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All comments by Jonathan Steinberg
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2019 Las Vegas NABC will go down in history as a success. Attendance started a little weak, then had a few very strong days, now winding down. Unofficial qualified prediction: 13,627 tables.

Hard to know what the exact official estimate was (13,000 or 13,500 I think). Tournament Chairs told me anything over 12,000 would make them happy.

I'll be posting photos next week. If there is still anyone who doesn't know how to get to my photo web site, just message me.

Cheers from Sin City :)!
July 27
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Eye Candy!
July 27
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PBR Rock Bar & Grill has the Classic $4.95 breakfast (Bacon, eggs, Toast, homefries) with 99 cent coffee. Just across the bridge, down the escalator at the entrance to PH and Miracle Mile Shops.

I hated the smoke filled casino at the Reno NABC. There was almost no escape from the toxic fumes.

At the Cosmo, smoking is restricted to the Level One casino area. No smoking on Levels, 2, 3, 4 where most restaurants and bridge play is held. A huge improvement!
July 26
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The ACBL signed an amazing two NABC deal with the Cosmopolitan. Sometimes, they do get it right.

In 2024, the FALL NABC will be back here at the Cosmopolitan. It will be 75F outside instead of 105F. Perfect weather.

The room rate ($159 this year) will increase to $175 five years from now. It will INCLUDE the resort fee and free WIFI. It is an exceptional rate for a 5 star luxury property.
July 25
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While overpriced, I found the burgers at Holsteins to be excellent. The Henry has amazing French onion soup, excellent sandwiches and breakfast offerings. The French toast specialty should be shared – large enough for two. Yes, you pay more at the Cosmo but the quality is excellent.

I met a DC area player who told me “everyone” he knew said they would not return to Vegas. Too expensive. That's ridiculous. More like too lazy. Just walk across the bridge, down the escalator and you can have a “classic Breakfast” for $4.95. Coffee is 99 cents (compare with $5 at the Cosmo). Planet Hollywood & Miracle Mile shops has lots of inexpensive options for eating.

Unfortunately, ACBL's average mid 70's bridge player prefers quieter places. Younger folks love the action and excitement. Vegas is an excellent location.
July 25
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No, Randy, just confusion in the wording. There WAS an appeal but the players who appealed LOST in Committee. The appeal was denied just meant to say they lost their appeal. Thus, no scoring changes.

My sources claim a miscommunication (mistake by an ACBL TD) led to incorrect results/game files being sent to the Daily Bulletin which showed the second place pair as the winners.

Today the ACBL Bulletin is saying it all about lat scoring errors that changed the result. Perhaps but…?

Believe whatever you wish. The ACBL is NOT a model of efficiency. The confusion and length of time it took to correct whatever administrative behind he scenes corrections, mis reporting of an Appeal result, Lord knows what else will never be known.
July 23
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Alex is correct. The appeal was denied. There was NEVER any real change between 1st and 2nd.

It was all a TD screw-up which management will have to untangle. But somehow the game files that were sent to Daily Bulletin were incorrect.

Tomorrow's Daily Bulletin will have the amended amended FINAL (we can only hope) complete results.

Congratulations to Brad & Vince who won, lost, and won again!
July 22
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ACBL LIVE is often ACBL Dead. It has the original results posting before the changes. I'm sure it will eventually be updated.
July 22
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This is the THIRD consecutive NABC where a major NABC pairs title has been affected by a ruling! Levin-Grue won the Blue Ribbon, Zia-Cheek won the Platinum Pairs, and NOW Nagy-Soules have won the LM Pairs! THREE CONSECUTIVE pair game changes at THREE CONSECUTIVE NABCs! Not good for the game regardless of the merits or not of any appeal.

I will take a flyer and bet that it will be controversial!

Lord only knows what the general public thinks about all these National Championships being decided by appeals.

Really NOT good for the game.
July 22
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Fred & Sheri, Geoff, Daniel are all Toronto born Canadians. Haig lived in Toronto for decades. Roger Lee quipped: just call me Shan Huang and it would be unanimous!
July 22
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When you stay at a FIVE star hotel, everything within is more expensive than at 3 or 4 star establishments. To be expected. That said, there is a high end food court (Block 16 Urban Food Hall), the “Secret Pizza” place, and if all else fails, just step outside. I've been told “Miracle Mile Shops” across the street near Planet Hollywood has some very good shopping and restaurants to choose from.

We are in the heart of the strip, not on the outskirts. I'm arriving late tonight and looking forward to a fabulous 11 days in Vegas (starting with seeing Cirque Du Soleil's Beatles LOVE tomorrow evening). Lots to do in Vegas!
July 17
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For what it is worth, Reston finished with 1,972 tables, down 225 tables (10.24%) from 2018. Sad omen of our times since Reston Town Center is among the better sites for a tournament.

Many complaints that there were too many Regionals this week and little protection or no guidance from the ACBL. It is not going to be easy to reverse the downward trend.
July 7
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There are multiple issues that Steve has raised. IMHO, the ACBL MUST do a better job in helping Tournament Chairs plan schedules that maximize the chances for success. Input from TDs such as Chris Miller above are very helpful.

1) STOP having new 2 day KOs starting every day. It is ridiculous and only guarantees the kind of problem we had here in Reston for the Wed/Thursday KO. This is not difficult. Day one is a new KO, Day two is Bracketed Swiss (Open Swiss, Compact KO, take your pick but it is a ONE day team event). Day 3 a new two day KO… and so on and so forth. Obviously a site like Gatlinburg is large enough to have new KOs every day,

2) The original rationale for the “Soloway” style RR format to reduce the field to 4 teams to play KO style in Day 2 was specifically designed to solve the problem of not enough teams who want to play in the top bracket. It is not necessary for lower brackets.

Let a KO be a KO. If you fail to advance, you have choices. Play in the “Losers Swiss”, take a session off, go sightseeing, have a nice dinner. Some call the Soloway format a “cash grab”. You are forced to pay and play even when you have no chance to Q and/or no desire play off for 3/4th and a minimal amount of masterpoints.

Far better to have normal two day KOs starting every second day and one day Swiss events in between. The “Soloway” style should be reserved for Bracket One when they do not have 9+ teams who qualify.

3) If you do have a Soloway Style KO, at least the team that wins on Day one should have the choice of who to play among teams 3 & 4 who Q. Here in Reston (District 6), it is RANDOM DRAW among teams 3 & 4 as to who plays teams One and Two. Absolutely NO reward for placing first among the qualifiers.

4) ACBL masterpoint award formulas have been a joke for several years. For a long time I was told that the flawed ACBL Score program was too fragile to make any changes. Every year I am told ACBL Board Committees are working on it!

5) Sadly attendance here in Reston appears to be down 5-15%. Will get more accurate numbers in the next day or so. The biggest drop off is in the KO events. Perhaps players are voting with their feet regarding the Soloway style format and new KOs starting every day.

Happy July 4th to all my American friends. May Kawhi Leonard choose Toronto and the Raptors!
July 4
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Sorry to disillusion you, Michael but I have played in at least three 3-way KO finals. There are multiple scenarios, usually when a TD screws up somehow (teams in wrong bracket) to reach that point.

But the last one – at the Toronto Regional this year was deliberate. Some new double elimination one day KO event, a few brackets. The losers enter a Swiss after Round one, the winners continue.

Round one reduced the top bracket KO field from 9 to 6 teams. Round two went from 6 to 3. Regardless, we definitely had a 3 team round robin KO final.

In ALL three examples, the scoring was identical. If a team won two matches, they won the event. Total Imps determined 2nd and 3rd.

If all three teams went 1 and 1, the usual ACBL formula applied. Add up your total imps and the highest plus score is first, lowest imp score third, middle team second.

End of story (Ha, Ha).
June 19
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Ray, the world miscalculates, puts scores on the wrong side of the ledger, gets the vulnerability wrong, not sure if a contract was down 1 or 2 or even made!

That is why teams COMPARE scores and imp differences with the other team before turning in an official result. Really, not a difficult thing to do even in short time sensitive Swiss matches and even simpler in a long KO match!
June 19
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Ray… you play a long match. When it is finished you compare scores and verify with the losing team. The margin was 17 impos. The losing team went home. The winning team turned in a score of plus 25!

Several days later the losing team discovered that the score posted was incorrect. The “winning” team quickly agreed. Several DAYS later.

Those are the facts. Draw your own conclusions.

Perhaps you can call that “caught and corrected”. In my mind if you wallow in mud, it sticks! Or do you prefer to be willfully blind?

Several years ago, I played in a two session Regional Swiss during an NABC. Comparing scores we asked how teammates failed in 3NT. He claimed if the the spades break I have 9 tricks; otherwise, down 1. The two professional opponents both said, not breaking, down 1 and folded their cards. The suit was 3-3!

My team “caught and corrected” the error before the next match. My furious teammate went back to the other table where both pros quickly agreed and said my team had made 3NT. A corrected score was reported.

I duly filed a Player Memo/Recorder form on the incident. Several days later, one of the offending pros came up to me whining “Why did you complain to the ACBL Recorder? You got the win!”
June 19
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Russ, just saying that the ACBL “deeply regrets the confusion” doesn't cut it. Does the ACBL Special Events Department actually READ the proposed CoC before rubber stamping them? Where was the VP scale that was going to be used mentioned?

The ethical issues surrounding the “winning” team are beyond the scope of this thread. But multiple other issues are valid.

Even Mike C agree that there is a discrepancy between the ACBL KO Team Conditions and the D. 22 GNT CoC. What is the ACBL's position?

The ACBL is the governing body that runs the GNT Finals at the Summer NABC. Should they not have the final decision in any disputes that would affect the GNT Finals? Does the ACBL not recognize the losing's team right to go to Binding Arbitration? If not, why not?

The GNT D. 22 CoC have not changed in several years and by all reports have never been followed. Only the “winning” team claims to have known the formula for the final day. The “losing” team that WON BOTH MATCHES and the 3rd place team with no reason to be dishonest, both claim otherwise.

No one disagrees that no VP scale was posted on site. That the “losing” team was told they had won. That the “winning” team turned in an incorrect score from one of their final day two matches. That the decision to change the results was made AFTER the event had ended and players had gone home!

Is this not an ACBL problem? It is a cop out and a very sad one for those of us who believe that fair play, justice and ethics should always prevail.

Only in the ACBL fantasy land of masterpoints and legalistic mumble jumbo does winning both matches in a 3 way final mean losing. And an organization that just doesn't care.
June 18
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Mike, from reading the above it appears (to me at least) that your original position of “pedantically” ;) upholding a literal reading of the CoC (despite never having been followed before, not clearly communicated to the players, and no VP scale posted on site) has evolved into recognizing the injustices that were perpetuated and recognizing the need to “do what is just and fair in making a decision consistent with the spirit of these CoC.”

For that I applaud you and share your hope that there is still time “to DO THE RIGHT THING!”
June 16
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June 13
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Very well said, John! It pains me to say this but a sense of justice, ethics & basic fairness appears to be in short supply among ACBL Board members and management in Horn Lake.

They call it a D. 22 issue. There are more important bigger issues in the ACBL. I was asked this evening why I don't move on. They look for the fine print and can reach any conclusion they wish. They choose to believe “A” but not “B”.

I would love to be proven wrong and see the ACBL take a stand for the integrity of the GNT event and the game.
June 13
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