District Director's Report
July 2008 ( Rich DeMartino)

Las Vegas NABC

The Summer NABC was held at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada. Although attendance was a bit lower than Management's optimistic pre-tournament estimates, the total of 19,720 tables makes this NABC the fourth largest NABC of all time behind Las Vegas 1991 (24,221 tables), Toronto 1986 (21,075 tables) and Las Vegas 1985 (19,828 tables). The playing areas, all of which were located in a large, fairly contiguous space on the main floor were spacious with good lighting and temperature control. In my view, both the poor economy and the fact that the weekend rates were $135 ($40 higher than weekday rates) contributed to the lower-than-anticipated attendance.

The Las Vegas Hilton is a mammoth old hotel that looks its age. I received numerous complaints about the hotel including the fact that some of the rooms were quite run-down. Other players complained that their rooms were not ready when they arrived, even later in the day. Finally, reaching the playing area involved a fairly long walk through a smoke-filled casino. Management faces a challenge in scheduling future NABCs in Las Vegas. Some have suggested that we select a more upscale facility on the strip, but the downside is that rates will almost certainly be quite a bit higher. There are very few places with sufficient playing space to accomodate 20,000 tables. Please let me know your thoughts on this issue, i.e. do you prefer an older hotel like the Hilton with lower room rates or a more modern hotel with rates that will be at least $30 per night higher.

Players from New England were on the winning pair or team in three NABC events and finished second in two others. Congratulations to all on this outstanding performance.

Top Ten Finishers in NABC Events - District 25

GNT - SUPERFLIGHT

Doug Doub, West Hartford CT
2
Frank Merblum, Greenfield CT
John Stiefel, Westfield CT
Victor King, Hartford CT
Sheila Gabay, Newton MA
Lloyd Arvedon, Bedford MA

0-5000 LIFE MASTER PAIRS

Lawrence Lau, Westport CT
5

Andy Avery, Jamaica VT

7

SENIOR SWISS TEAMS

Geof Brod, Avon CT
2
Rich DeMartino, Riverside CT
Pat McDevitt, Brookline MA
John Stiefel, Wethersfield CT

Larry Bausher, West Haven CT

3
Steve Becker, Old Greenwich CT
Sheila Gabay, Newton MA
Mel Marcus, Waltham MA

Elaine Kadis, Brookline MA

6
Ken Kadis, Brookline MA

WOMENS KO TEAMS

Karen McCallum, Exeter NH
1

Phyllis Fireman, Chestnut Hill MA

5/8

0-1500 MINI SPINGOLD

Brian Duran, Somerville MA
1
Gloria Tsoi, Arlington MA
Lon Sunshine, Framingham MA
Ivanie Yeo, Brighton MA

0-5000 MINI SPINGOLD

Natalie Bassil, Boston MA
9/16
Joyce Pearson, Framingham MA
Saul Agranoff, Newton MA
Kathy Benjamin, Arlington MA

Seth Cohen, Stamford CT

9/16

OPEN PAIRS

Simon Kantor, Agawam MA
6

Stephen Gladyszak, Chelsea MA

8

NABC FAST PAIRS

Doug Doub, West Hartford CT
1

Albert Hsiao, Brookline MA

8

Highlights of ACBL Board Meeting

CEO Report

CEO Jay Baum reported that membership has increased by over 1,300 for the first six months of 2008. Jay believes that we will end up with over 12,000 new members for 2008. Tournaments will most likely be affected by the price of gas and the poor economy but despite these factors, the CEO is optimistic that 2008 tournaments will continue on a pace that would make 2008 a "good" year. Club tables are also up about 5% for the year.

Financial Status

Management reported that for the first five months of 2008, revenues exceeded expenses by about $450,000. Management's current forecast for 2008 is that we will have a profit well in excess of the 2008 budget.

ACBL President

Jerry Fleming from District 17 (southwest) was elected President for 2009. I believe Jerry will be an excellent President.

NABC Appeals

The following motion was made: ACBL Tournament Directors shall hear and rule upon all bridge appeals filed at North American Bridge Championships. This would eliminate Committees.

This motion generated much discussion prior to and during the Board meeting. Those in favor generally believe that TDs have demonstrated they have the knowledge and ability to make these rulings. Those opposed believe there are many situations which require high level bridge expertise in order to make a correct ruling and that most TDs simply do not have the required expertise. Many also believe that the Committees are doing a better job than was the case a few years ago.

The motion failed 13-12.

Lawsuit - Marcus and Patricelli v. American Contract Bridge League

The League Counsel reported that on November 15, 2007, Peter Marcus and Susan Patricelli filed a complaint in the United States District Court in Connecticut alleging that (1) the ACBL failed to pay overtime benefits to the plaintiffs as required by federal law; and (2) that the ACBL retaliated against Mr. Marcus for his efforts to obtain overtime. Relief requested by the plaintiffs includes unpaid overtime, liquidated charges, attorney's fees and interest.

On January 15, counsel for the ACBL filed Motions to Dismiss and transfer the case to Tennessee. On June 26, the judge denied the League's Motion to Dismiss and to Transfer Venue. Our lawyers expect that discovery will now begin.

For more detail on Board actions, please read the minutes of the Board meeting on the ACBL website (ACBL.org).

Top 25 Masterpoint Winners Las Vegas NABC

   
Name
Total Points
Points Won in
NABC+ Events
1.
  Doug Doub, West Hartford CT
198.33
195.53
2.
  John Stiefel, Wethersfield CT
161.55
161.55
3.
  Sheila Gabay, Newton MA
149.54
149.54
4.
  Lloyd Arvedon, Bedford MA
118.94
102.08
5.
  Victor King, Hartford CT
118.26
118.26
6.
  Karen McCallum, Exeter NH
106.38
103.28
7.
  Rich DeMartino, Riverside CT
101.95
82.47
8.
  Geoffrey Brod, Avon CT
100.67
83.62
9.
  Pat McDevitt, Brookline MA
96.30
82.47
10.
  Mark Aquino, Jamaica Plain MA
81.32
51.29
11.
  Albert Hsiao, Brookline MA
80.30
51.60
12.
  Shome Mukherjee, Randolph MA
79.11
12.83
13.
  Melvin Marcus, Waltham MA
76.61
66.67
14.
  Brian Duran, Somerville MA
76.53
2.12
15.
  Lewis Gamerman, Brookline MA
75.78
36.57
16.
  Stephen Gladyszak, Chelsea MA
74.38
72.68
17.
  John McLaughlin, Melrose MA
72.65
32.08
18.
  Robert McCaw, Sudbury MA
72.14
36.57
19.
  Simon Kantor, Agawam MA
71.30
63.01
20.
  Franklin Merblum, Bloomfield CT
70.00
70.00
21.
  Gloria Tsoi, Arlington MA
69.87
22.
  Donald Sondergeld, Hubbardton VT
66.53
23.
  Ivanie Yeo, Brighton MA
64.73
24.
  Lon Sunshine, Framingham MA
62.00
25.
  Larry Bausher, West Haven CT
59.77
57.25
  Steve Becker, Old Greenwich CT
59.77
57.25

As I am sure you are all aware, the Fall NABC will be held in Boston at the Westin Copley Place and the Marriott Copley Place from November 20 through November 30. Our NABC Committee, headed by Kathy Benjamin and Frank Lombardo, has been hard at work for over two years doing everything they can to ensure our NABC will be a huge success. I urge all of you: District and Unit Officers, club owners, teachers, and players to do everything you can to encourage District 25 players to attend this event. There will be games for all levels and I truly believe that this is a great opportunity for many of our local players who have never attended an NABC to come to Boston and experience how much fun an NABC can be. I hope to see you all there. I assure you that you will have a great time. Kudos to the entire Boston NABC Committee for all they have already done to make the Boston NABC one of the best ever.

Rich DeMartino
District Director