The highly coveted WFA Grand Slam tournament has been running every year since its inception in 2009. That means we have had 10 completed tournaments but only 6 WFA Grand Slam World Champions. As well as becoming a World Champion the winner will claim a highly coveted WFA Gold Grade, which is the rarest of all the WFA accolades.
In this blog we explore the previous winners, as well as what some of them think it takes to become a WFA Grand Slam World Champion. After all, who better to get the answers to this question from than from some of the people who have actually managed to win it?
Before we dive into what some of the bartenders think it takes to become a WFA Grand Slam World Champion, lets have a quick look at how the Top 20 in the Grand Slam World Championship 2019 is shaping up:
Confirmed 2019 Results
Flairmania (Latvia) – Deniss Trifanovs
Baretylez The Big Match (Singapore) – Alexander Shtifanov
Previous Grand Slam Tournament Winners
2018 – Deniss Trifanovs (@denisstrifanovs)
2017 – Marek Posluszny (@marasboston)
2016 – Luca Valentin (@lucavalentin)
2015 – Alexander Shtifanov (@alexandershtifanov)
2014 – Tomek Malek (@tomaszmalek)
2013 – Tomek Malek (@tomaszmalek)
2012 – Tomek Malek (@tomaszmalek)
2011 – Marek Posluszy (@marasboston)
2010 – Tom Dyer (@thomasdyer-3)
2009 – Tomek Malek (@tomaszmalek)
What do you think it takes?
We asked a couple of the previous winners for a few words on what they think it takes to be a WFA Grand Slam World Champion, as well as founder Andy Collinson:
Holding no punches, 2010 world champion Tom Dyer says, “It takes a shit load of dedication, to make the time and preparation to get to all the Grand Slam events in the year”. That is something we see as a bit of a trend from the bartenders we have spoken to, if you want to have a chance of becoming a WFA Grand Slam World Champion you have to take part in all of the events in the tournament.
Tom continues, “You also need a great deal of determination to never give up and keep going – it will take sacrifices. You need to be willing to practice when everyone else isn’t”.
Our latest World Champion, Deniss Trifanovs, first thing to say is that, “It takes a lot of work! A lot of practice hours, a lot of planning and a lot of dedication”. There certainly seems to be a bit of a theme emerging here from our previous champions. One thing is for sure, it is not easy to become a WFA Grand Slam World Champion.
“From the moment the WFA introduced the scoring system which could change on each competition, the need to plan and prepare became very large – making sure your routine was designed for the competition you were about to take part in. Sometimes you need to put more focus on the difficulty of your moves, other times its originality. To be a world champion you need to be creative with new moves and be able to surprise the judges – this will help you get those top spots at the competitions and if you are consistent across all the events, you will be a champion”.
“To achieve the WFA gold level and become the World Grand Slam Champion takes hours of dedication and commitment. Not only for practice sessions but also financially to pay for the expenses to travel to these competitions. To achieve this level truly puts you on the level of legendary flair bartender for life, awarding you with a WFA Gold Grade held by only 6 people in the world right now”