Tobias Stone, known to the bridge world for almost six decades as the one-and-only “Stoney,” departed his native Manhattan and retired to Las Vegas in 1986, leaving behind a wealth of bridge victories, brilliant bidding theories, humorous stories and tales of famous Broadway friends from his late-night sessions at P. J. Clarke’s.
Stoney attended City College in 1935 where he met the late, great Harry Harkavy and his legendary longtime bridge partner, Alvin Roth, with whom he collaborated to create the world-famous Roth-Stone System, which enjoyed great popularity upon its publication in the 1950s.
He recalls winning his first event, the Metropolitan Pairs, at the Park Central Hotel in New York with the late Hall-of-Famer George Rapée nearly 65 years ago. His sheepish grin, incorrigible sense of humor and astonishing capacity for accurate and total recall of names, dates, places and incidents delight both old and new friends who never miss an opportunity to pay homage to him and savor his entertaining repartee while passing through Vegas.
Stoney’s accomplishments fill the bridge annals as an extraordinary player, theorist and author. With Alvin Roth, he scored a record-breaking 82% game, becoming the first American Pair to win the Deauville Invitational. Other victories include the prestigious Spingold, Vanderbilt, Reisinger, Life Master Pairs, Life Master Individual, B-A-M Teams, Mixed Teams, Men’s Pairs, Open Pairs and the McKenney and Fishbein Trophies. His realm of expertise far transcends the world of bridge, as he is also an international backgammon champion and a respected poker aficionado.