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All comments by Jonathan Steinberg
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It's always a shame when any event is decided by an Appeal in the wee hours of the morning. I'm sure it will be posted and analyzed ad nauseum.

Congratulations to Bobby, Chris, Eldad & Joe (alphabetical order) on their superb performance. They are all champions.
Nov. 30, 2018
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Unlike most tournaments, there are no cash concession stands at any playing areas. Hilton Hawaiian Village wants players to buy overpriced food, snacks, etc from their numerous stores. One popular place is an ice cream shop near the Regional events.

Tonight several players rushed to beat the 11 PM closing time. People were inside the shop and several players were at the front door when an employee forcefully closed the door saying “we are CLOSED” at exactly 11 PM.

Wouldn't happen at a mom and pop shop. But at the Hilton Hawaiian rip off, who cares about the customers or personalized service.

HILTON SUCKS!
Nov. 29, 2018
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Today's 1 & 7:30 PM Regional Open Pairs paid 20 points to win. Yesterday's and tomorrows paid/will pay almost double that amount. Why? Because of where the Gold Rush events are. Today the Gold Rush was a Swiss opposite a 1 & 7:30 Swiss which, BTW, was in the Tapa Ballroom where the NABC events are being played rather than the Coral ballroom which is in a separate building about a 5 minute walk from where “MOST” Regional events are being played. Hard to arrange teams and decide what to play in.

One would think that with the minuscule under estimate attendance, space would not be a problem but… there are actually tables in the hallway at one location. Not to mention mediocre lighting and dark spots in poorly arranged playing areas.

The ACBL masterpoint inequity and flawed formulas have been discussed numerous times including by me on Bridge Winners. Strength of Field is irrelevant.. it is all about what events are opposite other events.

For several years, I have been told that the Board of Directors has been working on the problem but no changes can be made until ACBL Score is fixed. Maybe next Century.

But starting in Las Vegas, Summer, 2019, NABC entry fees will be $20, $30, and whatever the screen surcharge will be … per person, per session!
Nov. 29, 2018
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There are SIX BILLIONAIRES living on the island of Oahu. Life is good. For the rest of us, lots of dining options. Ala Moana shopping center has multiple reasonably priced restaurants. I enjoyed Assaggio, excellent Italian, excellent service, nice paintings on the wall.

In the Waikiki Beach walk area, Giovanni Pastrami has excellent pizza and the best Reuben Pastrami deli sandwich I have ever had. For $20, it should be! Many places have Happy Hour menus until 6 PM which fits the bridge players schedule.

Roy's Hawaiian fusion cuisine is expensive but worth it.

Getting rave reviews (reservations a MUST) is Taormina Sicillian Cuisine. The King Salmon is to die for ($32). Excellent pasta dishes.

The iconic Rainbow Tower at the Hilton and Diamond Head have not changed since 2006. But, yes, people from Manhattan claim the Waikiki & Hawaiian Village area is more expensive than NYC. Leave this area and value increases. Nico's Pier 38 on the waterfront (4 miles) has excellent fresh seafood, reasonable prices. No reservations.
Nov. 28, 2018
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As I told a member of the ACBL Board of Directors that I had just taken photo #242, she quipped: “How did you find so many people?”!

My FINAL tournament estimate came from a TD whose predictions one can usually take to the bank. 62xx tables (as in 6,200 and something).

The official numbers will be published every day in the Daily Bulletin'
Nov. 28, 2018
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3192.5 tables as of Tuesday night. 6300 - 6500 seems likely, down 2000 tables from 2006 and at least 1000 tables from various estimates. A complete disaster.

And now the ACBL believes raising NABC entry fees 25 to 30% is the answer. It is not. The ACBL Board and management are totally clueless as to how to run a business and/or basic marketing strategies. Not to mention negotiating contracts and technology.

There is no light at the end of this tunnel.
Nov. 28, 2018
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3192.5 tables as of Tuesday night. 6300 - 6500 seems likely, down 2000 tables from 2006 and at least 1000 tables from various estimates. A complete disaster.

And now the ACBL believes raising NABC entry fees 25 to 30% is the answer. It is not. The ACBL Board and management are totally clueless as to how to run a business and/or basic marketing strategies. Not to mention negotiating contracts and technology.

There is no light at the end of this tunnel.
Nov. 28, 2018
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As of Monday night, 2,436 tables. The Daily Bulletin will start listing table count tomorrow (Wednesday)
Nov. 27, 2018
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2436 tables as of Monday night. The Daily Bulletin will start listing table count tomorrow
Nov. 27, 2018
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Very true. I played in the event and still can't see my scores, results from last night. Live only shows the afternoon session. Today's Daily Bulletin does show 2 session overall results… how accurate they are, who knows? No way to check the scores!
Nov. 27, 2018
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NABC entry fees are being across the board. See my post: http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/nabc-entry-fees-increase-as-of-summer-2019/
Nov. 26, 2018
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A former ACBL CEO presided over the biggest single financial loss in ACBL's history – the ACBL Score $1 Million plus fiasco – and was rewarded with salary increases! The ACBL Board has now elected him to serve as one of the ACBL's 5 representatives to the WBF Executive Council. It boggles the mind!

Barry is absolutely correct. There are no consequences and no accountability for disastrous errors of management and/or the Board.
Nov. 26, 2018
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Sorry Mike, there will be no sigh of relief. Original pre-tournament estimates were in the 7390 to 8400 range. Now it appears we will be lucky to reach 7,000 tables for the tournament. Attendance has been a disaster.
Nov. 26, 2018
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It usually is but nothing has been published here (as of today). It may start later in the week (or not).

Attendance is way below even the original low estimates that ranged between 7390 to 8400. At the current rate, may not reach 7000 tables.
Nov. 26, 2018
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The suspicious hand in question (now removed by BW) is a textbook example for the non offending side to fill out a player memo and submit it to the ACBL National Recorder, Robb Gordon, to be investigated.

It most definitely does NOT belong on Bridge Winners and I'm glad it has been removed.

I agree with Richard. We all mis sort our cards and on occasion (rarely) don't see an Ace. I personally played against one half of a USA world class pair with multiple NABC wins do just that against me at Regional. Passed in first seat (clear opener)… later jumped to game. Did you find another Ace asked his partner. The answer was YES! His 11 point hand when he passed was actually a 15 point balanced 1NT opener!
Nov. 25, 2018
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Well done guys! Great win.
Nov. 25, 2018
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Mike, it is equally poor management to have attractively priced rooms that sell out within a few days as it is to have overpriced rooms where the ACBL fails to meet its room block.

The Kansas City $99 rooms were all sold out. Quickly. That is not enough to ensure good attendance. Overflow rooms at $149 15-20 minutes away from the playing site were not popular. Had more rooms been available, attendance would have been significantly higher. Just looking at the numbers is not sufficient analysis.
Nov. 23, 2018
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How anyone can be happy with a 35% reduction is beyond me. I'm told the “official” ACBL estimates are 7,390 and 8,400 tables. No idea what that means or who made them.

One high ranked expert ACBL TD predicted 7,512 tables. This guy is usually very accurate.

Today will be a much better indicator than the Thanksgiving Thursday numbers.
Nov. 23, 2018
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I can easily explain the low Kansas City attendance. The $99 rooms sold out almost instantly, not nearly enough for the demand and the alternatives were much more expensive and not near the playing areas. So people stopped trying and stayed home.

And the NABC event increases will be more than $10 a day. Let's not forget the screen surcharge if you play well enough to get that far in an NABC event. How much will that be? Stay tuned.

I'm told the “official” ACBL estimates for Hawaii are 7,390 and
8,400 tables. Why two “official” estimates? No idea. I believe this will be the smallest NABC ever.
Nov. 23, 2018
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Consider: A $1 increase in membership fees every year would bring in $166,000. Every 2nd year: $83,000. If every 3rd year $55,000 a year. Is that not more equitable than punishing tournament players?

IMHO, just 12 issues of the ACBL Bridge Bulletin is worth at least $60 – a mere $5 per issue. Membership fees are not high.

But to attract more players to play in tournaments (isn't that the goal?) the ACBL must make them affordable. Raising entry fees $10 per day per player is not the answer.

One can argue that an extra $100 per tournament is no big deal. But for some it may be the breaking point. For others, psychologically if they feel they are being ripped off or the value is just not there… they will stop or cut back on playing.

Obviously expenses must be cut, the Board of Directors should be drastically reduced in size, and ACBL management must do a much better job. I have yet to see any positive signs.
Nov. 22, 2018
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