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All comments by Bobby Levin
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Hi Raghu-I do not think I am a fast player. What I am is a very slow trick 1 player, and then a fast player. Using this tempo has saved me many, many careless and stupid mistakes over the years, and has prevented me from being in ethically complicated situations as well. It also allows my partner time to be properly ready for the hand and improves their tempo throughout the hand. I have always felt the rules of bridge should change and there should be a mandatory 20 second pause between the time the declarer calls from the dummy and the time 3rd hand plays.
April 10, 2014
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Not getting the Gold Medal in the open pairs in Verona.
April 10, 2014
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Tx Ron, I always wanted to be Daniel Boone when I was young-I guess I'll settle for just Daniel.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Alan–I had no choice but to bid 7s. I had psyched in my opinion when rho bid 4h and I didn't bid 5h getting partner into the game-I thought that was the right thing to do because there was gonna be a lot bidding from here and I obviously thought the opening lead would be crucial. I was at a huge disadvantage on defense having bid this way.I think when I bid 6s/5s wee were now in a force although there are always gonna be layouts where they make 7d, especially if we lead wrong. With the imp scale you are more inclined to pay them if they are actually making 7d whereas if I were playing rubber bridge in the old days with no money in my pocket I would always be taking our insurance and bidding 7s in these situations.
What lead me to leave business is a very long story that reflects so poorly on others that it best be laid to rest. I can honestly tell you a day doesn't go by that I don't appreciate the life I have.
As far as a favorite convention-if there was something I really liked Steve would play it with me as would I with him. I'm sorry thats such a lame answer but it is what it is. I don't play that much with other people so maybe thats the reason I don't have a wandering eye for conventions.
April 10, 2014
Bobby Levin edited this comment April 10, 2014
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Hi Kevin-honestly, because I am a dinosaur of sorts and have been playing standard(even Roth-Stonish for years) all my life and have always felt more comfortable not opening rediculous hands which precison lends itself towards.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Gerben-The secret for me is easy–the format is always terrible-you play 3 boards then go outside and listen to everyone with all their great results making your results seem terrible. I remember some year playing 2c great to go down 1 and listening to Brad Moss going plus 3400 or something like that and feeling like wtf. At some point early on we agreed that during this constant 10 minute break we would just walk away from the crowd, relax, smoke of course, and maintain our focus almost always without talking to each other. This help us preserve a lot of our energy through a long and grueling event. My favorite hand? I cant remember the details of the hand but Steve and I had done a lot of work before one particular Cavendish and we decided that one of our weaknesses was instead of doing what we thought was right in the bidding we were putting too much pressure on partner to make the last decison. So our new philosophy was to man up when it looks right. The first round of the event we started against zia-hamman and on the 2nd board I just leaped to slam instead of dicking around. I claimed 1430 for a huge pickup and we never looked back in the event. I felt good about practicing what I had preached.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Matias-now we getting down to the nitty gritty.Its questions like this that motivated me to be in the Well today. I would say I have wanted to liquidate Steve somewhere very close to infinity. I'm sure his answer would be the same, except he has probably spent more time thinking about HOW he would like to kill me whereas I just think about snapping his neck and moving on. Win a fight to the death? I don't really think either one of us would actually kill the other not that the fantasy isn't fantastic but the idea of starting a new partnership, all the work involved, along with the fact that in playing for our lives I can't imagine either one of us preferring to choose someone else to play with-these factors are the reason Steve is still alive today. If I were Steve and had to form a new partnership I would choose Madala-he is very young, very talented, and not a “druggie.” Another great choice would be Kevin Bathurst, the problem with Kevin is he is an old man of about 35, but he has everything you would want in a partner with a great future.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Yuan-I would say the noticeable differences is the Euros tend to smoke and drink a lot more which is probably why they are better card players because they are sitting in a bar going over all the hands all night. Now you want the serious answer? The level of card play in Europe is always much higher than it is here in the States. I don't really know why. I thought we had Watson but maybe he was a Brit after all.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Dean-this is certainly 1 of the 2 worst bridge experiences of my life and i'll be happy to share it with you. Steve and I were a new partnership. We were in the semifinals of the Spingold. Our teammates had the worst first half ever-against a very strong Polish team. We were down 35 at the half. The 3rd quarter we played on vugraph and we played so well our opponents asked for different hands because they thought we had the hand records. We picked up 79 imps and were now up close to 40 going into the 4th quarter. I will never forget telling Steve we got them just play tight and keep the ball in the middle of the court. We start out very well in the 4th quarter. Then Steve opens 3d and I have a piece of garbage with a stiff spade axxxx of diamonds, all vul. i bid 3s, he raises to 4s with a stiff J. I pass thinking even if they don't have a slam I will go down 8 and lose 4 or 5 imps, but if they have a slam I am rich! So slam is on 1/2 finesses-our teammates bid it and go down 1 so we lose 14 imps. We win the match by 1!!!! What a lucky ass I am!!!! We are celebrating in the bar-all excited about playing in the finals the next day. 20 minutes later Grant Baze comes into the bar to tell us that our teammates had misscored 2 boards in the 1st half and we in fact lost by 1….talk about a buzz kill. About a week later we were in France for a World championship and 1 of the writers informed me that the hand I blew this match playing the 1-1 fit was in 700 different newspapers that day. Life goes on, you hope.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Prahalad-I actually like to work out harder than usual a few weeks before the NABCs so that I'm feeling good at the tournament and although I start out the nationals working out daily as time goes on I do less and less for fear I need my energy for the game. We bring our dog Rufus to the tournament so I do a lot of walking and that gives me some good exercise and needed fresh air.What helped me not dwell on previous hands was I stopped keeping a private score many years ago. This way I don't waste energy looking at previous results or dwelling as much on my stupidities. Learning from your mistakes is the key in bridge. We have all screwed up hands because we were not in the present and at some point you just learn that because you just blew 12 imps you don't want to turn it into 30 imps like you have done before. Of course we still see this happening all the time-bridge can be like a boxing match where although you are closely matched you land one or two punches and the other guy is done thinking clearly for the rest of the match.
April 10, 2014
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Hi David-I think in team games where there is ample time to prepare to play against anything you should be able to play pretty much what you like-of course if you think your opponents need more than 5 minutes to discuss they're defenses then you can alert them the day before. Pair games are much different because you come to the new table and time is always an issue especially these days where if your opponents are slow the directors are now barking that YOU have 1 round to catch up or you both get penalties no matter whose fault it is type of nonsense. (of course I'm still looking forward to playing someone I hate while I'm having a bad game and take 25 minutes for no reason on some hand just to give them a good schtupp) So I think pairs games are a much different animal, but I mean cmon, its crazy-playing multi is so universal-I hate playing against it but in any top level pair game whether it be a national or a regional how can it not be allowed?
April 10, 2014
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Hi Noodle-we used to love coming to Montreal in the summer time for the tournament-I'm sorry to say we have no immediate plans to come visit this year but hopefully sooner than later. Of course you Canucks love me to come up there because you always kick my teeth in and send me home with 15 or 20 master points for the week.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Charley-from day 1 our common goal has been to think alike. in order to accomplish that we always have to learn from whatever mistakes have been made, because making the same mistake twice is criminal. in maintaining the partnership we always go over good and bad results that were achieved where we were not on the same wavelength, and we are always realizing that we have to change our methods for optimum results.
April 10, 2014
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I think forquet is more suspect than reese–anyone that passes 2nt and wins all those world titles….
April 4, 2014
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Of course in my opinion Mike and the entire Lynch team deserve the Gold Medal. My fingers are crossed, and if it happens it will be the coolest thing Ive ever seen. Then maybe there should be a revote to put Eddie Wold in the Hall of Fame where he belongs.
April 2, 2014
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I agree with Danny miles that the post should have been taken down by bridgewinners.
March 31, 2014
Bobby Levin edited this comment March 31, 2014
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Steve- great title- great movie but if somehow you added ennio morricones soundtrack then this woulda been an awesome article
March 20, 2014
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Congrats to chipper who we all know only got in because he's married to jan. I' am thrilled for Jill but it is such a joke she didn't get in her first time around that I still have a bad taste in my mouth. It is a shame that none of the other nominees got in as they are so deserving a group and if the hof allowed 8 people to get in this certainly coulda been the year that all got in..
March 6, 2014
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Everybody knows of Eric's musical genius but most don't realize what an incredible ear he has and how well he does imitations of other people not only with amazing sound resemblance but with gestures. For over 40 years I have come to him with people to work on and he has never disapointed me. Nobody else in my entire life has made me laugh longer and harder than Eric. I think its only fair that I share with everybody reading this fantastic interview in the Well my nickname for Eric. Its “Burndog.” The reasons are simple-when you play on a team with Eric and he comes to compare there is always at least 1 hand that he has made an impossible vul game or done some amazing thing to destroy the opponents, hence, the burn. To be around Eric he is always laughing, always wearing this fantastic smile–if he was a puppy his tail would always be wagging, and thats where the dog part comes in.
Feb. 27, 2014
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