What follows is an early draft of one possible introduction to the book I’ve been tooling around with for a while. It’s not perfect, but it’s a slice of the world I’ve entered and hope to share. Enjoy.
"Cribbage is an itinerant's game."
What do you think of when you hear someone suggest a game of cribbage? Do you think of a scuffed deck of greasy Hoyle or Bicycle cards, their kings and queens hiding beneath fleur-de-lis-like patterns of red and blue? Do you think of the rectangular wooden boards the game is (usually) played on? And who is the one holding those greasy cards, counting pips with their pegs above that board full of holes? What language are they speaking–does “15-2, 15-4, double run for 12 and nobs is 13” sound familiar? Or does it sound, well, confusing? I wouldn’t blame you if you do think of dog-eared decks, boring boards, plastic pegs, and your goofy uncle or aunt mumbling about 15s and Raggedy Anns, muggins and nobs and nibs.
It sounds crazy. I know it does. Continue reading
It’s a long time coming, but the January poll results are in. When asked ‘where do you play cribbage the most?”, I had 14 responses. In lieu of a new blog, I hope for more in future months. Here’s what pollsters said:
8 play most at their home or cabin, just like me. (57%)
3 don’t play! What a travesty! (21%)
2 play mostly in league; I expected more. (14%)
1 plays mostly online. Best of luck, sir. (7%)
On Wednesday I heard a funny tidbit about the way “those east-coasters peg and throw.” Any comments? Any thoughts? I’m looking forward to a funny poll soon.
Finally, a winning night
As Cribbageland readers know, I did not do well in Reno; 22 points with a -48 spread. I must have learned something, though, because my first Wednesday back I had one of the top scorecards in Grassroots play. I finished Wednesday night with 12 points over 6 wins and no skunks (it was a small showing). Two games I won by pegging out when it mattered against the pone. Truly, though, I should have had 14.
Game 5 was a bad loss. With little less than a dozen points each to win, Steve played an 8 while I held an 8 and 9. Instead of looking at his cards (15-2 and a run for 3, 5 total) and realizing he wasn’t out without pairs royal, I experienced a bit of cribbage tunnel vision and foolishly played my 8 to avoid opening a run (to which he couldn’t have won with anyway). Steve played pairs royal for 6 and a go for 7, counted his meager hand and beat me. What an asinine way to lose!
But all was not lost; I even sported the would-be lucky Twins Hat and Curling Hoodie, renewing my faith in their power to control the cut. I lost my next two games, but bounced back in games eight and nine. In one hand I kept 4466, hoped for a gut-shot 5, and lo! So it was cut.
We congratulated Dan Taylor, our local league rep, who took 2nd in the Tournament of Champions in Reno, losing by mere pips to Lynn Gillespie (WA). Dan was my second opponent on Wednesday, and only when the pegs are dire does he resort to The Swirl (Clockwise or Counter), mixing the cards with a goofy grin on his face. We all have our talismans; mine was a little stronger on Wednesday.
What’s your cribbage charm? A hat? Custom pegs? Something like The Swirl?