Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Alan Powell
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Perhaps it's too permanent. A retractable divider would be preferable.
22 hours ago
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A room divider to allow for two separate games/lessons to happen at the same time is a good idea. It has to be soundproof to make it effective though. I doubt a curtain would get the job done.
Nov. 11
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My preference would be before the 199er game. That way at the end of class you could announce the game and try to match up singles from the class to boost attendance.
Nov. 10
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I would try to get your Education Committee to schedule the lesson either before or after the 199er game. This would promote attendance of both rather than split the audience. Having it on the same day is good. Having it at the same time seems counterproductive.
Nov. 9
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Not every session has Open and limited for us, but many do. Whenever I have 2 different games running, I staff 2 directors. Rarely if there is a holiday and both games will be small or combined into one, I will only use one director.

For games with a short lesson at the start, I use one Teacher/Director and an Assistant. The assistant collects money, answers the phone and seats late players who arrive during the lecture. The assistant also fills in if needed so we can guarantee partners in the lower level games. So it's sort of 1.5 directors for some games.
Oct. 26
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“I'm sorry, we didn't have a player of your caliber available” works for all situations and circumstances. Especially for those who have a different understanding of their own performance than their former partners.

I also use, “The best way to be sure you get somebody you would like to play with is to ask somebody you would like to play with.”
Oct. 21
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Bidding Boxes, although prevalent in tournaments, were not widely used in clubs at the time.

Night games started at 7:30 or even 8:00pm.
Oct. 13
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Brozel was invented by Bernard Zeller of New Jersey. It was named for him and his partner Lucy Brown. Hence the Bro and the Zel. I wish I could give you an exact year, but my bridge career doesnt go back that far. It was still very popular in NJ in 1993.
Oct. 13
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For the record, I am talking about maybe packing it in after another 5 years, which will bring my total to 30 years in the business. Thats long enough to do any one thing IMO. While I am not getting rich, I am doing well enough that its not a monetary issue despite another wave of increased competition lately. If I get the time and energy ill make another thread about profitability, pricing and dealing with competition.

Also, while the new incentive doesn't seem like much to Jeff and I, it could have positive impacts for other aspects of the bridge universe. How about a teacher who teaches a few classes out of their home, but in the past didn't bother to promote the acbl to their students. Now there is incentive for them to get their students to join and possibly get them out to clubs so they have a small passive stream of income to supplement their teaching. Everybody wins in this scenario. The ACBL, the local clubs and the teacher.
Oct. 13
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I agree wholeheartedly with your answers to the questions. I would add under the rewards of bridge club ownership the added sense of community and friendships that people develop above and beyond the bridge table.

Just some examples
When we start a beginner class, everybody arrives in the last 5 minutes before it starts(except for a few early birds.) After about 6 months, everybody arrives 20 minutes early to socialize with their new friends.
When one of our players suffers a loss, or has a health issue, they receive plenty of support and assistance outside of the club and inside the club when they are ready to return.
Bridge provides a friendly social community for people who may not have another place like it.

For challenges, I would add one of the difficult parts for me is dealing with an aging population. When look around the room today and see the rapidly diminishing number of people who were here when I first got into this business almost 25 years ago, it can be depressing. So I tell stories from the old days to the new people(mostly good stories) so they are not forgotten.
Oct. 11
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I agree with Barbara. There is always going to be some level of competition around you. If the ACBL didn't exist, would your club survive? Other than using masterpoints as a hook to retain established players, I consider the ACBL largely irrelevant to my business plan.

I have to replace 5% of my population per year to remain stable, 10% to show any growth. Do I lose some people to newer, smaller clubs with no teaching programs, yes. But on the other hand, many of those people traveled further to come learn with us for several years because there was no local place to learn.

Concentrate on building up from the bottom and your top level will be fine. Concentrate on attracting and retaining your top level players only and you will be left with a house of cards.
Oct. 10
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Get out there and live the dream! I dream about the day when I return to just playing bridge. I think I have about 5 more years in me at the most. We will see who lasts longer, me or the ACBL as we know it.

Its been 8868 days since I directed my first bridge game.
Oct. 9
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I guess this is a little window into bridge at the senior center. It seems like an open and shut case to me.
Sept. 20
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Definitely

To get the same effect, I take the decks from the bottom two boards and put them in the hopper before I start. As I do each board, I add the new deck on top. It makes the whole process smoother and it rotates your cards so that they wear more evenly.
Aug. 18
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You should only have to reset the individual bridgemates if you had an issue during the game. If you change the ending round number or had a server crash and swapped to travelers then you will have to reset the bridgemates manually.
There is an option in the settings to have the program close after all the results are brought in. However this only works somewhat sporadically for me.
As for resetting the server between games, I don't bother. As long as the program is closed, when you BMS it will overwrite whatever is on the server and the bridgemates will pick it up about 20 seconds later.

Our Dealer4 gets cleaned at most once a week and we put it through a lot of use. Be careful cleaning it too much as the alcohol will eventually eat the rollers. My advice is to watch the speed at which it makes boards. When it starts slowing down a 1-2 seconds longer than usual, its probably having trouble gripping the cards.
Aug. 17
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I agree with Barbara about the conventions and the beginner games. Start them playing as soon as possible. If you want to end with duplicate players, start with duplicate players. Masterpoints are great hook and they don't have to join the ACBL to get the little slips of paper. They can join later if they stick with it.
Aug. 15
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I like the idea. We haven't had a Pro-Am in quite a while. They are difficult to organize and it is hard to get enough Pros when it is one to one. There was a lot of complaining from the Ams about which Pro they were matched with. For that matter there was a lot of complaining from the Pros about which Am they were matched with. Eventually it was just too much headache.

Three Ams to one Pro would be easier to manage.
Aug. 13
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Also important, what do you consider an Am? Is there a minimum proficiency necessary to play?
Aug. 13
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I vote for more rooms.

I spent quite a bit of money over 15 years ago on soundproof dividers so that I could split my space in half. I keep them open while running regular games. I can run a game on one side and a lesson on the other side. I can run a different lesson on each side as well. When running a swiss and a pair game, I can close up between matches for the extra loud swiss people and then open for airflow.
The flexibility definitely helped us grow in our early years and allows us to maintain our size despite being space/parking challenged.

In short, worth every penny.
Aug. 13
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So after spending some quality time with the Hand Pattern Analyzer on your website,(A wonderful tool btw, thank you for providing it) I agree that the number of hands where North will have Hearts and Clubs guarded are about 2-1 over the number of hands where Hearts and Spades are guarded by one hand. However, I think you have to discard all the ones where Spades are 3-2 either way because they are already counted in the Heart/Spade Break Category. The only ones that are relevant are when South has 4 Spades exactly.

According to my calculations the percentage chances given that North had at least 1 Spade exactly are:

Spades 3-2 or Hearts 3-3 = 79.5%
All 3 suits guarded by North = 0.24%
All 3 suits guarded by South = 0.23%
North Spades South Hearts and Clubs = 4.46% (The Failing Case)

Then as above
Case 1 = 2.62%
Case 2 = 2.40%
Case 3 = 3.59%
Case 4 = 3.23%
Case 5 = 3.74%

This adds to 100% is with some rounding errrors.
I think this makes Case 1+2 more likely than Case 4.

Note: I am not dealing with the bridge implications of the Jack of Spades, just that North has at least one.

There is probably a flaw in my logic but it was fun learning to use the analyzer.
Aug. 9
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