Welcome to Pongstars.net’s World Series IX predictions of the top 16 teams. With another year of a smaller field than normal and an unreal talent base that is growing with every tournament this was the toughest task yet in pong prediction history. If you disagree with the choices made, let yourself be heard, and if it’s because you are not on the list feel free to prove us wrong. Just remember, to do so you will have to get past the teams listed below, and that will be a lot easier said than done. Now let’s get the countdown started with our 16th team on the list….
16. FATAL INSTINCTS
Nick Trupiano and Tyler Davis
What can three Michigan weeklies, and an addiction to skype get you? Nick Trupiano and Tyler Davis. The product of a team to be mentioned later, Trupiano and Davis joined forces to prove themselves on the big stage. Tyler has been making waves online with his unapologetic wins and paypal collections, but many seem to believe he can only perform from the comfort of his own home. That my friends, is not true. They misconception will be resolved very soon. Nick on the other hand has been making his way up the Midwest ladder and is primed for some national recognition, but with little to no experience, late games on day 3 may prove to be quite the challenge.
15. HIGHLIGHT REEL
Zach Gilkison and Josh Henderson
Zach Gilkison has partnered with Josh Henderson in hopes of bringing the title back to the land of no coasts. Zach is one of the most consistently dominant players in Vegas. He has made numerous runs in both the singles and doubles brackets, always falling just short of the win. To help complete the mission he has added Josh Henderson. Hendo will add two major components. He will all over the other team vocally throughout each game and wants to win more than any player in the building. As far as intimidation goes, these two have little competition.
14. KICK ROCKS PLATINUM
Rickey Shepard and Travis Carl
The team with the least distance to travel always finds home cooking in the Flamingo. Rickey and Travis have become of the World Series itself, enshrined in the now famous giant head cutouts from last year. Their fans are devoted and make each table a home game for the duo. Its always fun to be around the table when they play, unless of course you are on the other side of it. Whether its Travis’ high flying antics or the pair’s consistent shooting, they are always a tough out.
13. THIS AIN’T SEAWORLD
Mike Wan and Peter Rusch
Making a second run at a World Series win, Wan and Rusch add to the list of stacked teams arriving in Las Vegas this week. Calm and collected throughout, the look on their face says it all…They have been there before, they can handle the pressure, they expect to win. It was a great match the moment they picked each other up, and it has been successful since inception. The only thing they need is a rallying point, maybe another injured leg for Rusch? All crutches aside, this team is all veteran leadership and primed for continued greatness.
12. BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE
Mike Gramer and Ryan Rossell
Easily the most elite team to go under the radar year after year. These two are always in the mix and somehow people seem to forget how dominant they are. The biggest thing to notice about BGTD is how comfortable they are on the table in Vegas. Everyone gets a little bit of the Vegas jitters, but not these two. The tables they play on might as well be in their own living room. It wouldn’t be a World Series without seeing BGTD making a “surprise” run. Maybe we can finally make it official and expect big things out of these guys.
11. BRICK AND DICK: THE MATT O’NEILL FAN CLUB
Vince Catizone and Mike Vitello
The first team to make the list since the great Joe G. “pongtroversy”, Vit and Catizone are one of the best and most experienced teams coming out of the East Coast. Though these two may not have as much time on the table together in major events, they still have as much experience excelling in that environment as anyone. Ironically called “Brick” Vince Catizone does less missing than people should care to joke about. This team should easily be expecting a check from bpong once its all said and done. All they need to do is survive the wrath of a spurned Joe G. Eye for an eye, brick for a brick.
10. LOOKS GOOD ON PAPER
Dane Ellis and Matt White
In the game today, people getting dropped is a plague. Everywhere you look you see online tirades about players getting ditched for someone new. But sometimes those players partner up and make a devastating run through the competition (ala ron and deep.) in this case we have the last two people Ross had played a World Series with. Obviously the two parted with Ross in different ways, but parted ways none the less. Dane and Whiteboy are amazing players both, and should make for quite the duo. They both have a list of wins longer than memory can hold and are looking for one more. They claim to be going for fun, but when you are as good as they are the competitive nature always takes over.
9. TOO LEGIT TO QUIT
Kyle Williams and Kris Fraser
Part two of the Joe G. Pongtroversy, Kyle Williams and Fraser have made the last minute decision to partner up and take a new direction at the series. Fraser will be playing without Reap for the first time in years. Kyle on the other hand will be playing the Series for the first time in years. It is certainly a strange combination of predicaments, but as it usually does, talent takes over. The unfamiliarity may cut this team a little bit short, but these two smooth strokers will need to be well rested for their lengthy run on day three.
8. JURASSIC PONG
Hunter Kelly and Mark Pettitt
Comin’ in hot, Hunter Kelly has been the talk of the town as of late. Though this may be his first World Series, he has incredible high expectations coming his way. Many of his competitors see him as an elite player already, bolstered by his ECBP championships win. Even more is adding Mark P. to his side. Mark’s experience on the big stage will balance out any (unlikely) hiccups come game day. Its hard to believe that Hunter could live up to the hype, but if he finds his groove early, it may be hard to stop this team from making a deep run.
Brandon Marx and Kevin Kessler
Will the self-proclaimed best in the world finally live up to his word? Sadly, history and track record says no. The headliner for “super star” combos. If a team were to ever find victory just by partnering up it would have to be these two. They have already done more together than most have done in a career, but when winning 5k’s becomes old news only a major title will fill that void in their soul. When this team is firing on all cylinders they are the best team in the room, but without the time together off the table, missing can be a slippery slope. However it plays out for these two, it will likely be a great watch for the audience.
6. FLAWLESS VICTORY
Ross Hampton and Nick Syrigos
Perhaps too low of a rating for the best player in the world, and the only team to win a 100k tournament. Ross and Nick are two of the most decorated players in history and could easily leave victorious yet again, but the field is getting better every day, and no one has a bigger target than Ross. Everyone wants to be “the team that beat them.” Odds are that someone will do just that. With a team chemistry and routine much like DSSWC, this team routinely works threw the cups in record time. Ross may not have many bad games, but they do exist and if he does late on day 3 someone is likely to take advantage.
5. THEY GOOGLE ME
David Glaser and Gabe Montoya
The face of Southwest beer pong, Gabe and Glaser are a combination of friendship, talent, and not too much height. In the game of lean pong, height typically plays a deciding factor in a players talent. Gabe would like to say otherwise. He can shoot with anyone and has earned his place among the pong hierarchy. Glaser, who burst out of the Southwest light and into world view at the Masters, leads the way for elite lefties. The only thing holding back Glaser is the possibility of an enlarged head from his recent cinematic debut and dvd cover. If he can keep all the fans away he should be making cups with ease.
4. DRINKIN’ SMOKIN’ STRAIGHT WEST COASTIN’
Michael Seivert and Byron Findley
The defending champs. Sonoma Joe and Byron had to put retirement on hold after winning their first World Series and second major championship. The chance to repeat was too tempting to stay away from. The pride of the west coast, Drinkin Smokin, is a household name in the beer pong world. Once you see Byron stand behind his close friend and shake his bare body victoriously, you have seen it all. As kind off of the table as they are competitive on it, its hard not root for these two very time you watch them. With the perfect team dynamic these two always know what to do and how to do it. Winning is in their blood and in their bank account.
3. WHITE GIRL WASTED
Mark Pimentel and Aaron Smith
Our top ranked west coast team is Aaron and Bigg Mark. Looking for another deep run Mark will have to find time away from the cash games table. A crowd favorite every year Mark is looking for the final chapter to his “cool story”. Mark’s game is as sharp as ever winning the Master’s singles tournament (in perfect fashion), and would cement his name in beer pong lore with a W.S. title. Even better than this teams talent is their chemistry. Clearly these two make each other better. Even in tough situations you can always count on these two instilling confidence in each other. There will be no blame thrown around here, win as a team or lose as a team.
2. SMASHING TIME
Michael Popielarski and Ron Hamilton
Consistency is king. The face of the franchise has returned once again, drama-filled as ever. Though Pop and Ron enjoy their charades of partner bashing this team is a perennial powerhouse and has shown no signs of losing a step. Likely driven by last years final table loss, Ron has been making his 1000 cups a day, just begging for another shot at the big check. Pop has been as involved as ever on facebook , assuring that beer pong is never straying far from his mind. Its hard to believe that this team could make another final table, but every time people begin to doubt this team they respond by doing the only thing they know how. Win.
1. CHALMERS FOR PRESIDENT
Johnny Fourdyce and Brent Saale
It would surprise no one to have this team in the top ten…but number 1? Absolutely. Johnny Fourdyce and Brent Saale are easily one of the best teams walking into the Flamingo come the 2nd of January. Are they better than every other team? Of course not. The field is more talented than ever and no team can be taken lightly. The reason we chose this team is because they will never do that. This team will not play down to any opponent and risk being upset. They are one of the hungriest teams there and have no issues making that clear, just ask Johnny. Brent could have easily been the surprise player of WSIX but decided to let the cat out of the bag early and take second place at the ECBP Championships. He opened a lot of eyes and will undoubtedly top that performance in Vegas. When picking a winner, some times you just have to roll the dyce.