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ABA Western Section Fall Tournament 2011

When we consider the current economic climate, the number of folks at our Sectional says our Sectional and our Game is healthy. The tournament was well attended by section members and ABA'ers across the country. Even our ABA board members felt the call of the Western Sectional, including President Leola Rucker from Virginia Beach, Virginia - Vice President Mary Mason Young from Durham, North Carolina - Willette Phipps from Atlanta, Georgia and of course Treasurer - Harriet Motley...our own Harriet Motley from Phoenix Arizona. Let's not forget the attendance of Mary G. Duncan...ABA Staff Developer and Supervising Director from Burlington, North Carolina. It was truly an honor to have these Board and Staff members join us.

Some of us get goose bumps just thinking about The Western Sectional in Las Vegas...before, during and after, for we know what awaits us from day one. Not the things that go “bump in the night” kind of goose bumps, but the “all the Bridge you could ever want in a weekend and afraid to ask for” kind of goose bumps.
Quite a few players traveled a day early and several ventured 2 days ahead just to prepare for this tournament and get other activities out of the way. Of course, let us not forget the traditional game of bridge with Desert Wins the day before the start of the Sectional.

Desert Wins sets out a masterful feast, then treats the gathering to an afternoon of tantalizing bridge and fellowship preSectional. How better to get the blood pumping to our brains and ready for the competition the following afternoon.

After Desert Wins... delightful afternoon, some had the energy to venture over to Bally's Hotel where the ACBL was in the final phase of their Glitter Gulch Tournament (Glitter Gulch as in Las Vegas). Stephanie Young and Linda H.Wilson never looked back as they ran thru their section of the evening competition to further prepare themselves for the Western Sectional's fast approaching contest. ABA'ers from Grand Masters to Rubies were spotted and from what I understand, no one that went to Ballys', was disappointed by the adventure at Ballys'.

Sectionals do bring out some Great Pairing and winning partnerships...just to name a few but not limited to, James Lee - Norman James, Edna Felicia Williams - Marion W Hubbard, Doris J Ayers - Ida E Sims, Kathleen Carter - Clara M Harris, Bill Johnson – Sherry Polk, Judith Glasco - Johnny Gills, Willie Jean Brown - Annie L Flow, Carnell Wingfield - Carlos Jones plus of course Stephanie Young and Julia Lee.

Tough games were had by all Knockout Teams but, the following players turned in stellar performances finishing 1st or a darn close 2nd in their fields.

Team: Leroy Wilson Jr - Robert J Friend - Patricia Banks - Verna Scott - Shirley Lee - Jimmy Pelham

Team: Mary R Bell - Velma N Davis - Doristine Barbee - James Green

They were truly impressive . Extra Applause to Velma Davis and her team. They really played their hearts out.

Now for the Election results:
Our ABA President Leola Rucker was on hand to give the oath of office to our newly elected 2012 Western Section Vice President James Lee, our new 2012 Secretary of the Western Section Linda H Wilson and our reelected Gloria Lee Ray, 2012 Financial Secretary/Treasurer, who some love to call the Western Section's CFO. Congratulations to each for taking on a major responsibility and we look forward to their contributions to the Western Section and the ABA.

Highlights of the Tournament:

  • James Lee: Our newly elected VP of the Western Section hosted a reception to thank Bridge Players for having the faith and trust in him to set the direction of the Western Section over the next two years. The reception was a culinary treat, top notch, given 5 stars, plus extremely enjoyable. If James assisted by wife Julia keep giving receptions like this... he may never get voted out of office.
  • Stephanie Young, took charge of the bridge education presentation and repass for the new players Saturday evening… players of all levels showed up and are still expressing their appreciation of the class. Bridge players always look for any and everything to upgrade their game. Within reason of course.Stephanie Young, took charge of the bridge education presentation and repass for the new players Saturday evening… players of all levels showed up and are still expressing their appreciation of the class. Bridge players always look for any and everything to upgrade their game. Within reason of course.
  • It is a fact when bridge players eat well at tournaments, bridge players play well at tournaments. You can now praise the Riviera for their new steak house the “R” for having a major roll in the success of our tournament. A majority of players had a chance to par-take at The “R” and all agreed this is a 5 star performance. The Lobster Bisque, Colossal Shrimp Cocktail, Bourbon BBQ Pork Ribs, plus Gourmet offering in the Steak and Fish categories were worth a second seating to be sure. I had a second and third seating (that means I went three times),and in case you didn't notice, I played truly inspired bridge during tournament. No brag; just fact! Of course my partners had something to do with it, but they ate there too.

Now to start a day off right the Las Vegas Hilton had a fabulous and reasonable Breakfast Buffet, plus it is located right across the parking lot from the Riviera. I am sure we are all aware the Hilton is also know to have some of the most giving slots in Las Vegas. (actually true.) Soooo, if you got up early enough before the morning game you had a very inexpensive and fabulous buffet breakfast with ...fringe benefits.

Now lets congratulate the people responsible for pulling the Sectional off without a hitch.

Agnes Snowden
Our current Vice President of the Western Section worked exceptionally hard and with her committee pulled out again a tournament that ran as smooth as velvet. It was as close to flawless perfection as the Western Section has seen. Thank you Agnes for your true and over the top dedication to the Western Section.
Our Tournament Directors
The expertise of our talented team of Tournament Directors always brings a touch of class and a spectacular stress free unfolding of events. I always marvel at the efficiency with which out Tournament Directors get games going quickly despite selling entries right up to the start of play. One minute there seems to be chaos, then as if by magic a bridge game starts up with everyone in place. Of course it's not magic, it's skill, experience and dedication. It's what our “Tournament Directors” do,Thelma Lee,Tony Lawson, Gloria Webb,and Gloria LeeRay.

In closing I would like to leave you with this thought. It is the Western Section members pulling together that makes this tournament flourish. Not only did we show up in good numbers, but we gave an unforgettable taste of our competitive spirit to all comers. Sooo,as soon as you get a chance, reach over your shoulder and pat yourself on the back for a successful Fall 2011 tournament.

See you next aboard the CARNIVAL SPLENDOR, where You can play your favorite card game on a wonderful cruise. Leave the sailing to the Captain, the cooking to the Chef, and the cleaning to the cabin boy. Spend your time traveling, playing bridge, dinning and being pamper. Ship sails Sunday May 20th, returns Sunday May 27th

Agnes Snowden
Vice President Western Section

Reporter
Linda H. Wilson