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18 Reasons Why Wall Street Loves Bridge
Poker’s rise to prominence in the world of finance has pushed bridge, its more mature predecessor, from the limelight.
There’s a reason, however, why the best bridge players in the country are almost all investors. Business Insider deputy editor and bridge enthusiast Gus Lubin notes: “Bridge is a complex card game that fits the analytic side of finance, as poker appeals to instincts.”
A bridge devotee, Warren Buffett has famously declared, “I wouldn’t mind going to jail if I had three cellmates who played bridge.” But passion for the game has gotten some on Wall Street in trouble. As recounted in Michael Lewis’ House of Cards, Jimmy Cayne played a tournament of bridge while Bear Sterns imploded, an example of antipathy at the executive level that is often compared to Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned.
Though an intense mental activity, bridge also offers an opportunity to unwind for high-octane individuals. A 1955 issue of Sports Illustrated references Eisenhower’s love for the game which was his “only effective form of relaxation…The most relaxing thing he could do was to play a game in which the problems were tough, the solutions difficult, but the consequences of error were just a few hundred harmless points written down on a scorepad.”
There’s no doubt why investors still flock to this challenging test of teamwork, memory, and wits. Bridge can help your intelligence, your health, and your career — and it’s fun.
It’s a game for ‘insiders’ that often confounds beginners
Due to the sheer number of rules and complexity involved with bidding, which precedes a hand of bridge, it can be a very difficult game to pick up. The challenge of mastering bridge is a compelling end in and of itself for those with competitive spirits and analytical minds.
Bridge is a workout for your brain
There’s no doubt that Wall Streeters enjoy the mental stimulation that accompanies a game of bridge. Warren Buffett once said that bridge has “got to be the best intellectual exercise out there.”
Opportunities for networking are everywhere
As the following quote shows, you never know who you might meet at a game of bridge:
“One of the reasons I’m here is because of the camaraderie,” said a loud and gregarious Philip Krone, a political and urban consultant in Chicago. “What other place are you going to get to play with the chairman of a Fortune 500 company, the counsel general of a major European power, or even a businessman from Shanghai on his way through?”
Source: Chicago Tribune