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Charlotte NLM Tournament

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Davidson, NC and Charlotte, NC
Friday, August 18, 2006 - Sunday, August 20, 2006
Charlotte NLM Tournament photos

Purpose: To visit with my parents and play bridge!

More details:
Gabe and I recently started learning how to play bridge, and we had been playing for a week or two when we noticed an upcoming NLM (non-life-master) tournament in Charlotte. We decided to attend our first tournament since Davidson is a short drive from the bridge tournament.

We left Friday after work, and we decided to stop near Lexington at Cracker Barrel. This seems to be a tradition for us lately when we're traveling. After our tasty dinner, we got back onto I-85 when we noticed the traffic was completely backed up and nearly stopped for what we imagined was miles. We immediately exited and attempted to find a better way to get to Davidson. After a little bit of trouble, we decided to go through Mocksville and take I-40 to I-77 instead of plodding down the I-85 standstill.

We arrived at my parents house and played a few hours of bridge with them before going to bed. My parents gave us some pointers for our game and donated a few convention card holders for us to use the next day. We stayed up a little later than we had planned since we had to get up early the next morning to head to the tournament.

We played in two sessions on Saturday and the all day team event on Sunday. The first session on Saturday was at 10:30am, and we somehow managed to take first place overall in our strat (0-20 masterpoints)!! We were playing in a 99er event, so the competition wasn't quite as tough as what we were used to playing against. We were so excited to win our first trophies (as you can see from the photo!). We felt very good about our game after the morning session.

After lunch, we attended an "expert talk" by Jerry Helms which was pretty good! We took a few things away from his talk that we could add to our game (whether we applied it correctly is another thing). The second game on Saturday did not go nearly as well as the first. All we can really say about it is that we weren't last! Ah well, you can't win them all, right?

The ladies who won trophies for our strat in the afternoon were teamed up with us on Sunday. The team event was somewhat stressful, but our teammates were great and did not seem to have too many expectations. We still felt guilty every time we made an obvious mistake. The Sunday event was open to all Non-Life-Masters, so the competition was somewhat tougher than Saturday. We learned that two full days of bridge is a bit much for us right now, but we'll build up to it eventually. We did somehow manage to win a match towards the end of the day.

We ended up winning enough masterpoints to push both of us over the single masterpoint milestone...next goal is to achieve "Junior Master" at 5 points! Progress seems slow, but we are learning more and more every day. As an added bonus, we will probably be seeing my parents much more often as they frequently attend tournaments. I think that they are excited that we are playing!