ST. LOUIS, Dec. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) today announced that longtime St. Louis resident Jack N. Bryant – who became a Life Master in 1971 – has achieved another significant milestone by accumulating 20,000 Masterpoints.
The ACBL is comprised of 25 geographically defined districts, each of which includes local chapters called units. The Greater St. Louis Unit #143 – of which Bryant has been a member for more than 50 years – is part of District 8, which also covers parts of Illinois (all counties outside the Chicago metro area), Indiana (northern third) and Kentucky (western tip).
The ACBL has approximately 170,000 members overall, with only 113 members who have 20,000 or more Masterpoints – placing Bryant in the top 0.1% of all current players. He also has been named Player of the Year eight times, including in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
"It's always a great source of pride when one of our local players does well and receives regional and national recognition," said Linda Seibert, President of the Unit #143 Board of Directors. "We couldn't be happier for Jack, whose talents, skills and contributions have helped make our contract bridge community stronger and even more competitive. We awarded our first Lifetime Achievement Award to Jack in 2013 for his leadership, his attentiveness to players and his achievements – no other player from Missouri has ever earned this many Masterpoints."
Duplicate bridge is played with a standard deck of 52 playing cards and four players comprised of two partnerships. Duplicate bridge differs from other forms of contract bridge because the same bridge deal (i.e., the specific arrangement of the cards into the four hands) is played at each table and scoring is based on relative performance. In this way, every hand, whether strong or weak, is played in competition with others playing identical cards, and the element of skill is heightened while that of chance is reduced.
75 Years of Playing Bridge
Bryant has been playing bridge since he was seven years old. In fact, he recalls hearing that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, while playing with his mother, sister and grandmother. He played bridge informally with family and friends until 1964, when he won his very first Masterpoint at the former Carrollton Duplicate Club in Bridgeton, Mo.
Seven years later, Bryant became a Life Master by earning 300 points. He had earned 5,000 points by 1992, and 10,000 points by 2001. He has won 125 regional events, placed third and fourth in national events, and also placed 14th in the World Bridge Federation's IMP Pairs in 2010. On Labor Day 2016, Bryant earned his 20,000th Masterpoint while playing with another local player, Tom Oppenheimer, at the St. Louis Bridge Center.
How Masterpoints Are Awarded
The ACBL's Masterpoint system appeals to members because it permits them to know their approximate overall ranking relative to every other member. Although a complete listing of the large number of ACBL members is impractical, the ranks that members earn as they achieve various plateaus of Masterpoint holdings serve as close approximations of their overall standing. Lists of the top players in some categories and Masterpoint races are published in The Bridge Bulletin magazine and on the ACBL website.
Bryant's favorite partners are all Life Masters as well as good friends: Milt Zlatic, Alan Popkin, Nancy Popkin, Tom Oppenheimer, Rod Van Wyck, Rod Beery and Mike Giacaman. And he is especially close to one local Life Master in particular – his wife, Linda, whom he met at a bridge tournament in 1978.
Bryant, now retired, plays bridge almost daily, in St. Louis and frequently in tournaments all over the United States. "I look forward, every day, to seeing all the players at the Bridge Center," he said.
About the ACBL
Founded in 1937, the ACBL is the largest bridge organization in the world, serving 167,000 members, 3,200 bridge clubs and sanctioning 1,100 sectional and regional tournaments annually. The ACBL's three North American Bridge Championships each attract up to 5,000 players representing every state in the United States, Canada and about 20 other foreign countries. A challenging and rewarding card game, bridge attracts players of all ages and walks of life – from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to poker star Phil Gordon. For more information about the ACBL, visit www.acbl.org.
Contact: Linda Seibert
President – Unit #143
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SOURCE American Contract Bridge League (ACBL)