Episode 19 – Best of Seasons 1 & 2

Hi, my name is John McAllister. I have spent the past six years playing bridge all around the world. My goal is to win a world championship. Doing so requires getting into the minds of the world’s best players.

I can not think of a better, more fun way to do so, than to interview great bridge players and share their insights in podcast format.


Bridge is one of my favorite subjects. I love hearing stories about how people got started, a great play or how they approach a hand. The Setting Trick podcast is the forum where I share conversations with world class bridge players and fellow lovers of the game. As the host and founder, it is my pleasure to share highlights from Seasons One and Two in our first ever Best of The Setting Trick.

Since we had our initial conversation with Bridgewinners co-founder Gavin Wolpert over two years ago, we are grateful to have spoken with 20 individuals over the course of 18 episodes. A portion of the audio from every conversation, save legendary Zia Mahmood’s discussion of a bidding problem, can be found in this Best of.

We started this process with our intern Michael Xu having transcripts created for each episode. Michael read through every transcript and made a list of suggestions for what content should make our highlight reel.

My goal was to include audio from each one of our guests. I chose not to include Zia’s discussion of a bidding problem to make this episode more accessible for less advanced and non-players alike. Playing with Zia is the subject of both Zach Grossack and Anam Tebha’s segments and he is mentioned by former partner’s Michael Rosenberg and Bob Hamman as well.

It has been a pleasure to be coached and encouraged by so many of our listeners. I can remember being in Scotland for a Double Dummy screening at Stirling University and going out for a drink afterwards. It made my day when one of the attendees told me he had listened to my conversation with Migry and enjoyed it.

My practice of how I am approaching interviews has been greatly influenced by listener Leonard Epstein whom I have never met. He stressed to me the importance of having an idea what I want to learn from the guest beforehand, sticking to it and making each guest the star. If you have suggestions, please pass them along!

If you gave up because an episode was “unlistenable” in the words of one friend, please give us another chance. I took Dave Caprera’s advice and have edited some of the clips from this episode to minimize my interruptions. We have also hired a sound engineer to optimize this audio.

Search “The Setting Trick” on your preferred listening platform or click on one of the links below.
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/best-of-season-one-and-two/id1345780835?i=1000479216597
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/john-mcallister-221670174/this-is-the-best-of-the

Or read the transcript