For Ken and Consie Javor, not much gets in the way of them and a competitive game of bridge.
The proud Robson Ranch residents have religiously played their favorite card game since they were introduced to it while in college at Sam Houston State University over 50 years ago. But after getting married and eventually moving from the Texas Hill Country to North Texas in 2013, it became increasingly harder to find a social setting with a few empty chairs.
“It was one of those deals where you’d bring hors d’oeuvres to someone’s house, and you’d play socially. But most of the ones we found here had all the members they needed,” Ken said. “They’d put us as alternates.”
But then they discovered an organization with a winning hand.
“We found the Denton Bridge Studio, and since we really enjoyed bridge, we figured, ‘Let’s see what this is all about.’”
The Denton Bridge Studio is a nationally recognized contract bridge studio located on Dallas Drive in Denton. It offers sanctioned in-person and online card games, tournaments, and even beginner bridge lessons — all in accordance with American Contract Bridge League rules and regulations. The Javors are part of a growing list of 125 members, all of whom want to take their bridge skills to a more competitive stage.
“It’s definitely good mental exercise,” Ken said with a laugh.
One of the world’s most popular card games, especially among seniors, bridge is an auction and trick-taking game that uses a standard 52-card deck and is played among four players in a two-on-two format. The goal is to earn points by winning as many tricks as possible. Each hand consists of two parts: an auction where teams bid against each other based on how strong the players think their cards are, and the play, where the goal is to win enough tricks to make or defeat the contract reached in the auction.
Points are awarded depending on success, and another hand begins. Winning enough points earns one team a game.
“It’s always been a good activity for us to do together, and now, we play at least three or four times a week,” said Ken, who is one of eight board members. “We’ve taken some lessons to improve our game, but the thing is, the more you learn, the harder it gets because you’re playing against tougher competition.
“It makes it a continuing challenge each time.”
To hear Ken talk about bridge is like listening to an athlete break down the latest game film on his next opponent. There’s an intense passion in his voice, and after so many years of practicing and perfecting his craft, he clearly knows the game inside and out. He also means it when he says there is very little that will pull him or Consie away from a trip to the studio.
They have two grown children and four grandchildren who live in the area, too. So unless one of their grandkids has something going on that trumps another night of bridge, they don’t miss.
“We’re generally at the studio or a bridge game somewhere,” he said with a laugh. “We’ve had tournaments at our studio, and we’ve gone to larger tournaments in Houston and Dallas. But the biggest draw is the people. You meet some very interesting people, and all of them are really good. We think it’s one of the nicer studios in North Texas. We still play socially, but we really love the studio.”
For more information on Denton Bridge Studio, including game schedules, the latest round of free bridge lessons that begin on March 24, membership news, and plans for the rest of this year, visit www.dentonbridgestudio.com.