Mark Blumenthal

A Sure Thing?

In the mid or late sixties a friend of mine who regularly played at Al Roth’s club, the Mayfair, told me a story. At the time I assumed the hand it had played very recently. When I started this blog   wrote another friend, Danny Gerstman, that   I was going to put the hand in the blog I had started.

Danny replied that, ” ;this story,which I sincerely doubt was actually played by Roth, is so old that everyone has heard it.” I will agree that the story may be old, but I’m sure not that  everyone has heard it.  I don’t remember hearing it again  or ever seeing it in print so I will include it here and write it up here as I remember it being told to me.

Al had AKQ10xxx of hearts and a very   a very good hand. His partner also had a good hand. The Mayfair was a rubber bridge club meaning there were kibitzers and people not playing there. When the bidding started to get high word got around so  all those in the club who were not otherwise   occupied crowded around to watch.   Al and his  partner bid up to seven no trump. Al’s partner had a singleton heart. If the suit broke three-two as it figured to do two thirds of the time   or the jack were singleton, the slam was cold.     Al won the opening lead in dummy and led a heart When RHO followed with a   small heart he played the ten! When his LHO played small he was able to   claim. He did  reasoning was that once the contract was reached all his   kibitzers would have left since the hand was essentially over.   When  everybody remained watching  after the slam was reached.  hearts must have not broken as expected. The kibitzers were waiting  to see him go down.

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