Best of Sports & Rec

Best purveyor of beer-pong good times: Hector Rivera

Hector Rivera is the area’s premier beer-pong promoter.

Hector Rivera is the area’s premier beer-pong promoter.

Photo By ryan donahue

What began as a college drinking game is now a business for Hector Rivera, the area’s premier beer-pong promoter. He built a career of running beer-pong tournaments in California, Nevada and Arizona, before turning his sights on Roseville, where for the last four years he’s run the “Old Roseville Beer Pong circuit” at the Onyx Club (116 Main Street) and the Trocadero (119 Church Street).

Tournaments generally feature between 15 and 25 teams of two, with a $5-per-team entry fee. It’s a double-elimination format, and the winning team earns somewhere around $100.

The drinking game, which involves tossing table-tennis balls into cups of liquid across a long table, requires dual prowess with hand-eye coordination and the ability to hold one’s liquor. And although there’s alcohol involved and prize money at stake, the atmosphere of these tournaments is friendly and casual, Rivera said.

“I pride myself on working in an environment where alcohol is served and I never have problems,” he said.

This year, Rivera even served as executive producer for a local beer-pong anthem called “Balls Back” by Roseville rap group Whoride. The music video for the song, which features Smoove of Cali Swag District, racked up more than 78,000 views on YouTube.

Rivera is also finishing up a documentary about his life as a beer-pong promoter, titled Beer Pong King and featuring Sacramento Kings forward Jason Thompson, actor Tommy Davidson, and rappers E-40, Too Short and B-Legit.

Rivera says the secret to his success is simple: “There are always cheap drinks, and there are always fun times and pretty girls.”,