Cup Check

Four drinking straws together weigh .28 ounces. One and a half wooden pencils weigh .28 ounces. A plastic spoon and a plastic fork together weigh .28 ounces.

If you were playing an intense game of beer pong, would you be distracted by someone throwing drinking straws at themselves? Would you be distracted by someone hitting themselves in the head with a plastic spoon and fork? Probably not.

So, what’s your point, you ask? Well, a regulation BPONG plastic cup weighs .28 ounces. And for some strange reason, countless beer pong players have convinced themselves that taking a BPONG beer pong cup, smashing it against their own head and throwing the cup onto the ground is an amazing distraction technique. This folks, is why the media portrays beer pong players to be a community of alcoholic douchebags.

We are all adults. We may not act like it from time to time, but by definition we are adults. I would hope that we could get past certain childish thingslike smashing beer pong cups over our heads, but I’m not so confident that we can. Newsflash: We are not impressed.

Have you ever walked into the practice area at the World Series of Beer Pong, hoping to get a few shots in before your next round? You finally find an open table to play on, except all that’s left is a an empty rack and a few overturned cups on the table. You try and gather the cups that you can off the ground, finally find ten and then fill them up with water. Except most of the cups start leaking out because some tough guy thought they would impress someone by smashing the cups.

This is why we can’t have nice things, guys.

Do you ever wonder why some tournaments drag on and on and you can’t figure out why? Because half the tables don’t have enough cups or water left to play a game. You shouldn’t have to hunt and gather enough cups and water to play a game of beer pong in a tournament.

And let’s be honest. BPONG cups aren’t exactly expensive, but they aren’t cheap either. When you play at home do you smash cups and throw water around like a gorilla? No, you don’t. You probably use the same cups you have been using for the last couple of years. We’ve all been there. You wash a few dozen of your BPONG cups and then stack them up like a pyramid on the kitchen counter to dry out. Just because you are in Vegas or in some ballroom of whatever hotel agreed to hold a beer pong tournament, you should have a certain amount of respect.

I know it’s easy to get into the emotion of the moment after hitting or missing a big shot (I have more experience with the latter, personally) but enough is enough. People need to stop smashing cups, literally.

In football, if a player kicks or throws the ball away like a dickhead it’s a penalty. The same in basketball. In baseball, if a player throws his helmet like an asshole onto the field of play he’s likely going to get tossed. If you guys ever want beer pong to be taken seriously, smashing cups isn’t helping.

Save our cups!

So, Who’s Winning the Masters?

Time sure flies when you’re having fun. It seems like only yesterday we were crowning a new World Series of Beer Pong champion and handing out a giant check for $50,000. Now, we’re less than two months away from handing out an even larger check for the first ever Masters of Beer Pong champion. And there’s one question everyone keeps asking.

Who’s going to win it?whos-winning-masters

In beer pong time, two months is an eternity. There’s still way too much time for players to find partners, change plans, flake out at the last moment or backstab a good friend. We’ve come to expect these things from our close-knit beer pong community. I wouldn’t expect anything less. But, like the NFL “experts” who have spent the last few months posting mock drafts that made them look like idiots this past week, it’s still fun to guess how things will pan out.

Right now, is there a better player in the world than Ross Hampton?

The name should sound familiar if you have spent any time in the competitive beer pong circuits the past two years. Hampton won the prestigious World Series of Beer Pong VII singles title last year, and followed it up with an even more impressive victory, winning the World Series of Beer Pong VII doubles title. In the World Series of Beer Pong VIII, he was a part of the winning East vs. West tournament team, and then followed it up by winning the 2nd Annual Pongstars.net Spring Classic a few weeks ago. In between, he’s won dozens of other tournaments. Not a bad resume, and I’m sure I’m leaving some stuff out.

People love to debate who the best players are, and several can make a case as the world’s best. Players like Michael “Pop” Popielarski and Ron Hamilton are no stranger to taking home the big checks, and guys like Kevin Kessler, Brandon Marx and Nick Syrigos are also considered some of the world’s best. But in the “what have you won lately” world of competitive beer pong, it’s hard to top what Ross Hampton is doing.

It’s still early, but who’s your pick to win the first ever Masters of Beer Pong tournament. Be sure you register soon before entry fees go up. You won’t want to miss this one.










Drunk or Sober?

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of “organized” beer pong tournaments are now played with water in the cups, not beer. In the case of the World Series of Beer Pong, there’s a mixture of both water and beer cups on the table, although no player is required to drink beer. There’s a variety of reasons why organizers have adapted this practice, but mostly it’s because local laws and regulations restrict bars from playing with beer in cups.

Outsiders like to dismiss competitive beer pong because they see us playing with water cups and assume we aren’t drinking. While it’s few and far between when I actually have beer in my cups when I am playing, unless I am driving or it’s a work night I’m usually drinking while I play. And if I have a ride, I’m drinking a lot more. I know it’s childish to compare drinking abilities, but I’d take a Masters of Beer Pong participant over some YouTube troll any day of the week when it comes to drinking.

That said, do you play better buzzed, or sober?

The popular opinion is that the player who can manage to stay sober longer wins, but I disagree. I think it’s much harder to play sober or with minimal drinking. While I have played well and won tournaments without taking even a sip of beer, it’s no coincidence that normally, the deeper I go into a tournament the bigger my hangover will be the next day.

Playing beer pong well, for me, is finding a perfect balance between being too drunk and being sober. It’s the mental aspect of the game that separates the winners from the losers, not shooting percentages. A headcase who can go 10/10 in practice is usually going to miss a rebuttal shot if his mind isn’t right. Maybe it’s a sign of weakness, but I feel like having a few beers in my system allows me to calm down, keep the butterflies away, and shoot well regardless of the situation.

Some people like to get completely trashed before a tournament, and some people drink too much that they can’t hit the table by the end of the day. For me, the days are too long to get completely hammered first thing in the morning and try to make it through the night. But it works for some people, just not me.

For those who don’t drink, I’ve seen several times when players get called out deep into Day 3 for not drinking. It’s easy to talk shit from the railing. I think those guys deserve extra props. I couldn’t imagine playing a best-of-three series for $50,000 dead sober. My arms would be shaking worse than Michael J. Fox. If they can do it, good for them.

What works best for you?










Pabst Blue Ribbon: Official Beer of the Masters of Beer Pong

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The biggest beer pong event in the history of the world just got a little bit better.

BPONG is proud to announce that Pabst Blue Ribbon will be the official beer sponsor of the first-ever Masters of Beer Pong tournament. As if a few days of summer sun in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, a $100,000 minimum prize pool and pool parties weren’t enough, there will be plenty of ice-cold Pabst Blue Ribbon to keep us hydrated. What else could one ask for?

Pabst Blue Ribbon is no stranger to the biggest beer pong tournaments in the world. You may recall the tasty lager at previous BPONG events, including the World Series of Beer Pong III, WSOBP IV, and this past WSOBP VIII. The only complaint the world’s best beer pong players have about PBR is when there isn’t enough.

The World Series of Beer Pong has come a long way since its first days in Mesquite. Although I did not attend my first WSOBP until WSOBP III, the horror stories about the Sin City beer live on to this day. Ask anyone who attended one of those first tournaments and you’re guaranteed to get a less-than-fond memory about the choice of beer.

It’s only fitting that that the biggest beer pong tournament known to man will serve an award-winning beer. PBR, after all, was selected as “America’s Best” beer at the World’s Columbian Exposition back in 1893, some 120 years ago. While a lot of things have changed in the world since then, America’s thirst for delicious beer has not. Pabst Blue Ribbon still stands tall among its peers.

I’m sure the announcement of PBR is just one of the many surprises Billy, Reed and company have in store for us in July. If this doesn’t convince you to sign up for the MOBP, I don’t know what will. It’s not going to get any cheaper, so what are you waiting for?









This Post is Sponsored By…

With its unique characters, soap opera storylines, and high stakes competition, it seems only a matter of time before beer pong becomes a popular televised event. Even the lamest weekly tourney has better storylines than some of the crap that runs on cable television.

So what’s the hold up?

Many players feel that with the focus on beer, it’s a tough sell to advertisers. I can kind of buy that. I know that several major beer companies have steered clear of local beer pong events due to the association with binge drinking. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, considering that most television shows use sex and violence to earn better ratings.

An argument can also be made that the heated trash talk may scare potential advertisers or networks. Since trash talk is such a big part of beer pong, it would be a shame to deny that to the viewer. Some of our most beloved players are just that because of their trash talk. Sure, you can bleep out the F word a dozen times, but where’s the fun in that?

In my opinion, beer pong will only become as big as its sponsors. Bottom line, we need more companies involved to help grow the sport and get it on television. Most TV networks would air footage of sleeping cows if it made money. For some reason or another, beer pong organizers around the country have had a difficult time locking in event sponsors.

The real question is, what kind of sponsors make sense for beer pong? You won’t find a more hardcore group of (mostly) 21-34 males that spend money than a major beer pong event. Most players spend upwards of $1,000 just to travel and play in the World Series of Beer Pong, not including the food, beer and money they gamble away. Seems like a pretty solid market if I’m an advertiser looking at that demographic. And buying into an event sponsorship such as the World Series of Beer Pong is far cheaper than a traditional advertising campaign.

I’m also surprised that no major companies have stepped up to sponsor individual players. There are certainly a few that are “household” names in the beer pong world that would be great for a cutting-edge advertiser. I recently watched “Lords of Dogtown” (great flick, by the way) and it reminded me a little of the beer pong scene. In that movie, you could see how several skateboard companies fought over signing the hippest young skaters.

We’ve seen some small-scale sponsorships before, but nothing from a big company. Who will be the first? In the grand scheme of things, giving a top player $10,000 a year for pushing its name/product is a great deal. The player could enter and travel to every major during the year, proudly pimping the product or its name, or both. In return, that sponsor gets all the name recognition that goes along with associating itself with a top player. Tons of social media exposure, interviews, photos, etc. It makes so much sense to me, but maybe I’m just taking crazy pills.

What kind of companies do you think would be great beer pong sponsors? What would you be willing to do as a player to be sponsored?










The Biggest Fourth of July Party of All Time

biggest-fourth-of-july-party

There’s nothing quite like the Fourth of July. Sure, you Canadians may disagree, but in the United States, July 4th means warm sunshine, cold beer, cookouts, and all that other stuff you hear in country music songs. But why not celebrate our nation’s independence with our favorite pastime in America’s playground: Las Vegas.

In a little more than two months, hundreds of beer pong players will make the trek back out to Las Vegas for another beer pong tournament. Except this time, it’s not the World Series of Beer Pong. This time it won’t be January and cold. This time it’s the Masters of Beer Pong tournament for $100,000. In case your math isn’t the best, that’s twice what the winners of the last two World Series of Beer Pong champions received. And it may get even higher.

I have no idea what to expect this time around, except maybe the best Fourth of July party of all time. Strictly in terms of beer pong, none of us have ever entered a beer pong tournament for $100,000. The stakes are the highest they’ve ever been, and they could get even higher. I mean, have you seen the pictures of where we’ll be playing? This isn’t your typical ballroom. The pictures of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino look insane. With the setup and lights, the room looks like it could double as a Kanye West and Jay-Z concert venue. I can’t fucking wait.

And besides the beer pong, how about the pool parties? Most of us are used to coming home from Vegas with the Pong Flu. This time, we’re coming back with tans. Not sure if I’ll be going to the pool party on the Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or all five of them.

It’s not going to get any cheaper, so the sooner you sign up for the biggest beer pong event of all time the better. As of right now, $250 is all it takes for the biggest party you’ll attend this year.

We’ll see you there.










Beer Pong Superstitions

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Did you know Michael Jordan wore his blue University of North Carolina shorts underneath his Chicago Bulls uniform for good luck? Tiger Woods always wears red on Sundays. Almost every athlete in every sport and level of competition has some kind of superstition. Beer pong players are no different.

If anything, beer pong players are more superstitious than average athletes. There are very few moving parts in a game of beer pong: Two players, ten cups and two balls to a side. There is little margin for error, so beer pong players are always looking for something to give them a leg up in competition.

Some players are superstitious as to what side of the beer pong table they shoot from. If they are used to standing on the right side of the table and you make them stand on the left, don’t expect a great game from them.

Some players have lucky shirts, shorts, shoes or hats (or whatever accessory you can think of). Sometimes, when you look at pictures of the same people from different beer pong tournaments, it’s hard to tell the difference because they are wearing the exact same thing. Of course, there are some of us who wear the same stuff because we don’t wash our clothes, but that’s a different story.

Some players need to bounce the ball a certain number of times before they shoot. Maybe they need to dip it in the water cup and shake it a few times before getting ready to shoot. Not to mention, there’s also those annoying players that need to take a few practice shooting motions before throwing the ball, like they’re lining up a tournament-winning birdie putt on the 18th green at the U.S. Open.

Some players have racks they always shoot at and ones they just can’t hit. They may be able to hit the 10 and 6 racks without hesitation, but give them an “ugly” rack with cups hit all over the place, and they may not want to shoot.

Some players need to have the hit cups placed on a certain side of the table before they shoot. Even if they are completely out of the way, they just can’t shoot with them being on the “wrong” side.

Some of us are superstitious about what we drink the day of a major beer pong tournament. Whether it’s a 40 oz. bottle of King Cobra Malt Liquor or an entire bottle of Jack Daniels, we can’t function without it.

What are some of your beer pong superstitions?










Beer Pong Strategery

beer-pong-strategy

You wouldn’t guess there would be much strategy involved in a game of beer pong. It’s just the first team to hit ten cups first, right? How much strategy could you possibly need except to hit more cups?

To answer the question: There is a lot of strategy that goes on into a typical game of beer pong. And there are some big decisions to make even before the first ball is thrown.

When we arrive at a beer pong tournament, we usually find an empty table and start shooting around. Depending on how the venue is set up, you may develop a “comfort level” with a certain side of the table. Maybe there is more space to move around, maybe it’s less congested and there is less of a chance of being bumped into while you shoot, but some sides of the table offer a distinct advantage to a team. A lot of teams will get so used to playing on one side of the table, that when they are put into the position of playing on the other side, it throws them off a bit.

Usually, we use rock, paper, scissors or a coin flip to determine who shoots one ball first or two balls second. A forgotten option is to also choose sides instead of choosing shots. It’s kind of like deferring a kickoff in the NFL. I will almost always choose balls if I win, sometimes when I lose I will ask the team if they want balls or sides. A team that you know doesn’t want to switch sides will sometimes give you the balls and keep the side they are on, which allows you to have balls first even though you lost the toss. Sometimes, getting to the table first and taking the preferred side will help increase your chances of earning balls first.

Another element of strategy is choosing one ball first or two balls second. To me, it’s a no brainer to choose two balls second. You can start the game off 3-1 and can immediately back your opponent into a corner. But especially this past year at the World Series of Beer Pong, I noticed more and more teams choosing the one ball first. I don’t know why someone would choose this except if they know they will be shooting 100% and ending the game first, but to each their own. For those of you who choose to shoot one ball first, why do you prefer that?

Another big decision to think about is who shoots third shots? Some teams like to give these shots to the “hot” player or the one who just shot, but others like to play the percentages and give it to the better player. When I play with a player better than me (almost all the time since I’m terrible) I always let them take the third shot. Even if I am having a better game, the odds still favor him making the cup more than me.

Lastly, a decision needs to be made when shooting rebuttals. Do you organize rebuttals so a certain player will be shooting at final cup? Do you let a specific player shoot at a specific rack? There’s a lot to think about.

What are some of the strategic moves you make on the beer pong table?










Can’t We All Just Get Along?

get-along

One of the best parts of playing beer pong is the trash talk. It’s something that draws us to the game time and time again, keeps it interesting and fun, and provides an extra element of intensity that most of us don’t experience in our daily lives.

When I first started playing, I loved talking trash to people. I think I enjoyed the trash talk more than the beer pong itself. I tried to be as funny and clever as I could, with my main goal trying to get the other team to miss. Sure, I got branded as an asshole by most people, but those who knew me off the table knew it was all in good fun and didn’t take it seriously.

Somewhere along the line, however, the line between acceptable trash talk and getting too personal became blurred. Now, it seems like there is nothing sacred on the beer pong table. You can talk about someone’s wife, child, girlfriend, etc. all in hopes of them getting to miss one shot in a game of beer pong.

I realize that, as a society, we have become desensitized to what is considered right and what is considered wrong. It’s easy to spew a bunch of foul shit off on Twitter and Facebook and act like a complete asshole and troll everyone because there are no repercussions. It’s the reason why horror movies have become more graphic, and movies like “The Hangover II” were terrible, because everyone is trying to “one up” everyone else. So your opponent didn’t miss his shot when you made fun of his haircut, so why not make fun of his girlfriend and see if you can get a reaction?

At what point do we say, “Enough is enough?” I mean, we are mostly all grown men and women. Most of us have careers, families, and lives outside of major beer pong tournaments to think about. Aren’t we all past the point where we have to prove our toughness to each other? I mean, people still do that? I’ve been punched, slapped and spit on, and I have just stood there and laughed because I am not going to jeopardize getting arrested or going to jail over a, in the long run, meaningless game of beer pong. Not to mention, I would probably get my ass kicked.

Someone made a Facebook post this weekend about how the crazy beer pong drama and trash talk doesn’t occur as much on the West Coast. I don’t know for certain, but it makes sense. You see those guys at the World Series of Beer Pong and it really looks like everyone is just having fun and getting along. Sure, there are always exceptions, but why is everyone else so damn mad?

I’ll be the first to admit that I am certainly being a hypocrite. I have crossed the line more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve said some things in the heat of competition I certainly regret and am embarrassed of to this day. I’m sure I’ve lost some friendships and people look at me differently as a result, and I understand those are the consequences of my actions.

At the end of the day, though, it’s just beer pong guys. One of the reasons we are all here is because we like competition, we like drinking, and we enjoy the community we’ve all helped build. Can’t we all just get along?










What 3 people would you play beer pong with, alive or dead?

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At some point, I’m sure someone has asked you, “If you could have dinner with any three people, alive or dead, whom would you choose?”

I hate that question. Usually it elicits the same canned responses from people. Maybe you’d choose Jesus, Susan B. Anthony, or Martin Luther King Jr. It’s a slick way for people to find out more about the things you value without asking questions that would be illegal to ask in job interviews.

Well, I’ve got a better question. If you could play the upcoming Masters of Beer Pong with any three people, alive or dead, whom would you choose and why? With at least $100,000 on the line, it’s a tough choice. You may want someone that you can get along with for a couple of days, someone talented, and someone able to perform under pressure. Or, you may just want to choose someone down to party nonstop for a couple of days in Vegas. Decisions, decisions.

Here are my three choices:

1. Robert Horry
Robert Horry played 16 seasons in the NBA and stands 6 feet, 10 inches. At 6’10″ and no elbow rule, dropping a ping pong ball into a cup 8 feet away is hardly a difficult task. But why him? There are countless NBA players taller than him and more talented than him. I could have picked Michael Jordan or Lebron James or someone like that, but Robert Horry has something they don’t: Seven NBA rings, the most of any player in modern time. I admittedly don’t watch a lot of professional basketball, I root for Lebron and troll for him on Facebook, but that’s about it. But it seems like anytime I’ve watched the NBA finals, there was “Big Shot Rob” hitting a big shot when it mattered most. I can’t think of anyone else I’d want shooting a rebuttal shot in the finals.

2. Ray Lewis
My personal love of Baltimore sports aside, would there be anyone more intimidating to play against than Ray Lewis? He would make Ron Hamilton look like Ron Paul. He scared the shit out of NFL players for the better part of two decades so I’m confident he could get in the heads of some punk college kid beer pong players. I also couldn’t imagine a more supportive teammate. My play would be described by most as “inconsistent” so I’m confident RayRay would be able to pull me aside, whisper a prayer into my ear, do the squirrel dance and get me fired up. I mean, he won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer at quarterback. Oh yeah, he may have also killed a guy(s) once, so I may escape Vegas without getting slapped or spit on for once.

3. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is one of my favorite athletes of all time. I absolutely hate how the media built him up, only to tear him down, only to build him up again. He’s a tremendous competitor in every way imaginable. If the guy can sink 40 foot birdie putts with millions of dollars on the line, I’m certain he can shoot a ball from 8 feet away. But it’s not even about that, I just want to party with him in Vegas. Can you imagine a couple of days at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas? From that Swedish supermodel to the lovely Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods has the sexy blonde thing down pat. And he’s got about a billion dollars or so, so chances are good he’d buy a round or two.

So, if you could play the upcoming Masters of Beer Pong with any three people, alive or dead, whom would you choose and why?










Never too old to pong

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We’ve all been there before. You’re at someone’s family party, barbecue, wedding, etc. and the beer pong table is out. The younger people are playing beer pong or flip cup on the tables and the older partygoers are sitting in lawn chairs just hanging out watching you play. Maybe there is an inflatable table floating around in the pool. Everyone is having a great time.

And then it happens. One or two of them walk over and start asking about the rules. You can tell by that twinkle in their eye that they really want to play, but feel weird asking. After a little prodding you convince them to take a shot or two. Next thing you know, they are calling next game and the older folks are leaving their lawn chairs to come over and play. You’ve lost the table for the rest of the party.

It’s always hilarious when older people play beer pong. I don’t know exactly why, but it is. Most of them seem to shoot a little goofy, and they can’t seem to remember the rules no matter how many times you explain them. The mothers and grandmothers look truly embarrassed to be playing, like their parents just walked in on them making out as teenagers.

Most of us have different personas on the beer pong table. The way we speak and yell in the heat of competition are completely opposite from the way we act around our parents, coworkers, and non-ponging friends. It’s funny; when an older person gets on the table it’s almost as if we have an inner conflict… We don’t want to yell and cuss or talk too much trash, but we also want to tease them a little and have some fun. It’s a fine line to walk between just having fun and making sure not to make ourselves look like complete assholes. No matter how much older we get, most of us still feel like we’re going to get in trouble when we pong around older people.

It’s great when the older players start dishing out the trash talk and hitting cups. You never expect to lose a game of beer pong to someone who doesn’t play competitively, but every once in a while you will play a newbie and find yourself on the ropes. Suddenly everyone is cheering against you and hoping the old guys pull out the win.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome to play in big tournaments like the Masters of Beer Pong with a minimum of $100,000 on the line. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to win that amount of money in a game of beer pong. But sometimes it’s great to see someone new and completely unexpected experience the fun of playing beer pong for the first time. It’s good to think back every once in a while and remembered why we started playing the game: We wanted to have fun.










Getting Better at Beer Pong

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Once upon a time in the competitive beer pong community, you could count the elite players in the country on two hands. Whether you’re located on the West Coast or the East Coast, the same names would come up in every conversation. As the community grew and more and more players were exposed to the competitive levels of the game, something happened: Everyone got good.

The first World Series of Beer Pong I played in was WSOBP III. My partner at the time had made his debut the year prior and he told me we would be a cinch to make Day Three. He told me that players in our region played the best competition throughout the year and we would be so much better than everyone else. Our first opponent on the first day was a guy he had won a lot of money from off of cash games the year before. Those guys that apparently “sucked” beat us by 4 or 5 cups. It was more of the same for the rest of the tournament and we ended up NOT making Day Three, the first and last time I would miss Day Three.

It used to be that you could look at your preliminary schedule and figure out who the “easy wins” would be and what the “touch matchups” would be. You’d ask your friends if they knew any of the teams or players. Not anymore. You can’t underestimate anyone these days. Just because a player isn’t well-known or just because they don’t make a million posts a day in the National Beer Pong Facebook group doesn’t mean anything. Almost everyone who is signing up to play competitively at the WSOBP or Masters of Beer Pong can play and hang with the best.

So how do players become great players? I think there are three ways:

1. Natural Ability

As shitty as it is for the rest of us, some guys are just naturally good. The first organized tournament I ever played in also happened to be the first organized tournament that Sean Foster played in. My friend and I looked at the team Sean ^2 and, given our background in partying, figured it to be an easy win. Well, they smoked us. They finished 2-2 but went on to take second place in their very next tournament a couple of weeks later. Granted, Foster has become a much better player since then, but even from the beginning he was hanging with the best.

2. Practice

Practice anything and you’ll get better at it, right? In the case of Sean Foster, he took beer pong practice to the next level. He invented the “Pong Shot” ball return device. Basically, he’d shoot a ball at cups and it would roll back to him. Rumor has it he would take hundreds of shots a night. We know this because his ex-girlfriend would tell everyone how much he would play with his Pong Shot. While not everyone has a pong shot, we’ve all shot cups by ourselves from one side of the table, retrieve the balls, and shoot from the other side. Some practice with their partners, etc. While practice can’t replace real game experience, it can certainly take a player to the next level.

3. Experience

Neither the highest amounts of natural ability or practice can substitute for true game experience. There’s no preparation for how you’ll feel the first time you make the finals of a tournament. Almost all of us go through the “happy to be here” phase of a beer pong career. You’re in the finals, you’re guaranteed a prize of some kind, and you are just happy to be there. Once you get a taste of victory or defeat you’re left wanting more, but those first couple of times, it’s all good win or lose. But for most of us, it takes a while to get rid of the nerves you’ll experience shooting a big rebuttal shot, or coming back from a deficit with our backs against the wall. It takes a while to learn how to deal with distractions, and on the opposite end, how to get in your opponent’s head as well. In the end, you need to learn from experience how to get better.

There are no easy wins in competitive beer pong anymore. One day soon, if not already, a miss or two will cost you the win. Everyone will keep getting better.