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  • Weekend Tournaments - General Information

    Weekend cribbage tournaments are a great experience. A weekend tournament may be played completely within one day, or it may extend over the full weekend. Every tournament will have a sanctioned main event, and a sanctioned consolation tournament. In addition, the full-weekend tournaments will generally have non-sanctioned satellite tournaments on Friday and Saturday evenings. In sanctioned events, Master Rating Points (MRPs) are awarded to each player who qualifies for the playoffs, and players compete for prize money. Non-sanctioned events do not award MRPs, but players still compete for prize money. You do not need to be an ACC member to play weekend tournaments - however, only official ACC members may earn MRPs.

    The main and consolation tournaments consist of two parts - the qualifying round and the playoffs. The qualification round is between 12 and 22 games depending on the format of the tournament, and players rotate through the field so that nobody plays another player more than 2 games. In qualification, players earn 2 game points for each game won (skunks are awarded an additional game point). In addition, the spread points - the number of points by which the game was won or lost - are recorded. At the end of the qualifying round, each player adds up his/her game points and and spread points. The playoff brackets are determined based on the number of game points earned, with the total number of games won and the total spread points used as tie-breakers. The top 25% of the entrants in the tournament will qualify for the playoff round. In the playoffs, each round consists of a head-to-head match against a single opponent. The winner of the match moves on to the next round, while the non-winner is eliminated from the event. As a player progresses further into the playoffs, the MRPs and prize money awarded will increase.

    Satellite events are smaller, non-sanctioned events. Usually, these events occur on Friday night or Saturday night, and are generally 7 or 9 games. There are no playoffs for these events, but prize money is determined based on total game points, with games won and spread points serving as tie-breakers (just the same as sanctioned events). Satellite events are a really good way for new players to get the feel for tournament cribbage without feeling the same pressure that comes with the main or consolation events.

    Weekend tournaments are scheduled throughout the country virtually every weekend of the year. The American Cribbage Congress website lists all the sanctioned weekend tournaments throughout the country. Most events are scheduled well in advance so you can plan to attend the tournaments in your area. In addition to the regular weekend tournaments throughout the year, there are several special tournaments that are eagerly anticipated by players every year.

    • JPW/ACC Open - Named in honor of the late Joseph Petrus Wergin, the first President of the ACC and a significant contributor to the grand game of cribbage. This tournament, the largest tournament in the world, occurs every February in Reno NV, drawing approximately 800 - 900 players. This tournament is an experience not to be missed! It's a great opportunity to play against people from all over the country. In addition, the hotel/casino treats the players very well and makes a significant contribution to the prize fund each year. When they aren't playing cribbage, you will find your fellow competitors playing all sorts of casino games, from the slots to Texas Hold 'Em, until all hours of the day and night!
    • National Open Cribbage Tournament - Held in Raleigh NC every July, this is typically the last official tournament of the ACC season. Unlike virtually all other sanctioned tournaments, this tournament does not follow the standard format of a qualification round followed by playoffs. In the National Open, the format is double-elimination, match play for the entire event. Because of the match-play format, there can be significant amounts of down time between matches (particularly for players in the undefeated bracket, as they only play every other round). As part of the tournament, a hospitality room is open throughout the weekend where players can relax between matches, catch up with old friends, or find other card games to play.
    • Grand National - The Grand National tournament occurs in late September each year, with the location rotating each year between the three regions of the ACC. This tournament will generally draw between 300 and 500 players. Because many people will travel cross-country to play in this tournament, tournament organizers try to run as many events as they can so that travelers will get the most opportunities to play during their visit. This tournament is a great opportunity to combine cribbage with a vacation, as the tournament is generally held in interesting places.
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    Questions, comments, and corrections may be sent to Jeff Gardner.