RISING IN THE RANKS
Robert Beyer, Fort Wayne; Jean Chappell-Hoemig, Fort Wayne; Joel Charpentier, Chesterton
Darrell Culley, Auburn; Frederick Green, Valparaiso; Bernadette Pohlmann, Rochester
Patricia Hart, Michigan City; Teresa Nelson, Fort Wayne
ADV NABC MASTER
Mary Kocevar, Hobart
LEE BAATZ, Fort Wayne
I grew up in a card playing family. We played pinochle and other card games, but not bridge. I took some bridge lessons and routinely read the newspaper's bridge column, covering the east/west hands and attempting to solve the hand before reading the column.
In Michigan, I played party bridge once a month with eight guys. We kept a running total for te year to establish an annual champion. Of the eight, we had several good players and some that were not so good.
Upon returning to Indiana, I enrolled in Rose Ferguson's beginning bridge class, looking for a regular partner. Rose found me a partner and I started playing in the Fort Wayne Duplicate Bridge Club.
My game took off when Gary Chaney started the mentoring Fish game. My mentors were Jack Spring and Marilyn Weisbach and I learned a lot from their mentoring. Gary asked if I was ready to be mentor, and I soon paired up with Carol Watters, my most regular partner. Even though Carol and I qualified for some under 299 games, we entered the more competitive contests, and had our successes.
We won several Sectional and Regional games. Gary asked if I would be willing to provide occasional lessons before the Fish mentoring games. I accepted the invitation, and kept getting invited to give further lessons. I have also assisted Judy Nelsen in teaching beginning and intermediate lessons through IPFW continuing education classes.
I would especially like to thank Rose, Jack, Marilyn, Gary, and Carol for helping me obtain the Life Master status.
BR0NZE LIFE MASTER
Gale Osgerby of Dyer
has earned the distinction of becoming a Bronze Life Master. Here is his story -
I first joined ACBL back in about 1973, but after 2 years of too many late weeknights of duplicate, with a 5:30 a.m. wake-up for work, I gave it up. Along the way my wife Carol, taught bridge (and me by osmosis!) for about 30 years until we both retired. So along comes 2008, and we are retired, and I have a renewed interest in duplicate, with lots of local opportunities to play. And, Carol was teaching and mentoring me every step along the way. She and I played as partners, and I was lucky enough to pick up some other great partners, who were both encouraging and willing to teach me. Carol and I went with good friends, Don and Pat Valiska, to Gatlinburg - and what an experience! We ended the week on Saturday winning the Swiss, and I picked up my first gold - almost 10 points. I was hooked! From there on out it was tournaments - mostly regionals - with another good friend, Charlotte Abernethy, winning another 10 gold with her, and then playing at the Chicago Nationals in a team game with George Roeper as my partner for more gold. Although I have slowed down, there are still games to be won and great times to experience, which I look forward to very much. I would encourage everyone to keep at the game, as it will serve you well, and you can play to your heart's content.
BRONZE LIFE MASTER
Carolyn Potasnik of Munster
is the latest of our group of three players who attained the Bronze Life Master status, by virtue of being grandfathered in, dependent upon their previous lapsed membership. Here is Carolyn's story -
Bridge has always been in my life. My mother and uncle were great players, and if they were alive today, they would be very proud of my achievement.
I started playing bridge in high school. My friends and I would meet at someone's house after school and play bridge usually in the kitchen - hence the term, "kitchen bridge". At college in Bloomington (I.U.) after dinner you would invariably hear someone call, "Fourth for bridge." In Indianapolis at the medical center we played for 1/20 of a cent per point. Then at home I still played in several bridge clubs.
When I was introduced to duplicate, I was excited and loved the challenge. I appreciate and thank all those people who helped me to achieve my goal.
BRONZE LIFE MASTER
Mike Brissette of Gary
is also happily added to our list of new Bronze Life Masters.
This is his story on this special occasion -
What has improved my bridge playing for the most part is playing with good partners - namely Alan Yngve and Dave Bigler. When playing with good partners, they bring your play up. I don't lead fourth best any more. Also if you make a 1NT response after opponents make an overcall and your partner raises, he knows what he is doing. So if you are on the top range of your bid, go to 3 NT.
Reading good bridge books and discussing them with Alan has also helped a lot. The #1 book that opened my eyes lately was a book by Mel Colchamiro. His rules help you make better decisions. When playing against strong opponents play for averages - against weaker opponents play for plusses. And last make a bridge diary, put your mistakes in it and review it twice a month. Learning from your mistakes turns bottoms into averages! Don't pay for the same mistake 3 or 4 or 5 times over! And as always - watch out for Yuan.
Alan Yngve writes - I continue to enjoy partnering with Mike. We don't always do well, but we seem to always be competitive. Mike likes to talk about bidding and defensive card play methods -topics that I have always also enjoyed. Mike continues to be effective with declarer play - also a valuable skill for anyone to hone.
RUBY LIFE MASTER
Chris Habegger, Bristol
Reaching Ruby LM in 2017 was a goal Chris set after making the Silver level in 2015. Since he continues to work full time, his club play is limited to once a week with partner Elaine Delaney. Now he has begun a partnership with Chayem Ben Moshe with an emphasis on a couple of weeks a year of regional tournament play. During this time he's played five regionals with five wins and numerous overall finishes to help reach this next lifetime achievement. Chris sends a big thank you to his partners "for their skills and patience".
On the home front, he's added two new granddaughters and a lake cottage so he considers himself to be a very lucky guy. CONGRATULATIONS CHRIS!
RUBY LIFE MASTER
Carl Minick, Huntertown