You are at the web site of Unit 203 of the American Contract Bridge League, the Southern Michigan Bridge Association (SOMBA). Welcome. SOMBA supervises and works to promote bridge in southeastern Michigan. SOMBA hosts several tournaments each year, including the Valentine Sectional in February, the Wolverine Regional in May, the Apple Cider Sectional in November and the Spooktakular 0-199er Sectional in October. The unit also produces The SOMBA Echo, a newsletter keeping its members informed of current events and milestones in the area along with articles on bridge bidding and play. SOMBA, in conjunction with The Michigan Bridge Association (Unit 137) also produces a Bridge Directory listing the members of each unit and the active bridge clubs in the area.
Four of the proud trophy winners at SOMBA's Springtacular
Learn Bridge in a Day
Sunday, June 9th
12:30 to 5:30 P.M.
The Bridge Connection
Click here for flyer
Monday, May 13th thru
Sunday, May 19th
Click here for flyer
Doubletree Riverfront Hotel
and Conference Center
June 10th thru 15th
Click here for flyer
August 1st thru 11th
Click here for website
Keeping You Informed
Saturday, May 11, 2013
from the SOMBA President
On behalf of myself and the SOMBA Board of Directors I want you to know how appreciative we are of your participation in club games throughout our unit’s area and in all of the tournaments our unit sponsors.
I look forward to personally greeting and schmoozing with each one of you at the upcoming Wolverine Regional.
Message to Our SOMBA Community
We would like to know when our SOMBA members are seriously ill or pass away.
Many of us see each other many times a week or month and would like to send cards of sympathy or encouragement or to call and let you know we are thinking of you.
A Personal Approach to My Non-Bridge
The essence of what I believe to be at the core of the approach for soliciting new players in general includes a personal experience/embrace followed by a scope/overview of duplicate bridge.
I would like to encourage the readers of this website to email their non-bridge playing friends encouraging them to register and attend the SOMBA Learn Bridge In A Day event at the Bridge Connection in June.
The following is a letter I use and is easily adaptable to your personal style:
Learn Bridge in a Day Premier a Success
Do you enjoy playing cards and meeting new people? Do you want to find out about the game all of your friends are playing?
Did you take bridge lessons but never find the time to play? Did you play bridge in college?
That was the pitch SOMBA made when it took its first major step in moving to the top of its agenda its mission to attract new players to our wonderful game.
Folks who answered "yes" to these questions were encouraged to
register for its new program, Learn Bridge in a Day (LBIAD). The premier of SOMBA’s LBIAD program took place on Sunday, March 3rd at The Bridge Connection.
73 registrants took part in the program, helped along by 20 SOMBA volunteers.
It was quite a day! Over the next three years SOMBA’s focus will be to address the declining interest in bridge by spending time, effort, and money on projects such as LBIAD to recruit new players who will hopefully become regulars at our many bridge clubs and participants in our local tournaments.
The next presentation of LBIAD will take place at The Bridge Connection on June 9th.
Learn Bridge in a Day is a program developed by bridge teachers Patty Tucker and
Melissa Burnhardt, of Atlanta, Georgia, which is designed to move new bridge
players quickly along the initial learning curve. Typical participants include true beginners, those returning to bridge after long absences, and those merely wanting to “test the waters” before committing to formal classes.
The five-hour seminar includes both class instruction and coached play.
LBIAD is licensed for use by local groups such as SOMBA. SOMBA used some of its own funds to run the program along with some financial help from the
ACBL. Participants paid a registration fee of $10.00 each.
New Session of Learn Bridge in a Day Scheduled
Following up on the success of its first presentation of Learn Bridge in a Day, SOMBA is sponsoring a second presentation of the program.
LBIAD is geared to individuals who are true beginners, folks who haven’t played bridge since way back, and others who just want to find out what the game is all about.
The presentation will take place at The Bridge Connection on Sunday, June 9th and will run from 12:30 P.M to 5:30 P.M.
There is a $20.00 charge which includes registration, instructional materials, supervised bidding and play of the cards, and snacks.
SOMBA 2012 Trophy Race Winners to be Honored at Sunday Swiss
Each year SOMBA presents trophies to the SOMBA members earning the most masterpoints while competing in SOMBA sponsored tournaments during the calendar year.
During the year 2012 the following SOMBA members finished at the top of their masterpoint classifications:
SOMBA congratulates the top finishers for their accomplishment and thanks them and all of the other competitors for attending SOMBA sponsored tournaments. Please turn out for the Sunday Swiss at the Wolverine Regional to applaud the winners as they are presented with their well-earned trophies.
District 12 to Send Four Teams to Grand National Teams Event in Atlanta
One of the exciting events at the summer North American Bridge
Championships each year is the Grand National Teams competition. This year the Summer Nationals will take place in Atlanta.
The competition is divided into four parts: the Unlimited Flight, Flight A, Flight B, and the NLM Flight.
The ACBL is divided into 25 districts with each district sending a contingent of four teams to the competition.
SOMBA is located in District 12. District 12 held a trials event on April 13th and 14th to determine our district’s delegation to the Grand Nationals.
Jakob Kristinsson Among Top Winners at Gatlinburg Regional
Playing in the top bracket knockouts in Gatlinburg is not for the faint of heart or for those who tend to let a short spell of bad luck affect their play in their next matches.
SOMBA’s own Jakob Kristinsson had no problem with this while playing on a team captained by
Mike Levine in the annual Gatlinburg Regional tournament which took place this past April.
Playing with Jakob was Bjorgvin Kristinsson. Their teammates, in addition to Mike Levine, were
Dennis McGarry, Jerry Clerkin and Dennis Clerkin.
For those who are familiar with the annual Gatlinburg Regional, the Knockout Team events draw hundreds of teams into each event resulting in numerous
brackets of sixteen teams each. It would be fair to say that when you are playing in the top bracket the competition is as tough as it will ever get.
In the Wednesday/Thursday Bracket 1 Knockout the Levine team played early rounds against the
Mike Cappelletti, Sr. team and the Carolyn Lynch team before reaching the final match against the
Daniel Hoekstra team. The Lynch team consisted of Carolyn
Lynch, Mike Passell, Geoff Hampson, Marc Jacobus,
Jeff Meckstroth; and Eric Rodwell. The Hoekstra team
consisted of Daniel Hoekstra, Huub Bertens, Billy Miller,
Roger McNay, Jeff Roman, and Karin Kelsey. When the dust settled, Jakob and his teammates took first place.
Two New Articles by Henry Shevitz
Dr. Henry Shevitz is a long-time contributor of bridge articles to SOMBA’s Echo and website. With this Update he has contributed two new articles. Make sure you read his article “Miss Cleo” which you can access by clicking on the title. Also make sure you catch his new article “Over My Shoulder 8 --- Important Tempo” which you can access by clicking on the title. As always, all SOMBA articles can be accessed through the sub-menu you will find by clicking on the menu item [Bridge Hands & Articles] at the top of this page.
Wolverine Regional May 13th thru May 19th
SOMBA’s foremost tournament event is its annual Wolverine Regional. This year the seven-day event will run from Monday, May 13th through Sunday, May 19th.
And this year all of our participants will be able to enjoy Mother’s Day the day before the tournament begins.
The flyer for the tournament can be accessed by clicking
There will be an Update of the SOMBA website after the tournament announcing all of the big winners and thanking all of the volunteer members of our great SOMBA Team.
Watch for it.
SOMBA’s first ever Springtacular, a Sectional tournament limited to players with no more than 300 masterpoints was a resounding success. The event took place on Friday and Saturday, April 26th – 27th at the Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Bloomfield Hills.
Organized along the lines of the annual October Spooktacular, this new event looks to be another regular in SOMBA’s lineup of annual tournaments.
In addition to the silver masterpoints awarded, there were many prizes and trophies. Prior to the Saturday Swiss Team event,
Posh Gulati gave a talk on Swiss Team strategy. Many thanks are due to all of the Springtacular volunteers, including managers
Scott Miller and Satish Shaw; co-chairs Marilyn Lindow and
Kathy Twomey; and partnership chairs Mary Bennett and Marianne
Varion. Director Ed Anthony was assisted by Jane Hall
and Bill Landrum.
Valentine Sectional Results
Each year SOMBA sponsors two open Sectional tournaments and one Regional tournament.
SOMBA also sponsors the 299er Spooktacular Sectional and this year has added a 299er Springtacular Sectional.
The first of these five events, the Valentine Sectional, took place February 14th through 17th.
Players enjoyed four Swiss Team events in addition to three days of Pairs events.
SOMBA was especially delighted that expert Michael Crane gave a wonderful lecture Sunday morning on the subject
of "Card Combinations and How to Play Them Correctly."
The top ten SOMBA winners were ---
Congratulations to all of our top winners. All in all, a total of 1,075 masterpoints were awarded to 315 players.
Summer Nationals in Atlanta and Bay City Regional Coming Up
Avid bridge players will want to add two additional
tournaments to their playing schedules.
For those willing to play at the very highest levels (in addition to
the much less exalted heights) and willing to travel a bit of a distance
there is the Summer North American Bridge Championships (the Summer
Nationals) taking place in Atlanta, Georgia
from August 1st through August 11th.
More locally but also highly competitive is the Bay City Regional
taking place in Bay City from June 10th through June 15th.
games offer an opportunity to mingle with and play against some of the
strongest players in the world. The
most heavyweight competition of the games will be the annual Spingold
Knockout Teams. Other major
events will be the Wagar Women’s Knockout Teams, the Grand National Teams,
the Truscott Senior Swiss Teams, the Von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs, the
Wernher Open Pairs, the Freeman Mixed BAM Teams, and the Roth Open Swiss
Teams. For those relatively new
to the game there is a full schedule of novice games.
And for most of us there are round the clock Pairs, Knockouts and
Swiss Teams. There is something
for everyone. There is no bridge
excitement like attending a Nationals event.
Every bridge player, at least once, has to attend a Nationals.
And for the ordinary mortal bridge players among us, you should know
that any player, no matter at what level of play, can enter almost any of
the top level events, including the Spingold.
You may take plenty of blows playing in the top level competition but
there is no more enjoyable experience than playing against world class and
expert players. Pay your entry
fee and you’re in. You will
have lots of memories to take home with you.
For the link to the Summer Nationals website you can click
Much more locally you can make the short drive to Bay City and play in their Regional for as many of the six days of play as you care to. The playing facility and the room accommodations at the Double Tree Riverfront Hotel and Conference Center are first class and the daily room rates, if you don’t care to commute daily, are very reasonable and include breakfast. The play schedule includes two sets of bracketed Knockouts, numerous Pairs games, Gold Rush Pairs and Gold Rush Swiss Teams, in addition to the final day Swiss Team event. To access the Bay City Regional brochure you can click here.
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