Since most American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) members play in local club games, the Ace of Clubs competition was created in 1984 to recognize achievements at the club level. These Ace of Clubs champions are recognized at the unit and ACBL level. Only Black points won at the clubs are counted in this contest. Any pigmented points earned at STaC or other special club games are not counted. Eligibility is determined by each player’s masterpoint holding at the beginning of the calendar year.

In 2011, this award was renamed in honor of Grand Life Master Helen Shanbrom of Tamarac, Florida. Ms. Shanbrom was one of the most active and successful players in the ACBL for decades. She won the top category of the Ace of Clubs more times than any other member in ACBL history. Ms. Shanbrom passed away in 2013 at the age of 94.