MICHAEL WHIBLEY started playing bridge aged 16, and has now been playing for around 16 years.
He literally stumbled across the game online when playing other yahoo games like chess. He saw bridge there and clicked on it and was soon hooked. He taught himself, read books, looked up articles and learned by playing online. He didn’t even know there were bridge clubs, but 6 months to a year after he had started playing, a customer came into his Mum’s second hand bookshop looking for bridge books. His mum mentioned that her son played. The connection was made and Michael went along to his first session of club bridge.
Michael was playing on the New Zealand Open team as well as the Youth team by the time he was 18.
He has been to Singapore before, and found the people very friendly and he loves Asian cuisine.
Michael’s Top Tip for the club player: “Take more time. Mistakes could be avoided by taking a little more time. Players bid, play and defend too fast.”
Michael said, “I feel honoured and privileged to get to go overseas and represent New Zealand. I and the rest of team feel like we are representing all of the bridge playing community in New Zealand when doing it. It’s not just for us. Thanks so much for the contribution you as a player make to enable it to happen.”
Michael’s favourite vegetable is broccoli and his star sign is Libra.
Michael plays a natural system, 2 over 1 game forcing.
His playing partner is Matt Brown and they have been regular partner for 4 years.
Michael was born in Newport, Wales. He moved to Auckland when aged two. He went to Mount Carmel Primary School in Auckland, then Scotts College in Wellington. He attended Victoria University in Wellington, and most recently Auckland University. He holds a B.Sc. in ecology and also studied philosophy.
Michael lives in Orakei and his home club is Akarana. He has a very energetic Huntaway dog called Lucy who needs lots of exercise and attention. Michael is in training to run an ultra marathon in October, just 2 weeks after returning from the Bermuda Bowl event in China. Run on trails rather than the road, the ultra marathon involves running 50 kms, of which 2000m of climbing. He hopes to keep up his training in Singapore, on the treadmill if there is a gym at his accommodation, or else he will be hitting the streets at the end of the day’s play or before it starts to keep up his training schedule.