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seeking the crown

It’s the toughest of all cornhole tournaments. The competition is raw, intense and downright brutal. It’s eleven months of blood, sweat and beers culminating into one match that may be your last. Win and you survive to the next round. It’s single elimination, best two out of three. Five victories get you to the championship court. The sixth victory makes you the best cornhole player in the world. This is cornhole… ACO Style.

You must overcome two obstacles at the KOC: you and your competition.

The KOC can be grueling mentally and physically. By making it to the championship court, you will have played, at minimum, ten cornhole games against the best competition in the world. Matches get progressively longer. Fifteen minute matches become forty minute slugfests. The balls of your feet will ache. Tension will creep into your lower back. Your armpits will emit a smell that distinguishes you from the everyone else. Your mind wishes for a match against your cousin who has trouble hitting the board.

And then there’s the competition.

200x200-mattguyMatt Guy. He is the reigning King of Cornhole. Dating back to 2006, he has worn the crown four times. He is the number one seed and the guy to beat (pun intended). Have an off frame and he’ll put up ten points on you. He’s like Mike Tyson in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. If you can stay close with him, match him point for point, be patient and capitalize on the rare times he is slightly off, he can be beat. After his loss to Randy Atha in 2006, Matt Guy went on an unprecedented, undefeated, three year ACO singles competition run. The streak ended last August when Jack Stagge defeated him at the Easter Seals ACO Championship. It would be a bitter sweet victory playing Stagge in the championship to claim the crown for a fifth time.

200x200-stevevanderverSteve Vanderver. After his ACO Cornhole de Mayo – Cincinnati victory in 2007, Vanderver has been the Robin to Guy’s Batman, the Phil Mickelson to Guy’s Woods, the Beavis to Guy’s Butthead, the Garth to Guy’s Wayne, the Elwood to Guy’s Joliet Jake. He was runner up to Guy at the Easter Seals ACO Championships in 2007 and 2008, runner up to Guy at the 2008 KOC, and runner up to Jack Stagge at the 2009 Easter Seals ACO Championships. Legend has it, Guy and Vanderver played for three hours in non-sanctioned play and Guy still pulled out the victory. Seeded #2, he is in prime position to take what is rightfully his.

200x200-jackstagge“Wildman” Jack Stagge. From the land of Hillsboro to the bright lights in Las Vegas, Jack Stagge has proven that if you have the heart and determination you can Live The Dream. Who can forget the memorable performance he had at the 2009 Easter Seals ACO Championships. He ended Matt Guy’s undefeated streak, drove a stake into the ground of the cornhole world, proclaimed his love for the game and gained more respect from his fellow players. It was a welcome turnaround after a disappointing performance at last year’s KOC. The question is, which Wildman will show up in Vegas?

200x200-randyathaRandy Atha. It has been over three years since he has worn the crown. He is considered one of the best cornhole players out there. He took down Matt Guy twice in 2006 (Finals and Semi-Finals matches), but has yet to reclaim the glory. Underneath the jovial, beer drinking, socializing exterior is a man who wants to let everyone know Matt Guy isn’t the only great cornhole player out there. Behind that smile is a nice guy who loves playing cornhole and a pro player who will end your game faster than a slick woody flying off the cornhole board. He is the big dog and you’re not welcome in his playground.

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