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February 07, 2013 - Image 52

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-02-07

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52 February 7 • 2013


ary Klinger is doing everything
he can to keep the B'nai B'rith
basketball league alive. But will
it be enough?
The league began its 38th season Jan.
27 with just four teams, made up of
about 40 players ranging in age from the
mid-20s to the mid-50s. Four is a crucial
"We have four solid teams. But if we
ever fall below four, we'll have to call it a
day:' said Klinger, athletic chairman for
the B'nai B'rith Great Lakes Region.
"The league has been around a long
time, so it's important we keep it going;
he said. "But it will be tough. People don't
have as much spare time as they used to."
In its heyday in the early 1990s,
Klinger said, the league had about 18
to 20 teams. By the late 1990s and early
2000s, there were 12-14 teams. There
were five teams last year.
Besides vigorous recruiting through
word-of-mouth and social media,
Klinger is trying other strategies to
revive the league.
For the first time in league history,
games are being played at the Jewish
Community Center in West Bloomfield.
The league moved from Walled Lake
Central High School, its home for about
10 years.
Klinger is hoping men who normally
play basketball at the JCC will be inter-
ested in joining the B'nai B'rith league.
Two league games are being played
each Sunday morning for 11 weeks.
There will be a 10-week regular season
and a one-week playoff.
Downtown Fox beat Zeiger 58-52 and
Great Lakes Region defeated Brotherhood
48-32 in opening-day games.
Teams play two 20-minute halves with
running time except for the final five
minutes of the game.

Two - Time Poker Champ
Jonathan Coden has
done the improbable.
The West
Bloomfield resident is
the first two-time win-
ner of the Bloch/Israel
and Pisgah/Zeiger
B'nai B'rith Texas hold
em poker tournament.
Coden achieved the

feat Jan. 27 in the Teen Center at the
JCC in West Bloomfield when he topped
a 52-player field.
The tournament, a fundraiser for
B'nai B'rith sports programs, has been
held 14 times since 2005.
Coden is on a roll. He won the tour-
nament June 5, 2011, finished second to
Randi Schaefer on Jan. 29, 2012 ("I was
one card away from winning; he said)
and won last month. He didn't play in
the June 5, 2012, event.
All in all, he's played in the tourna-
ment seven times and made the final
table four times. What's his secret to
"Obviously, you have to get the cards.
You can only bluff so many times:' said
Coden, 43, who works at his family's
flower shop in Southfield.
"You also must have incredible
patience he said. "I'm very conserva-
tive. I enjoy matching wits with other
players, trying to figure out their
Pisgah/Zeiger president and tourna-
ment spokesman Rick Sherline said he
was somewhat surprised Coden won
"The tournament is a real grind, and
there always are lots of good players:' he
The good players Jan. 27 included
former champions Ken Korotkin, Derek
Einhorn, Tim Buchman, Bruce Sable,
Danny Rosenberg, Jared Rothberger and
Eight players made it to the final table
and won cash prizes. Laura Zerillon fin-
ished second and Sabry Mansour placed
third behind Coden. They were followed
by Ryan Cardoni, Lyle Schaefer, Jeff
Belen, Philip Warner and Jim Golden.
Players who didn't get to the final
table didn't go home empty-handed.
Each won something in a raffle. David
Jaffa won the big prize, a donated
32-inch flat-screen television.
Tickets to Detroit Tigers, Detroit
Pistons and Detroit Red Wings home
games and the JCC Stephen Gottlieb
Music Festival Rock 'n' Roll show were
given out, as were restaurant gift certifi-
cates and car wash coupons.
Sherline said there may be a summer
tournament this year if the Teen Center
is available on an appropriate date.

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