The 2023 Puget Sound Regional Start Page

Gateway to masterpoints, results, photos

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 Welcome to the 2023 Puget Sound Regional!

August is the perfect time for D19’s annual Puget Sound Regional. The Lynnwood Event Center (formerly the Lynnwood Convention Center) is well-lit, air conditioned and primed for a wonderful week of bridge.

There are two hotels associated with the tournament: Best Western (just across the parking lot from the LEC, and La Quinta, around the corner from our location.

Stop by the Hospitality desk for hard candy, your regional sticker, a convention card holder (don’t know about you, but I can always use one), and a list of the restaurants in the area. If you need a partner, the folks at Partnership will find you a match. The Partnership Desk will be manned 45 minutes before the afternoon and evening sessions.

There will be lemon bars and brownie bites, and coffee!, on Wednesday and Friday evenings, and everyone is invited to stay after the Saturday afternoon session (Saturday is the day the start times change to 10 and 3, and there are only the two sessions) for a reception for our Intermediate and Novice players.

We have plenty to offer our beginning and advancing players. There is an afternoon game for 199ers, from Tuesday through Saturday. I’ll be there to answer questions before the game, and Scott Chupack will help with a quick postmortem afterwards. We have three excellent speakers for our Tips for Tops series on Wednesday through Friday at 6:15. There is a daily two-session Gold Rush Tuesday-Saturday. And do join us for the reception honoring our new players on Saturday, after the second session.

Throughout the week you will have the opportunity to participate in Bridge for Youth’s Silent Auction. B4Y is a Seattle-based organization that teaches kids how to play bridge. We’re raising money by auctioning table time with some of our area’s finest players, including some of the kids who have gone through our program and are playing at the top level of the game. Stop by and make an offer!

Finally, Covid is still with us; masks are recommended, but not required. A few players may ask that partners and opponents wear them and we ask that you cooperate.

If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment in the suggestion box (near Hospitality).

See you at the tables!

Ann Romeo

Basic Tournament Information

Location: The Lynnwood Convention Center has been renamed the Lynnwood Event Center but it is the same location as previous versions of this tournament: just north of Seattle and near I-5, at 3711 196th St. SW, at the left of the map at the right.

Driving: the site is very close to I-5's main Lynnwood exit, 196th St. SW, which is less than a mile south of the northern junction of I-5 and I-405. Driving in from the north, you exit I-5 at the 196th St SW exit, and you're almost there: the Lynnwood Event Centre is on the northwest corner of the first traffic light off of the highway at 36th Ave. Go through the light and turn right just past the building and you will find ample free parking: watch for signs leading to additional parking across 36th Ave. if there is none available. From the south it is a little trickier: exit 181B sends you east on Alderwood Mall Pkway for a few blocks, then turns north and at the traffic light you turn left on 196th St SW and go west, over I-5, and you meet up with the folks exiting from the north: the site will be on your right, past the first intersection on the other side of the highway overpass.

Transit: Community Transit's 196 route goes very close to the playing site, starting in Edmonds at the Amtrak station (a good way to get to Lynnwood if coming by train) and going to the Ash Way Park & Ride. The stops on 196th St SW closest to the playing site are at 36 Ave W (going westbound ) and 40 Ave W (going eastbound). The Lynnwood Transit Center, with many bus routes, is about a 10-15 minute walk from the site, and in 2024 will be a rapid transit station linking Lynnwood with downtown Seattle and SeaTac airport.

Restaurants and Shops: It is no exaggeration to say that you could play at this tournament in every session, never walk more than six blocks from the playing site, and never eat twice at the same restaurant! There are at least forty restaurants within easy walking distance of the playing site, most (but not all) listed on the Google Maps screenshot above, with many, many more a short drive away! A few blocks west is a large Fred Meyer grocery/department store, a few blocks east over the I-5 overpass is a Whole Foods market, and the sprawling Alderwood Mall, with dozens more nearby eateries, is about half a mile north.

Tournament Site: The Lynnwood Event Centre's upper level will be used for the tournament, and the main entrance is on the northwest corner, nearest the free parking. As we welcome more and more people back to live bridge, the entire space will probably not be in use this year. As you walk in, you will see past the LEC reception area on your left, a door (one of many) leading to the playing area, but continuing straight will lead you to the TournTables bookstore in the corner, then left to washrooms, and the Partnership and Hospitality Desk. No coffee will be provided this year in the convention centre, so players will need to bring in coffee and snacks they want to have available during play (please be proactive in avoiding messes that will frustrate LEC staff). Inside the playing area, there are usually two entry-buying stations, one for pairs near the front of the room, and one for teams near the back of the room.

NEW! Entry sales are cashless: bring your credit or debit cards. Be sure to alert the seller if you want to split the entry among more than one card; this is easily done. $16US ($4 extra will be charged for unpaid or inactive members) is the entry fee per player per session. You can buy entries online at this link. For purchasing entries on site, directors will need to know for pairs and knockout teams an approximate masterpoint total for your pair or team, and if you have more than four players on your team. This helps us ensure that no section or group of tables is significantly stronger than the others in a pair game, and helps us determine the brackets in a knockout (so be as accurate as you can, please). "We're A's" is insufficient since we usually try to place the best of the A-strat in certain spots so the opposing pairs don't face you all in consecutive rounds! If you buy online, all this information will be auto-recorded once you enter the names of the players on your pair or team and you can skip the line and proceed straight to the table indicated in an e-mail you will get on the morning of the game. Online entries can be purchased until midnight the day before.

Welcome back to Live Bridge!: This will be the seventh District 19 Regional since the pandemic hiatus, and all of us have returned to live bridge at our own pace, which means that some will be new to live bridge. As I noted in a two-part essay on the Penticton Monday and Tuesday pages, this is a bigger hurdle than some of us expected after two or three years of having the computers score for us, move us to new tables automatically, remove the hubbub from surrounding tables, and prevent us from the most common irregularities. Let's welcome those returning (we need them!) and understand if they are a little slow as they re-learn the basics of live play.

Freezing Up: I have found that many bridge players need this important reminder: the site is air-conditioned for the comfort of all. Outdoor temperatures in late August may be quite warm, and many of us have gotten used to the heat by now. It really is a good idea to bring a sweater if air-conditioning makes you shiver. Large sites are very difficult to maintain a temperature that is comfortable to everyone, especially when the body heat of several hundred players enters and exits the playing area several times a day. Requesting a change in the AC level in a large hall is not something that takes immediate effect. Most modern buildings are constantly monitoring the temperature and making the changes you are demanding before you even ask. The best solution is to be prepared and have a sweater or jacket with you.

Dates, Times, Events: 9:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 7:00 pm are the start times from Tuesday thru Friday. The tournament begins on Monday August 21 at 7pm with a three-session Knockout Teams (which continues Tuesday afternoon and evening for surviving teams), and the first Evening Side Game session also takes place on Monday evening. On Saturday we switch to 10am and 3pm (no evening session, but there will be a reception open to all at 6:30 to honor I/N players). On Sunday August 27, play begins at 10:00 am with two team events: an open Swiss Teams with three strats, and an under-2500 Bracketed Round Robin Swiss Teams. Sessions should end 3¼ - 3½ hours after they begin, on Sunday things end by about 6pm in the teams, perhaps earlier; the Fast Pairs will be over with considerably earlier. Morning Sessions from Tuesday to Friday have only one event: the Morning Side Game Series (open pairs). The main sessions are afternoon and evening, with Top Flight and Goldp Rush 0-750 two-session Pairs, Side Games for those wanting to play only one session, and three Knockout Team events (Monday-Tuesday: three sessions only, Wednesday-Thursday: Soloway-style with a qualifying round-robin on Wednesday, and Friday-Saturday, also Soloway-style except that semifinals begin at 10am on Saturday), plus two-session team events on Tuesday (open Swiss), Thursday (bracketed round-robin), and Saturday (bracketed round-robin), for teams that didn't get to the semifinals and other interested team players. Friday Evening also has the Puget Sound traditional Board-A-Match Swiss Teams (scored by boards won and lost instead of IMPs).

The schedule is quite different this year from pre-pandemic years, designed to fit the expected attendance as players return to tournament play at their preferred pace, rather than splitting a likely smaller attendance over too many events each session. There is a 199er Pairs game (both players must have fewer than 200 masterpoints) every afternoon from Tuesday thru Saturday, as well as one on Saturday Morning. The next step up for developing pairs players is the daily two-session 0-750 Gold Rush events (both players under 750), afternoon-evening on Tuesday to Friday and morning-afternoon on Saturday. These events offer masterpoints for leaders in each of the two sessions and even greater awards for the leaders over the whole day's play, with gold points quite possible in the top strat, which everyone is eligible for, while pairs averaging 400 or less will also be eligible for red points in the lower strats.

The Table Counts page has a list of events by type with a column for each session of the tournament: even before I begin adding the table counts for each event it is a useful chart to plan which events to play. The official tournament flyer with the complete schedule is here.

Bridge For Youth, the Seattle organization promoting youth bridge, is having a special 199er game on Saturday afternoon, and is also running a silent auction for a chance to play at various events with local experts. The auction will run from the start of the tournament and close at 2pm on Sunday afternoon. Watch at the Partnership/Hospitality desk for details on how to make bids. You can also donate to Bridge For Youth, or read about their activities, at their website here.

Speakers at 6:15pm on selected evenings include Theresa Verhuis, Wednesday, on Bridge Laws, Tom Carmichael, Thursday, with "Tom's Tips," and Joe Grill, Friday, on Takeout Doubles.

COVID: ACBL and District policy recommends, but no longer requires, that all players be fully vaccinated. District policy is that masks are optional but players should expect to occasionally be asked to wear one if requested by the opponents. Just as some players are more uncomfortable with strong scents, some have serious concerns about the closeness of players at the table, and courtesy dictates that we do our best to accomodate both. Please co-operate if asked: masks will be available for those without one on hand.

Let's use common sense and remember that while we are all happy to see the end of the mandatory restrictions, COVID is still out there and everyone is still returning to normal at their own pace. Players should stay away from the crowded playing areas when symptoms suddenly develop that might be COVID. Most pharmacies have COVID testing kits available for free if you'd like to be sure before you play. At the same time, let's not ostracize anyone who sneezes or coughs a time or two and trust that they are being as vigilant as we all should.

Slience Those Ringtones Please! While we discuss courtesy (which I have always found in abundance with Seattle-area players in many pleasant visits), let's be sure to silence our gadgets. For today's cellphones this means more than simply setting the volume to zero: some phones play alarms and ringtones even if the sound is turned down. ACBL has recently relaxed the rules on penalties when a ringer goes off, but this shouldn't be happening. The onus is on each of us to discover how to prevent our gadgets from causing unnecessary distractions — not just cellphones: tablets you carry with you, watches that beep every hour, music players that sound a few tones every time they pair with headphones, gadgets you've left inside a coat somewhere, all can be major distractions to someone trying to interpret the hidden meaning of the auction or the cardplay or the conventions partner has forced on them. Take a moment and find out how to silence your gadgets, and get into the habit of doing it before each session, and undoing it afterwards. If you must be 'available,' vibrate mode is entertaining to all (as long as it is set to a level that avoids the production of penalty cards...)!

This Web Site: My plan for the Daily Bulletin site is to provide you with a quick daily digest of the events and results of the tournament, with direct links to ACBL Live for each event, if you want the complete details and deals. I write (or create software that writes) simple HTML that should render well on computers, tablets, or phone screens of most sizes. The site consists of a group of pages linked together by links bars like this one:

Daily Pages: Before the day's events are processed, these will contain a schedule of events in this order:

There will be details on each event, what type of game it is, what the strat limits are, last year's winners, and a direct link to the ACBL Live results, which will be active following each session. Near the bottom of the page will be similar details on the following day's events.

At the end of the day Director-In-Charge Jenni Carmicheal will send me the days results and I will process them into the website in the early hours of the morning. The "day completed" version will remove the "today's schedule" section and add in the day's results, in this order:

New This Time: most events will include, just after the overall leaders, a colourful round-by-round account of the top pairs in each strat: where you were after each round, what you did, how far you were from the lead. There is much more on this new feature here.

Once a day's results are posted, I may revise it later if there are late scoring corrections. Some browsers save a copy of a page and do not check to see if the content has changed; in most browsers you should be able to hit F5 to reload the page and stop using the one your computer has saved. On tablets there is usually a circular arrow that does the same thing.

Other Pages: You're looking at the Welcome page right now. The Masterpoints! Page, which we call DUMPS (Daily Updated Master Point Summary) will be updated every night first, before the daily pages of results take shape, and will contain the latest masterpoint totals and tournament leaders, both overall and limited to non-Life Masters. Also, they will have everyone's current total broken down into red and gold points, but will not include masterpoints already won in events that have yet to be completed. The Photos Page will depend on people sending me photos taken. Now that everyone's cellphone has a camera, anyone can do this! Here is a good guideline on how to get best results:

The Table Counts page has been rewritten from a pdf of a spreadsheet to a Python program that puts the attendance data into a colourful HTML table. You can check it out to see a graphical-display of the events of each session, by type, and compare our attendance in 2022 to that of 2021. A realistic goal is about 60% of the 2019 attendance, which happens to be a target of 771½ tables. Maybe we can do even better — one factor not in play this year is that cross border travel does not require a lot of paperwork and potential quarantines.

Finally, the ACBL Live link goes to the list of tournament events, from which you will need another click or three to find the one you want. Direct links are available from the event results on the daily pages and should be faster.

Thanks for visiting! This is still a work in progress and the progress in getting it where I want it to be continues slowly, but that's web development for you! For this Welcome page, I used the traditional Sounders FC colors to honor the team I enviously wish my hometown Vancouver Whitecaps could challenge more consistently. (Actually, since Apple TV+ began streaming MLS games, teams have been wearing all kinds of new colors and I don't think I've seen Seattle in their traditional green this season....) We have a lot more color in the pages post-pandemic, with each page having its own palette. Two years off and a look at what I did in 2019 produced the impression that we needed a splash of non-white for the pages, and a bit of CSS work made this happen quickly. (I've already heard the line that it now looks like a Canadian billfold and I approve!) Feel free to contact me (see above) with reports of errors or if something isn't working for you.