21:06 10 July 2015. Sioux Falls Sectional Tournament South Dakota GS Jade Barrett ( CsbNews.org correspondent) with Paolo Clair

Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield

«My wife made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday» – Rodney Dangerfield

There are moments when you appreciate the thought. The opponents miscount their hand and open 1NT with 19HCP and when their partner passes with 7HCP you find yourself on lead cashing the first five tricks…for a zero.

Paolo Clair
Paolo Clair

Tonight, Dr Donna and Paolo were struck down on one board when their opponent responded a heart over one diamond, rebid four after opener’s raise only to discover that his four card heart suit was headed by the Ace of Diamonds.

Donna Wood
Donna Wood

Naturally Declarer’s four Heart contract rolled home and our Team Heifer USA pair suffered poorly for the outcome. Despite these slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, our heroes notched a 75% game and claimed the second win of the day in the name of our favorite charity (go to www.heifer.org to learn more about the worldwide impact of the efforts of this outstanding organization).

Fred Hamilton
Fred Hamilton

American superstar and ACBL Hall of Fame member Fred Hamilton told me of his belief that there are both lucky and unlucky players. He was a Champion even though he was unlucky, others because they were the beneficiaries of good happenstance. I suggested that players make their own luck, often by adopting the attitude that bad things rarely happen to them – regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

An unmistakable air of confidence envelopes those who believe in both their skill and good luck, and this alone can cause their opponents to play less than optimally. Those secure in their faith of their game are much harder to defeat, for they play with a certain fearlessness – or even ferocity as the circumstances call for it – that adds to the already numerous pressures of competition.

I firmly believe that Mr Hamilton’s success is the result of his good luck – that he recognized that he had to work that much harder to make up for the lack of it.