Lisa says she got started in bridge this way: “I bought something called Autobridge (anyone remember that?) when I came to Edmonton in 1967. Then, a fellow by the name of Bob Jakes took me to my first duplicate game at the Klondike Bridge Club on Jasper near 115 Street.” Lisa says she joined the ACBL around 1971 and became a life master in 1976. Lisa recalls, “In the second round of the Blue Ribbon Pairs years ago, partner and I (in our usual accurate style) bid to 7NT missing an ace. After the opening lead (I wasn't down yet), I proceeded to finesse successfully and then claimed 13 tricks. I remarked to LHO, “Thank goodness you didn't have that ace or you'd have doubled and lead it.” She replied, "Oh, but I did". Go figure!
Lisa remembers her first regional tournament very well. “I was 5 months pregnant with my second child and decided to go to Vancouver. Getting there was interesting. It was January and the roads were closed due to avalanches and the planes were on strike, so I took the train. A stranger very nicely traded me a bottom bunk for my top bunk (it would have been hard to waddle up to the top bunk in my condition). After arriving, I played 3 sessions a day, mostly with Dave Power. It was very exciting to get to play against Eric Murray and Sammy Kehela. Nowadays, with bracketed knockouts being the game of choice, players don’t get to play against the greats for a long, long time. Until recently, in some districts a player could request to be put into the top bracket and very often the request was granted. Now, the masterpoints awarded in a bracket are determined by the masterpoints of the players in that bracket. The pros want their maximum possible points, of course; therefore, the directors won't let players play in a higher bracket any more. Oh well.”
“I remember an out-of-town sectional where Dick McKinney went to the bar for a drink. The bartender would not serve Dick, having been told that Dick was being obnoxious because he was drunk. We all laughed at this (have you ever seen Dick McKinney obnoxious?) and Dick summoned a director to straighten out the apparent misunderstanding. It turned out that the director had pointed out someone else who was not to be served liquor. The problem was, by the time this got sorted out, the bar was out of scotch and Dick didn't get a drink anyway!”
Lisa remembers this from her early bridge years. “At first, I was self-taught and I played for a couple years before I studied up scoring. One day, I got doubled in 3 hearts. This scared me half to death and I thought I had better at least get rid of the double. Guess how I did that. I bid 4 hearts! Of course, this was doubled, too, amidst great laughter at the table.”
Lisa’s advice to anyone contemplating learning bridge is, “If you want to play the game just for fun, go for it. If you want to improve, it takes lots of work. At the top levels, everyone can declare well and everyone can defend well. The difference is found in bidding. This is why the experts have volumes of notes about their bridge bidding systems.”
“My bridge partnership with Stan works when neither of us provoke the other after a bad result. Any mix-up should not be discussed at the table (both for our sake and for the sake of the opponents who do not want to witness an argument or, at best, a boring discussion which excludes them). Stan and I have worked very hard over the last year or so at avoiding arguments at the bridge table. My motto at the table (which I do not always live up to, but I try) is to treat my spouse with the respect I give to every other partner; no ridicule is allowed when partner does something stupid! Since Stan rarely makes a mistake, his bridge actions naturally gain my respect and admiration, so I have to bite my tongue very infrequently. Stan's tongue must get a lot more sore than mine!”