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All comments by Joe Veal
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I have had some interesting stories about this situation. One of my most frequent partners played a highly artificial system(Precision, then Finnish Club, then Fantunes). There were a few opponents who asked us to stop alerting the bids. In the earlier years of the partnership, we would generally comply with the request to not cause any waves. The usual next part of this request would be constant harassment regardless of whether it was their turn or not to ask on every bid made. After this song and dance, my partner went to the directors and asked about the rule. As it was told to us, any pair can ask opponents to stop alerting the bids but there was a catch. They could not ask about any bid until the end of the auction if it was their lead or if their partner has tabled his opening lead. If the pair breaks this rule with asking questions during the auction, alerts come back into play. I am not sure if the rule has changed on this situation(TD's anyone).
Aug. 11, 2015
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Interesting semifinal matchups:)
May 14, 2015
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In my view, I open 1 with West hand and come up with a 1 response with the East hand…I do not like 2 opener unless I have the agreement that 2 followed by 3 shows long diamonds and 4 or more spades. If I do not have this agreement, 2 auctions followed by 3 are very cumbersome especially with a 5 card spade suit on the side.
April 30, 2015
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To Aaron Jones, despite your modesty about your team's play and masterpoint inflation, you were the big winner in Gatlinberg and I congratulate you. From my view, it seems that there was a ton of parity this week at the top. Nobody had more than 2 wins in any of the top bracket KO's. The teams that were rewarded heavily were the consistent ones which your team was(2 top bracket KO wins, 1 third/fourth in another top bracket KO, a 2nd in Sunday AX Swiss, and 2 wins in Midnight Swisses by yourself teaming with other players). Trust me, I will take half of those accomplishments and call it a career regional.
April 21, 2015
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Partnership desk, please! I need a new South, somebody who won't pass below game in GF auction!
April 19, 2015
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I would second that motion.
April 19, 2015
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Regardless of what we think about North's initial decision to pass, my issue is whatever the X is, North does not have it. If it is clubs, woe betide any partner who decides to compete to 3, gets doubled and goes for a number. If it is takeout, woe betide any partner who bids diamonds in a 4-2 fit at 3 level, gets doubled for a big number.
April 14, 2015
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I love it when I am on a island with my lead. I do not like leading either black suit and Jx in hearts is never right. I chose a different diamond that the standard 7 for deception purposes.
April 14, 2015
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I would agree with Adam, this is an April Fools joke and it is a good one! This is borrowed from Zia Mahmood's book My Way where he suggests that people be allowed to play anything they would like but with a surcharge added for the convention played.
April 1, 2015
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To Danny Sprung,

I am trying to open up this “can” of worms because this case will come up again without any real solutions. There will be the pros and the experts whine about how this ACBL rule is too punitive. I was hoping to prompt somebody into advocating KnR as the deciding factor in this case and keep the penalties in place.
My plan is simple. If a player has a HCP variance(up or down) from their stated range, TD's will have access to KnR through their cell phones. At this point, they put the hand into KnR and it will give its answer. If the hand falls into the range, no issues. If the hand falls out of the stated range on the lower end by a point, the automatic penalty will be accrued. If it is 2 points or more, it would be classified as a psych with no penalty. As far as the argument that Kit proposes about how it is his business to open whatever he wants and there should be no automatic penalties, I agree but how random do we want to be on this case with no quantifiable matrix in play before bridge=poker. Jay Barronen's rebuttal of the Phil Clayton position on a earlier post is pretty clear on this matter.

PS—To Al, If this proposal makes me Walter the WalrusII, so be it. I will gladly donate to the Knr god before I give my shekels to the HCP god any day of the week.
March 26, 2015
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To Kit and Al, I highly respect your great contributions to the game(Kit as player and leading theorist, Al for your outstanding work as the system guru for all of the BBO matches) and the historical background of this issue, but if you were absolute ruler of ACBL and your edicts were followed without question, how would you change the current regulations on this issue? My reason for my query is that I would like to advance the discussion beyond the usual whine about how restrictive ACBL rules are in comparison to the WBF into concrete solutions(aka much variance is allowed under whatever scale you find adequate, HCPs, KnR or a mixture of both) that reflect the current trends of bridge today.
March 24, 2015
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For me, it depends on how popular Eddie Kantar's book on Defense is amongst the masses. One of the tips that he promotes is that if one has 2 4 card suits(one with a Ace and one without a Ace) in a non-descript auction such as this one, one should lead the 4 card suit without the Ace.
March 23, 2015
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Saverio, please read the posts on the thread about transfers over 1 club. This systemic idea is something that Joann plays frequently that is not GCC legal. This is not a person who discourages systemic ideas, but wants equal conditions regardless of the level of the player. This is not to say I disagree with your sentiment. Depending who I am playing with at the time, I would do different things. My advice for strong foreign pairs/teams playing in the big NABC events is to have a backup system in case their primary system gets shut down by the ACBL regulations.
March 23, 2015
Joe Veal edited this comment March 23, 2015
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Interesting approach, Jeff but your skills at negotiation need work. I would have bartered for Ekrens(weak 2's with good 4 card suits) because of the variance it would create. Multi in Europe and online is tricky but can be dealt with in a reasonable fashion.
March 23, 2015
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All I know is my bracket is kaput but in a good way. Kudos to the Meltzer team, you took out a strong sleeper(Diamond 6 handed) that I thought would contend for the title. Also congrats to the Hamman team, I do not know of anybody who picked them over Nickell but when you have strong players who have won multiple national and world championships, anything can happen.
July 25, 2014
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On this topic, I agree with Mario. Sorry Dean, the act is too egregious to let slide as a youthful indiscretion. When Leo changed a score that enriched his matchpoint score, he robbed the field of their above average and their opponents of their top board. If I was to hazard a guess on this situation, there has not been enough time between the heinous act by the perpetrator and the multiple acts of contrition that the perpetrator needs to do in order to get back into the good graces of the ACBL. For Leo,despite his obvious bridge skill and his sincere attempts on BW to clear the air about his actions, it will probably take a minimum of 20 years from his nefarious act in 2005 before anybody will reconsider his situation and put it to a vote in a ACBL Bod meeting.

My suggestion to Leo for the meantime is to do 3 things more than he has done in his acts of contrition. First, he needs to caddy the entire sectional in which he did his heinous crime for FREE and there cannot be any complaints. My rationale for this task is that caddying is a thankless job in which they have to deal with crabby bridgeplayers all day who call for them at inappropriate times etc.. Second, he needs to start giving free lessons for players in his local area as a teacher and he needs to mentor an upcoming player or players. The reason is obvious since Leo is a well known player; it would be nice to have him pass some of his bridge knowledge to upcoming players in a live setting. Third, if the ACBL bylaws allow it, he needs to become a director with the sincerest hope that he directs in the very sectional for FREE that he has his nefarious deed. Hopefully, he has to deal with another person who changes a score after it has been signed. Oh yes, I forgot that Leo has to direct in his local unit for FREE as well because from what I understand, all directors have to start off at the local level. If Leo does these things in addition to his online efforts, I could see people changing their minds about this situation and allowing Leo Lasota to become Grand Life Master. If Leo does not want to do all of these tasks, I believe that Leo will be Platinum Life Master for the rest of his life.


Yours truly,

Joe Veal


PS–To Nat Silver, you are the straw that stirs the drink(Reggie Jackson's reference for baseball fans out there).Even though I do not agree with reconsideraton of Leo's case at this time, I am glad that this topic was discussed on Bridgewinners.


June 17, 2014
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JoAnna, I believe it is 2 wins,0 losses, 1 tie(this match). To Polly, it happens to everyone. To be honest, this was Bridgewinners's team toughest opponent in this challenge and I did not know who would prevail.
June 9, 2014
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I abstained because this hand make me scream “Gazilli!!”–If I had to bid this hand with no Gazilli, I would bid 2 and I would not like it(a little more purity in the red suits would change my call) because nobody really does like to bid 2D with this hand because the possible game/slam misses opposite some interesting minimums. I just hate to play 3NT even worse when partners respond with a 5 count and no fit in either red suit, going down 2.
May 5, 2014
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To Polly,

I enjoyed this article and well played 4 game. On some side notes, I was glad to meet you in Dallas to put a face to a name. Congrats for finishing off the 50 platinum points requirement for Platinum pairs and my condolences for the Red Ribbon/Jacoby Open Swiss results.
April 17, 2014
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To Mario, you make a nice point but unfortunately your scenario has flaws because in order to get your type of equity for this situation, one would have to void the entire Senior event. WBF would have to leave that event with no winner, no silver, no bronze and the history books would be blank. Every single team who faced these guys in the event can claim damage due to their illegal actions during the round robin phase or the KO phase and would want equity because of the cheats. Now imagine if I want to void the event, what do I need to ensure this event does not exist and you do not mind the sanctions and the antipathy of every single bridgeplayer alive?


The better restorement of equity(aka not perfect equity) is reassignment of the placings with the Lynch team placed on top. To me, that would settle the matter with bridge moving forward and away from this scandal.

PS–I am rather amazed that our doctors tried to pull their shengingans against Wold/Passell. Wold and Passell made good money in the rubber bridge clubs(Eddie at Rice University, Mike at Booger's Reds in Oklahoma City) way before they were the superstars that they are today. From several accounts that I have heard but not experienced, some people will do whatever it takes to gain a profit at the rubber clubs. Eddie and Mike probably have a million stories of players pulling some variation of what these doctors did at the rubber clubs.
April 5, 2014
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