It was a good day in Cribbageland, a good day in Reno. I didn’t advance to the qualifying round–scored 22 with a -48 spread–but a good day nonetheless. Today was a lot of firsts for me: first time at the world’s largest cribbage tournament; first time dealing 28 (lost that one); first time meeting not one, but two guys named Boyd. I watched a game of baseball cribbage (more on that later) and spent some time with a 9-fingered, Harley-ridin’ , burl-carvin’ wood smith. He even skunked me on his own beautiful board (more on that later too). And the lucky Twins hat and hoodie? Left in the room via Cribbageland pollsters.
First things first though–a big congratulatory round of virtual applause to Dan Taylor, a member of the Twin City Peggers (my league) who took 2nd in the Tournament of Champions! (For those who don’t know how it works, the TOC is an invite-only tournament of yearly champions and other high-scoring individuals in tournament and league play within the American Cribbage Congress.) I stumbled upon the final game during the home stretch, as Dan and his opponent laid some 15s and fought toward the end. It came down to a single hand–unfortunately things didn’t swing his way, but a beautiful glass trophy and a several thousand dollar payday are more than most of us can bring home this weekend. Also congrats to the TOC champion (I missed your name, I’ll get it tomorrow) and other competitors.
This is an ugly card. Things were hit-and-miss until game 10 rolled around; then it was five straight losses, just about cementing the end of my tournament round. Games picked up afterward–I won five of seven–but it was too little too late. I made a few counting errors (typical), but luckily none during games that came down to single pips. I really helped out a few individuals, particularly a man named Howard, who was dealt not one but two hands of 28, the first by yours truly, almost double-skunking me with a win by 54. I competed with players from Washington to South Carolina, Minnesota, Madison and Maine. I even played some Cribbageland celebs; Jeanne Hofbauer (ACC president) beat me by a handful, while I counted 121 against Hal Mueller, creator of cribbage-improvement software Halscrib and Rexcrib. I lost against some fantastic players whose qualifying scores made my efforts look feeble at best. 37, Herschel?! At the table next to mine, eCribbage.com creator Damien Blond also duked it out, losing by mere pips at the end of his final game or two, missing the qualifying cutoff by a sliver. And be careful if you’re the anchor at the end of one of these tables, you’ll be susceptible to TB.
“Tired butt,” Turk laughed.
All in all a very good day. And because I’m exhausted and have far more photos, ideas and quotes that can be summarized here, I’m going to bed. Look for more interviews and excerpts from Reno shortly once I have time to review notes and audio.