Professional cornhole player Jay Rubin takes backyard gaming to a new level

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You throw a block shot and wait to see if your opponent misses to the left or right. Then go over the top and hope they can’t prevail and turn your two-point round into a four-point round.

This is how the head of a professional cornhole player works, at least according to Jay Rubin, who lives in the northwestern suburbs. He’s been working on his beanbag game for seven years. All of that practice paid off – Rubin is now a professional cornhole player with the American Cornhole League. Rubin is currently the top ranked cornhole player in Illinois and the sixth worldwide.

Like most people, Rubin began playing cornhole in backyards at barbecues hosted by friends and families. He realized that he had some skills in the game and decided to compete on another level.

That meant practice and a lot of learning – yes, learning – from other cornhole players. What made the pros different from the big backyard players? It turns out there is a lot more to mastering the cornhole than just trying to toss your bag into the hole.

“Many players had flat pockets,” says Rubin of the professional players he was studying at the time. “They made various recordings very successfully. So I wanted to make sure I had a flat pocket. “

He also noted that there was a lot of strategy involved. The players didn’t just throw their bags on the board, hoping for the best. There were blockages. Players threw bags around these blocks. And sometimes you just had to overdo it with an “airmail” – you can imagine it like a swish in basketball. You throw your bag straight into the hole without hitting anything else.

Rubin started practicing hard whenever he found the time. He has another full-time job, but he’d train pretty much anywhere – on lunch break, after work, after the kids go to bed. Then he started taking part in tournaments and started winning. Over the years, cornhole tournaments have grown in popularity. You can find them in different locations around the Chicagoland area pretty much every night of the week.

“Two or three summers ago, I think I was 90% win rate,” he says. “That made me and my partners about $ 42,000.”

So far, professional cornhole pays no money for “Leave your day job”. But Rubin is adding more sponsors and dreaming big about his future along with some advice for people looking to reach out to the pros.

“You can search for various tournaments and blind draws near you on the American Cornhole League website. From there, you can network and meet people who have the same interest. How far do you want to take it Would you like to go out a few nights a week and throw some bags, have a few drinks and have fun? Or do you really want to compete with the best? “

You can see our full video story with Jay Rubin in the player above.

He’s constantly posting videos of his tournaments and other trick shots and tips on his Facebook page here.

And big thanks to The Red Barn Restaurant and Brewery in Mount Prospect for welcoming us for this shoot. They have a cornhole tournament every Tuesday night.


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