Judy Kay-Wolff

On the Sunny Side of the Street

Not everything was doom and gloom last week. Bobby and I just learned that one of our favorite friends and teammates, Jack Hibbs, enjoyed a banner week at the Regional — winning 86.49 MPs (with frequent partner and classy gentleman, Dennis Scholl, close behind with 82.24).

Jack was raised in Northern New York (along the St. Lawrence River), attended University of Arizona, served in the USAF (and is too modest to discuss being awarded The Silver Star)… so forget I mentioned it! He has indeed enjoyed a many-faceted life; after moving to Vegas, became a stockbroker with a major company, worked in the retail computer industry for several years… but since 1999 has devoted his time to enjoying his golden years as a Realtor (when not at the bridge table) and continuing to be a loving husband, proud dad and grand-dad!


JoanJuly 1st, 2017 at 4:15 pm

It is refreshing to hear positive news from Unit 373. I recall how Las Vegas bridge events flourished beyond belief at the turn of the century and the talk now seems to be mostly negative over the last decade. Hope things turn around.

JudyJuly 1st, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Hi Joan,

It is hard to refute your heartfelt comments! I was active on the Philadelphia scene strictly as a bridge loving volunteer and can attest that the total focus was on the game itself .. casting egos and personal aggrandizement aside and keeping politics in the distant background.

Times have changed drastically, much being affected by the economy and the state of the world. We cannot do much about that .. but we can put our best foot forward concerning selection of our administration. We are continuing to suffer from contractual obligations authorized (?) a decade ago and the financial stress has put us in a virtually helpless position.
The solution is to recruit strong, dedicated administrators to step up to the plate and change the direction in which we are leaning.

AlanJuly 3rd, 2017 at 9:54 pm

Following up on Joan’s remark about the lessening interest in the game .. why. .. AND can’t anything be done to turn the tide??

JudyJuly 3rd, 2017 at 10:30 pm


You are not the first person curious about the faltering of the game. Both the answer and the solution are no-brainers!

First, besides an aging (and dying) population and other technical offerings which can be enjoyed .. in the comfort of one’s home .. how are you going to lure people to compete in our wonderful game .. in either duplicates or tournaments? We are a slowing dying breed!

Do as the CHINESE (and eleven European countries) have done. Encourage the ACBL to hire qualified people to introduce bridge OFFICIALLY into our educational curriculum!
.. we have less than 180,000 total ACBL members at last check.

Unless drastic steps are taken to focus on this imperative project, YOU can kiss the game goodbye in the future, and it may happen sooner than later.

JRGJuly 4th, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Comment submitted on behalf of Martha Beecher:

Hi Judy,
Responding to your question about early LV TOURNAMENTS:

Grace Matthews, Tom Schulman and I ran the bridge tournaments in Las Vegas. That would have been between 1984 and 2000. At that time Paul Ivaska was President of Unit 373 and appointed Grace and me to be Co-Tournament Chairmen. We had no idea, at the time, how to do it. We started with a Sectional that was three days long and a Regional that had been farmed out to others. We knew we could do better.

The key to success was to increase attendance. No one told us how to do this so we just sat down and thought about what to do. We made sure our flyers were the best looking on the advertising tables. We made banners to hang from the ceiling. Next we got a list of all the bridge clubs in the country and started sending flyers to the clubs. When anyone from Vegas went to a tournament, we had a package of flyers for them to take along. Gradually we papered the entire country with our flyers and told all we spoke with, Come to Vegas. We have the best of the best. Time past and they came.

I hear now that the Unit is in dire straits because they over committed for hotel rooms at the bridge venue. To that I would say, that perhaps you didn’t over commit .. just under performed. Going back to basics, if you plan a party, be sure and invite the guests. The players still want to come. It is up to those in charge to make it attractive. It took WORK, lots of hard work. You still have the best city in the world to hold a tournament and you still have the players. Now, it is up to you to bring them together. Instead of complaining about what you don’t have .. capitalize on what you do have.

We did everything we could think of to save money. Instead of renting supplies and equipment, we purchased and built it. We built the stanchions in Jack Hibbs’ driveway. We bought card tables; we made table markers in David Ashley’s living room; we had Las Vegas convention cards printed. We had a treat for each session; we got aprons for the caddies; we bought pencil sharpeners; we bought long pencils with erasers in bulk. We looked for sales. We did anything we could think of to make it great and keep the prices low. We were the free labor.

Nothing is easy. Times have changed. We are all older. Many now play on Bridge Base. The internet has attracted many with RPGs and the younger generation have found new forms of entertainment. They have phones on their wrists and the internet on their phone. During the past decade we have seen Poker tournaments explode. The reason for that is because of all the online poker sites. The internet is guiding the public and it isn’t to the bridge table. That is the job of the Unit officials.

Martha Beecher

JudyJuly 4th, 2017 at 3:41 pm


Thanks for posting the above. In the last day or two, I have had problems as well. Hope the issue is behind us.

Martha’s was certainly a provocative recounting of times gone by!

JudyJuly 4th, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Good morning Martha,

Apologies for the delay in getting your detailed account of times gone by posted. However, my guardian angel (JRG) always comes to my rescue. There have been technical internet issues they have been working to resolve.

Although this post was intended exclusively to honor a very special gentleman from our Unit (coincidentally alluded to by your reference to the stanchions), it has branched out in a different direction.

However, your detailed accounting of the unimaginable efforts of your pioneering volunteers represents a totally different outlook.
Yours was similar to the old cliche: ‘where there’s a will .. there’s a way!’

Thanks so much!!

ChuckJuly 6th, 2017 at 8:13 pm

Dear Judy,

must admit your above blog brought about dual results by recognizing an obviously special gentleman .. Jack Hibbs (quite impressive).

0n the other hand, I can understand the warranted concern for the future of bridge in your area is a very serious matter. Is the plight of the economy and aging population rearing its ugy head all over bridge land .. or is your area the exception?

I was impressed with Martha’s candid recounting of the glory days of Unit 373. No doubt things have totally changed .. but nothing good will happen unless your members put their heads together and work out a solution .. no matter what!

JudyJuly 6th, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Wow, Chuck. That’s a mouthfu!! However, if we were resurrected, the grateful beneficiaries of the efforts would be our local bridge loving residents and the once hundreds upon hundreds of travelers to visit our exciting city.

However, miracles don’t just appear out of the blue. Strong, confident people must step up to the plate, figure out how to straighten out the so-called wrong doings and point us in the right direction! Standing still is no solution!

John SJuly 23rd, 2017 at 11:04 pm

I would just like to congratulate Jack and Dennis, two fine gentlemen, on their outstanding performance at the Las Vegas Regional. Well done guys!

Leave a comment

Your comment