Houston nine-year-old making card-playing history

March 19, 2012 3:24:03 PM PDT
You may think of bridge as an adult card game, but it's also popular with kids, and one of the best young players is from our area.

At the Bridge Club of Houston on F.M. 2920 in Spring, nine-year-old Zac Garrison quietly holds his own in a room full of bridge players more than five times his age.

"I played a lot of bridge," he said.

The third grader is a little soft spoken and shy, but he's captured plenty of attention at the card table.

He's already achieved Lifemaster status through tournaments, and he is the youngest person ever to do that.

"We're just very proud of everything he's accomplished. He's worked very, very hard," his mother, Kristy Garrison, said.

Zac's mom and dad say he started playing just a year ago after watching them play.

"One day, this bridge magazine comes home and it's got a kid on the cover, and he said if that kid can do it, I can do it," father David Garrison said.

Zac has been obsessed ever since.

"You have to do well," he said.

Achieving Lifemaster status hasn't been easy. There's been travel.

"We just went to every regional. We started in Shreveport, we went to Baton Rouge, Corpus Christi for just the weekend, but most of the regionals we went to for the whole week," Kristy Garrison said.

And practice. Lots of practice.

"He's beat pros, but most of the time we lose to pros. He's trying to carry two novices. He's a year into it," David Garrison said.

But now, Zac's got his sights set on the next level -- Bronze Lifemaster, which is the title his parents currently hold.

And after that?

"Just get some points," he said.

"And how do you do that?" we asked.

"By winning," he said.

To give you an idea of how far Zac can go with bridge, he's now a Lifemaster, which he got by getting 300 points in tournaments. He can go up to Grand Lifemaster if he scores more than 10,000 points.