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Vision Loss No Barrier For Florida Player

by Michael Lane

Stanley Levy, 86, achieved both Life Master and Bronze Life Master rank at the Orlando Regional Tournament earlier this month. He is considered an excellent player, so what makes this remarkable? For the past 10 years, he has been legally blind. When sitting in a spot with good lighting, he is able to make out the cards in his hand by holding them very close to his face. His partner announces the dummy’s cards when tabled and the opponents announce theirs as they are played.

Stanley, of Satellite Beach FL, plays at the Wickham Park Bridge Club in Melbourne FL. When others at the club learned that Stanley had more than 550 points, but lacked only a few gold and red points, an effort was made to partner with him at the Orlando Regional. There he earned the last few required points to achieve Life Master and Bronze Life Master rank.

At the tournament, we played in a knockout team game and won only one match. We were disappointed, but returned to try the KO teams again. This time we got to the final. Although we finished in second place, we won enough points for Stanley to earn his Life Master ranking — we were all elated. During the break between sessions, we had a celebratory dinner where we toasted his accomplishment. We were all excited, texting and calling our wives and other bridge friends. We were like a bunch of kids with a new toy — everyone was so thrilled for him.

Stanley Levy