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All comments by Jonathan Steinberg
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Indeed! I play a lot of bridge and attend every NABC. People tell me things. I listen and I watch. I fill out Recorder slips. For the past few years I have privately (as per ACBL regulations) sent the ACBL a list of names. Nothing happens. The names on my list do remarkably well.

Now the ACBL will FINALLY take action. Yes, Boye has made ALL of us proud and made the game a better place.
Aug. 28, 2015
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The proof has arrived.

http://bridgecheaters.com/

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/boye-shows-the-jack-of-spades/

Congratulations again, Boye! You've made us all proud.

Aug. 28, 2015
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This thread is toast. Boye has produced the J of Spades and more. He deserves everyone's praise and congratulations.

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/boye-shows-the-jack-of-spades/

http://bridgecheaters.com/
Aug. 28, 2015
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As for the ACBL, I would expect a complete investigation followed by formal charges. Once a decision is reached it will be announced. Those are the ACBL policies. They must follow due process and do things in a careful manner. I believe they will.

Moving forward, when the ACBL Board convenes in Denver (Fall NABC) they will have an opportunity to pass legislation and set up new procedures along the lines Larry Cohen suggests.

I recognize the ACBL has been lax in the past but I think they now recognize how critical it is to take action and move forward. Once again, thank you Boye!
Aug. 28, 2015
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Congratulations, Boye! You had the courage to follow through with your convictions. You have done a great service to the game. You can now sleep well. Thank you.
Aug. 28, 2015
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ACBL suspensions for bad checks is the one exception to normal CDR procedures for discipline. Management has the authority to issue the suspension and then rescind it when payment is made. The ACBL Board is not even notified. It is an administrative rather than a disciplinary process.
Aug. 28, 2015
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I agree 100% Peter. My fervent hope is that the Cayne/Schwartz Appeal Committee travesty (just the latest in a long line of unbelievable decisions) will FINALLY spur the ACBL Board of Directors to abolish Player Based Appeals Committees. For years the powers that be kept saying they will get better committee members, improve the system, TDs need more training (they have been handling all appeals at NABCs below the NABC level since 1999!)only the expert player can understand the expert thinking… What Bullshit.

Players ruling on other players at the highest level simply stinks. It fails the odour test.

To the ACBL Board of Directors: Part of cleaning up the game (besides expelling the cheaters) involves repairing the broken Appeals Committee structure, fatally flawed by the perception of bias, and beyond repair.
Aug. 27, 2015
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Mike has been granted a “stay” pending his review in Denver. My understanding is that either the ACBL President or the Chair of Appeals & Charges can grant a stay. Perhaps others?

In any case his discipline is on hold pending the official review of his case.
Aug. 26, 2015
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Another excellent post, Chris. Can I hire you to be my ghost writer ;)?
Aug. 25, 2015
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I suspect this thread will soon rival “The Whole Story” and surpass 1000 comments. The world of social media that we live in. So be it. Without facts, all we have is speculation - some saying it is about time, while others talk about slander & libel!

I maintain social media is not the place to produce evidence, to try and convict anyone. There should be due process for all sides, respect for our system of justice, formal charges and discipline. But people are not patient.

No one except Boye knows what is going on within his mind. Why did he choose to go public without waiting for the ACBL, EBL, and/or the WBF to digest his material and take appropriate action? One reason may well be that the powers-that-be have a pitiful track record in these matters. By going public (or semi-public, since we have not seen the evidence – nor perhaps should we at this point in time) he may well be applying pressure on the ACBL, EBL, to take appropriate action.

What is indisputable is that rumours and whispering have been going on for far too long. I have referenced http://newinbridge.com/news/2015/may/fisher-schwartz-not-bermuda-bowl this interview in other posts. The allegations against Fisher/Schwartz are in the public domain and acknowledged by them.

Personally, I have the highest respect for Boye. I believe he has “the nuts” on them and in due course all will be revealed. But due process takes time…players must be formally charged, given time to respond, legal hearings conducted. A reasonable time frame for a decision would be later this year, probably during the Denver NABC when everyone gets together.

Ultimately, I believe it is positive that the whispering is no longer secret. It was destructive to everyone. Let us us all hope that six months or one year from today, the game will be a better place.

Finally I have been arguing for many years that we must abolish player based appeal committees, remove bias and conflict of interest and let referees rule as they do in every sport except bridge (and only in the ACBL). See my post: http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/cayneschwartz-appeal-that-ultimately-decided-the-spingold-winners-what-went-wrong-will-it-happen-again/ The ACBL Board of Directors will be voting on this issue in Denver. I fervently hope that the transition to TD panel committees will finally become the law of the land.
Aug. 25, 2015
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment Aug. 25, 2015
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While I commend the Schwartz team in taking this unprecedented and preemptive action, I have serious concerns as to the merits of accusing players on social media before any type of official hearing.

I congratulate Boye for allegedly “breaking the code” and bringing the information to the appropriate organizations for action. But fairness and due process are the bedrock of our judicial system.

I can understand everyone's frustration – see http://newinbridge.com/news/2015/may/fisher-schwartz-not-bermuda-bowl but I wonder what sort of precedent has been established, not to mention the legal ramifications.

If the ACBL finds a pair guilty of cheating, removing NABC titles is a valid part of the discipline. I wonder if the Cayne team will take similar preemptive action or wait for due process to follow its course.

Aug. 25, 2015
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Hi Roger, please excuse my question but I checked your profile and there is little information. Are you an ACBL member? Do you play tournament bridge? I see that you are “unranked”, whatever that means. Sometimes it helps to know where someone is coming from and a little bit about their background.

Your suggestion to publicly post hands and NAMES of players and their table actions that YOU deem to be unethical/questionable is appalling to me. Are you really serious?
Aug. 23, 2015
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I applaud Boye for speaking out and hope that further information will be provided. More important is for the ACBL, EBL, and WBF to take the actions required to clean up the game.

This issue has been discussed before: See the two links below.

May 11, 2015 New In Bridge Interview: http://newinbridge.com/news/2015/may/fisher-schwartz-not-bermuda-bowl

May 11, 2015 Bridge Winners Thread:
http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/fisher-schwartz-not-in-bermuda-bowl/

Aug. 23, 2015
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No problem, Jonathan F. Apology accepted. Hey, I'm always partial to anyone named Jonathan ;)
Aug. 22, 2015
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And I all of you! But be careful, Jonathan, there are an awful lot of cat lovers out there.
Aug. 22, 2015
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Bridge Winners is what is wrong with this picture. One's personal troubles should not be ridiculously discussed by random people with no personal involvement, little or no facts, little knowledge of due process, and on a site where “Community Guidelines” are a joke.

ACBL C&E cases should not be fodder for social media. Never have so many said so little… over and over again…

Excuse me, I am now putting on my body armour
Aug. 22, 2015
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In the real world, if someone is charged with a crime, it may well be reported in a newspaper – certainly if it is a high profile individual. A reputable newspaper will ensure that it not only reports the charges but will follow up with the actual court case, and decision. If there is an appeal, that too, will be reported.

The ACBL is not the real world. No one's life or liberty is ever at stake. We are a membership organization. The ACBL keeps all charges confidential (as it should). Once a player is convicted, the results are made known – e-mails are sent to every unit and District secretary announcing the news. Bridge Clubs are notified. As per ACBL regulations, it may also appear in the Daily Bulletin and/or ACBL Bulletin (as it should).

Imagine a hypothetical situation. A well known pair of suspected cheaters are finally charged and convicted by an ACBL Disciplinary Committee, for example, the EOC. They are suspended and are asked to leave in the middle of the tournament. People will surely notice. The rumours and gossip will grow exponentially with each passing day that there is no official announcement. The outrage on BW will rival the current “Whole Story”. The lynch mob will prevail.

In my opinion, there should be an immediate announcement after a finding of guilt. Yes, there may be an automatic review and/or appeals from either side. The discipline may change. The process may well take several months to play out. It would hardly be transparency to hide the committee findings (they are sent to every unit/District and bridge club). There is no reason not to publish the player name, number, CDR conviction, and discipline. I totally disagree with all the people who want to keep the lid on until the appeal process is finished.

As in the real world, after any review or appeal, if there is a change in discipline, it should be duly reported and published.

Finally I would be horrified if the details of any ACBL C&E case were to be released to the general public or heaven forbid to the 30,000 random, unmoderated members of Bridge Winners. Whether it is Joe Blow or World Champion, confidential documents, committee arguments, etc should not be in the public domain. The exception would be the most serious cases leading to a lengthy suspension or expulsion where the bridge hands used to convict may be released as appropriate and with careful consideration.
Aug. 22, 2015
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment Aug. 24, 2015
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In the real world, if someone is charged with a crime, it may well be reported in a newspaper – certainly if it is a high profile individual. A reputable newspaper will ensure that it not only reports the charges but will follow up with the actual court case, and decision. If there is an appeal, that too, will be reported.

The ACBL is not the real world. No one's life or liberty is ever at stake. We are a membership organization. The ACBL keeps all charges confidential (as it should). Once a player is convicted, the results are made known – e-mails are sent to every unit and District secretary announcing the news. Bridge Clubs are notified. As per ACBL regulations, it may also appear in the Daily Bulletin and/or ACBL Bulletin (as it should).

Imagine a hypothetical situation. A well known pair of suspected cheaters are finally charged and convicted by an ACBL Disciplinary Committee, for example, the EOC. They are suspended and are asked to leave in the middle of the tournament. People will surely notice. The rumours and gossip will grow exponentially with each passing day that there is no official announcement. The outrage on BW will rival the current “Whole Story”. The lynch mob will prevail.

In my opinion, there should be an immediate announcement after a finding of guilt. Yes, there may be an automatic review and/or appeals from either side. The discipline may change. The process may well take several months to play out. It would hardly be transparency to hide the committee findings (they are sent to every unit/District and bridge club). There is no reason not to publish the player name, number, CDR conviction, and discipline. I totally disagree with all the people who want to keep the lid on until the appeal process is finished.

As in the real world, after any review or appeal, if there is a change in discipline, it should be duly reported and published.

Finally I would be horrified if the details of any ACBL C&E case were to be released to the general public or heaven forbid to the 30,000 random, unmoderated members of Bridge Winners. Whether it is Joe Blow or World Champion, confidential documents, committee arguments, etc should not be in the public domain. The exception would be the most serious cases leading to a lengthy suspension or expulsion where the bridge hands used to convict may be released as appropriate and with careful consideration.
Aug. 22, 2015
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Ironically, in the same 1999 Vancouver Daily Bulletin on page 5 there is an article “Appeals process for non-NABC+ events” which was the start of a new and better system for hearing appeals. It has been in place since 1999. I believe it is time to expand the system to include ALL events at NABCs.

Please refer to my thread on this topic at: http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/cayneschwartz-appeal-that-ultimately-decided-the-spingold-winners-what-went-wrong-will-it-happen-again/

Look at this controversial appeal from 2013 http://www.acbl.org/nabc/2013/01/bulletins/db9.pdf Appeal Case #6, page 14.

And the most recent travesty on page 17 of the Sunday ACBL
Daily Bulletin: Appeals Case #6 at: http://www.acbl.org/nabc/2015/02/bulletins/db10.pdf
Aug. 21, 2015
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Will this thread reach 1000 hits and crash everyone's servers?

There is a HUGE disconnect between Mike's “The Whole Story”, the finding of guilt by the Ethical Oversight Committee, and the discipline imposed. None of it adds up.

For most of my 15 years on the ACBL Board (1994-2008), I served on the Appeals & Charges Committee. League Counsel told us that as a membership organization the courts have always given us broad leeway in imposing discipline. The ACBL has never lost a court case (insurance companies have settled out-of-court). What is important was to act in good faith and try to be consistent. One cannot give someone a censure and someone else expulsion for the same offense.

From my experience, the EOC decisions are usually unanimous, not 3-2. A consensus must be reached – there is too much at stake. Further, the EOC is reserved for serious cases, patterns of misbehaviour, gross ethical violations and the like. It is inconceivable to me that the EOC would be called in for a single board where one card was misplaced and two imps were lost!

Penalties are based on circumstances and past history. A “Censure” is a minor slap on the wrist - well, yes, you were technically guilty but there extenuating circumstances, the offense was minor, etc. To remove 25% of ones masterpoints and be given 13 month probation is a serious discipline (even if not suspension).

I have reviewed and seen 3 month, 6 month, 12 month (1 year), 2 and 3 year probation sanctions – the longer ones often after a suspension ends. I have NEVER seen a 13 month probation. Why 13 months and not the more normal 12 months or 1 year?

NOTHING about this case makes sense. This thread can go on endlessly but as one person just messaged me: “Once upon a time there were two sides to every story. When did it get to be only one?”

Without hearing from the other side, everything here is just aimless speculation, repetitive, and shedding no light on the matter.
Aug. 20, 2015
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