We are under a week away from the opening shots of the 10th annual World Series of Beer Pong. Soon the masses will gather in Vegas to crown two champions. The mecca of organized Beer Pong, the World Series brings out all the strengths and weaknesses of every player. We are just as curious as you about how it will all play out, with new players, a new venue, and of course the restored $65,000 payout. As we have promised, here is our prediction list, knowing full well that it will be equally agreed upon as well as torn to shreds. The field is denser than ever with great players, and picking a winner, let alone a top 16 is nearly impossible. With that said, we still tried.
1. Fanduelin’ (CA) – Mike Seivert and Mark Pimentel
The pick to click. In research we have found nothing but confidence in these two. One of the greatest True #1’s in history paired with the greatest and most willing #2’s. But before we get into that, we would like to salute Byron. This marks the possible end of one of the greatest, and most respectable dynasties in our games 10 year history. Byron/DSSWC will be sorely missed. With that said, Sonoma Joe still finds himself in major contention with jolly giant Big Mark. This team has plenty of history together, they ooze with team chemistry, and above all else, they make a lot of cups.
2. Blitzkrieg (AZ/NJ) – Brandon Marx and Kevin Kessler
Just the thought of back to back second places….cringe worthy. Kessler and Marx have spent a year trying to forget that fateful two rack. Almost assuredly at some point that disappointment turned into motivation. A motivation that could drive them all the way back to the final table for a second shot at immortality. They have accomplished a lot together (as seen on Kessler’s shirt) but there is one last goal to check on the list. Most people have believe it was a matter of time for both/either of them to secure a World Series victory, accomplishing it together would only be the cherry on top.
3. Lions Among Men (VA) – Hunter Kelly and Zach Massa
Defending champion, and World Series MVP, Hunter Kelly returns to Las Vegas to defend his title and claim the money he deserved a year prior. However, he does not return with co-champion Mark Pettitt. The two have since decided not to pair this year and Hunter has chosen Zach Massa to partner with. Zach has asserted himself into the East Coast’s elite player list and has clearly made enough of an impression to warrant immediate World Series contender status. It is disappointing to not see a possible title defense once again, but a decision has been made and only time will tell if it was the right one.
4. The Great White Cavalier (IL/STL) – Johnny Fourdyce and Brent Saale
Goodbye Mario, hello Mr. Love. The mediocre point guard has been traded in for the perennial All-Star rebound machine. Will this make a difference on the table? Probably not. Saale and Fourdyce made a run last year, well into the round of 16, and have no reason not to expect more of the same. Both have plenty of success and have earned the respect of players from coast to coast. The only thing left is the title. Last year we chose them as our winner and they nearly proved us right. A top 4 finish would surprise no one.
5. Pick Your Poison (CAN/NY) – Mike Popielarski and Brad Mosdell
A completely new combination of talent, this team could easily find themselves playing for Mosdell’s first title and Pop’s THIRD. Everyone is aware of Pop’s career, but some may forget that Mosdell not only has a World Series Singles title, but also took second at this summer’s Biggest Little City 10k. Something to consider though, is the change in team dynamic. Pop has been used to having a teammate that is a menace on the table. Ron gave 100% every game in regards to defense. Pop will be lucky if Moose says anything, even to him.
6. Pink Ranger Blackout Mission (WA) – Matt White and Dane Ellis
Easily the most underrated team at the series, Whiteboy and Dane have been in the thick of things at almost every tournament for years. Against competitors of this nature its hard to find two more consistent veterans over the past half decade. Pairing up for the first time last year, these two continued trending in the right direction as usual. Dane has had a lot of elite partners in his career, but we would say it is safe to say that he appears to be having more fun than ever before. Look out bartenders, these two are sure to be thirsty.
7. We Met on Match.com (CA/NY) – Ron Hamilton and Aaron Smith
The most surprising combination of our top 16, Ron has found a new partner now that Pop is out of the picture. His choice resides on the other side of the country. Aaron Smith was quick to join up after also losing a long time partner in Big Mark. If there is one thing we have learned over the years, its that Ron loves being considered an underdog. Hell, he will probably be upset that he was put on this list at 7. He never fails to make his presence known. Adding a tall and fiery shooter like Aaron should make this team a nightmare come game day.
8. Flawless Victory (STL) – Ross Hampton and Nick Syrigos
Easily the best team resume in the tournament. Ross and Nick have become as recognizable a duo in the game as anyone. Whatever you look for in a successful career, you will find it in these two. World Series champions, Singles champions, mid-majors galore. Experience is their greatest ally. Their biggest enemy? An enforced shot clock. Nick has become a connoisseur of pump fakes. Do we believe that holding him to 30 seconds will cause him issues? Probably not. However, if he does continue to take upwards of 90 seconds to make his shot, teams will have no problem finding a ref. And that’s if they didn’t preemptively bring one to the start of the game.
9. TNT (GA/FL) – Chris Kingsbury and Sven Anderson
Veteran Chis Kingsbury comes to Vegas with a new partner and a new leg to go along with a new venue for this years series. He’s hoping this is his version of everything coming together the right way so that he can finally move past his unfortunate second place finish at World Series 7. To do this, he’s turned to someone who’s name has never matched such an unorthodox shot so well….Sven Anderson. Sven has made it his mission to attend as many events as he could on the mid-major circuit this year. We’ve been hearing about this kid for years but never had the opportunity to put a face or in his case, a shot to a name until just recently. Well, he’s definitely been able to deliver on the words of his partner Kingsbury but this is a completely different stage, the big stage. We know what to expect from Chris at the World Series, but what about Sven? Find out for yourself on January 4th in Las Vegas!
10. Prophecy Belongs (TX/CAN) – Rob Dix and Cody Ryan
One of the best last minute pick ups a player could ask for in Canada’s own Cody Ryan. Unfortunately, Rob Dix has seen more than his fair share of last minute as he would put it, “Swindles”! Rob was originally teamed with Tyler Baldwin, but when that fell through, he was able to grab Cody who like Rob, has been proving himself event after event over the last couple years. But make no mistake about it, this is Rob’s team and they will live or die by that side arm sling shot. How good?
11. Take the Shot (NM/WA) – David Glaser and Chris Sherwood
Chris Sherwood? Who? Is this Glaser’s way of playing another sick joke on the community to show just how good he can be like the second place finish with Dante Yell in The Masters $100k last year? Or is this just the result of living in a pong deprived state and only going to have a great time with a great friend? Who knows and we don’t really care because as long as Chris can hit a few cups a game, we are very confident that Glaser still has what it takes to plow through an entire tournament on Day 3 when it matters most
12. Pretty Sneaky (CA) – Casey Costa and Branden Moyle
There might not be a more suitable name for a team than these guys here. Calm, cool and collected at all times regardless of the pressure or situation! For some reason, event after event, each of these guys becomes forgotten even after a $10k title that Casey won in Reno earlier this year with Mark Pimentel. Granted, Casey and Branden are low key in the beer pong community for most of the year but they always show up at the right time and this years World Series will be no exception. Is this the year they become remembered? Not as “Pretty Sneaky” but maybe as “Pretty Damn Good”! Only a short week away until we find out!
13. Pity the Fool (NJ) – Mike Vit and Kris Fraser
One of the most tenured team at the series, Vit and Fraser will being doing New Jersey proud as they add to their already lengthy careers. With comparable personalities these two bring a certain swagger to every game. We can’t blame them though, as they are cornerstones of the BPONG franchise as a cover boy and an organizer. Look for these two to get a lot of East Coast backing on day 3 as they make another run for the history books.
14. Out for Vengeance (NY/NJ) – Deep Chakrabarty and Joseph G
This is one of those teams that if they get hot, they could steamroll everything in site. Deep and Joe G. may be a bit unpredictable but if the focus stays on the cups a lot of people are going to be walking away disappointed and angry. Whether its Deep’s questionable psyche-outs or Joe’s fury, nothing changes the fact that these two make cups in bunches. This may not be a singles event but Joe G can play with the best at all times. These two always appear to play their best when angry, so if the team name is any indicator, a lot should be expected from them.
15. VABP presents Mark and Reap (VA) – Mark Pettit and Thomas Reap
There is no greater motivation in this game than being replaced. Even if a team parts on good terms, the need to prove yourself lingers on. Despite being a World Champion, Mark now finds himself with a new partner, and long time friend, Reap. Paired with a veteran like Reap, Mark could very well finish higher than his former partner. Seeing these two reach the round of 16 would shock no one. We can only hope that they get the chance to stand toe to toe with Hunter and Massa. The later, the better.
16. Sheriff Feed (AZ) – TJ Robinson and Randy Mowen
Sheriff and Feed? Two words that have never once been used in the same sentence let alone back to back. That is until now, all thanks to TJ Robinson AKA Feed who undoubtedly came up with this team name for him and up and comer Randy Mowen. TJ has been known to play the role of “Jansport” for quite sometime now and he has lucked out this year grabbing one of the most consistent players coming out of Arizona at the perfect time. Randy just recently traveled to WCC in October and took First Place in the 3v3 along with a very surprising final table appearance with Dante Yell in the $5,000 main event, eventually taking second place. Aside from TJ’s wild antics that have delivered him the name FEED, he is an incredibly strong player and partner who can without a doubt help show Randy the way to the final grouping on Day 3 with his shooting and loud mouth. The only problem comes down to whether TJ feels the need to feed……or win?
It goes without saying that there are several teams that could be on this list that are not. As the years have gone by the number of players may have shrunk, but the talent has unquestionably increased. Come day 3 it is a safe bet that 10/13 is going to be the average game shot by the winning team. There is no room for hiccups this year. There are easily 20 more teams with the capability of knocking out any of the above teams. We would not be surprised in the least to see a team not listed above take home the big check. Good luck to all, you are going to need it.