Mike Bell moved back to London after learning his trade in Manchester. He retired from being a very successful Poker professional and now earns his living playing bridge. In his spare time he designs bidding systems and is considered to be one of the country’s leading experts on bidding theory, especially by himself.
Mike played with David Gold on the Allfrey team for some years and won the Premier League and Spring Fours in 2016 and 2017. He has also won the Lederer twice both times in partnership with Michael Byrne and was on the London team that won the Tollemache in 2017 playing with his wife Sarah. He has recently formed a partnership with Ben Norton and they will represent England in the 2020 European Championships.
When not playing bridge, he may be found watching it instead – he has captained the England U25s, and coached the U16s in the World Championships in Italy in 2018 See Mike’s EBU profile page.
Sally Brock has been playing on the English women’s team (on and off but more on than off) for the last 35 years or so, first as Sally Sowter, then Sally Horton and finally as Sally Brock, having married Raymond Brock (d2008) in 1993. In 2008, after a period of semi-retirement, she formed a last-minute partnership with Nicola Smith. They were part of the English team that won the 2008 World Mind Sports Championship. Together they won two European and two World Championships.
More recently Sally has formed a partnership with Fiona Brown and they won silver in the 2017 Venice Cup. After a break from women’s bridge to play for England in Mixed events she and Fiona are again representing England in the European Championships this year. Sally lives in London and has three children, Toby, Briony and Ben, and a grandson Hayden. These days her partner in life is Barry Myers. See Sally’s EBU profile.
Ben Green was extremely successful as a junior player, and repeatedly represented England in international events. His most recent success on the national scene was winning the 2013 Premier Grand Masters Pairs with John Holland.
Ben was the Coach of the England Open Team that came fourth at the 2012 European Championships and third in the 2014 European Championships (later upgraded to a silver medal following the disqualification of the winning Israeli team), and was coach for the team when they competed in the 2013 Bermuda Bowl.
Ben also won the Gold Cup in 2015 and a silver medal in the Commonwealth Bridge Championships in 2014.
Ankush Khandelwal has won the Pentamind World Championships three times: in 2013, 2018 and 2019. His first experience of strategy games came when he learnt to play Chess at school at 8 years old and he instantly fell in love with the game. He went on to win many national titles and represented the England junior team internationally on several occasions, his pinnacle was to place 2nd in the U12 European Chess Championships. He also learnt to play Bridge during secondary school and represented the England junior team at U20 and U25 level.
After obtaining his Masters degree in MMORSE (Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics, Economics) from the University of Warwick, Ankush strongly considered continuing academia to do a PhD in Game Theory, but ultimately decided that a career in trading would be too alluring to not experience. He briefly worked as a derivatives trader for a market maker in Amsterdam, but realised that he could better utilise his expertise in game theory by placing bets on cards than on financial markets and quit to pursue his dream of becoming a professional poker player, a lucrative hobby he had been honing for years whilst at university.
Ankush is now a high stakes online cash game professional specialising in his favourite format of Heads Up Pot Limit Omaha. He aspires to be a top class Bridge player and to represent his country at the Open team level, as of 2019 he won his first England cap winning the Camrose trophy. Ankush enjoys the challenge of mastering games; over the years he has developed his gaming repertoire in his bid to contest for the Pentamindadding many games including Agricola, Acquire and 7 Wonders to his arsenal. Ankush also enjoys playing Badminton and Football recreationally and is an avid Fussball player.
Barry Myers has won the Hubert Phillips in 2014, the Tollemache in 2013 and 2014, and was a runner-up in the Gold Cup in 2015 – all when playing with Sally Brock (who is also his partner away from the table). He has made two Camrose appearances: with Robert Sheehan in 1986 and again in 2015 playing with Sally. He believes this is the record for the longest gap between first and second caps.
Barry gave up the game for a number of years when he read for the Bar. He is still a practicing criminal barrister and between that and playing bridge he has little time for other hobbies. See Barry’s EBU profile.
Ben Norton is the youngest player in this year’s event. He and Mike Bell will be playing for England in the European Open Championships.