After attempting over 80 rides, the race for the 2013 PBR World Championship has come down to six bulls. Forty-eight seconds -- or the man who comes the closest to it -- will determine who walks away as with the title and $1 million. The 20th anniversary PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals begins Wednesday, October 23 at the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas.
With a total purse of $2.3 million, the World Finals consists of five rounds of competition and the Championship Round for the 15 highest ranked contestants in the average. Performances are Wednesday, October 23 through Saturday, October 26 at 6 p.m. Pacific time with the final performance on Sunday, October 27 at 11:30 a.m. Sunday's performance features the fifth go round as well as the season-concluding Championship Round.
The World Championship is determined on points instead of money won with cowboys earning their scores along with bonus points for placing in the top ten of the averages or go rounds at each event. At the World Finals, a go round win is worth 400 bonus points along with the ride score and the average win earns another 2,500 points. With six rounds potentially worth 500 each (if a rider were to score a perfect 100) and the average bonus, 5,500 points are available during the World Finals.
Thirty-five cowboys qualified to compete here based on the points they earned during the season; four more earned a chance to compete during the first two rounds as PBR National Champions for Brazil, Mexico, Canada and Australia. The latter must be ranked in the top 15 of the event standings following round two to continue competing.
Leading the way for the third straight season is two-time and reigning PBR World Champ Silvano Alves. Alves' meteoric rise within the PBR has been well-documented. He is the only man to ever repeat as champion and could pull off an even more improbable three-peat if he holds his lead during the World Finals. Only Adriano Moraes has won three PBR World Championships.
Alves is chased by North Carolina cowboy J.B. Mauney. Mauney put together the sport's best second half ever, winning five of the last nine events including the final three. He not only shot from outside the top ten to second, he closed the gap on Alves to a scant 538.5 points.
For those thinking the pressure may be getting to Alves, remember that his lead entering the 2012 PBR World Finals was actually smaller than it is this year, by about 33.5 points, and he was facing an opponent in Valdiron de Oliveira every bit as tough as Mauney.
The difference this season is simply a matter of momentum . . . Mauney has it in spades while Alves struggled down the stretch.
Will Alves' championship experience carry him over the top once again or will Mauney finally break through for his first title? Fans will have their answer in forty-eight seconds.