Bernard Lee is widely remembered by poker enthusiasts for his impressive performance in the 2005 World Series of Poker main event, as well as for his regular contributions to ESPN, the Boston Herald, and Card Player Magazine. However, last week at the 2023 National Senior Games, the two-time WSOP Circuit winner showcased his talents in a different arena – the National Pickleball Championship.
A Formidable Contender
Held in Pittsburgh, the event attracted a staggering number of over 1,500 pickleball players. At 53 years old, Lee competed in the youngest age division of 50-54 and proved to be a formidable contender. Despite facing tough opponents, he advanced effortlessly to the finals, securing victory in all of his matches.
Poised to claim the championship, Lee dominated the first of the three final games until he suffered an untimely calf injury (see the ice leg on his leg in the featured image). Although his trainer expressed concern, Lee was determined to press on and continue playing.
Lee joked, “I told her that she would have to cut off my leg to prevent me from playing. I was basically playing on one leg after the injury. I decided to just go for my shots and try to end the points as quickly as possible.”
Fortunately for Lee, his gutsy strategy worked and he won the match.
“I’m tremendously thankful to win the 2023 National Championship and take home gold.”
Lee is relatively new to pickleball, having just started playing a couple years ago, but quickly found that he had a knack for it.
When he’s not playing or reporting on poker, he plays pickleball for Team Engage and is the Head Pickleball Pro at Life Time Metrowest Boston in Framingham, MA.
Follow Bernie Lee on his Pickleball Social Media
Read more of our great articles touching on how senior players just love pickleball.
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