Above: Players check flat-screen displays to find out their standing and also their seating.
During the third session of the Mixed Pairs Plate, I held:
♠J 10 8 ♥A 10 ♦A K 9 4 2 ♣J 8 4.
Partner opened 2♣ which in our big club system showed 10 to 15 high-card points, five+ clubs and could have another suit. Right-hand opponent bid 3♣, Michaels. I doubled to set a force. Yes, I could bid 3NT, but Kate could be short in spades -- I wanted to hear what LHO would bid. He cooperated by bidding 3♥ which was passed back to me. Now I bid 3NT, and LHO bid 4♥. I think if he was going to 4♥ anyway, he should have bid it over the double, don't you? This is passed back to me, and . . . ?
It looked to me like doubling them would lead to a bad score (correct, it's only down one), and I didn't fly all the way to Philadelphia to play in five of a minor. So, I bid 4NT, ending the auction. Here are all four hands (rotated):
♠ K 9 7 6
♦ Q 7 5
♣ A K Q 10 3
♠ 4 ♠ A Q 5 3 2
♥ K Q 6 4 3 ♥ J 8 7 5 2
♦ J 10 ♦ 8 6 3
♣ 9 7 6 5 2 ♣ ---
♠ J 10 8
♥ A 10
♦ A K 9 4 2
♣ J 8 4
West led the ♥K, and I took 11 tricks for an excellent result.
I was sorry that I missed meeting Bob and Jen of Jennbridge. They made the cut to the big game and finished 57th, an excellent showing.
I also met and played against blogger Michael Yuen.
For some reason they made the males sit North and West. That meant there was a male and a female on each side of the screen. I'm not sure what that was all about.
The WBF has a funny way of doing the scores. With one round to go, they bring a sheet with all your results through the next to the last round. After that, you have to go belly up to a wall with each board listed and all the scores. I don't mean to whine about that, it's just that I'm used to seeing a sheet with all my scores at one place.
Overall, I give the tournament high marks. They started mostly on time, directors prowled the playing floor and kept the game moving and it was well-run.
The starting times for each session were 11 a.m. (one day at 10 a.m.) and 4 p.m. (one day at 4:30 p.m.). This meant we were finished each day in time to go out and enjoy a nice dinner. We were on vacation, so calories don't count, right? Yum.
Kate and I went to three nice restaurants: Table 31 is an awesome Italian restaurant that we went to the first night. Kate's daughter and son-in-law live in Wilmington DE and they joined us Saturday night at Lolita's, an upscale Mexican place that was jam-packed and rocking. We also ate at Tweed, a delightful place that the concierge told us about. At Tweed, our waiter was one of those types who has a ton of personality. We asked a few questions (from which he could tell our preferences) and then he basically ordered for us!
Above: Maegan, Kate and Ken at Lolita's.
The tournament was held at the Downtown Marriott on Market Street.
Players had to wear what they called badges (see above) to enter the playing area.
Photos by MOJO and taken with my P&S.