Friday, March 7, 2014

Bridge Blog 744: Shuffle off, Buffalo

Western New York Unit 116 usually dominates the District 5 master point races, particularly in the 1,000 to 2,500-point category that I’m competing in, so it comes as a surprise – wait, make that a shock – to see so few of us in the District standings for February, which were posted Thursday on the ACBL website.
In the District 5 Ace of Clubs race, for points earned only in club play, where we occupied eight of the top 10 places last year, we hold only four out of 25. In the Mini-McKenney, which counts all points earned everywhere (except online), we’re even less of a factor – just two out of 25.
So while I’ve been bemoaning my shortage of points so far this year – 15.97 overall, 12.13 in club play in two months – I’m not the only one experiencing a drought locally. It’s a city-wide phenomenon. What’s happening is that the clubs seem to have dramatically cut back on the extra-point games that they offered regularly in the past.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown. I do not appear on either of the District 5 lists in the 1,000 to 2,500 master point category. The cut-off points are 23.91 on the Mini-McKenney and 12.24 on the Ace of Clubs.
Our only people to show up on the Mini-McKenney are Fred Yellen (27.33, 19th) and Ken Meier (25.32, 23rd). The Ace of Clubs list includes Fred Yellen (21.74, fifth), Ken Meier (19.96, seventh), Gene Finton (17.38, ninth) and John Ziemer (15.71, 13 th).
Topping District 5 Ace of Clubs are James Gray of Murrysville, Pa., with 26.57; Joane D’Antonio of Sewickley, Pa., with 23.78; John Bernhard, also of Sewickley, with 22.98; and Mary Lou Naughton of Pittsburgh with 22.47.

Leading District 5 Mini-McKenney are Michael Creager of Brecksville, Ohio, with 68.58; Fleur Howard of Gates Mills, Ohio, with 51.01; and the aforementioned Pittsburgh-area players, Mary Lou Naughton with 50.68, Joane D’Antonio with 44.83 and James Gray with 40.01.
Here’s what we look like on the Unit 116 level:
Ace of Clubs: Fred Yellen, 21.74; Ken Meier, 19.96; Gene Finton, 17.38; John Ziemer, 15.71; me, 12.13; Anne Watkins, 12 even; Cathy Majewski, 11.38; Mike Silverman, 10.72; Elaine Kurasiewicz, 10.71; and Carolyn Siracuse, 10.34.
In the whole unit, only a pair of 5,000 to 7,500-point players have more points so far this year than Fred Yellen – his sometimes partner Bud Seidenberg, with 25.65, and Jerry Geiger, with 24.79. There’s also Meg Klamp, who has 40.44, but she’s in Florida.
Mini-McKenney: Fred Yellen, 27.33; Ken Meier, 25.32; David Hemmer, 23.66; Gene Finton, 23.59; Chongmin Zhang, 22.60; John Ziemer, 18.83; me, 15.97; Anne Watkins, 15.88; Gene Harvey, 14.80; and Cathy Majewski, 14.02.
In Mini-McKenney, the point counts elsewhere soar. Six players (including Meg Klamp) have more than 40 and six more have more than 30.
Nationwide, the top Ace of Club players in my division are Sanford Robbins of Miami Lakes, Fla., with 74.43, and Kenneth Wagner Jr. of Hollywood, Fla., with 60 even. The list of 100 cuts off at 31.59.
National Mini-McKenney leaders in my division are Robert Micone of Tustin, Calif., with 189.70, and John McAllister of Charlottesville, Va., with 163.71. This list of 100 stops at 68.29.

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