So here we are a week away from July already. Time really flies, especially when beach weekends, water taxi bar crawls, and Atlantic City trips start taking up all your weekends. Time has been flying by so fast that I hardly realized that it's been well over a month since my last blog. With the Barn Animal's bombshell announcement of his retirement, I felt compelled to dust off the old keyboard and plop out another blog.
The A-Train recently competed in his 10th major competition earlier this month (major defined as $5,000+ prize). The 2nd annual Atlantic City Championships was double the size of the previous year's competition and the prize was doubled as well. Unlike last year, the West Coast made the trip making the field much tougher.
For this event I made the conscious decision to play more beer pong. I know that sounds dumb, but at a lot of the previous national tournaments I've played very little outside of the official games. This time around I wanted to play the best competition and hopefully win some money. There was no better place to do that then at AC this year. With constantly running sit n go's, the A-Train was going to pay off his AC and Vegas trips on the pong table.
It wasn't going to be as easy as I remembered it the previous year. The sit n go area was a shark pit. I was surprised on the rare occasion that I didn't have a Top 25 player to play. Speaking of the top 25, do you know what I'm talking about? If not, let me introduce you.
Starting last year, Death Of Elbow Rule (D.O.E.) Pong started releasing it's Top 25 Players in the World along with projected finishes at national tournaments. At first I was a little skeptical about how accurate things would be but thus far, these guys have been pretty spot on with the rankings/predictions. They aren't perfect since pong is a very volatile game and the best players don't always win, but I've come to respect the D.O.E. rankings.
The most recent edition of the Top 25 has several Maryland players included but the standout is Jordan McAllister. Jordan's team with his brother Ryan, cleverly named McAllister, has been the highest placing MDBP team at the last three national tournaments including a near miss at a finals berth in AC this year.
D.O.E. has taken notice and now Jordan is ranked #4 in the world. I remember it like it was yesterday when I walked into Tom's Sports Tavern to play in their inaugural Sunday Spring League back in 2006. The Money Shots were debuting for the first time as a team and after the first few games it became clear who our competition was. Across the table from us we found the Carroll County native Team Vegas featuring Jordan and Randy. They were none too pleased with the gangsta lean of the A-Train and made that abundantly clear as we battled it out for a few rounds. I can't remember who came out on top after our series because I wasn't driving that day, but I do remember trying to convince Team Vegas to make its MDBP debut. The rest is history.
Getting back to the sit n go's in AC. My goal to play top competition was definitely realized. Foster and I played a few and we won more than we lost. Peter from SoCal and I teamed up for a few and not only did I witness the greatest sit n go performance of all time (Peter missed 0 in the two games), but we also had the pleasure of defeating the seemingly unstoppable duo of Pop/Kessler. The sit n go area was also graced by the presence of Team Woodshed on the team anniversary. We were able to taunt our way to a few sit n go victories and the Barn Animal even offered consolation prizes to our opponents in the form of discounted fellatio on the boardwalk. All those sit n go opportunities were successful. I made a few hundos but I wasn't paying for my hotel room or my Vegas flight yet. I needed a spark to really make things happen.
It was during the 7 hour layover between when the doors opened to the Resorts Casino Ballroom until the 2nd session of preliminaries started. I started slow and was admittedly in a bit of a funk. Poor Shane Sheppard had to watch as the A-Train missed shot after shot in a largely unsuccessful sit n go run. That's when Jordan showed up and we formed the aptly named team: Carroll County. We weren't the most flashy team, but we were effective. We made short work of many other Top 25 players and even the eventual AC Champs, Drinkin' Smokin' Straight West Coastin' a few times. Chelsea, the girl running the sit n gos, was visibly annoyed when time after time the C's were flashing at the cash register waiting for the payout. That is until we tipped her $20 for her trouble. After a few hours playing with Jordan, my AC room and Vegas flight are on house money.
I have a feeling that Jordan has a lot more in the tank and he'll emerge as Maryland's next star in the pong world, not that he isn't already. The cool, calm, and collected style that McAllister brings to the table might just be the winning formula for Maryland. Let's hope that Jordan stays in the rankings for a long time to come and maybe we'll see Ryan pop up in there one of these days???
Here's a quick MDBP-centric view of the latest D.O.E. Top 25...