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May 30, 2017 - Brandon Marx

Top 25 – National List 2017

What? You didn’t think we would go through all that trouble of ranking each region and not do a overall Top 25 List so we could continue to get bashed about not knowing what we’re talking about? Now where’s the fun in that? Anyways, we’ve done just that, a National Top 25 list that will undoubtedly not sit well with a lot of people. Everyone thinks they’re better than anyone on this list, even the elites but the fact remains, these are the guys that are still standing when it matters most tournament after tournament. Sure, you may be able to and might have actually beat them in a cash game but what does that really prove? You might have given them their only loss in a tournament, but did you win….nope they did. If you disagree with our lists, feel free to say so but be sure you can back it all up especially with the World Series in two days time. Now, just to give everyone some perspective, this list was made solely from the help of the regional lists we released all week long. So, without further ado, your National Top 25 players:

25. Brad “Moose” Mosdell
Not to be confused with the Moose of the East, Brad is the polite assassin that will always run Canada. Sorry Cody Ryan!

24. Brandon “Homeless” Juracek
Is he a better shooter or a better person? Tough call when he excels so much at both. Either way, he will always be a crowd favorite.

23. Michael “Sonoma Joe”” Seivert
Coming out of retirement or last hoorah? We think he’s as unsure about it as we are. Will a deep run fuel the fire to continue or will a quick exit send this all time great into the sunset for good?

21. David “Tally” Talamantez
Always the cleanest looking at every tournament. We’re convinced he buys brand new white tees, dickie’s and cortez’s prior to each event. Either that or his iron game is as strong as his pong game.

20. David Diaz
Most will be saying “WHO?!” All we have to say is, “You’ll see!”

19. Greg “POS” Fehl
As much as we personally hated the wood floor last year, part of us is hoping it’s there again just to see this graceful ballerina “Ship It” once more!

18. Byron Findley
Our comparison to Byron as a pair of training wheels was meant to be taken as him being a Top 3 #2 of all time!

17. Brent Saale
One of the most polished resumes in the country, he doesn’t need to prove anything, but he is going to anyway.

16. Thomas Reap
Stay behind the table and keep your genitals where they belong! That’s all we have to say on the matter!

15. Johnny Fourdyce
The father-to-be can still be found gracing final tables whenever he feels like taking a stroll outside the quad cities.

14. Kris Fraser
Our very own Sydney Deane of beer pong. Fraser is one bad mfer!

13. Donnie Jones
Continually rising up the ranks, the sky is the limit for the Midwest’s heir apparent.

12. Ryan “Butters” Smith
You either hate him or you lo……no you don’t, you absolutely hate him and for good reason! He’s getting too good too fast and he refuses to let you forget.

11. Scott Frew
Still a dominant force out of the Midwest despite a reduced traveling schedule. The Best of Midwest is a consistent reminder of his place amongst his peers.

10. Casey Costa
Taking humble to a whole different level, the silent assassin could be considered underrated despite being in the top 10.

9. Justin Spurrier
The smoothest lefty in the game. Just be happy he doesn’t practice beer pong like he does bowling otherwise everyone would be in trouble.

8. Chris Kingsbury
Should be higher on overall skill alone but with only one key win this is right where he belongs but not for long if he has anything to say about it.

7. Mark Pimentel
A first ballot hall of famer who built his career on making himself the 2 shooter, despite being one of the best talents of all time.

6. Sven Anderson
The laziest ponger we’ve ever come across. He has just enough interest to hit the four rack and chill. Everyone ahead of him is thankful for that because he could easily have their spots if he gave a damn.

5. Brandon “BC” Clarke
Everything about BC has been compared to the worst things possible, from his dad bod to his shot. But with each passing event he can only really be compared to some of the best around.

4. Kevin Kessler
The most confident player on the planet, he has won everything under the sun except the big one, just check out his tanks this weekend. Is this the year?

Alright, time for things to really get interesting! Most of you by this point know and more than likely already knew who the top three would end being, you just had no clue in what order. Honestly, we’re in the same boat with choosing a definitive 1, 2 and 3. Each of these players can have a case made as to why they should be the overall number one but just as easily, each can be rebutted by the other. So let’s take a deeper look at those cases below:

Michael Popielarski
Being the clear cut favorite for number one of all time doesn’t necessarily mean you’re also that easily number one today. Pop is coming off is 3rd WSOBP title and 4th overall final table appearance which is absolutely incredible. He also took 2nd place in the tournament that followed WS XI last year in Virginia. Other than these two accomplishments, his already stellar resume is lacking in recent years but not due to poor play but for minimal attendance.

Ross Hampton
Ross has had a couple stretches of up and down play over the last couple years but that’s not to say it’s still not impressive since it’s being unfairly compared to the greatest year and half of his career. During that stretch Ross not only won WSVII Singles and Main but also took down a record 18 WSVIII satellites and then a short six months after WSVIII he won the largest prize pool event ever held, The Masters $100k tournament. Recently, he took down the WS Singles last year for the second time as well as winning the Virginia Battle at the Beach, also for a second time.

Brandon Marx
Often considered the Dan Marino of beer pong along with partner Kevin Kessler, Marx has shown a certain dominance when it comes to mid major events with unrivaled consistency. For example, in the six years the Spring Classic as been held, he’s won it five times(four in a row) with two different partners. At the West Coast Championships, he’s won two out of the last three along with a second place with three different partners. Not to mention two second place finishes in the last three World Series along with a first and second in singles during the same time.

As you can see, this is very difficult to rank these three gentleman. What makes it even more challenging is all of their wins and losses listed above are against one another. The World Series that Pop won last year, was by defeating Marx. The Singles that Ross won at WS XI was also by defeating Marx on the final table. The VA event that Pop lost, was to none other than Ross Hampton. And lastly, the Spring Classic and WCC that Marx won this year were both attended by Pop and Ross, one of which they played together. So what are we to do? Well, we could take the easy road and simply say that the tie breaker is Ocean Grown Pong’s recently released poll that you can find here OGP POLLthat shows a peer voted ranking where Brandon Marx is listed as #1, Pop #3 and Ross #4. But everyone knows we can’t do that. So, for the first time we are ranking the top three spots as a tie for overall #1 and we’re going to allow them to decide where it goes from here. How? THE WORLD SERIES OF BEER PONG XII this weekend! Unfortunately, Ross won’t be attending for valid reasons, but we fully expect Pop and Marx to see one another deep in the event again this year, possibly if we’re lucky enough a final table rematch. Either way, after this weekend we should have a clear cut Top 3 for the first time in a while!

You may have noticed that our #22 spot was missing. This was no mistake. We have chosen to dedicate this spot from now on to Zach G. Any national list from here forward will have one name without question. #22. Zach Gilkison.

Zach is a man that now and forever will hold a very special place in our hearts. An icon of this sport taken far too soon, the lasting impression he made will continue to reverberate throughout time. Zach was so many things to pong that a simple write up could never come close to doing him justice. Generally soft spoken, Zach typically let his actions do the talking, and those actions were consistently yelling. A favorite to take down the tournament every time he stepped in the door, Zach’s clean flick of the wrist often spelled doom for any on-comer. His shot alone was hall of fame worthy, but it was his other characteristics that made his career historic. Zach was unflappable at the table, his demeanor and focus was identical whether it was the first prelim game or the final cup of the tournament. Never phased, or overwhelmed by the moment, Zach was always able to find success even when opponents were falling over trying to get under his skin. On top of his pure stroke, and mental toughness, was the way Zach took pride in being such a good teammate. He was loyal to a fault and always found a way to make his partner better. Despite being one of the best players in the world Zach knew that it was a team game and consistently made all the right decisions as a partner. Whether it was a quiet word of confidence in his partner’s ear, or an unselfish passing of the third ball, Zach seemingly always made the right move.

I know we all would give anything to see him walk through the door with that sly smirk on his face and though we will never have that desire met, he will always live on in our memory. He was a great player an incredible competitor and an even better friend. He will always hold this spot on our list, Forever 22

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