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Competitive division winning team member, Tony Avila, lets one fly at Hidalgo Hall during Seven Sixty Baggers' Cornhole Tournament Thursday, July 8.

BRAWLEY — A night of camaraderie, cold drinks, and proactive competition was had at the Hidalgo Hall in Brawley when Seven Sixty Baggers hosted another installment of their summer series Cornhole Tournaments Thursday, July 8.

Dozens of competitors from all over the Valley filled the saloon style edifice for a chance to take home money prizes and cornhole champion bragging rights.   

Local Kyle Keldson and Kenny Chavez from the Bay Area collaborated to create Seven Sixty Baggers for likeminded cornhole connoisseurs.  

The idea of the tournament spawned between Keldson and Chavez in backyard tournaments they’d play in.

“Eventually, we figured to try to expand this and get an indoor venue where people can go enjoy themselves, have drinks, play inside the air conditioning, and not have to pray on the weather every day to have a decent night of corn hole,” said Keldson. “We even got lucky enough to have the Hidalgo Hall open to allow us to have events there every week.”   

The doors are open at 6 p.m. to all event goers and spectators. 

“Competitors and spectators can bring their family and anyone who shows support is welcome,” said Keldson.

According to organizers, roughly 100 participants bought in at $10 per player in a two-division, round-robin style tournament where cash prizes were valued at $50 per player. 

“The more teams that sign up, the bigger the payout,” said Keldson. 

There were two divisions defined by competitive and advanced categories in teams of two with no age limit.

“It’s two games round robin,” said Chavez. “Right after the round robin, we go into our money shot to give everyone a little intermission break and that’s when the bracket starts, and it turns into double elimination — first team to 21 wins.”

The money shot raffle was a $5 buy-in chance for four shots to try and make it an airmail box from across the hall.

The tournament bracket system was situated in a way that there will always be an undefeated team going into the championship versus a team that has lost once already.

In the championship, an undefeated team would have to lose twice. 

Ernie Garcia and Jeff Pacheco won the advanced category while Tony Avila and Josh Marquez took competitive division title honors. 

Avila also won the money shot.

“It felt rewarding to win because it’s something that we put time and effort into practicing,” said Avila. “Apart from time and effort, out here it’s hot in the summer, you’re sacrificing your body also being out in the heat.”

The sport of cornhole had been growing rapidly in the Valley as more tournaments and events have been popping up, according to organizers and event goers.

“We just want to grow the sport with the community,” said Chavez. “It’s awesome to see the new face coming out to partake.”

Avila discussed how cornhole can easily turn from a backyard hobby to a full-blown passion. 

“I’m what you would call a project of the pandemic,” said Avila. “When everything was locked down my wife gifted me a cornhole set. My son and I would play, and we couldn’t even get on the board. We were terrible at first, but we just kept practicing.” 

After winning back-to-back competitive division tourneys, Avila indicated he’d enter the advanced category next time and aspires to go pro.

“For me, a goal is not something you fantasize about but a reachable objective. So why not strive for professional and put in the work,” said Avila. “I feel like I’m setting the right example for my son by showing him that no matter what age you are, don’t ever sell yourself short. Set your goals and go for them. As long as your time on earth is not done, nothing is impossible.”

Seven Sixty baggers disclosed their mission is simply to put on good events that are ran professionally at a good venue.

Organizers informed that Saturday, August 7, is an anticipated tournament of tournaments at Hidalgo Hall. 

“We plan on launching the biggest cornhole tournament the Valley has ever seen,” said Keldson. “We want it to be a local and out of town invitational blow out.” 

All Seven Sixty Baggers events are played on Ultra Cornhole, Western Conference boards.

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