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Move over, poker. The World Series of Beer Pong is coming to town

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The World Series of Beer Pong will bounce into town Jan. 1-5 at the Flamingo.

Move over, World Series of Poker: The World Series of Beer Pong is coming to town.

The fourth annual world tournament of the frat house-turned-mainstream drinking game will be held at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino next year.

Hundreds of two-person teams are expected to compete in the tournament for the $50,000 grand prize.

The game’s popularity has surged in recent years, prompting Time Magazine to call it “the drinking game of choice for this century's twentysomething thinkers.”

“It's a pastime with a very loyal following," Flamingo’s vice-president of marketing, Suzanne Trout, said. "We introduced beer pong to the Las Vegas Strip a couple of years ago at O’Sheas Casino and it continues to be immensely successful for us.

2008 world champion beer pongers Jeremy Hughes and Mike Orr are expected to defend their title.

The five-day event, presented by BPong.com, is billed as the largest of its kind. The 2007 tournament saw nearly 600 contestants from 39 different states and three countries.

Twenty-one satellite competitions are also being held at cities across the U.S., with the final one taking place in New York City on Dec. 16.

Beer pong involves two teams that face-off from opposite ends of a long table. Competitors arrange 10 plastic cups in a triangle on each end of the table, then take turns attempting to lob table tennis balls into other team’s cups. The first team to successfully land balls in each of the other team’s cups wins.

The “beer” in beer pong comes from what is typically found inside the cups: the brew made from hops and barley. In most frat-style beer pong games, a member of the defending team has to drink a cup’s contents when the opposing team lands a ball in a defending team’s cup.

During the tournament, however, drinking is never mandatory.

Twenty-four ounces of beer or water is split between six of the 10 cups during a BPong.com-regulated game. Water is put into the four cups that remain, at the base of the triangle formation, and no one drinks the water from these cups during a regulation game.

Tournament rules state that all cups may be filled with water instead of beer and competitors can choose whether or not they want to drink the contents of the six foremost cups – regardless of what they’re filled with.

The tournament is open to anyone, male or female, ages 21 or older. Interested teams are invited to register online by Dec. 5. Registration costs start at $1,000 per team, including four nights accommodation at the Flamingo.

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Melissa Arseniuk

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