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May 14, 2010 > Fremont Cribbage Club

Fremont Cribbage Club

Submitted By Tracy Yott

Photos submitted by Tracy Yott

Fifteen-two, 15-four, a pair for six and a run of three make nine. Hearing this gibberish while seeing two opponents, a deck of cards and a slab of wood that looks like it were attacked by a crazed, but linear minded woodpecker, can only mean one thing.

The game is cribbage, a two-person card game dating back to its inception in England during the early 1630s. It came across the pond with the pilgrims and has flourished ever since. In 1979 the American Cribbage Congress (ACC) was formed to standardize the rules and promote the game on a national basis.

Soon after, the ACC Grass Roots program was created to promote cribbage through organized play at the hometown level. One of 185 active clubs across the country, the members of Grass Roots Club #43 can be found every Wednesday evening "salting the crib" and avoiding the dreaded "skunk".

With members of all ages and from all walks of life, GR 43 has thrived since its charter in 1987. Playing in various eating establishments in Newark and Fremont over the years, the club currently has 33 members from as far as South San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.

With an average of 18 players each week, the club holds a nine-game tournament where each player faces nine random opponents. Prizes are awarded to the top 25 percent scores for the evening. The Grass Roots points system allows for rating players locally, regionally and nationally.

Club director Tracy Yott was introduced to cribbage while stationed at Treasure Island in 1983. It wasn't until 2004 that he learned of the ACC and GR 43. He tells newcomers that he has learned more about playing the game in the last six years than in the previous 21 years of playing "kitchen table" games.

The ACC sanctions tournaments nearly every weekend of the year at various locations across the country. The largest, the ACC Open, held every February in Reno, Nevada, attracts an average of 1,000 players, all vying for the $10,000 first prize. The annual Tournament of Champions is held the same weekend, an invitation-only tournament which seats approximately 500 players.

ACC Grass Roots Club #43 welcomes all players of any skill level to join on a free trial basis this summer. For more information, visit www.cribbage.org, e-mail cribbagegr43@yahoo.com or call Tracy Yott at 510-793-6472. Or simply show up any Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Roundtable Pizza on Fremont Boulevard in Fremont.

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