Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Top Players!

Canada’s Top Players.

Some time ago Andy Stark emailed me that he is writing an article on the top players of Canada. Would like me to contribute I thought it is an over bid, who can we say is the best player when on any given tournament one gets beat up by the most unlikely opponents! I immediately dismissed it out of hand.

But then yesterday Andy challenged me on Facebook to write something. How can I live it down if I turn and run. How can I ever show myself on Facebook again!

I only play with partners that I enjoy going to dinner with so they may not be household names they are my friends.

So here is my take on the Top Players in my British Columbia world, in alphabetical order :

Brad Bart : The rising star of his generation just won the 2017 CNTC in Winnipeg. Great partner, Good looker and prolific writer. If you ever need someone to work on your website he is the guy.

Guy Coutanche : Hails from Thunder Bay, winters in Victoria. Beside playing a mean game of Bridge he is also a Chess Master and Poet. Enjoys the finer things in life: his heart was broken when they closed the Bengal Lounge at The Empress. The only place on the island that knows how to make a perfect Martini. Writes for The Bridge World when the spirits moves him.

Keith Dowdall : Winters in Victoria, summers in Sioux Narrows. Victoria BC is on a small island-nowhere is more then 10 minutes away-but without his GPS he is lost! He was one of my first Bridge partners from Winnipeg. For some reason he named his first born Michael. Keith is also the reigning Pickleball Champion of Sannich BC and has a Black belt in Karate.

Les Fouks : One of the fastest player in Vancouver, that may not be a good thing as he oftentimes claim for the defence. Les and I did well in a few Blue Ribbon events together in past years.

Brian Fraser : Transplanted Montrealer when he could not stand the cold, pun intended. Loves to play seven days a week if possible. Was an accountant but don’t depend on him to keep score. Lives like a King at the Wellesley.

June Keith (Pocock) : We had a great partnership till she changed her name. Can I buy a vowel? June has her ways with words. Still nursing and not able to play as often as she would like. Has a big bridge following in town. She once went to the island to play money duplicate rubber bridge. You guessed it, after winning lots of money was told never to come back!

Joel Martineau : Retired from teaching at UBC so he could teach bridge instead. Very involved with Vancouver International Film Festival. A good cook and wine connoisseur. Master Point Press will publish his “Hand of the Week: 52 Bridge Tales” in January 2018.

Cary Salmi : A early riser from years of working at Bombardier in Thunder Bay. Another that saw the light and moved to Victoria. Strict and narrow guy-if you need an IMP player he is your man. Lately he is not the one on the team to take the drug test.

Julie Smith : One of the wiser Americans that found paradise in Vancouver. We played three events and won them all. I should have stopped but the fourth was fun. Julie was a special needs teacher who now especially needs to teach bridge and very successful at that.

Nickolas Stock : Another teacher in the group, just retired this year. Formerly a software guy. Recently taken on the thankless job of being Unit 430 Bulletin editor. Carried me to Reno for the NAP. Great and thoughtful player but sometimes I can make a three-minute egg faster then him calling for his first card.


JudyMarch 14th, 2018 at 10:24 pm

Hi Mike,

I know you are speaking of The Now Generation; and although this is totally off topic, two of the most honorable, modest, sensational Canadian superstars Sami Kehela and Eric Murray were longtime teammates of my late husband Norman Kay and Edgar Kaplan. I will always cherish my memories of them.

MichaelMarch 15th, 2018 at 10:55 pm

Yes Judy, is the characters in our Bridge world that make this game so much more enjoyable!

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