Winning with momentum

momentum

You just hit last cup and your opponent has four cups to rebuttal. You’re already thinking about how you’re going to spend that prize money. You and your partner are both relaxed. All smiles.

Your opponent makes the first rebuttal shot, leaving three on the table. You quickly re-rack and roll the ball back. No biggie, no way they hit three more, right?

They make the front cup on the three-rack and just like that, there’s two cups left. A feeling of uneasiness sets in, but you guys aren’t completely worried yet. The other team takes their time shooting at the two. Many players consider two side-by-side cups the hardest rack to hit in beer pong. Usually, it separates the pretenders from the contenders. You’ve been quiet for the last half of the game, but desperation is starting to sink in. You talk a little trash and maybe try a distraction to throw them off. No luck, they sink the left cup and there’s only one left.

The trash talking gets ramped up a little bit now. The crowd is into it, hoping they see overtime. If you’re one of those guys that like to throw cups and smash them and pour water over yourself, now’s the time to do it. All you need is one big miss. You take your time centering the cup and your opponent takes their time preparing to shoot. Everyone is yelling and you are a bit nervous. You thought this game was over a few minutes ago and now you’re helpless. They shoot.

Overtime.

A few moments later, your opponents are now spending that prize money you could have sworn was yours. You didn’t shoot terrible, but once they hit those four rebuttal shots, you didn’t stand a chance.

I don’t have any mathematical data to back up my theory, but in most cases, I believe the team that successfully sinks a series of rebuttal shots goes on to win the game. Momentum and confidence is everything in beer pong. Once you sink four, you know in the worst case, you can sink the three in overtime. Overtime becomes an exercise in jockeying for cup position. The team originally shooting the rebuttals becomes the aggressors, and once they sink the final cup first, it’s usually a losing proposition for the other team.

If you’ve been paying any attention to competitive beer pong, you’re most likely familiar with the finals of the World Series of Beer Pong III. Iron Wizard Coalition hit the final cup with four left for Chauffeuring the Fat Kid to rebuttal. The rest is history. Sorry Baker, I know you’re still haunted by this.

Obviously, there are exceptions to this, but I think in most cases the rebuttaling team uses that momentum to earn the victory. They put the other team back in the spot of making a big shot, and in many cases, once they sink the final cup and think victory is theirs, they lose that intensity needed to battle back in overtime. They get shook and it’s a helpless feeling when you see your opponent continually sink multiple rebuttal shots.

The same theory applies for the team that emerges from the loser’s bracket to earn a place in the finals. This team has already experienced adversity in the tournament. They’ve been playing more and are on a roll. The winner’s bracket finalist likely has been waiting a while to play, and if the loser’s bracket team can win the first game of the finals they normally go on to win the second.

Like in any sport, it’s the “hottest” team, not the “best” team, that usually takes home the trophy.










What’s in your cup?

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Beer pong players are resourceful. You wouldn’t think so by looking at a group of beer pong players at first glance, but when the idea of playing beer pong comes up, us degenerates turn into MacGyver. We can turn almost anything into a beer pong table. No cups or balls? No problem, we’ll figure something out.

But what about what we put into our cups? This is a trickier situation. I’ve never met a beer pong player who was extremely picky about what kind of beer they put in their cups. Obviously, light beer is preferred for most people. Coors Light, Bud Lite, Miller Lite, Natty Lite, Beast Lite, etc. For a lot of us, whichever is cheaper is the best beer to play with.

But playing with the wrong beer can sometimes become a disaster. Some beer is meant for drinking and enjoying, and some beer is made to be pounded in games of beer pong, flip cup, cards, or whatever crazy drinking game you’re playing.

I always think about playing beer pong with the wrong beer every year around St. Patrick’s Day.  A few years ago, I spent St. Patrick’s Day at a bar that had an awesome special: $20 all-you-can-drink Car Bombs and Guinness. That’s impossible to turn down, right? Maybe pre-gaming all morning wasn’t the best way to prepare for it.

As the day went on, someone had the amazing idea to fill the cups on the beer pong table at the bar with Car Bombs. Most of us kind of forget how we used to play “house party” beer pong, when you had to drink before you shoot and making or missing cups meant a lot more. Needless to say, I didn’t play that well and drank way too many Car Bombs. I went to Ireland later that summer and visited the Guinness factory, and the taste still kind of turned my stomach. Years later, I’m only now able to drink it again.

One summer, we ran out of beer and only had Yuengling in the fridge. For those of you on the West Coast, Yuengling is a little darker and heavier than your typical light beer. Before that night, Yuengling was my favorite beer. After a night playing beer pong with it, I could barely stand it.

One of my beer pong pet peeves is when people play with drinks other than beer in the cups. You’ve got girls pouring in Smirnoff, cranberry vodkas, etc. into the cups. Once those people leave the table and you get stuck drinking beer out of those cups, it’s disgusting.

What are some of the worst drinks you ever played “beer pong” with?










True Life: “I Play Competitive Beer Pong”

true-life

Do you try and keep your “real life” separate from your “beer pong” life?

A lot of us try to separate our “beer pong lives” with our real lives. I’ve been asked by people not to use their real names in blogs and articles, because they didn’t want their employers or clients to Google their names and find some less than desirable videos or things written about them. I totally understand that. Some of the things done or said in the heat of the moment on the beer pong table are best not publicized.

For the most part, I’ve always been pretty open about my beer pong hobby. I’m not ashamed of it. I think it’s funny and interesting. The first time I told co-workers years ago that I had won a beer pong tournament I thought they would laugh or judge me. Instead, they seemed fascinated and wanted to come out and watch or play in the next one.

Or, if they kind of laughed at me, they saw the money I made in cash games the night before and suddenly my “hobby” became more credible. Back when I was a better player and played more, beer pong was more lucrative for me. Now, I settle for bar tabs for winning tournaments, but there are many of you that make a decent living solely off beer pong.

One of my favorite parts of being a part of the beer pong community is watching the expressions of casual spectators when they see it in person for the first time. When we’re in Las Vegas for the World Series of Beer Pong, people can spot us from a mile away. They assume we are just there to get drunk and rowdy. Have you ever been in the elevator on your way to the ballroom, and some old lady asks you about the beer pong tournament and the prize money? They kind of laugh at you until you tell them you’re playing for $50,000.

I love the reactions of people who walk into whichever bar or restaurant we’re holding our local tournaments at. At first, they wonder what the hell they got themselves into. But then they stick around after they eat or drink and seem genuinely captivated by what they are watching.

Once, during a league night, my partner and I were playing during a league night and saw a group of older women watching our game. We could tell they were interested, and after a few minutes they came up to us with a question about our game.

She asked us, “Do you have to eat the hard-boiled egg after you make it in the cup?”

This woman thought we were throwing hard-boiled eggs into cups of beer. I can’t make this stuff up.

Have you had any crazy reactions from people about your beer pong hobby?










Tell Your Story to BPONG!

tell-your-story

Are you tired of reading about the same old beer pong players all the time?

Would you like to be profiled on the BPONG.com website?

Are you a rookie training for the Masters of Beer Pong $100,000 Tournament or the World Series of Beer Pong that’s going to shock the world?

Do you have an amazing beer pong story you have to share?

Well, BPONG would love to tell your story!

If you’re interested, please comment below with your name and someone from BPONG will contact you shortly!

Happy Pongin’ this weekend!










Since U Been Gone

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Seeing your pong partner play with someone else is worse than your girlfriend cheating on you.

Isn’t it though?

On all levels of beer pong, it sucks when your partner leaves you for someone else. Sometimes, it’s a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In other cases, you’re getting dropped for a better player.

Remember that time you were running the beer pong table at some house party, left the table to go to the bathroom, came back and found your partner playing with someone else? Couldn’t they have just waited a few minutes? You’ve got to go scrambling to find someone to call next with. Or there’s some girl or guy begging to get on the table and your partner just can’t resist. But at the end of the day, it’s just a house party so it’s not the biggest deal in the world.

Losing a partner in the competitive beer pong world stings a little worse. It’s easy to simplify the simple game of beer pong and completely dismiss the idea of a serious partner, but make no mistake, the best beer pong partnerships are true relationships. Chances are that you aren’t going to win the Masters of Beer Pong tournament with some guy you picked up off the street. Well, unless your name is Ross Hampton.

In the course of a full year, you are probably spending as much time with your pong partner than your significant other. That’s kind of a scary thought. And beer pong relationships are significantly different than intimate ones. When you are playing for high stakes, with alcohol involved, things will get heated. You’re going to get slapped, spit on, punched, or all three in the course of one tournament (thanks Mantis). It’s just the way it is. But when the coin gets flipped for the next round, it’s all love again and you start fresh.

Sometimes, the most dysfunctional partners make the best teams. Look at Michael “Pop” Popielarski and Ron Hamilton. Their team, “Smashing Time,” won back-to-back WSOBP titles, took a break, and came back to make the final table at World Series of Beer Pong VIII a few years later. Lock them in a room together they are likely to kill each other.

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Like a bad relationship, you complain about your beer pong partner all the time, but when they finally leave you, you want them back. You forget about that time you misrepresented your shooting percentage while throwing them under the bus, or the time you passed off that last rebuttal because everyone was watching and you didn’t want to be the one that missed. Like looking for a new job, you start putting out applications before you give your two-weeks notice. No one has dropped a solid beer pong partner without having a back-up plan.

Eventually, the time comes when a partnership has reached its end. Sometimes it’s mutual, but in a lot of cases it’s not. Then what?

I’m sure everyone is different, but for me personally, I want to bury my ex-partner. You want to measure your success against his (or hers). You want to advance further than them, shoot better than them, and appear that you are having more fun than them. Yeah, you may be “happy” for them if they win the $100,000 prize, but would you really be? Maybe you’re a better man than me, but I don’t know if I really would be.

I’m going to make a broad generalization here, but competitive beer pong is a “catty” sport. Let’s face it, most of us who play seriously are guys. Most of us weren’t involved in the day-to-day high school drama most girls went through growing up. But the way some of us talk about our beer pong partners, you’d think we were women in a salon.

And we hate seeing our exes with someone new.