Saturday, April 16, 2016

Bridge Blog 887: Spring Sectional Roundup

Aside from passing the 2,000-point milestone with my paltry 0.58 points last Sunday, I was among the stragglers in the master point derby at the Buffalo Spring Sectional. I was there only one day, due to the health concerns of my other half, and that 0.58 was all I got. In all 158 players earned points. I was in an 11-way tie for 134th.
        Topping the list was Jay Costello, with 20.16 points. Remarkably, very few of them came from the Sunday Swiss team game, which is usually where the tournament leaders fatten up their point totals. He cleaned up in the two-session pairs games – an even 8 points on Friday for coming in second with Bud Seidenberg (third overall with 14.51), an even 11 points on Saturday for a first-place finish with his wife, Donna Steffan (fifth overall with 12.75).
        Second was perennial winner Saleh Fetouh with 17.17, only 3.21 from Swiss teams. One of his Swiss teammates, David Hemmer, was fourth with 13.87.
        What happened in the Swiss teams? The usual local suspects got shut down. Out-of-towners, a foursome from the Rochester area, took first place. A Canadian collection of players finished fourth.
Second was a group of local dark horses – Sue Neubacker, Dian Petrov, Eva Schmidt and Bob Padgug. And third were John and Martha Welte (tied for seventh overall with 10.42 points), in league with Linda Burroughsford and Tom Koralewski.
Was this tournament really tied for most successful (i.e., best attended), as Betty Metz announced. Or was it just the Swiss team game she was talking about? A check of tournament archives for the past couple years suggests it was more or less a return to normal.
This year 158 players earned points. There were 25 tables in Swiss teams, which is pretty darn good. And 156 total tables.  
Winter 2016 – 137 players earning points. 23 tables in Swiss teams. 136 total tables.
Fall 2015 – 149 players earning points. Just 16 Swiss team tables. 139 total tables.
Spring 2015 – 147 players earning points. 23 Swiss team tables. 145 total tables.
Winter 2015 – 162 players earning points. 23 Swiss team tables. 156 total tables.
Fall 2014 – 163 players earning points. 25 Swiss team tables. 164 total tables.
Spring 2014 – 174 players earning points. 25 Swiss team tables. 157 total tables.

Winter 2014 – 142 players earning points. 23 Swiss team tables. 132 total tables. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bridge Blog 886: Don't look now, but ...

         I just passed the magic 2,000 master point mark. According to the ACBL, as of March 31, my career total stood at 1,994.15. So far in April, there have been extra point games at the Airport Bridge Club and I’ve collected a few.
        April 1 with Dottie May, 57.28%, tied for first, 1.79 points.
        April 2 with Ron Henrikson, 48.44%, first in C through the miracle of stratification, 1.10 points.
        April 4 with Usha Khurana, 47.22%, third in B, another miracle, 0.98 point.
        April 5 with Barbara Sadkin, 56.25%, second in A North-south, 1.58 point.
        April 7 with Judie Bailey, 44.58%, no miracles, no points.
        That’s 5.45 club points, plus 1,994.15 = 1,999.60.

        So it actually finally happened in today’s Swiss team game in the sectional tournament. Hallelujah! Those two winning rounds for 0.58 points were just enough put me over the threshold. 

Bridge Blog 885: Out like a lamb

        What with the press of work and my significant other’s health crisis, I needed this Sunday night off to finally get a belated look at the ACBL master point races, which were updated to the end of March in the middle of last week. So how do I measure up against the rest of the bridge world at the finish of the first quarter? Let’s see.
        Unit 116 (Buffalo only). Ace of Clubs. Club play only. I have 30 points even, good for fourth place among Ruby Life Masters (1,500 to 2,500 points) and ninth among all players in the unit. Here are the leaders:
        Mike Silverman, 39.14 (second among all players in the unit); Gene Finton (who’s listed with a hometown of Delray Beach, Fla.), 33.04; Ken Meier, 31.02; me, 30; Bill Finkelstein, 25.47; Allen Beroza, 24.77; Fred Yellen, 23.72; Vince Pesce, 16.87; Chuck Schorr, 14.08; Anne Watkins, 13.50; Sue Bergman, 12.29; and Claire Gareleck, 11.77.
        Among all Unit 116 players, it’s an interesting leaderboard.  It looks like this:
        Meg Klamp, 52.63 (with a Fort Myers, Fla., hometown – she hasn’t come north yet this year); Mike Silverman, 39.14; Gene Finton, 33.04; John Ziemer, 32.82; Mike Ryan, 32.26; Ken Meier, 31.02; Martin Pieterse and Liz Clark, tied with 30.03; me with 30; Judy Padgug, 28.89; Jerry Geiger, 28.26; Ron Henrikson, 28.14; Bill Boardman, 28.12; Judi Marshall, 27.79; and John Welte, 27.29 (ahead of wife Martha, who’s 16th with 26.34).
        Unit 116 Mini-McKenney. All points earned everywhere. My grand total for the year so far is 34.90, good for fourth on this list of Ruby Life Masters, too, and 22nd among all local players. Here are the leaders:
        David Hemmer, 48.95; Fred Yellen, 40.17; Mike Silverman, 39.92; me, 34.90; Ken Meier, 33.36; Gene Finton, 33.04 (no tournaments down there in Florida, eh?); Allen Beroza, 32.56; Bill Finkelstein, 25.47; Sharon Gerstman, 21.61; Art Morth, 18.84.
        Among all Unit 116 players, the leader is Saleh Fetouh with a pretty amazing 173.99. Meg Klamp is next with 87.24, followed by John Welte (enhanced by his good showing in the Toronto Regional) with 67.79; Jay Levy, 67.39; Martha Welte, 66.84; Mike Ryan, 64.34; Ron Henrikson, 59.15; Davis Heussler, 56.56; Linda Burroughsford, 55.37; and David Hemmer, 48.95 (no club play for him).
        District 5 (Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh). Ace of Clubs. Ruby Life Masters. I’m eighth, 39th among all players in the district. Unit 116 players take half of the top ten positions. Mike Silverman leads the list and is seventh overall. Gene Finton is third. Ken Meier is seventh. Bill Finkelstein is tenth.
        Overall Ace of Clubs leaders are Patricia Katz of Pittsburgh, 61.27; Richard Katz of North Versailles, Pa., 55.32; W. Tordella of Bemus Point, N.Y., 53.68; then Meg Klamp. Former Buffalonian Bev Cohen, now a Clevelander, is tenth with 37.97.
        District 5 Mini-McKenney. Leading the Ruby Life Masters are Sue Lan Ma of Kirtland Hills, Ohio, with 89.79; Barry Boyd, Wheeling, W.VA., 84.59; Jean Picone, Pittsburgh, 68.09; Harvey Cohen, Winter Haven, Fla., 61.83; and Chantal Whitney, Shaker Heights, Ohio, 53.38. David Hemmer is seventh. Fred Yellen is 12th. I’m 106th.
        Overall leader is good old Reanette Frobouck from Pittsburgh with 285.69. Saleh Fetouh is second. Ohio players fill out the rest of the top 10. Meg Klamp is 17th.
        Nationwide? I don’t make the Ace of Clubs Top 500 for Ruby Life Masters. It cuts off at 31.97. Top dog here is Ed Rauch of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with 80.69; followed by Babs Dippell of Bay Harbor, Fla., with 76.49; and Michael Rosen of Freehold, N.J., with 76.44. Six other players have more than 70 club points. Mike Silverman is 232nd.  
        Ace of Clubs nationwide? Topping all players is Bill Kulbersh of Atlanta with 199.31 (wow!). Then Sean Ganness of Miami, 145.74. And Bella Ionis-Sorren of Fort Lauderdale, 143.52. In all, 21 players have more than 100 club points.
        Mini-McKenney nationwide? Tops among Ruby Life Masters are Mary Jane and Michael Gladfelter of Columbus, Ohio, both with 239.96; followed by Oren Kriegel of Chicago with 227.65; Cookie Potter of Boca Grande, Fla., with 225.33; and Joan Cremin of Paradise Valley, Ariz., with 220.65. District 5 leader Sue Lan Ma is 122nd. No Unit 116 players on this list, which ends at 57.61.

        Among all players, it’s Kevin Dwyer of Melbourne, Fla., with 863.45, which will give him 3,400-plus if he keeps up the pace all year. Next is a familiar face, Jeff Meckstroth of Clearwater Beach, Fla., with 841.38. Then it’s Chris Compton of Dallas with 820.89. District 5 leader Reanette Frobouck is 92nd. Unit 116 leader Saleh Fetouh is 285th. 

Bridge Blog 884: Buffalo Spring Sectional

        I just got a call from my Monday partner. She didn’t see me in the Main-Transit Fire Hall Friday or Saturday and she was wondering if I’m OK. I am, I assured her (as I assured several folks at the tournament during the Swiss team finale on Sunday, when I finally showed up), but I had to accompany Monica to Roswell Park Cancer Institute on Friday to talk with a breast cancer surgeon. And Saturday? Well, she guilt-tripped me into canceling out.
        That was just as well. It would have been hard to justify spending another day (or two) playing as poorly as Judie Bailey and I did on Sunday in our return engagement with Bob Sommerstein and Larry Abate. In the first two rounds, which we lost by margins of 34-1 and 37-16 International Match Points, we stumbled repeatedly into disastrous 3 No Trump contracts.
        Happily, we emerged from our funk to capture the next two rounds – defeating the father-genius 10-year-old son pair and our good friends Betty Metz and Helen Panza. We enhanced our victorious spirits during the lunch break with thoughts of how we could still take home extra master points by winning the last three rounds.
        That dream faded quickly. We might have beaten the Chip Kean-Jim McClure team if they hadn’t beaten Judie on a 3 NT contract that their teammates were able to consummate with an overtrick. Nothing, however, could have turned the tide in a 36-0 drubbing at the hands of the Kozower-Kaprove team. And our teammates zigged on slams in the final round when they should have zagged, overbidding to slam on one hand that wouldn’t make it, underbidding on the one that would – setting us back 24 IMPs in a game we lost 28-17.
        Nevertheless, this day of Swiss team play wasn’t a total loss. Our two winning rounds were worth 0.29 of a silver point apiece.
        Random notes: Betty Metz announced in her welcoming remarks that this was a record-tying turnout for Swiss teams – 25 foursomes. Winners, best as I could determine, were a group of out-of-towners.

        Director Brian Meyer, setting a time after which he would not allow players to begin a new hand, got the game over by 5 p.m. by maintaining 50-minute rounds (although tables were being folded up all round Judie and me as we finished a dismally slow final round against Jan and Carl Hasselback). Brian also broke in yet another family member as a caddie – his 11-year-old son, Jackson.