Professional Beer Pong
WBPT $25000 AC Championship
Hotel room at AC championship
World Series of Beer Pong V Photo Shoot
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Remember those college days drinking beer, partying and having fun with no cares in the world? Or maybe you are in those years right now! Ever think ‘gee I wish I could just drink beer and have fun for the rest of my life’ and get paid for it? Well now you can! Yes you read that right; you can make a living drinking beer and having fun. Do I have your attention yet? You already know what I am talking about if you read the title of this article. What is it? Professional beer pong! Yes, that’s right professional beer pong. You can make a living playing beer pong easily just ask Ron Hamilton and Mike Popielarski of Smashing Time. They are the WSOBP IV ($50,000), World Beer Pong Tour Atlantic City $25000 and WSOBP V ($50,000) champions. So if you have done your math right that is over $125,000 in just over one year playing beer pong!
(I have personally participated in the WSOBP IV, the AC Championship and the WSOBP V. If you would like to learn more about my experiences in those events please read the articles I have written on them.)
I am talking about the same game you played in college. Just with slightly different rules. In 2006 the first World Series of Beer Pong was held out is Nevada. This was this beginning of the up and coming sport of beer pong. Since then there have been 4 more WSOBP events, for a total of 5 with the fifth one just recently happening in Las VegasNevada at the world famous Flamingo Hotel and Casino this past January 1-5 2010. There has also been the first annual Atlantic City Championship held by World Beer Pong Tour. These big tournaments have also spawned dozens of smaller tournaments for $10,000 and hundreds of satellite tournaments kind of like the World Series of Poker. This has also spawned hundreds of beer pong clubs and groups all over the country.
As you can see I have mentioned two different beer pong organizations, World Series of Beer Pong and World Beer Pong Tour. These two are like the WWF and WCW of the 1980’s. Both companies are up and coming. Both are really working hard to further the world of beer pong. Players around the world compete in both. Currently they are not competition but two separate organizations trying to further the professional sport of beer pong in the best way they see fit. These two companies are great assets to the world of professional beer pong. However, they have their own rules.
Before I explain the different rules of the two organizations I will give you the basic rules that both organizations currently follow. First is the equipment. Pro beer pong is played on a table 8 feet long by 2 feet wide by 27.5 inches tall (I believe the WBPT tables are slightly higher). 40mm ping pong balls are used which are 2mm larger in diameter then the normal balls you can purchase in Wal-Mart. The last piece of equipment is the cups. The cups are 16 ounce cups and have a top width of 3-5/8", a height of 4-5/8" and a bottom width of 2-1/4". Ten cups are set up on both ends of the table in a triangle pointing toward the opposite end of the table like you would rack pools balls. The game can be played with two person teams or singles but al the professional tournaments are two person teams. One team stand at each end of the table and just like when you played the game in college the goal is to throw the balls into the apposing team’s cups. If a ball makes it in a cup the cup is removed from play. The team that hits al the other teams cups first wins. Those are the basic rules.
Every house party and fraternity has there own rules beyond the basic rules I just described and so do both the WSOBP and the WBPT. The rules of these to organizations differ slightly and currently both organizations rules are considered professional rules. First I will discuss the rules of the WSOBP. The WSOBP rules are pretty straight forward and based on skill. The game is started with one ball. After the first team shoots one ball the teams take turns throwing two balls per team (one ball per player). If a team makes both balls in cups in one turn they receive a third shot that either person on the team can shoot. Balls can also be bounced but unlike in college rules they only count as one cup. Balls can be swatted at after they have touched the cup but can not be “blown” or “fingered” out of a cup. Cups are rearranged when 6, 3 and 1 cups are left. The rearranges are always in a tight triangle facing the opposite side of the table with the last cup being centered. When the last cup has been sunk the opposite team gets a chance to redeem or a redemption shot. If the winning team has multiple cups left the redemption team has one chance to hit all the cups with each team mate alternating shots. If there is only one cup left the loosing team gets as many shots as it took the winning team to hit the last cup. If the team redempts then the game goes into over time. Over time is 3 cups in a tight triangle with no rerack or rearrange.
The WBPT rules are slightly different. First the starting team starts with two balls. In WBPT bounces are not aloud. If both players make a ball the team still only gets one ball back. The reracks or rearranges happen at 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 but only when the team asks for it. Even though there are more options for a rerack only two reracks are aloud in the game. A rerack of 6 and 3 are in the same formation as the WSOBP but the rerack of 4 is in a diamond formation similar to the tight triangle of the 3 cup rerack but with a cup in the center of the back triangle. A 2 cup rerack is a straight line and the one cup rack is centered. When one team hits the last cup the opposing team still gets redemption, however both players get to shoot till they miss. This means the first player keeps throwing the ball till they miss a cup then the second player keeps throwing a bal till they miss. A successful redemption puts the game into a 3 cup over time with no rereack. All other rules apply.
These are the differences between these two professional tournaments. Neither tournament has an “elbow rule” which means you can lean over the table as far as you want as long as you don’t use the table or anything else to support your self. Lean or get leaned on! (quote provided by doepong.net) Professional beer pong players don’t cry about leaning and until there is a $50,000 tournament with an “elbow rule” the leaning argument is mute.
Now you have the basic rules for professional beer pong. Use these rules to practice. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! Then start looking for local tournaments in your area. Play in those tournaments to see how you stack up in your area. Most of these tournaments will me for small amounts of cash. I can personally find $100 or $200 cash tournaments in bars near me 6 days a week. Then start playing in satellite tournaments. There are satellite tournaments happening every week all over the country. Although there are usually only one or two a month with in driving distance of most people. These satellite tournaments are always for one of the big cash tournaments. So the wining team of the tournament wins their entry and hotel stay at one of the big tournaments like the World Series or the Atlantic City Championship.
Start playing these tournaments and you are well on your way to being a professional beer pong player. Its great fun and you will make a lot of great friends in the process! IF you want more info on these organizations or Professional beer pong please check out bpong.com , worldpongtour.com and doepong.net. These are just a few of the many sites and organizations out there dedicated to furthering the professional sport of beer pong. Drink responsibly! And remember as in all sports good sportsmanship goes a long way. Really we are all just here to have fun and drink some beers in good company!
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