My relationship with the World Series is the most dysfunctional of my life. I love it, hate it, am glad to be rid of it, miss it already, can’t wait to see its face again, regret the bad times, and as the year passes those tend to fade and only the highlights stick out. This was my third time, and though it’s undecided if I will ever return, was another for the books. Either way, here’s Southwest Beer Pongs’ view on the World Series of Beer Pong 7 Recap. All the winners from these list of events were all added to our Beer Pong Champions archive.
Day 0 – 1/1/12
Signups and East vs. West
So much happened over the four days of the Series that I find it hard to remember much from signup day. I remember that the check-in process ran much smoother than years past, at least for me. I got my room at 2 in the afternoon, approximately 11 hours earlier than I had last year, which was a nice improvement. After a quick run at the poker tables (where my wife began what would be an entire week of beating me in everything I attempted) I wandered around for a while before making my way to the El Dorado room for the East vs. West tournament.
Last year Gabe and I had opened 2-0 in this tournament before dropping the following two games in somewhat a depressing fashion. We did much better this year, going 3-2! The East vs. West is always an incredibly talent-heavy tournament, as it seems like every single matchup is a final table contender. Our first game was against RMcAllister/Davenport, and it didn’t get any easier from there. We lost our third game to _______ and found ourselves up against Foster/Ron. Great. Not expecting much from the game, we were able to pull off the win against the two favorites. After stopping a would-be fight between Ron and an ABQ supporter, Gabe and I had to face McAllister and Davenport again. This time we weren’t so lucky, and the Maryland boys advanced.
I stuck around long enough just to record a couple big games, one of which took place between Carroll County (Austin and Jordan McAllister) and Moment of Truth (Kessler and Vince C). What pulled me to this game, aside from the potential for amazing shooting, was that there was a bit of controversy at the beginning concerning the coin toss. Austin insisted that Kessler had lost the toss, but Kessler disagreed. After a tense start, the game eventually got underway, and Maryland pulled off the win. They would go on to win the whole thing, so congrats to them for taking the first tournament of the Series.
Final Standings for East Vs. West
- Carroll County(Jordan/Austin) – East
- Kick Rocks(Travis/Shep) – West
- The Moon Poon and Grady Show(Mooney/Grady) – West
- Stupid Fuckin’ Easy(Marx/Luckey) – West
Day 1 – 1/2/12
Prelims & Singles
Some pretty lucky draws helped us out as Gabe and I struggled to find a good rhythm during the day. Our only good game happened just when we needed it to, against Last of a Dying Breed (Goliath and DeCaluwe). These two had broken the prelim record last year, so we knew we had to show up if we had any chance at all. With some well timed three-cups, we were able to pull off the win (the first of many that would plague the former record holders throughout prelims).
One of the more interesting matches that took place during the day was between Straight Outta Pongton (PeeWee and Beth) and Silent But Deadly (Chichester and Joe G). Though the ABQ coed team was having a good day, few expected them to topple Chichester and his rising star partner. It turned out that Chichester had other things on his mind than pong, as he was visibly inebriated throughout the match (at one point toppling to the floor). Beth and PeeWee were able to win the game, putting them in a very good spot throughout the rest of the day. They wrapped up Day 1 as the #2 seed, with a 6-0 +28 record.
After prelims ended, players slowly migrated over to the El Dorado room for the singles tournaments (men’s and women’s). After the bitter taste of last year’s debacle, many were hesitant yet hopeful about how it would run this year. The problem with this tournament is one that might not be fixable. With 128 players entering the tournament, it takes a VERY long time to get through everyone’s first two rounds. When it takes two hours before even a single player is eliminated, it means a lot of waiting around time between games. And this coming at the end of an already long day of drinking, since most of us start as early as possible to get ready for prelims.
I only see two real methods that could make it run faster: throw it in the main ballroom (like WS5) to make use of the added number of tables, or run games continuously. What seems to happen a lot is that they will wait until each round ends before calling the next set of games. In a tournament that is already going to last forever, it just seems to me that as soon as a game’s results are recorded, the next game should be immediately called on that table.
Alright, rant over. This isn’t to knock the organizers, they do the best they can given the conditions. As far as I can tell, nobody was wrongly eliminated, and I didn’t hear of anyone getting more than two losses. So it was definitely an improvement over last year.
Now I may be biased, but I was much more interested in the women’s singles than the men’s. With all the attention that has been given to female players this year, I was really interested to see how the starlets would perform. I’m proud to say that my wife, Beth, was killing it early on. She opened the tournament with four wins, which put her in the winners bracket finals against Christina Schmitt. Beth made the last cup first, but Christina was able to send the game to OT, where she put a stop to Beth’s run. Beth played Andressa Wainwright next, but the exhaustion proved too much for her and she was out of the tournament. In the end it was Christina vs. Brandi F. in the finals, and Brandi took it down.
Over on the men’s side, things were rough. I had lost to Zack Gilkison in the second round, and was making a decent tear through the losers bracket before finding myself against Byron Findley. I shot a decent game, but decent doesn’t quite cut it at that level, and I was out. In the end Ross Hampton faced Joe G. in the finals, and Ross took it down. Foreshadowing?
Final Standings for Men’s Singles
- Ross Hampton – Missouri
- Joe Giammarino – New York
- Brandon Marx – Arizona
- Zach Gilkison – Ohio
Day 2 – 1/3/12
Prelims, Coed, and International
The dreaded Day 2. No more excitement. This is when you know exactly what you need to do if you want to make Day 3. If you dropped a couple games the day before, you know it’s crunch time. The only people who really enjoy Day 2, in my opinion, are the ones who played themselves out on Day 1. No pressure, they can just have a good time, show up to games if they want, or not, who cares? They did their crying the night before, so it’s all about enjoying Las Vegas! For everyone else, though, it’s pressure time.
Our first game was against AZ’s Pursuit of Perfection (Sol and Vance). Though they gave us plenty of chances, we just couldn’t put two together to save for a single three ball, which wasn’t enough. Beth and PeeWee faced another big name in their second game of the day, against Get Me A Juicebox (Pop and Basile). A crowd had gathered around the table, after having heard of Pongton’s Day 1 performance. What started as fun shit talking on the sidelines started to get aggressive as the game went into OT.
A couple NY players started shoving the ABQ supporters out of the way, even though Pop seemed to be enjoying the banter. Pop had hit the last cup forcing Pongton to run three in rebuttal, which they did. At this point it seemed Basile started to lose confidence, as he missed several back to back shots. Pongton got stuck on the two rack in OT just long enough to give Pop the lead. Though an upset had looked promising, it wasn’t to be as GMAJB finally closed, and PeeWee missed the last rebuttal shot. I don’t care what anyone else thinks anymore, girls can play with the big boys!
After prelims ended, Seek N Destroy (Matt White and Ross Hampton) held the #1 seed with a 12-0 +59 record.
That night the coed tournament was held over at Blondies. Here’s the thing, don’t host tournaments at Blondies. There isn’t enough room. When you are standing literally half a foot behind someone who is shooting the other direction, it is just about impossible for anyone who sticks their leg out when shooting. That’s like ¾ of the pong community. The wait staff shoves past you, regardless of whether you are mid shot or not, and could really care less. There is zero lighting, the cups just disappear into the yellow tables. Ten tables shoved into an area that can barely manage six just makes for an unfun situation.
That aside, Beth and I played a reasonable tournament. Again, waiting an hour between games really kills your motivation (especially after a tiring prelim day), and near the end we just didn’t have the endurance. Teddie and Paul out of SoCal ended up taking the thing down after defeating Marx/Justine for the second time that tournament, so congrats to them. Not sure what happened at the International tournament, but hopefully the venue was nicer.
Final Standings of the Coed Tournament
- Paul Bashaw/Teddie Mendibles – California
- Brandon Marx/Justine Huff – Arizona
- Peter Rusch/Kerrie Rusch – California
- Zack Luckey/Sofia Carrasco – Arizona
World Series of Beer Pong 7 Recap Day 3 – 1/4/12
Playoff Bracket and Randoms
For everyone but a single team, Day 3 typically has an air of bitterness about it. We think about how it could have been us, about that one missed shot, about that one bad game, about how we let our partners down or they let us down, about how we had it in our grasp and just let it slip by. This year seemed to have added pressure and bitterness than previous years, mostly having to do with a more strict enforcement of rules. More so than any year before, cups were pulled after rules infractions, which resulted in several disgruntled players. While the enforcement did seem to vary from table to table, it’s ridiculous to think there was any kind of bias going on.
Players should realize that BDS were working frantically behind the scenes trying to get the live feed that was supposed to be available back online. For those that don’t know, the broadcasting partner who was supposed to be taking the video that was filmed and putting it online completely dropped the ball, and apparently has been difficult to reach since doing so. It’s awful what happened and I completely understand the frustration from those who paid to watch Day 3 from home, but it isn’t fair to blame BDS for trusting a partner who was paid for a service, and didn’t follow through.
Anyway, all the while this was happening, rules were being broken left and right in the final 16, and the room was really on the verge of pure chaos. This year BDS made the announcement that they were going to be enforcing two rules moreso than any other: crossing the plane, and the infamous shot clock.
Last year was the first year the shot clock was introduced, limiting the time a player had to shoot to 60 seconds. It was only applied to a select few teams (Bangerang, You Suck Shut Up, and No Chance to my recollection), and there wasn’t much complaining.
This year, it seemed like every table had the shot clock going once we hit the final 16. I didn’t see any cups being pulled as a result of taking too long, but the big controversy this year happened when Sam Henshaw was taking his rebuttal shot at the one cup for his elimination game. The clock was started as he moved to shoot, and he missed. After a heated storm off, he flipped a table, and left the room. The argument here is whether or not a shot clock should be enforced during rebuttal, an understandably high pressure moment. The argument could go either way, but it should take place before next year.
The other big rule caused much more controversy: crossing the plane. So many teams were breaking this rule it seemed like the whole tournament would be decided by whomever did it the least! Those that claim it was enforced with bias should understand that I personally witnessed cups pulled from Southwest, East, and Midwest teams. The inconsistency problem had everything to do with two things: not enough trust in staff, and not enough focus on each individual game. If there were a single staff member (or BDS personally) assigned to each table starting with the final 16, with the right to make the calls and pull the cups, each controversial incident could have been avoided. I’m not going to talk about each of the incidents here. If you want details, read any one of the dozens of threads in the “(Beer) Pong Will Be A National Sport” facebook group.
Regardless of the controversy, the final four saw Stupid Fucking Easy vs. Who The Fuck Is Bobby Williams (whom BPong has since removed the offending word from each), and Bangerang vs. Seek N Destroy (the latter of which was still undefeated all three days). SFE took the first game easily, and it seemed as though they were sure to be in the finals. Unfortunately in the second game, Luckey struggled. They had two cups to make in rebuttal, and Luckey stepped up and miraculously made the shot. The next shot by Marx should have been a lock, as 9 times in 10 it goes in flawlessly. This time was that 10th shot, as it rimmed and AZ was out of the running.
In the other game shit talk was being shouted back and forth, and officials were keeping a close eye as both sides were getting close to the plane crossing that was plaguing the playoffs. At one point in the game, Reap moved in for a distraction and pulled the carpet beneath the table, which jarred the table slightly. A cup was pulled and the crowd went nuts! Reap and Kris were visibly frustrated, and ultimately were eliminated from the tournament.
This left the undefeated Midwest boys of Seek N Destroy facing the relatively unknown Georgia team Who The Fuck Is Bobby Williams? (Chris Kingsbury and Christopher Cross). Anyone who watched the finals can tell you that Matt “Whiteboy” White had a few drinks that day. He was stumbling around the table, getting in fights with the spectators, and nearly knocking over the cups every time he took a shot. Ross “Boss” Hampton had work ahead of him.
Due to WTFIBW’s good shooting and Whiteboy’s antics, Seek N Destroy lost their first game of the tournament in the finals. Then something miraculous happened. Ross decided he could win by himself. He missed one shot in the next game, taking it down just in time for Whiteboy to rush off to the bathroom to piss (seriously). In the last game, Ross shot 9 for 9 (Whiteboy got one in somehow), and after a high profile rebuttal miss, Seek N Destroy became the first #1 seed team ever to win the World Series.
That night the first Series randoms tourney took place at Blondies. In my opinion, this was the most fun tournament of the whole week. I got paired with Reggie and had a damn good time until facing Kingsbury followed by Baker (‘s partner). Beth was paired with Lou Mantone, which should have been an easy win for that pairing, but Lou decided to get blackout drunk. I can’t really fault him, but that 1st place prize woulda been nice.
Now that we’re all back home, posting endlessly on facebook and sending dozens of friend requests, it’s starting to settle in that it’s all over. 345+ more days till we do it all again, but the year is so long. Until then it’s just FST and mid-majors to pass the time. The Pongstars 10k is coming up in March, followed by the Southwest Championships in August. There are many in between, and I hope to see many of you again. As always, thank you for following our content and reading this World Series of Beer Pong 7 Recap.
Pong true, my friends!