Judy Kay-Wolff

LARRY COHEN .. A Man for all Bridge Seasons

(Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published on December 8th, 2010.)

Although all of my Trips Down Memory Lane have featured those playing in the tables in the sky, I had to make one exception – LARRY COHEN, very much alive – but temporarily semi-retired from the hectic tournament scene as the demands in his daily routines are so compelling.   Larry is, IMHO, much more adjusted than other bridge fanatics of our day or yesteryear.  His adorable wife, Maria, is a non-player and they enjoy many non-bridge activities together, most recently incredibly focusing on well-attended cruises and seminars all over the country.   They live in Boca Raton, Fl but also spend a lot of time in Utah as they enjoy traveling and the outdoor way of life.  Golf is his true passion but he is forced to put that on the back burner.

Larry, a former computer programmer and options trader, learned to play bridge at the tender age of 6 as he watched his grandparents.   He started playing duplicate at 14, in tournaments at 15 and became a life master at 17.  He won his first National Championship at age 22, capturing 26 nationals including the Vanderbilt, 2 Spingolds, 2 Reisingers, 2 LM Pairs and 4 Blue Ribbon Pairs.   Larry was a two-time winner of the Cavendish Invitational Pairs and Winner of the 1990 Cap Gemini World Top 16 Pairs Tournament in the Hague.  He was also winner of the Silver Medal in the 1998 world championships, the 2000 Bronze Medal in the Olympiad teams, 2002 ACBL Player of the year and just this week was named the coveted Honorary ACBL Member of the year for 2011.  Much of his success was accomplished with David Berkowitz with whom he played as a partner for umpteen years.

Besides being the author of To Bid or Not to Bid (the Law of Total Tricks) which sold over 80,000 copies and was translated into six different languages,  his sequel, Following the Law,  was also a best seller.  Larry is the author of six books, many magazine articles, wrote and published CDs — Play Bridge with Larry Cohen, 1999 Life Master Pairs – Days 1, 2, 3; My Favorite 52 (2005); and The Real Deal (2010).   He also publishes a free monthly newsletter for everyone who joins from his website (www.larryco.com — which is incidentally full of 100’s of free bridge articles, features, practice deals, etc.).

(I’m already exhausted .. but it continues):  Larry served as Director of the prestigious Bridge World Master Solvers Club, is adored as a worldwide lecturer on land and sea, appears on Nationals Appeals Committees and is a casebook panelist.   Add to those .. a Member of the Conducts and Ethics Committee, Hall of Fame Committee Chairman and writer of ACBL Instant Matchpoint Game Booklet since 2007. He does VuGraph commentary live and online.

His accomplishments are not hearsay, believe me.  When he and Marty Bergen had their Reunion Seminar here in Las Vegas at the Wynn in June of 2010 with over 140 attendees, I came down and helped out with some of the nitty gritty and believe me, it was a smash.  In late June of 2011 he will be doing a repeat performance with Audrey Grant and Jerry Helms.   Vegas is a great tourist attraction so the attendees can enjoy the lectures, duplicates, great cuisine and in their spare (?) time, enjoy the gambling.

Larry Cohen is a tremendous credit to our game – but of more significance, he is one of the most modest and unassuming individuals I ever met and I love him dearly.


6 Comments

PegDecember 8th, 2010 at 6:36 am

Yeah, but he’s not in the Hall of Fame, Judy.

What, you say? He’s not yet 60? Excuses, excuses! 🙂 🙂

My guess is he’ll be inducted about 47 minutes after his 60th birthday!

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 8th, 2010 at 7:42 am

Agreed, Peg:

AND — his pro bono work is all for the love of the game — not to see his name in lights!

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 8th, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I’ll share a cute story about when Larry and I first met about twenty years ago under social circumstances.. He was a youngster, so to speak, and I was well into my fifties as Mrs. Norman Kay who shared the honor of my wonderful late husband’s name.

I didn’t want him to call me Mrs. Kay (much too formal in the bridge world), but he had a hard time calling me Judy. As a result of the conflict, he jokingly wrote to me as Hey You and to this day, I am HY1 and he is HY2. Problem solved.

Doris JonesFebruary 3rd, 2011 at 7:42 am

I am a 3 yr. “newbie” to bridge but I must put my 2 cents in as I have so enjoyed being on Larry’s EMail and learning from him. I have even EMailed him and gotten some fun and amusing replies. I am saving up to go to one of his seminars as I can hardly wait to meet him. i suspect he is a fun teacher.

Judy Kay-WolffFebruary 4th, 2011 at 7:32 am

Dear Doris:

Keep saving up those pennies. Believe me it is well worth it — not only the Seminar and Larry and his cohorts — but you will enjoy the other attendees as well. A great experience

Cheers,

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffFebruary 4th, 2011 at 7:32 am

Dear Doris:

Keep saving up those pennies. Believe me it is well worth it — not only the Seminar and Larry and his cohorts — but you will enjoy the other attendees as well. A great experience

Cheers,

Judy

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