Unit 361 News
posted: May 31, 2015

In case you missed it, the AARP magazine recently published an article on the beneficial effects of bridge. Here's a link:

posted: Nov 11, 2014

If you missed it in the mail, click here for a PDF.

Weather Conditions

Current Conditions at Denver, Denver International Airport, CO

Weather: Partly Cloudy
Temperature: 82.0 F (27.8 C)
Wind: North at 11.5 MPH (10 KT)
Observation Time: Last Updated on Aug 28 2015, 5:53 pm MDT

Other Weather Stats

Barometric Pressure: 1015.2 mb
Visibility: 10.00 miles

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Denver Area Bridge, Unit 361 of the ACBL



Welcome to the Denver Unit web site!

Message from Joan Kushner:Joan Kushner

I hope everyone is enjoying the dog days of summer.  One of my goals, as president, is to engage even more of you to get online and learn what’s going on in our Unit. I am going to start, this month, by letting everyone know, in a more timely fashion the ‘news’ of our members. Please read the article on our local hero, Don Heitler, who this year became a Platinum Life Master. Although he achieved this ranking a few months ago, I don’t want to wait until the annual Table Talk to share his story.

If you missed the Sectional, you might not be aware that Marilyn Eber and Jan Janitschke were this year’s winners of the Lou Neff Trophy for having won the most points during the Regional in May. Congratulations!

The Board will be voting this month for the Board of Governor’s Election. Jim Calhoun is one of the nominees.

Our own Unit 361 Nominating Committee, headed by Margaret Devere, is in the final stage of assembling new candidates for the upcoming election this November 10, 2015. Look for photos and bios of the candidates both here, online, and in the forthcoming, abbreviated edition of Table Talk, 2015.


Front Range Challenge

Teams are being invited to play in the Front Range Challenge on Oct. 17, 2015. Al Kane is recruiting A teams and the 299ers. Joan Kusher will be recruiting the B + C teams. Contact us if your team is interested in participating. The Challenge will be held in Colorado Springs this year.

Team players in Flight B may not have more than 2500 masterpoints (per person); Flight C, 300-1,000 (per person)


Winners of the Frank Thorwold trophy

The Frank Thorwold trophy is given each year to the I/N player who wins the most points at the Denver regional.

The 2015 trophy goes to:

  • Shirley Merritt
  • Shirley Moschetti

Shirley and Shirley played as partners, and together won 4.73 points.



D17 Election Coming Up

The Denver unit has two representatives on the D17 board: Jerry Ranney and Flo Newlin.

Jerry's two-year term is ending on December 31, 2015.

Jerry is running for re-election. If no one runs in opposition to Jerry Ranney, he shall be declared elected.

If you want to run for this position, contact Joan Kushner, president of the Denver board. The unit will submit the names of candidates to the D17 election secretary by September 30, 2015. Email notification is acceptable. Later nominations will not be accepted.

In compliance with our by-laws, no nominee shall be an operator or owner of a bridge club or receive remuneration on a regular basis from ACBL.

For more information, read the D17 bylaws, available on the D17 website, or contact Flo Newlin.


Unit 361's Newest Platinum Life Master: Don Heitler

Don Heitler was born and raised in Denver. He and his twin brother Dean were the oldest of 5 siblings. He is no stranger to competition, with many golf and tennis trophies on his shelf.  He graduated from Amherst College, received an MBA from Columbia and became a CPA.  Bridge was just another intellectual challenge for him and he treated the game as a college course, reading and studying everything he could find. He enjoys solving bridge problems and will eagerly try new conventions that help in this process. 

Don and his wife, Anita, lived in New York when they were first married. They played social bridge against many very fine players including Anita’s parents who were both life masters.  They also competed in many tournaments. Don's favorite story is that they survived the first two cuts of a regional event. The reward was to play in the final where every opponent had written a book. Of course they lost the event, but his attitude then and now is that you always learn from playing against the best players. 

Don now has over 10,000 master points. He has won many sectional and regional events, always giving credit to his partners and teammates who have contributed to his success. He competes to win, but will always help and encourage newer players to improve. Don also has donated many hours to serving on the unit board and is treasurer of the 2015 fall national to be held in Denver. 


ACBL Goodwill Committee 2015

Newly appointed to the ACBL Goodwill Committee:

  • Cal Newlin
  • Shelbie Bastiaans

Jerry Ranney says about Cal:

Always quiet and polite at the bridge table; communicates a sense of calm to his partners. Well known for his bridge prowess, and can tell bridge stories from years ago. Cal was on the Denver unit board for several years, served as chair for the Denver regional for four years, was I/N chair for the 2005 NABC held in Denver, and, with his wife Flo, is co-chairing the I/N activities for the 2015 NABC here in Denver. Over the last ten or more years, he and Flo have taught dozens? hundreds? of bridge classes and students.


Flo Newlin says about Shelbie:

Shelbie served on the Denver unit board for several years, where she was membership chair. She called each new member and welcomed him or her to bridge and to the Denver bridge community, then kept in touch as they came into the game. She also visited all the I/N events and regular games, and made herself available as a contact person. She caddied at the I/N sectionals and chaired the Pro-Am event at the Denver Regional for two years. She also designed name badges for unit members. And, in her role as cookie chair for the charity game at the Denver regional, Shelbie also raised record-breaking amounts of money for the charity.




Special Game Coming in November Sectional

Play with a Life Master PLUS Regionally Rated Silver Points

If you are not a life master, register in advance and the Denver unit will pair you up with a life master to play in the Friday evening game at the November 2015 sectional (7:00 pm November 13).

If you're in the mentor program, mentors and mentees can use this as their final game!

And if neither of these applies to you, you can still play :) This is a "special game" in two more ways:

  • It's a charity game. The Denver unit will contribute $1 per player to the ACBL Education Fund (no cost to you).
  • It pays regionally rated silver points.

Come on out Friday night, and have some fun, or if you're already playing during the day, stay around, miss the traffic, and have some more fun.

Here's a link to the flyer for more information.


Fall NABC 2015 Info

The Fall NABC 2015 is coming to Denver!

As always, the ACBL website ( has a lot of information to support the NABC. However, there is local information that won't be available on ACBL's website, so we have set up a page on this website (Unit 361) to provide whatever extra information we can.

It's here: Tournaments>Fall NABC 2015.

Right now, this page has information on:

  • Transportation and parking
  • Volunteering

We'll add information as we get it, so be sure to keep checking.


More Fun Hands

Check out the latest set of interesting hands, submitted by Don Heitler. Click here ...


Boulder Unit Wants Your Input

The Boulder unit is running a survey on their games and tournaments, and invites all Denver players to respond.

Click here and give them your thoughts.


Use Power Ratings to Prep for the NABC

Chris Champion from Colorado Springs developed the Power Ratings system, and maintains it with input from hundreds of clubs and units around the country. Chris recently sent us this insider tip ....

The secret to forming a winning KO team is finding good teammates that have low Masterpoint totals. When you look at the “Most Underrated Players” list you will find these players. MPs will tell you what bracket you will play in. PR will tell you how strong your team will be. UR is a summary of these. UR is the difference between the player’s Power Rating and the Power Rating of the average player with this player’s number of Masterpoints.

The “Most Underrated Pairs” list is another good source of potential teammates. The MP column shows the Masterpoints of both partners combined.

To find these lists, go to Click on Other Units in the upper right of the Power Ratings website, then select your unit.


Pix from the July Sectional