There's no one secret to being good at beer pong... turns out there's a whole bunch of them. And we've got 'em all, thanks to dutifully recording the accumulated wisdom of Mike "Sonoma Joe" Sievert, who won the championship (and a cool $50,000) at the World Series of Beer Pong VIII with his "g"-abhorring team, Drinkin Smokin Straight West Coastin. (Yes, it's a real thing, and you can sign up for IX right here.)
1. Choosing a teammate is critical
Hand-eye coordination and muscle memory are two must-have skills in order to be good at pong, says Seivert, so it would help to find a former athlete. And while shorter players can be good, height is helpful too. World champ Seivert is 6'6" and his teammate is 6'4". Might wanna tweet @YaoMing
and see if he's busy during the next World Series.
2. Prepare for battle
Seivert says it's important to "get a buzz going". You don't want to get too buzzed, but taking the edge off helps with the pressure, and won't have a negative effect on your hand-eye coordination. Plus you get to be drinking! He recommends starting 90min before a match.
3. Play, play, play
The best way to get good at something is to do it a lot, which is why we're so good at doing sex with your mother. OH SNAP! RANDOM MOM SEX JOKE INTERLUDE! But for real, don't just play at house parties. There are weekly tourneys at bars all over the country, and Seivert says putting yourself in high-pressure situations repeatedly will make you a better player.
4. Your aim must be true
Our boy "Sonoma Joe" says you should always start from the front and work your way to the back cups. The World Series racks 'em in a 3-6-1 formation, and then re-racks them after six, three, and one cups are remaining. Going for the closer cups is always easier, and it doesn't make sense to try for more difficult shots when the cups will be moved closer to you when they're re-racked anyway.
5. Never stop drinking
While it may sound counterintuitive, it helps to stay loose by drinking between matches. Seivert likes to sip mixed drinks to keep his buzz going, especially during a long tourney. Oh, and don't forget to eat.
6. Sweat the technique
The World Series winner says there's a million ways to throw the ball, and that the best way to do it is whatever works for you. His shot, which has won him tens of thousands of dollars, involves gripping the ball with his thumb and middle finger, and then holding it at the top of his head before whipping the ball in a downward, tomahawk-like motion towards the cups. Turner Field may be the greatest untapped resource for finding beer pong teammates.
7. YOU SUCK, OTHER GUY!
Getting into the opponent's head is an easy way to win without putting in much effort. "Sonoma Joe" likes to remind people of their misses, and isn't afraid to tell an opponent exactly how many shots they've whiffed on. Waving your hands around to distract a rival is an amateur move -- go straight for their psyche.