There is a gap within the annals of international bridge, with the announcement that there will be no 2008 world champion. The controversial decision was made after an outbreak of violence in the 2008 final in Las Vegas. Norma and Robert Patterson of Ohio, the defending champions, entered into a fracas with the upstart contenders Francis Stickhowicz and partner Monty Olsen, leaving all parties with severe injuries and partial loss of hearing. The Pattersons, 3 time world champions, will face a ban on professional games for at least 3 years. This is the second time within months that the world of professional bridge has been rocked after the scandal over performance enhancing drugs earlier in the year.
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