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All comments by Brenda Egeland
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I bought some very sturdy plastic ones from Bed Bath and Beyond using their 20% coupon, so < $50 each: https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/flash-furniture-34-inch-square-folding-table-in-white/1060334701?keyword=folding-table . I use table covers, so plastic doesn't bother me.

They also sell the wood Stakmore tables, where you can also use the 20% off coupon: https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/s/stakmore

JoAnn Fabric often has upholstery fabric remnants on sale for as little a $4/yd. I can make a table cover with 1.5 yards, so pretty cheap and not much time to make (hem and mitre corners). Downside is they don't all match, but at least I've made them color-coordinated :-).
Nov. 28
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Eventually (well, was supposed to be a year ago, but keeps getting put off) ACBL will allow clubs to use alternative scoring software, rather than ACBLScore. Those programs (like mine, RSVPBridge), will create USEBIO files, not an ACBLScore gamefile.

When you do the upload in Live4Clubs, you might notice it says “You may upload either an ACBLscore gamefile, or a valid Usebio 1.2/1.3 XML file.”
Oct. 27
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I’ll tell this one on myself. When I was first reading about conventions, there would often be a reference to it working differently “in competition” I just couldn’t figure out why the convention would be played differently if you were at a tournament (aka competition) rather than a social game!
Oct. 22
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Updating an old thread … I was running my BridgeSorter on a pokey little laptop I had purchased for about $130. (I'm a Mac person and ACBLScore and dealing machine needed Windows). Just upgraded to a faster laptop ($399!) and all the problems with the dealing machine went away!

Would love to see a Mac driver for the dealing machine some day.
Oct. 10
Brenda Egeland edited this comment Oct. 10
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I'm a newcomer to this whole mess :-). Started my game a last year, mostly as a venue for testing my scoring software, but also to have an evening game nearby as all the other ones nearby are daytime. We usually have 6-7 tables, charging $9-$10 depending on the game. By the time I pay venue costs and ACBL fees, I make zero profit. Currently, that doesn't bother me as the goal is to support the software. Most of my players are very nice and very supportive. Some travel 45-60 minutes to get here, which I consider a great compliment. But every now and then someone is in a bad mood and can make things unpleasant.

We meet in a hotel (part of the reason for no profit!) which means we have a very comfortable space, and they do all the setup and take down of tables and chairs, and provide the coffee. I have the opportunity to extend my time another two hours and add some bridge lessons to my offerings, which I may do in the new year, but again, I suspect the profit margin there would be slim to none, especially since the lessons would be a 4pm, a time not convenient to those still working. But perhaps we'd get some new players out of it eventually. We are located in the far western suburbs on Washington DC and the traffic is terrible that time of day.

I would love for this to grow into a thriving, profitable club, but it is hard to see how to get there from here.

In case you're interested:

Club website: www.rsvpbridge.club
Software website: www.rsvpbridge.com
Oct. 10
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from Jeff: “ Does it require that a certain percentage of BOD members be club sanction holders?”

I do believe that would be very helpful.
Oct. 10
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Thank you, Fred. You've made the world a better place.
July 15
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My ‘other’ is rude or grouchy players who are intolerant of newbies. We need to celebrate those who come give our game a try, not make them feel like inept fools.
July 12
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Interesting that spades and diamonds are issues for both of the machines, but in different ranks. For mine it is only the QD and QS. Fortunately, the machine stops and says it cannot recognize the card, rather than dealing it incorrectly.

I prefer the quality of the ACBL cards, but yes, $1/deck vs $2+/deck is a big difference. And considering the machine has no issues with the Jannersten cards, I guess that's what I'll use.
May 6
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I suspect it would be difficult to maintain the Bridge Bulletin in its current form, which is fairly high quality, if you offered an alternative online-only subscription. Advertisers (of which there are many!) need a certain circulation level to justify the cost of the ads.

On a related note, I wonder if anyone has done any analysis on the results of requiring people to be ACBL members to play at tournaments? How many convert? How many don't come because of the added expense? I'm still an I/N player, and when I've tried to get a team together to play Swiss, my non-ACBL friends don't want to play since it gets quite expensive. I could see charging an extra dollar, but the current system *discourages* newcomers from checking out tournaments. If I could get them hooked on tournaments, maybe they'd join. But I can't hook them if I can't get them there.
May 2
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fyi if you get stuck by the WSJ paywall, you'll find many public library websites offer online searchable access to WSJ articles, including current day articles.
May 2
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I haven't seen one around, but I've toyed with the idea of building such a thing. When you run double dummy in Bridge Composer, it records the info in the PBN, so that would just be case of parsing the file.

The thing I was toying with was tagging hands by applicable conventions. Say you want to practice Drury, you could download a bunch of hands that had been tagged as such. This would rely on people uploading a hand and tagging it appropriately. I wonder if there's enough interest in such a thing?
April 20
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I like that idea for the process: make a reservation, then charge the card on file when you actually show up. Thanks! I'll put that on the whiteboard for RSVP Bridge.
April 17
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Ray asked about the proportion of bridge players that would be adept at signing up online. RSVP Bridge has been in use for 2 1/2 years now, and I'm happy to say that almost all of our seniors readily adapted to signing up online, and some have even purchased their first tablets (cheap kindle fires) just so they can sign up online and keep score at the table. RSVP Bridge places high priority on ease of use for both players and managers.
April 16
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Online payments have a number of extra considerations, such as processing fees (typically 2-3%) and handling refunds for those who don't show, signed up for the wrong game, etc. RSVP Bridge currently has reservations (hence the name RSVP) and a check-in system, so you can keep track of who has arrived and/or paid, but actually taking payments is still on the drawing board. I wonder how many clubs already take credit cards on site, or would be willing to deal with the fees/refunds?
April 16
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I ran into the same things when starting to used pre-dealt boards. Patiently I kept explaining that if the hands were anything but truly random, the ACBL wouldn't allow them to be used in games (that's true).

I have a BridgeSorter and use the software that came with it. We had some pretty wild hands for two weeks in a row, and people complained. Then this week, the hands were mostly flat; hardly any could make game. And of course, they complained. I just smile :-)

I rarely hear complaints from people that are having a good night.

It might be interesting to keep some running statistics over time to show the boards are random, but in any one particular evening they can be pretty distributional.

I alternate my sit-outs between N/S one time and E/W the next time they are needed. I have some that truly need to be stationary, and they are always accommodated. The others I ask kindly to sit one way or another to improve the game, and they've been pretty nice about it. My software, RSVP Bridge, allows you to see sit-out history so you know if someone is getting an unfair number of sit-outs.
April 11
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Soon, very soon, RSVP Bridge will have its formal launch. In the meantime, I'd be happy to arrange demos.

RSVP provides:
- scheduling games
- taking reservations
- up-to-date player masterpoint holdings for stratification
- table-side scoring during the game
- viewing results
- publishing results to live4clubs

Taking payments is a planned feature.

In addition, RSVP is entirely web-based, so there is no software to install, no servers to set up. It works on phones, tablets and desktops.

See https://www.rsvpbridge.com .
April 11
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