Thirty-two cribbage players convened last week to see which doubles team would finish the day by out-pegging the rest of the contestants to win the annual Holiday Cribbage Championship.
This year the team of Chuck Leonhardt and Dave Boynton were lucky enough to survive the others and have their names added to the distinguished list of past winners of this acclaimed Quincy-based tournament that at least one local historian — okay, to be honest, old timer — believes now exceeds more than a half century of spirited play.
The fortunate duo somehow won seven out of their nine games, which included the improbable “skunk” they earned against one of their opponents worth an extra point (two for a win, three for a skunk). That gave them a total of 15 game points at the end of tournament play.
And that one extra point did indeed loom large — $230 to be exact — as they edged out Casey Hood and James Shipp, who also won seven games but amassed only 14 game points to finish in second place.
Leonhardt and Boynton each pocketed $150 for their day’s work while Hood and Shipp won just $35 each for their losing effort.
Last place this year could have gone to any one of four different teams, each of them only able to cobble together just three measly wins during the day.
So it came down to the last tiebreaker — which team had the most total net points pegged during play (totaling the number of holes that you won each game minus the number of holes you lost games by) and that differential came down to just one point.
And that one point was huge for the Joe Ayoob-Andy Ryback team as they escaped the cellar with an embarrassing net spread of minus-30 while the ultimate losers, Bob Reinitz and Zack Revene, posted a scorecard that even worse with a minus-31 points.
Predictably, the two had a hard time accepting such a narrow defeat and re-calculated their scorecard several times in what was clearly a failed effort to find that extra point. Besides the humbling experience of being labeled as the worst players on that day, albeit by just one less pegged hole, Reinitz and Revene also get saddled with organizing next year’s annual event.
The Holiday Classic was held Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Main Street Sports Bar in Quincy with lunch catered by The Knook.
If you enjoy playing cribbage and want to be included on the limited list of contestants for next year contact Mike Taborski at 283-0800.