Last month, players in Atlantic City competed in a three-day tournament for $25,000. And this Labor Day, beer pong, um, "athletes" in California will compete for $10,000 just outside of Los Angeles.
In January, Las Vegas will host the big showdown, where an estimated 1,000 people will battle in the World Series of Beer Pong, with the winning team (of two) walking away with $50,000.
“The game used to be a big college phenomenon,” says Billy Gaines, co-founder of the Vegas event and bpong.com. “As people who were introduced to the game in college have grown up, the game has evolved and grown. … At the World Series, you have your typical frat guy, but you also have accountants, you have lawyers, you have people who don’t know what they want to do with their lives yet.”
Despite the World Series title, there is no unified Beer Pong league. And the sport is still a long way from getting a commissioner. Competing organizations host rival tournaments around the country, but that hasn’t seemed to dampened enthusiasm.
This will be the fifth ‘World Series’ event. Initially held in Mesquite, Nev. with only 83 teams competing, the series will be held along the Las Vegas strip at the Flamingo Casino and Hotel this year.
Have Some More Beer:
For the most part, anyone can play in the tournaments. For the World Series, winners of qualifying rounds see their entry fee waved, but others can pony up $1,100 for a chance to win. (The price covers a tournament entry fee and five nights at the Flamingo to cut down on liability to the organizers.)
The game, if you haven’t played it lately is pretty simple. Bounce a ping-pong ball into the opposing team’s beer-filled cup. If you succeed, the other team has to down the cup. First team to make its opponents drink all of the beers wins.
In college, it’s a quick way to get drunk. On the competitive circuit, things are a little different.