Card Prodigies: The Youngest in Cards

Card Prodigies: The Youngest in Cards

by Alex J. Coyne © 2017 Great Bridge Links

Last link update Feb 2018

Can you remember the first time you spotted a deck of cards as a kid and thought, wow that looks really cool? Kids can – and should – be introduced to cards and card games at an early age. Many schools have programs in place already; for example, you can find more information for teachers about Kitty Cooper’s School’s Bridge Lesson Program over here, or check out Teach Me to Play: A First Bridge Book, co-authored by our own Jude Goodwin.

Here are some records for the world’s youngest in cards:

Youngest Poker Champion

According to Guinness World Records, the official record for the youngest poker champion (at least so far) goes to Joe Cada, who won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) championship in 2009 at age 21, taking home winnings of 8.55 million US dollars. Not bad, eh? You can find the man himself on Twitter by clicking here.

Youngest ACBL Life Master

The record for the youngest ACBL LIfe Master (that is, the youngest to have earned at least 300 masterpoints) goes to Zach Garrison, who broke the record in 2012. Take a while guess at his age – we dare you. Aged only nine years old. Read the article from the NY Times by Phillip Alder here.

The previous record was set by Richard Jeng of Georgia in 2009, also aged nine, though several months older at the time of the record.

Youngest Millionaire Winner

Here’s something to show your parents, friends or partners if they tell you that a career in cards is impossible. Just take a look at Mike Schneider, who became the youngest millionaire winner on popular poker site aged 21 (though, apparently after taxes he was looking at around $600, 000 left). According to an article on CBS News, he was still a student at the time and played the tournament during spring break. That’s one way to spend a vacation.

You can hone your own online poker skills at your favorite online casino. Most online casinos offer free play and introductory bonuses.

Youngest Magic: The Gathering World Champion

Let’s not forget about TCG’s (that’s trading card games): In the 2004 World Championship for Magic: The Gathering, Julien Nuijten – aged 15 – became the youngest to take the top spot at the MTG professional tour, taking home a staggering $52, 366 in winnings – holy crap!

The Youngest World Olympiad Pairs

According to the book World Class: Conversations with the Bridge Master (not currently available), Jason and Justin Hackett became the youngest players to ever compete in the World Pairs Olympiad – and they have been the youngest player pair in the UK, at least at the time of the book’s writing. Find them over at the family Bridge website Bridge with the Hacketts.

The Youngest Bridge Champion

You might’ve heard the name Michael Kuklowski already if you’ve been keeping an eye on Bridge news. According to an article on CBS News, the Polish Bridge player became the youngest World Champion aged eighteen at the time. He is by no means a newcomer to the bridge club, and has been featured as an up-and-coming bridge star several times, including the Neapolitan Club. 

Youngest card magician

Ricky Jay an American stage magician and perhaps the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive, is known for his card tricks, card throwing, and memory feats. According to Wikipedia, Jay first performed in public at the age of four, in 1953, when he appeared on the television program “Time For Pets”. He is most likely the youngest magician to perform a full magic act on TV.

Are you raising a young card prodigy, or do you have some tips to share with other card playing parents?