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A day in the life of . . . Jason’s Top Tip

If you have a bad board,

Jason Hackett forget about it and move on

to the next hand.

There is no point in flapping around if

Initially introduced to bridge at the age of 11 by mother Olivia, by 16 Jason Hackett and you have a bad result on one board:

his twin brother, Justin, were the youngest ever players in the World Pairs you will just lose concentration and put

Championship in Miami Beach in 1986, and soon they went on to become European off your partner. By all means tear your

hair out if you are playing in an event

Junior Champions and World Junior champions. They were also in the England bridge

where screens are used and your

team that won a Silver Medal in the Open Teams at the 2008 Mind Sports Games and partner cannot see you, but in normal

were part of the Europe team in the Buffett Cup recently held in Cardiff. duplicate events showing your frus-

tration will just get you a worse result

MY day starts late, as usually my nights bridge professional, I quite frequently play on the next (and maybe subsequent)

stretch into the very small hours of the with friends. I just enjoy playing, it does not board.

You will do much better if you cherish

morning. If I play poker on-line (most matter with whom, though of course when partnership harmony and keep your

nights), I may not finish before 6am, so if it comes to the main national events I have mouth shut. The post-mortem can wait

I am to get a good sleep I don’t get up to be careful which team I play for, as poor till the end of the session, when you can

much before 3 or 4pm. It will come as no results would weaken my chances of being talk things over calmly over a drink.

surprise that I then need lots of espresso chosen to represent England in internation-

before I really join the land of the living! al championships. That is my top priority.

Once I am properly If I am not out playing though, and continued to Mongolia by car,

awake, I start thinking of bridge, or occasionally which enabled us to see places at our own

breakfast, which is either live poker, I go out for a pace. This seemed adventurous enough to

a continental-style affair meal with friends. I me, so I rejected the option of travelling

or a sushi or even some- hardly ever eat at home, through Mongolia on horseback – without

thing more substantial, though I enjoy cooking a saddle – which is a local tourist attraction.

dep ending on how and actually do a mean Although I enjoy visiting far away

hungry I am. I am very fish carpaccio (tuna or countries, my favourite part of the world is

much into food, espe- sea-bass) with grape - the South-West of France. The climate is

cially French or Asian, fruit after a Gen naro good, the food and wine superb, there are

and I like to try all sorts Contaldo Italian recipe I lots of places and things to see, and

of international cuisines. found on the internet. naturism, which I like to practise, is well

This is easy in Manches- Carpaccio is a way of supported. Moreover, the region can easily

Photo: Ron Tacchi

ter, where I live and preparing food without be reached by car, which has the added

where there are lots of cooking it, and I am very advantage that I can bring back to Man-

ethnic eating places much into that sort of chester lots of local produce!

which also deliver food, thing. Apart from recipes By now it will be clear that food, drink

so I don’t have to go out in order to have a found on the ’net, I have built up quite a and congenial company are very important

tasty and exotic afternoon snack. collection from travelling around Europe to me. That is why I particularly enjoy

I spend the rest of the afternoon pot- and the world, and I am always prepared to playing in bridge tournaments in Ireland,

tering on the computer; I regularly update try out something new in restaurants. At the France and Spain where the playing

my Facebook page or might play more moment I am sampling Yemeni and Afghan schedule is not as intense as in England, and

poker if there is any going on. If I get up dishes, which are meat-based, though my allows time for socialising with fellow

early, I go for a walk – usually once or favourite food is probably fish – especially players around the restaurant table or at the

twice a week. My walks are serious affairs, fish cheeks, a delicacy I discovered in China. bar. In fact, this is where, in my view, live

some ten-mile hikes in the hills, and Travelling is my great passion in life, and poker scores more highly then bridge: it is

although I often go with friends I also I pursue it as much as I can, preferably by played in better venues with greater empha-

enjoy walking on my own. Considering my car. I dislike flying, not just because the sis on hospitality.

weight, I am reasonably fit, so I can keep space in airplanes is cramped, but also Apart from this, I enjoy both games:

going for quite a distance, though the because I detest the petty bureaucracy at bridge provides much more of an intel-

occasional stop in a coffee shop – if I come immigration in many foreign airports. I am lectual challenge, but I like the fact that at

across any – is welcome. not adverse to travelling by train, though, poker you are on your own and, if you play

What I do in the evening depends on and one of my most memorable journeys on-line, it is at times of your choosing. I am

whether I am playing bridge with a client or was on the Trans-Siberian railway ten years quite happy to play poker by night and play

not. If I don’t have a bridge commitment, I ago. I learnt Russian at school, so I could bridge, or go travelling, by day. r

end up playing twice a week on-line on manage some form of interaction with

BBO, or I might go and play at a club or fellow passengers, which I greatly enjoyed. To read more about Jason Hackett, visit

congress with a friend. Although I am a My friends and I stopped at Irkutsk, www.ebu.co.uk/general/biographies/players.

www.ebu.co.uk October 2010 English Bridge 53

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