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All comments by Cornelia Yoder
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Regarding negative inferences, how many of the 5-card suits that were not signaled directly were already known from the auction or the opening lead?
Oct. 14, 2015
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Are you offering to bet that 12 hands in a row will contain an exactly-5 card suit? That is what the 17,000 to 1 was about. It had nothing to do with B's signal, other than to say that IF the signal matched 5 card suits, it wasn't likely to be coincidence.

Are you objective enough to put your money where your mouth is and bet that $100 that 12 out of 12 randomly dealt hands each contain an exactly-5 card suit?
Oct. 14, 2015
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Witold, go for it! Watch the videos looking at Z, his bid spacing, his movements and hand positions, and his tempo. See if you can see any of the same things we are seeing B do. See if you can see any trigger where Z asks for information.

By the way, you may be right that Z is signaling, but there is no rule that says all signals have to be either identical or given in both directions. I used to play defensive signals where I gave my partner attitude and my partner gave me count, because that is what we each wanted. I think that eventually became illegal, but it was very helpful at the time we could do it, because we each got what we needed most to analyze the hand.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Ross, while this does probably fit better in a different thread, I didn't realize there was a BW rule saying that you had to read all the things that don't interest you.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Yes, it is, and in fact I believe that was discussed at length when Drury first became well-known, but the ACBL has decided to allow it. At least that was the tale back then when I was actively directing.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Ovunc, this is really good info! I think you are on to something here. If we could get a thread going for what suit is being signaled in what situations, we might pin this down tighter.

NT Balicki leads
NT Zmud leads
Trump Balicki leads
Trump Zmud leads

Those could each have their own code.
Oct. 13, 2015
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@Gene. Of course. But proving it is a deliberate act is the crux, and slam dunks are good :)
Oct. 13, 2015
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Banning IP addresses is not helpful. First of all, it is trivial to spoof your IP address, so if one is banned, just move to another. Secondly, if the person is playing from any public place (library, internet café, etc), that would ban everyone who tried to play from there.
Oct. 13, 2015
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When you are looking at the 5 finger gestures, also take a look at what is happening at that moment on the table.

Is the dummy being placed, and if so, does the gesture relate to the dummy suit being laid on the table at that moment?

If the opening lead is lying on the table, does the gesture relate to that suit?

Is there any other point in time where the gesture is made that relates to the suit of the trick currently being played?

Finding that connection would cinch the story.
Oct. 13, 2015
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It's not 4, Steve, it's hundreds, banned one by one as BBO finds him. If fact, if anyone can think of an automated way to put a stop to this, BBO would probably reward you with a free lifetime membership.
Oct. 13, 2015
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He bids wildly, gets doubled, redoubles, plays a few tricks, then boots everyone from the table and finishes the hand himself. Then he does it again.

If you look at the play on most of his hands, you will see it is played partway, then claimed. Then a new set of three players for the next hand.

He does not allow kibs so I'm not sure how he is able to claim the hand by himself, but apparently he has a way, because he has been doing this for at least 2 years, making a new name every time he gets banned.

Same guy:

http://www.bridgebase.com/myhands/hands.php?username=0++++++dex&start_time=1442203200&end_time=1444795200


http://www.bridgebase.com/myhands/hands.php?username=0+++++Cool&start_time=1442203200&end_time=1444795200


http://www.bridgebase.com/myhands/hands.php?username=0++++Stone&start_time=1442203200&end_time=1444795200

… and the list is endless.
Oct. 13, 2015
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There are plenty on BBO, here is one for example (you will need to log in to see it):

http://www.bridgebase.com/myhands/hands.php?username=0+williams&start_time=1442203200&end_time=1444795200

They are pretty easy to spot if you check scores on myhands when you get suspicious. Anyone with an IMP average over 2.0 for a few hundred hands is certainly cheating.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Jols, there are some very clear places where Balicki, as a defender, touches each suit in dummy, in turn, with the same number of fingers as he has cards in that suit. So yes, there is some very concrete evidence. That particular signal only happens occasionally, so I think there is more to find yet, and that is why people are still looking for other signals as well.
Oct. 12, 2015
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Grigol, there are a couple of possibilities here.

1. The person was really cheating, but if s/he has a strong international record, it hardly seems worthwhile cheating on BBO for no profit.

2. The person was not cheating, but had information beyond the basic probabilities. Inferences from the bidding, from the lead, from the play, etc, that you may not have been aware of but which that person noticed and used. Legal information. If the person is a strong player, that seems the most likely.

I can tell you about once when I made a remark to a player online that I thought had cheated when he dropped my singleton K offside missing 4 trump, making a slam that all others went down in. He replied with an absolutely solid reason that the other 15 declarers had apparently not thought of. He was exactly right and I should have immediately signed up for lessons with him.

I can also tell you of many times when someone left my BBO table after making a remark about my partner and I cheating. It is almost always because we defended perfectly, usually due to good signaling, and they simply didn't understand how we could know what we knew. Totally legitimate info, but not obvious to the less-than-expert Expert.


So sure, send in the info to BBO, but don't be concerned if they find nothing to worry about. Your opponent may have figured out some things that you didn't realize he could or did.
Oct. 12, 2015
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Mr. David Harris gets his just desserts … hopefully the use of his letter to support the defense of cheating will open his eyes even more than all the dissention BW can muster.
Oct. 12, 2015
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Something like that actually happened to me many, many years ago, but it wasn't in bridge. I had just had a chest xray for a bad case of bronchitis, and as the doctor was looking at the xray, he said a loud “uh-oh!”

In a panic, I asked him what was wrong and he replied, “nothing”. I pressed him, what did he see on the xray that made him say “uh-oh” with such concern!

He finally explained, “I just realized today is April 15th and I forgot to mail my tax return.”

It did occur to me that any doctor who was thinking about his taxes instead of my xray should be replaced.
Oct. 11, 2015
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Thank you, Eugene! I never imagined that you hadn't even seen this whole thread, or I would have called out to you much sooner.

And thank you to Michael and Steve and some others who posted some really well thought out, well written intelligent ideas on this whole problem.

As for drinking buddies, y'all have a real blast, I'm not a fan of drunken jokes and conversations anyway.
Oct. 10, 2015
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Did I say I thought it was amusing and lively the second way? Did I say it made me happy that way? You keep trying to assign words and feelings to me that you have no right nor knowledge of. Please stop, it's getting annoying.

It is my opinion that you, Peg, do not understand humor at all. You think denigrating someone is funny?? I don't, I think it's sick. REAL humor doesn't need to do that.
Oct. 9, 2015
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Poor Peg, has to put words in my mouth instead of her own.

Poor Peg, finally reduced to trying to state what makes me happy instead of herself.

Poor Peg, now to the last resort of someone losing an argument, attack the speaker directly.


Of course the humor is gone, and that proves my point entirely! It is the sexist content that is the joke, not the bridge content.
Oct. 9, 2015
Cornelia Yoder edited this comment Oct. 9, 2015
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How about this…..


A pair of bridge players are playing rubber bridge against a pair of friends and one of them is getting angrier and angrier at how his partner is playing. When the partner has been abused enough, he excuses himself and goes to the bathroom to escape.

As they are waiting for him to return, the angry player says, “ Let's deal another hand and I will bid his cards face down. It won't matter, because I never know what he has anyway. The other pair agrees reluctantly. The player deals and opens 1H. The next player passes and he bids 2H for his absent partner. When his right hand opponent passes, he tries 3H passed around to his still-absent partner. He thinks awhile and bids 4H ending the bidding.

The opening lead is made and he observes aloud, ”This is the best contract I've been in all evening.“ He begins to play the hand and ultimately it comes down to a finesse. Just as he takes the losing finesse, his partner returns determined to finish the game. He looks at him and says, ”You just had to bid 4H, didn't you?"


Is it still as funny?

If you say Yes, then you now know a way to tell a funny story without insulting women (or any other group) as a side effect.

If you say No, then you now know that it is the sexist content that you think is funny, and that is very sad.

Oct. 9, 2015
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