Source:www.usbf.org(author George Jacobs)
At the age of 26, I was sleeping in cars or wherever I could. No permanent residence, no friends, no money, no place to go. I am a compulsive gambler. I spent 2 years staying with a friend and sleeping on his couch. I was estranged from my family, stole credit cards, checks and money. At the end, I would cash winning tickets at the track for strangers and accept the tax liability. 32 years ago I joined Gamblers Anonymous and have not gambled since. I have a pretty nice life today but never forget where I came from. There are meetings every week and I go regularly. Because I choose to speak about this, many bridge players and directors have gotten help for their own problems. That makes me so proud.In 1992, I was named Entrepreneur of the Year for Illinois. This was an Academy Award type of production and I was shocked that I won. They ask you to give a speech in front of thousands of people. I started out by saying that I had lots of experiece with speaking but it usually went like this: "My name is George J. and I am a compulsive gambler." The tribune carried a feature titled; "Ex gambler wins award".If you are looking for bridge history, I have won 5 majors, 3 reisinger 2nds, won the trials once with 2 2nds, 4 other national titles. I was captain of the olympic team in Salt Lake City, played in the China Cup twice, played in the IOC olympic showcase in Lausanne. I have a bronze medal in the Olympiad and I own 3 records in bridge:1) the 21 1/2 in the final of the national BAM for 82.69%
2) the largest national pair game score in history at 78.31%
3) the largest lead ever lost in the spingold semifinal of 71 impsI am the auctioneer for the Cavendish and a viewgraph commentator at both live and on-line Vugraphs and once MC’d the Hall of fame dinner.