By Bonnie Bagley

National Board Representative

There seems to be a trend in 2014 for D17 regionals, and not one we want to see continued. Thus far, the Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Mesa, and Denver Regionals have all seen lower table counts than in 2013. There are several possible explanations: two regionals were held on dates different from their usual ones, which often decreases attendance (Las Vegas and Albuquerque); two regionals were sandwiched between the very successful Phoenix Fall NABC and the always popular Las Vegas Summer NABC (Mesa and Denver). There is also the question of whether holding the GNT D17 Finals at a regional brings in enough extra tables to balance the tables lost - the Denver Regional had 2091 tables, and even if the 114 GNT tables are added to the table count there still would have been a small loss.

As usual, Bill and Lori Beard and their able volunteers produced an outstanding tournament in Denver, though not without some controversy. The applique was much talked about: some loved it, some thought it funny, while others were not amused and thought it sent the wrong message about our wonderful state. Be that as it may, it was an attention getter. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what it was.

Also garnering attention was Robert Hartman, ACBL CEO, who attended the Denver Regional with his partner, Shane Garner. In between the obligatory D17 functions and being a Celebrity Speaker, Robert managed an Open Pairs second in B on Saturday and fifth in A and first in B in the Sunday Open Pairs with Shane. Robert was gracious in answering all questions and noting concerns. He said that “District 17 is one of the friendliest districts.” Needless to say, he felt welcomed. Also visiting was Sylvia Hardin, ACBL Human Resources Director. She is attending regionals throughout ACBL to learn about recruitment, hiring, and training directors, which is a goal of the five year Strategic Plan. She is planning to map a tournament directing career path with a “Tournament Director University” and field training. Karin Kelsey, D17 Goodwill Chair, presented Robert and Sylvia with honorary D17 Goodwill Pins.

GNT Winners!

There are four happy teams going to the Las Vegas NABC as a result of their success at the D17 Grand National Teams (GNT) District Finals. Three teams were entered in the Open Flight; victorious was the team of Sheri Winestock, Fred Gitelman, and Josh Donn, from Las Vegas, playing with Brad Moss, from Denver; this same team, playing with Tom and Joe Grue, also won in 2013. The winner of the seven teams entered in Flight A was the all Las Vegas team of Barbara Dunkley, Diane Graese, Barbara Vasilevsky, and George Vasilevsky, also a repeat of 2013, with George Vasilevsky replacing Ellen Crawford. Triumphant in Flight B was a team whose motto could be “Never Give Up.” Dawn and Greg Foltz - after several years of effort – won with teammates Gregory Herman and Bill Stoltey. They are all from Fort Collins, Colorado. The winning team in Flight C, whose motto could be “Perseverance Pays Off,” are all from the Denver Unit, but from different cities: Robert Stansbury, Centennial, Kevin Stansbury, Littleton, Karen Carlsen, Lakewood, and James Culhane, Denver; the same team lost the D17 Flight C Finals by one IMP last year. Congratulations to all, and good luck in the National GNT Finals at the Las Vegas NABC in July.

The gauntlet has been thrown! Did you notice that all the winners were either from Las Vegas or Colorado? Players in Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, and El Paso should start now to form teams and plan to win in 2015, which would allow them to go to the 2015 Summer Chicago NABC representing D17. Before that, however, practice as a pair in the North American Pairs (NAP) qualifying games at your local club during the qualifying period, June 1-August 31; once you have qualified plan to go to the D17 NAP Finals at the October Phoenix Regional, win your flight, and then represent D17 at the National NAP Finals at the 2015 Spring New Orleans NABC. You can do it!

Calling All D17 Youth

The Youth NABC will be held at the Las Vegas NABC on July 24-26. It is open to any player age 19 or younger as of July 15, 2014. Players of all skill levels are welcome, with special events for those just learning the game. Entry is free to all ACBL members. District 17 will provide each D17 member a $100 subsidy- just attend the Youth NABC and Bonnie Bagley will be there to hand you your subsidy. Preregistration is now available at youth4bridge.org/events/youthnabc

As always, do not hesitate to contact me at 719 593-0205 or bonnie@bonniebagleyd17.com

See you at the Las Vegas NABC, July 17-27, and the Colorado Springs Pikes Peak Regional, August 11-17.



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