How old were you when you started to play Bridge?
I was about 16 when I was introduced to this fascinating game of Bridge!
How did you get into Bridge?
Back in high school my friends and I would play some card games during the lunch breaks. Our usual go-to game was “Big 2”, a very fun and classic game played with two to four players. However, one day we decided to spice things up as one friend knew about Bridge.
The version of Bridge that I first learnt was similar but somewhat a little different, namely:
– There was no dummy! This allowed everyone to participate in the play, but this meant little logic was applied in the play, and it required more partnership trust and chemistry!
– There were two extra denominations in the bidding:
- The Small No-trump. This was ranked below clubs (so you can overcall 1-club over 1-Small-NT), and the way it worked was essentially the same as the normal NT (i.e. no trump suit), but the order was reversed. Aces were now the smallest cards, and deuces were the highest cards! This made it enjoyable even if you were dealt a bad hand!
- The Middle No-trump. This was ranked between diamonds and hearts, and similarly, it is also a No-trump contract, but the order was bizarre. The highest card was the 7 (the most middle card), followed by the 8, then 6, then 9, then 5, then 10, then 4, etc.! This was surely a confusing but yet enjoyable one to play, but again, it allowed you to participate in the bidding if you weren’t dealt honour cards, nor the small cards, but the “somewhere in between” cards!
Like they say, every hand is an adventure!
As I thoroughly enjoyed the game, all it took from me was to search online more about the game, and that’s when I read and learnt about the original rules of Contract Bridge.
What did you study?
I completed Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering at Monash University in Melbourne.
Why did you become a Professional Bridge Player and a Bridge Teacher?
After finishing university, it was too difficult to find a job given the small aerospace industry in Australia, but also there was an oversupply of graduates. During my university years, I was still finding the time to play bridge as it became a passion of mine. I can still remember very distinctly the first time I represented Australia in an international tournament (the 2006 World U20 Youth Team Championships) where our team, the dark horse, came equal second in the Round Robin. Unfortunately, our team was quite inexperienced in the playing the Knockout Stages so we lost our semi-finals as well as the bronze playoff.
Besides playing bridge to improve my own game, I was also spending a lot of time teaching and mentoring other youth players from around the world. With the rise in internet and technology, I was able to mentor players via Skype as we played on Bridge Base Online. As I loved to play and teach, I decided to then become a full time bridge teacher and player.
Who is your partner and for how long? Longest partnership?
My current and longest partnership is with Nabil Edgtton. We started playing together back in the youth days and our partnership has been on and off. My second longest partnership was with Nabil’s brother, Adam Edgtton. Who was my favourite? That’s for me to know and you to find out 😉
If you had a choice who would you like to play with? Australia and Internationally- living or dead?
From Australia – no one, I am happy with my current partner Nabil Edgtton.
From international – a US lady named Laurel, she was the one who taught me a lot when I first discovered bridge online at Yahoo Games. I would often get back home from school, logged online and kibitzed her table and she would give me advice and tips. I would have loved to have met her and have a game with her face to face, but unfortunately she has passed.
In your playing career, what is the bridge success that has the most meaning for you?
I have two. First was winning the 2007 Youth Asia Pacific Championships in Bandung Indonesia as that was when I realised my hard work was paying off. Second was in 2019 US Nationals in San Francisco (winning my first US National, and coming third in the Reisinger, one of the toughest tournaments in the world) as it opened my eyes that even the very top players can make mistakes just as easily.
And your worst moment in bridge?
I have too many to list. The one that has left a psychological scar on me was when my partner and I had a very scientific auction to 7NT in a World Championship. Why was it memorable? Oh, did I forget to mention it was doubled? As well as missing two aces…
What do you do you do between sessions to put you in the best frame of mind for the following session?
Just taking it easy, relax, don’t dwell on the mistakes made in the previous session, and be prepared to come back firing for the next session.
Do you have a favourite and least favourite convention?
Favourite is 4NT RKCB Ace ask (I’m sure you know why).
Least favourite is Mini 1NT (10-12 HCP) – obviously Nabil and I get along very well here J
Would you prefer to have more system or less?
Depends which year you ask me this question. Currently, it’s less.
What do you do to improve your game?
Practice, practice, practice.
Favourite bridge book?
Bridge, Zia, and Me by Michael Rosenberg
What interests or hobbies do you have besides bridge?
Travelling, cooking, gaming, and bargaining!
What is the number one thing that bridge has done for you as a person and for your life?
It has connected me with a lot of wonderful people in Australia and around the world – bridge is essentially my life.
Bridge Results and Awards
Most recently winning a US National and third in the Resinger in 2019, the past three Australian Open Team Playoffs, and the Australian Open Butler Pairs.
SWPT, NOT, GCC Teams, SNOT, ANC Butler Pairs
QLD Youth Team
Australian Youth and Open Team