Would you like to win a prize greater than the average American salary for playing a game best known for being played on the porches of collegiate frat houses? Then the 2014 World Series of Beer Pong might be for you.
Brought to you by the same types of innovators who bring the world the U.S. Air Guitar Championship and the World Beard & Mustache Championships, the World Series of Beer Pong has been played every year since 2006—gaining popularity along the way. Unlike your typically collegiate environment, there are structured rules that all participants must follow or risk disqualification.
Of course, that makes sense considering there is more than $50,000 on the line. The 2013 event featured a payout of more than $65,000 in prizes and cash to the winners—and don't think that this is some flukish, one-time extravaganza. The $100,000 Masters of Beer Pong tournament already took place this year, meaning that, in theory, $165,000 in annual salary could be won as a beer pong champion.
Anyone who ever set foot on a college campus knows that you need a good partner to play a successful game of pong, so split that figure in half [does the math]. Who needs to spend eight years getting your doctorate when you can spend the same amount of time in undergrad becoming the GOAT beer pong champion?
So, I know what you're thinking: Is this on television and how can I spend my every next waking minute watching?
Unfortunately, it is not. Because, despite there being roughly 6,483 channels on your basic cable package, no one enjoys fun. If you're in the Las Vegas area, though, there are spectator seats available to watch all the action unfold. Heck, if you decide that you are the greatest beer pong player alive and want to show everyone up, there are even some side tournaments still taking entrants.
With that in mind, let's check in and give you all the information you need to know about the greatest competition in mankind history. (Until they develop the World Series of Slap Cup.)
When: Jan. 1-5 at varying times
Where: The Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas
|Event||Date||Time (PT)||Location||Rules Synopsis|
|East vs. West||Jan. 1||8 p.m.||Sunset Ballroom||Two-person teams; double elimination; bracket set up into East and West sides; four 32-team brackets|
|Singles||Jan. 2||10 a.m.||Sunset Ballroom||Men's and women's events; women's bracket holds no more than 32 participants; men's bracket holds max of 112; double-elimination format|
|Best of the Best||Jan. 2||10 p.m.||Sunset Ballroom||Best players from each U.S. area compete|
|3 vs. 3 & 3 vs. 3 Co-Ed||Jan. 3||10 a.m.||Sunset Ballroom||15 cups instead of 10; maximum of 32 teams in both; double-elimination|
|Co-Ed||Jan 3||10 p.m.||Sunset Ballroom||Double-elimination; 32 teams|
|Jan. 2||Preliminary||Each team plays six randomly paired games|
|Jan. 3||Preliminary||Each team plays six randomly paired games|
|Jan. 4||Finals||Top third of teams advance; elimination bracket devised based on previous results.|
The official rulebook for the 2014 World Series of Beer Pong—yes, there totally is one (and it's long)—can be found at the event's official website.
Asking the Important Questions (via BPong.com)
No, But Really. How Many People Actually Participate in this Thing?
Over 1,000 last year, actually. Or, as I always like to say, about 50 times the population of Picher, Oklahoma.
A Thousand People? How Do Said People Qualify for Said Event?
Qualifiers do so by one of two ways. You can either win one of many satellite tournaments held at participating locations, or you can pay a fee to bypass the tournaments.
OK, I'm a Busy Fellow or Lady. How Much Does Telling the Satellite Tournaments to Kick Rocks Cost?
Somewhere between $450 and $900. All players must stay at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino, so those costs are factored into the registration fee.
Oh Goodness Gracious, Do I Like a Rockefeller? Tell Me About These Satellite Tournaments.
Should you win a satellite tournament—there were 20 such events in 2013—your team gets all registration fees waived. That includes the four-night stay at the hotel.
NICE! Can I Still Sign Up for That?
Nah. Sorry. [sad face emoji]
Re: Game Rules
Six-Cup Triangle or 10-Cup Triangle?
Beer or Water?
Water. [double sad-face emoji]
Permission to Hit Someone With a Steel Chair If They Violate the "Elbow Rule?"
Denied. There is no "elbow rule," which states a player's elbow cannot reach over the front of the table or risk a violation. This is done so that everyone can reach across the table with impunity, making it fairer for all involved.
Oh Boy, What About Bounce Shots? Please Tell Me I Can Dikembe Mutombo Them Out of My House?
Permission also denied. Players are not allowed touching balls until they make contact with a cup or incur a penalty. Luckily, those dastardly bouncers are not awarded two cups in this format—just the one.
Allowed, with certain restrictions. The tournament's official rules go over that in detail, but suffice it to say there are no "stoplights," "sideways triangles," "diamonds" or whatever other concoctions are in your head.
Do I At Least Get Redemption?
Of course. Go here for the NFL rulebook-length explanation.
Re: Tournament Structure
Soooo...How Does This Thing Work?
Each team plays 12 preliminary matches over the first two days of the event, and then there is a bracket-style final round.
How Do Said Preliminaries Work, Kind Sir?
Teams are randomly matched up against one another for all 12 matches. Following the conclusion of the preliminary round, the top 160 teams advance to the finals. Advancing teams are then re-ranked based first on wins and second by cup differential. The bottom 64 finalists then take on one another in a play-in contest that finalizes the field at 128.
Your basic double-elimination tournament, structured with eight 1-16 seeds like the NCAA tournament. Teams who survive those play one another in a double-elimination bracket again until two teams remain. Then those finalists play a best-of-three to close it out.
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