Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Bargain hunting for Masterpoints.

Some play this game we call bridge for fun. Some play bridge for ACBL Masterpoints. When times were good nobody cares how much the card fees cost, but now that we are in the middle of a recession, all of a sudden there is a limit to how many bridge tournaments one can afford to attend. Everybody is looking for the best bang for the buck.

Last week I came across the best bargain priced Regional tournament in the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

One can play all week, from Tuesday to Sunday a total of 16 sessions for only $160 Canadian. That is $10 per session! It was even cheaper if one played on six person team. There is more good news. Another step in the right direction, players under 50 Master points play free on Tuesday and there is a discount for all the 199er events and Junior players.

Besides all the bridge you can play, you also get a free meal everyday if you decided to part take. On Wednesday lunch was lasagna, Thursday dinner was lemon chicken, Friday lunch was soup and sandwiches, Saturday lunch was quiche or pasta, Sunday we had pizza. Tea and coffee were served with the meals, fine hospitality.

Another innovative idea was their stating times. Morning sessions started at a civilized 10 am for people like me who enjoy their sleep. Then play resumed at 2 PM and evening sessions started 7.30 PM to leave enough time for socializing afterwards.

What is the price for a hotel room you may ask? Room rate at the playing site, The Marlborough Hotel, is $78 Canadian. I rented a car for $140 for the week and parking for the day is $8.50. Drinks are so cheap even Jonathan Steinberg bought a round.

As I didn’t make up my mind to go to the tournament until the last minute, the partnership chair of Marielle Brentnall and Deloris Ankrom plus others tried their best to line me up with partners.

Thanks to their efforts, the team I played on with Bill and Sue Treble, Brian Pauls and Ray Hornby won the first KO. Playing with G Sekhar, Robert Kuz and Barry Senensky, we came second in the morning KO. Playing with David Brough, Kuz and Senensky, we placed 5th-7th overall in Thursday Swiss. Playing with Ken Sired, Al Mowat and Kai Cheng, we came second in the Sunday Swiss. Not bad for a guy that just dropped in for a visit with no partners.

The tournament committee headed by Marlene Pontifex, Sue Treble and their committees of volunteers did a wonderful job.  A good time was had by all. I know I will be back to this tournament next year.

If you are interested playing in their next Regional 13th to 18th April 2010, check out www.bridgemanitoba.org


Local expert players David Sired playing with G Sekhar bid the following hand rather well in the Sunday Swiss.

North dealer. Both sides vulnerable. 



G Sekhar



♠ KQJ865











♠ A102


♠ 943








David Sired



♠ 7









♣ 98654


















   pass    pass    pass  


When Sekhar bid three diamonds after West doubled three clubs, David Sired deduced that partner has length in spades and diamonds. He made a good bid by jumping to the cold four spade game, earning his side a game swing.


Chris HasneyApril 30th, 2009 at 12:15 am

That IS reasonable. Curiously, at a recent sectional I asked one of the directors about event attendance, and she said it is UP recently. Go figure. The problem I have is that the room looks like the rec center for the assisted living village, complete with walkers, O2 canisters, canes, and the like. Yuck, especially since I now look (and walk and feel) like I belong there!

We have to redouble our efforts with the young in North America, especially the U.S., or in ten years we will be in serious trouble, despite efforts to keep people coming to tournaments with increased Life Master requirements, new categories (Grand Life Master etc.), and new races (Sectional, Mini-McKinney, etc.). I’m not seeing anything to convince me that we’ve got a new crop coming up.

jude macgowanApril 30th, 2009 at 3:36 am

Winnipeg is a marvelous examle of what all regionals should be – fun, friendly and festive, as by the way, most sectionals are. Jude

BushedApril 30th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

You capture the serendipitous effect of being delighted by the generosity of spirit displayed by the tournament organizers.

Marielle BrentnallMay 1st, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Thanks for the nice comments Mike. We certainly appreciate all the support we can get. It was nice to see more out of towners at our tournament this year.

Deloris AnkromMay 1st, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Thank you for all the nice comments about our tournament Mike. With support like that it will help to improve our tournament next year and we will be trying!

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