What do you associate with beer pong, besides getting belligerent in a moldy college basement? Ever thought about tossing together a tournament in Las Vegas that would grow to house over 400 teams? How about whipping up a $50K grand prize? Of course not, you lazy jerk.

Billy Gaines and Duncan Carroll helped take beer pong from an excuse to black out to a legitimate sport by co-founding The World Series of Beer Pong and Bpong.com. I recently got to ask them how the tournament came to be, what winners do with their prize money, and the best distraction they've ever witnessed.

Usually when someone is really good at beer pong, they are considered to have a drinking problem. Is each yearly winner guaranteed to be a raging alcoholic?

If beer pong was just a college game, then perhaps your perception is correct – what college student is not a raging alcoholic?  What we've done with beer pong, however, is brought the game out of your college frat house basement and turned it into a sport. At the World Series and in any game a player is not required to drink any alcohol if they so choose. WSOBP official rules also have the back four cups filled with water rather than beer. Those that attend our events view beer pong as a sport and are there with a number one goal of winning their games. As such, I suspect the odds are against the winner being a raging alcoholic.

Is there a favorite type of beer to play with in the tournament?

I'm sure everybody has his or her own favorite, so there probably would not be a consensus from all players.  The one thing there would be a consensus on is that nobody wants to drink in bulk the beer we had at The WSOBP II because it made everybody's farts horrifically awful.

Was it Milwaukee's best?

Of course not – that would have been welcomed and may well be a beer of choice for the future.  It was a local microbrew.  I personally loved the beer, but people's asses apparently do not respond well to consuming stouts with every game of beer pong they play.

How did you guys manage to create this huge competition out of a drinking game that takes place mostly in dirty college basements? How did the WSOBP come together?

Big balls.  I don't think there is a college kid that has not said, "Beer pong should be a national sport."  When we said it, though, we were actually serious and took the risks to make it happen.

What kind if risks?

At the time we announced the first WSOBP, we really did not have a penny to our names, so the $10,000 prize we offered that year seemed like a huge risk to us.  We basically said, "Well, if we don't get the entries to cover the prize money, we'll figure out how to pay it one way or another."  Even today, many people have tried to offer tournaments with a decent prize that has an asterisk next to it saying, "Subject to turnout."  

We just laid it out and guaranteed everything, regardless of whether it meant taking a loss or not.  Also, we were fairly well known from running BPONG.COM, but nobody really knew what we looked like or anything about us, other than what they gathered from the website, emails, and phone calls.  Some would probably argue letting people meet me in person is a huge risk.

Beer pong cups: half full or half empty?

If you're playing against me, completely empty.

What do you think would be a good way to spend the $50,000 won at The World Series of Beer Pong?

From what I've heard, a lot of the past winners have used their share of the winnings to pay off their debts.  That's probably not the over-the-top answer you were looking for, but think about that – people are using beer pong to get their finances back on track.  That's pretty powerful.

How would you say The WSOBP evolved over the first four years?

Explosively.  The first year of the event, most teams just showed up expecting a shitty bar tournament while thinking, "Well, if it sucks, at least we can drink some beer and meet new people."  The event, however, was much more organized than most expected, and the players therefore developed a deep respect for us.  Word quickly spread about the quality of the event, and the turnout for The WSOBP II was three times that of The WSOBP I – all with very little marketing on our end; it just spread by word of mouth.  We moved the third event from just outside of Vegas to Vegas itself, and The WSOBP IV was on the heart of the Strip with over 800 participants.  As for the future years, nobody has even seen a fraction of our ideas, and we are already working on bigger and better things for next year.

If you could play beer bong against anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

We would definitely love to play the staff at CollegeHumor, but from what we understand, they only like taking on people who they know they can beat- like those pussies over at Facebook.

Playing with apple juice instead of alcohol: delicious or awful idea?

It's kind of funny that you bring this up.  I just happened to read about fresh juice dangers on Woman's Passions. I'm sure that once you take a read, you'll agree with me – awful idea.

What is the best distraction you've ever seen during a game?

One of my favorite distractions of all time has to be the infamous hotdog distraction.  It was at The WSOBP I, and this player on one team whips out a hotdog and sticks it out the zipper of his pants.  His partner then takes out a hotdog bun and proceeds to use the bun to jack off his partner's hotdog sticking out his zipper.  I'm sure there have been other great distractions, but this is the one that will probably always remain deeply etched in my mind.