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.

SOMBA Wolverine Regional
May 11th to May 17th

Costick Activities Center

Click here for flyer

Summer North American
Bridge Championships

August 6th to 16th

Click here for website
Great Lakes Regional
June 14th to 19th

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Joint SOMBA/MBA  Sectional
June 25th to 28th 
The Bridge Connection

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Keeping You Informed
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wolverine Regional May 11th Through May 17th

SOMBA’s annual main event, the Wolverine Regional, will take place from Monday, May 11th through Sunday, May 17th at the Costick Activities Center on Eleven Mile Road in Farmington Hills.  This year there will be sessions morning, afternoon and evening.  To view the full schedule of events please click here for the flyer.  Each day, Monday through Friday, there will be free bridge lectures presented by local experts.

If team games are your thing, there will be four Bracketed Knockouts.  There will be Swiss Teams every day except Monday.  If Pairs games are your thing, there will be Pairs events every day and there will be two-session open stratified pairs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  If you prefer to play in non-open events, there will be 0-300 games Monday through Saturday, with Gold Rush Pairs up to 750 on Thursday and Friday.

This is always a well-attended event.  It’s a great opportunity to hone your bridge skills, win masterpoints, and have fun socializing with your bridge playing friends.  For assistance or questions you can contact any of the individuals listed on the flyer.

Joint Member Directory

The Michigan Bridge Association (MBA) and Southern Michigan Bridge Association (SOMBA) are launching a Joint Member Directory. The initial plan is to provide the directory online. It will be posted on the SOMBA website with a link on the District 12 website. The online directory will be accessible by MBA and SOMBA members on the inputting of their ACBL numbers. In addition, we may later print the directory and distribute it to members of MBA and SOMBA.

If you wish to have your phone numbers and/or email address appear in the directory, you must fill out, sign, date and submit an information form and authorization. If you would like your information to be included in the directory please Click here for Form.

Posh Gulati Retires as SOMBA President

At the first meeting of the new SOMBA board of directors last month, President Posh Gulati announced his retirement from the position of president of SOMBA. Dave Fletcher was elected the new SOMBA president. Posh’s new official title will be Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Posh has been president of our ACBL unit for ten years. During that time he helped to build a strong unit and to bring on board many new faces. He felt it was time for the old guard to move over and give more responsibility to the new guard. Over the last few years he has spent many hours working to bring our SOMBA unit and the Michigan Bridge Association unit closer together. The two units, although geographically close, spent many decades going in their own directions. Thanks to Posh’s efforts on our side, there is now a new close partnership between the two units. Posh will continue to be SOMBA’s liaison with the MBA unit. He also will continue to be an active member of the SOMBA board. We thank Posh for his many years of service to SOMBA.

SOMBA Elects New Board and Officers

Members of SOMBA recently concluded their new election of directors. Those elected to the SOMBA board are: Betty Anderson, Carol Diebold, Deepak Dighe, Dave Fletcher, Bill Goodman, Posh Gulati, Jane Hall, Jerry Hasenjager, Bill Landrum, Marilyn Lindow, Scott Miller, James Phillips, Lynn Root, Satish Shah, and Kathy Twomey. Following Posh’s announcement of his retirement as SOMBA president at the first meeting of the new board, the following officers were elected:
  • Dave Fletcher, President
  • Kathy Twomey, Vice-President
  • Satish Shah, Secretary
  • Jerry Hasenjager, Treasurer
  • Posh Gulati, Chairman of the Board
Congratulations to the new members of the board and the new officers. SOMBA members can contact any of these individuals by clicking on the [Board] button above. Email addresses and phone numbers are listed for each officer and director. Please feel free to contact them with any suggestions, ideas, concerns, or questions.

2014 SOMBA Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs Winners

The results are in. Each year members of our own ACBL unit compete for the most masterpoints earned in their beginning-of-the-year category. Mini-McKenney points are based on masterpoints earned from club play and from sectional, regional and national tournament play. Ace of Clubs points are based on masterpoints earned in club play. Here are the 2014 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs winners in our SOMBA unit. Congratulations to each of them.

Mini-McKenney Race

The SOMBA winners in the 2014 Mini-McKenney race are:
0-5 Tan Yang 40.27
5-20 Judy Burke 46.06
20-50 John Neumann 108.94
50-100 Jane Gardner 110.56
100-200 Larry Cohen 189.85
200-300 Thom Allen 110.62
300-500 Steven Kaplan 148.21
500-1000 Zachary Wasserman 289.83
1000-2500 Robert Mendelson 262.69
2500-5000 Jerrold Grossman 228.42
5000-7500 Debra Eaves 485.48
7500-10,000 Robert Cappelli 468.99
10,000+ Michael Crane 437.60

Ace of Clubs Race 

The SOMBA winners in the 2014 Ace of Clubs race are:

0-5 Tan Yang 32.49
5-20 Judy Burke 31.08
20-50 John Neumann 55.31
50-100 Douglas Hauke 52.50
100-200 Larry Cohen 88.94
200-300 David Dursum 53.31
300-500 Milton Siegel 83.76
500-1000 Charles Schiff 141.42
1000-2500 Robert Raf 149.57
2500-5000 Georgene Cronin 134.95
5000-7500 Debra Eaves 268.95
7500-10,000 Robert Cappelli 84.95
10,000+ Michael Crane 105.92

SOMBA Director Emeritus - Dave Buskirk
by Tai Chan

As a plant engineer in General Motors and later as director of GM’s Environmental Activity Staff in the regulatory-intense decades of 1970-80s, Dave Buskirk had to deal with demands from the newly-formed EPA and OSHA, pushy plant managers, and unreasonable union reps on a daily basis. After 35 years with GM, his second career as ACBL director was simply more stimulating, satisfying, and silky smooth. For more than three decades, Dave and Judy have directed weekly games in Oakland County, and as bridge directors on many cruise ships. They played a formidable yet friendly game, and are truly LIFE masters in more ways than one. Dave has been a selfless mentor to many of his colleagues, the SOMBA Board and friends in life and in bridge. Last year, Dave celebrated his 83rd birthday and he and Judy’s 50th wedding anniversary.

Dave and Judy taught their 8-yr old grandson Zachary the game. Today, Zach Wasserman has matured to be a silver life master at 26. Good genes and great grandparents is always a winning combination! If there is ever a grandpa/grandson pair event, they would be the seeded pair to beat. Zach wrote, “Grandpa Dave has been an inspiration and exceptional role model in virtually every aspect of life, and bridge is no exception. He taught me the game as much as humanly possible from the time I was old enough to hold a deck of cards with nothing but patience and love. Bridge for me today has become a passion of mine and has created so many opportunities to challenge my mind, compete at the national level, travel all over the country, and make wonderful friends. He has truly given me a gift that will last a lifetime."

Another disciple of Dave, Vicki Vallone wrote, “Dave is my mentor. He is my friend. Many years ago I asked Dave to help prepare me for the ACBL director’s test. He did that and so much more. He helped me understand that my players are the key to success. You need to learn the laws but your players will keep coming back if they are treated as you would your friends. Make them comfortable, treat them with respect and kindness, and let them know they are missed when not there. This is Dave Buskirk, the kind and gentle director.”

Dave is known to bring gifts to his annual holiday party as rewards during the game for taking a trick with the deuce of clubs, one-eyed jacks, making a redoubled contract and other unique plays. He would also share one or two of his humorous bridge stories to celebrate the holidays before heading down to Florida for the winter.

In recognition of Dave Buskirk’s distinguished service to ACBL Unit 203 and unswerving dedication to the game, SOMBA has honored Dave with the title “Director Emeritus” In honor of Dave and Judy, SOMBA hosted a dinner party at the Bridge Connection prior to the Apple Cider Sectional this past November.

Dave, congratulations on your lifetime achievements!

Outstanding Turnout for Valentine Sectional

The annual SOMBA Valentine Sectional was held February 12th through 15th and it was a resounding success with the largest number of participants in several years. 422 players participated in the event and they took home a total of 1412 masterpoints. SOMBA congratulates all of the masterpoint winners.

The top 20 winners were:

Myles Maddox 31.69
Marilyn Maddox 31.69
Richard Temkin 29.74
Jonathan Fleischmann 26.47
Michael D Alioto 23.64
Bert Newman 22.63
Michael Crane 22.49
Edward White 21.01
Philip Smith 19.92
Jerrold Grossman 19.49
Debra Eaves 18.88
Norman Bolton 18.88
Sheldon Kirsch 18.84
Jack Shartsis 18.84
Irving Rosenstein 18.83
Kurt Dasher 17.43
Robert Raf 17.36
Gary Brinker 16.95
Henry Shevitz 16.67
Daniel Marcus 15.92

A tremendous amount of work goes into the preparation and management of all bridge tournaments. SOMBA is deeply appreciative of the efforts of all of its volunteers who helped make this Valentine Sectional a success. Managers and chairs were: Posh Gulati, Satish Shah, Marilyn Lindow, Kathy Twomey, Deepak Dighe, Jim Phillips, Carol Diebold, Scott Miller, and Dave Fletcher

Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)

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