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.


Marillyn Lindow and Kathy Twomey, co-chairs of Spoooktacular

SOMBA 2012
Masterpoint Races

Click here

2012 District 12 Fall STAC
at our local clubs

December 3rd through 9th

SOMBA 2012
Ace of Clubs
Masterpoint Races

Click here

Fall 2012 NABC
San Francisco
Nov 22nd to Dec 2nd

Click here for website

Keeping You Informed

Updated Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Email Notification of SOMBA Website Updates

If you would like to be notified each time there is an update to this website, please Click Here to provide us with your name and your email address. Each time there is an update we will let you know by sending you an email message.

Election of SOMBA Board Members

The ballots for the election of our new SOMBA board were tabulated at the Apple Cider Sectional. During the lunch break the new SOMBA board was announced. The newly elected members serve a four year term and they are:  Betty Andersen, Carol Diebold, Dave Fletcher, Bill Goodman. Jane Hall, Bill Landrum, and Scott Miller.

President Posh Gulati has expressed much thanks to the departing board members for their dedicated work on behalf of SOMBA. Departing board members are Barbara Jur after twenty years of service; Ginny Poulter after four years of service; Henry Shevitz after eight years of service; Gail Hanson after six years of service; and Steven Jacob after four years of service.

Annual Apple Cider Sectional

Another exciting and well-attended Apple Cider Sectional took place November 8th through November 11th. Many thanks to tournament chairs Posh Gulati and Marianne Varion; 299er chairs Marilyn Lindow, Kathy Twomey and Kathy Simpson; partnership chairs Mary Bennett, James Phillips, and Jane Hall; hospitality chair Scott Miller; and all of the other volunteers who helped to make the tournament a success. SOMBA thanks all the bridge players who participated during the four days of play and congratulates all masterpoint winners. The top ten masterpoint winners of the tournament were:

1 32.88 Leonard Melander
2 29.31 Robert Katz
3 28.01 Henry Shevitz
4 23.41 Robert Cappelli
5 22.78 Robert Bitterman
6 22.54 Suzy Burger
7 22.07 Robert Mendelson
8 20.09 Michael D Alioto
9 19.84 Debra Eaves
10 19.84 Norman Bolton

For a complete list of masterpoint winners and daily results you can click here.

New Bridge Club in Town

The 5 M Bridge Club will start operating on Tuesday, November 13th at the
Birmingham Unitarian Church. Games will be held there every Tuesday
starting at 7:00 in the evening. The club is being managed by Posh Gulati
and the games will be directed by Mary Smith. All novice players with less
than 50 masterpoints are entitled to a free lesson and two free entries.
Best of luck to the new bridge club in town!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Barbara Jur Retires from SOMBA Board and Becomes ACBL Governor

SOMBA member, Barbara Jur, will soon be starting a new journey in her bridge career, a life without being on the SOMBA Board!  She will now finish her current term on our unit 203, the final year of twenty years of distinguished service on the board.  Barbara is an active bridge player in our unit and continues to play in many local and national tournaments.  She was very active with the ACBL Nationals in Detroit in 2008. 

SOMBA president, Posh Gulati, has revealed that Barbara will also be returning to the ACBL’s Board of Governors after a brief interruption.  She previously served a term from 2008 to 2011 (as a second alternate from District 12). 

Barbara is a past District 12 president and currently serves as a District 12 as well as Unit 203 vice-president.  She has been active in our unit as committee chair for Tournaments, the North American Pairs and the Grand National Teams.  Barbara served as Echo editor for approximately ten years.  She will continue to operate the Neighborhood Bridge Club II as owner/director.  The club is located at 17150 Waterloo Street, Grosse Pointe, MI.

Barbara Jur

Outside of the world of bridge, Barbara was a professor at Macomb Community College.  She has authored several articles on the ACOL system played in the bridge clubs which she visited during her travels in England. 

We all thank her for her many years of service to bridge in our area and wish her the best in her life including as an ACBL governor.

Annual SOMBA Spooktacular Tournament

SOMBA’s annual Halloween Spooktacular bridge tournament for 299ers took place Friday and Saturday, October 26th and 27th. Blended into one were a great party and a great competitive competition.  Under the leadership of chairs Marilyn Lindow and Kathy Twomey and their covey of witch and ghost volunteers the event included the best of everything: prizes, gifts, trophies, snacks, lunches and colorful pageantry.  All in all Spooktacular was spooktaculous.

Assisting Marilyn and Kathy were partnership chairs Mary Bennett and Marianne Varion, and hospitality chairs Ginny Poulter and Scott Miller. Volunteering for this event became so contagious that numerous other SOMBA stalwarts showed up to help with the hosting.  On hand, in addition to the chairs, were board members Jane Hall, James Phillips and president Posh Gulati.  Other volunteers and official kibitzers included Bill Landrum, Kathy Simpson, Janelle Miller, Nitin Shah, Ruth Kukulsi, Helen Palechek and, wearing their “Tall, Dark and Gruesome” T-shirts, Dave Fletcher and Tony Savant.  For two days, Dave took the pictures that are included in this article, and many others that can be found in the [Photo Albums] menu choice at the top of this web page.

It was difficult to judge the best of all of the wonderful costumes so Posh employed the audience applause-o-meter.  The Friday winners were Valerie Leebove, Susan Belen, Jenni Fox, and Karen Cantor.  On Saturday the first place winner was the Witch, also known as Josie Doherty, and second place went to the Fishes, also known as Wendy and Joel Speiser

The bridge competition was run by Linda Golumbia, bridge teacher par excellence and former owner of The Bridge Connection. Linda was a big hit with all the competitors and did a whale of a job.  This was Linda’s first appearance directing Spooktacular and hopefully will not be her last.  Linda was assisted in some of the directorial chores by Bill Landrum who has on occasion been directing at some of our local clubs.

Competition was, of course, the main event.  The Friday morning pair winners were: John Vollmayer and Nick Treinen in section A; and Sharon Diamond and Sandy Pink in Sections B and C.  The Friday afternoon winners were:  Jerry Bernadette and George Christian in Section A; Thom Allen and Zoe Alpern in Section B; and tied in Section C were Nancy Stewart playing with Anita Fennessey and Jane Lehman playing with Jill Rastelli.  The Saturday Swiss winners were: George Christian, Jerry Bernadotte, John Vollmayer, and Nick Treinen in Section A; John Ryan, Beth Gursky, Jane Roeser, and Nancy Spence in Section B; and Steve Kaplan, Joel Grossman, Richard Buttermore, and Wendy Buttermore in Section C.  Overall masterpoint winners in the two-day event were John Vollmeyer and Nick Treinen in first place and George Christian and Jerry Bernadotte in second place.  Complete results for the Spooktacular can be reached by clicking here.  Congratulations to all of SOMBA’s Spooktacular winners.

If you would like to be a part of this great annual Halloween event next year, either as a volunteer or a competitor, make sure you mark your calendar for Friday and Saturday, October 25 and 26, 2013.

Annual Apple Cider Sectional

The annual Apple Cider Sectional will take place Thursday through Sunday, November 8th through 11th. Included, by popular request, are four Swiss Team events. And, appropriate to the event’s name, there will be plenty of apples, apple cider and donuts available. Sandwiches are also included between sessions on Saturday for morning event entrants. The Sectional is being chaired by Posh Gulati and Marianne Varion. For further information on the Apple Cider Sectional click here.

SOMBA Soliciting Goodwill Award Nominations

Each year SOMBA presents to one of its members the SOMBA Goodwill Award. President Posh Gulati is looking for nominations from our membership for the next recipient of the award. The award will be presented at the Valentine Sectional next year. This year’s recipient was the late Mary Ross.

Mary Ross

The award is made to a SOMBA member who has exhibited unselfish dedication to the causes of good conduct, worthy participation, and ethical behavior.  Our members are encouraged to make a nomination by clicking on the [Contact Us] button at the top of the website.


SOMBA Members Cruise with Larry Cohen

We all see advertisements for bridge cruises and most of us wonder if they are fun and really worthwhile.  Four of our members recently went on a cruise, this one with expert Larry Cohen. Here is Ginny Poulter’s report. Sounds like they had a ball.

Front: Judi Amatangelo, Chris Peters, and Ginny Poulter.
Back: Mary Bennett with Larry Cohen.

On September 9th, Chris Peters, Judi Amatangelo, Mary Bennett and Ginny Poulter boarded the "Explorer of the Seas", for a week-long cruise to Bermuda. This was Larry Cohen's "Regional at sea."

One of the great things about being on a ship was--no driving and the only decisions were what to eat.  The food was outstanding!  This left us only having to think about things like whether to take the finesse or bid more, etc. etc.

Each day started with a lesson from Larry followed by three sessions of bridge.  There were Swiss team games, knockouts, pair games, and side games.  After the afternoon sessions Larry gave a hand analysis of a few of the hands we played.  He is an excellent instructor and has a great sense of humor!  He was right there with us every day answering questions, and even caddied the team games.  There were all levels of players and a partnership desk for those who came alone or with non-playing spouses.  I had never been on a bridge cruise but I doubt there is any better than this was.  It was actually a first ACBL Regional at Sea

We did find time for other activities the ship offered, such as shows after the evening games, shopping in Bermuda, mini golf, Casino, and of course the ship has many bars that we had to check out.  We especially liked the bar on the top of the ship where you had a wonderful view of the ocean.

Would we do it again?  Absolutely!

Committee for Recruitment of New Players

President Posh Gulati has appointed Jim Reed as chair of a new SOMBA committee, the Committee for Recruiting New Players and Members.  The committee will explore member development by working with schools, colleges, senior centers, and other organizations.  The committee will also explore new methods of teaching bridge to interested individuals such as holding workshops in various locations to “learn bridge in a day.”  Jim is interested in hearing from our membership with any helpful suggestions.  Suggestions can be made by clicking on the [Contact Us] button at the top of the website.  Suggestions will be forwarded to Jim.

Election of SOMBA Board Members

Election of SOMBA board members is under way.  Ballots were sent last week in the mail to all SOMBA members.  Eight candidates are running for seven board positions.  The completed ballots must either be mailed back to Posh prior to the Apple Cider Sectional or may be dropped in the ballot boxes at the Spooktacular tournament or the Apple Cider Sectional.  The winners will be announced during the lunch break of the Sunday Swiss at the Apple Cider Sectional.  Candidates and a short biography of each appear on the ballots. Those running for election are Betty Anderson, Carol Diebold, Dave Fletcher, Bill Goodman, Jane Hall, Bill Landrum, Scott Miller, and Henry Shevitz.

Suggestions for Eastside 299er Tournament

Serious interest has been shown in SOMBA running a silver masterpoint 299er game on the eastside once per year along the lines of the Spooktacular held annually in Bloomfield Hills. Posh has suggested running the game, to meet the request of eastsiders, toward the end of April each year.  Posh would love to hear your thoughts on such a game.  Please click on the [Contact Us] button at the top of the website.

Current Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs Standings

Many of our players love the competition of the Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs races.  The Mini-McKenney races tally masterpoints accumulated during the year in tournament and club games.  The Ace of Clubs races tally masterpoints won in club games.  As of October 1st here are the standings for our SOMBA leaders for the Mini-McKenney.  You can see the top ten people in each category for the Mini-McKenney by clicking here.  You can see the top ten people in each category for the Ace of Clubs by clicking here.

0 – 5 Masterpoint Race

Jordan Kaye49.26
Deepak Dighe44.60
Richard Williams18.68

5 – 20 Masterpoint Race

Thom Allen51.85
Nitin Shah23.71
Joel Grossman14.91

20 -50 Masterpoint Race

Joan Wentz65.37
L. Nicholas Treinen58.08
William Smallwood43.83

50 – 100 Masterpoint Race

Robert Langtry58.38
Rosemary Sharland56.80
Janis James-Rubin44.26

100 – 200 Masterpoint Race

Lakshmi Vora112.09
Kenneth Geisler109.51
Arlene Geisler105.15

200 – 300 Masterpoint Race

Larry Lewis98.45
Marilyn Nathanson85.79
Marvin Bookstein76.36

300 – 500 Masterpoint Race

Charles Schiff134.63
Anthony Savant103.67
Sook Wilkinson83.53

500 – 1000 Masterpoint Race

Michael McDonald213.02
Zachary Wasserman198.54
Neal Strand145.10

1000 – 2500 Masterpoint Race

Robert Raf252.92
Charles Federman146.18
Ginny Poulter137.16

2500 – 5000 Masterpoint Race

Debra Eaves313.78
Michael Alioto228.10
Jerrold Grossman173.68

5000 – 7500 Masterpoint Race

Robert Cappelli662.05
Jack Shartsis369.32
Brenda Bryant167.40

7500 – 10,000 Masterpoint Race

Henry Shevitz154.64

Over 10,000 Masterpoint Race

Michael Crane209.16
Beverly Gardner153.28

SOMBA Photo Albums

We have recently introduced the [Photo Albums] button at the top of our website.  Have you checked it out yet?  If not, try it!  You will enjoy the photos of our members.  Here are a few random photos from the Wolverine Regional in May:

Folks, please keep in touch with your comments and suggestions. Just click on the [Contact Us] button at the top of our website.

Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)

Click here for archived news columns:


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