BILLINGS — A team of players from the Billings Bridge Club went to the North American Bridge Championships recently and played against some of the best in the world, and a Billings woman brought home a new title from the tournament.
The card game of bridge is rather complex, and the players are in it for the competition.
"Competitive, very competitive," said Bill Bradshaw, a member of the Billings Bridge Club on Tuesday.
For the uninitiated, bridge is a card game played with two teams of two. Players vie to take the most high cards or tricks and earn points at the end of a hand.
Now, the Billings Bridge Club has a new life master in its ranks.
"Billy said she had a little fire in her belly and she sure proved that," said Joseph Barrett, one of the Billings players who attended the tournament.
After a 33-year hiatus from the game, 83-year-old Doris Holser is back in the bridge saddle, and bringing home the wins to prove it.
"I started playing bridge in the 70s. In 1983, my husband and I bought a business, So I stopped playing for 33 years. I sold the business, it will be six years ago in June and I started playing duplicate bridge again," Holser said.
At the North American Bridge Championship in Reno, Nevada, a few weeks back, Holser earned enough points to call herself a life master - a big feat in this competitive game - and one that typically takes decades to accomplish. And she did while competing against the best of the best.
"Now I start looking around the room and I thought, 'oh my goodness,' the entire international bridge federation is here. With COVID stopping bridge in a lot of places, it's like they brought every and all of the best teams possible," Barrett said.
Her teammate at the tournament, Joseph Barrett, and the rest of Holser's fellow Billings bridge enthusiasts are still in awe of their teammate and friend.
And now, Holser can say she is a better bridge player than 54 percent of other players in the league, although you won't catch her reveling in the victory.
"It's one of the lowest bridge rungs on the ladder, but I think every serious player wants to achieve that goal," Holser said.
If you're interested in working your way up the bridge ranks to become a life master, the Billings Bridge Club is always looking for new members. They meet at the Shrine Auditorium every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Email Joseph Barrett at email@example.com.