Judy Kay-Wolff

The Bergen-Cohen Reunion Finale

The three-day Seminar at The Las Vegas Wynn ended Thursday afternoon with the final duplicate.   Bobby and I joined the group to hear the farewell speeches after the morning lessons and Larry and Marty got a rousing ovation.   I must be honest.   When I first heard they had chosen the Five Star Hotel, I had my doubts as to the judiciousness of such an expensive dining and playing space.   However, was I ever wrong.   In fact, they sold out the allotted rooms over a week before the kickoff on Tuesday, June 22nd, turning people away at the end.  Bridge players are very unpredictable!

Everything was deluxe – the spacious rooms with every imaginable comfort for one’s pleasure, the incredibly lightning fast elevator service, the fantastic cuisine (a total of six meals), the huge playing rooms for the games and meeting rooms to accommodate the lectures (Advanced and Intermediate chaired by both of the celebrities).   The switchboard even calls you back ten minutes after your ‘wake-up call’ to make sure you have not inadvertently fallen back to sleep.   Is that class – or is that class?  The only negative aspect (for me) was the tremendous amount of walking involved as The Wynn is a mammoth structure.    There were a few rented scooters** like mine – but for the most part the guests were enjoying their “constitutionals.”  (For those of you not old enough to remember, President Harry S. Truman enjoyed taking frequent long walks – and that was the term attached to his travels). 

(**I was shocked to learn the truth in the saying  ‘one size [or one key] fits all.’   After breakfast one morning, I chugged along to my next destination only to gaze down into the basket and see possessions that were not mine.   I, shall we say,  ‘scooted’ back to the restaurant and exchanged it for the vehicle I had accidentally left behind.   I am sure the owner will never know the difference – but what an eerie feeling). 

The schedule was well conceived with an afternoon duplicate (and explanation of all the hands following their conclusion) – then the choice was left to the guests how they wanted to spend the remainder of the day.     They could depart the premises and paint the town red for dinner and/or a show or merely return to The Wynn playing room for the evening duplicate.      Bear in mind, of course,  the site had much to offer without budging a muscle – restaurants, bars, blackjack, poker, slot machines, sports book, etc.  Ennui was not an option.

I have never seen such a happy bunch of campers – enjoying the luxury of their surroundings and gleaning so much from the entertaining lesson routine.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the boys put on a spectacular production.   Bobby commented how different things were back in the days when he was teaching in San Antonio – vugraph screens were a product of the future and microphones were a non-needed entity.   Teaching bridge with luxurious trips and cruises are the way to go – and I would not be shocked if Bergen and Cohen were pressed into action again next year.    Hopefully, same time – same place!


MarthaJune 29th, 2010 at 8:33 am

I had the extreme pleasure of being the Event Manager for the Bergen/Cohen Reunion Seminar. It was all that Judy described and more. The comments from the attendees were glowing. The “boys” outdid themselves. The lessons were packed each day and additional seating was arranged to accomadate those that switched from Intermediate to Advanced on the spur of the moment. The Breakfast and Lunch served each day were varied, plentiful and delicious. The Wynn is truly one of the top hotels in the world. The daily duplicates were fun filled and instructional with both Larry and Marty playing each hand with a different partner. Going over the hands following the afternoon sessions was invaluable. This Seminar was truly Playing and Learning from the best.

The most repeated comment I heard was “will they do it again?”.

I want to thank both Larry and Marty for letting me take part in their Reunion Seminar.

Judy Kay-WolffJune 29th, 2010 at 3:42 pm


You know both Larry and Marty run seminars and cruises during the year. However, I think this one “on land” may have broken the record as I believe Larry’s are only one day events. On his way up to Vegas, he had stopped in North Carolina and apparently he drew members from two rather good sized duplicate clubs and had a over a couple hundred in attendance.

However, I am sure all the arrangements are made for him in advance by the locals and all he has to do is show up, be his charming self, smile, give some hugs to some old students and teach to his heart’s content.

The overwhelming reception that both he and Marty received from those in attendance last week was not to be believed. My guess is that they will have a repeat performance next year as Vegas is not a city one tires of easily. We should know!