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Bridge is Strange

Further adventures from the Twilight Zone .... uh the Desert Empire Regional in Scottsdale.  

The day after finishing second in a Bracket 1 KO as recounted in http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/jdonn-insisted-i-post-this/

I played the A/X (and now Y, where the hell did that come from) Swiss.  My new partner was a previous teammate while my wife (yesterdays partner) joined another team.  Our new teammates increased total MP holding from about 10,000 to about 14,000 but the overall ability is pretty much the same.  The format was 6 - 8 board matches as the ACBL "economizes".  24 boards each in afternoon and evening sessions.  Attendance is WAY down with only 21 teams in AX.

The first round started with a bang.  Unfortunately it was our bubble bursting.   A strong but not top team allowed us (just barely) 1 VP.  Cry

 

Partner and I trudged to our new assignment to find the North Seat occupied by .....  Eddie Wold.  I looked at Jim and he looked at me.  The same thought ran through our minds.  We obviously got the table number wrong.  A quick glance at the corresponding section showed our teammates sitting down with two other members of the Levine team, so we sat down.  I just managed to restrain myself from bursting out with "What the hell are you doing playing against us?"  The second round went 400% better than the first so we took our magnificent 6 VP total to the Round Robin ( also known as the Home for Bridge Underachievers).

Our first opponents were my wife's teammates.  Since our RR was going across the dinner break, we played only 4 boards against each opponent before comparing and heading out to eat, then repeating after the break.  Our other opponent was a much stronger team similarly fallen on hard times and whose mood matched ours.  We had decent results against both and headed to dinner up 13 against my wife and 8 or so against the others.  Among the others was a sometime poster on this site who shall remain nameless.  

My wife, her partner, Jim and I headed off site for happy hour at one of our favorite restaurants and decided that a half price bottle of wine was in order.  The general consensus was "What the hell".  Happy hour was indeed happy and we tried to stay away from all the moaning and groaning that our results to date merited.  Not that we were successful in that but at least we tried.

Upon our return, our improved play continued and we earned two useful if hardly overwhelming wins.  We were still sunk pretty deep but we could at least spot average in the distance with 2 rounds to play.

You know that old chestnut about losing your first match and then cleaning up on the weaker teams?  Well except for the "others" where we obviously had the benefit of their off day, we followed the prescription perfectly.  We closed with 62 from our last 4 matches to take 6th for the last scratch in A and 1st in AX.  No one was more surprised than we were.

That team that beat us up in the first round?  They ended up dead average.

The Levine team (with Wold, Lall, Bathurst, Passel and Donn) was even more successful at turning dross into gold than we were.  They ended up third, 2 VP behind the joint winners.  Of course they got the benefit of playing US, while we had to play THEM in the second round.  If this ever happens again I am going to demand that they have to play THEM, while we get to play US.  It would be a lot more fair.

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