Judy Kay-Wolff


Here at Bally’s, I was stopped dead in my tracks.   I had to look twice to believe what was glaring at me!   In the entryway to the game, there is a mirage of several beautifully presented posters on easels listing the achievements (at local duplicates as well as tournament events) played in by the subject participants.   Some include average or mediocre performances.  Apparently, the man who originated the display is attempting to promote a business by advertising the accomplishments of the subject players (two women in this case – one a club owner and the other current Board President).   The individual posters bear photographs of those individuals and details (starting at a specific date), listing their exact scores (though sometimes under average with no master point recognition), their total points won for the period and the names of their partners.  Other posters feature partnership photographs with commentary.  I could understand if someone had consistent 68% plus games, he or she might want others to know about it — but this is not the case.   I don’t quite fathom what all the hoopla is about.

If a person is a potential bridge professional, he or she might want to engage someone to do a resume to attract potential sponsors/customers.  However, I don’t know what this energetic businessman is trying to accomplish by his glorification of these individuals and have the tournament participants be greeted by such a lavish display.   I find this splashy type of haughty promotion to be in poor taste and see no reason for any celebration.  However, as long the ACBL sees fit to award master points to some with games in the low 40% range (mostly in  ‘C’), I suppose anything is possible! 


MattSeptember 11th, 2012 at 3:51 am

A bit tacky — or better yet, blowing your own horn!

Judy Kay-WolffSeptember 11th, 2012 at 3:32 pm


For the better part of my bridge history, I have been privy to the company of the top players through Norman and Bobby. Watching them is unbelievable — and players of their caliber are few and far between. The better they are, the more modest they appear — never flaunting their success in the faces of others.

Mediocrity is nothing to write home about.

Bill CubleySeptember 11th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

And then the write up gets facts wrong. I set a world record of sorts when I hand I bid bud did not declare in the Red Ribbon Pairs made the DB. I got listed as both declaer and dummy in the writeup.
I guess I set a wordl record as the first true double dummy player.

Judy Kay-WolffSeptember 12th, 2012 at 1:17 am


As we all know – nobody’s perfect!

Cute story.


John Howard GibsonSeptember 12th, 2012 at 7:10 am

HBJ : Yes over here the ludicrous system of awarding a quarter green for winning a match on the bottom table in a green pointed event can ultimately raise complete no-hopers in the game to the status of regional master …..some 100 tournaments down the line.
However without this incentive in place I’m sure tournament numbers would be well down. Everyone has to go home winning something ….even if it is only a quarter greenie. So yes, the whole game now is geared around money which in turn means handing out rankings to people who don’t rank. And that is what really ranks me !

Stuart KingSeptember 12th, 2012 at 11:45 am

JHG – I feel that the problem you are talking about is infact a problem with the bizarre ‘rating system’ we use. (Its not a rating system rather a enumeration of achievements).

Recently here in England the EBU has introduced an actual proper rating system which is based in something like the last 1000 hands you played.

This system just works as it takes your opponents ability into account in a similar fashion to an ELO rating, so there would be no question of giving any advantage in rating because you played bad opposition. With its plethora of flaws I am surprised the master point system has lasted this long.

John Howard GibsonSeptember 12th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

HBJ : Thanks Stuart for putting me right on this essential distinction . But I have a simple solution to ranking , grading and/or rating players. Events are graded according to number of participants, and the number of players in attendance who are rated as experts. Only those finishing in the 20% band can qualify for achievement awards , which in time will enable some of these players to justifiably claim ” expert status ” ( acknowledged by the EBU )
How simple and fair is that. To credit those who finish midway or even lower in a competiton/duplicate event makes bridge a joke sport.

JaneSeptember 12th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Good morning,

As I entered the playing site at the sectional yesterday, I was accosted by a very enthusiastic board member with camera in hand. “Let me take your picture as you played well” she said. I was sort of dumfounded since I had not played the day before in the tournament, but even if I had, and had swept the event (not likely) I would have refused. I am not into pictures, and I realize this is a personal decision. When I mentioned I had not played the day before, she said that was OK because I had done well at some club and unit games in the past, so the picture would be used for that. Who would care about that? My answer was still no.

As I entered the playing area and found my partner, the first thing she asked was had I been approached to have my picture taken. Other people asked the same thing! None of us wanted our pictures taken. I did not know why this was happening, since the board member offered no explanation for the picture taking frenzy.

If this was a business promotion, this should have been disclosed immediately in MHO. I am not opposed to business promotions as long as we are informed about them so we can choose to participate or not.

The new scoring program is nice; was this a way to help promote that? It was fun to get home, go to the results page and see the game posted so quickly. I don’t want my picture there either. I was told we have the ability to opt out by using the privacy format that is part of the program, but I wonder how many people who agreed to have their picture taken know this. Were these pics going to be entered into the new scoring data base? No one mentioned that to me, so I don’t know, but if this was the case, there should have been disclosed as well.

The tournament is fun, as always, and I commend our board for doing such a good job. The section top prizes are great. I really like the new big brown coffee mugs. I have my sights set for one of those.

See you at the tables. (The bridge tables, that is.) After all, this is Vegas.

Ellis FeigenbaumSeptember 12th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I think I can add a little light to the pictue taking frenzy. Although we chose not to play in Vegas this time.
(I just couldnt do another 5 days straight after 2 weeks at regionals)
There is a relatively new web based score reporting system in use. This can include an individual players personal score along with his/her picture. The powers that be are trying to get as many pictures in the data base as possible, hence the request for pictures.
I beleive this called http://www.bridgeresults.net
Hope this is helpful and correct.

Judy Kay-WolffSeptember 12th, 2012 at 7:03 pm


In my mind, in many instances, master points go hand in hand with attendance. The picture business is just an ego booster to those who need it.

I take bridge seriously and play it for the sheer improvement of my game. To me, the recognition is unimportant. I don’t go for all the glitz, glamour and handshakes. To each his own.



Judy Kay-WolffSeptember 12th, 2012 at 7:10 pm


I really enjoy your blogs (especially your responses to Bobby’s Aces on Bridge).

You ought to be a bridge blogger. I find you knowledgeable, level-headed, realistic and have your feet on the ground — expressing yourself well with no beating around the bush. I feel as you do about the picture taking. This is not Hollywood!


Judy Kay-WolffSeptember 12th, 2012 at 7:27 pm


There is neither rhyme nor worthwhile reason for many ACBL policies. It is obvious the bottom line is money.

They charge more at the clubs when there is a special game to issue extra points or fractionals. At our club some days it is $8 (regular) or $9 or $9.50 — depending upon the increase of point issuance. (Would you
believe we are paying only $10 per session here at the Sectional?) Many needy souls who are obsessed and attracted by the surge in MP are eager to play and it is obvious by the frequent table increase.

They have done a great job of “selling” the public and to me the number of master points is simply one great big joke — especially in the case of sponsors — even paying through the nose to make it with five pros to serious world championship events where they do not belong.

The world and especially bridge are changing — and surely not for the better.

Just my personal opinion.


Judy Kay-WolffSeptember 12th, 2012 at 7:39 pm


Thanks for your information and clarification. Personally, the site you suggested doesn’t excite me.
However, I guess some people like to see their names in lights even with mediocre games (which may be an improvement for them).

Guess I am just plain spoiled. I believe in hitching my wagon to a star and recognize sensational achievements like consistent 60% daily games (+ or -) and many at the club have scored in the high 60s. Blair Fedder and Mike Lucas scored a 77%+ game a few weeks ago at LVBC. That, to me, missed recognition.

Sorry you and Marjorie could not make it. See you in San Francisco at the end of the week.