Judy Kay-Wolff

THE ANTITHESIS OF PIECE DE RESISTANCE …

The bridge world is comprised of all sizes, shapes, sexes, personalities, nationalities and talents.   Bobby and I (at the LV Sectional this week) came across one of the most obnoxious opponents I ‘ve had the displeasure of playing against in 55 years and I’ve fallen victim to quite a few.   This clown I would call a pure, genuine, unadulterated creep.   You know me, I don’t mince words!!!!!  Although Bobby has seen so many of them over his sixty years in competition, shrugs them off, laughs and doesn’t pay them much mind.   Bobby’s boiling point is reached with any kind of cheating, stealthy attempts at helping one’s partner and taking obvious advantage of breaks in tempo.    I, on the other hand, (besides the aforementioned) find haughtiness despicable which equates to fixing the opponents and giving each other a congratulatory ‘high five’.  I am much more conscious of trying to be courteous but I go off the deep end when someone deliberately gloats (after taking a ridiculous, successful idiotic approach which by some anti-percentage fluke works) — as the opponent (poor soul — forgive him as he knows not what he did — and never will) doesn’t know any better.   Let me elaborate a bit further.   As you are quite aware, my blogs zero in on history, memory lane or causes which I feel are worth fighting for and making the public aware of their danger to the dignity of the game.   Professing to be an expert (or self-styled one) is not my bag.  By now you are prepared for my off-the-wall experience of yesterday in a Glitter Gulch Pair Game.

This tremendously large aberration of a creature seats himself on my right and his humongous circular name button (which he apparently proudly wore as his calling card) seemed to go along with his stature and almost knocked my eyeballs out.    O. K. — to each his own  — if for some stupid reason he wanted to flaunt his presence and make himself known. That’s his egotistical prerogative — a welcome mat of sociability.   Many players wear cute little name tags — even including their home town.   I rather enjoy seeing them.  It makes for a friendly homey atmosphere.

And now for the hands — which made me see stars.

Holding:    K93   Q10  AK4  Q9643

Non vulnerable, the bozo, sitting East, opened 1C with the above hand.   Partner (in the West chair) responded 1S (our style leans to a rebid of 2S — but that is immaterial and not crucial) and opener responded 1NT.   Partner jumped to 3H and rather than loving his hand more than before (by jumping to 4S or choosing either the ubiquitous call of 4D with the intention of converting to 4S) or even a a pussy-footing underbid of 3S (last choice), he denied a secondary fit and chose 3NT.   Dummy produced:   AJ1087  AK642  J7  2   (I guess it never occurred to his partner to show her 5/5 by rebidding 4H — but, alas, here they were in 3NT.  If I had x-ray eyes or the advantage of a wired partnership, it would have had the good sense to lead a club and not led the diamond 10, giving declare an extra trick at the get-go when his DJ held.

Here were our hands:  (North)  Q5  J987   862   AJ107      opposite mine (South)  642  53  Q10953  K85

The brain surgeon who was declarer, won the diamond jack;  played HQ and the H10 to the HA and HK, getting the bad news, then cashing the top diamonds, throwing a heart and a club, played SK and a spade to the SA, dropping the DOUBLETON SQ.    HAD THAT NOT BEEN BAD ENOUGH (holding only eight of them), BUT THEN HE TURNED TO BOBBY and beamed, stating ‘G-O-O-D  M-A-N!”   I was so infuriated by everything about his appearance, demeanor and mouth, I wanted to get the metal board and toss it at him, but I controlled myself.   In retrospect, I am not sure whether banishment would not have been worth it had I taken perfect aim.   (Result: -660 where as the field made ether +650 or +680).      

So much attention is focused on table protocol: not touching anyone else’s cards without asking permission first; bidding in tempo; no private understandings; alerting when imperative; the absence of alerts; warnings about failure to alert; cautions about rudely telling the opponents how they could have made the hand or a lead that could have beaten their contract; conflicts of interest, personal agendas and the ineptness and partiality of some people serving on Appeals Committees, the politics prevalent in so many factions of the ACBL, etc. —  it’s  time we dedicate more time to teaching some members to act civilized at the table.    So here’s another NO-NO   Penalize the opponents for making ugly and gratuitous remarks.   That’s as bad as it gets!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder a lot of first-timers or newcomers drop out of duplicates.  People do not like being abused, insulted or having their nose rubbed in it and it is totally inexcusable behavior.

In our case, it was just a case of a worse-than-hopeless bridge player with no clue of the game, an irritating manner — and the intentional delight derived from adding insult to injury or pouring salt on the wound.     The only remark I made was, “You’d be a good candidate for Miss Manners.”   He departed the table with a grin — and obviously, NO REMORSE!  Maybe I am getting too old for this game.  I expect more!!!!!


11 Comments

PimoMarch 3rd, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Two very interesting facts about the ACBL:

Half the membership does not possess even a partial master point.

Out of every 100 players introduced to duplicate bridge, it’s either one or two who stay the course and continue to play. Ergo, anyone who continues to support duplicate is of a very different ilk.

Riki and I caught a player with the same qualities in the first match of a one session Swiss last night. This is one of my favorite events, short, sweet and a shootout. To be blitzed in the first round is annoying, but not the end of the world. What was the end was playing against an opponent who exemplified those qualities aforementioned in your column: ……. (that) kind of cheating, stealthy attempts at helping one’s partner and taking obvious advantage of breaks in tempo……( as well as exuding a despicable) haughtiness after fixing the opponents (like in GLOATING AND CHORTLING). We had drawn the most well known player in our district famous for the sloooooooooow play syndrome. When I asked him years ago why(?), his response was that he did so solely with the hope that the opponent(s) would forget what had happened or where they were. He’s a player who has yet to be reprimanded or penalized for his chronic 30 years of behavior.

Bottom line, he is a cheat, not like a signaler such as Sion or Cokin, but more as a thief who takes from the game its future camaraderie when he works his magic at the table by brandishing his special weapon ” the hesitation “…. cluck, cluck, clucking all the way. Shame on his long time friend and partner for abiding by such behavior for all these years, though last night, when I looked over at Big Guy, I saw that even he was shaking his head, which from the sleeping giant is quite a statement. His HOF mentor also should give some thought to how closely he wants to continue to be aligned to this spoil-sport.

Thanks, I needed to vent.

John Howard GibsonMarch 3rd, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Thanks very much for this blog. Your comments have alerted Dr. John to another psychological disorder that certainly affects bridge players….especially the creep you chose to write about. Hopefully, if you know his name, you could possibly send him a copy of the next Dr. John post, hoping that it might take his breath away………permanently. Anyway, the post will of course be dedicated to him in a manner of speaking. Yours Howard Bigot Johnson ( man of many alter egos )

No Longer a Friend of T. K.March 3rd, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I would like to add my two cents worth, and discuss a person that never will be missed. One Tony Kasday, bridge player. He has, for decades, fleeced the public in word contests. Tony has sailed under the radar of the US Postal authorities, dodging, with deceptive wording, mail fraud. Yes, he paid off and published lists of winners, but as you were led down his devious path, of being tied for the BIG ONE, little did you realize so were thousands of other hapless souls. He like Bernie Madoff swindled strangers, credit card companies and small businesses. Bernie even took down charities. Tony took that a step further and took his best friend.

Not content with mere alleged mail fraud, he connived his best friend of thirty plus years, into “loaning” him his life savings. Only, our friend, Tony Kasday, knew the truth, that this loan was never going to be repaid. He has skipped the country to avoid litigation.

Recently he reappeared at a bridge tournament, hired pros and proceeded to flaunt the money he stole from his friend. The adage that there is no honor among thieves comes to mind. Tony refuses to discuss this with his friend or even acknowledge that the debt needs to be repaid. He has discontinued any form of payment and has welched on this debt. Preying on the many decades friendship he used every one of his devious ways to wheedle the money, and then laughed at the naiveté of his friend for making the loan.

Shame on you Tony Kasday.

John Howard GibsonMarch 3rd, 2010 at 5:28 pm

If someone did that to me I would wait for an extremely foggy night, only to follow them home, or up to the front-door of their house, with balaclarva and base-ball bat……intent on delivering one blow for each hundred dollars owed. Yours Howard Bigot-Johnson ( Believer in divine justice )

PimoMarch 3rd, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Amen, H.B.-J. Though Karma will always work its way through the entire family lineage or ” the curse of the father shall….. “

JUDY KAY-WOLFFMarch 3rd, 2010 at 6:41 pm

To: “No longer a friend of T. K.”

That’s quite a mouthful. Sounds like the bridge world’s own Bernie Madoff. If people think cheating at bridge is heinous, this ranks right up there with the worst of the worst. It is sad people are so trusting as you never really know what is lurking beside you. It is a sad story indeed.

jkw

Richard PavlicekMarch 5th, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Judy, look at the bright side. If the “bozo” had hooked the H 10

and made seven, you might be in jail for assault. 🙂

No Longer a Friend of T. K.March 6th, 2010 at 8:19 am

To: John Howard Gibson.

Have been pondering about the dark and foggy night and the said bones. Mr. Tony Kasday is a round as he is tall so it would be difficult to find the bones. Also I don’t think slimy creatures have bones, much less hundreds of thousands of them. I like the way you think though, so keep working on it.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFMarch 6th, 2010 at 8:20 am

Richard — Or on death row for murder!

Angela CoolMarch 9th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Kind of makes you wonder about the character of the bridge pros – or anyone – who accepts money from Tony when they know about T. K.’s immoral conduct, doesn’t it? The guy secretly fled the country, leaving many creditors in his wake.

M SchulerJuly 8th, 2011 at 12:09 am

What say you NOW about T.K. now?

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