Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bridge Blog 890: Flowering and wilting

The month of May started off merrily with a streak – a 59.23% game with Helen Panza, first overall for 2.48 points; a 54.76% with Barbara Sadkin, second overall, first in B for 1.53 points; 55% with Eva Schmidt, third overall, first in B for 1.64 points.
It didn’t stop there. In St. Catharines on Friday the 6th, Selina Volpatti and I were sixth overall with 56.88% and earned 0.47 of a silver point, that being STaC week over there. The next day I played the American Bridge Association tournament Swiss team game at the Airport Bridge Club and our team won four rounds, which may or may not have counted for ACBL points.
My luck extended into the second week – a 53.24% with Nadine Stein, first in B, 1.26 points; a 58.29% with Helen Panza, third overall, 1.56 points; a tie for first with Barb Sadkin in a home-style pairs game, another 0.30 of a point; a 53.57% with Selina in St. Catharines on Friday the 13th, fifth overall, 0.32 of a point; a 50.93% with Ron Henrikson the next day, tied for second in B, 1.21 points.
The third week, however, broke my spell. Three games out of the running (deeply out of the running). The only bright spot was a miracle of stratification on Tuesday with Marilyn Sultz, in which a 50% game made us second in B in our direction and yielded 0.68 of a point. Then I was gone for a week, off to New York City to visit the in-laws. No duplicate bridge for me there, just toll bridges.

Having leaped into prominence among the Unit 116 Ruby Life Masters in last month’s ACBL tally of master point races, I was wondering if I can keep up the pace. Total so far this month is 11.39. So maybe. But maybe not. I haven't played in a week and Memorial Day weekend activities are threatening to continue keeping me away from the tables.    

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bridge Blog 889: Eventual April

Just like the April weather – rain, cold, even a snowflake or two last Sunday – has been lingering into May, I too have been lingering on my April roundup. Malingering, even. Those figures from the ACBL monthly master point tallies have been out for more than two weeks now. I need to take a look.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear but my name in second place amongst the Ruby Life Masters (1,500 to 2,500 points) in the Unit 116 (Buffalo only) Ace of Clubs (points earned in clubs only) competition. My club total for the first four months of the year stands/stood at 45.55, runner-up only to David Millward, who’s been down in Florida all this time accumulating 58.44 points. And here we thought that all he wanted to play was golf.
The rest of the top 10 in Unit 116 Ace of Clubs looks like this: Gene Finton (also in Florida until just recently, now he’s listed as living in Getzville), 43.74; Mike Silverman, 43.09 (last month’s leader – that long vacation stunted his progress); Ken Meier, 40.31; Bill Finkelstein, 35.47; Allen Beroza, 33.95; Vince Pesce, 26 even; Fred Yellen, 23.72; and Chuck Schorr, 21.99.
Among all Unit 116 players, I’m fifth. Meg Klamp (now listed with a Buffalo hometown although we haven’t seen her here yet) is tops with 70.36. David Millward is second. Jerry Geiger is next with 49.12, followed by John Welte, 45.80; me, 45.55; Martha Welte, 44.85; Gene Finton, 43.74; Judi Marshall, 43.20; Mike Silverman, 43.09; and Martin Pieterse, 42.61.
A tightly packed bunch, I’d say, especially when you add Liz Clark, 41.92; John Ziemer, 41.72; Ron Henrikson, 40.56; Ken Meier, 40.31; and Bill Boardman, 39.62. I’m up 15.55 from my 30-even total at the end of March, thanks no doubt to the belated addition of those 5 points Judie Bailey and I earned in senior pairs back in the beginning of March. Without those 5 points, I wouldn’t even be in the Top 10.
OK, onward to the Mini-McKenney races, which count all points earned everywhere. Here I’m third with 51.03 points. Tops is David Hemmer with 95.55 – clearly a monster at the tournaments. Next is the invisible (to us so far) David Millward with 72.62.
After me, there’s Ken Meier, 46.22; Mike Silverman, 43.87; Gene Finton, 43.74; Allen Beroza, 41.74; Fred Yellen, 40.17; Bill Finkelstein, 35.47; and Chongmin Zhang, 29.10.
On the Unit 116 overall Mini McKenney list, however, I’m a distant 24th. Top dog here is Saleh Fetouh (who else?) with 271.49, followed by Mike Ryan, 109.90; Meg Klamp, 104.97; John Welte, 96.72; Martha Welte, 95.77; David Hemmer, 95.55; Davis Heussler, 90.78; Dian Petrov, 89.95; Tom Koralewski, 89.58; and Ron Henrikson, 82.17.
Moving along to Ace of Clubs races for District 5 (Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh), I’m third among the Ruby Life Masters, with Allen Selling of Erie, Pa., slipping into second place between David Millward and me with 46.51. Unit 116 players occupy five of the top 10 slots here and eight of the top 25. I’m 27th among all players in the district. David Millward is fourth. Leader there is Meg Klamp.
In the District 5 Mini-McKenney race, I’m 20th among the Ruby Life Masters. The leader is Sue Lan Ma of Kirtland Hills, Ohio, with 147.70. Next is Charles Ladiha of Vermilion, Ohio, with 104.37, then David Hemmer’s 95.55; followed by Peter Merker of Mentor, Ohio, with 92.84; and Barry Boyd of Wheeling, W. Va., with 88.78. David Millward is 11th.
In the overall District 5 Mini-McKenney, Sue Lan Ma is 10th, David Hemmer is 32nd and I’m 133rd. On top is good old Reanette Frobouck from Pittsburgh with 300.19, followed by our own Saleh Fetouh not so far behind with 271.49, Don and Kathleen Sulgrove of Twinsburg, Ohio, with 191.10 and 190.81, respectively; and Philip Becker of Beechwood, Ohio, with 179.17.
Do I register among the 500 names on the national Ruby Life Master roster? Hey, I do. Tied for 414th with Marshall Mah of Spokane, Wash. David Millward is 146th.
National Ruby leader is Edward Rauch of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., over the century mark with 105.80, followed by Jill Fouad of New Canaan, Conn., with 101.72; Fernando Teson of Tallahassee, Fla., with 101.61; and Ariel Liebovitz of Houston, Texas, with 100.49.
Among all the Ace of Clubbers nationally, the cut-off point is 70.29 points. Of all of us Unit 116 players, only Meg Klamp makes the cut. She’s 498th.
And the national Mini-McKenney? You need to be a triple centenarian to top the Ruby Life Master list. Leaders there are Oren Kriegel of Chicago with 349.86; Mary Jane and Michael Gladfelter of Columbus, Ohio, tied with 339.26; and Cookie Potter of Boca Grande, Fla., with 301.66. District 5 leader Sue Lan Ma is 51st. Unit 116 leader David Hemmer is 234th. And he’s the only Unit 116 representative. The list stops at 74.66 points.

Among all players nationally, the top dogs are over 1,000 points so far and there’s just two of them – Kevin Dwyer of Melbourne, Fla., with 1,061.03, and Chris Compton of Dallas, Texas, with 1,001.05. Not far away is the legendary Jeff Meckstroth. He’s third with 943.51. District 5 leader Reanette Frobouck is 130th. Unit 116’s only representative is Saleh Fetouh. He’s 166th. The list stops at 172.77 points. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bridge Blog 888: Hot and Cold

I’m off to a roaring start in May. Two games. A first and a second-place finish. Thanks to the extra point awards at the Airport Bridge Club, I’ve collected 4 and a fraction master points already.
Seems to me, though, that April started the same way. I was leading the club’s monthly master point race after the first week or so, but then got waylaid by some terrible 30% games and a health crisis on the home front, which had me attending to my significant other through a series of doctor appointments and a surgical date. I missed the final five days of the month.

In the end, I finished somewhere around ninth in the club’s master point derby for April with 10.55. Plus it looks like the ACBL has finally gotten around to awarding the points from that Senior Game back in the beginning of March, where Judie Bailey and I were second in the district. Will that be enough to maintain my position(s) when the ACBL posts the monthly Unit 116 and District 5 master point totals? We’ll see later this week.