Hill Country's excellent pit master, Pete Daversa, has some tips for competitive eaters (and for those who really want to maximize barbecue consumption at the Big Apple BBQ).
* Don't starve yourself before the contest. Your stomach will shrink.
* Prior to the contest, eat lots of plain lettuce, celery or boiled cabbage. They're made of mostly water and will help stretch your belly without filling it up.
* Once you're full and can't eat any more, call it a day; don't risk choking or suffering what professionals call a "reversal of fortune."