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All comments by Bobby Levin
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Hi David-I'm sure it could be done but it wouldn't include me. As much as I think this entire countries concept is crazy and someday we will all be 1 big country I'm still a proud American and I want to play for my country. So the answer is yes, it could be done but to find 4 players the calibre of Fantunes and the Helgamos who also are willing to play for another country is very unlikely to be duplicated in our lifetimes.
April 10, 2014
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He's our baby, we love him and spoil him as much as we can.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Bill-I'd have to answer no to both your questions. Rufus has been given permission to be in the playing room by the directors. You have been described to me by a close friend as Mush from the movie The Bronx Tale. Do you know who that is?
April 10, 2014
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Hi Aron-this is a tough question for me, as I really have less expertise for the serious bridge player, as opposed to the insane one who has no life and spends most of his time working on his own system. The most important part of any partnership is to understand each other and how you view competitive circumstances because those are the most difficult to deal with, and they come at you in so many different ways. Gadgets and agreements come and grow as time goes on. Nothing is really mandatory in my mind.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Nat-Sorry I don't remember this-but its hard to believe in those days I was playing in a tournament away from home against Russ Arnold.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Adam-first let me congratulate you on an already illustrious career. I hope I'm there with you when you represent USA 1. You got a coach, Michael Rosenberg, who in my opinion there is no better person or bridge player on the planet. I just wish he would lose that Scottish accent so I wouldn't have to keep saying “what?” to him like I have for over 40 years.
I think suit preference is mandatory when dummy has shortness or even length to the point where you know declarer has no more. I think its clear to play suit preference when count is totally irrelevant. Our basic rule is use your head and decide do I need count or suit preference and then give me that. The dirty word in our partnership is LOGIC. Steve enjoys hearing that word from me as much as he likes hearing how much better I could be at poker if I felt like it. but in the past few years and he gets older and wiser the word has slipped out of him a few times also.
I am biased but I am in favor of sponsors in the World Championships. No team can win if they don't play well. When the Nickell team won a few years ago in the Bermuda bowl the clear MVPs were Nickell-Katz, not Meckwell or Zia-Hamman. Having sponsors allows guys like me to spend all my time getting better at bridge instead of having to go to a job and work on bridge when I have free time and energy left. So of course this scenerio allows me to be the best player that I can be. You could also say its unfair to let the foreign players compete in the States and help determine the destiny of who our representatives will be. You can say that they might even dump because its in their best interest! How much would that suck if these great men and woman from Poland, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Spain and so many other countries couldn't come to play in our nationals like the old days. the competition would be much weaker, the atmosphere, the friendships would all have been lost. As I have said before, its a great game, life is so short lets all have as much fun as possible and not worry so much about the petty stuff and who can and cannot do this or not.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Eugene-thanks for bringing up Russ Arnold-I still miss him every day and of course the first thing I thought about driving home from Dallas was how much I would be loving talking to Russ right now. My favorite story? There are so many-I was so young and baaad. He was so square and proper. Most stories of course I can't tell. But one that was so typical of him. We playing Murray-Kehela in the semis of the US Team trials-the biggest event of our lives to date. Before the match I'm telling Russ how I'm gonna kick these guys asses and they wont know what hit them.He of course is steaming, ready to kill me. We sit down to play, with screens which are new then. The first board they get to 2h-I X for penalty-I make a good lead, good defense, down 1 +100 for us. the 2nd board they get to 2h again, I X again, in a photo they go down 1 for +100 again. The 3rd board, Murray is steaming already puffing hard on his huge cigar, and we have a power auction to 4h, sniffing slam. Murray X's on nothing, Russ thinks the trumps are 5-0 for sure and the next thing he knows they get a cross ruff going and Russ goes for -1100. As we take out the cards to the next board Ruff lifts up the screen and sticks his head under and says to me-“You see what you did…if you X Mr. Murray one more time I'm gonna brain you.”
April 10, 2014
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Hi Ron-It doesn't bother me one bit when we have to play a match against a much lesser team. We were all on that lesser team once-hoping to learn a thing or 2 while we took our ass whoopins. I hate it when good teams are upset because a team down 150 imps wants to play and enjoy the last quarter. Its not like you are under pressure or it is really taxing anyway.Would I love to pay my minimal entry and take a real beating from McEnroe or Federer? I would run down every ball and when they came to the net (if they bothered) I would try so hard to put a hole in them and surely hit every ball I could get my raquet on out by 20 feet with pleasure.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Chris-Tx for congrats-to me the best part is the freedom you have a big part of the year and the friendships you develope all over the world for your entire life. The travel gets very old, and I can never wait to get home. The worst part is sometimes you end up on trips alone for a week or 2 and I hate that. I got started as a pro in high school when my friend Russ Arnold had me added to a pro team with Billy Seamon and Edith Kemp and Bud Reinhold. I eventually worked in Bud's fiberglass factory making $126.52 for a 50 hour Mon-Fri. and played pro on the weekend and made another $300 so I could survive and pay rent.
April 10, 2014
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Hey Barry-great work with the Juniors-I hope your teaching them to play bridge like Michael Rosenberg instead of the Barry Goren point count system. I stopped trading before Bali in October and haven't gone back. I found it too time consuming and I love my freedom when I'm home too much. I could never buy premium anyway. I'd rather blow the money on a nice dinner.
April 10, 2014
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As Shane said we were in dire straits, and I think our young pairs were running out of confidence. Since we weren't going to win the event or even qualify without them Steve and I decided to pump them up with confidence and send them in against the Italians. We got some glares from surrounding people but the boys came through in the match and from there we rolled. Maybe we should have benched ourselves earlier in the semis against Monaco.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Phil, sorry I don't play golf. But I love to walk Rufus on a fancy golf course and watch the players steaming. I am an avid tennis player. There are days I am lucky to realize from some pathetic thought process that I do not have my A game and then I slow down and become a lot more careful. The good days are the ones where I realize this before it is too late.
April 10, 2014
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Hi JoAnna-I dabble at poker and have picked up little tidbits from Steve. I can tell you nothing pisses Steve off more than when I tell him if I took up poker for 6 months I would be much better than him. So I say it often. and it works every time. Steve has incorporated many poker moves into our arsenal. The only time he rebids 1s over 1h is when he is 5-6. He loves jumping to 3nt after I open 1nt and they overcall not showing or denying a stopper. Many other little non squealy things. He loves to bid rkc with voids, but we all know that. With his innocent little smile he has lots of moves. We do what we think is right. We don't worry about what other people/clients will think. We play a lot of either/or doubles. Our days of worrying about what our sponsor will say are behind us.
April 10, 2014
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Greg-I think Jason Alexander is a great choice, and hes a card player also! My choice for Steve would be Bette Midler. she can carry a tune and would raise me and lead my damn suit once in a while.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Dana-I do a lot of cooking-limited to the barbeque so I can't mess things up too bad. My ribs are getting better, but my best game is getting out the stone crabs and taking them out of the shell without drawing too much blood.
Damon is like a brother -I met him while trading on Wall Street. He is a man's man, to say the least.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Mark-I thought we won because when I finished playing I saw the score on BBO and it said we were up 14 with 1 board left. We couldn't lose more than 12 on the last board as I saw the final contract. Of course had there been some scoring errors by BBO then who knows but usually they get those things right when they have Jan Martel driving the boat. Of course when we actually compared with Rodwell then we were sure.
I have a month off to savor and perhaps be a little bad before my next regional which I'm very happy about.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Sathya-the format is what it is–that is why there are different formats so people can choose to play what they want and when you do its the save for everybody
There are now many events going on called National Events that are called Nationals even though they are going on during main events. Should it be considered a “real” National event? I don't know, I don't really care. Life is short and can be really crappy for people-so I guess the more master point awards and National events they gonna award the happier people will be. so it diminishes guys achievements who won their nationals when there were less of them? Who really cares?
April 10, 2014
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Hi Randy-I never get involved in my teams seating right and almost never get involved in the who plays who game. Steve and I almost always try to play the role of accomodating our teammates and making them happy.
We have about 200 pages of notes at this point, which we update every few months and alter things and constantly find errors to fix driving us more insane than we already are.
April 10, 2014
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Hi Jan-We got Rufus in San Diego-Jill took 2 hours to pick him out of a litter. We had a golden before Rufus named Luke, unrelated. Rufus is very smart, very quirky. Hes a lot like my old bridge partner and great friend Russ Arnold. Got some ornery going on also. Hes always very happy as long as we are together. When I leave the house for something he just starts ripping clothes off hangers in my closet and collecting all my shoes and making a big pile at the front door where he waits.There is nobody on the planet I'd rather drink and listen to loud music with more than
Rufus. Let me take this opportunity to thank you Jan for everything you do for bridge and for the great friend you have been to me. I love you.
April 10, 2014
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Hey Scott-I've now read your comments and questions 3 times, and seriously buddy, maybe you should try cutting down on the mayo. Thx for the kind words about my mother, and yes, she is better than a great person. I am and always will be a hothead to some degree, its in my DNA, so watch out.
April 10, 2014
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