Friday, October 28, 2011

Bridge in Ventura

The short version: Tom and I played a lot of bridge!

Longer version: THB visits his parental unit in LA and they squeeze in a visit to Tavern for pastries, a tremendous bakery (and good dinners as well), see pics. THB then slides up the coast about an hour for four days of bridge in the scuzzy part of Ventura (about a mile south of the main pier and downtown).

On the first day, Tom asks someone he knows if he would like to partner with us in a team game...Billy agrees and finds Ginnie (they are "B" level players with 20 times the number of master points THB and Tom) and so on Monday night we enter in a knock-out (their master point level puts us in a medium challenging bracket). The first round is a round-robin and we beat one team and lose to another, so we get to move on to the next round (loser of two matches in the round-robin is knocked out).

Next round: we win comfortably, then we win again comfortably in the third round and we make the finals, against the team that beat us in the first round round-robin. This time it is different: you compare scores at the half-way point, we have build a huge lead, and they decide to concede instead of playing the last 12 hands... we win...DAMN!

The pic is typical of the winning team: Tom, Billy, Ginnie, and THB showing classic bridge tournament wear.

Semi-downhill from there, we play in another team game (Swiss) in two consecutive days in the evening sessions, and this time there are very few teams entered, so we get to play all the other teams. Almost all of the teams are "A" players...sort of like a pick-up game where the locals get to play against Kobe and Shaq, then move on to take on Dirk and Jason, followed by Michael and Scotty...and then maybe a local team. Made for quite a lesson.

THB's highlight: misplaying a doubled slam against a top pair (one of the guys is a famous bridge author). They make a mistake and THB doesn't take full advantage, missing his chance of eternal glory. Tom's highlight: making a great bid and then watching THB misplay it!

We also play in some pair events, do okay in our category, "C"...overall, it is a lot of bridge!!