Bobby Wolff


Undoubtedly I have spent more time investigating possible bridge scams or downright cheating than anyone else in the annals of the game. I served as the National Recorder for both the ACBL for ten-plus years and in a similar capacity while attending almost every WBF Championship since 1970 (actually 34 out of the 37) either as a player or administrator – many times in dual capacities.  During those many years, I adhered to a protocol which allowed me to interview, film, discuss and check records and evidence on the subject, as well as to enlist aid from both experienced caring people and other individuals and groups who were even better acquainted with the situations and persons involved.  Substantially more than half the time the path taken led to nothing other than a dead end — with the facts uncovering no significant wrongdoing. Case closed!

It was imperative for you to familiarize yourself with my background before approaching the focal point of this blog.  To me, overt cheating in bridge in the variety of ways it has surfaced results in an unspeakable horror to anyone who cares about the game. To me personally, the denigration of bridge by cheating and defending its pure beauty has brought about an uphill struggle trying to restore sanity to our hobby. It even makes me question whether it is worth continuing to play and promote the game.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Another devilish and distasteful practice has arisen every so often which in my eyes is almost as insidious as cheating. What is that you may ask?

It appears in the form of accusations, especially by important people in administration or high-level players, without enough (or sometimes any)documented evidence.  Slander of possibly innocent players is totally unacceptable and even more than the natural law, when it applies to well-known high-level players involved in the game we all love, it can become devastating, not to mention criminally unfair.

Although I am not in the ‘in’ group doing the investigating anymore, it seems that recently (at the 2007 San Francisco Fall Nationals) a team was accused by hearsay of cheating up a storm on the way to winning a major event.  Since then I have learned from what I consider reliable sources that “there was not a shred of proof against them” (no cameras, no video tapes, no tangible evidence, no charges filed —no nothing!) The slurs against the accused had apparently absolutely no basis in fact.  And though the talk was widespread, no official statement was issued to squelch the rumors which weeks later are still prevalent. If so, we need our chief administrators to rise up against such accusations, get to the bottom of why and on what basis these fingers were pointed, and punish the rumor mongers if, in fact, that is what happened. If the accused are guilty – produce evidence of cheating. If there is no documentation of wrongdoing – cease and desist and set the record straight. Simple as that.

The time has come to stop our so-called powers on high from knowingly allowing badmouthing to spread. Closing ones eyes and ears and assuming passive, conservative, blasé positions are what allow unfounded rumors to fly.  The reputations of innocent parties can be permanently damaged by word-of-mouth gossip and if no evidence is produced and no charges filed, it is totally irresponsible to allow such rumors to continue without punishing the real guilty parties.


Ray LeeJanuary 17th, 2008 at 8:54 am

Well said, Bobby. The most recent issue of ‘Australian Bridge’ carried this ugly and baseless rumour as fact “…I heard from a reliable source that the team is being investigated… the ACBL takes video footage to be used in cases such as these…” The reader is left in no doubt that there is no smoke without fire, and the players involved will doubtless be followed by these insinuations for a long time. An official statement from the ACBL would help a lot.

If you’re interested in purchasing an autographed copy of Bobby Wolff’s upcoming autobiography, The Lone Wolff, go to

Joanie GatesFebruary 20th, 2008 at 8:49 pm

I received your book The Lone Wolff, signed, sealed and delivered. Thank you very much. It’s great!

Judy Kay-WolffFebruary 21st, 2008 at 9:59 am

Hi Joanie:

Can’t believe it arrived so
quickly. Happy to know you
are enjoying it!

JuanJanuary 6th, 2009 at 2:30 pm


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