You don't get more Williamsburg than this.
Major League Dreidel, the sanctioned body of everyone's favorite Hannukah game, is hosting 124 of the nation's best spinners at its official annual tournament tomorrow at the Knitting Factory, before moving the party to Full Circle Bar next week for more dreidel drama.
"Major League Dreidel is exactly what it sounds like," said MLD Commissioner Eric Pavony. "It's competitive dreidel spinning. Jews, non-Jews -- everybody's welcome." He added that the Knitting Factory event, which he described as "the greatest dreidel duel in history," would open its doors at 6:30 for "spinning practice & tchotchke," folowed by live music at 8, and the "Main Event" beginning at 9:30.
If any of this seems over the top, welcome to the world of Eric Pavony. When he and fellow "Skee.E.O." Evan Tobias conceived of Brewskee-Ball in 2005, it became clear to the local bar scene that they took fun seriously. With hardcore vernacular (an official Brewskee-Ball dictionary can be found at the bottom of the page here) and puns galore, they soon had copycat operations in bars across the country. Austin, Charlotte, and San Francisco all run their own local "skeesons."
Two years ago, the league found its home in the hipster haven that is Williamsburg, by building the first bar built specifically with Skee-Ball in mind. Full Circle Bar (318 Grand Street) has been up and rolling ever since, hosting regular events to keep locals popping in to see what's new. "Skee for Free" nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays include free hotdogs, and weekly trivia nights keep the intellectual crowd satisfied.
If you want to sit back and see the best rollers in the business, find a spot in the bleachers -- yes, there is stadium seating -- on Sunday, December 18, for the start of the Best Roller of the Year tournament, or the BROTYs. But the more adventurous may find themselves looking to start their own team for the 2012 Skeeson, which begins in late January. According to Pavony, all it takes is an email to the bar (email@example.com), a team of three rollers, and a great team name. "We like puns," he said. "Some of our favorites are teams like 'The Skee Amigos' and 'Skeemilio Estevez.'" Teams are paired up for weekly matches on Sundays, Mondays, or Wednesdays.
But until the skeeson begins, it's all about the dreidel. Next Wednesday and Thursday, Full Circle will play host to Major League Dreidel's latest competition concoctions, including an open tournament and an accuracy competition named "The Target Tops Spinvitational." The party will include free latkes, and an open bar stocked with chilled vodka -- obviously, the evening has been titled "Latkes and Vodkas."
While the annual tournament began in 2007, it has taken on Pavony's characteristic flair. "At some point, I said, 'we can't keep spinning on a table," he said, explaining that he had taken it upon himself to create a proper "spinning stadium." The board, called "The Spinagogue," was picked up by Bed Bath & Beyond.
All the enthusiasm might seem ridiculous to some. But as the commish says: "no gelt, no glory."