We’re number 12
I’ve been to Hawaii 9 or 10 times and never set foot into he ocean until Saturday. I was in Honolulu for 3 days to play in the Senior Mixed Pairs with Sigrid Price and finally could not resist the temptation to walk to the end of the hotel complex and get a bit wet. Not the most exciting experience of my life, but not bad, either.
The bridge was great. Sigrid was great. I was decent for 3 of the four rounds, and then completely lost it the last round, managing to hold it barely together just enough to make it to twelfth overall, which is pretty exciting, but could have been so much better if my concentration hadn’t utterly folded and flown away.
I wasn’t alone–the pair that was leading the event crashed and burned, turning in a 40% game in the final session.
The tournament was a disaster–Hawaii is a silly place to hold a national tournament, and the league will lose a fortune on this one. So much so that they formally decided never to have another NABC in Hawaii. People don’t want to go there to play bridge, it’s too darn far from the east coast and the costs are horrendous. There were no concessions because of the shipping cost. The hotel room rate was exorbitant, which led to many players staying offsite, which caused the league to fail to fulfill its room block, despite sending a begging letter to all the players to PUH-LEASE stay in the host hotel. A NABC needs the locals to turn out to make it a success, and while the Hawaiian players all came, there are only 43 of them, so they don’t make much of a difference.
Not everyone avoided the tournament–there were two huge Suburban limousines parked in front of my hotel tower where no cars were allowed. Bill Gates was there to play in the Reisinger Teams. With his partners and security team that should have helped the room block problem considerably.
I spoke with Gail Greenberg during the event i played. She has an impressive record of having attended every single NABC since 1966, over 150 consecutive events.
Since Gail wasn’t with me, I wasn’t looking for any fine dining. The first night there, I had been kibitzing my friend Barbara, and she took me to dinner at Frescos, an Italian place on the property. The food was very good and the view of the setting sun over the Pacific was fantastic. The hotel has a big luau every night, and we got to see that from our seats, with lots of singing and dancing.
The experience was so nice that I went there the next night, with my partner Sigrid and friends from Tampa, Muriel and Phil. Then the last night, Sigrid and I went back again, rather than try to find someplace else we would like.
In 3 days, I never set foot off the hotel property, which is another reason not to have waste our money going to Hawaii–it doesn’t matter to many players if the event is in Hawaii or Peoria, we come to play cards and then go home. May as well pick someplace easy to get to and reasonably priced.
The next one is Memphis, and people are already getting ready, making their plans and finding out the hotel doesn’t have enough rooms. It’s a great city, with the National Civil Rights Museum, which is worth a trip to Tennessee all by itself. Maybe we can make back some of the losses from Hawaii.