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Hey Facebook: No beer pong for you

Now-corporate social network reportedly pulls plug on a New York office beer pong tournament against InterActiveCorp's CollegeHumor for "legal and PR" reasons.

Ricky Van Veen, editor in chief, CollegeHumor

With a $15 billion valuation, big-name investors, and high-profile Google employees jumping onto its payroll, Facebook can't play with the kids anymore.

That's probably why its New York branch's hyped-up beer pong tournament against dude entertainment site CollegeHumor was cancelled.

The match, scheduled for Thursday evening at CollegeHumor parent company Connected Ventures' offices near Manhattan's Union Square, was abruptly called off, according to a blog post from Josh Mohrer, director of retail at Connected Ventures brand BustedTees. "Facebook has backed out of the CH vs. Facebook beer pong tournament for 'legal and PR' reasons," Mohrer wrote. "Lame!"

For those who stepped in late, beer pong, known as "beirut" in some circles, is a popular slacker sport that involves throwing ping-pong balls at a triangle of cups half-full of beer. If you land the ball in a cup, your opponent must drink the beer in that cup. That's the basic rundown; rules and regulations differ wildly across the fabric of American college campuses.

A tipster told gossip blog Valleywag that Facebook's legal and public-relations team, which just hired former Googler Elliot Schrage as its director, took issue with the tournament.

A CollegeHumor representative told CNET that the company was not familiar with Facebook's "internal stuff" and that an impending match between CollegeHumor and local blog powerhouse Gawker Media was still on the books.

Facebook declined to comment on the matter.

To be fair, Connected Ventures isn't exactly a freewheeling start-up: CollegeHumor has been around since the late '90s, its founders are closer to 30 than 20, and Connected Ventures (which also encompasses BustedTees and video-sharing platform Vimeo) was acquired by Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp nearly two years ago.

Regardless, CollegeHumor remains an entertainment brand. Facebook gets talked about in the same sentences as Google and Microsoft--it might've gotten its start as a dorm room project at Harvard, but Mark Zuckerberg & Co. is playing in the Silicon Valley big leagues now.

At the same time, Facebook still has to prove that it can live up to the hype. Google and executives can get away with showing up at the Nevada counterculture fest Burning Man, but Facebook still has a "college kid" reputation to outgrow.

In other words, beer pong probably doesn't help.