Y O U R O T H E R L I F E
Trumping the Competition
Mark Samuel Lee
Waldron got hooked on the game at 9, when he tagged along with his dad to the local bridge club. At age 11, he became the youngest player in the country to become a Life Master, a designation awarded when a player accumulates certain points. (He's since been beaten out by a couple of younger kids, though he continues to hold the record in the mid-Atlantic region.) By 12, he was beating world-ranked players.
These days, Waldron plays bridge a few times a week, either at clubs or on the Internet. Although he still teams up with his father, Waldron also plays with a 21-year-old partner he met through the Internet. The two played together in Hungary this summer at the Juniors World Championship, where they placed 10th in a field of nearly 200 international teams.
Why bridge? "I like the competitive aspect, the thinking aspect, probably even the psychological aspect," says Waldron.
The challenge, he explains, is figuring out who has what cards, how to use what you know, and how to keep that kind of information from your opponents. "You don't want to give anything away by the way you look," he says.
"There are so many combinations, so many ways of thinking, and so many methods of going about it," says Waldron. "I just like the problems that it presents and solving them at the table."
And it doesn't hurt that he's better at it than most of his opponents.
"Of course you want to win," he admits sheepishly. "I mean,
I definitely like the winning aspect."
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