Sam MarksSam Marks

Interview by Anisa Nixon

This past July at the 2013 ABTA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, the ABTA was proud to accredit four new teachers. To introduce them to the ABTA world, we”ve asked each of them a few questions.

Please join us in welcoming Sam Marks to the ABTA’s ranks of Master Teachers.

How did you get into bridge?

I learned from some friends in high school. I started to play seriously when I went to college and found out that they had a bridge club.

How long have you been playing? Teaching?

34 years.

What do you like best about the game?

I am still learning. Every hand is different.

What are your favorite bridge books?

Almost any book by Mike Lawrence. His book How to read your opponent’s cards opened my eyes.

What is your favorite convention?

Drury. I like to open light in 3rd seat and Drury lets me stay low.

How long have you been teaching?

I’ve been teaching for 5 years.

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is bridge should be fun. If the students are not having fun then I am doing something wrong.

How often a week do you teach?

5 days a week.

How do you develop your lesson plans?

I use Pat Harrington’s lessons from my beginners and intermediates. I develop my advanced class lessons by sitting down and creating hands that match the lesson. I frequently use Eddie Kantar Hands.

Are you currently taking new students? If so, what is your location or bridge unit?

Yes. I teach at the Bridge Club of Atlanta on Roswell Road in Atlanta.

Do you have a website where students can find you? Or any other contact information you would like to share?

My club’s website is or students can email me at

Do you have any advice for other teachers?

Make sure that you don’t try and teach too much in one lesson.

Do you have any other hobbies, in addition to bridge?

I love to read fiction, mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy, Mystery, and War novels.

And in closing, Sam wanted to add: Thank you to my friend Patty Tucker. She asked me about 5 years ago if I would volunteer to teach a class to her Juniors during the summer. I had never taught any class in my life but with Patty’s encouragement I gave it a try.

It changed my life. I enjoyed teaching the juniors so much that I asked her if there was a need for bridge teachers in Atlanta. Patty said absolutely and helped me get started. I had hated my job trading stocks but when I became a bridge teacher I loved my job.

I enjoy the teaching each and every day.