Elaine Mulcahy, Board Secretary, shared Unit 103's Board minutes from their April meeting, held in Rochester during their recent sectional. They are posted below.
Special thanks to Sue Jackson and Patti Stuhlman for finding a fine replacement site for the upcoming Gopher Regional. Their rapid and well researched response "saved the day"!
We also appreciated commentary that Elaine included when she emailed her minutes:
I am a fairly new player and after reading the Blog, I get excited about this terrific game called "Bridge"! I am super excited for the achievements of our very own MN bridge players. Actually, my mind cannot comprehend how one can accumulate 10,000 points! It is sooooo over the top in my mind! Great job to all these winners!
Elaine, it is rather amazing how a player - John Koch to be specific - can do so very well. Especially when John has been a practicing attorney so many years!
We are so glad that Elaine enjoys MNBridge! We hope it continues to be a useful resource for bridge players throughout Minnesota, and beyond!
Bridge players are competitive beings. We not only love to do well and win when we can - we love to earn masterpoints! And - along with masterpoints, we can rise in ACBL rankings. From Rookie, with a maximum of 5 masterpoints, on to levels such as Regional Master, Life Master, along with different Life Master rankings (Bronze, Silver, Gold and so forth) - we love to go higher and higher.
Eventually, the highest rank available is achieved by a very few: Grand Life Master. What must a player do to earn this title? The ACBL explains:
It requires 10,000 Masterpoints and one victory in a North American Bridge Championship with no upper Masterpoint restriction or an Open Team Trials (includes CNTC) or its equivalent or a Women’s Team Trials (includes CWTC) or its equivalent or any of the following WBF events: Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, Rosenblum Cup, McConnell Cup, Open Pairs, Women’s Pairs, Olympiad, Women’s Team Olympiad, WBF Senior Pairs event, WBF World Swiss Teams, WBF World Mixed Teams, and WBF Senior Teams.
How tough is it to achieve this? To start, only .40% of ACBL members ever earn 10,000 points or more. So - already, we are at a very lofty bar. Add in the requirement of a non-restricted NABC Championship, Team Trial or certain World Bridge Federation events, and you cut the class to only .20% of the ACBL.
Now, we are most proud to announce that this elite ACBL class has a new member: John Koch.
If you play bridge in Minnesota, the odds are high that you know John Koch. John serves on Unit 103's Board of Directors. He competes at various levels of play - most of the time, quite successfully! And, many of us have enjoyed John's superb writing and bridge analysis in his "Koch Korner" columns. In "real life," John is a successful attorney, great husband and dad.
Many of us, including your MN Bridge webmaster, have been fortunate to either partner John or reap the rewards of having him as a teammate. John is unfailingly competitive, insightful, pleasant, friendly and highly ethical at the table.
I will stop, however, with my own accolades about John. I could go on and on; John deserves so much praise!
Instead, allow me to share John's own words about his path to Grand Life Master. But before I present his story below, one more caveat. John is too humble! Believe me, someone who knows.... John is someone who never disappoints, as a partner or a teammate - or a friend.
Congratulations, John Koch! We salute you as Minnesota's second Grand Life Master - and as only one of seven in District 14! Very well done!
At the top of the list, earning 43.01 masterpoints each, we find Paolo Ranaldi and John Koch. A pair from Dubuque, Mark Patton and Joseph Pieper, snagged the 3rd/4th spots with just under 31 masterpoints. Terry and Kathy Beckman earned a hair under 30.
Terry also informs me that one of his regular partners, John Koch, is drawing ever nearer to the 10,000 masterpoint total. Since John is a national winner (Senior Knockout Teams) - when John crosses this milestone number, he will become a Grand Life Master! We greatly look forward to that day; at the speed with which John is earning lotsa points, 10K will arrive soon!
Our thanks to Tournament Chair Barbara Wijdicks, tournament director Tony Ames - and all the volunteers who contributed to this fun tournament!
As many of you have heard, our site for the Gopher Regional for many years shall soon be no more. Which means that the Ramada by Mall of America is history for our 2016 site.
But - good news! We have just learned that the lovely Sheraton Minneapolis West, situated in Minnetonka, just east of Ridgedale, shall be the site for the Gopher this year. When you're not competing, plenty of restaurants and shopping are available, a great place to stay - and convenient to major roads and highways.
Our schedule with our new site is below. See you at the Gopher in Minnetonka!
Occasionally, one hears a bridge story that puts a smile on your face. Bill Voedisch shares a cute one from Reno.
Denny Cerkvenik and I played in a 1 session Swiss. We were in A/X/Y with a pick up pair. Our teammates were a fellow with 3500 points and a lady with 350 points who had never played together before. In ten minutes, they filled out a card and headed for the table!
But - here's the cute part of the story. Also in our event was a six person team. The team included Mike Passell, Chris Compton and Marc Jacobus. Their team must have had at least 150,000 master points!
They won 1 of their 4 matches, and earned .25 master points.
Unit 178 would like to hold a charity game and fundraiser for a worthwhile, local organization. We invite our unit members to suggest their favorite charity as this year's recipient.
Your proposal should include your name, the name of a 501c(3) qualified charity, plus a brief explanation of the worthiness of the charity. Also, a willingness of charity representatives to attend the event and your willingness to chair the event with the 178's board as your committee should be included.
Please submit proposals to Linda Brammar at email@example.com!
An alert reader sent an inquiry to MN Bridge about this news story. It is true; the Ramada, previously the Thunderbird, has been sold and will be demolished. Though it was to be the site for the Gopher Regional 2016, a new venue will be where the Gopher shall be held instead.
Co-Chairman Patti Stuhlman has been in contact with the Ramada. As soon as she knows to what location the Gopher shall be rescheduled, it will be reported here at MN Bridge.
Please help us spread the word! Let your partners, teammates and friends know that this change is in the works. We will alert all as soon as the information is available!
You are invited to attend the Ace of Clubs and Mini McKenney Unit 103 Awards Celebration!
The board of Unit 103 would like to congratulate and celebrate all of our players who achieved excellence in their 2015 performance.
Lunch will be served at 1PM on Saturday, April 23rd. Awards will be presented after our meal, with a pairs game to follow. The event and game will be held at the Bridge Center of St. Paul: 2603 6th Avenue, North St. Paul.
We invite all to play in the pairs game. Award winners play free of charge; $6 entry fee for everyone else.
We look forward to seeing everyone at this special celebration! Please RSVP by April 10th: 651.490.5430.
Along with spring weather, Minnesota bridge players enjoyed a fun filled weekend of tournament bridge the first weekend in March. At the top of the leader list, we find Michael Lee Howland and Kerry Holloway, raking in a most respectable 23.81 masterpoints. Well done! Also earning over 20 masterpoints was Harry Sapienza. All results for each event can be viewed here.
As always, our thanks to our excellent directors, Tony Ames and ever present assistant Larry Oakey. And thanks to hostess and tournament chairman Teri Blu.