Coke in this Guy’s Room”, Yankee Mike and Grove have decided to shake things up a bit by changing their team name in hopes that’s all they will need to advance further than they ever have. Definitely a force to be reckoned with, these overly affectionate best friends love playing together and show that by displaying chemistry that is unmatched by any other team. They focus on each other’s game and that’s it, which usually consists of Mike yelling several “Yeah baby”’s and Grove randomly ranting verbal obscenities at whoever will listen! Often color coded to perfection, always starting with the flip flops and ending with the bandanas, you will definitely not want to take these guys lightly!

Albuquerque, New Mexico

“No Chance” Gabriel Montoya and Jeremy “Clawless” P.
No Chance is arguably Albuquerque’s most well known team. They won satellites in Albuquerque and El Paso in 2010. Gabriel went on to win an additional bid that year with Joseph “PeeWee” Lyle. No Chance went into WSOBP 6 with high hopes, but didn’t realize they’d make it all the way to the black carpet, finishing 9th on the biggest stage in the world. It’s been a rocky road for them since then, as Albuquerque teams have really stepped up their game in response to their deep Series run. In 2011 they won a satellite at home, and Gabriel won a second bid in Dallas during the Battle of the South satellite tournament, that time with Louisiana’s Blain Sonnier. They competed in Chicago in the Drunken Bear 10k, and took down their first round bracket, before choking in the playoff brackets. They were originally supposed to compete in the Mesquite 10k, but at the last minute Gabriel’s work fell through and Jeremy picked up PeeWee (they finished 7th). WSOBP 7 will be No Chance’s last Series as a team, and they hope to break their record from last year.

“10 Inches Soft” David Glaser and Sonny Amparan
The youngins from Albuquerque, these two made noise at WSOBP 6 by taking 33rd and beating some high-end teams in the process. They also made a deep run at the Mesquite 10k, where they held the #1 seed until the very last round of prelims. As one of the worst (best?) shit talkers in ABQ, Sonny can always be found in a room of pongers as the kid with the mouth, and he finally won his bid in the last ABQ satellite of the year (partner Manny Marquez). David’s calm, quiet approach is a polar opposite, but has enabled him to win a singles satellite in Phoenix followed by a doubles satellite win in ABQ (partner Ben White). As long as David is around to cool the fires caused by Sonny’s antics, these two should do very well this year in Vegas.

“Cheech and Pong” Edan Hemphill and Corey Bareford
The best unknowns to come out of Albuquerque, these two are ready to make a name for themselves. The only person who can give Sonny a run for his money in shit talk, Edan has won more weekly tournaments this year than any other ABQ player. Corey backs Edan up with his own shenanigans, and is one of the most feared singles players at home. The most accomplished home team of 2011, Cheech and Pong won the first satellite of the year, and so have been forced to play with other partners all year long. Corey won the second satellite of the year with Lucas Henderson, painting him as a target in all subsequent tournaments. Cheech and Pong also won the Spring League, and their squad (Stupid Fucking Stupid) won the Fall League as well. They are eager to continue their winning streak in Vegas, and are always up for cash games.

“Straight Outta Pongton” Joseph “PeeWee” Lyle and Beth G.
Since teaming up this year, these two have constantly taken their opponents by surprise. Most pongers, even when they know better, often overlook coed teams, and Pongton takes advantage of that every time. Arguably the best singles player in ABQ, PeeWee has made beer pong his job. He’s always ready to hop in a car and ride to a tournament, and win, with any player. He made day 3 with a last minute partner (Kyle Sweetland) at WSOBP 6, took 7th in Mesquite (partner Clawless), and third in the singles event at Battle of the South. The other half of Pongton, Beth G. has established herself as the best female player in ABQ for the past two years, and nobody at home takes her for granted. She has won two WSOBP satellites this year (partners PeeWee and Jordon LeJeune), and has competed on ABQ’s A squad for the past two years at Best of the West. Pongton won the first coed/40+ satellite of the year in ABQ. They plan to be the top rated coed team at this year’s Series on their way to the black carpet.

“Burque Bombers” Andy Thomlison and David Kozlowski
What would ABQ beer pong be without the Bombers? They form the heart and soul of Albuquerque’s pong scene, and you haven’t really experienced SWBP until you’ve taken a shot with Andy. For as good a team as these two are, they are the humblest guys you’ll meet in the game. They took 5th in the 2011 SW Beer Pong Championships, and Andy took 2nd with his dad in a brutal finals against Straight Outta Pongton at the first coed/40+ satellite. Don’t sleep on them, or do, it doesn’t really matter as long as you have a drink with them afterward.

“Choke and Stroke” Ben White and Jordan Zachry
Usually the underdogs, these two have recently had to step up their game in preparation for the Series. Though it was looking doubtful Jordan would actually be able to make it, a last minute deal allowed him to go. The two have had a rough partnership thus far since they have had to split several times, such as in the Fall League in which each were picked up by different squads, and ultimately faced off against one another in the league playoffs. They also split for the November satty, which Ben ultimately won with his last minute partner, David Glaser. This will be both players’ first Series, and time will tell if they can stand up to the pressure.

“You Ain’t About This Trouble” Manny “Mr. Satty” Marquez and Chris Hultquist
Don’t even ask about the rollercoaster year these two have had. Mr. Satty played in a total of sixteen satellites this year throughout the Southwest. Yes, sixteen, as in four times as many total satellites that have taken place on the East Coast this year combined (probably). If you added up all of his satellite teams together, he could have put on a Manny-only satellite, paid for and won by himself! Amidst claims that he could have just paid his way to the Series several times over, Manny just wouldn’t take no for an answer. He finally won a bid in ABQ’s last satellite of the year (partner Sonny Amparan). Manny was so sick of leaving satties without a bid that he got both of his teams to the finals of that particular tournament, just to make sure he couldn’t mess it up. His other partner was Chris Hultquist, who has only played in two satellites in his life, and came in second both times. He plans on making 2012 his breakout year, starting in Vegas. This will be both players’ first Series.

“Drunk or Dunk” DJ Buenviaje and Vinny Vega
Who saw this happening? DJ had been coming out to Thursday weeklies pretty regularly for a while, right up until the Fall league started in September. Since then he hasn’t been spotted at the pong scene at all, so when it was announced he’d be attending the Series, many were taken by surprise. Last time these guys were in Vegas, they lost a car (true story), so don’t bet on them staying coherent enough to show up at their scheduled game times. If you ever have trouble finding DJ, though, check the nearest poker room and look for the biggest stack.

“Jacked and Tan” Jack Smothers and Victor Amparan
Talk about the odd couple, this last minute team takes the prize as most the unlikely pairing. Jack has been around the ABQ pong scene since its origins at the Comanche House, and has retired more times than Farvre and Armstrong combined, but just can’t seem to stay away from the game for long. He hasn’t won a tournament since splitting with Beth G. after the 2010 SW Championships, but that hasn’t stopped him from having a good time and giving ridiculous odds in cash games (don’t challenge him at his house). Victor is the younger brother of the better known Sonny Amparan, and has only been seen sporadically in the ABQ pong scene (since his tournament win with Kyle Sweetland last year he’s played maybe three times). In the past few weeks he has been seen more frequently, however, preparing for his 21st birthday which happens three days before Day 1. It’ll be interesting to see how well these wild cards, who have never played together before, perform at the Series.

Clovis, New Mexico

“Second Coming” Thomas Elliott Fite and Ian Hays
Elliott is a former United States Marine and Founder of Clovis Beer Pong. He currently works as a sales rep for a merchandising company and has a part time job as an armed money carrier. He also is co-owner of PongShirts.com and a tobacco company called Dry Leaf Tobacco with his partner Ian Hays and Chad Heflin, the owner of the Dawg Houze Bar where CBP hosts tournaments. Ian works in the optometry field and fills the role of Director of Social Media for PongShirts.com and Dry Leaf Tobacco. The two begin playing as a team in 2010 with Elliott playing in the past 3 WSOBP’s, one of them as team Second Coming. Winning a satty for the 2011 WSOBP, Second Coming was unable to take one for WSOBP 7. Dominating local competition, the two expect to make an impressive showing at this year’s WSOBP.

“I Smell a Massacre” Michael Valdez and Vincent Beltran

Based out of Clovis New Mexico and formed in early 2010, brothers Michael Anthony Valdez and Vincent Beltran quickly made a name for themselves on the Clovis Beer Pong scene, dominating established competition often in impressive fashion. Born December 22nd 1986, Michael is a former soldier in the US Army and is a current student at Clovis Community College. Valdez also works as one of the Dawg Houze house DJ’s and picks up hours in the Package Store. Vincent Beltran, born March 19, 1989, also studied at Clovis Community College and is currently an employee of Orbit Construction, an oil drilling company based in Midland, TX. Still searching for that career defining “big” win, I Smell a Massacre promises to be a tough opponent for any team at this year’s WSOBP.

“Ginger’s Revenge” Timothy Annis and Garrett Lehman
A last minute team out of Clovis Beer Pong, this team is made up of two members of the US Air Force station at Cannon AFB in Clovis New Mexico. Timothy Annis and Garrett Lehman have been playing off and on with CBP for the past 2 years without a consistent partner. Deciding to team up for WSOBP 7, these two are ready for a taste of the main event! Timothy Annis is from Chesapeake, VA and serves as a Vehicle Maintenance Journeyman in the Air Force. Garrett Lehman is from Honolulu, HI and is an instructor sensor operator on Predator UAV’s in the Air Force.

Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado

“Those Girls”(Aka Always Two Drunk) Rachel Trujillo and Lindsay Snyder
Attended WSOBP V and VI

This will be their 3rd year competing in the World Series of Beer Pong (it will not be their last) and they are more than ready to play. Despite being 100% opposites they can agree on one thing, the love of beer pong! Be it on plywood in a basement or an out of state road trip to play in a satellite, these girls can’t stop draining cups. They are the only ladies in Colorado to ever win bids to the WSOBP. There is no doubt that “Those girls” will go far this year, if not all the way! Watch out Las Vegas they are ready to tear down WSOBP VII.

“Mile High” Matt Martinez and Adrian Foltz
Attended WSOBP IV, V and VI

Competing for the 4th year, these two are a force to be reckoned with. Growing up and playing together in house parties they found out that there is a WSOBP through the grape vine. If you haven’t heard of them you haven’t been listening. Being best friends, these two know what it takes to make a thriving team. They have won tournaments ranging from $100 prizes to $5000 prizes, as well as multiple satellite tournaments and an impressive 12th place finish in Mesquite. Now on to their greatest challenge: winning WSOBP VII. Remember their names, you will be cheering for them later.

“HP Puppet Masters” Nick Martinez and Bear Martinez
Attended WSOBP IV, V and VI

No secret that these two brothers are great at beer pong—- it runs in the family. Having competed in the WSOBP 3 times the WSOBP VII is going to be a cake walk. Ready to compete the HP Puppet Masters want to bring the title home to Grand Junction CO. Nick Martinez says that there is no better partner out there for him besides Bear, and who wouldn’t want to say that they won the WSOBP with their older brother?

“Broken Not Beaten” Stephen La Valle and Colton Weeks
Attended WSOBP IV, V and VI

This will be their first year competing together, but not to worry they will do damage! Steve, formally of Boats n’ Hoes, is one of Colorado’s top players by far. Colton, formally of Muffin Chargers, has been dominating teams left and right for the past two years. They may be a mix of two teams but do not underestimate this team! They are fierce and they are ready.

Lafayette, Louisiana

“Undeniable Force” Jordon LeJeune and Seth Beglis
Probably the friendliest player in the game, Jordon will make you feel bad for shooting against him. That is, until you see him shoot. He is the most natural shooter out of Louisiana, as he seemingly doesn’t need to practice to shoot perfects (his job keeps him from the table for months at a time). He won his first satellite in Albuquerque with local Beth G., shooting a perfect game in the finals. Seth is the quieter of the two, however that doesn’t stop him from stepping up and making the cups he needs to. Since he and Jordon both turned 21 this year, this will be their first Series. They have made several deep runs in the talent-heavy Southern tournaments, and hope to continue the trend in Vegas.

“Louisianimals” Blain Sonnier and John King
Although these two players are veterans to the game they are new as a team. John King, formally from the team Bootleggers, saw most of his success in the WS 5 placing in the top 30 and making a name for himself in the south as a dominate player. Although his success hasn’t come much after WS 5 he has been to four majors. Blain Sonnier (Facebook KING) has made a huge name for himself taking over in the social media world. Although everyone knows this kid off the pong table as the king of media trash talk he still makes a name for himself on the pong table as one of the top players in the south. Blain has been to two majors making day three in both, and won his first bid at the BotS satellite with Gabriel Montoya. This team (recently formed) should be a huge force to be wracking with. They have decided to carry the name Louisianimals in memory of long time teammate of Blaine Sonnier (Tyler Landry).

“Thanks for the Entertainment aka Cajun Mix” Trevor Banks and Blake Foreman
These two made a nice name for themselves this summer taking down Fraser and Reap in this summer’s Atlantic City Championships, they eventually lost to the all around winners of the tourney East Coast Elite in a two game nine overtime battle. This formation of two new southern bigs should do a lot at WS 7. New to the tourney both have a great eye for the game, with Trevor winning five satties and Blake proving why he is the top player in the south with multiple successes in many events. This team is bound to do work.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

“Straight Clownin” Rob Dix and Taylor Overturf
This year is the first year for Rob and Taylor playing by WSOBP rule. They have only played in a single satellite, which they took down in December, so they are ready for the Series. They are new to organized beer pong, but will surprise a lot of people.

San Antonio, Texas Teams

David Olivarez and James Alanis

Andrew Anthony and Guy Goodspeed

David Tally and Sean Schobinger

Evan Serrano / Pete Martinez

Travis Dorsey and Tommy Mazzal

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