Letter from a Player

Joined ACBL 30 years ago - Life Master today
September, 2020
By Sampat (Sam) Singhvi

Dear Carlos,

Thanks so much for your email.

Obviously, I am delighted and very pleased with this accomplishment.

Here is my story:

I joined ACBL about 30 years back and never imagined that I would be a life master one day. It was more for fun and my love for playing cards. In my first many years after becoming a member, I was only playing sporadically because of work load and lack of availability of convenient clubs having evening games in Princeton, NJ area. My strength in this game is the ability to play the hands better than an average player. However, bidding was a challenge as I relied more on instincts than a system. In fact, I did not even know how to fill the convention card. My opportunity to play bridge a bit more frequently arose when I started working in Boston after taking retirement from long–term employment in Princeton area. Since I was not able to move the family there I was mostly in Boston only on weekdays. However, I was able to find a few clubs that were running club tournaments on weekday evenings. There I was also fortunate to find a real expert player who liked my card playing and was willing to teach me proper bidding for mutual benefit. In reality, it was more a benefit to me than him. However, this person (Jitu, thanks if you ever get to read this; I am really grateful to you!) was patient and very kind to me. I learnt so much from him, and all of that without him ever losing his temper. I did find other players who I had fun playing with in Boston and was able to accumulate significant master points during my 5–year stay there. This included some regional and sectional tournaments. More points I got more I became interested in playing in various tournaments. By the time I returned to Princeton, I had accumulated enough points and achieved one Master level rank that made me very desirous of becoming Life Master. It became my serious goal for which I tried even more Sectional and Regional tournaments. Finally, and ironically, it was this COVID pandemic that gave me more opportunity to play and learn more. And here we are! I am truly excited and feel really fortunate to have accomplished this goal. I think I am still learning, particularly, the bidding part.

I am not slowing down. Actually, my interest has grown even more.

I am not sure what the next level is and what I need to do to get there, but just getting to Life Master is very satisfying and anything else that comes along would be a gravy!

Sampat (Sam) Singhvi

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