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Local Card Celebrates 22nd World Championship

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Local Card Celebrates 22nd World Championship

The York Country Store in Jamestown recovering after the 22nd annual World Championship for an Upper Cumberland-native card game called “Pig.”

Pall Mall resident Jim Buck puts on the event every year to celebrate the heritage of Pickett and Fentress County. He said he and his wife were in Las Vegas, Nevada where they were inspired to begin hosting the event after seeing the Monopoly World Championship. He said some 60 people competed this year, but past installations have seen as many as 100 participants.

“It’s a heritage,” Buck said. “Heritage, yes. You know, we’re a rural area and, you know, not a whole lot goes on here, but we pass down from generation to generation some good traits, and this game is one of the games that’s been passed down.”

Buck said Pig is similar to games like “Rook” and “Euchre.” He said competitors of all ages compete in pairs for the world championship title. He said this year, the event had its first-ever 3-PEAT. Robbie Moles, a four-time champion already, won his third consecutive title. Buck said whoever has the best record after five hours of competition is crowned the winner.

He said he’s seen lawyers pair with farmers, and U.S. Congressmen team up with people fresh out of jail. He said the game is a great way to connect with people but if you decide to play, beware that you will surely be hooked for life.

“It starts at high noon on the last Saturday of February,” Buck said. “I say, ‘This is the World Championship, but if you’re here for any other reason than to have a good time, you’re here for the wrong reason.’ So, we’ve never had the first issue. We’ve been doing it for 20-plus years and never had the first issue or complaint, and everybody leaves with a smile on their face and they’ve made new friends.”

Buck said he and his wife have begun traveling across the country and teaching new regions to play the game.

“Bridge is a great game, but you have to concentrate too much,” Buck said. “This is a game where you can play, you can laugh and cut up and swap partners.”

He said there is even a branch of Pig-players in Liverpool, England. He said he hopes to see the event grow, but more importantly, see a piece of Upper Cumberland culture spread throughout the county and across the globe.


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