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All comments by Jonathan Steinberg
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Yes, in fact I think the last two SF NABCs were at this location
May 15
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As did I. The Las Vegas Cosmopolitan is under the Marriott Bonvoy brand – part of their Autograph Collection. This is a great opportunity for players who couldn't get the host hotel in Vegas. It is now available.

While many players have complained about the ACBL charging a non refundable first night deposit 60 days or so prior to the start of the NABC, this is a perfect example of why they do it.

Just prior to the Toronto NABC, there were 500+ room cancellations about a week before the NABC started. The ACBL had to pay thousands for not filling their room block!

That was the major reason then CEO Bahar Gidwani instituted the new policy. Two months prior, gives the ACBL lots of time to sell the rooms that were cancelled. One week does not.
May 15
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Very true and for the rich and wealthy (the only people who can afford to attend NABCs), it is a “great” deal. But going forward, all I see is declining attendance numbers.
May 15
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4:20 PM EDT. The On Peak online rate has been corrected to $165 from $169. Showing availability from Nov 28 until the end. No availability on Nov. 26 or 27. But if you call On Peak, they probably do have rooms available (as they did this morning when I got the 27th even though online said sold out).

The ACBL and it's housing bureau are not a model of efficiency. The real question is: Why do we need On Peak? Why not speak directly to Marriott?
May 15
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I received a note from the ACBL Executive Director, Joe Jones thanking me for pointing this out. The correct rate IS $165. I also received a correction from On PEAK showing the $5 nightly reduction from $169 to $165.

It is probably best if the ACBL would proof read and confirm that both On Peak and the ACBL are on the same page before opening reservations online!
May 15
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment May 15
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BBO was broadcasting the event live online. There were some hiccups but then Danny Miles appeared with some excellent VuGraph commentary. The CBF Bridge Week tournament website is: https://cbf.ca/BWeek/19files/results.shtml
May 10
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History will not be kind to Mr. Whipple's year as ACBL President in 2018. While the Hawaii $800,000 loss was a result of a horrendous ACBL contract signed many years ago, 2018 was the year when the CEO was abruptly fired without adequate reflection and clearly without sufficient legal justification. As a result, an arbitrator ruled that the ACBL was liable for $800,000 that had to be paid to the former CEO. Who is taking responsibility for that decision? As always, it is the ACBL membership that has to pay for the mistakes of its leaders.

I found the Florida Bridge News report to be a very sad read, especially coming from the 2018 ACBL President. He covers a lot of ground, far too much to be adequately covered on Bridge Winners. For those who really wish to make a difference, you need to volunteer, run for office, or at the very least ensure that your thoughts are targeted towards those with the power to make changes. Lobby your ACBL Board member, the new ACBL Executive Director, the 2019 ACBL President.

I totally disagree with Mr. Whipple's assertion that NABC entry fees are 30% too low and that ACBL members who look for cheaper hotel alternatives are the problem. In Mr. Whipple's world, only the wealthy would be able to attend NABCs and play bridge.

I do agree that the demographic realities are a major issue. So is the 25 member Board of Directors. They hire the CEO. How have they done over the last ten years? But they refuse to recognize themselves as a problem.
April 11
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I have just posted 80 photos of the Sights & Sounds of Memphis at: http://imageevent.com/jon911/2019sightssoundsofmemphis and 85 photos of bridge players at: http://imageevent.com/jon911/2019memphisnabc

Enjoy!
April 3
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The higher card fees don't kick in until Las Vegas. Memphis may have been ACBL's last affordable NABC.
March 31
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Final table count, a very successful 9,644 tables which surpassed the 2012 Spring Memphis NABC that had 9,626 tables. Very likely to return in Spring, 2024 (A great year: Memphis, Toronto, Las Vegas)!
March 31
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Not close to 10,000. Attendance drops sharply on the weekend. The Sunday schedule is hardly attractive and hasn't been for a long time. As of tonight, 9,080 tables. Expect final attendance to be a little over 9500, close to the 9600 number the last time the NABC was in Memphis. But well over the budgeted estimate of 9000 to 9200.

Given that Hawaii was a dud and Las Vegas and San Francisco are next, this was the ONLY NABC anywhere near the East Coast. also perhaps the last affordable NABC so solid attendance not a surprise.
March 31
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Aaron, instead of little bits and pieces of info, allegations of unethical behaviour, complaints about the TD rulings, etc… why not post both hands so we can all see them, the exact auctions, meanings, breaks in tempo (if any), what the TDs ruled and why? Were any of these rulings appealed? What was the final decision?

There is no reason not to mention which players sat East/West/North & South. Everything is recorded. Who are we protecting and why?

It has been almost a full week since the Platinum Pairs appeal and ruling but nothing has been posted in the Daily Bulletin. I would like to see the write-up and logic behind the final ruling. A clarification of taking inferences at your own risk. Exactly what are the rules and regulations regarding thinking at trick one?
March 29
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The Blue Ribbon Pairs Grand Slam, The Platinum Pairs hesitation at TRICK ONE, now no less than TWO late night appeals (apparently controversial with some strong feelings) deciding major events/ matches. It is so sad and a black mark on the professional high level game of bridge.

While I am pleased that it is the TDs and not players making these decisions in the wee hours of the morning… and more pleased that cameras record every action at the table so at least the facts are known (including exactly how long any hesitations were or were not)… it still sucks to have events decided by appeals.
March 29
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The Majestic Grille (where old 1930's movies never stop playing) and McEwen's both offer excellent quality meals. Reservations recommended.
March 27
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The good news was that his team was soundly defeated in the round of 64. But what choice did Mahaffey have? ACBL rules do NOT allow you to refuse to play against somebody without suffering severe consequences. The only guilty party is the ACBL Board and Appeals Charges Committee that allowed this to happen.

Equally sad IMHO and very bad for the game is to have key events won on appeal. The recent Blue Ribbon Pairs last Fall and now the Platinum Pairs here in Memphis.

Again, no easy solutions.
March 27
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment March 27
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54 teams including the one I'm on had a first day Vanderbilt Bye. Alex Hudson & I took the day off and saw the Memphis Grizzlies defeat Oklahoma City Thunder this evening. Led by ex Raptor Jonas Valanciunas. Great to have a day off between the Platinum & Vanderbilt.

Two positive suggestions: 1) Most teams with a bye knew who they were going to play on Tuesday. IF BOTH teams agree, they should be allowed to play on Monday. The winning teams gets day 2 off to celebrate while the losing team does not waste a day and can play in a new event on Tuesday.

2) Establish a cash prize from the entry fee as an incentive for more teams to play. There were 54 eligible teams. Only 22 teams started this afternoon. There were only 7 teams playing this evening.
March 25
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Look, the ACBL lost $2 Million (give or take, who's counting?) in 2018. They have to recoup the losses somehow. Entry fees at NABCS increasing 25-30% across the board starting in Vegas.

I fear it won't be too long before only the wealthy and the bridge pros attend NABCs
March 25
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Human memories are notoriously faulty. Every table in the Platinum Pairs had cameras and there are videos of the play of the hand. Not open to conjecture.

Always unfortunate (and far too common) when events are decided on appeals. But it is what it is.

Congratulations to Zia, Curtis, Glenn & Barry for a great performance.

Note: I believe this was the second NABC where Glenn Milgrim lost an NABC title as a result of an appeal that had nothing to do with his table. Sometimes, life sucks!
March 25
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Perhaps it was an underhanded way of stopping Rona from being President for life? Instead of voting him out, they created an age limit to disqualify him (shortly). Perhaps it recognizes that Octogenarians are not the leaders the dying game of bridge needs nor would they be best to appeal to younger players? Perhaps in recognition that one is not supposed to serve until death? Instead of term limits, age limits?

Was Rona not over 75 when he was recently reelected? A recognition that it was not the WBF's finest hour; hence, new rules.

Perhaps the ACBL Board should do the same although age discrimination is undoubtedly illegal in North America.
March 11
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment March 11
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