District 25
NEBridge - President's Letter June 2017

Its all about Nashua! The Monster KO Mountain Regional.
It’s located in New Hampshire, just one mile north of Massachusetts. You’ll get to feel the pleasure of New Hampshire air while not driving very far.

The Longest Day to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association will be on June 21, during our Nashua Regional.

This is a favorite charity of both the ACBL and our District! All week we will take donations to benefit the charity, but on Wednesday evening, the Super-Point Game will benefit the cause directly. You will get EXTRA MASTERPOINTS. We will collect an extra dollar on your entry as a charity donation ($15 per regular entry and $13 per 299er entry), and District 25 will match your dollar and donate it!

That’s $2 for the fund. In addition, we have an anonymous donor who has agreed to match your $1 with an additional $5 per entry! This makes your single entry a $7 donation to fight Alzheimer’s! If you would also like to donate a matching dollar or more for this game, please contact Director-in-Charge Peter Marcus, Helen Pawlowski or myself prior to Wednesday evening!


We Are Putting Nashua On the Bridge Map. To kick off our new KO format in 2017, we are offering the KO for FREE in Nashua this year! That’s right completely FREE, compliments of District 25. Not just the first round, every round is FREE for this one event! If you win, you get your next round entry FREE.

Preregistration is recommended! Use the link below!

REGISTER YOUR TEAM HERE TODAY (www.bridgewinners.com)

We know many District 25 players have never felt KO’s were for them. But, we had a recent-year record of 50 tables in the KO in Cromwell, and we expect twice that for Nashua. We know KO’s are an exciting form of bridge, one which we would like everyone to experience. That’s why we’ve changed the format so that the new KO’s are for players of all levels. If you haven’t tried them before, now you will get to see why Knockouts have been the “True Gold Rush” for players of all levels across the country, not just the top tier.

Here’s what you need to know: The Monster Bracketed KO will start Saturday in Nashua at 10:00 am and finish on Sunday. Brackets will have between 9 and 16 teams that are the closest in masterpoints, GOLD is awarded at all levels (100% in higher brackets and 50-30% in lower brackets, mid-chart will be allowed in brackets when the lowest team has 10,000+ masterpoints, general convention chart in all other brackets. (This means most entrants probably won’t ever have to contend with unusual systems or treatments!)

What’s different? Gone is the Friday night start, five sessions will be impossible, and seeding has been eliminated. The KO is now a four-session event, played over Saturday and Sunday. And it’s bracketed: you only play against teams at roughly the same level as you. You keep playing (and winning points) as long as you continue to win matches. Win four matches, then you win your bracket and get lots of Gold points!

What happens if you lose a match? If you get knocked out Saturday morning, then there is a side Swiss Team game in the afternoon. If you should lose on Saturday evening, then there’s a Flighted Swiss Teams waiting for you on Sunday.

What else is different? The strategy, for one. The game is scored by IMPS (International Match Points) that are a lot more like the rubber bridge points you may have played for years. IMP scoring favors bidding games and slams, and overtricks have small value, as opposed to match points, where missing an overtrick can be a disaster. Generally, it is more fun and relaxing to play, and you have to outscore just one opponent at a time to win! The margin is immaterial; a win is a win.

Partnership Desk: Guaranteed Pair for the KO: We will have a pair on standby at the “Gold Rush” Level to play with any pair looking to join the KO on Saturday. If you can’t find a pair, we will have one for you. Just come! Remember the bracketing is by total MPs for the team, so a “lower point pair” may get you into an easier bracket.

We also have 299er partners everyday and some good standbys for Tuesday-Friday. See Sue Miguel or Wayne Burt for help. If you are not familiar with our District, ask any director to point them out.

Lessons and Lectures: Wow! Do we have them for you!

Wednesday afternoon in the 299er room, local expert Dan McGuire will give a talk on “Having it Both Ways” (combining chances of success) from 1:45-2:15 pm. He has a great presentation and you do not want to miss this!

Thursday, there is an Expert Panel at 1:45 pm, with Joe DeGaetano, Bob McCaw and me, which will cover the hands from the Pairs and Gold Rush games. We’ll answer any questions you may have, and provide some analysis you may not have thought of.

Friday, Bob McCaw will give a lecture at 9:15 am on “Competing for Part Scores.” Bob has become a favorite lecturer on the circuit; don’t miss this!

Saturday, we have Arnold Berman, myself, and a host of others to help explain winning KO strategies. From 9:10-9:40 AM.

More on KO’s:
When I had 100 points, I started playing in knockouts. My team was competitive and a tad better than our points and, at one point, we won 19 out of 20 KO events. Most were in lower brackets, but I remember thinking we’d “arrived” when our team reached a total of 1,000 points for the four of us! The point is that there is nothing more exciting and FUN to play in bridge than a Bracketed KO Teams Event.

A few years ago, I played on a team with three others at an NABC. We had a total of 10,000 points. We were “unlucky” enough to be number 16 in Bracket 1 (meaning that we were the lowest-rated team in the top bracket). We played our best, made the finals and fought a team with 125,000 Masterpoints. We won the event by three IMPS. It took a nice bid by our teammates and some good defense by us, (the opponents bid all the games--even the ones that were not there—and challenged us to defend them). This was the only event I won at that NABC and, in truth, it was the only time I earned over 1.20 masterpoints in any event that whole week. However, I felt like we’d won the Vanderbilt and Spingold all in one! Of course, it was just a Bracketed Regionally-rated KO. But, still we won and I will never forget the excitement!

What Else is There in Nashua?
Tuesday through Saturday, you will find many 0-750 Gold Rush events. They are listed on our flyers as the third flight, under “Flighted Teams or Pairs.” The qualifier will say “No player over 750.” (We’re holding MORE Gold Rush games in 2017, in all our Regionals!)

Saturday, there will be a one-session Red Point Swiss at 2:30 if you lose in Round 1 of the KO, and an Extra-Point Pair Game Saturday Night!

Sunday, we will hold two separate “Super-Point Series” Pair games. This allows you to get the two-session overall series awards in one-day—only on Sunday. The KO teams that lose in semi-finals have a great game to stay for and enter!

OK, we really need your help. The District has many spots that need volunteers to fill.

If you want to get involved, perhaps start with the Board of Delegates (BoD). Ask your Unit president or rep if you can represent your Unit at the semi-annual District meetings. Who should do this? YOU that’s who. We need new blood, new thinking, and players from every level of bridge. Yes, whether you have 5 points or 5,000, if you love this game, you should think about stepping up. It is not just “A players” who can help, we need the viewpoint from every perspective to be a successful organization.

If the BoD twice a year doesn’t sound involved enough for you, then email me and give me your ideas, you will be welcome to help out. Partnership Desk, Education, Lectures, Newcomer Welcoming, Facebook, emails, flyers, committee work, scheduling: there is a lot to do and yes, I am asking you.

Remember: If you are not willing to pitch in, and everyone else does the same, the “thing that someone should do” becomes the thing that will not get done. Get involved. Get active. Please!

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.

The changes are here, our Regionals are all about you!

See you at the tables, if you miss coffee time,

Bob Bertoni
President, District 25

More Fun, More Places to Win, More Recognition, all at NEBC District 25.