Florida was well-represented too, with pro eaters Hall "Hoover" Hunt (ranked eighth in the world) and Sean "Wrecking Ball" Brockert (ranked 37th in the world) competing too.
After colorful introductions (some to theme-music, boxing style), the contestants each stood in front of a few bowls of extremely sour pickles (five pickles to a pound) and some plastic cups filled with water and Gatorade and Hawaiian Punch.
Then there was a countdown. Then there was serious pickle eating. Contestants went at it fast and furiously, each with a slightly different approach. Shoudt crushed the pickles into relish in his massive hands. Thomas broke each pickle and downed them mostly unchewed.
In the end, Bertoletti, with his bird-shimmying approach, took first, downing 5 pounds, 11.2 ounces of pickles in six minutes. He got a trophy and a check for $1,500. Thomas and Shoudt tied for second. Hunt and two other men tied for third.
It was 95 degrees.
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