Jan 3, 2020
Jeff Meckstroth needs no introduction. His name is synonymous with winning. When I first laid eyes on him, some eight years ago, at the Williamsburg Regional, I thought, "Wow, there's Jeff Meckstroth!"
Now, amazingly, here he is, full of good humor, stories and even some encouragement for my own game on The Setting Trick podcast.
In our wide ranging conversation, Jeff shares about meeting Eric Rodwell, how he knew Rod was the partner for him, getting started professionally and getting fired by both George Rosenkrantz and Nick Nickell!
One of my favorite parts of this interview came from a throwaway question about Jeff's partner for the upcoming Platinum Pairs. The only NABC event Jeff doesn't play with Rod. Jeff has partners lined up seven years out!
Meck is open about making mistakes, the importance of putting them behind you, underachieving on the Nickell team of late and his appreciation for those who have helped pave the way for his incredible success at the highest level.
Jeff recently befriended Jeopardy champion James Holzhauer. If you only have time for one story, starting at the 3:22 mark, check out how Jeff too quickly pulled a false card, in a friendly match against James and Josh Donn at the recent San Francisco NABC.
Other highlights from the episode include:
6:30- Jeff’s advice to James and all bridge players
7:20- How Jeff met Eric Rodwell
10:40- A multi-system that Jeff used to play with Rodwell until it was banned
12:30- How Jeff learned bridge
13:40- Jeff’s experience with winning the King of Bridge award
18:25- The 1979 Reisinger
24:30- Jeff’s favorite bridge victory
28:00- How Jeff views his titles when he sits down to play
30:30- What Jeff cherishes about bridge
34:00- The aftermath of Jeff’s departure from team Nickell
38:20- How Rodwell loves to tinker with their system
49:10- One hand doesn't mean anything
50:30- More on how Jeff started playing bridge
59:40- How Jeff helps up and coming professionals
1:01:00- Jeff's thoughts about the future of professional bridge
1:08:40- Jeff’s father’s heart attack episode
1:15:20- Jeff’s funny story about a creative bid that led to a change in scoring
1:22:25- Jeff’s family
1:31:50- Jeff on bridge dreams
1:34:00- Starting out with Nickell
1:41:49- The importance of moving on from your mistakes
1:49:23- Jeff's lineup for the next seven platinum pairs