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Our Christmas party last year was the first team game every held by the ACBC. Seven teams ate, drank and generally made merry. Teams were informally balanced to make the competition as fair as possible. Reactions to the game suggested we might try it again in the future, probably during Summer when daylight hours are long and most of our players are available.

EIGHT IS ENOUGH is an ACBL-approved format to allow clubs to easily run team games. "A" players are assigned a value of 3, "B" players are 2 and "C" players are 1. Teams can have a maximum numerical value of 8. Players can either register as part of prearranged teams or can sign up as individuals and be formed into teams by the Director.

One possibliity is to schedule these games MONTHLY from May through September on the fourth Thursday using the evening game slot for which ACBC already has a game sanction. We would probably book the Torch Lake Township Hall. If scheduled early enough (5:30? 6:00?) players could drive home before dark even if a break was scheduled in the middle of the game for either a meal or elaborate hor d'oevres.

WE HAVE HAD LITTLE SUCCESS RUNNING A GAME IN THIS TIME SLOT for the past several years. There's no reason to rent the hall and schlepp tables over there if nobody wants to play! THIS IS A CALL FOR FEEDBACK! Please give it some thought. Talk it over with potential partners or teammates. Let Judy King know your thoughts (yes, no, maybe or suggestions) so the managers can make a decision by the end of April!


If you weren't on the text/email fan out, you MAY not have heard, but playing in round-robins teams at the Louisville NABC, Judy Thurston won the final gold points she needed to become Life Master! Like a lot of players who don't live near many tournaments, she's had plenty of points for some time now, but needed the precious gold only available at regional or national events. On Friday, March 22 she won more than 5 gold points to go "over the top" Her teammates were Judy King, Johanna Cressy and Lou Slyker. The next day the same team (with Mike Morrice substituting for Johanna Cressy) added almost 5 more gold.


Members of ACBC played well enough to share in the silver awarded to section leaders. Jerry Kulka/Judy Kuiper would have for sure, and maybe Lou Slyker/Debbie Keast. A director error (ed note: that would be me!) meant our results didn't count toward District 12 awards.

The mouse that ROARS!

Larger bridge clubs can offer frequent chances to earn master points. Games tend to be larger, and the more pairs you play increases the master point awards. People who live in populous areas away from Northern Michigan usually have more bridge clubs within reasonable driving distance to "scratch the itch" when nothing will do except a competitive F2F bridge game. It wouldn't be surprising if yearly awards for the most masterpoints were NOT full of ACBC players. At the national level that's absolutely true. But when the competitions get down to the district (we're in District 12) or unit (we're part of unit 195) level, the Antrim County Bridge Club is OVER-REPRESENTED.

The ACBL has three yearly competitions for overall master point success. Longest-standing is the McKenney race where the winner (who must travel to tournaments around the country or world on practically a weekly basis) will earn thousands of points each year. For players who primaily play in club games, there's the Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs. Finally, in 2023 an online version of the Helen Shanbrom award was added. Each of these awards has unit and district levels of competition. Each is also stratified, so players with all levels of experience can compete against other of similar ACBL rank. As you know (from the article below if nowhere else), ACBC is the 5th largest of 21 (by table count) bridge club in Unit 195. Yet, depending on how one counts our "members" versus occasional players who drop in, 20 ACBC players rank in the top 10 in one or more unit category. Perhaps more notably, 4 players are #1 in one or more category (7 total #1s). Three more players are #2, and they have 6 number 2 finishes between them. In one bracket of the Mini-McKenney, 6 of the top 10 players are "members" of our small club.

So kudos to everyone who placed and particular congratulations to Jinny Crall, Judy Kuiper, Nancy McCully and Anne Misiak who collected 7 1st place finishes (and a couple of 2nds) between them. Sharon Bacon, Margaret Schroeder and Judy Thurston added 6 more 2nds.

Nice work mice!


Judy King needs FEEDBACK! Do we try a team game in May?

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