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In the Well: Justin Lall

Justin Lall Entering the Well today is Justin Lall, aka jlall. Only 28 years old, Justin has an incredible list of accomplishments for one so young. He has already made a Bermuda Bowl final, won 4 national championships, and is the youngest-ever Grand Life Master, a rank few will ever attain (10,000 masterpoints and a national title). Fresh off a victory in the 2014 Blue Ribbon Pairs partnering John Hurd, today he enters the Well to answer your questions.

Justin was born in Houston, Texas. He learned bridge at the age of 10 from his parents Jan and Hemant (both accomplished bridge players), and it soon became an overriding passion. At age 12, he won 3 Flight A regional events and became Life Master. Then, when he showed more interest in winning bridge tournaments than learning how to drive, he was mentored heavily by Bob Hamman, the world #1 player at the time. He won his first world (junior) championship at age 19 and repeated the feat the next year. He also won his first national championship, the Grand National Teams. Since then, his career has been full of many successes, with the crowning achievement being a Cinderella-esque run to the finals of the 2011 Bermuda Bowl. In this, he was the youngest member on the youngest team ever to represent the USA in Bermuda Bowl history.

Justin is fairly unusual amongst top players for not being readily identified with a specific partner: in 2014, he played with 12 different partners in national-level events. His most frequent partner has been Kevin Bathurst, whom he has been playing with for over 7 years, and will continue to play with on the DIAMOND team for 2015. Other notable partners include Hamman (whom he won the 2012 Platinum Pairs with), Joe Grue (his Bermuda Bowl partner), and Roger Lee (his World Mind Games partner). His favorite partner, however, is his father, who always finds a way to make bridge fun and enjoyable, while playing at an extremely high level.

Justin has called many different places home: Houston, England, California, San Antonio, Dallas, New York, and Las Vegas. Now he lives in Plano, TX with his girlfriend Stefanie and her son Aiden. In his spare time, Justin spends a lot of time watching football, playing fantasy football, and rooting for the Dallas Cowboys. He used to like baseball until the dismal play of the Astros made him give up the sport. He also enjoys poker, television (Game of Thrones!), and fine dining.

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