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Zero Tolerance question

Hi all,

An incident occurred earlier in the week while playing in a “virtual club” game on BBO, and I thought I would consult the cognoscenti on BW for your opinion. Also, I have a feeling no matter how hard I try to avoid it, the description of the incident will end up a meandering and awkwardly phrased mess, so my apologies for that in advance. Lastly, unless otherwise stated, assume all discussions at the table happened in private chat like they’re supposed to.

Partner and I were having an uncontested auction on our way to a 6 contract. At one point in the auction I asked for key cards. Partner answered 5 (1 or 4). RHO asked partner what his reply meant and was told 0 or 3. RHO then drew partner’s attention to the fact that our card said 1430, and asked again what his bid meant. He was told by my partner that our agreements as stated on the card were correct (as an aside, partner has been playing a lot of individual tournaments with bots, and they only play 0314, hence the confusion). Still not satisfied, RHO said they can’t both be right, so which is it? At this point, clearly flustered, partner started accidentally answering the questions in the open (chatting with the table), so with slight pauses in between, the table chat read (approximate, not verbatim):

You’re right, it can’t be both

No, it can't

Whatever is on our card

Our agreements are on our card

Sorry, playing too much with those dang robots

Just look at our card

For my part, I took a little time trying to figure out how partner could have only 1 key card given that he’d shown a huge hand (our auction had started 1-2-3, which, in our system, sets trump and shows a hand just short of 2 opening strength), decided he must have mis-clicked, and bid the slam. I did so either right before, simultaneously with, or immediately after the first open comment (you’re right, it can’t be both).

RHO now called the director, saying I had UI. My partner, utterly flustered and frustrated by RHO’s endless badgering, called him a moron (back on private chat, though that’s not an excuse).

The director arrived. The table result was allowed to stand, but partner was given a Zero Tolerance warning, and as this game was at our virtual club, said warning has been entered in his file at the real club.

Now calling the guy a moron, though probably accurate, if somewhat understated, is a clear violation of ZT rules, and I don’t have a problem with partner getting a warning because of it. What I do have a problem with is RHO walking away unscathed. I think asking the same question 6 or 7 times after it’s been answered can have no legitimate purpose, and that it was done just to bait partner into doing something that could be used against him, and it succeeded. I further think that this kind of behaviour is precisely what ZT rules are supposed to prevent. I am thinking of pushing the director in question and/or our club to also include a ZT warning in RHO’s file at the club.

So, what say you?

RHO did nothing wrong
RHO wasn't playing nice, but that's life
RHO was badgering and should get a ZT warning for instigating the incident
Other (please explain below.

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