Judy Kay-Wolff

MIXED FEELINGS

When we left Las Vegas for the Trials in Orlando, I was in a state of indecision.  Of course, I always root for Bobby and most always have not been disappointed by his performance.  However, in this instance, I was in limbo – mainly after reading the highly controversial and unpleasant banter on Bridge Winners for nearly two weeks how the Israeli Women’s Bridge Team (despite the rationalization by others) were put in a position where it was incumbent upon them to withdraw from the competition after an ongoing hassle by detractors and being ignored or stalled by the Indonesian authorities for months regarding arrangements for their visas (as well as wanting to feel safe with their own security protection which they were refused).   I have presented a blog on this issue before, but since I could have been personally involved, I thought it was pertinent to revisit the scene.   Had this been held in Israel, there is no doubt that extreme measures would be taken to both welcome the visitors and take a vehement position on protecting their safety.  This September’s site as most of you know is Bali.  You  may also recall, after 911, the WBF had selected the same island for the Bermuda Bowl to be held a few months after the murderous attack by the terrorists.   The WBF, with Jose Damiani by far the dominant force, in all good conscience, decided to abruptly change course and relocated in Paris.   All went smoothly and despite heavy financial losses for both Lippo Bank of Indonesia and the WBF, the change in midstream was a success and judged to be a responsible move.  Anyway, here were are back in Bali and many are uneasy about the site.  I happen to be one of those, so being knocked out in the middle of the week was not as painful as it ordinarily would have been and I am not ashamed to admit it.  Human safety should be the first consideration in site selection.  True confessions!

The outcomes of the recent USA1 Women’s and USA 1 Senior Teams were very popular.  The Women’s consist of Captain Barbara Sonsini (a beautiful sponsor whom I only know by sight) surrounded by an extraordinarily impressive squad consisting of Lynn Deas, Beth Palmer, Irina Levitina, Kerri Sanborn and Judi Radin.  The Senior Team is captained by sponsor Richie Schwartz (playing with former Canadian Allan Graves) and two good partnerships:  a newly formed one of Sam Lev and Bob Hamman and an expert, well respected and seasoned twosome of  Neil Chambers and John Schermer.  These six are thought to be as good a Senior Team as we could produce for the World Championship and have a terrific chance to be right up there at the final bell.   Playoffs are still in session for the USA II teams in both categories.

As I wrote earlier, the hotel site and their employees were super; the directing staff which was headed by Solly Weinstein and Harry Falk et al. were efficient, soft spoken and very gentlemanly as one would expect; Peg Kaplan was there with camera in hand and Lisa Berkowitz and Mollie O’Neill untiringly welcomed the contestants and spouses or significant others to the Hospitality Suite.  They outdid themselves and no one walked away hungry.  Jan Martel did her usual hustle and bustle and kept the event going smoothly.  However, I just read that an appeal was made Wednesday which determined (and reversed) the outcome of the Kasle/Meltzer match with details to follow.  (It is now twelve hours after I began this post and no explanation has yet been rendered on the USBF site).  I am anxious to see who comprised the “Appeals Committee” – hopefully without bias, prejudice, professional ties and other naughty leanings.  Luckily the adverse decision made in the Open Trials involving  the winning Fleisher Team did not alter the scores or results, although there was a huge amount of public criticism (and rightfully so) by more qualified individuals than those who served on the actual Committee.  Incidentally, it was relegated to a telephone squad who conferred on the ruling and I do think the Trials to select our country’s representatives should be better supervised by on-site committees rather than Graham Bell contributors.   We seem to have money for everything else.  What could possibly take precedence over who is to represent the USA????

Another conspicuous aspect of all three Trials to represent our country was the predominance of sponsored teams.  I certainly agree there are SPONSORS and sponsors.  Many of the so-called money people behind the team are decent players – not necessarily world class – but who would have a shot with good back up to hold his or her head up high.   As some of you are not aware, sponsorship (though it was hush-hush) actually reared its head back in the sixties).  Would you believe even Charlie Goren backed a team on which he was playing, but it was important to keep his name in lights because he was the chief promoter of modern bridge as we see it today.   Believe me, this is not ‘rumor’ as Bobby was one of those solicited to join their ranks.

I have kibitzed our game ad infinitem (both comedy shows and serious bridge) and watched the 2013 contests in the hospitality room, on the return flight by Ipad and on BBO from my computer at home.  There seems to occur one system “forget” after another.  Is this the Keystone Cops or what???  I cannot believe it is not humiliating to make a bonehead bid or play that is being witnessed by thousands of viewers the world over.   I would want to crawl into a hole to never again resurface.   I witnessed such a disastrous action by a well-known sponsor and I confess the person may not even have been aware of it, but a first grader (with only a tinge of numeracy) who was just learning the game would have known better.   The play was a hundred times worse than impossible – if there is such a thing. It must have produced a universal cringe!  I find it uncanny to comprehend the direction in which world representation is headed.  Learning and feeding one’s ego by playing with a pro and making the headlines in sectionals, regionals and even NABCS does not affect our world status.  But — are we encouraging this class of players to strive to represent the US?  Is buying one’s way onto a world championship team what our game has come down to?   However, with the economy the way it is and many professionals not being capable, trained (or industrious enough) to find other ways of financial support — the level of supposed “world class teams” have been compromised and will hit the skids and one day the inevitable will come – our game will become history because its majesty and glory have disappeared.   I am not normally a crepehanger, but it is hard to rationalize what has occurred and how this status came about! 


19 Comments

JoanieJuly 19th, 2013 at 2:19 am

Very informative — and I agree with you about the qualifications for representation going downhill. By the way I tried to follow up on the appeal of yesterday, but they have taken off all information on the USBF site. Nothing but the names of today’s winners and the two teams competing in the finals on Friday. Have you heard anything?

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 19th, 2013 at 2:24 am

No, Joanie, I have seen nothing either. Guess they don’t want more publicity on the appeal than is necessary, but I think the dues paying members of the ACBL are entitled to know what has happened. Why promise something then do a complete turnabout?

There are a small number of boards left to settle the final selection for the US Senior Team — either Lynch or Meltzer. Should be interesting and if I can rouse myself, I will be watching although we are both recovering from our exhausting trip to Orlando. But — eventually everything will return to normal. It always does.

SamJuly 19th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Judy:

I was watching BBO yesterday and found it embarrassing to see some of the unspeakable erroneous actions by two of the sponsors. However, it looks as if as it comes down to the wire that a sponsored team will carry the USA 2 Senior flag. I totally agree what you alluded to regarding digging a hole, jumping in — never again to resurface.

How can the powers that be not realize how bad it makes the U. S. look — especially when they will have to play the likes of people like the Italians, the former Balkan countries, the Poles, etc. — true world class experts with decades of experience in WBF championships.
A real farce in my eyes.

As has often been said — Money Talks — B. S. Walks.

Jane AJuly 19th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I know little about this upper level of bridge, and know even less about sponsors, so forgive me if my questions seem “novice” Do people who can afford to sponsor a team expect to be a playing member of said team? If there is not a sponsor, then I assume this means that the team is paying all their own bills, entry fees, air fare. etc. Do sponsors pick up all the expenses, or only part of the expenses, and does this include a salary to the players as well? Perhaps a number of teams would never be able to play at all without someone who can provide financial assistance. If a sponsor is not skillful enough to play in a top level game, shouldn’t this be worked out ahead of time? Seems to me that a team of highly skilled players would not want a sponsor with less ability playing at this level because their chances of winning would not be as good. Money talks, but who should be listening?

The comment above about unspeakable erroneous actions by two sponsors means what? Playing errors, or something else?

As far as location, I can’t figure out why potentially dangerous locations are selected, or even considered, for top level bridge events. History shows that it has not worked out well in the past. There are so many other lovely and relatively safe places to go in this great big world of ours.

I have only been to Orlando once. Seemed like a nice place but we went to take our child to see Disney, so we did spend a lot of time walking everywhere. We were much younger then, so it was all good. Not so sure I have any interest in going back again.

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 19th, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Jane A:

Off to play bridge and I’ll bet you know where. LOTS of intelligent questions, Will answer them one by one when I return. It will be enlightening and I am sure this is all mind boggling to many who are not familiar with how money plays a big part in our game. Sad how bridge has been compromised.

Later,

Judy

Howard Bigot-JohnsonJuly 19th, 2013 at 6:44 pm

HBJ : Money sure is the root of all evil. Sadly it is not the mega rich sponsors who are to blame for the kind of weakness they bring into your national teams. The blame must be firmly assigned to the world class players who have allowed themselves to be ” bought “, simply by agreeing to let these sponsors be their partners. Putting money it seems before national pride.
I cannot think of any other sport that allows this sort of practice to go on. Selection must always be on merit and pure ability…..and these essential attributes need to be assessed and judged only by those who have already proved themselves at this game. As they say it takes an expert to recognise an expert.

Larry LowellJuly 20th, 2013 at 12:42 am

The quote is:

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil …”

1 Timothy 6:10 NASB 1977

Sin is THE ROOT of all evil …

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 20th, 2013 at 3:45 am

Hi Larry:

I’ve never heard it presented in such a biblical fashion — but Tim says it all.

Thanks for the education. I always wondered the origin. Now I know.

Cheers,

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 20th, 2013 at 4:06 am

Hi HBJ:

It is a very ticklish subject as professionalism has usurped our game. The bottom line seems to be the almighty dollar and bridge players have to make a living. How it is reflected on the international scene seems to matter not. It is just very disconcerting to me to watch what I have seen in the last few days. Today at the bridge club when I started to discuss a hand, my RHO opponent throttled my words by uproarious laughter, blurting .. “That is the worst play I have EVER seen — barring none.” It was clear we were watching the same BBO match.

Thanks for speaking up. Few people will take a public position.

Cheers,

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 20th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

JaneA:

I’ll try to fill you in, but first let me tell you where I am coming from. I’ve been on the scene for longer than I care to admit. My exposure from the time I met Norman until now being married to Bobby has given me a perspective that few others have shared. I accompanied Norman to every National (except two we did not attend) from the early 1960s till his death in 2002, and then I picked up with Bobby until about five years ago when we slowed down (and honestly don’t miss the long itineraries a bit). I have also been privy to have kibitzed almost a dozen world championships and invitational events overseas. I have watched the very best the bridge world had to offer — some talented and extremely ethical — and others short in those departments. I do not profess to be an expert — far from it — but I have been privileged to be taken under the wings of two of the greatest players to come upon the scene. A lot has rubbed off but I have a long way to go to reach my peak (and time is fleeting). So much for the above.

You ask …

1) “Do sponsors pick up all the expenses, or only part of the expenses, and does this include a salary to the players as well?”

If my memory serves me correctly, early on there were two sponsored teams: The Precision Team which was brought to the fore by C. C. Wei. He was a lovely Asian gentlemen who did not profess to be a bridge player but designed a ‘system’ he wanted to bring to the attention of the world. He hired a number of partnerships (mostly New Yorkers) to learn the approach and play as pairs, but The Precision Team fell by the wayside after a couple of years (though several disciples still use Precision as their Bridge Bible). The other sponsored team (starting out with a playing sponsor) was The Dallas Aces in which Bobby played a big role in it’s formation along with Ira Corn’s S. O., Dorothy Moore who was a decent player herself. The results with Ira playing as the sixth produced discouraging results and he was “forced” to be an interested rooter but garnered much publicity and glory for the Aces’ formation. When the money got scarce, the team broke up but several of the partnerships continued (and though not paid) carried the banner of The Aces as a tribute to their founder. They had a couple coaches, the lasting one being Joe Musumeci, a retired member of the Strategic Air Command, who ruled effectively with an iron hand concentrating on discipline (rather than bridge instruction) and produced great results.

As far as what exists today, every sponsorship has different arrangements. The ultra rich pay huge amounts plus expenses and bonuses if success is achieved. Today it is a rat race for two reasons. Disproportionately, there are a far greater number of professionals in comparison to the number of sponsors and with one or two exceptions, their wages have been reduced considerably because of our scary economy. Another factor is that with all the rivalry for many fewer sponsors than before, it is dog-eat-dog. Professionalism, as witnessed, by favoritism and prejudice on many committees has altered many of the decisions which has directly affected our game. Few (if any) appeals committee members have recused themselves. In many instances, they have too much at stake. If a renowned pro (who was in a position to recommend replacements for himself if approached and unavailable) came before a committee of wanna-be pros looking for work, I daresay it would be hard to vote against him or her. But, that’s life in the bridge world. It is an accepted fact and no one cares to change the status quo.

2) “Do sponsors pick up all the expenses, or only part of the expenses, and does this include a salary to the players as well?”

Every case is unique, depending upon the quality of the pros. It is not thought of as a salary — but rather an amount for services rendered. This figure has declined a lot and since the majority of ordinary professionals do not have a real job and enjoy the luxury of being paid to play the game they once loved, many will take whatever is offered. However, the big timers can almost name their price.

3) “Perhaps a number of teams would never be able to play at all without someone who can provide financial assistance. If a sponsor is not skillful enough to play in a top level game, shouldn’t this be worked out ahead of time. Seems to me that a team of highly skilled players would not want a sponsor with less ability playing at this level because their chances of winning would not be as good. Money talks, but who should be listening.”

Jane, What do you mean “they wouldn’t be able to play at all without someone who can provide financial assistance.” If so, get an old-fashioned “real job”. When I came upon the scene, most of the top players labored weekdays from 9 to 5. They were for the most part professional businessmen (stockbrokers, lawyers, bankers, company owners, etc.). Some (like Bill Root) actually made a sensational living from teaching (mostly during the summer months) at country clubs in the New York area where they often had well over 100 students who couldn’t wait until the next lesson. At the present time, I believe Richard Pavlicek, a popular expert and first class gentleman) has a huge following in Florida. Respectfully (and I know this is not your bag and that is why you are asking) — you are way off base when you question that they want a team of highly skilled players and wouldn’t want a sponsor with lesser ability because their chances of winning are not good. Hogwash of the highest order. The bottom line is not necessarily playing (and hoping to do well) — but the goal is the almighty dollar and getting paid at the end of the event. I can understand taking playing lessons to improve one’s game but not to buy one’s way onto an international team. That’s a bit much and makes a mockery of what world championship teams are all about.

4) “The comment above about unspeakable erroneous actions by two sponsors mean what? Playing errors, or something else.”

The answer: All of the above. It is either not knowing any better or the incapacity to realize they have made an impossible, unforgivable mistake. Most of the competition at the club level does not sink to the level of performances as were witnessed in the Trials.

I have never been a believer in buying your way to a finish line. I suppose it is a question of ego and pride — with the whole world watching and witnessing one’s every move. Guess that’s why they say “take it or leave it!”

Moving forward to the finals of the Senior Team for USA 2: They are in session as we speak and assuredly one of the sponsor’s team has won the right to represent our country in Bali. Having as opponents some of the best world class seniors mostly from the European nations will not be duck soup. However, in WBF events, sponsors do not have to play their equal share of the matches as we do here in the States, so that is a ‘plus.’ Even the very best expert teams will be challenged by the superiority of their opponents. I have witnessed them in play and you cannot close your eyes for a instant! It is a constant pressure cooker and if you can’t take the heat, get outta the kitchen — or stay away in the first place!

So much for sponsorship — but just one woman’s opinion!

Paul CroninJuly 21st, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Hi Judy,

The committee was Marty Fleisher, Chairman
Dan Morse
Chris Willenken

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 21st, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Thanks Paul:

Yesterday I spotted it on the USBF site. It was such a crucial decision and just wondered why it took two days to publicize. It certainly was a good committee although I hate to see a match decided by procedural penalties.

Gary MugfordJuly 23rd, 2013 at 6:07 am

Judy,

What’s the old saw? Best Possible Result or best result possible. That, in a nutshell, is putting national jackets on playing sponsors in international events. And, you know, I’ve made my peace with it. At least I’ve allowed myself to be OK with Americans doing it since we don’t have the kind of creature here in Canada.

In essence, the greater the playing pool, the greater the available talent there is to FORM a good to great international team in any sport. Fact is, that Team USA should still never be threatened by any other country’s basketball squad, male or femaile. Our version is not hockey, but curling, where merely winning our national crown puts that foursome plus one reserve into the gold medal favourite’s position at the world’s (in hockey, the USA and Russia have caught up with our TOTAL talent pool). And that’s despite never sending our five best curlers onto to the world championships, just the best of our provincial champions.

But oddly, even with multiple Dream Teams, the USA have, in fact, been challenged and outright been beaten in roundball. Been awhile since Canadian curlers held both men’s and women’s international titles at the same time. And here’s the reason: We are talking team sports. And in the examples I’ve just cited, AS WELL AS IN BRIDGE, the top talent does NOT accumulate on the same team year-round.

Back in 1981, my little town in Canada was home to the best junior women’s softball team in the country. We’d proved that the year before in winning the Canadian title (also in my home town {G}). Off to the inaugural world junior championships and we played, in order, the American squad (a team from California with re-inforcements from all over the continental 48) and the national teams of Japan and mainland China. And we ended up in the final four with those teams, outlasting national teams from all over the globe. AND we took the eventual gold medal winning Japanese to extra innings in both round play and in the play-offs. We were a squad from a town of 60,000, augmented with three pitchers who lived within an hour’s driving distance for purpose of practices.

Why were we so successful? Teamwork. Knowing each other on the team and knowing where to be, how to co-operate, how to make plays. It’s a lot of the reason why some of the smaller countries (bridge-playing wise) are becoming successful. Because their VERY BEST play together. A LOT! And anybody who doubts Bridge is first a partnership game and then a team game when IMPs are at stake, hasn’t actually played the game yet. (Add in the fact that Bridge is the only game in the world where you do not know the score, up to the minute and ‘knowing’ your teammates at the other table double/triples? in importance).

Having a gigantic talent pool spreads the top talent around. Egos and politics and just plain rubbing each other the wrong way, keeps super-teams from forming and staying formed. The only way MOSTLY super teams have stayed together in Bridge is due to the coin of the realm … or an iconic pesonality. And even in Goren’s case, he still had to offer inducements.

Sponsors have varied in quality over the years. And even in their play at world events. Heck, mention Seymon Deutsch around Italian Bridge circles and those with memories still blanche. But Seymon was sort of the guy who I think made up part of the SPONSOR group. And I’m not talking purely financials.

Sponsors don’t always get the credit they sometimes deserve. As mentioned, some of them have become good to great players. That’s work, in most cases. And some have found a way to bring multiple contenders for the converstion of ‘the best’ onto one team and let them play most of the boards. Brownie points for that. And then there are the sponsors who punt the chukars they play and/or are only semi=successful recruiters. We have both kinds in the ACBL. And soon, despite the different political system, the same thing will happen with the Chinese. And maybe even the Russians down the road.

If a sponsor is consistently outclassed at the table, then the four great players have a penalty to overcome. But it helps to be great, most of the time. If the sponsor can hold his or her own, then very good to great is all the main four have to meet goal-wise. And, of course, in the rare circumstances of a great talent as sponsor (going back to Josephine Culbertson and Charles Goren), then the advantage can be overwhelming if the recruiting is up to snuff.

Bottom line, would I prefer a non-sponsor involved Bridge world? It hasn’t existed for a very long time, possibly my whole playing life. But I think not. I honestly think we would be worse off. Dominant foursomes would still abound. But they’d be two sets of A pairs, rather than A+ pairs. Or the A+ pair in your region with their good buddies the A- pair. And even then, teams would form and break up quicker than it takes to read one of my comments.

Count me in a sponsor supporter. Well, in theory.

EllisJuly 24th, 2013 at 6:34 am

Sponsors, the age old question. Do we differentiate between USBF and ACBL events for their inclusion on team rosters.
I think it is somewhat of a moot point . As long as we hold open team trials any team who is in good standing sponsored or not is allowed to enter.
At the end of an often gruelling trials where even world renowned experts have been known to make gargantuan errors , normally the cream rises to the top.
There are two main factors in generating a winning team, Skill and mental fortitude. Skill can be judged over the long term, mental fortitude is slightly more difficult to asses.
But this is the reason that some of our finest bridge players rarely get on the podium and others seem to get gold medals consistently.
There are teams that win regardless of wether they are sponsored or not, there are teams with large money sponsors who rarely win. This is more often to do with team dynamic, and less to do with the individual skill levels of various partnerships.

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 31st, 2013 at 1:00 am

Gary:

I am far behind responding on my blog site and just read your commentary above. It is way too detailed and covers so many bases (although quite comprehensive and informative), I wouldn’t dare tackle it. However, regarding your reference to great sponsors, I don’t know very much about Josephine Culbertson’s talents as a player/sponsor but Goren (with his much unpublicized status as a sponsor) was far from a good player in the eyes of the experts of those days. However, who could ever challenge his unparralled contribution to the game. Bridge might never have gotten out of the batters’s box without Charlie’s arrival on the scene. Who knows in which direction our lives would have gone. I know mine was certainly blessed — in spades — and all because of bridge!

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 31st, 2013 at 1:40 am

Hi Ellis: Bridge can be a jealous mistress!

The outcome appears to be so unpredictable, especially when weak playing sponsors (though there are some pretty decent ones around) hire a top level expert and provides his or her mentor with enough of the green stuff to pad the team with terrific backup from the bullpen.

You speak of the difference between sponsorship at the ACBL events as compared to the Trials. Everyone is entitled to his or own personal opinion but it just saddens me to see the United States not put its best foot forward when competing against so many world class foreign nations. Bridge has become just another contentious business and its majesty is being compromised. Pretty hard to argue that point!

Dennis CohenJuly 31st, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Well, the Precision teams of Sontag-Weichsel, et al, went by the wayside after a few (successful) years, but the Weis (both CC and Kathy) continued to successfully sponsor teams and pairs to play Precision and variations thereof. Don’t forget the rather formidable pair of Garozzo-Belladonna playing what they called Super-Precisio or the sponsored women’s teams that Kathy backed.

Sponsorship, or a semblence of it, has been around since before the 60s. There were teams in teh 40s and 50s that weren’t exactly sponsored, but some less affluent players on the teams were subsidized in order to field the strongest lineup they could. Further, client-pro relationships have been around even longer in the pairs scene.

It depends quite a bit upon whether you consider bridge to be a recreational endeavor or a serious competition when making the judgment on the “rightness” of sponsorship. Many of you probably remember the incessant bickering that led to the “amateur” and “pro” delineations of the 70s and 80s. I don’t know whether it continued into the 90s because I got so fed up with ACBL that I took an almost two decade hiatus after the 1990 Fall NABC, not returning to the fold until (temporarily) in 2009.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 1st, 2013 at 2:42 am

Hi Dennis:

You call to mind some marvelous experiences when you mentioned Peter Weischel! I first met him when he traveled to Philly for a Regional probably forty or so years ago. He was young and probably resembled the first “hippie” with long hair to whom I had ever been exposed. I do recall my late husband Norman Kay remarking that this young fella was gonna go places and indeed did!

When you allude to sponsorship, in my initial introduction to the bridge world in the 60’s and 70’s — I vividly recall only two that were impressive: C. C. Wei’s Precision Team composed of all fine up-and-coming young experts and The Dallas Aces which started off with five terrific players (and for a very short time included the money behind the undertaking — Ira Corn). However, Ira’s dream went up in smoke when he realized The Aces would not attain great success with him as the sixth so he stepped down and it was smooth sailing from then on.

You referred to sponsorship surfacing in two formats (with and without a playing sponsor). You also raise a very good question whether one plays merely for recreation or views it as serious competition. Obviously it depends on your needs and station in life.

I remember my mother’s friends had a weekly do-or-die game and once I was called upon to fill in. It was truly the classic “night to remember!” When my partner bid 4C, I inquired whether it was Gerber or not and after two minutes of dead silence, I was advised that all the “girls” used Singer (because he was a better and cheaper plumber than his competitor — Mr. Gerber). What a shocker. They never heard of Johnny. It took me weeks to recuperate!

However, bridge is a wonderful pastime and certainly more relaxing playing it just for fun. Serious bridge is so much more demanding and most avid players’ lives are engulfed in the competition — playing a major role in their everyday routines.

It matters not which type of competition one prefers, but if it is serious bridge, I feel strongly that we owe it to the game itself and our country by not making a sham of it with a poorly playing Sponsor headlining the team in international competition. Captain, yes! Player, no! However, on the other hand, I understand the pros have to eat too! It is a case of priorities.

Bill SmithJuly 22nd, 2015 at 3:02 pm

When moneyed sponsorship became big time (early 70’s) there were some ‘poor’ playing sponsors. The late Bud Reinhold maybe most notably. The reason I admired Barry Crane was he was a 98%
amateur. He played because he was addicted to the game, and had the natural talent to win more often than anyone. He’d peer from over the top of his glasses and say “No bid” less often than others, but this worked very well for him. Only a balanced Yarborough qualified…. Anyway, he later would attempt to sabotage any wealthy McKenney hopeful. I hold NO grudge against any pro player, more power to ’em, but a paying sponsor who cannot be at least a player of Rosenkrantz or Richie Swartz’s ability, I say “don’t apply here”. i.e, I agree w/ Judy.

Bill Smith

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