Nickell-Katz System Summary Form, ACBL Convention Card, 2019 WBF Convention Card
Greco-Hampson System Summary Form, ACBL Convention Card, 2019 WBF Convention Card
Levin-Weinstein System Summary Form, ACBL Convention Card, 2019 WBF Convention Card
About the Players
Nick is the driving force behind the composition of one of the strongest ever bridge teams. An investment banker and entrepreneur, Nick wanted to put together a very good team in the early nineties. His partner, Dick Freeman, suggested that Bob Hamman/Bobby Wolff and Jeff Meckstroth/Eric Rodwell were the two pairs needed. How right he was!
This group (with Paul Soloway replacing Wolff in 1998, Zia replacing Soloway in 2008, and most recently Ralph Katz replacing Dick Freeman after his death) proceeded to reel off an amazing run of results. From 1995 to 2009, they reached the final of five of six Bermuda Bowls - beating Canada in the 1995 final in Beijing, Brazil in Bermuda in January, 2000, and Italy in Monte Carlo in 2003 and Sao Paulo in 2009, losing to the French in Hammamet in 1997 and to Italy in Estoril in 2005. They have also won too many US titles to list. Playing with Hamman, Nick won the Cavendish Invitational Pairs in 1998. He is a WBF Grand Master, ranking 10th in the current standings.
Business and family commitments leave Nick very little time to play between major tournaments, but he and Ralph Katz have been working on their partnership online between tournaments.
Ralph was born in 1957 in Pittsburgh, PA and raised in Steubenville, OH. He was 22 when he won his first National Championship, the Life Master Pairs, and 24 when he won both the Spingold and Master Mixed Teams at the Summer Nationals. Not long after graduating college he moved to Chicago to trade options, but his loyalty to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers has never waned.
His wife Martha won the World Junior Championship in 1991 and their son Sam was King of Bridge in 2006, so there is a family tradition of Bridge success.
Ralph's partnership with Nick began in 2009, a win in the Trials leading a few months later to victory over Italy in the 2009 Bermuda Bowl final in Sao Paulo. In addition to that gold medal, Ralph has won three silver medals at the world level: 1990 World Open Pairs; 2007 Bermuda Bowl; 2010 Rosenblum Teams.
With 21 North American titles with many different colleagues, Ralph has earned a reputation as a great partner and teammate, perhaps the ultimate compliment attainable from peers.
Eric Alan Greco was born July 21, 1975, in Englund, Florida. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Finance and Accounting and now lives in Philadelphia and works as an equity options trader on the Philadelphia Options Exchange.
Geoffrey Hampson was born October 11, 1968 in Toronto, Ontario. He learned to count points at the kitchen table on his father's knee at around six years old, but didn’t start to play until high school. “A teacher taught the entire class how to play by issuing a printout of most basic rules,” explained Geoff. “The class quickly became addicted, and I never found the cure.”
Geoff has been a full time professional bridge player for over 20 years. Now engaged to Lindsay Pearlman, Geoff lives in Las Vegas with his Newfoundland dog Atlas.Geoff’s first WBF medal came when he finished second in the 1991 World Junior Teams in Ann Arbor, Michigan, playing for Canada. A year later, he finished second in the Pan-American Games Open Teams in partnership with John Gowdy. After moving to the United States, Geoff added a gold medal in the 2010 Rosenblum and bronze medals in the 2005 Bermuda Bowl and 2014 Rosenblum.
Geoff won his first major domestic event at just 22 - the Canadian National Teams Championship, playing with John Gowdy. A year later, he claimed his first NABC title - the North American Swiss, playing with Mark Molson. He has since added 15 NABC titles to that one, including 2 Spingolds, the Reisinger and the Life Master Pairs.
Away from the table, Geoff is a serious movie buff and cyclist, who keeps in shape with time in the gym and on the golf course. His return to the Squash court was cut short when he ruptured his Achilles Tendon in 2013.
Bobby has won too many bridge events to list. He is the youngest player ever to win the Bermuda Bowl, in 1981 when he was 23. He and Steve Weinstein were second in the World Open Pairs in Verona in 2006 and won the event 4 years later in Philadelphia.
Bobby's son Andrew is in college at Northwestern, and Jill’s sons Shane and Justin Blanchard are upcoming bridge players who live in New York city.
|Steve Weinstein is the youngest player on the Nickell team, and also the youngest player ever to win an NABC event (the Life Master Pairs in 1981 when he was 17). He has since won many other NABC events, as well as finishing 4th and 5-8 in the Bermuda Bowl & 1st and 2nd in the World Open Pairs.
Steve has been married to Liz Davis since 1993 (they have been together since 1986). He lives in Andes NY “the middle of nowhere” with 2 dogs, Zeke and Luther, and Archie the cat. After leaving Wall street in 2002, he has pursued a career as a professional bridge and poker player. He won the Borgata winter open poker tournament in Atlantic City in 2009 but is primarily a cash game player.