Bridge Scene: Sometimes a player just can’t get luck on their side

The South West Regional Bridge Tournament is in Naples until Sunday, Oct. 16, so with the time remaining players should try to turn their unlucky results around. Losing with bad cards is one thing, but losing with good cards is not just unlucky it is sometimes avoidable. Plan and count and consider alternate plays before you play your first card. Wishful thinking is sometimes the only possible road, but remember, the harder you work the luckier you become.

Every hand can be played with a pessimistic attitude or an optimistic one. But the strong player never gives up and searches for the best possible combination of the cards to come out on top. This may not mean a big win but it may mean a smaller loss than all the other players in the room.

Many times a player is required to make a safety play and give up a trick in order to keep control of the hand. This play is hard to spot but players have to look for the danger in the hand, look for the one thing that could set the hand; a bad break, a card off side. A good player knows the number of tricks he/she needs to make, and may sacrifice a trick once and a while in order to make the contract.

Players should remain fluid and if one strategy fails, revert to plan “B.” Try to guard your winning tricks by allowing one opponent to keep the lead with the hope that he will lead into your hand and provide you with a winning trick that you were not 100 percent entitled to have. Well, that is not entirely true because you may be so good at end plays and throw ins that you really did deserve to come out on top.

In today’s game, players are asked to visualize the shape of their opponent’s hands from the bidding and must place cards that need to be in a certain location. There are 40 points in the deck, so you should count the number of points you and your partner have and the remaining points will be divided between your opponents. It is interesting that if the opponents did not bid, the missing points are divided almost in half. So, before you start to play always ask yourself, “What can go wrong?”

Congratulations to Alex Teller and John Vega, Naples’ newest bronze life master. Gregory Goggin and George Bernstein are now silver life masters and Marguerite Matson is a life master.

Bonita Bridge Club’s Star Bridge teacher Pat Harrington will return this season to teach a variety of classes. Fall lessons begin with “Bridge Fundamentals” on Oct. 27, and run until Dec. 8. “More Secrets of Winning Bridge” for intermediate players runs from Oct. 31 to Dec. 12. Both classes are held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. No partner or reservation is necessary and payment is by the week.

MacGregor Point Bridge Club in Fort Myers (15675-1 McGregor Blvd.) will host a Stratified Silver Point Sectional for 299er’s from Oct. 21-23. Games start at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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