Brad Moss – Victim of the Day
What is your age, where are you from, where do you live and what is your marital status?
“I am 52 years old, married to Jennifer, we have two kids aged 15 (Cian) and 13 (Lyra) and I live in Denver, Colorado.”
What is your professional background?
“I started out as another bridge bum, but I am old enough that in the 80s wall street was scouting the bridge world for options traders. There appeared to be a high correlation between being games playing success and trading success, so I was offered trading jobs when I was still in high school. When I decided it was time to get a job, I called Steve Weinstein who became my mentor and worked with him for a number of years. I got him coffee a lot.”
Tell us about your family of well-known bridge players.
“My mother is Gail Greenberg, multiple world champion, my sister Jill Levin is a world champion, my brother-in-law is Bobby Levin, my brother was the King of Bridge, and you don’t wanna get into a bridge street brawl with my father, he is the toughest of all of us. On top of that my nephew Shane married into another bridge dynasty, when he married Sandra Rimstedt.”
What is the best and worst about being part of a bridge dynasty?
“The best is the advantages it gave me having access to all these great players, so my learning curve was extremely accelerated. The worst part was probably that it was so appealing that at a young age I didn’t have any doubts that bridge was my future. I dropped out of school and was just lucky to have bridge to find me a job I could make a decent living from. It is better to have more options.
I had several years at New York University, where a semester would pass and I never showed up to any of my classes, so I never completed anything or got any credit. One day my stepmom said: “I am done paying.”
At some point I told my family I was transferring to Berkeley, when really I just dropped out and moved there with my best friend. Some parts of my family still think I went there.”
Brad laughs his contagious laugh.
“I loved bridge from very early on, I always knew I would become a bridge player. I never wanted to have a job on Wall Street; I only did it because I wanted to have a job that would allow me to play bridge full time.”
What would you have become if not a bridge player?
“Joe Grue’s valet.”
What is the best and worst about playing with Joe Grue?
“The best is playing with one of your closest friends, who you also love outside of the bridge world. When we get emotional at the bridge table, we obviously want to kill each other. Being bridge partners is very much like a marriage and highly stressful, so it helps to be best friends.
Worst is I guess the same thing. We both have strong personalities and usually after 2 to 3 weeks together, we need to take a break.”
(Joe asks in the background what day it is today.)
What were you like as a teenager?
He laughs. “Out of control. They said sit down and I stood up. My friend Gillian Miniter used to describe Joe and I and Justin Lall, who we were extremely close, like this: Joe wants to be told what to do. Justin does not want to be told what to do. I want to be told what to do, so I can do the opposite.”
What interests do you have outside of bridge?
“I have recently taken up paddle tennis. I have had to unlearn 40 years of tennis, but I love paddle. I also love skiing, but really my favourite thing is to spend time with my kids while they are still at home.”
Tell us your most memorable moment from a bridge tournament.
“Winning a world championship, and any hand Joe Grue goes down in that he could have made.”
Tell us something you are really good at and really bad at.
“Hm. OK. I can get lost in an elevator. I will let you know something I am really good at when I figure it out.”
How would Joe Grue describe you in 3 words?
“Unbelievably painfully slow.”
What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you at a bridge tournament?
“In New York there used to be a regional, where you would play with each member of your team. I was playing against Edgar Kaplan. I opened a minor and Edgar had QT9xxx of spades and QJ98 of hearts. He passed, and when I got to 3NT, he lead the HQ and I went down. I said “Good lead” and he said “If you have a sequence and don’t lead it, it is an insult to God.”
The next day I was playing bridge at his house. The opponents bid 1 spade (P) 4C splinter (X by Edgar, my partner) and the opponents get to 6 spades and I am on lead. I had the KQJTx of diamonds and remembering his words from the day before I led a diamond. Of course a club lead would have beaten it.
Then Edgar said to me: “Young man, you were in a tough situation. On one hand God is telling you to lead a diamond, and on the other you had me telling you to lead a club. I trust the next time you will get it right.””
If you could change something about your past, what would it be?
“I have made many, many mistakes in my life and there are certainly things I could have done better, but I am always afraid that had I changed those decisions, who knows the effect of the butterflies flapping their wings, so I consider myself lucky and happy and wouldn’t change anything out of fear of the butterflies.”
Tell us a memory that made a big impression on you.
“I was a young upcoming player and I was playing against Benito Garozzo and I was on lead against some contract, but I didn’t lead my singleton and it was a total disaster. After the hand he pulled me aside and said: “Young man, I understand why you did what you did, but bridge is a relatively simple game. Always lead your singleton.””
If you could say one last thing to someone who is no longer with us, who would it be and what would you say?
“I would tell Justin that he is still loved by a great many people. No national goes by without his name coming up multiple times.”
Who would you like to partner, kiss, kill between Sandra Rimstedt, Jessica Larsson and Jenny Ryman?
“Since Sandra is now my niece, I can neither kiss nor kill her, so I will partner her. Jenny is so nice I will have to kiss her, and that means I kill Jessica.”