by Candy Scott.
In June 2015, Mike Savage surpassed 10,000 masterpoints and became a Grand Life Master, the ACBL's highest rank. According to Mike, "I would never have reached this plateau without my mentor and partner in our Atlanta Swiss Team win, Gerry Bare. He has helped me in so many ways to improve my game and ultimately achieve this goal."
Mike is a fourth-generation Californian. He learned bridge from his parents, who played Culbertson, but wanted to learn Goren. His parents got the tablecloth and drafted their sons to fill out the foursome. A voracious reader, Mike decided to memorize the tablecloth. He got his first masterpoints in Riverside and, 50 miles away in Laguna Woods, his 10,000th. After a short stint at Occidental College, Mike joined the Army, became a Russian translator for the Army Security Agency, received a Top Secret Crypto security clearance and was posted to Germany to eavesdrop on Russian military activity in East Germany during the beginning of the Vietnam war. Mike became a Life Master shortly after leaving the Army in the mid-sixties and moved to Los Angeles. He was a part of a group of young players including notably David Ashley, Ed Davis, Paul Ivaska and Danny Romm, tutored by Paul Soloway on the new Walsh system. In the late eighties, Mike directed games in Riverside and Los Angeles. He became a tournament director in the 1990s.
Mike married Carmelo, his long-time significant other, in 2008, with his brother Philip as best man. Carmelo at one time observed that Mike walked like a duck. Mike’s nickname is Pato which is Spanish for duck. They have recently adopted a cat whose name is Daisy.
For many years Mike has been giving away comprehensive write-ups of commonly used conventions. In recent years he has written articles for the Bridge Bulletin, the ALACBU News, and his blogs. On his path to becoming a Grand Life Master, Mike has won more than 100 Regionals. In addition to Mike’s national title, Mike has been second and fourth in national events.
Mike's first regular partners were Ed Davis and Milon Edwards. Nowadays, weekend tournaments are played with Jeff (Sharp) Fang, Steve (the Mighty) Mager, Craig Kavin, Andy Vinock, Bob Shore, and various others.
Please click here to see Mike's best played hand, a rare example of a Strip, Throw-In and Cannibal Squeeze.