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Professional cornhole comes to Iowa

Des Moines hosted a Pro Shootout for the American Cornhole League this weekend.

DES MOINES, Iowa — An unusual sport got its time in the limelight, as professional cornhole players showed off their skills in Des Moines.

Professional cornhole? You read that right. On Friday and Saturday the Iowa Events Center hosted a Pro Shootout for the American Cornhole League (ACL). Cornhole pros from across the country competed to punch their tickets to the national championships.

"There's eight of these shootouts during the year, the winner from each event will qualify for a final eight, like a final playoff. And then the final eight will play for a large sum of money," said David Morse, a pro player with the ACL. 

That "large sum" isn't an exaggeration. At those playoffs, there will be a total of $250,000 in prize money up for grabs. It takes some serious skill to even come close to claiming it.

"A lot of people just say 'hey, it's easy.' Put as many bags in the hole as you want," Morse said. "But when you get down to it, the best bag isn't going in the hole. It's blocking, pushing, going around bags, flopping over bags, going over bags. So there's a lot more strategy."

Beyond just having the skills, being a pro requires a whole lot of time and dedication. Some will compete in more than 30 tournaments in a year.

"You got to have a very good mental aspect to this game to play at this level as well," said Kyle Malone, another ACL pro. "Dealing with the travel and all the great competition there is."

The ACL Pro Shootout Championship is set for Sept. 18. A location for the event has yet to be announced.

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