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.

Toledo Glass City Regional
June 6th to 12th
Radisson at the
 University of Toledo

Click here for flyer
Wolverine Regional
May 9th  to May 15th
Costick Center,
Farmington Hills, MI

Click here for flyer
MBA/SOMBA Joint Sectional
June 23rd to 26th
Bridge Connection,
Southfield, MI

Click here for flyer
Summer North American
Bridge Championships

July 21st  to July 21st
Washington DC

Click here for website

Keeping You Informed
Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Longest Day
Monday, June 20, 2016

This year our bridge community will again be supporting the ACBLís effort, in conjunction with The Alzheimerís Association, to raise funds to help advance research to end Alzheimer's and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease. The Longest Day is a team event to raise funds and awareness for the disease and the Alzheimer's Association. It is held annually on the summer solstice. The duration of this sunrise-to-sunset event symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with the disease and their caregivers. 

This year the event will take place at the Michigan Bridge Connection on Monday, June 20th and will include bridge games at noon and at 7:30. There will be a happy hour at 6:30 which will include pizza. Please feel free to BYOB. The games are charity games so extra masterpoints will be awarded. 

The day will be enhanced by your opportunity to play with a premier player by bidding for that player to be your partner in the afternoon game. Bidding for each of these players start at $25.00. Your bid can be made by emailing it to centralbridgeconnection@gmail.com. There are twelve premier players available for play. This is your great opportunity to play a round of bridge with Grant Petersen, Mike McDonald, Linda Golumbia, Art Golumbia, Willie Winokur, Zach Wasserman, Dick Tempkin, Marty Hirschman, Jonathan Fleischmann, Michael Crane, Frank Trieber, or Bob Katz. 

In addition to the funds raised from the player auction and the charitable portion of your entry fee, all of our members, whether or not they are available to play, are encouraged to help fight Alzheimerís by making a contribution to The Longest Day which can be done online very easily. Just go to our local teamís website by clicking here.

The local effort is organized by Bridge Central and The Michigan Bridge Connection. The key contact people are Vickie Vallone and Marilyn Nathanson. Vickie can be reached at 586-944-4218. Marilyn can be reached at 248-661-0851. 

The SOMBA Wolverine Regional
May 9th to May 15th

SOMBAís annual Wolverine Regional will take place from Monday, May 9th through Sunday, May 15th at the William Costick Center in Farmington Hills.  The tournament will include four sets of Knockout events, Swiss Team events every day of the tournament and numerous pairs events.  Gold Rush events will be held on three different days for those who need gold points to reach their next level of achievement.  There will be free lectures Monday through Friday.  This is another great opportunity for SOMBA members to support bridge in our community and support the many volunteers who make possible tournaments such as this.  The flyer for the tournament can be accessed by clicking here.

The key contacts for the tournament are chairs Dave Fletcher and Satish Shah; partnership chairs Deepak Dighe and Bill Goodman; and novice chairs Lakshmi Vora and Janis James-Rubin. Their contact information is located at the bottom of the tournament flyer.

Learn Bridge in Five Hours
Sunday, June 5, 2016

SOMBA continues its effort to promote bridge in our area by sponsoring a Learn Bridge in Five Hours event.  The event is oriented to individuals who have not previously played bridge and would like to learn the game in a short time and in a pleasant atmosphere.  The event will consist of an organized presentation of the different aspects of the game in a language newcomers can understand and implement.  Each attendee will actually play bridge at a table and will be assisted by an experienced player.  Attendees are welcome to come alone or with friends and family.

Learn Bridge in Five Hours will take place on Sunday, June 5th at 10:00 in the morning at the Michigan Bridge Connection.  There is a nominal charge of $15.00 per player.  The charge includes a packet of materials which can be taken home for further study.  The flyer for this event can be accessed by clicking here.  SOMBA board member Deepak Dighe is the main contact for this event and he can be reached at 248-345-1444.  SOMBA members are encouraged to contact their non-bridge playing family and friends to encourage them to take this nice introductory course.

Table Manners
by Dave Fletcher

My parents taught me that manners are an important part of who we are and how we are perceived.  Thank you and you are welcome were early lessons as were proper use of napkins and utensils.  Although somewhat unrelated I believe that etiquette and manners are just as important at the bridge table. 

Some of my suggestions include:

1) Be FriendlyóWhen meeting your opponents at the table, smile and welcome them.  Donít be too busy discussing that last misplayed hand to say hello.

2) Introduce YourselvesóIf you are new to the club or you donít recognize your opponents, introduce yourself and share a brief chit-chat about  weather, home town, etc

3) Don't Woulda-Coulda-ShouldaóMany times no one knows better than the person who erred that they made a mistake and if they donítóignorance is probably bliss.  They most likely do not appreciate you pointing out their errors.

4) Don't TeachóGood bridge lessons cost money so donít be giving free lessons at the table.  Most players have a set of conventions they are comfortable with.  You do not need to point out the multitude of other ways they could have bid or played the hand.

5) Remember the Standard StuffóGet used to saying hello, good luck, nice play, and of course Please and Thank You.  Bridge is a game and a social event.  Enjoy yourself and have a good time, but at the same moment make it a positive experience for those around you.

Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)

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