ACM BBQ Throwdown: Hunger Games, Vegas-style

In Event Coverage, News by Mark Masker2 Comments

I made almost $700 playing poker in Vegas this last weekend, but the biggest winner I met worked a lot harder for their money than I did. That would be the Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ competition barbecue team who came out on top at the ACM BBQ Throwdown at Mandalay Bay.

All I had to do was eliminate 35 poker players from a Texas Hold Em tournament. Slap Yo’ Daddy and the rest of the 111 competing teams spent a good day and a half to two days battling it out by cooking ribs, chicken, brisket, and pork to smoky perfection. The mayhem started on March 30th but by the time I got there on the 31st, people were rushing get their offerings in front of the judges.

Slap Yo' Daddy front man Harry Soo.

It was a sanctioned Kansas City Barbeque Society event with a guaranteed prize pool of $50,000. Ten thousand of that went to the champion’s purse. If you were fortunate enough to finish in the first twenty places in any of the four categories, you got a piece of the cash pie too.

The ACM Throwdown was a good place to be if you’re into ‘cue. Attendance was free but the incredibly tasty food wasn’t. The vittles were well worth the price, though. Most people sampled the smoky, succulent ribs, beef, chicken, and pork that are staples of barbecue but there was plenty of stand-out cuisine too. My buddy Sam got a huge paper boat filled with fried pickle slices, while I couldn’t resist the temptation of Memphis Mac N’ Cheese—a scratch-built of macaroni, cheese, pulled pork, and sliced jalapenos. We grabbed some shade at the Coors Beer tent, munched down on our food (and some pork ribs handed out to us by passing competitor), and took in the sensory overload caused by spicy food, wood smoke, country music, and a little desert heat. Here’s who took the top ten prizes in each category:

Grand Champion: Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ
Reserve Champion: Lucky’s Q

1. Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ – 673.1430
2. Lucky’s Q – 673.1426
3. Pork Barrel BBQ – 670.2858
4. Left Coast Q – 668.5716
5. Porky’s Revenge – 666.2854
6. Pig Skin BBQ – 665.7140
7. Andrew’s Rib Shack – 662.2854
8. Cecil’s Smok’n BBQ – 660.5714
9. Pellet Envy – 660.5708
10. All Hogs Go To Heaven – 658.2856

1. Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ – 179.4286
2. DC’s Smokin BBQ – 174.2856
3. Porky’s Revenge – 174.2856
4. Lucky’s Q – 172.5714
5. Smokin Yankee’s BBQ – 171.4288
6. Pork Barrel BBQ – 170.2858
7. Wild Hogs BBQ – 170.2858
8. Chain Smokers – 170.2858
9. Burnt Finger BBQ – 170.2858
10. Left Coast Q – 170.2856

1. Meat@Slims – 178.8572
2. Andrew’s Rib Shack – 172.5714
3. Smokin’ Triggers – 172.0000
4. DC’s Smokin BBQ – 171.4286
5. Porky’s Revenge – 171.4286
6. Mad Dawgz BBQ – 170.8574
7. Lucky’s Q – 170.2858
8. Pig Skin BBQ – 170.2858
9. The Smoking Hills – 170.2858
10. Woodhouse Barbecue – 169.7142

1. Pork Barrel BBQ – 173.7142
2. Loot N’ Booty BBQ – 172.5716
3. Three Brothers – 168.5714
4. All Hogs Go To Heaven – 168.5714
5. Wildcatters Q Crew – 168.5714
6. Lotta Bull – 168.5714
7. Sin City Smokers – 168.0000
8. Brazen BBQ – 167.4286
9. Burnt Finger BBQ – 167.4284
10. Wine Country Q – 166.8572

1. Dances with SmokeBarbequ – 174.8570
2. Left Coast Q – 172.0000
3. Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ – 170.2856
4. Andrew’s Rib Shack – 169.7140
5. Barry And Erica – 168.5716
6. IAB30 BBQ – 167.4284
7. Fast Eddy’s BBQ – 166.8572
8. Cecil’s Smok’n BBQ – 166.2858
9. Sin City Smokers – 166.2858
10. Smokin’ Triggers – 166.2856

This exercise in gluttony was part of The ACM (Academy of Country Music) Experience, a three day celebration of the country music lifestyle. Other events included the RAM Ride and Drive (an outdoor driving test track), the Fan Jam (concert), and the ACM Expo (a vendor village for all things country and/or western).

We spent most of our time at the Throwdown, where there were was a lot to watch and eat. Feel free to check out our photo album on our Facebook page.

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Managing Editor | Mark is a freelance journalist based out of Los Angeles. He’s our Do-It-Yourself specialist, and happily agrees to try pretty much every twisted project we come up with.

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