Monday, November 1, 2010

Questions from Non-Bridge Friends About Traveling to Tournaments

Whenever I tell my non-bridge friends that I’m going to or have gone to a bridge tournament for a few days, I invariably get the same questions
“Who did you go with?” This is fairly simple and straightforward and so far this year I’ve been to 14 different tournaments and played with 10 different partners, spent 34 nights in hotels for these tournaments, and taken 14.5 vacation days for bridge (out of the 17 vacation days I have for this year, not counting the carryover of 8 from 2009, and used no vacation for anything else). By the end of the year, that will be up to 17 tournaments, 12 different tournament partners, and 40 hotel nights.
“Did you win?” This can be a little hard to answer without going into much detail since we typically play more than one event and have many various degrees of winning, so my answer is usually somewhat vague. “8th in flight A” or “I got one section top but otherwise didn’t do anything” or “I barely scratched” is a bit difficult for some people to grasp. But “I won one event and was around the middle of the pack in another event” is something normal people can comprehend.

“What did you win?” These imaginary things called masterpoints that we collect to show how long and how well we’ve been playing. What’s the point of that? Pride. Self esteem. Bragging rights. I dunno. I don’t understand the system either.

“Why do you like to play even though it’s mostly old people?” Well, there are some young people. Since most of my non-bridge friends are highly intellectual people (almost entirely engineers, computer scientists, future doctors and lawyers), they should understand the intellectual stimulation that bridge can provide but many do not understand how going on a trip to play some card game for a weekend can be more fun than getting drunk at bars, waking up at 1pm, and being a lazy bum watching tv and movies during the day Saturday and Sunday (or chores around the house for the married ones).

“You travel so much. How do you afford it?” Lots of reasons but mainly I’m just a smart spender. My house isn’t cluttered with material things that I buy on a whim. I don’t have a bunch of expensive electronics, I don’t normally buy drinks except in 12 packs, I spend lots of time looking for good hotel and flight deals, I have a good job and rental income, I have no dependents. I really don’t know.


  1. That reminds me of trying to explain this past weekend to my Mom how I did in Philly! It's like a funny remark - sometimes you just have to be there.

  2. I think intellectual stimulation is a minor factor with ego and fellowship being the major motivators.