By: Joel Gilleland, Staff Reporter
Since 2009 Southwest Beer Pong has been meeting twice a week to practice for events all over the country, especially the World Series of Beer Pong held in Las Vegas, NV, said league Co-Founder, Gabriel Montoya.
The tournaments are held weekly. On Tuesdays the league meets at Coaches Sports Grill and on Thursdays at Spectators bar. Anyone can join by attending an event. For guys there is a five dollar charge and for ladies it is always free.
“On any given night we usually have 16 to 20 teams. Anywhere between 32 and 40 people come to play,” said Montoya.
Tournament winners receive cash prizes which vary depending on how many people show up. First and second place always win money and depending on turn out, they will pay third place as well. The prizes for the winners of the World Series of Beer Pong can be up to $50,000, said Montoya.
“This is what I do now. I try and make money off of it. Winners normally win from $60 to $80,” said student Tyler Holt.
The game is normally played with beer-filled cups. Two teams try shooting the ball into the other team’s cup. When one team makes a shot, the opposing team has to drink the beer from that cup.
Southwest Beer Pong played this way until being shut down by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety for violations of state law. In New Mexico it is illegal to have drinking games in a bar, and it is also illegal to force anyone to consume alcohol, said Montoya.
The league was able to re-establish with the new rule of using water in the cups instead of beer. Players can still drink alcohol on the side, but must b e careful not to break any laws. The rest of the rules follow the guidelines used by the World Series of Beer Pong, said Montoya.
The game has also been open to minors ages 18 and older for nearly two years. Minors are not permitted to drink alcohol, but get to take part in the tournaments, said Pre-Managemen t major, Travis Kozlowski. He said he will turn 21 at the end of this year.
“I drink iced tea, I’ll drink a soda on the side, but it’s not about beer. It’s about the fun and the competition,” said Kozlowski.
The league is a great environment and a good way to meet new people, said Kozlowski. He now considers the other members of the league to be his best friends.
Southwest Beer Pong will be holding a $5,000 event at Spectators bar in August. First place will receive $3,000 and the other $2,000 will go to the second and third place teams. The prizes are all funded by the $5 entrance charges, said Montoya.
The league meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday at Coaches Sports Bar and Grill, located at 1414 Central Ave, and Thursdays at Spectators Sports Bar and Grill, located at 5850 Eubank.
For more information on the Southwest Beer Pong league and events, log on to their Facebook page or go to swbeerpong.com.