District 25
NEBridge - President's Letter: August 2016

Here is a preview of upcoming events and D25 happenings.

Some of my friends in the district have said to me for years, “Something is wrong, we keep losing tables, and no one is doing anything about it!” Well, look where we are now! We have made many exciting changes and I can say thankfully that the majority of you are voting “We are IN” with your feet and for that I am truly thankful.

This is a great game, a great time, and, to me, we need to be all about the majority of the players that lie in the 0-2500 MP range. We have to continue to build great tournaments from the bottom up; this is a radical approach from the top-down system. With an infrastructure to build players up from the bottom groups, we will have thriving games in all flights for years to come.

Communication, Social Media, Advertising, Competitive Games, and Fiscal Responsibility are the modern tools to run bridge tournaments. I promise you we are committed to the 0-750 Gold Rush, 0-1500, 0-2500 Golden Egg Events, 0-5000 and the Open Flight. For single-session games we also have the 299er Program in place for you to get you started with strata as low as 0-49 in many events.

District 25: If you haven’t seen us lately, it’s time for another look!

Congratulations to:

Team Merblum on winning the Grand National TeamsOpen Flight at the Washington DC Summer NABC!

District 25 has struggled in this event for years. Our last finals appearance was in 2008 when Frank Merblum and Doug Doub teamed with Lloyd Arvedon, Sheila Gabay, Victor King and John Stiefel to finish a fine 2nd. Before that, the ’89 Sion team won. That sums up our appearances since 1973 so you can see that this is a significant win, for Frank Merblum, Doug Doub, Adam Grossack and Zach Grossack to bring home to District 25. Well done! We are all proud of your accomplishment.

Welcome to “The Ocean State Regional” August 30-September 4, 2016

We are committed to Warwick, RI and it seems you are too! Warwick, since landing on the schedule, has been our crowning success, year after year. To this extent we have rebranded the event “The Ocean State Regional” emphasizing RI, the Ocean State, Newport, sightseeing, and, of course, bridge. There will be a huge turnout and the hotel will fill up soon. Call 401-732-6000 to reserve your room now!

Harvest Your Masterpoints in Mansfield!

The last tournament of the year is at the end of the local fall harvest and we renamed it the Harvest Regional. We will have “Prize Day” on Thursday, awarding all section winners a prize. Don’t miss it!

Gold Rush events are Wednesday through Saturday. 0-2500 “Golden Egg” events are Thursday and Friday and the Popular 0-1500 Flight Swiss is concluding the week on Sunday!

FAST PAIRS Sunday. No team? Like to play fast? Want to be out early? This event is for YOU. Five minutes a board; you should be done at 3 PM. The Pats do not start until 8:30 PM, so you all have time to relax and get dinner, no matter the event.

The new bottom line is that if you have 0-2500 points, the District 25 Regionals are FOR YOU! Come Harvest your next Masterpoint Achievement level and District Director Mark Aquino will be sending you a letter!

Rebranding the Regionals

What is in a name? Shakespeare’s Juliet said “A rose by any other name...” but sometimes confusion sets in. “Am I OK to play in a “Masters Tournament? It probably isn’t for me.” Well it is, and you can be sure the Harvest Regional is!

1.   The Warwick Fiesta Regional is renamed The Ocean State Regional, as we are committed to the event in Rhode Island for its location, convenience and successes. We could not think of any reason why a Mexican theme made sense there. The closest I could come was that we allow Mexican 2 openers.

2.   The Mansfield “Masters Tournament.” There were some players who felt they were not “Masters” and perhaps this was not a place for them to play. We embraced our heritage and our closest event to Plymouth Rock during Thanksgiving month, and rebranded the event “The Harvest Regional” with tag line “Bushels of Fun.” This means for everyone.

3.   The Cromwell “KO Regional” is now the “Presidential Regional at Cromwell” emphasizing Presidents Day, Hartford, Bradley Field, CT Casinos and proximity to NY, and solidifying our commitment to Connecticut and making its tournament “Great Again”.

Nashua, NH has been rebooked for next year. We were up an amazing 114 tables! In 2016, every Regional event showed increased attendance, but 114 tables is truly significant. The Hotel suffered an unforeseen plumbing issue with one of the two bathrooms, which was unfortunate, but I am going to avoid the colloquialism **** happens, no matter how tempting. The lighting was improved and we had great weather and great games, I personally cannot wait until next year

The North American Pairs District Finals

 IMPORTANT: The event has changed significantly this year!

This is your chance to win $700, $500 or $300 each 1st, 2nd or 3rd for a trip to Kansas City in March, 2017 to play in the National NAP Finals and represent District 25.

We are holding split finals with the Flight A Finals, in Watertown, MA during the EMBA Fall Sectional on Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9, at 10:30 AM, both days. As of today the Super 8 in Watertown, has a $120 room rate available at booking.com. Click and enter Watertown and Oct 8, to jump on this ASAP.

Pairs will have the added chance to warm up Friday evening in Watertown at 7:30 PM and, for those who do not qualify, you can plan to stay and play in the Swiss Team game Sunday, making it a great bridge weekend for you.

The Flight B and C finals will be held during the Harvest Regional at Mansfield, MA, on November 12th and 13th.

The bottom line on the change was our “bottom line”: We just cannot in good faith schedule events destined to lose thousands of dollars. This change guarantees us no financial gain or loss, while affording some players the chance to play in both A and B flight (or C). The alternative was to play all flights during Mansfield or change the card fees to $38 per session ($152 per pair on Saturday) to keep the existing format viable. The Tournament Committee and Executive Committee found a great solution. It may not be perfect but considering the alternatives we are happy with our decision.

Zero Tolerance 

If you have played this year, you probably noticed the announcements were frequent. We are committed to making bridge fun, fair and a fantastic experience for you. Our goal is for players to realize this is a game to be enjoyed by all, but especially the newcomers. Report transgressions to either recorder@nebridge.orgfor a player report, or to zerotolerance@nebridge.orgto report to the director-in-charge and the recorder in one step. Both reports are confidential.

Coffee with the President 

Each Thursday morning, from 9:30 - 10 AM, I will be in the playing area close to the free coffee to meet players, give explanations and take suggestions. If I cannot make it, I will do my best to have a District official available to you during this time.

Lectures, Lessons, and Rules

Free lectures and lessons will continue; please check the schedule of events for times.

If you are new,we want you, we need you and we love you, so let us know if we fail you in any way.

See you at the table if you miss coffee time. 

Bob Bertoni
District 25 President 

More Fun, More Places to Win, More Recognition, all at NEBC District 2