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Sam's BBQ Tour Already Off to A Blazing Start!

January 23, 2014

With hundreds of teams lined up at the starting gates, the 2014 Sam's Club National BBQ Tour is almost ready to fire the starting gun and light up the BBQ trail all summer long!

As suspected, the team interest and internet traffic was off the charts! More than 500 teams were loaded into 25 local contests in the first hour of registration.  As of this morning more than 600 teams are registered, with another 26 funneled into waiting lists to await their chance to compete. Currently there are 150 spots still available at 16 contests. (Just a reminder, any team on a waiting list CAN still register at a second contest. If successful in doing so, that team will be removed from its prior waiting list spot.)

Of course, as is usually the case in an extremely popular internet process like this, the KCBS web site did experience some technical delays in the heat of the moment. Thankfully, the situation was a system wide scenario, meaning that all teams were experiencing the same challenge and no one was getting preferential treatment. After a thorough check this morning, our IT folks have verified that all team registration attempts were handled on a first-come, first-serve basis. So once the sluggishness was resolved, processing of team registrations occurred in the desired format, which was based on a blind, sequential process.

So why did the delay occur? It wasn't because of bandwidth, processing power or memory (because today's web server is over twice as strong as it was last year). It was because of security filters. On a monthly basis, the KCBS website receives more than 438,000 page views. Security filters are put in place to allow for this amount of traffic, but to prevent hacking and other malicious activity as much as possible. It turns out that during high volume/high request moments like the Sam's registration, those filters have to be temporarily relaxed and lowered. Once our IT team made the decision to take that risk, the registration process resumed at full speed (thankfully without incident).

While our goal is always to have a perfect scenario, it's obvious that perfection can be elusive at times. That's why the entire KCBS and MMA Creative staffs were on the job last night to monitor and address any unforeseen scenarios like this. We hope everyone appreciates the effort and dedication that these folks put into their jobs on behalf of the BBQ industry.

Enough with the technology, though. Let's get back to what's important: BBQ.  

If your team hasn't found it's spot in the tour yet...get going! There are still some great contests in great locations that are yet to be filled. So fire up that computer and fire up your pit. It's the only way for you to get a piece of the largest prize purse in BBQ history!!

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