The Columbus Whist Players Society, the First, originated through a vision of people, with like interest and passionate about playing the game known as “Straight” Bid Whist, in Columbus, Ohio and its neighboring cities. Bid Whist is a partnership trick-taking game that is very popular among African Americans.
In late 1999, an opportunity to have our own place presented itself, and needless to say, the members at that time, did not hesitate to pursue our dream. The place was a storefront warehouse, located in an industrial area, with nothing but cement floors and concrete walls. We moved in, painted the walls, installed carpeting, light fixtures, purchased storage cabinets, refrigerators, tables, and chairs, hung pictures and had the nicest restrooms for both the men and women. This was all done with cash and donations made from the members. After a couple hot summers of using fans, the members decided to have central air installed and once again, paid cash. It was such a nice feeling to know that we had some place nice to go and invite others to join us now to play cards. This place is now known as “The Clubhouse”, located at 2251 S. James Road, Columbus, Ohio.
As people started hearing about us, our membership continued to grow and we began to meet a lot of good people, mostly claiming to be experts in the playing whist. We were always able to show them where the best card players really lived.
We started having weekly and monthly tournaments at our own place. CWPS holds Bid Whist Leagues and Champ of Champ tournaments annually. We held our 1st Annual Statewide Tournaments on October 17, 1998, 6 cards Kitty and No Kitty. Today, our “Statewide” tournaments are 2 days and consist of a total of 4 tournaments. We certainly have come a long way. We owe this growth to traveling and competing throughout the nation in other organizations tournaments.
CWPS has always been known for our unique style of play in straight whist (now known as No Joker, No Kitty). Our game is 5 and out, 2 sets and odd paper. We decided to seek other cities that like playing bid whist, without a kitty. It didn’t take long to identify those cities and establish a traveling group willing to play and compete with straight whist being the only game of choice. Today those other cities are; Chicago, Illinois and Detroit, Michigan. Our organization is called the “No Kitty Coalition” and our tournaments are called “City to City – No Kitty” and we hold (3) tournaments in one day, in each city, annually. We kicked off our 1st stop in Columbus, Ohio, hosted by the CWPS, on Saturday, April 30, 2011. The 2nd stop was hosted by the Top of the World Bid Whist & Social Club, in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, June 25, 2011, and last stop was hosted by the Motor City Whist Mechanics, in Detroit, Michigan, on September 10, 2011. We are proud to announce, we are in our 3rd year and this organization is growing. This also means “No Kitty” bid whist is growing. This is another milestone.
In late 2011, a few members of CWPS wanted to learn how to play pinochle so we started looking for those who played. We made contact with the president of Bucks and Doe Pinochle Club, Columbus’ local chapter of the National Pinochle Association (NPA) and members of the Retired Air Force Association (RAFA). As the relationships grew, so did the interest of learning how to play pinochle. CWPS now has a pinochle day on Tuesdays. As of June 12, 2012, we held our 1st pinochle tournament. We now have Active and Guest members who are pinochle players. Another milestone accomplished.
On October 18, 2012, CWPS started an outreach program, at Summit’s Trace Healthcare Center, with the intention of hosting Bid Whist card parties at their facility, quarterly. Our ultimate goal is to start a senior day care, to be located at our own clubhouse, every Monday and Thursday.