To become a life master, which is the first true plateau in Duplicate Bridge, you need to accumulate black, red, silver and gold master points. Gold points are typically awarded in two session or longer American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) sanctioned regional championship events.
In flighted pair and swiss team events, players are separated into different games based on their master point holdings. Contestants are not expected to play against players who are significantly higher ranked than themselves, so stratified flights are formed. The master point limits for flights can vary from tournament to tournament but, one can only earn gold for overall, and first place in sectional placement, in the A and B stratification.
The bracketed knockout team game is a popular format at tournaments, because players with few master points can win gold. Contestants in bracketed knockouts are divided into as many brackets as necessary based on attendance. No bracket is to exceed 16 teams and none may be less than nine teams. Those bracketed knockout teams who average 750 or more points earn 100 percent gold. Those brackets that average 500-749 points pay 2/3 gold and 1/3 red, and those that average 300-499, pay half gold and half red. Teams that average less than 300 points are paid 1/3 gold and 2/3 red master points.
The ACBL offers some special club appreciation team games in October that pay a fraction of gold to the winners. Additionally, unit 128 may run two session North American open pair qualifying games, which pay some gold to the winners.
The Philadelphia Regional Tournament and the World Bridge Series Championship in October in Philadelphia saw 1,896 players participate and 15,169.27 master points awarded.
In the Monday/Tuesday, bracket No. 1 knockout team game, the team of Bruce Greenspan, Real Fradette, David Legron and Elaine Clair placed 1st in “A” to win 18.21 master points.
In Friday afternoon, Swiss teams of Carol Weg, Larry Shaw, Mary Pickens and Sharon Davidson placed first in “C,” winning 3.49 master points.
Bruce Greenspan, a local bridge teacher and professional bridge player from Naples, and Danvers, Mass., placed eleventh overall in the master point race at the tournament, earning 61.91 masterpoints.