36th World Team Championships, Monte Carlo, Monaco Sunday, 9 November 2003

Profile of the USA1 Venice Cup team


Kathie Wei-Sender

One of the most recognizable personalities in the bridge world, she has won world championships as a player and as non-playing captain. As a player, she has won the Women’s Team Olympiad, Women’s Pairs and the Venice Cup. In 1991, she was NPC of the winning Venice Cup Team in Yokohama, Japan. Now a member of the ACBL Bridge Hall of Fame, she is also a former IBPA Personality of the Year and ACBL Honorary Member. Kathie is Ambassador of Bridge for the ACBL and the WBF. She is also a bridge writer and editor, having recently negotiated a deal for publication in China of Precision Today, of which she was editor. She and husband Henry Sender, a retired architectural engineer, recently moved from Nashville to Boca Raton, Florida.

Betty Ann Kennedy

Was a member of the winning team in the first Venice Cup in 1974. She won again in 1976 and was on the winning squad in the Olympiad Women’s Teams in Seattle in 1984. In 1982, she and longtime partner Carol Sanders won the Women’s Pairs. After more than a quarter-century playing with Carol, Betty Ann began her partnership with Kathie about five years ago. They were often teammates before that. Betty Ann also has been a successful NPC, leading the USA team to a Senior Teams victory in Maastricht three years ago. She and husband Jack live in Shreveport, Louisiana, in the southern USA.

Janice Seamon-Molson

Has a rich family history in bridge, including her father Billy Seamon, one of the all-time greats; her mother, Rita, another accomplished player; her world-champion aunt, Edith Freilich; brother, Michael, a top professional player; husband, Mark, another top pro, and another aunt, Anne Bernstein, who won tons of tournaments a long time ago. Janice lives in Miami, and although she does not have a world championship (she was second in the Venice Cup in Bermuda in 2000), she considers 5-year-old daughter Jennifer “my gold medal.”

Tobi Sokolow

Janice’s partner for the last five years, Tobi lives in Austin, Texas, her home base for playing bridge professionally. She also sells real estate. She won the Venice Cup in Tunisia in 1997 and was second in 1999. She has staked the claim to being the person who put the current team together, telling Kathie after she retired that “you’re un-retired.” Tobi’s husband, David, is a law professor at the University of Texas. Besides bridge, Tobi enjoys painting portraits.

Sue Picus

A computer analyst for Bear Stearns, the securities firm, in New York City, she is a two-time world champion, having won the Venice Cup in Yokohama and the McConnell Cup in Albuquerque. She was NPC of the winning Venice Cup team in Tunisia. She and partner Jill Levin have been together for less than two years. Sue is married to Barry Rigal, a match that Kathie claims to have made. They met in Miami in 1986 and have been married for six years. They enjoy theater and dining in New York.

Jill Levin

Another New Yorker, she is the WBF’s newest Grand Master, having achieved the status after winning the women’s team trials earlier this year. Is a two-time world champion (1994 McConnell Cup and 1996 Olympiad). Has published a novel. Well known in North America for her lawsuit against men’s events, which no longer exist in major ACBL tournaments. Married to former world champion Robert Levin since 1998. They enjoy snow skiing and tennis together – and occasionally bridge.

Kent Massie

A Virginia attorney and a good friend of Betty Ann Kennedy, he is NPC for USA I.

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