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All comments by Jim Perkins
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I hate to x with a void. But I can't see anything any better.
20 hours ago
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Amy: It would probably be OK to good for you to have an approach in general to bids at the 2 level that do not show the suit named (Flannery, Mini-Roman, Multi) or even more generally.

For example, x=NT hand with appropriate strength; implied Q bid (2Hs over 2D Flannery is an example) = takeout of that suit; 2NT = length in 2 lower unbid; bidding a suit known to be exactly 4 cards in length (2S over 2D Flannery) = natural, etc.

There may be more exotic or better approaches, but it can't hurt to have a meta-rule until such systems can be firmed up.
20 hours ago
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Captive audience for my theories on bidding.
23 hours ago
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FANG . . . Be careful or I'll start talking about the Brass Knocker.
Aug. 16
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See upthread for an explanation of what sparked this inquiry. As usual I am overbooked at bridge. Although I would make an exception for Eric Greco. Or Phil Clayton.
Aug. 16
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A pro sent me a private reply so here is the back story as related to him:

I am not fishing for partners. I mentioned to my wife that Greco had moved into our West LA unit (562) and gave her some background on who he was and why I would care. A couple of months ago, I spotted Hampson in Violette's Vegan <<Poker Pro and restauranteur, Cyndy Violette is a friend of my wife's>> in Vegas picking up takeout and my wife could not believe that I didn't go up, introduce myself, and generally interfere with Geoff's errand in the name of a brush with bridge fame. But that's not my style.

Anyway, my wife's question, which would never have occurred to me (regarding Greco) was, “Would he ever play at Barrington?”

I responded that, to my knowledge, players of that caliber generally did not frequent clubs but rather played mostly in National and World championship events, or at the lowest, in Regionals. However, as usual, my wife can ask questions that are at least moderately interesting, so I put it to the community. Although as you note and I even realized, it might be an uncomfortable question for someone that makes their living at the game.

Thank you for the courtesy of a private reply.
Aug. 16
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No. That was before my time. He was in Chicago by the time I came around. But I eventually adopted and perverted a lot of ideas from his MatchPoint Precision. To the point that our 1D promised a 4 card MAJ, no 5 card MAJ, and disclosed nothing else about distribution.
Aug. 15
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Iowa City. At the library. The country club was run by Denny Cordel and was where Peg's partner Bill and Bob Otto and the other heavyweights played. IC was too small to have a 199'er game, so we played in the open. There was a nice couple whose names escape me now who took us under their wing a bit. My partner and then wife would write down the names of our opponents. I was more interested in contracts and results. We did not have predealt hands, hand records or bidding boxes then.

We knew Sontag's Power Precision, but we didn't know about having to alert. Nor did we know which bids were natural and which not, for that matter. The IC library had some great bridge material, which I devoured and eventually more experienced players asked me to play. I was so fortunate to have people asking me to play even when it had to be explained to me that I need 10 HCP to make a 2/1 bid in standard bidding. I won a few masterpoints in IC but the ACBL took them all away when I went dormant for a couple of years. They used to do that back in the day.

So when we moved to Omaha, we took it up again at the Cornhusker Bridge Center and discovered 199'er games, which we dominated. Eventually, bridge, among other more serious things, was the end of that marriage.

In Omaha, I was again fortunate to have many mentors, and now I remember some names: Linda, but I don't remember her last name; Don Sloter who is a very good player, but . . . ; Vikki Galvin who had 10x the points of me; Marilyn Hemmenway, who had even more; Jim Nash who to this day is the only person I ever paid to play bridge with me (once); and regular partners Hindy Batt and Bruce Arnold. Bruce and I played together for the first time in 30 years in the recently concluded Omaha Regional Open pairs and captured yet another “1st in B.” (that should be my BBO screenname)
Aug. 15
Jim Perkins edited this comment Aug. 15
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If there is to be bifurcation, I think I would suggest that the serious players simply migrate to USBF. No need to form anything new. However, my guess is that such a move would affect the bottom line. So despite the perpetual whining, pros will continue to patronize the ACBL since their pay depends on it.

All of which suggests that the ACBL is serving some purpose for at least some people.
Aug. 14
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You could spend the entire lecture on 2nt v x v suit bid.

There's also something to be said for reading distribution when expert opponents let you declare (2-2 splits are if not a certainty, much more likely).
Aug. 10
Jim Perkins edited this comment Aug. 11
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You know more than me but I bet that at the least it is easier than it was when I was carrying around a circular slide rule in a “physics is phun” case.
Aug. 8
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Your name goes on a list and you pay before the next session or you don't play. Easy.
Aug. 8
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You're right Don. That has not been my experience.

Else I might have more sympathy for the death penalty squad.
Aug. 8
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If I can't show grandkid photos, why am I playing?
Aug. 8
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Specific deterrence. Still have the problem of false positives.
Aug. 8
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<<If not, what is the consequence?>>

Same as failure to pay an entry. Honestly, I don't see the problem. Required payment to participate.
Aug. 8
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I guess if I thought that some players, any players, were intentionally violating the cell phone policy, I would be in favor of literal capital punishment . . . assuming we could solve the false positive problem.

However, I do not believe that I have heard of one single intentional cell phone violation. So I favor fines.

To remind players that turning the instrument off is worth remembering to do.

My wife notes that remembering to turn it back on can be very important also.
Aug. 8
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At the club level, much as I would like to, you would kill the game entirely if you entirely prohibited post mortems. At one of our clubs, we attempted to do away with bridgemates showing results, and the outrage was immediate and ferocious.

On the other hand at Las Vegas BridgeWorld they show no results at all and the players seem to accept it. I asked the owners how they got the players to accept it and they told me, “We never show them. It slows the game down too much.”

When we offered the same explanation to Los Angeles players, the result was a petition with hundreds of signatures and a district newsletter letter to the editor.
Aug. 8
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Re: suction. I believe that is the case but they have flipped and flopped so many times that I would ask Ken or Pete before giving a definitive answer.
Aug. 7
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I had 3 come up. Or thought I did. I asked the director about it and he said that convention is legal in D23. We played it. Someone told us they were going to outlaw it starting in 2017, even in D23. Ran into another pair (or maybe the same pair) playing it. Was told they never got around to outlawing it.
Aug. 7
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