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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jimmy the Donplayer converts to Bridge

Last weekend I went to Belfast to broadcast the Lady Milne Trophy on Bridgebase Online. All good and most people had a good time. Scotland had a better time and pretty much dominated the event posting an 87% score.... over the full event

In 2001 when the Coen Trophy was limited to above intermediate level my team managed to post
148 VPS out 150 in a single session of 30 boards and 6 matches of 5 boards.

However these Scots posted 87% over 160 boards and 5 long matches of 32 boards.

So I returned from the Lady Milne on Monday and recalled that I had promised to run a DON competition in my local pub that same night. DON is a game often referred to as poor mans bridge as it was often played by tradesmen whereas bridge was played in the big houses.

Anyway only 4 pairs showed up and we ran like a Two table Howell and all played 6 hands against the other pairs. So we got that over by about 1125pm. Eamon did not win.

1st place was Jimmy Donplayer and Liam Carrick.
So I was thinking ...great I can go home and have a good sleep.

Next thing Jimmy pipes up ... " Eamon give us a quick run through that bridge stuff ....and we will give it a spin for a while"

So Galligan deals out 4 hands and gets the lads to put them face up and quickly explain about winning the first 6 tricks to reach the book and thus bidding starts at 1 level but that means you need 7 tricks. They got that.
Then I explained .. bonus's kick in at 9 tricks for NT 10 tricks for Hearts Spades and 11 tricks for Clubs Diamonds. I have not told them about Small Slam and Big Slam yet.

I did a second hand face up with me explaining the bidding but they picked up the cards and declared the hand. They know the cardplay and what a trick is from DON..

Then Jimmy Donplayer says ... "This is an interesting game .. You could not play this and be drinking at the same time as you would lose count of the suits .. "

Then he says .. Can we play a few hands without showing them on the table ..

So first hand went 1H 2D 2N and Jimmy says "What did you say about a bonus for 9 tricks ..
and I explained and he said ... ok 3NT so ..

Then I made my lead and told Jimmy put his hand on the table ... Jimmy said " but Eamon we are not teaching anymore ..we are keeping our cards held up "

This is where I had to explain the dummy hand ........

Anyway Liam made 10 tricks for plus 1 in 3NT and 430 as Nil all on board 1
Next hand they played 3NT again and Jimmy declared for 9 tricks with a struggle..
I wrote down 600 ...

Then Jimmy piped up does this scoring work .... and I said ... I will look after the scoring for
tonight and Jimmy says .." How will we know you are being honest "

The next 6 hands were part scores and undertricks and then it was time to go home.

Result .. Jimmy 1030 .... Eamon 780 ..

We were playing Chicago ... Nil All on hand 1  Dealer Vul on hand 2 and 3 .. Game all on hand 4

And Jimmy ..goes " What a game !! ... DON is like SNAP  compared to this bridge "
We will give it a spin again soon .. "

Then it took 20 minutes to get down the normal 7 minute walk home as Jimmy questioned me on
various bridge stuff and how it works in the club and scoring and stuff ...

I went in the next night and Jimmy comes over ...Eamon whats this T on that paper you gave me last night. ... I explained T = 10 ..

Meanwhile during that game Declan the Donplayer from previous articles was finally having his first game of bridge with real cards in his hands. For the last 18 months or so he has played only online on the computer. Lurking with intent  in the background was Shane the barman who I also taught bridge but he also has never played with real cards as he only plays on

Seamus Costello delivers beginner lessons in my local community centre and Declan Donplayer called in there once or twice and indicated ...these people are learning what a trick is and what a trump is ... I already know those things.

Eamon Galligan

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