The District 17 Bridge Buzz focuses on district and national news and provides you with the links to access the details. Catch the next Buzz September 2024.

Contact Cindy Shoemaker, editor, with feedback and content suggestions.


by Elizabeth Hamilton


“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place,” George Bernard Shaw (1856 to 1950)

Shaw was an Irish playwright, critic and political activist. He wrote more than 60 plays and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. This quote should make us rethink some of our communication strategies. 

There is a tendency to think that once something has been written down or spoken that a message was transmitted, received and understood. In the bridge community, emails, newsletters, and websites are used to spread the word. Research shows that information needs to be repeated multiple times and in multiple formats to reach its intended audience. There is just too much information available out there and getting it to the right audience in a timely manner is a challenge. 

In D17, we try to keep the website updated so that you can access the information you want, when you need it. Check it out: Hopefully, you can find what you are looking for there. If not, please let us know. 

Acronyms are used a lot in the bridge world and the next time you hear one that you are not certain about, please ask.  For example,

do new players know what I/N means? Perhaps, most of you reading this do but to make sure the communication is clear, it stands for Intermediate/Newcomer and when bridge events are labeled 299'er, that is an I/N event and only players with 299 masterpoints (MPs) or less can play. This is a step on the way to achieving the status of Life Master (LM). Most of you will be aiming at getting 500 MPs in a combination of colors to become a Life Master. It will happen!

D17 offers lots of tournaments so players at all levels can find the right event to compete in to add to their masterpoints and to build their confidence to play in a competitive environment. The Denver Rocky Mountain Regional that took place May 21-May 27 was a great tournament. 

A fantastic group of volunteers worked extremely hard to make it all run smoothly.  A big thank you to all involved.

The D17 Grand National Teams (GNT) Finals were held in Denver too. It was very exciting. Players at all levels competed. 

Think about it for next year. 

Another unique and fun event at the Denver Regional is the Pro-Am event that kicks-off the tournament. This event pairs very experienced players with newer players. The chair of this event is Jennifer O’Neill. She and her team of volunteers work extremely hard to make this run smoothly. It is amazing! An incredible learning experience for newer players. Think about getting involved in this too in 2025. 

The D17 Regionals that are still to come in 2024 are the Phoenix Desert Empire Regional, August 12-17 and the Taos Regional, September 23-29. The event schedule for both of these tournaments has something to offer players of all levels. There are two NLM Regionals coming up as well. All will be lots of fun! 

Visit the D17 tournament calendar on our website for more information. 

This event will take place in Las Vegas beginning Thanksgiving Day, November 28 and ending December 8, 2024. Reservations at the host hotel opened on May 28. Room prices are amazing and there are events for players of every level - even I/Ns! The event schedule has been published on the ACBL website. Click here to link to a printable version of the complete schedule and if you are an I/N player, click here for the special programs being planned for the LVNABC.

Remember, all D17 members in good standing get a $10 discount on entry fees. An amazing deal. Make a plan to visit Sin City and have lots of fun playing bridge and exploring a city that never sleeps. Great bridge, great food and great entertainment!

Click here to read more.

by Julie Bosserman

Tournament Chair

Slay With Us in Phoenix

Engage the power of the Sonoran Desert and SLAY your opponents at the bridge table. The Phoenix Desert Empire Regional includes several events to prepare you for this feat:

Join us Monday through Friday in Degree 270, a private lounge on the 14 floor, where five bridge experts will impart their profound knowledge, wisdom and magical strategies, offering enlightenment and empowerment at the bridge table. Marvel at the insights shared by our esteemed guests:

  • Monday: Joshua Donn unveils the secrets of When to Lead Trump


  • Tuesday: Bjorgvin Kristinsson ensure you’ll Stay Awake to the nuances of the game

  • Wednesday: Margorie Michelin guides you through the art of Negative Inferences 

  • Thursday: Daniel Korbel unveils the mysteries of 2-Way New Minor Forcing 

  • Friday: Steven DeVico and Gayle Covey enlighten us on How to Think About a Bridge Hand 

Degree 270 offers a majestic panorama of the desert realm, so head up there to enjoy your lunch and prepare to be enlightened. You will leave armed with newfound knowledge to help you SLAY your opponents at the bridge table. 

For newer players with 0-299 masterpoints, prepare to hone your skills and SLAY your opponents at the bridge table! Join us for Supervised Bid and Play lessons on both Monday and Tuesday at 10 AM in the Degree 270 lounge.

The game will take approximately 2½ hours, during which you’ll play 12 boards, guided by Stephanie Haddy and David Divine on Monday and Marsha Rayton on Tuesday. Click here to view flyer.

This is a great way to sharpen your play and defensive techniques, so you can SLAY your opponent in our limited games for the rest of the week. Winners will be awarded silver masterpoints, and ALL attendees will receive a Free Play for one of the 0-300 games later in the week.

Come solo or with a partner; we just ask that you pre-register: Click here to register for Monday's SB&P Game. Click here to register for Tuesday's SB&P Game.


Not only can you SLAY your opponents at the bridge table, but you can also SLAY your expenses! Save 14% on your room reservation by booking here before July 19. Talking Stick’s August rates start at $149, so book soon to guarantee a room AND save $20 per night. Additionally, take advantage of the tournament rate, available three days before or three days after the event. This flexibility enables you to extend your stay and explore the plethora of attractions in the valley.


All hotel guests will be automatically entered into an exclusive raffle for a 60-minute massage certificate to the Spa at Talking Stick. Book your hotel stay now for a chance to win some extra pampering!

by Jennifer O'Neill

Tournament Co-Chair

Mark your calendars to attend the Taos Regional September 23-29! Rooms start at $119 and reservations are filling up fast. The deadline for booking your room(s) is Wednesday, August 21. Ask for the “ACBL Regional Rate” by calling: 575-758-2254.

Click here to view the tournament flyer.

We are offering a full slate of events! There will be a Soloway or Bracketed Knockout available every day except Sunday. There are also plenty of pairs opportunities. 

The D17 North American Pairs (NAP) Finals will be held on Friday, September 27 for Flight B players, and Flights A and C will be held on Saturday, September 28. So, if you have qualified to play in the D17 NAP Finals, come join us!




12-14 Denver, CO (Open)

12-14 Denver, CO (I/N Regional)


02-04 Avon (Vail), CO (Open)

10-11 Albuquerque, NM (I/N)

23-25 Grand Junction, CO (Open)


05-08 Colorado Springs, CO (Open)

07-08 El Paso, TX (Local)

14-15 Denver, CO (I/N)


28-28 Fort Collins, CO (I/N)



by Bonnie Bagley

D17 STaC Coordinator

The 2024 D17 Summer Fun Royal STaC had 1,026 tables, which was 101 tables less than 2023. Read more.

Many thanks go to our D17 club owners, who held the STaC games, and to our D17 players who participated.

CONGRATULATIONS to Charles Finch, Las Vegas, NV, the top masterpoint winner with 25.94 masterpoints!

Click here to view the top 50 masterpoint winners.

Regular STaCs give players the opportunity to earn silver masterpoints and ROYAL STaCs give players the opportunity to earn 25% each silver, red, gold and black masterpoints!  

Put the upcoming D17 2024 STaCs on your calendar: the Falling Leaves STaC on September 16-22 and the WishBone ROYAL STaC on November 11-17. 

by Bonnie Bagley

D17 GNT Coordinator

The D17 GNT Flights A, B & C Finals held at the May Denver Regional were successful. As reported in the May Buzz, the Championship Flight Final was held online April 6-7 – the winners were Alain Schreiber, Billy Miller, Robert Levin, Roger Lee,Geoff Hampson and Brad Moss.


Flight A had five teams competing with Kyle Rockoff, Ronald Vickery, Shailesh Gupta, and Maya Alela being the victorious team. Kyle is from Gilbert, AZ (Unit 351), Ron is from Tucson Unit 356, Shailesh is from Las Vegas (Unit 373), and Maya is from Flagstaff (Unit 358). Truly a D17 team! Kyle and Ron were on the winning teams in 2022 and 2023 Flight A and 2021 Flight B. Shailesh is unable to attend the GNT Finals in Toronto due to work responsibilities, so Doug Couchman from Unit 356 is his replacement. 


The Flight B winners Damian Birnstihl, Frank Bost, Lakin Hines, and Shari Smart are all from the Mesa Unit 351. 

Since there were only six teams competing, D17 is only sending one Flight B team to Toronto since ACBL requires eight teams competing in the District Finals for second team. 

The Flight C winners are John Farbarik and Allen Ettenger, Tucson Unit 356, John “Joe” Heideman and Glenda Heideman, Grand Junction, CO, Unit 354. Joseph Simon and Dianne Simon, Cheyenne, WY, Unit 421 will replace John and Allen who are unable to attend the National Finals.

Since there were eight Flight C teams in the District Finals, two D17 teams will go to the National Finals. The second-place team was Jonathan Dings, Jill Barker, Chris Watson, and Hans Hanson, Fort Collins, CO, Unit 363. Unfortunately, their team is unable to attend the National Finals, therefore, the third-place team of Richard Blumberg, Mark Benford, Mike Crimmins and Anne Schuster, Denver, CO Unit 351, will be competing in the Flight C GNT National Finals.


Start thinking about a team for next year’s D17 GNT Finals. The 2025 GNT National Final will be at the Philadelphia summer NABC starting Wednesday, July 23. Club qualifying games will begin in September. Plan now on playing in your club qualifying games and competing in the D17 GNT Finals to be held at the 2025 Denver Rocky Mountain Regional in May. The revenue from these games, along with the revenue from the Grass Roots Fund games, help to provide subsidies for the D17 GNT teams who compete in the National GNT Finals. 

CONGRATULATIONS to our winners!

BEST OF LUCK to all of our teams competing in the 2024 GNT National Finals in Toronto.  

Flight A winners: Kyle Rockoff, Unit 351, Gilbert, AZ; Maya Alela, Unit 358, Flagstaff, AZ; Ron Vickery, Unit 356, Tucson, AZ and Shailesh Gupta, Unit 373, Las Vegas. 

Flight A 2nd place: Bob Harward, Colorado Springs, CO; Don Patterson, Colorado Springs, CO; Marilee Van Arsdale, Florissant, CO; Bill Curtis, Colorado Springs, CO and Dave Ruttner (not pictured), Peyton, CO - Unit 360. 

Flight B winners: Frank Bost, Damian Birnstihl, Shari Smart and Lakin Hines, Mesa, AZ - Unit 351. 

Flight B 2nd place: Daphne Davenport, Broomfield, CO; Sally Ann Rhea, Boulder, CO; Patti Tussey, Boulder, CO and Michael Houlik, Longmont, CO - Unit 359.

Flight C winners: Allen Ettenger, Tucson, AZ; John Farbarik, Tucson, AZ - Unit 356; Glenda Heideman and John Heideman, Grand Junction, CO - Unit 354. 

Flight C 2nd place: Chris Watson, Hans Hanson, Jill Barker and Jonathan Dings, Fort Collins, CO - Unit 363.

by Julie Clark

NAP Coordinator

North American Pairs Qualifying

Games are Underway!

Itʼs time to qualify to compete in the North American Pairs (NAP) - an annual prestigious grass roots event exclusively for ACBL members! Qualifying games are now being held in local participating clubs June 1 through August 31. Please encourage your clubs to hold NAP qualifying games!

Those who qualify can compete in the D17 NAP Finals held during the D17 Taos Regional September 27 (Flight B) and September 28 (Flights A and C). Click here to view the Taos Regional flyer.

The top three pairs in Flight A of the District Finals, and the top four pairs in Flights B and C of the District Finals will be eligible to represent D17 at the National Finals held in conjunction with the 2025 spring NABC in Memphis.

Click here to learn more about NAPs.


by Sharon Smith

D17 Education Chair

About 60 percent of the approximate 7,300 D17 members are on their way to achieving the rank of Life Master! These are our Rising Stars! 

The Fall 2024 North American Bridge Championships (NABC) will be held in D17 in November. The Intermediate/Newcomer (I/N) Co-chairs, Toby McEvoy and Chris Hahn are planning great events for new and Non-Life Masters (NLMs). Plan to participate! This is a wonderful opportunity for you and a partner to have fun and to play with others comparable to your level. 

A Special Invitation for Teachers and Students: The Fall LVNABC will host a fun competition for you and your I/N students. Click here for details. 

The competition will be held Thursday, November 28 through Thursday, December 5. Awards will be presented during a special I/N Reception held December 5 where appetizers and drinks will be provided complements of D17. The reception will follow the 299‘er game where Robert Todd, professional bridge teacher and player, will provide a review of the boards that were played. Players participating in the 299’er game are welcome to attend the reception. 

Attention Bridge Players: Checkout the Find a Teacher page found on the D17 website. Each year, we update the list to display our active teachers. The list has grown substantially and we are so appreciative of the efforts our teachers are making to support our players and to grow the game of bridge. Click on the teacher’s name to view the ACBL Teacher Profiles that detail their programs. Teachers, please send me your class information, and I will update the Find a Class calendar also found on the D17 website. 

Have you seen the notices about Jump Start Bridge? Click here for details. Jump Start Bridge is professional bridge teacher and author, Patty Tucker’s latest initiative to bring bridge to middle and high school students. Tucker discovered that busy teachers attend gifted children conferences looking for curriculum and are enthusiastic about this program. Jump Start Bridge offers FREE bridge curriculum for middle school and high school teachers and a stipend! Since November, 35 teachers in 21 states are teaching over 1,200 students. Take a look at the testimonials as the participating teachers and students are loving this program! 

D17 will support Jump Start Bridge by hosting a booth at the 46 Annual Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented (CAGT) Convention held October 20 - 22 in Loveland, CO. Also, D17 will have a booth at the 51 Annual Arizona AAGT Conference on February 4-5 in Mesa, AZ and are exploring opportunities in New Mexico. 

Do you know middle school or high school teachers? Please let them know about the FREE successful Jump Start Bridge curriculum. Contact me if you would like help with a booth or Tucker at if you would like to support the program and get involved.  


Four D17 Board members are up for re-election with terms expiring in 2024: Jennifer O’Neill, representing Denver, CO Unit 361, JoAnne Lowe, representing Phoenix, AZ Unit 354, Bill Curtis, representing Eastern CO Units 360 and 363, and David Baglee, representing Northern and Southern New Mexico Units 374, 376, 380, 381, 383 and 388 and El Paso Unit 159.

O’Neill and Baglee, who was elected by Northern and Southern NM Units and the El Paso Unit to complete the remainder of Neil Hunter’s term through 2024, have declared their candidacies. Lowe and Curtis will not stand for re-election.

The term of office to serve on the D17 Board is three years to commence at the first D17 Board meeting following the election.

Unit Board members elect their representative and must conduct a vote before November 1, 2024. 

If you are interested in running for one of these Board positions, you must be an ACBL member in good standing and a member of one of the Units that you are seeking to represent on the D17 Board.  

Candidates must submit a Statement of Declaration to the D17 Election Secretary, Kitty Larson, and to the President(s) of the respective Unit(s) before August 31, 2024. 


ACBL members receive masterpoints for winning and placing in club games and tournaments as they strive to advance through the ranks. There are 16 ranks, from Junior Master (5 masterpoints) to Grand Life Master (10,000 masterpoints plus a victory in an eligible North American Bridge Championship). Learn rank qualifications.


Mark Benford, Unit 361

Aurora, CO

Jeanne Gorman, Unit 354 Scottsdale, AZ

Also a Bronze Life Master

Donn Rouge, Unit 359

Fredrick, CO

Shari Smart (left) congratulating husband, J.B. Smart, Unit 351, Gilbert, AZ

Rita Soller, Unit 422

Steamboat Springs, CO

Not pictured: Justin Browning, Unit 421, Cheyenne, WY; John Miller, Unit 356, Green Valley, AZ and Gary Alan Nolin, Unit 358, Yuma, AZ.