June 16, 2006

"He once liked all-night poker games and now plays bridge online under the handle 'Chalengr.'"

If I had $50 billion dollars and wanted to play bridge a lot, I be a patron of the bridge players. I'd build a little village for them off in some corner of my property.

11 comments:

Dave said...

Buffett and Gates are well known for their presence in online bridge-playing circles.

And my bet is they're smarter than most bridge players.

Internet Ronin said...

I think you're right, Dave. Buffett, at least, is a "Grand Master" at bridge. IIRC, he is the one who encouraged Gates to start playing.

Word verification:togfad. What is the latest fad in footwear, he wonders?

Edgehopper said...

Gates came in to talk to the U.S. College bridge championship teams last year at Atlanta; it was written up for ACBL's Bridge Bulletin. If anyone cares, his preferred system is 2/1 Game Forcing (like at least 80% of American competitive bridge players today).

Dave TN said...

I sometimes read those bridge columns in newspapers. It's sort of like looking at a foreign language you've never seen and you try to pick out any words that make sense to piece together the meaning of a sentence.

jeff said...

Chalengr?

Looks like Bill Gates still hasn't gotten past the 8.3 filename limitation in FAT.

That explains a lot about Microsoft's problems.

kchiker said...

Actually they (Buffett/Gates) aren't considered a relevant force in the least among expert tournament players. Not that they don't have the brains, of course...but you can't just be a talented person and rise to the upper echelon of bridge by playing for a year or two. If you have that kind of goal, it's going to take tens of thousands of playing hours (in person is much better than online)....

Internet Ronin said...

Ann: Did you know that Buffett and Gates tried to fund a program to teach bridge in schools but were turned down by San Francisco and New York City?

kchiker: I realize that Gates is a relative newcomer to serious play but until now thought that Buffett was known as a decades-long serious player. Perhaps they are not a "relevant force" to those playing what has become a dying game, but they could be influential in bringing new players to the table. This NYTimes opinion piece, Bring Bridge Back to the Table, by Sharon Osber, Buffett's long-time partner and two-time World Champion bridge player makes exactly that case.

kchiker said...

It is a dying game, and that's unfortunate. Texas hold-em demolishes bridge in terms of instant gratification, appeal to fame/fortune, and general access.

Buffett and Gates have been very generous to the game. I'm just not sure if/how any two people can reverse the notion that bridge is the epitome of uncool.

M. Simon said...

I can tell you that bridge was a favorite among Naval Nuclear Reactor Operators aboard my ship (DLGN-25 now in the bone yard.).

But you folks already knew nukes are strange.

Kayle said...

I once was a regular on MSN Zone's Bridge--one of the better online bridge systems back then. The Zoners (as the players called themselves) had a yearly in-person get together and bridge tournament which was a blast, MSN Zone would send one of their tournament directors to manage the tournament, the overall event was managed by Zoner volunteers. I haven't been to the Zone in several years now, so I don't know what its like now.

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