UMB duo pursue professional beer pong greatness

Sebastian Lena

When he’s not punishing foes with his backhand or charming the ladies with his bravado, Paul Braude is probably throwing his balls into an opponent’s cup. Beer pong balls, that is.

In his quest for beer pong immortality, Braude does not travel alone. New Jersey native Chris Pearce is right there with him. Bicycle and all.

For those unfamiliar with the art form of beer pong, Braude and Pearce are more than happy to simplify it for you.

“It’s a game of skill, pride, and joy,” Braude said. “It’s very competitive.”

“Extremely fun,” Pearce added. “Especially when you’re good.”

He’s not lying either. Together, these two form a dynamic duo that puts Batman and Robin to shame. From beer pong leagues State Side all the way down to tournaments in Jamaica, the two have put their mastery of the game on display.

However, you might not want to bring up the latter anytime soon.

“It was phenomenal at first,” Braude said about Jamaica. “We went in as an underdog against the best in the world. We were 8-0 after day one. Let’s just leave it at that, because we didn’t win another game.”

Who or what’s to blame for that second day? It varies, depending on which one of them you ask.

With all the bickering, it’s amazing how successful the two are. You would hear less squabbling if you threw Bill and Hillary Clinton inside the Playboy Mansion for a week.

Just ask them their opinions on their partner’s game.

“Different days, different cups,” Braude said. “[Chris is] terrible sometimes. I think he has the caliber to be a 9 or a 10. But he’s also shown signs of a 1 or 2.

“In a non-tournament atmosphere, Paul’s second to none,” Pearce retorted. “In tournaments, an 8 or 9. But when you get to that final table, when it really matters… well, let’s just say he averages out to a four.”

It would be pretty safe to say team chemistry is out of the picture.

However, through all the fighting, Braude and Pearce still find themselves winning tournament after tournament. They currently have their eyes set on qualifying for two major ones. One in Atlantic City for $25,000, and the other in Las Vegas for $50,000.

“We look to be competing in both of them,” Braude said. “Hopefully finishing in the top four.”

With up to $50,000 up for grabs, there has to be more involved than just stepping in and throwing a ball into a cup.

“There’s definitely strategy involved,” Braude explained. “From analyzing your shot to distracting your opponent; there’s more than meets the eye. It’s kind of like a transformer.”

Pearce agreed with his teammate. “You have to deal with missing a cup and not getting angry at yourself,” he said. “You have to stay focused.”

With the way they talk, you’d think the two actually considered beer pong a sport. Not surprisingly, they do.

“It definitely is,” Pearce said. “You need the nerves to not buckle under pressure.”

“Without a doubt,” Braude added. “I play sports, and it’s in between a game like basketball and tennis. If you drink beer, it does clog your vision a bit. But that’s similar to pressure in other sports.”

When the two aren’t busy studying game film or game planning, you’ve probably seen them surrounded by a flock of women. However, it has nothing to do with their looks or their charms. It’s 100 percent attributed to beer pong.

“In any given party girls go for the most talented guy,” Braude said. “Or just that really cool guy who does not lose once on the table. That’s me. If you take a girl on the table and keep her there all night, she’ll just fall for you.”

If you’re ever honored enough to find yourself opposite these two at a table, it would be a smart move to just turn and walk the other way. And if you have a girlfriend, you just might be saving your relationship in the process.