The American Royal. The World Series of BBQ. In the heart of American BBQ Soil: Kansas City, Missouri. Talk about BIG LEAGUES!
I was so lucky and blessed to have been invited by my good good friends David and Angie of Fatty MacBarbecue. They drove down, I flew down and we cooked 2 comps together, back to back.
The first event is an Invitational, and had 165 Grand Champions from all over the USA! All the big names were there, Johnny Trigg, Tuffy Stone, Rod Gray, Myron Mixon. As soon as that event was over, 400 MORE teams showed up for the Open!
Nothing can quite prepare you for the sight of 565 teams, all turning in at once. It was extremely well-organized though, no hitches to speak of.
I also participated in the American Royal Poker Tournament, on a whim. There were ~250 players, and I made it to the final table! I went out at 7th Place, but man was that ever cool!
We also made our own little BBQ Crawl and ate some of the best food I've ever eaten. Oklahoma Joe's topped the list for me.