PDA

View Full Version : Go against the Big Boys or Go for the Easier Win


Granny's Gang Barbeque
02-12-2013, 06:57 AM
Hypothetical Question: You have a choice of two upcoming competitions. One competition you know will have some pretty strong teams, actually some of the best in the area. The second competition does not feature the same caliber of teams as the first. State championships are on the line at both competitions.
Would you:
Compete against the stronger teams to see how you measure up, and face less of a chance at a championship.
Or
Compete in the competition that gave you better chances for Grand Champion.

SCSmoke
02-12-2013, 07:22 AM
This is a personal choice. On one hand you have the a better chance to win some money to help offset your costs and maybe get a Jack draw/ royal invitation. On the other hand if you want to be the best you have to beat the best.

Big Ugly's BBQ
02-12-2013, 07:23 AM
I believe you have to ask a few more questions before tackling something like this.

-What are you really trying to accomplish? Getting a GC or evaluating your skills/competing against other teams?
-How do you know the "stronger" teams aren't going to be at the other contest also?
-Which one makes the most logistical and financial sense to attend?
-Will both contests have enough teams to be qualifers for the AR and/or the Jack?

Not trying to discourage you, you should do what is best for you and team. Nothing is guaranteed, you could get shut out at both events, OR you stand a great chance of walking at either event. Do what is comfortable, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!

RangerJ
02-12-2013, 07:32 AM
-How do you know the "stronger" teams aren't going to be at the other contest also?
-Which one makes the most logistical and financial sense to attend?

Nothing is guaranteed, you could get shut out at both events, OR you stand a great chance of walking at either event. Do what is comfortable, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!

^^ See the above.

I suspect should you choose the perceived "weaker" event at some point you will say.."what the hell are they doing here.."

Expensive hobby for sure, logistical and financial have to jive. Focus on having fun, the rest will fall into place.

DawgPhan
02-12-2013, 07:36 AM
If you have to ask yourself questions like that it doesnt matter which contest you attend.

Cook the fun contests and do your best.

Sawdustguy
02-12-2013, 07:44 AM
It's a coin toss because you are not guaranteed to win the "easier" contest either. Sometimes this hobby is like the NFL. On any given Saturday or Sunday..............you know the rest.

bam
02-12-2013, 07:51 AM
Cook the stronger contest and if you don't win you'll feel a little better maybe.

Podge
02-12-2013, 08:40 AM
Buaaahahahahahahahahahaha !!!..

there is no such contest!!!...

They are all HARD!.. about 10 years ago, you could think like that, but these days the caliber of the competition is stiff... just because you may not recognise a few names, doesn't mean they've not been to a few classes, practiced their a$$ off and can wax you and everyone else!!.. Which ever one is closer, and/or more prize money, you can access your benefit to risk ratio.

timzcardz
02-12-2013, 08:59 AM
Doesn't matter. The fact that you ask this question, IMHO means that you've already lost.

Now, no matter which contest you do, at some point you're going to end up thinking, "I should have gone to the other one."

I'd go for the fun, that is, pick which one we'd have more fun at. Anything after that is gravy, or sauce, or whatever.

Dan - 3eyzbbq
02-12-2013, 09:00 AM
Big Ugly has had his coffee today. Well spoken :thumb:

ibrisky
02-12-2013, 09:09 AM
Buaaahahahahahahahahahaha !!!..

there is no such contest!!!...

They are all HARD!.. about 10 years ago, you could think like that, but these days the caliber of the competition is stiff... just because you may not recognise a few names, doesn't mean they've not been to a few classes, practiced their a$$ off and can wax you and everyone else!!.. Which ever one is closer, and/or more prize money, you can access your benefit to risk ratio.

Amen! Be pleased with a call.....be surprised with a win no matter where you are competing, good good times is what you're chasing.

Goddahavit
02-12-2013, 09:11 AM
Might depend on where in the season you are, perhaps you get tired of having the same team, or teams kick your ass and want to meet some new teams or change it up.

On the other hand perhaps your gung ho and are ready to see how you stack up.. No wrong answers in my book, as long as your having fun.

I can say after loosing over and over to the team of the year, that it didn't and doesn't matter who is at a contest, I choose the best weekends for my family, and sometimes the ones with friends that I know I will have a good time at, doesn't matter who is there. Sometimes we step out and try a new contest for us, but that isnt because of the competition.

Its all up to judge # 6 so on any given day......

NRA4Life
02-12-2013, 09:11 AM
Pick the contest that you know your food will land on the luckiest tables of judges.

dmprantz
02-12-2013, 09:12 AM
There's absolutely nothing wrong with making a decision between two contests, nor with making that decision based (in part) on the number and caliber of teams competing. Not considering that shows that you just don't care about results and you're there for an expensive drinking party. (Yes, I was being sarcastic by responding to a generalization with one). No need to call the OP a loser for thinking things through and asking questions.

dmp

Swamp Donkeyz BBQ
02-12-2013, 09:12 AM
I would rather evaluate my team at the stronger contest. Also, if you walked, the payout would probably be better because that is what drew the strong teams to begin with.

Balls Casten
02-12-2013, 09:17 AM
The level of competition has no bearing on which contests we compete.
Kind of makes you feel like Lumpy Rutheford sometimes but the good teams like Smokey D's will at least talk to us now. :-)

JS-TX
02-12-2013, 09:19 AM
My choices for my last comp. in 2012 was very similar. However, for me I was looking at it from a perspective of measuring myself against other teams. I knew if I went against the stronger teams and didn't place, I wouldn't really know how my comp. skills were progressing (like a bunch of comps I did before) and I would leave pondering what I had to do to place, long drive home type of thing. So I ended up doing the "weaker comp", however when I showed up there were 4 other veteran teams there (out of 16) . I was like "Oh #$%^". Long story short I ended up getting GC and made a little money. :grin:

I still consider myself a novice comp. cooker (less than 6 comps total) but I do feel more confident going against the big boys now. Hopefully I'll do better against them next month.

King
02-12-2013, 09:23 AM
I've had my culo handed to me at an 'easy contest'. Comps with great teams are just more fun to me.

Fatback Joe
02-12-2013, 09:27 AM
The stronger the field the better, IMO. A tough field is my preference, but my schedule is limited so I just do the ones that work with my personal life for right now.

Good luck whichever way you go.

Outnumbered
02-12-2013, 09:27 AM
Depends on how many other contests you're doing. If this is it, then I'd go with the bigger one and realize the chances of a walk are next to nothing, but you are there to learn and get better. But to get better, you need to know where you need to get better...and that starts with knowing where you stack up competitively.

If you do lots of contests, then pick the one where you won't face the same competitors you always face. Not sure if that would be the tougher one or the easier one, but it would give you another bench mark.

But then again, I agree with the comment that there is no easy contest.

mobow
02-12-2013, 09:30 AM
Get yourself a bumper sticker.

"I went to the easy contest and got my ass kicked"

Just in case. keith

Funtimebbq
02-12-2013, 09:43 AM
I go where my budget allows. Which contest costs less in entry fee first and distance from home second. Then I look at things like grass or asphalt (no more dirt if I can help it) staging. Are there real bathrooms? The quality of the tems competing is never a consideration because I'm not going to do anything differently to the meats. Besides, the other teams are not judging me.

deez butts
02-12-2013, 09:51 AM
Usually go with whichever one is closer to home and fits in with the home/work schedule. What teams are there doesn't make it to the decision process. For us it's kind of exciting after picking which comps you're going to do to see who else signs up.

Smokin' Gnome BBQ
02-12-2013, 10:04 AM
When I first started I kinda asked the same question, now a couple of years later I go to contest based on distance more than anything else. Big name or not every dog has his day, and you would be surprised on how helpfull the "big guys" really. Go for fun not to add to your bank account.

Gig'em99
02-12-2013, 11:00 AM
I would rather evaluate my team at the stronger contest. Also, if you walked, the payout would probably be better because that is what drew the strong teams to begin with.

+1

I've competed in both "types." More amateur events I suppose. But now that I'm doing the bigger events, I don't want to go back. Meet more people, get more ideas, learn more from the better teams when you can. But I think my Q is great, and will stand up against anyone. So, off to the bigger comps for me.

Slamdunkpro
02-12-2013, 11:07 AM
Buaaahahahahahahahahahaha !!!..

there is no such contest!!!...

They are all HARD!.. about 10 years ago, you could think like that, but these days the caliber of the competition is stiff... just because you may not recognise a few names, doesn't mean they've not been to a few classes, practiced their a$$ off and can wax you and everyone else!!.. Which ever one is closer, and/or more prize money, you can access your benefit to risk ratio.

This. No such thing as easy comps anymore.

nucornhusker
02-12-2013, 11:33 AM
Yep, no such thing as an easy win. But I personally would rather go against the "tougher" competition, that way I'd see how I measure up.

Ron_L
02-12-2013, 12:50 PM
We went to a first year competition once that looked "easy". We decided to go because it wasn't far from home and was on a weekend with no other comps nearby, but a few days before I looked at the team list and there weren't any big name teams. When we got there we found three or four big name teams who decided to go at the last minute!

Make you decision based on other factors like distance from home, payout, etc. because if you are thinking of going because it might be "easy" you can bet that there are a dozen others thinking about it for the same reason.

TRS
02-12-2013, 01:07 PM
All good responses for sure. We look at logistics more than what teams will be there. We compete in Tn, Al, Ga, Ky, and Ms and there are MANY good teams at each comp. Very tough competition in the areas we compete so dates, mileage and time needed for each comp is our focus. We are entering our 3rd year competing and every contest we have competed in has had at least 3+ of the top teams in it.
I will agreee that to get better you have to compete against the best. It makes you better as you have to be on your game at every comp. So if you want to get better, learn from the best, gain confidence and move up the bbq standings, compete against the best when possible. Getting a walk at a contest with the big boys makes you feel good about all the work, time and money you put into this "hobby". It's a confidence booster for sure.

Actually putting our 2013 comp schedule together today. As usual, looks like all the comps we will be doing will be "bigger" ones, 60-100 teams. Of course JOS, Cool Smoke, Pellet Envy, CSC, Quau, Warren County PC, Smoking Triggers, Lotta Bull, Bub-Ba-Q, etc, etc, etc will be at many of them. Just have to bring your A game at each comp as I have yet to see an easy pro comp.

Scottie
02-12-2013, 01:23 PM
I wish I was that good that I could go to a "lessor" contest and win... and Ive been very fortunate over the years.

Let's face it. If it was so easy to win, others will be there.

dmprantz
02-12-2013, 01:40 PM
When we got there we found three or four big name teams who decided to go at the last minute!

This. I've known big name teams who make their decisions at the last minute based on what they think will give them the best TOTY points. There are also organizers who break their own rules and find ways to let these big names in at the last second. It's not the competition that I minded so much as the fact that some teams got special treatment because of who they were.

dmp

Kit R
02-12-2013, 01:46 PM
This. No such thing as easy comps anymore.

I'll second that. The longest ride home of the year, aside from the last one of the year, was from one a comp with one of those supposed easy fields. That was a humbling day. The best ride home was against a much tougher field. Just got to cook your best every time out.

Pole D
02-12-2013, 02:57 PM
Competition doesn't matter. If you're already thinking about that then you aren't winning either one.

gettinbasted
02-12-2013, 04:44 PM
This is a very valid question IMHO and several teams at least think about it before signing up. The proof is in the Sam's club line ups. Many very good teams are competing at contests far away from home. Obviously the nature of the event makes it more likely, but I still think this goes on every week, everywhere.

There are many factors that come into play when selecting one competition over another, and anticipating the size and quality of the field is part of it. Probably not a huge part, but a part none the less.

There are no easy competitions by any stretch of the imagination, but everything is relative. I think the difference is mostly in the depth of the field. Every competition will have at least a handful of top notch teams, but more desirable comps will have more top teams.

Untraceable
02-12-2013, 04:57 PM
If I see 30 teams, I see 30 teams of people that believe in their BBQ enough to step up and be judged against your own.

boogiesnap
02-12-2013, 05:05 PM
depends where YOU are in your cooking skill.

get trounced by "ams" or "pros". or win against either.

i choose based on logistics, all sanctioned though...what two comps do you refer to in ma.?

jketron
02-12-2013, 10:25 PM
Go big!

roksmith
02-13-2013, 06:06 AM
All things being equal, we'll pick a contest with the bigger teams, but in today's economy and the prices to compete being what they are, we stay as close to home as we can.
At the end of the day though, we're competing against our "standard". Turn in a good box and we're happy. If we did this for the money, we'd have quit a long time ago.

Podge
02-13-2013, 07:33 AM
Gettinbasted, I kinda agree with you to a point about the Sam's contests. But people could be looking at the logistics of making it to the regionals. The Lexington, Ky. contest is 60 miles away from me, but I chose to drive close to 300 miles to the Knoxville, Tn. contest. Because, theoretically, if I made it to the regionals, the total miles driven for both contests is drastically less for me doing it this way.

Fatback Joe
02-13-2013, 09:11 AM
I chose to do the Sam's Club Pittsburgh contest last year which was a long haul...there were others closer. I went with Pittsburgh for the simple fact that my in-laws said they would come hang out and spend the weekend with us if we did that comp. Got to compete and scratch a visit off the list.

Jacked UP BBQ
02-13-2013, 09:14 AM
I only go where they have good local strip clubs....

Jacked UP BBQ
02-13-2013, 09:15 AM
I have a question since you are in the Northeast, where exactly is this easy competition? I believe you are in Mass as well where there are some of the best teams in the country and driving distance for many of the rest of the best.

TheJackal
02-13-2013, 09:26 AM
What's the saying... Go Big or Go Home. We got our ass kicked enough by 3Eyz last year to prove it to. lol.

FlavorSavor
02-13-2013, 09:55 AM
As a relatively newbie team to KCBS, I think I understand what's he's calling an "easy competition". An easy competition would be a smaller competition vs a comp that has over 60 or 70 teams. In other words, better chances.

My home town has a smaller event. Last year they had 13 teams and 5 of those teams were first timers in KCBS. The chances of someone who's done KCBS before getting a call is pretty good. It does not make cooking your product any easier than it would be at any other compl, but you have less experienced teams who make rookie mistakes improving the chances of a novice or pro cook to take home a check.

I've got to support my home town. I'll miss other, larger, events to support my home town. But the rest of the time I have available I enjoy hitting the larger events and compete against seasoned teams. If I spend my time competing against JR's Tire Shop and Lube BBQ Team on their first time out, I'm only cheating myself.