Al The Plumber

Nauseating Bridge Quotes: Allan Stauber

ALLAN STAUBER: (presumably cross-referenced to everyone else on the list; WOW! He must be incredibly popular! Incidentally, he also is known as GPITU. Some players say that stands for Greatest Preemptor in the Universe. Others seem to have a variety of meanings for the letters, especially the “P”. To save you time, none of them will be shown here.)

Stauber (watching as dummy, while the declarer and defense battled furiously to see who could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory — fortunately, the defense pulled off the final blunder): Played along CLASSIC CROSS-TOSS lines!

Stauber (notifying the director that a board from the prior day’s evening session was matchpointed incorrectly — the opponents with their 30 HCP’s could actually make 7 or 6NT, but never got into the bidding!!): On board XX, we took the save and went for 200 as shown on the score sheet, but the matchpoint score is wrong!

I didn’t add that I played the “save” in 2NT UNDOUBLED NV, DOWN 4!!! The vul opponents never got into the bidding after my slightly sub-sub-sub-standard third seat 1NT opening bid. In case you think this is “impossible”, how about a little quick brainwork? How could it reasonably or semi-reasonably have occurred after I opened a supposedly “strong” NT (14+ to 17).

We only had 7 matchpoints out of 17 on the score sheet, because the “1” had been left off! (I believe the unusual top on each board was because they were scored across two 9-table sections.) I learned of this somewhat disappointing result as I was driving away from the scene of the accident as fast as I could, though I was not drunk with glory because we didn’t emerge victorious. Anyway, my partner was telling me our board results.

The next day, we learned that everything balanced on the score sheet. The director had scored the event by hand, but he had mis-added by 10 in 2 directions, so the check totals were “OK” — well, at least sort of OK!

We won the event on this board after the score correction. By holding it to down 4, it actually gained a matchpoint. One pair was only plus 230 the other way! It would have been an even better story, but unfortunately, this one point didn’t win the event by itself. At every other table, game or slam (both normally in spades) was bid and made.

I, declarer’s RHO, did not cover dummy’s Q with my K. It was easy to see that covering was wrong, and would let the declarer make the contract.

Stauber (after the play was over): Fortunately, we took “Cover an honor with an honor” off our convention card just before the session started.

Anonymous (Stauber’s partner who was the declarer): Should I have played the hand differently?

Stauber: It depends whether or not you wanted to make it!

Stauber: When life deals you lemons, make lemonade! – A quote from Stauber’s a-BRIDGE-d secret manual: “Bridge Overbidding Complete”.

Or to paraphrase Winston Churchill: “Never has so much been bid on so little by so few, namely one.”

Stauber: Always remember. The opponents are there to help you! – A quote from Stauber’s un-a-BRIDGE-d un-a-bomber secret manual: “Bridge Overbidding and Overplaying Complete”.

Years ago, Ethan Stein was behind me on the line of supposedly better players who wanted to get seedy entries for some National event.

Anonymous Director Selling Entries: Name?

Stauber: Stauber. I’m playing with so and so.

Stein: It’s amazing. You’ve won a bunch of National events recently, but many of the directors and players have no idea who you are.

The reason that I did have a pretty good streak going was because I knew which directors to pay off! I had no need to know anyone else.

The war zone: The RPI Student Union

I was South in 4 of a major. The contract was straightforward. The tenth trick depended on losing only one diamond trick with Kxx in dummy and xx in my hand.

A scout was seated to my right. Despite her recent denials, Nancy Pelousy, The Speaker of the ACBL, had been notified about my duplicate-boarding methods and me. She unblinkingly acknowledged that they were completely legit. In fact, she said she frequently used them herself, especially against her main adversaries, a bunch of Republics and an Obamination. She even had some more brutal methods that she encouraged me to use. I questioned whether they were also legal. She used tortured logic to assure me that they were.

Anyway, the battlefield news was not good. The scout indicated that East had the diamond ace over the K. Undaunted, I went into action.

Stauber (in a low voice to the scout, but loud enough so that East could also hear): My only hope to make the contract is to lead to the king of diamonds, and for East to take it!

So I led up to the K, and East played low!!! Making 4! It serves East right for taking advantage of board talk!


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Johne681May 2nd, 2014 at 5:06 am

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Al StauberMay 3rd, 2014 at 4:31 pm


I’m glad that you liked it. I hope to write a revised version with even more quotes and stories in the next few months.

I’ll also have some more articles for my Extreme Bridge series.

Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy!

Parenting Video GamesJune 25th, 2014 at 4:29 am

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