Looking to have some quarantine fun this weekend and beyond? Look no further than the 2020 Ballina Cup tournament. This celebrity beer pong tournament hosted by Post Malone and MIKE will be played on Instagram Live and there are expected to be two matchups per night.
It has been a long time since we’ve seen major professional athletes in the U.S. leagues do something athletic. Maybe beer pong doesn’t apply, but it’s pretty damn close relative to what we’ve had recently.
We’re all desperately seeking things to bet on during the pandemic and this looks like one thing with a whole lot of entertainment value. Entry fees for the tournament plus whatever extra the celebrities want to contribute will go to help those fighting COVID-19.
The matches actually start on Friday April 3 and the tournament finals will be held on Friday April 10. The tournament bracket can be found here and make sure you follow theballinacup on Instagram.
Several sportsbooks have odds on the big event, including DSI Sportsbook, so you can enjoy a nice, quarantined night at home drinking your adult beverage of choice while having some fun on the ‘gram.
Here are the odds from DSI Sportsbook:
Danny Amendola +450
Mike Clevinger +550
Barstool (Dana B & Mush) +750
NELK Boys +750
Tyler Seguin +850
Rob Gronkowski & Camille Kostek +900
Johnny Manziel +1100
Morgan Wallen +1100
Travis Kelce +1100
Trevor Bauer +1100
Kane Brown +1200
Machine Gun Kelly +1200
Marcus Stroman +1200
Dansby Swanson & Mallory Pugh +1300
Zack Bia +1300
So, admittedly, we’re flying a little blind into this thing. We know that all of these people have played beer pong in their lives at one time or another and have had plenty of time to practice. Some are professional athletes. Some are not. Will that matter?
It is important to go over the house rules because we all remember arguing about those in college and at tailgates:
Paying homage to NBA Jam, three in a row means you are on fire and you shoot until you miss. If you make both shots during your turn, you get the balls back. If you hit the same cup twice in a turn, it counts as three cups and you get the balls back.
There is no island cup rule, which means shooting for a standalone cup and calling it out to get extra cups taken off the board. There is also no bouncing and no second chance behind the back shots.
One rule that could come in very, very handy is that you get two re-racks per game. Most places play with one, so this is a huge deal. Rebuttals are in play on the last cup.
Finally, these are best-of-three series.
Here is the schedule for the first round:
Johnny Manziel vs. Zack Bia – April 3, 8 p.m. ET
Dansby & Mallory vs. Gronk & Camille – April 3, 9 p.m. ET
Travis Kelce vs. Danny Amendola – April 4, 8 p.m. ET
Nelk Boys vs. MGK – April 4, 9 p.m. ET
Barstool (Dana B & Mush) vs. Morgan Wallen – April 5, 8 p.m. ET
Mike Stud vs. Kane Brown – April 5, 9 p.m. ET
Trevor Bauer vs. Mike Clevinger – April 6, 8 p.m. ET
Tyler Seguin vs. Marcus Stroman – April 6, 9 p.m. ET
Quarterfinals (April 7-8)
Nelk Boys/MGK winner vs. Barstool/Morgan Wallen winner
Bauer/Clevinger winner vs. Dansby/Mallory or Gronk/Camille winner
Mike Stud/Kane Brown winner vs. Seguin/Stroman winner
Manziel/Bia winner vs. Kelce/Amendola winner
Semifinals (April 9)
First set of quarterfinals winners from above
Second set of quarterfinals winners from above
Championship (April 10)
Handicapping an event like this is obviously tough. We’ve got some known partiers in the field and some celebrities that could play beer pong all the time going up against athletes that probably rarely play in season or training. We also have some teams going up against some individuals.
Beer pong is a feel game. It’s a rhythm game. Once you find the range, you can get locked in. Having two throws each round as opposed to one should be an advantage for the guys playing singles. A couple or a team could win, but it sure seems like the individuals would have the upper hand. Of course, the likeliest exception as far as teams would be Gronk and Camille, but I’m shying away from the teams.
In a now-deleted Vine (RIP) originally posted to Reddit with the heading “Tyler Seguin, of all people, sucks at beer pong”, it seemed to be said that Seguin wasn’t a good beer pong player. Obviously, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Reddit, it’s that we have to take everybody at their word.
Interestingly, Mike Stud was his beer pong partner per the Redditors that commented on the post. Stud also went to Duke with Marcus Stroman, so those two have likely squared off a time or two. Stroman could be a dark horse at a very nice +1200 price here. Of the baseball players, he is my favorite pick, even though Clevinger has a short price at +550 that would imply he’s pretty good. I can’t seem to find any information that backs up that number.
Johnny Manziel’s reputation as a partier very much precedes him into the tournament. For whatever reason, he also draws the longest price in the field in Zack Bia in the first round. But, he would run into either favorite Danny Amendola or Travis Kelce in the second round. That is a tough draw.
Morgan Wallen may be the dark horse on the left side of the bracket. For starters, he gets one of those individual vs. team matchups in the first round and that could be beneficial. The question really is how drunk some of these people will be before they start playing. That would be a concern for Wallen, the singer of a song called “Whiskey Glasses”. But, he still has the benefit of getting in rhythm and that looks like something of a first-round “upset” based on the odds.
With something like this, we’re betting low limits and gambling to have fun anyway. We’ll probably even see some books put up individual matchup odds now that the dates and times are set.
On the left side of the bracket, give me Morgan Wallen at +1100 and Marcus Stroman at +1200 on the right side, though he is destined for a second-round matchup with Stud Mike, who has teamed up with Post Malone to win a pretty big beer pong tournament in the past. That would be a good matchup.
Remember to watch on Instagram Live throughout the week for some amusement and enjoyment and good luck with your bets!