Event in Las Vegas offers $50,000 for first place winners
By Chandler Walter, Assistant Editor
Beer Pong. You may have played it some drunk night out at a friend’s house, participated in a buy-in tournament at your local pub, or maybe you have absolutely no idea how ping pong balls and beer could have any relation whatsoever.
When brought down to the very brass tacks of the game, it’s about throwing a ball into a cup. Think ping-pong meets basketball, or competitive drinking meets chess. The strategy involved in defence, offence, house rules, and unwritten courtesies would more than fill up this page, so let’s just leave it at its basics. Two teams of two stand at opposing ends of a long table, with a triangle of red solo cups in front of them (it could be a different colour, but red is always the preference). The teams take turns throwing a ping pong ball into the opposing team’s cups, and if they do so, the other team drinks that cup. Once all the cups are gone, it’s game over.
Though many may just see beer pong as some drinking game played at a party to combat the awkwardness of just having a conversation, it has also found itself being played at a higher, more competitive level. Many pubs and bars, or backyards, as entrepreneurial players such as me have done, host beer pong tournaments. They charge a buy-in that would cover beer, and offer the potential of prestige, glory, and sometimes even a cash prize.
Take this to the extreme, and you have the World Series of Beer Pong, a five-day event hosted in Las Vegas during the summer, which offers a $50,000 cash prize and the title of “World Beer Pong Champions” to the winning team. This past July, the champions of the 11th annual tournament who took home the cash prize was the team History in The Making, made up of Michael Popielarski and Brandon Clarke. It was Popielarski’s third win of the World Series. There were roughly 600 competitors from around the globe who came out to compete in the event.
Cash prizes ranging from $300–5,000 were awarded to the 2nd–16th place finishers. That’s not a bad payoff for being skilled at throwing a ball into a cup.