Judy Kay-Wolff


Bobby was reminiscing today about a bridge incident which occurred long before we officially met.  He recounted a conversation that occurred several decades ago where the entries were being sold.   An up-and-coming player (who is now world famous – and perhaps one of the best in the world) put out his money for an entry.  The director handed it to him.   He looked down and politely said, “ I think this is wrong.”

Shocked, the director who had given the player an unseeded entry, turned to him and resented being challenged – authoritatively asking: WHY?

“WHY?????” he retorted.  Before she could reply, he added:  “I should receive a seeded entry – EVEN IF I WAS PLAYING OPPOSITE AN EMPTY CHAIR!”  Bobby never told me what eventually happened (empty chair or a living, breathing mortal).  When I learned just whom the dejected player actually was – I couldn’t stop laughing.  I won’t reveal the director’s name (a good player in her own right but apparently not up with the times). 

I will, however share with you the identity of the brash young contestant.  Ever hear of Bob Hamman???


ChuckJanuary 20th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Heard that story over twenty years ago, but never knew the name of the quick witted superstar. It is a great line, you must admit. Thanks for sharing.

Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 20th, 2013 at 4:16 pm


It’s often been said that many a true word is spoken in jest. However, knowing Bob and his great sense of humor, no doubt he was kidding on the level.


CPJanuary 20th, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Come to think of it, I heard about that banter before — but never knew the young player’s name. Now it is no mystery — and even funnier.

Bill CubleyJanuary 21st, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Long ago Kit Woolsey moved to California. Sally Woolsey tried to buy a seeded entry at the sectional. Seller asks, “Are you a LM?” Sally, “Yes.” “Is your partner?” “Yes” “How many points do you have? “”1,000+” “Who is your partner?” “Kit Woolsey” “How many points does he have?” “10,000” “Her you are.”

Could you ask Bobby to put my slam hand in his April 1 column as it has some humor? You may write me at cubley@comcast.net for the details.

Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 21st, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Thanks, Bill. Your wish is my command. Done!

I loved your story on Sally and Kit — reminiscent of an occasion at one of my favorite haunts in Philly called The Hot Shoppe — a popular eatery for the “younger set.” I qualified for eligibility way back then.

Norman and I were having lunch when in walked a high school buddy whom I had not seen in years. I introduced her to Norman and the subject got around to bridge. I explained there were local games, sectionals, etc. and I was fully engulfed in it. When I was finished, she then turned to Norman and inquired if he knew how to play too. I still laugh to myself whenever I recall the moment.

Steven GaynorJanuary 21st, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Some years ago (20?) when pair games were the big events, I was doing seeding at the Gopher (MN) regional. A top local pair had not shown up and I was anticipating jockeying people around to fill in their #1 seed, when I looked up at the line of people waiting to buy an entry and I saw Eric Rodwell! I had found my #1 seed and I did not care with whom he was playing (it turned out to be a decent local player whose husband had arranged for Eric to come up and play with her for 3 days as a birthday present).

Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 21st, 2013 at 11:27 pm


Good for you for having the courage of your convictions when you instinctively knew it was a no-brainer. Many in your position could care less and find it too much trouble to exchange entries in the name of equity.

I believe that directors in general need a few lessons from Emily Post about how to treat the players but I feel the ACBL finds it too cumbersome a job and forgets the fact … it is WE, the members, who are buying the entries, paying our dues and their salaries and supporting the entire organization.

In some recent team event, there were a bunch of horrendous first round matchups. I questioned the director in charge how they arrived at their pairings. The reply was “randomly” by placing them all upside down on the table and pulling them two at a time. I said, “It would be nice if a few players were present to witness the ‘chance’ drawing. She got the message loud and clear. Enough said!

JodyJanuary 23rd, 2013 at 9:10 pm

A story: years ago BobH was playing on a team with Alex Tschekalov (sp), who tended to lose his temper. When Bob and pard finished round and compared with Alex and his pard, Alex erupted, “How dare you come back to the table with these results?” Bob said, It wasn’t my idea to come back to the table.

Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 23rd, 2013 at 10:11 pm


Loved it. Bobby’s not home now but but when he returns, I’ll pass it on in case he hadn’t heard it.

Sounds just like BH.