World Bridge Series finishes in Philadelphia
Friday, October 15th, 2010
For the last ten days the best bridge players in the world have been holed up in a downtown Philadelphia hotel to play cards. The World Bridge Series – held every four years – wraps up Saturday. A local player has emerged at the head of the pack.
The Rosenblum Cup is one of the most prestigious championships in the world of professional bridge. The competition is intense, and cutthroat–despite appearances.
For up to nine hours a day, seven straight days, the quiet hush of the room belies the ferocity of play. Eric Greco, who lives in Center City, won the Rosenblum Cup along with his five teammates. He says nobody relies on Lady Luck – it's all mental.
"A friend in DC who is a triathlete came into a tournament to play at 1 in the afternoon – he had run a mini triathlon in the morning. Everyone was all, you must be tired. He's all, no, bridge is what makes you tired."
A winner of the Mixed Pairs championship, Donna Compton of Dallas, Texas, says she draws from her undergraduate studies in child psychology to outplay her opponents.
"It's brutal! It's a seven and a half day event. Over a week long, you play. Every hand is a manic-depressive roller coaster."
There's little time to celebrate wins. The day after one set of champions were announced, the next round of play begins. The winners of Open Pairs will be determined Saturday afternoon.