A-Bomb and ...

Eating contests and Eating challenges around Kona & Denver

New IFOCE Rule

The commissioner of the IFOCE put out a new rule:

Hardy's Rule

Hungry Charles Hardy, IFOCE commissioner and arguably the most respected athlete in the history of the sport, released an important mandate this morning that presents new standards for dunking and water retention. It is not known if this mandate will apply to all future contests, but Hardy clearly issued this in time for tomorrow’s GoldenPalace.com World Grilled Cheese Eating Championship.

The mandate, dubbed 'Hardy's Rule,' is sure to rankle some of the circuit's keenest gurgitators as it limits the amount of time that a grilled cheese sandwich can be submerged in water to five (5) seconds.

"I've seen eaters submerging their bread for such a lengthy period of time that it essentially dissolves," said Hardy. "Dunking is cool, but extended dunking makes judging all the more complicated."

According to Hardy, eaters that submerge a grilled cheese sandwich for longer than five seconds will risk disqualification.


I think that is a good step toward some standardization in the sport. The article mentions the grilled cheese sandwich contest but I think it would be good to apply this type of rule to other (all?) contests as well. SB out.


As my detox draws to a close, I want to again mention a great site for news and opinion about the competitive eating circuit. Beautiful Brian Seiken does a fantastic job of keeping viewers informed via posts to his web site and through a very enlightening and entertaining video segment, beautifulbrian's corner, which is currently up to episode #3. If you haven't heard of his site or haven't checked it out in a while, get there now: www.beautifulbrian.com. BB5 BB2

SB Recap #5 : The Proverbial Cup is Half-Full

After everything settled down, I had some time to better analyze the event. It was quite humbling to say the least. The monstrous size of the burger was something! I had prepared well for this. I was ready. I was Hungry and Focused. I was ready. It was only my 4th event. I was ready.

Then, I made some mistakes. Damn rookie. Mistakes. I had trained with H2O as dunk juice. Event day, a couple hours before the event, I went in search of a lemonade elixir that I'd used before. Mistake. Couldn't find it, "so I'll use this Kiwi stuff instead". Mistake. I'd never tried it "but I will now". Mistake. When the comp began I figured out pretty quickly that the Kiwi crap was just that, but I kept with it. Mistake. Yes, the pH of it was better than water, but Mistake. And, the burger was not what I expected - pinker and oniony flavor - so I let that throw me off. Mistake. Due to being thrown off, I chipmunked. Mistake. So there were mistakes on my part. I did not do as well as I had done, could do, and I had expected to do.

But, even with all that, the experience was competitive gold for me. One thing about me is I learn from everything so the next time something happens I do what is the best thing in the situation (OK, Tommye may have her own take on this in some cases!). The same thing, more or less, happened in the grilled cheese competitions - my Denver performance was not too good, but I learned from it, and Albuquerque was much improved. And Raleigh was improved on ABQ.

So while competitively the results in Vega$ were not good, in the grand scheme of things only time will tell if the experience pays off down the road. I think it will. Stay tuned!


SB Recap #4

1pm. Time for the main event! Rich Shea gets the crowd going with a great soundtrack and some over-the-top introductions for the eaters.

I'm brought out first.

I say hi to Carlene LeFevre on my way to the stage.

I take my spot on the 1st level, to the audience left side. The other eaters are introduced.

The burgers are brought out by the chefs.

The burgers are H U G E! Think of a meat tray you buy at the grocery store to bring to a party. That's how big around the burgers are! So the burgers are placed in front of the eaters, one by one. Then Ray begins the countdown, 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1..GO! And we're off!

After only 27 minutes or so, Sonya has eaten all of her burger so Ray stops the eating.

Each of the other trays get weighed. It's over.

See ya later, Vega$!

Hello Mountains!

And, Hello Denver!

SB Recap #3

The event schedule for the day had set aside 30 minutes for the amateur contest. But PC smashed that by finishing in 5 minutes. So there was some time to fill.

The emcee of the event, and one of the IFOCE founders, Rich Shea called Badlands Booker up to the stage.

Badlands belted out a few tunes from his latest CD.

SB Recap #2

My couldn't-be-any-better wife Tommye, Michael Shimniok, and his wife Shammie have been the unbelievably supportive core team behind this whole endeavor, from competition #1 in Denver. Also in Denver was Paul and Steve. To the ABQ comp went the core. Then Raleigh. Then Vega$ - T, Michael, Shammie, Shammie's Daddy, Mommye Tommye, and my Mom & Dad from Florida. Quite a group, to say the least!

Before the main event an amateur contest was to be held. The burgers were 1.5 pounds. Michael had previously signed up for the contest, and him & I had prepared for our competitions. We thought we prepared well, and we were ready.

Michael is signing some stuff on contest day.

The burgers.

Michael munching on the goods. Ray Meduna is the main judge.

In the amateur contest was Paul Chestnut. Brother of Joey. Eventual winner. In around 5 minutes! Soon to be on the IFOCE circuit. Michael got through the meat and was working on the bun and fixings when Pat finished his burger to end the contest. Michael did quite well indeed. Remember him. Fear him. One day soon Michael is making the jumps to the bigs.

SB Recap #1

This is SB. I was able to post some words as the weekend unfolded but I've had opportunity to think about things, so hopefully these thoughts make sense as I review the weekend. First, here's the set up:

1. Event -
Big Daddy Burger Contest is Back in Vegas

History will be made on January 21, 2006 at 1 p.m. when competitive eating’s finest gurgitators descend upon the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV, for one of the sport’s greatest eating contest challenges: devouring the monstrous nine-pound Big Daddy Burger at the Plaza Casino Big Daddy Burger Eating Contest.

Sonya Thomas, the top ranked eater in the United States, will attempt to break her 2005 world record of devouring the famed burger in 48 minutes and 10 seconds. However, the Black Widow will face stiff competition.

The pride of Las Vegas, meanwhile, will rest on the shoulders of Rich "The Locust" LeFevre, a local resident and the #6 ranked eater in the entire world, with records including 10 lbs of chili in 10 minutes.

There will be $12,000 in prize money on the line, broken down as follows: $4,000 for first place; $2,500 for second place; $1,500 for third place; $1,000 for fourth place; $750 for fifth place and $450 for sixth, $300 for seventh and $200 for eighth place.

“The nine-pound Big Daddy Burger is perhaps the most challenging food in the history of competitive eating,” said Richard Shea, President of the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE). “This is our Mount Everest.”

“The rule at the Plaza is ‘the bigger, the better,’” said Phil Flaherty, COO of the Plaza. “So we are working with the IFOCE to put together the most outrageous and spectacular eating event the public has ever seen.”

The event will be held in the new Plaza Showroom, located directly off the casino floor. Competitors must be at least 21 years of age;

The Plaza Hotel and Casino, a spectacular Las Vegas destination, offers an array of classic and innovative table games and slot machines, downtown’s premiere gourmet restaurant; the glass-domed Center Stage, dynamic entertainment and sporting events and an array of amenities. Guests may call (702) 386-2110 or (800) 634-6575 for more information and/or hotel reservations.

2. Competitors, their current IFOCE rank, and their pre-comp odds -
  • Sonya Thomas, #2 2/1
  • Joey Chestnut, #3 6/1
  • Tim Janus, #7 7/1
  • Crazy Legs Conti, #19 10/1
  • Rich LeFevre, #6 10/1
  • Bob Shoudt, #11 12/1
  • Ron Koch, #8 20/1
  • Eric Booker, #5 30/1
  • Jed Donahue, #16 40/1
  • Allen Goldstein, #22 50/1
  • Bubba Yarbrough, #28 75/1
  • Chip Simpson, unranked but soon to be highly-ranked 100/1
  • Hall Hunt, #30 and rising 125/1
  • Andrew Lane, unranked 125/1
  • Erik Denmark, unranked 150/1

  • See ya...

    ...Vega$. I will get some stuff posted. Again congratulations to Sonya and all the other eaters. I met Badlands - he is a great great man! Thanks also to Rich Shea, Kate, and the entire IFOCE organization! No contests on my schedule now but I cannot wait for the next one.



    That 2.5 pounds I ate took until 9pm to be metabolized enough and I felt normally and ready to eat again. Like in ABQ when I could not eat at a kick ass Mexican place El Pinto, I sat and watched more or less as everyone ate at La Salsa in the Luxor. Oh, and some more gambling resulted in more loss - now down about $85 for the two days. Down some $ and ONLY ate 2.5 pounds of the burger.

    It is over

    Man that was a big burger! Sonya won it again in around 26 minutes. Me, I ate 2.5 pounds.. Great experience. More than I have eaten before. Analysis later..


    We have checked in at the Plaza. Room is not bad. $19.50 down. Will check in with you all later.


    We're here. Right now in the NYNY. I am $20 down after some BJ. Had Nathan's hot dog. Divine. Later.

    De Plane

    Flying is no Fun anymore. Well actual flying is OK but it's all the hassles of getting to the airport, checking in, and going through freakin' security. Anyway, the journey continues. Adios.

    Willie Rocks!

    On the road again
    Just can't wait to get on the road again
    The life I love is eatin' a burger with my friends
    And I can't wait to get on the road again
    On the road again
    Goin' some places that I've never been
    Seein' things that I may never see again,
    And I can't wait to get on the road again.

    On the road again
    Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
    We're the best of friends
    Insisting that the world be turnin' our way
    And our way
    Is on the road again
    Just can't wait to get on the road again
    The life I love is eatin' a burger with my friends
    And I can't wait to get on the road again

    On the road again
    Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
    We're the best of friends
    Insisting that the world be turnin' our way
    And our way
    Is on the road again

    Just can't wait to get on the road again
    The life I love is eatin' a burger with my friends
    And I can't wait to get on the road again
    And I can't wait to get on the road again

    One More

    Math Equation

    It's Gone

    This is from yesterday. SB cooked up some 90/10. The quality of 90/10 is so much better than 73/27. No one can say what type will be used for the contest but odds are it will not be as good as 90/10 nor will it be as bad as 73/27. One would hope it is not as bad as 73/27!

    The plate, after.

    He is finished.

    Ready.. Set..



    A little snack...

    Hello Everyone!

    I do not know where we were going with this, but above this you see a lineup of the people who are coming to Las Vega$ to lend their support to me as I take on the heavyweights of the IFOCE in the Big Daddy Burger Contest. Read all about it on the IFOCE site. When the contest is over I will post a full report with photos and possibly video.

    This contest will be my fourth IFOCE competition. The previous three were GoldenPalace.com Grilled Cheese Eating Contests - Denver, Albuquerque and Raleigh. I am very excited to have this opportunity to compete against the eaters I've been following in some cases for two and a half years. Sonya, Bob, Rich and Badlands Booker to name a few. Carlene Lefevre will be there watching Rich -- if I can meet her that will be quite a thrill as I am a very big fan!

    I will try to put up some stuff before leaving for Las Vega$. If I do not get the chance to do so I will have a lot to share when I return. Hasta.