Goren Trophy (formerly Herman Trophy) 1983
American Bridge Teachers' Association (ABTA) Book of the Year 1996, 2005
North American Bridge Championships (10):
Spingold (1) 1984
Reisinger (2) 1985, 1991
Men's Board-a-Match Teams (2) 1981, 1984
Blue Ribbon Pairs (2) 1983, 1988
Life Master Pairs (1) 1988
Life Master Men's Pairs (1) 1983
Men's Pairs (1) 1983
Pan-American Maccabi Games (1) 1983
♦ Cavendish Invitational Teams (1) 1988
♣ Cavendish Invitational Pairs (2) 1984, 1989
Goldman Pairs (1) 1983
North American Bridge Championships (10):
Vanderbilt (2) 1982, 1990
Spingold (1) 1983
Grand National Teams (2) 1979, 1991
Open Board-a-Match Teams (1) 1990
Master Mixed Teams (2) 1989, 1991
Life Master Men's Pairs (1) 1986
Grand National Pairs (1) 1984
United States Bridge Championships (1)
Open Team Trials (1) 1985
Cavendish Invitational Teams (1) 1986
||In Pursuit of a Dream
(the introduction to Points Schmoints)
Dateline July 1962 - Solitary Confinement
At the tender age of 14, I was sentenced to a hospital
for removal of a terrible set of tonsils. On her way to visit, my
mother picked up a few books, to help the nurses and me survive each
other. (For a healthy teenager, a three-day confinement in a
hospital certainly qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment.) One
book was a 50 cent paperback, 5 Weeks to Winning Bridge by Alfred
Sheinwold. I knew nothing about bridge, but had always enjoyed
card games, starting with pinochle at my dad's knee as a precocious
During my hospital stay, I devoured Sheinwold's book.
Luckily for me, my non-bridge-playing mother had stumbled upon an
absolute gem. I borrowed a deck of cards from the nurses, who were
delighted with my new pacifier.
September 1965 - Classes No, Bridge Yes
Then came college, and what a revelation!
Attendance in class was not mandatory. Bridge games were
never-ending. Let me see, should I go to Accounting 101 or play
some bridge? Not a tough decision.
My bridge game improved overnight.
Unfortunately, my professors were unable to appreciate my skipping
classes in pursuit of endplays and slams. When I went home for
Christmas break, I was the not-so-proud possessor of a 1.0 GPA.
Meanwhile I had been introduced to duplicate bridge.
Winning masterpoints was much easier than passing exams. However
the following was now definitely in question: Would I graduate?
If I did, which would come first, the required 120 credits or the 300
masterpoints needed to become a Life Master? Amazingly, the
diploma preceded my gold card by almost six months.
June 1976 - Goodbye Nine to Five
My first published bridge material, That's no
Bridge Player, That's My Wife, had previously appeared in The
Contract Bridge Bulletin. In June 1976, I began writing
monthly columns for that publication.
Ever since I decided to make bridge my life's work,
I've had three goals. One was to win a national championship.
On March 22, 1981, I finally broke through. The second was to win
a world championship. Although I've been on the verge several
times, that one still eludes me.
Goal number three was actually a dream. I've
always wanted to write a practical, entertaining bridge book, the likes
of which the world has never seen. What happened to my dream?
I don't know; I always seemed to be busy with something else.
However, I never forgot.
March 1994 - Helloooo Dream
The phone rings. It is my long-time friend and
bridge partner, Larry Cohen. "Great news, Marty. Remember
your idea for a classic bridge book? I just came across a book
exactly like that."
"What's so great about that? I wanted to be the
one to write that book. Nobody cares about who is second with a
"No, Marty, you don't understand. It's a golf
book. It represents the easy-to-read yet informative book that
you've always talked about. Pick up a copy. It's called
Harvey Penick's Little Red Book."
I viewed the wonderful Penick book as my sign from
Above: "The time has come, Marty, to stop procrastinating." It has
taken 18 years, but finally, I was on my way.
Fortunately, I didn't have to start from scratch.
Like Penick, I have accumulated material from 20 years of teaching and
playing. Many topics are a direct result of students' questions.
Others are a product of their mistakes and confusion. I am very
grateful; without them I could not possibly have written this book.
If you have only half as much fun reading this book as
I've had writing it, my efforts will not have been in vain. is
there more to come? You better believe it. Am I interested
in hearing your thoughts and questions? Absolutely!