Bridge players face tough competition in Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of card players are in Biloxi hoping for a winning hand at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Bridge Tournament. Players describe bridge as fun, challenging and a game where you never stop planning your next move.

"You're constantly thinking," said Pam Szabo, a player from Atlanta. "There's different aspects of the game and according to whether you're playing a team game or you're just playing in pairs there's always something going on."

From across the country, 1,500 competitors are in Biloxi for the tournament. The tough match ups force players to up their game.

"When you're playing in tournaments like this you're playing against people of all levels from all different parts of the country," Player Beth Wilkinson of Atlanta said. "Sometimes when you play against your friends you get so satisfied with what they're going to play. You know what they're going to play and what they're going to say. This really challenges your mind to be about people you don't play with all the time."

"It's a great card game that keeps your mind active and you have the ability to meet new friends," said Wilkinson. "You are not limited age wise. You can play for a long time."

Many people said came to the tournament for a chance to win points and build their notoriety as a player. Dr. Bob Henderson of Jackson just achieved life master status.

"Well, you've reached that status where you're considered one of the elite of bridge players, I guess. But that's not true. Most people do aspire to be a master though when they start playing," Henderson said. "My birthday is two weeks from now and I'll be 90 years old at that time, so this is a good birthday present for me."

Organizers said while most bridge players are retirees or housewives, they're teaching the game at places like the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Tournament Chairperson Lynne Logan said, "Because we need young people to keep the game going and to let them know how challenging it really is to sit down and play bridge."

The bridge tournament runs through Sunday.

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