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All comments by Joe Veal
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To Gavin,

To be honest, this site is a godsend for me. I can discuss bridge 24/7 365 with likeminded individuals and I can keep up to date with the latest happenings in the bridge world. I appreciate the historical context about the growth of this website and Drodge does deserve a lot of credit for keeping the website going during the Spingold. I really appreciate getting the scores from the first two rounds of that round because these were non-Vugraph rounds(aka no BBO). I would have been dependent on the ACBL website for results. I am also glad that there will be a flagging system for inappropriate comments because a couple of threads were out of control. Keep up the good work.

PS–An new idea–Fantasy Bracket Reisinger. Same prizes as before if possible.
Aug. 28, 2013
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To Yu and Steve Bruno, I am glad somebody expressed my concerns about those options in Bridgemates. To me, those options are the technological equivalent of travelers without having to fold those silly things into the boards. For those who did not read my last post on a similiar topic, I HATE travelers unless absolutely necessary(ie director is playing or small game).
To Steve Moese, your suggestion is naive because most bridge players looking at their score will talk about it because it is human nature especially if it is a top or bottom. Once that conversation starts, it begins a bad cycle that at best, slows the game down, and at worst, gives off information about that pair is doing in a non-parameter event. By the way, that is only the director's perspective(aka not me but Harald can better explain this perspective than I). From my vantage point, it distracts me from the task at hand. Once a board is played, it is over. One postmortems at the end of the session and one can learn about every board to one's content with recap sheets and hand records.
To Harald, you are right. Barometers are legal events and they are popular(I have played a few times with good success). I just do not want my local duplicate to turn into a barometer competition because of the pitfalls of barometer events(ie taking wildly aggressive actions in a desperate attempt to save a rotten game–).
Aug. 24, 2013
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I am in agreement with Andrew on this one so I chose the imperfect negative double because everything else is worse(Pass and I will never catch up, 2D followed by the likely 3D with those ugly diamonds is not my taste).
Aug. 21, 2013
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I am a fan of either Regular Stayman or Muppet Stayman(David Brough)–I will not play regular Puppet Stayman because of issues with GF 5 and 4.
Aug. 14, 2013
Joe Veal edited this comment Aug. 14, 2013
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Hi, Mario. That is very strange unless one is playing a forcing pass approach(which is not even legal and most forcing pass approaches, the pass is stronger than this hand). I got an idea of who did this action and in which match you were kibitzing but I will not make an guess on this forum. Mario, my email is culjoe2012@yahoo.com, please contact me.
Aug. 12, 2013
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Congrats to the Polish team for a hard earned victory in a highly entertaining match. As far as the last board is concerned, I asked Peter Weichsel on BBO after the match about this board and like Dean, he did not like the double but like Alan Frank, he thought Bessis should have shifted to a diamond on trick 2 as the percentage play to cater to all of the possibilities.
Aug. 11, 2013
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Sorina, that is a good question. It sounds like the director had a bad day at the office on this one.
Aug. 11, 2013
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On Gabrielle's “alleged” slow play issues, I, like Mario Fonzo, kibitz many of the nightly Cayne matches on BBO in which Gabrielle has played. I have observed that her pace is normal, not too fast or slow. Matches have not any inordinate delays(and trust me, delays happen due to connectivity issues and a variety of asundry issues) due to her and I do not recall anybody telling her to speed up the play.
Aug. 11, 2013
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Why did I open my mouth–sorry Dean–congrats to Grue especially Grue/Moss, they were awesome today. To Dean, I did not know that much about Espen except one thing. If a player like Brogeland is willing to play with you in a major event in another country, that person has to be very strong.
Aug. 11, 2013
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I am glad somebody figured out how to pick this bracket because this was an unusual year with multiple upsets. Frankly, I think Dean may have it because Schwartz is the sleeper that I knew about and liked the makeup of that team(Schwartz won the US Senior trials and Fisher/Schwartz are the reigning Cavendish Pairs champs and nobody should sleep on Boye Brogeland) and wished I had picked them to go further in the event.
Aug. 10, 2013
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A rather inglorious end to a event that has been suffering from lack of attendance and ACBL's newest sanction that removes the Wagar from GLM status. For those who wish more attendance in women's events, tales like Gabrielle Sherman's do not improve its status regardless of the manner in which she aired her grievances(aka Facebook instead of a recorder form which I bet would be put in a file and forgotten.).
Unlike Lynn Johannesen, I have no problem with Michael's airing of a real problem that is hurting women's events despite Michael's natural biases(boyfriend). Even in the heartwarming story of Roz Howell, Roz alluded to this fear of loutish behavior by these women during this event. Fortunately for her, the opponents behaved well while in Gabrielle's case, the opposite was true. Lynn, it is one thing to make a small joke about not doubling with your example hand in an artificial auction and achieving +400(that person like the opponents had no idea what was going on, but he/she did not want to wake them up and they run to better spot) but to give an opponent lectures on their bidding after a match is over is a horse of a different color(ZT anyone). Trust me, if I said that to an opponent after I won by a huge margin, I would need good running shoes. The warranted ZT penalty would be the least of my concerns in this case, I would want to leave the bridge room alive.
Unlike Michael Bodell, I think publishing the names of the perpetrators of this bad behavior on Facebook or Bridgewinners is counterproductive for a few reasons. One, Gabrielle and Michael may enter into a flame war with the accused that they may not have the energy to fight because nobody wants to be called out on their bad behavior. Two, Gabrielle may lose friends who may think the world of the accused because bridge is a small world. One person's close confidant is another's worst enemy.
Aug. 10, 2013
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Mike, is there another appeal that may decide Monaco's fate in the 2nd round of a major championship or are you joshing us(FYI–congrats on your team's win)?
Aug. 7, 2013
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Also, Fleisher survives a furious comeback by Orsi to barely hold on by 3.
Aug. 7, 2013
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A few questions. Mike, who is the unnamed attorney? On that front, I would worry about the enforcement of this silly rule. It gives directors who have axes to grind carte blanche to make biased rulings against pros they do not like or put them up on the Ethics Committee for the possible minor crime of opening 1NT with 14, playing 15-17(Mike, I hope you haven't ticked off a director recently because you may be in trouble)
What is the real scoop behind Mamula's resignation? On this issue, I have no clue and Mike, you have me curious about this situation .
As far as the Monaco snafu, it does not surprise me that they gave preferential treatment to one of the favorites to win the event. If there ever was evidence that the TD's favor the well known pros over the rank and file players, this case would support that assumption.
As far as the Hall of Fame is concerned, it would seem that personal biases of the selectors towards some of the selectees irregardless of the selectee's bridge accomplishments due to past actions(Jill Meyers and the “I did not vote for Bush” sign during the award ceremony is a prime example) are the root of the problem. The problem is Mike is that it is very hard to come up with a fair mathematical formula that would allow some to be included in the Hall while others would be excluded because what do you include in the formula? Some things are easy like national/world championships, rankings on the WBF list, contributions in bridge literature, etc.. but how does one measure the impact that a selectee has on the game(deportment, activities that help improve bridge's stature, what their current/ex partners think of them etc). For these things, one has to have selectors(aka their peers) and they bring along their own baggage based on their biases of the selectees.
Aug. 6, 2013
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Kudos Eugene, this is the toughest problem I have ever answered on Bridgewinners. This problem is relatively easy in some Precision approaches because I can pass in reasonable comfort with the minor risk of missing a non-fitting 25-26 HCP 3NT nonvul. In those approaches, 1 followed by 2 denies 16 HCPS and denies 3 because if one has 3, one must raise. One uses spiral raises to determine the quality and quantity of that raise. In 2/1, however, 1 opener and 2 rebid is so wide a range(these days 10-17 HCPS) so I must take action. I loathe 2 because most people these days open lighter(aka shapely 10's and 11's) in which I do not want to be playing 3NT on a misfitting 22-23 HCP. I am also not a big fan of 3 because this call will cause opener to misevaluate if 5 or 3NT is available because of this supposed 8 card fit.

So, 2NT by default, is my bid despite the holding of xxx in hearts(if I pick up this hand in a live game, I am putting the J of diamonds with my hearts and claim that I missaw the card). The thing is that 2NT does not end the auction because opener could bid 3 or 3 which is either forcing or non-forcing depending on methods. He/She could give you the dream of bidding 3 forcing which would be a delight for this hand(4 anyone:). This could turn out badly in either 2NT or 3NT with the opponents setting this contract a bunch with a heart lead but this is the best bid of a bad lot.
July 30, 2013
Joe Veal edited this comment July 30, 2013
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Interesting lead problem and question. As far as the implications go, I agree with Steve Weinstein–the normal lead of a 4th best spade should absolve you from any problems on the opening lead. Frankly, I would be giving my partner a talk about inappropriate questions without subsequent actions. To be honest, I will be tempted to say something at the table on this ethics breach and I hope that my patience is long that day.

On a lighter note, I know a friend of mine whom Yuan knows who hates Jack underleads(he created a website in which the number one rule on defensive leads is no Jack underleads) and has stated if he picks up a hand with 4 Jacks like this hand, he will shuffle the cards randomly and pull a card for his opening lead. In this case, if my friend was playing with your partner for the first time and if this hand came up, your partner would be 100% absolved for asking the inappropriate question because my friend could pull out a card in the minors because of this peccadillo:)
Unfortunately, if my friend played with your partner on a frequent basis, there will be an ethics situation of a different flavor when my friend starts shuffling his cards and making opening leads. I can see hilarious postmortems when your partner defends a hand incorrectly believing that my friend had the infamous “4 Jacks” because he shuffled his cards before he made his opening lead.“I thought you had 4 Jacks??”, Yuan's partner. “I was trying to keep RHO from looking at my hand!”, my friend retorted.
July 30, 2013
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On this issue, I have a few thoughts. I hate losing close matches in IMPS because I can usually find several boards when my team could have gained more IMPS by different actions. I especially loathe when a close match are decided by a procedural penalty assessed by a appeals committee because one would not like to have somebody else decide your fate. Regretfully, as much as I admire Fred Hamilton for his contributions to modern bidding theory, this committee made the right call in this case on the merits of the appeal and the procedural issues.
As far as the merits of the actual appeal, East should find K shift on trick 2 or later as a normal bridge play regardless of the explanations given at the table so I do not believe that there should be an adjustment to the board. I would not assess a AWM on this matter because East was not informed on N/S actual agreements so this appeal had merit.
The real issue was the failure by Fisher/Hamilton to follow proper Alert procedures by telling EW at the conclusion of the auction that there had been a misunderstanding before the opening lead is tabled or when the director was called to the table. For those who say that the committee should not take this stand in a Seniors event, one must note in every duplicate venue I have played in(club, sectional, regional, NABC), players at all levels have the fundamental duty to fully disclose ANY failure to Alert of any Alertable call during the auction to BOTH opponents before the opening lead is tabled. These gentlemen are well-known experts and have won multiple national championships and they know their responsibilities in this area yet for some odd reason they chose not to do so on this occasion despite having two chances(end of auction and when the director was called) to do so. By this action, they put themselves at the mercy of the appeals committee which meted out a fair ruling.
July 19, 2013
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On this issue, my local club duplicate games has not purchased Bridgemates for usage. On other side topics, my preference is absolute ignorance on how I matchpointed in comparison to my competition on any board besides a probable guess in my scorecard(on most occasions, I can detect the zeros and the tops and the above/below averages) until the final scores are posted because it is an unnecessary distraction that keeps me from playing reasonable bridge.

From what I have read from this post, these Bridgemates are just as bad as travelers because of multiple issues ie shooting(taking unusual actions to try to make up a miserable game), mistyping a score and the subsequent score correction, games slowing down because of the inevitable discussion about the board by the players. Ironically, these are my issues with travelers and that I can never fold the traveler right after several years of trying:) . Like Richard Brown, pickup slips are manna for me because it keeps discussion at a minimum and keeps the shooters at a distance. The only advantage with these Bridgemates that I see is that if one does not want to spend an hour after session rehashing the game, one can get their scores and go home.
July 18, 2013
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abstain–i will not lead because unless i am playing with certain players(ie Yuan Shen or a Precision player), I would not even open this hand.
July 11, 2013
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i agree with yuan's comment and in my opinion, the first mistake colors the whole hand–3 or 3 are good with my preference to 3. One can blame East for later pass of 4 but he/she can never expect this moose from West.
July 9, 2013
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