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It was a deal!

NIMBLE FINGERS, focused eyes and pin-drop silence? the chatterati knew how to do it at MB Club this Saturday. No spy operation this, but Lucknow?s first rummy tournament!

india Updated: May 28, 2006 00:02 IST

NIMBLE FINGERS, focused eyes and pin-drop silence… the chatterati knew how to do it at MB Club this Saturday. No spy operation this, but Lucknow’s first rummy tournament!

“Rummy is my lifeline. I couldn’t miss it,” gushed 79-year-old Baljeet Singh who’s been playing rummy and bridge since pre-Independence days and has been an MB Club member since 1946. “Age prevents me from coming to the club daily but I keep my lifeline abuzz by playing at friends’ houses.” She’s also organised four bridge tournaments in memory of her ‘card-passionate’ husband.

But Saturday was not her day and the tournament crown went to another senior citizen Sharda Bhatia, who got all her pure sequences just right, all the way. “Oh, but winning the tournament was a fluke this Saturday. Since, I became a MB Club member in ’66, card-playing is a routine for me. This is my favourite pastime and of course you get to spend time with your friends,” she says with a beaming smile.

There were about 30 passionate participants, shuffling the kings, queens (and courtiers), who progressed from table to table in lots of five playing eight deals at each table. The game was played with three packs with 21 cards being dealt to each player in every round.

“To make it more skill-based, we reduced the normal 30-odd points value to just two. By this, the winner emerged on merit. Six groups of five members started in the elimination round which was followed by semi-final and final round on a knockout basis,” said Sudha Rastogi, organiser of the tourney.

But expect this to be a big show next time, pitched in Sudhir Halwasia, who himself doesn’t play rummy, but conceptualised the tournament. “We are organising bridge, swimming and tennis tournaments regularly so we thought about rummy which has been ignored till now! Next time we expect participation from all the major clubs in the city.”

So, how soon shall we expect this ‘next time’? “How about next month?” ask the excited participants!