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All comments by Bobby Levin
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Hey Dude–first of all-when you coming to visit me already? Its been too long. As I told you since you were a baby, just do it, and don't tell dada. It was very important to meet better players when I was young. My mother used to give me $20 and I would take the train into the city and watch Sonty play all day and night and I learned a lot. He was always very nice to me as was Gene Neiger, Norman Kurlander, Bernie Chazen and many others. Weichsel was a momsa but I got even with him later in life by partnering him. So many of the good players were so nice to me when I was young. They would tell my mother they would always watch out for me and protect me from the crazys that were running rampant dieing to sink their teeth into an innocent little 13 year old like me. Moving to Florida was great for my bridge as all the players you mentioned were also very nice and helpful to me. I partnered Billy Seamon and then Russ Arnold and those were great growing years for me. I played some against Oswald Jacoby when he was very old, as well as Barbara Brier (who was lovely) and VonZedwitz. Of course Oswalds son Jim is the guy I had the infamous raquetball bet with where I spotted him 20 and the serve. Mom has a caricature of this on our wall at home. Barry Crane was truly a character. He was also a big Hollywood celebrity involved with Mission Impossible which was such a hot show at that time. One of my favorite hands of all time was against Barry, I was playing with Ron Smith. I had Akxxx,xx,kqjxxx,void–I opened 1d and Ron responded 1s and Barry overcalled 2h-I qbid 3h and Ron bid 4d-I bid 7s like a shot and Barry who was on lead X'ed-all pass–Barry was on lead with AK of hearts and AK of clubs so he snapped down the club K and Ron claimed. Of course Barry won the event by 3 boards. As you can see bidding grand slams off Aces was standard for me before Weinstein was born. At least when its not the trump Ace we make some of them.
April 11, 2014
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Hey Andrew-thanks-I finally get to ask someone else a question.I forget..what was the score of the last set we played tennis? And,did you buy the same raquet you crushed after that set or did you decide to go with something different?
April 11, 2014
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Hi Mike-hope you are well and am glad you are enjoying this. For me sleep seems to be less important as I get older. At home I'm up between 4 and 5am and really enjoy the quiet mornings and beautiful sunrises out West. Of course I rarely make it past 10pm. At tournaments I have to readjust and try hard to do so a few days before the tournament. I would say once or twice a year I'll take an ambien because I feel sleep deprived and need 8 hours or so which is more than the usual 5 or 6 hours I get. I find in big tournaments that it is more important to close you eyes for a while and rest than to be asleep. I find a couple of stiff drinks really helps me sleep at tournaments while I'm all wound up even though its probably just another excuse for a couple of stiff drinks. Honestly I try not to drink every night at the nationals because I fear I might get a little worn day the last few days. I
April 11, 2014
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Steve has a great dog named Luther.
Thanks Sue for the kind words, and more thanks for the great job that you do which enhances the joy of all the bridge players all over the world. Steve awesome? I X and lead a trump.
April 11, 2014
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Howdy Eleanor-I think if team Monaco had to play 500 boards a day for a month they would still be stronger with just Fantunes and the Helgamos playing every board. That is not really a reflection on Zimmerman-Multon as much it is a reflection on how strong those 2 pairs are. I don't think fatigue was a factor in the 4th quarter but I think we had a very solid first 8 boards beating all the contracts that were not all so easy and then +2210 broke their spirits a little. I don't think they played badly after that but Helgi definitely thought he was losing the match and bid and played a few hands after 7s looking for a swing and that is what cost him. Helgi did play the last hand in 4h and took a much inferior line of play than Rodwell, quite quickly, and won 12 imps for it.
Its not easy to find a cool nickname for 2 Jewish mommas boys, maybe you could help us out with that.
April 11, 2014
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Hi Glenn-Abe would be kvelling, no doubt. I'll never forget the first time I showed any promise as a bridge player to myself. I was playing with Abe, I was 12 years old, and he opened 1h in 4th seat and we ended up in 1nt down 2 for a complete top. I asked Abe later why we got a top. He said because he psyched 1h in 4th seat with xx hearts and 9 hcp. I said “well why didn't you just pass the hand out?” He said yeh, we would have had a top that way also.
April 11, 2014
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Hi Henry-You were playing some hand and claimed at trick 3 stating you had some Octogonal squeeze if the layout was such and such. Of course I never passed Geometry and had no idea what you were talking about but I knew we were squeezed and I put my cards away and took my zero. Thanks for the kind words and lets try not to talk about this hand for another 20 years.
April 11, 2014
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Hey Christal-sorry we missed you at the nationals, heard you were in the Middle East with the boys. Hope you guys didn't convert to anything crazy or shave your heads or anything. I think the only thing Sheila did was allow me to be myself and find my own way in life while being supportive and making sure I always knew she had my back. Stephen Colbert now taking over for David Letterman is so awesome. I'm gonna have to start waking up before midnight to watch the show since I know I can't possibly stay up that late anymore. Hope you and the boys coming to Vegas for the nationals-tell the boys I hear that Compton girl has her own suite at the hotel because her dad won the McKenney so they should definitely make the trip.
April 11, 2014
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Hi Ron-honestly I don't know China's future in bridge but I sure hope we keep kickin their asses at least till I'm so old I don't know the difference.
April 11, 2014
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Hey Dean-how did you sneak back in this line again? I thought only the Jews were allowed to come back and ask a second question. Ok we will let it slide this time, mainly because the partners are surely all still sleeping.
The most important, and most difficult because there are so many variations of it-is competitive bidding.
Yes that was quite a hand. I had x,kj10x,aq109xxx,x and I find out my partner has a black ace and honor 3rd in hearts and rho has opened a strong nt and still I get all this info! anyway i jump to 4d and we get to 5d and get X'ed and of course the K of diamonds is offside so we go down 1. I am steaming of course. Nick is in 3s at the other table +140. After the set I'm whining to Nick about our bad luck on this hand and how many imps where the K of diamonds swung and he responds-“yeh well if the K of diamonds was onside I would have gone down in 3s and I do like to make my contracts.” It was impossible for me not to crack up after that.
Dean our deal is we play it shows honor third and an ace–you want us to have specific agreements about what honor? maybe we should just play relay after they open a strong nt so we know every card in each others hands. Would you be ok with that, Dean?
April 11, 2014
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Hi Danny-hows the cruising going? I would be up about 30 lbs. by now if I were you. I hate committees because if a director just gives you a bad ruling its over quick but when it is dragged out in a committee and then you lose to me its much more aggravating. Directors today by average are so much sharper and more knowledgeable of the rules and some actually could take a trick if they played bridge whereas 30-40 years ago most of the directors had no clue. Todays directors are much more aware of people's bullshit and don't go for these bullshit stories like they did in the old days also.Also, I have had a few jerkoffs, I would love to mention their names but Jill always yells at me not to dignify these type of people so I won't–who have served on my committees that just want to get even with me for kicking their asses their entire life. So yes, I would be in favor of no more committees and leaving my fate up to Matt Smith and his posse.
April 11, 2014
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Hi Dave-I think pairs preparing is all that is necessary for us I can't really say what is necessary for others. Obviously the internet has changed our preparation dramatically-even having documents that are so easy to alter whereas in the old days we were rewriting our god damn handwritten notes all the time!
As far as simulations go Eric Rodwell showed me how to use this program to run simulation but I always forget how to use it so I send Eric an email about a situation and he runs the simulation and then lets me know. Often when Steve makes a stupid bid he will then say he is sure he made the right bid because he did a simulation when I know the only simulation he ever does is in his pants.
April 11, 2014
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Hey Joe Boo-you know the deal in table tennis-you have a fighting chance till I finish my first big cocktail…then your are done. How many games have you won after my first big cocktail? Yes, 0 is the correct number, easy to remember because you have the same number as Jlall so if you forget ask him. Was fun playing with your dad last week, he plays really well and I see why you beat us in the GNTs every year. Maybe this year will be different.
April 11, 2014
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Hey burndoggy-I thought a panache was some kind of sandwhich that I didn't like. I'm sure Wesinstein will google it so he feels like he knows something else that I don't. You and Meck were great all week in the Vanderbilt. We were almost always down in the first quarter-once we were down 47 to a very dangerous team and you guys picked up 43 in the 2nd quarter taking a lot of pressure off of us. It was cool that in 2 of the early matches we were down at the half we picked up close to 100 at night to bury both teams. Its always fun to save your best bridge for the last set, but I had made a few sloppy plays early in the match so at least my timing was good if my bridge wasn't. You decision to pass 5s was huge-Jill was watching you think and said that was the most nervous part of the last quarter and she thought you were such a hero to pass.Thanks for you kind words, love back at you.
April 11, 2014
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Hi Benjamin-I never took time off but I did find after I left Wall Street we immediately won the Vanderbilt and then the Cavendish and good things started happening in bridge almost immediately. Of course BBO, and the internet in general allow you so much access to material that its very easy to keep you brain feeling practiced whereas in the old days if you had a job you could easily go 3 months without playing and then go to the nationals and the first day or 2 feel like a fish out of water, tempo is off, judgement is off,other pros are picking off your hand, etc.
April 11, 2014
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Hi Leo-I never go to bridge tournaments multiple weeks in a row although I will be doing it at the end of this year. I don't bring anything but gloves for the gym and a bathing suit and goggles but 99% of the time the pool is crappy or Richie Schwartz is swimming in it so I don't swim. I'm very picky about the gym so if it crappy I take the week off from that also. There are a few people (besides Jill) that I will happily play tennis with so I always check before hand and bring that stuff if playing is possible also. Beside that I maintain a fairly unhealthy lifestyle at tournaments, drinking and smoking whenever possible. When I am home I am much more disciplined about exercise because I have a gym in my house, a pool in the back and the tennis courts are a 1 minute walk from my house.
April 11, 2014
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Hi Jeannie-I think its a terrible idea to maintain separate competitions for the great woman players along with the good woman players that want a chance to become great. I don't really understand why the top women are not as good as the top men but it is and always has been the case. The best way to improve your bridge game by far is to play against better opposition. That will probably be in the Open game for a long time to come.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Nick-My take on Fantunes. Fulvio is a marvelous player with a very charming personality. Nunes is a likeable fellow, very tightly strung, and is a tip top, brilliant, quick card player that you should assume is not making any mistakes. Their system is very difficult to play against, and is very high volatility. Their slam bidding is generally weaker than the rest of their game. Their carding is almost impossible to memorize and so you constantly have to keep looking at their alert cards to see the unusual things that they do. Their opening leads are often above my head even when I understand what their agreements are.
Thank you for best wishes, same to you.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Hanoi-I must have explained myself badly because in no way did I beg the question nor do I want to get into any political discussions. I would call the 1 country the WAO standing for We Are One. When I get to the Bridge World Championships I root for my friends, not specific countries.
There are much better ways to get sponsorship and in fact my wife Jill was on the verge on doing great things with Warren Spector for the Buffet Cup but as usual they were shot down by the powers that be and their petty power trips which are much more important to them than the betterment of bridge and sponsorships for the present and future.
April 10, 2014
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Greg-First you win an academy award and now you produce this picture of either Bette Midler or Steve Weinstein- I can't really tell even with my glasses on. Can't you make the picture sing so I'll know? You are a hero.
April 10, 2014
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