Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Alan Powell
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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Also important, what do you consider an Am? Is there a minimum proficiency necessary to play?
Aug. 13, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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All of the squeezes are simple(even if you can play them as a double) since no suit can be guarded by both defenders. We can ignore the trivial cases where all 3 suits are guarded by one defender and the failing case where South has Clubs and Hearts.

Leaving us 5 squeezes
1. H + S vs North
2. H + S vs South
3. S + C vs North
4. S + C vs South
5. H + C vs North

Hearts-Diamonds-Clubs will work for cases 1-4 and case 5 when North has Jxxxx or Txxxx (the link gets cut for 5)

Spades-Hearts-Diamonds works for 3,4 and 5 and case 1 when North has Jxxxx or Txxxx

Clubs-Diamonds-Spades works for 1,2 and 5

I don't know how to weight the probabilities of each squeeze but if you are going for quantity 4 out of 5 looks like the best you can do.
Aug. 9, 2019
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Yeah well its pouring here in Jersey right now, now is the time to pinch an umbrella from lost and found if I were you.
Aug. 7, 2019
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<deleted> Moved upthread where it belongs
Aug. 7, 2019
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When sitting at a table playing with newer players, I always try to restrict myself to one easily understood issue per hand. If you try to cover everything each player did wrong on a given hand, they are easily overwhelmed. Pick one thing, cover it gently and then move on to the next hand, the weather or other topics(I stay away from politics)
Aug. 7, 2019
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I am unsure why 3:20 is slow enough to get crazy about. For 26 boards, 13 rounds x 15 minutes = 3:15 minimum. If you are getting it done in 3:20 that's really not bad. For 3 board rounds it is a touch slow, but I have seen a lot worse.

I prefer teleportation but the range is too far for me on skip rounds.
Aug. 3, 2019
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In a game of your size you could consider having people call/email/text if they are not going to be there X minutes before the game starts. X could be 10 or 15 minutes or whatever works for your players. You don't have to get everyone to comply, just the late arriving pairs(frequently these are habitual) Alternatively you could check with the latebirds yourself.

It may take a few tries to get them to remember, just keep asking nicely.

Having run small night games back in my early years, I have been through situations like you describe. Balancing the personalities vs the good of the game vs not shooting anyone is difficult sometimes. My advice would be to develop club policy on how players are called in and then stick to it. Once you make a definite match, try not to break it without the player's express agreement. In your circumstance, It might have been better to suffer the half table rather than change partnerships.
July 16, 2019
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Assuming 2Dxx is determined to be the result of the auction when did we start assigning scores based on deep finesse?

In order to beat 2Dxx six tricks, the defense would have to be close to the following.
South leads a high heart(cashing a second one is optional) South switches to Ace of Clubs(or a low club) followed by a club to the jack. North returns one and only one diamond which East cannot profitably cover. North switches back to hearts and trumps the fourth round with his second diamond. North exits with the King of Clubs trumped by East. If East exits a diamond, South crosses to North's Ace of Spades for a club through for his 11th trick. If East exits with the King of Spades, North plays a club through leaving South with his second spade to exit for his final two diamond tricks.

Does this really meet the standard of a probably outcome for an assigned score? I think down 5 is easily achieved by the defense but down 6 much less likely.
June 15, 2019
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I remember running my first swiss team event almost 25 years ago. We scored on paper back then, ACBLscore did not match teams yet. You had to match teams by victory points on the sheets and resolve any conflicts where teams had played each other already manually. That first year was a little rocky at times since I was dealing with people twice or three times my age who didn't always agree they were wrong(tongue firmly in cheek.) Swiss teams are a nice break from the inevitable long slog of pair games. Hopefully your players will enjoy a different format occasionally.

I remember one particular event (not the first one but close) where we had exactly 5 teams so it was a round robin with all scores compared at the end. One team had about 10 times the masterpoints of the other 4 teams. After the round robin ended, the captain of the experienced team brought his scorecard up before any other team was finished and placed it on my desk. He said we are going to the bar and if there are any issues you can resolve them from my scorecard. They had lost all 4 matches.
June 1, 2019
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Many thanks to Carol for all her help over the years. Any time I needed her she was always quick and effective. I am sorry to see her go, especially involuntarily.
May 24, 2019
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