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Bridge Winners Profile for Simon Stocken

Simon Stocken
Simon Stocken
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Basic Information

Member Since
Nov. 27, 2015
Last Seen
June 22
Member Type
Bridge Teacher
about me

I am salaried part-time to teach bridge to kids and in schools. I am the sole employee of the David Davenport Fund in the UK - a CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) registered fund dedicated to bringing bridge into schools and to teaching the game to children. There is great progress happening in particular in Belfast within the UK - teaching bridge in curriculum time is I believe the 'golden goose'

I also travel extensively on my own time and money to play bridge and connect with bridge teachers and players around the world. I am looking to discover best practice and innovative methods used across the globe to discover what works well and thereby create methods that will hopefully be useful to all involved in bringing more players (especially the young) into the game of bridge.

I've been a bridge teacher most of my life, the first of my family to choose it as a profession. Now all three siblings and both parents are also bridge-teachers. I helped Andrew Robson establish his club on the Fulham Road in London in 1995 after working with him at the Acol Bridge club in West Hampstead. I met Andrew while in the England U25 squad partnering both my brothers in turn. Shortly after completing my Classics degree at Oxford I knocked on the door of The London School of Bridge and landed a job running the rubber bridge game a couple of nights a week. Andrew Robson gave me my first full-time bridge job  at the Acol club a few months later. He is still an ally and very supportive in bringing more young people into the game.

I enjoy systems: testing and analysing them while attempting to probe and fix inherent weaknesses. Bridge systems have the same appeal for me, although I've not had a regular partner I have spent many hours devising the weird and wonderful. I prefer natural methods. I grew up reading every bridge book I could find (and we had a lot) as the whole family started playing competitively in England in the 80s. Victor Mollo and his menagerie introduced me to the delights of the game. I'm a fan of Phil King's offerings also (along with his father). Adventures in Cardplay is one of my favourites along with the Reese over-the-shoulder books, all of which I revisit regularly. My bridge hero would be Zia - Bridge My Way is still one of the greats and he is a fine dilpomat for the game.

I have attended three NABCs (Phoenix 2003, Vegas 2014 and Toronto 2017) and played bridge in places as diverse as Seoul, Botswana, Colombia and Iceland. World-wide, the game of bridge has introduced me to communities and people and made me some friends for life. The HCL in Delhi is still my favourite tournament for the wonderful hospitality (great food too) and i will be returning in August 2019 to play there again.

I even played some bridge on the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. I sponsored the porters to carry a table and chairs up so that we might raise extra money for the charity Ace Africa. I have also taught in Khayeliitsha town-ship outside Cape Town.

I am also a writer, semi-professional poker player and a maker of bespoke wooden jigsaw puzzles. The Queen has several of my puzzles and I was featured on the cover of the EBU magazine in 2002 with a 2512 piece, multi-layer puzzle I presented to HM for her Golden Jubilee. My writings remain unpublished.


United Kingdom

Bridge Information

Favorite Bridge Memory
Playing two hands against Omar Sharif at the Park Lane Hotel as a young boy. Honours even. Playing Team Monaco in 2014 Vanderbilt (lost 100-150 with a first-time partner)
Bridge Accomplishments
U25 England squad. Some small tournament wins - from Bangkok to Bogota. Assisting Barry Rigal and PO Sunderland as part of the commentary team at the Youth World Championships in Wuijang in 2018
Regular Bridge Partners
Very few regular partners - my brothers before we all became bridge-teachers. My mum. My dad. Nowadays: John Connelly, Juan-Felipe Cuervo. 陳冠瑄 (Sherry from Taiwan). Prasad Keni
Member of Bridge Club(s)
Not so much anymore - previously Doncaster. Young Chelsea
Favorite Tournaments
NABCs - Reisinger especially. HCL
Favorite Conventions
Muppet. Transfers as often as possible. Switch. Two-way bids. Multi versus multi.
BBO Username
ACBL Ranking
Sorry, this user has no cards yet.
Cheating on BBO
John I agree. I would want to have seen a pattern or something very suspicious before I reported a hand. I've just played 8 boards oompetetively online. One of my opponents (the weaker half) made 8 good bidding choices yet was poor enough to concede a ruff and discard ...
Robot "Bridge" Forum
I play robot tournaments regularly. It's a mental workout. You always get dealt the best hand (by HCP). So you declare 80%+ of hands. It's all about the overtricks as I rarely chose IMPs. I am very happy to pay to keep my bridge brain ticking over. Just ...
Cheating on BBO
I'd imagine Marion that Stayman was doubled at a few tables. Which might explain why they got scared of NTs. Your opponents did not double 2C - it's only ever going to be about a pattern. If they do five of these then it's likely. This example seems ...
Cheating on BBO
I would create a site (or just a button on BBO) for uploading incidents (perhaps via screenshots) for pysches, nonsensical (and successful) bidding sequences and 'strike-it-gold' opening leads. Then create a leaderboard. No accusations just screenshots. The names could be withheld until a player amasses a certain number of bizarre ...
The New Tricks Tournament Series
I thought it was a great advert for bridge. The production values were high. The two commentators were both excellent. I liked AR's comment on doubling 4H without the heart stopper - where Jerry S passed the 4H bid. Instructive hands and lots of variance within both. Did Dennis B ...
5-Card Majors - The Scanian Way. Free Bridge Book for Junior Players courtesy of Mats Nilsland.
i'm laughing anyhow! And you've got me checking out MOSCITO I love System - the weird the wonderful, and the logical most of all
5-Card Majors - The Scanian Way. Free Bridge Book for Junior Players courtesy of Mats Nilsland.
That sounds great - can you clarify which book please? It sounds like you are talking about the book in my post but that isn't yet published so that can't be right surely?
5-Card Majors - The Scanian Way. Free Bridge Book for Junior Players courtesy of Mats Nilsland.
The hand above is very similar to one demonstrated in the free Preview (highly recommended) - partner did have Kx of Clubs. My bidding was atrocious - my partner and I had had virtually zero discussion in my defence/excuse and time was pressing etc etc. I bid 4NT 5 5NT ...
5-Card Majors - The Scanian Way. Free Bridge Book for Junior Players courtesy of Mats Nilsland.
That is really wonderful news. I wish I had been playing 2-way (weak/strong) Transfer Jump Shifts today. I picked up AKQ10xxxx Ax x xx Partner opened 1D I like the fact that the Transfer Jump Shifts work over 1C and 1D Openers And also over interference although slightly differently ...
Out of the Books
It's a 5-loser hand on some evaluations (some deduct 1 for being aceless) Many would open it. Many wouldn't 1st Seat Green it rates to be + EV and it didn't go that well for those catching up later in as much as there was some punting I ...

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