I started playing bridge when 6 high card points was the minimum for a one level response. I followed my parents' advice ("Never become a bridge pro"), and became a software professional instead, specializing in build, release, and infrastructure.
I compete well at times against high level opposition if I maintain focus and personal energy at the table. Play 2/1 with lots of gadgets, some borrowed and some home grown. Favorites include Good-Bad 2N, XYZ, Non-serious 3N.
Plus... it's free!