Houle wins top honor in cribbage tourney

First State Bank of Wyoming’s annual event draws 42

 

First State Bank of Wyoming loan officer Wayne Houle presents Hank Houle with the first-place trophy in the 18th annual cribbage tournament sponsored by the bank. (Photo by Cliff Buchan)

First State Bank of Wyoming loan officer Wayne Houle presents Hank Houle with the first-place trophy in the 18th annual cribbage tournament sponsored by the bank. (Photo by Cliff Buchan)

Cliff Buchan
Staff Writer

It will be a warm summer day when First State Bank of Wyoming celebrates its 100th anniversary in June. But on a cold February night, friends and customers of the bank warmed up for the celebration with a cribbage tournament.

When the dust settled on Tuesday, Feb. 4, Hank Houle, of Forest Lake, walked away with the first-place cash prize and a trophy. He was one of 42 players to turn out at the Rustic Inn in Stacy for the bank’s 18th annual cribbage tournament.

Houle, 88, who also serves on the bank’s board of directors, won six of the 10 card games and compiled 1,175 points to claim the top honor. He was 35 points shy of a perfect score of 1,210.

“I think I was the oldest player in the tournament,” Houle said, hoisting the large gold cup that symbolized the victory.

Houle nudged Chance Norby, sales manager at the Guaranteed Rate mortgage office in Forest Lake, who finished second with 1,171 points.

Tom Carney, a Forest Lake insurance agency owner who won the 2013 tournament, finished third. Randy Mattson, a Forest Lake certified public accountant and four-time tournament champion, placed well out of the medal round this year.

Each player paid a $5 entry fee with the cash purse split among the top placers.

The cribbage tournament is an annual event for the Wyoming bank. Bank loan officer Wayne Houle is tournament director. The tournament dates back nearly 40 years to Wayne Houle’s days at the former Forest Lake State Bank.

When Houle joined First State of Wyoming 18 years ago, the tournament also made its way north with Houle and has become a popular winter tradition for bank customers.

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