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Letter from the USA Buffett Cup Team

The following was written by the members of the 2012 US Buffett Cup team, in response to the comments they have seen on our site:

We are part of the U.S. contingent in Omaha. We are chagrined to read the negative posts about the organization of the event. The playing area and the local hospitality have been superb. The organizers, captains, players and the director have worked overtime to accommodate scheduling conflicts. BBO presentation has been spotty, but realize that the locals have never put on such a show before. They are inexperienced and, unlike at nationals, are unpaid volunteers. They are improving each match. BBO is not a birthright, and the viewers should not be carping when there are occasional glitches.

All the players are donating our time. We are playing for the future of bridge, the game we love. To ask players to break commitments they have made to play is unreasonable. Bridge professionals are entitled to earn a living. We are not like the Ryder Cup golfers, each of them with big dollar endorsements. Beyond that, both teams are stocked with excellent players, and there are many of the world's top pairs.

The spirit of the competition is most important. Winning isn't everything, we are in it for the camaraderie. When the opposition makes a good play, we congratulate them on their skill. Sure, we would all like to win, but good sportsmanship is paramount. One cannot get a feel of the event from a computer. We play without screens to make it easier for the local players to watch. There is no hint of any improprieties. When a director is called, most likely it is one of those infernal scoring machines acting up. There has never been an appeals committee in the history of the Buffett Cup.

So complain if you will, but speaking for the American contingent (and from what we hear the Europeans too) we are delighted to be here, delighted to be playing in the event, and look forward to playing many more Buffett Cups.


David Berkowitz
Alan Sontag
Brad Moss
Joe Grue
Joel Wooldridge
John Hurd
Bob Hamman
Justin Lall
Curtis Cheek
Marc Jacobus
Jenny Wolpert
Jill Levin

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