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Jim Leissner wins a very exciting 5. US Open Championship in Cape Coral, FL

ISPA USA held its 5th US Open Championship at the beautiful German American Social Club in Cape Coral Florida 22-24 FEB 2019.  Skatspieler enjoyed beautiful and sunny Florida weather all weekend when not concentrating intensely on their Skat game.

A smaller but highly skilled field of 24 players gathered from Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Texas, Delaware, Nebraska, Nevada, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.  The scores ran rather high for this very competitive event, as it required in excess of 5450 points to make the prize list.  Table 1 featured a dramatic neck and neck race between two highly accomplished and dedicated players: ISPA USA VP Jim Leissner of Seguin, TX and ISPA Canada President Ron Link of Edmonton, AB.  The championship appeared to hinge on the very last hand when Ron Link won a chancy grandspiel with most of the players in the room kibbitzing, but only to come up 11 points short after the final scores were tabulated.  In the end, Jim Leissner became the 5. US Champion, bringing the title back to the States after two consecutive years of winners from Canada and Germany.  Congratulations, and way to go, Jim!  Kristina Huisman, also from Edmonton, took third place, and she also captured the title of 5. US Ladies Champion. 

The five Seriensieger were Stephan Weiss (Philadelphia), Scott McCormick (Ottawa), Jim Leissner (Texas), Larry Tobias (Cleveland), and Roger Beckerman (Cleveland).  The team “Otts & Eds” (Link, Huisman, Frank Heuvelmans and Scott McCormick) became US team champions.  Scott McCormick was also victorious in the 2-series Vorturnier on Friday.

A special thank-you goes out to Gregor Pischke, who organized the event on behalf of the Cape Coral Skat Club, and also to the German American Social Club for accommodating our tournament with their beautiful facility.  ISPA USA looks forward to holding its 6. US Open Championship in Houston, TX, next year on 01-02 FEB 2020.  For a second consecutive year ISPA USA will offer a great way to escape the mid-winter snow up North and play championship Skat in warm weather on the Gulf of Mexico.  We hope to see many of our skatfreunde next year in Texas!

Bill Thompson

ISPA USA President

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