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All comments by Jane Eason
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At a recent tourney in our area, one of the ladies called, “Director, Darling!” I didn't check to see how many directors headed to her table.
June 26, 2017
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This event is definitely not a Flight C event, as some have suggested. And if the winner is rated as a Flight C player, by master points, I have no doubt he will be a great player who recently joined ACBL.

It's hard to understand the beef about a 4-session online event paying a piddly 48 master point (12/day) to a winner who topped an open field of thousands of participants. After all, Flight B players can rack up master points by winning their flight in A/X with under average scores. And, as someone posted earlier, B's and C's can compete at the nationals in a field restricted by master points and and can win 48-60 points in a single event at a national tourney, competing against a very restricted field.

And how about the lower brackets in the bracketed Knockouts? I've heard those events pay handsomely.

And as far as the cheating situation. If some guy did hire a pro or get his girl friend to play for him, and if his cheating was undetected by examining the hands, an interview with the incompetent player would probably be enough to embarrass him into withdrawing so as to not be exposed.

But let's say his cheating went undetected. Those of us competing by using our own skills would not be cheated in the same way as we would be cheated in F2F bridge by a player with information on a board, because, at least we would be competing against someone who actually played the event with no knowledge of the hands.

And if a person who regularly had 35%-50% games on BBO suddenly had 4 sessions of 75%-80% games, via squeezes, end plays and trump coups, I'm betting their previous games and the games in this tourney would be compared and that we might never hear of the fact that they were eliminated. And that's what I think the panel of experts would be looking for.
June 25, 2017
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This event pays like a regionally rated event and it pays red and gold points. It is a NACB event, along with other regionally rated events. It will certainly have more tables than any previous event held at a nationals, and I am guessing that it will have more players as well.
June 24, 2017
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I'm betting 3,000 to 5,000 this year and more next year. I think players from other online sites will play and some BBO players who don't play in the bot tourneys will try them out and enter the event.
June 24, 2017
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Congratulationa, Rich, on you win. Nationally rated events are open to all levels and they pay at least 100 points for first place. Regionally rated events play less.
June 23, 2017
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Hi, Mike Cassell.

I don't believe we've met. But I assume you want an answer to the direct questions you asked, so I'll respond to those and to your statements, as well.

1. “How many diamonds do you expect your partner to hold when your LHO preempts in the suit?

Since the 3D opening usually shows 6-7 cards in the suit, and I hold 3, my partner should have 0-4 cards in the suit.

And based on what I believe the percentages to be, I would say he is most likely to hold 1 or 2 diamonds. When he has 1 or zero, his hcpt requirements are lessened because he is counting his long-card points or his shortness in evaluating his hand.

2. ”How much wastage?

I have no idea. AQ would be a good and lucky holding. KJx would not, as he may go down a couple in 3S. Kx could be good or bad, depending on opener's length.

3.“Do you think your side needs 26hcp to make game given the knowledge that only 3 or 4 diamonds are outstanding. situation?”

I don't think my side ever needs 26 hcpts to make a game. But when I bid 4S, I would like to think that my side can take 10 tricks, and I don't think that's the case opposite a minimum opening bid, which I believe my partner has shown.

4. “21-23hcp should be more than sufficient unless partner has ♦Kx and suffers a ruff and has 2 more losers when opener has a seven card suit.”

If we contract for 9 tricks and take 10, I believe we will have company. If we contract for 10 and take 9, I believe we will have an awful result, unless you guys who disagree are in my section, my direction.

5. I think that passing as the partner of the insufficient bidder is, more likely than not, the result of getting a tell that the overcall was based on minimal opening values.

5. Well, you would be 100% wrong in this case. And you are jumping to a conclusion in all cases.

6.“I'd be surprised if a minority of pollees passed with their hand.”

6. I believe you mispoke here.

6. I'm quite surprised also that so many responders pass the overcall.

6. Perhaps you would be less surprised if you had more experience with people who don't think just like you.
June 22, 2017
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It is clear that I look at this situation differently from the majority here.

And I'm curious whether any of you would bid 3S over 3D on any or all of the following hands, all of which, to me, are minimum opening bids, either by point count or by the losing trick count or by the rule of 20, if that is what you play.

AKxxx QJxx xx Kx……….AKJxxx xx Kxx Qx……….

AKJxx Qxx Axx xx…………AJ10xx J10x xx AQJ (Edited to remove 14th card and to make 1st hand less good. Thanks, Richard.)


And, if not, what are your requirements to bid 3S over a 3D opener?

I may have overlooked this, but I do not remember any of you suggesting that 3S may not be a make, even though partner has an opening hand.

And from your comments, I though you guys all believed 4S would definitely make. Is that right?

When the opponent on your right preempts, we all know that bad breaks are not unusual. And we know declarer's finesses are more likely to be off than when the opponents are passing or when the preempt is on the other side. And to me, holding xxx in diamonds is a definite negative.

We are given the condition that both sides are non-vul.

I am not an aggressive game or slam bidder at match points, except with shape, and I am not an aggressive game bidder, non-vul at imps, again, except with shape.

One of the first lessons I learned about playing IMPs was losing the parts score battle a couple of times was the same as missing a vulnerable game and that it was not good strategy when non-vul to push to game.

Earlier, I explained that my partner and I, over preempts, use Roth's rule of 8, which means he'll count on me for 8 hcpts and he will bid those 8-hcpts. Therefore, on a hand where I have 9 hcpts, I only have 1 hcpt that he hasn't already bid. And if I have 10, that hand is equal to 2 points that he hasn't bid. I count distribution aggressively and normally deduct for a square hand. I count playing tricks aggressively and use the losing trick count to justify bidding my shape.

I also rely heavily on the losing trick count. When partner overcalls at the 3-level showing a minimum opener, I assume he has a 7-loser hand. And when I have a 9-loser hand (2 losers in spades, 1 in hearts, 3 in diamonds, and 3 in clubs), such as this one, our total losers on the deal are 16. And using the losing trick count, I subtract 16 from 24 and get 8. And this method says our side can score 8 tricks on this deal. So, I would never bid on this hand.

One of you mentioned cover cards. I am not familiar with the term. Another mentioned quick tricks. I do have 2 and they are great for defense and for two playing tricks as well, but I am not in love with this hand or this heart holding.

I hardly know how to respond to folks who claim that because I don't play their system that I must have weird partners, so I won't. But I will say that I gave the auction of 3D–3S–P–? to my most regular partner and he passed at match points and non-vul at imps, so we do think alike in this situation and I am sure that the person who said that thinks we are both weird.

If I had held the hand that bid 1S over 3D, I would think that after making such a silly bid, that it was now important that I make the most descriptive bid possible in order that partner can picture my hand.

So, if I had held the hand that made the insufficient bid, and if I had less than an opening bid, I would not consider correcting that bid to 3S, because a 3S bid shows an opener in my style. (Btw, I can't imagine having a one-level overcall and trying to bid it over rho's 3D and I don't think I've done that since I was out of the novice room, if I did it then.

But I can imagine that I had thought it was my turn to bid and that I had opened out of turn. And if I had to guess what this person did, I would say that he thought he was opening the bidding.

I would definitely make my bid sufficient and bid 3S, with a minimum opening hand because that is what my 3S bid means in my style. And my partner can trust that my bid carries the meaning it would carry without the infraction and bid accordingly.

With a hand good enough to double and bid, I would make an aggressive call showing more values and I would get my side to game by bidding 3NT or 4S, depending on my spade and diamond holdings. And my partner would know with this hand that I had bid his 1st 8, and he wouldn't think he should go slamming because he held 2 quick tricks and the trump queen.
June 22, 2017
Jane Eason edited this comment June 23, 2017
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“Look at the trick!”

(Probably from the Frank Vine article.)

Two disasters this tip could have prevented in one club game:

Our opponents were in 4H. Declarer pulled trumps and then played dummy's queen of spades from QJx. Partner followed low. Declarer played the spade ace!! And I played the king.

Then, believing I had won the trick, I led the diamond queen from QJx. This play exposed the DQ, which gave up the diamond suit and eliminated a club loser.

Long story short, our opponents scored 710 for a cold top.

After the game, a friend rushed over to claim he had made the most costly error in the history of the club.

I doubted it. But his story went something like this:

As declarer in a major suit game, he was void in dummy's side suit, a suit that was solid, except for the missing ace. Game was cold because he had a solid trump suit only two or three losers in the remaining suits.

He couldn't believe his good fortune when the ace of that suit was led on opening lead.

At his turn, my friend ruffed the ace with the trump deuce, tabled his hand, and claimed thirteen tricks.

However, he had failed to notice that rho had trumped his partner's ace as to cash several quick winners.

My friend, a Grand-Life-Master holding two national titles and a solid trump suit had under-ruffed rho's three of trumps!
June 22, 2017
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Jonathan Steinberg,

In my experience, the robots will blank an honor if squeezed. And they will also attack your threat entries, a defense not found by the average defender.

I'm not saying they defend perfectly, but neither do my live opponents.

An advantage of having robot defenders, as opposed to human defenders, is that, given identical auctions and plays, the robots will make the same leads and defensive plays, which does eliminate one luck factor from the game.

My biggest problem with the robots is their overly aggressive bidding in some situations.
June 21, 2017
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Isn't it interesting how differently we evaluate this hand? (One bids game at IMPs and passes at MPs. Another bids game at all forms of scoring. And I do not bid over 3S at any form of scoring.) I think our evaluation is probably based on what our partner's bid means.

My partner's 3S is assumed to be an aggressive action showing a minimum opener. And a square 9 isn't enough for game opposite our minimum opening bids (21-23 total points). With extras, we would double initially, and with 17/+, partner, counting on me to have an average hand of 8 hcpts (Al Roth's rule) would get us to game.

If I were allowed to guess what partner was doing, I would guess that he failed to notice the 3D bid and thought he was opening the bidding. And I would have no reason to believe that his opening bid was better than minimum.

The author of this article explains that this case is not a case of UI. He goes on to mention that Law 27D could be used to adjust the score, but since the hand of the 3S bidder is never revealed, I assume that 27D does not apply.
June 18, 2017
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I can hardly wait for this event.

I like the fact that my robot partners will be no better or worse than the other humans' partners.

The snobbery toward online master points mystifies me, because live tourneys practically award attendance. A pair can hire four top professionals to make up a team, play the minimum required matches, sit out the tough ones, and win!
June 18, 2017
Jane Eason edited this comment June 19, 2017
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I think I've had more than my share of embarrassing moments at the table. Here's a recent one in a club game:

Rho opened 1NT and ended as declarer in 3H. I led a trump and defended passively at every turn, cluing the declarer in to the fact that I had all the missing high cards.

At some point, holding AJ10 of spades in hand, he led dummy's spade queen from Qx. Partner and declarer played to the trick. I played the SK and led a high diamond.

Turns out declarer had played the SA on the SQ. So my king had gone under his ace, and my high diamond was exposed.

Declarer pitched a loser on a high spade, and forced me discard my high diamond–a nation-wide zero when this series of mistakes cost 3 or 4 tricks.
June 12, 2017
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Here's a situation where both sides were embarrassed:

I studied safety plays right before an Atlanta sectional, and I could hardly wait to use them.

And in an early Swiss match, I declared a normal 3NT, cold if the king of dummy's AQxxx was on sides, down if the finesse lost.

I had two small in the suit, so the chance of an off side stiff king was remote, but using this new tool, I saw that I could avoid losing the queen to a stiff king. So, early in the play, I cashed the ace, came to hand, and led toward the queen.

Lho tanked forever, studying the situation, wondering what hand required me to use a safety play. And only then did I realize that if he won this trick, the defense could immediately cash another four.

Being a logical player, and knowing I could not hold the hand I held, lho figured that ducking his king couldn't lose and it might somehow gain. So he ducked.

Relieved, I called for the queen and claimed nine tricks.

Nobody said a word for a minute. My face was hot and I was doubly embarrassed because lho was trying so hard to stifle a laugh and his partner was saying that he didn't blame him for being confused by my “unusual” line of play.

I explained the situation and begged, “Please don't tell my team mates how I played this hand!” Lho laughed and said, “Your play, and MY DEFENSE will be our little secret.”
June 12, 2017
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Good luck in your new venture, Bahar Gidwani. And welcome to the Magnolia State!
June 7, 2017
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Uhoh. The word police are everywhere.
April 3, 2017
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Thanks to all of you at this point for taking time to give your thoughtful and insightful answers. I believe now that I was off the walls in my original thinking about what went on here. I will let the girls know that and let them know what I was concerned about in hopes they will understand that concept as well.
March 31, 2017
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Phil, what do you think they should be learning? (I'm not sure if it's I or they who should be learning…lol.)
March 31, 2017
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Thanks, Ed.
March 31, 2017
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Jim, thanks for your response. Suppose you want to explain this to your mentee and her partner–two people in whom you have a real interest.

The problem I am trying to find out about is not whether or not to ignore the situation. I really want to know how to look at it.

Would it be okay for you or me to pass in the identical auction in a tournament? And, if not, why not?

(Edited out a grammatical error.)
March 31, 2017
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Thanks.
March 31, 2017
.

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