ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Most patrons of Isleta Resort & Casino score big on its gaming floor, but on Saturday the casino is opening its doors to one of the largest trivia competitions in the world for big money prizes.
Geeks Who Drink’s Geek Bowl IX aka Geek Bowl 009 is coming to Albuquerque and putting minds to the test to see which team will bring the mental thunder round after round. Visual and audio rounds could be part of the event that could include categories surrounding pop culture, history, music and numerous other topics that run the gamut. One thing is for sure, there is usually a humorous twist to each round.
But this is why you play in teams of six: so you can have your ace-in-the-hole, your ringer and that random friend who seems to retain everything about anything usually irrelevant in everyday life but crucial knowledge in Geeks Who Drink trivia.
You still have time to be part of the fun. The event is open to those ages 18 and older and you must have a team of six. Tickets can be purchased before 10 tonight, according to John Dicker, Quizmaster-In-Chief of Geeks Who Drink. The breakdown for each individual player is $32, plus fees. The event will not allow you to buy tickets as an individual player but only as a team so get your six ducks in a row before you buy team tickets.
The event starts promptly at 7 p.m. Saturday and doors open at 6 p.m.
“It goes until 10-10:30 p.m., mainly because scoring 130 teams takes a long time,” Dicker said. “We have to be careful. There’s over $12,000 on the line, almost $13,000, for first place through fifth place. Over $6,000 will go to first place.”
If you are not part of a team, you can still come as a spectator and see how you might have done. Spectators will be given an answer sheet and can play along with the teams. Spectator tickets are $30, plus fees. Granted, observers don’t win the big prizes, but they still get to test their trivia knowledge and enjoy entertainment by The Dan Band.
The Dan Band has appeared in the movies “Old School,” “Starsky and Hutch” and the “Hangover.” The band tours nationally and around the world.
“They always play an inappropriate wedding band,” Dicker said. “They only do songs by women artists. They throw in gratuitous cursing. Really, what they are famous for is (singer) Dan Finnerty’s great improvising with the audience; and the back-up dancers are hilarious. They’re doing the intermissions.”
The band may or may not be part of one of the trivia rounds on Saturday, Dicker hinted. But, Dicker is pretty tight-lipped on what Geek Bowl participants can expect.
At last count, 13 states are participating in this year’s Geek Bowl including Colorado, Texas, Washington, California, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona and Utah as well Vancouver, B.C., according to Dicker. He is interested to see what the hometown teams from Albuquerque will bring, adding that the Philadelphia teams are the ones to watch out for.
“We have a big rivalry with Philadelphia,” Dicker said. “They are kind of the home team. They were the first in the U.S. to have a trivia scene and they are hoity-toity and think quite a bit of themselves. They’ve won before. One of their teams is very good.”
Geeks Who Drink is based in Denver. The group runs about 600 weekly pub quizzes throughout the United States. Saturday’s event is the ninth Geek Bowl. Past events have been held in Denver as well as Austin. This is the first time a Geek Bowl has come to New Mexico.
“We want to do the 10th year in Denver,” Dicker said. “We’ve done six, seven and eight in Austin, Texas. It’s great there but I think people are ready for a change. We do plan on moving this event around. Not everyone can travel or get out for the weekend.”