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All comments by Justin Lall
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Poker has way more cheats than bridge lol, it is pretty “well known” that all of the guys who played in Bobbys room would collude and cheat the recreational whales who would come in.
Oct. 14, 2015
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Yeah cuz clearly there was way less cheating back in the day!

I mean I wasn't there but lol @ thinking that there is more cheating now than there used to be. It is similar to how post Columbine people thought there was more school shootings than there had been… no, there was just more knowledge/coverage about it.
Oct. 14, 2015
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Piotr,

Fair enough, I was wrong to assume that you were trying to defend them. All I can say is I am sure there is much more evidence than what Kit has posted; the stuff that the bridge interpol has found that presumably got the credentials committee to not allow them to play.

It seems like Boye is in an impossible situation, in the beginning everyone criticized his methods and thought that he should go to the governing bodies etc (when in fact he had and no one was doing anything), so then they called him a drama queen.

Now he goes to the WBF and they actually do something, a good sign, and if that is true then posting all this stuff on bridgewinners would not be appropriate. I get the feeling he is trying to make the process work. It was a good sign when the WBF banned them, but since then they let Poland play in the BB, let Poland add a pair, Poland of course won, and now we are back to a situation where things must be leaked etc. I do not think that is a sustainable nor long term solution, and I don't think Boye does either, but given the actions of the WBF and their “statement” it seems that sadly it is still necessary.

In the beginning no one thought Boye had F-S and that he was being a drama queen. Of course, that was not the case. Then his team got F-N. This was so successful that he got the Germans to confess, which saved hundreds of man hours for Boye, Ish, Brad etc. There is no reason to doubt that he has the goods on B-Z and is still just trying to change the process and repair bridge. I'd wait to see what he has before passing judgement on the lack of evidence, surely he has earned that.
Oct. 13, 2015
Justin Lall edited this comment Oct. 13, 2015
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If I have learned one thing throughout this whole process it's that the countrymen of the cheaters take it the hardest. That makes sense to me I guess, I would be devastated if I learned that one of the best US pairs was cheating and I would not want to believe it.

It is ok to be biased but it does seem like some BZ defenders are in denial about even their bias.

I don't think it's a coincidence that many posts supporting them have been coming from people like Thomasz, Witold Zarowski, Piotr Lopusiewicz, etc.
Oct. 13, 2015
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@Shawn,

I think it's just a question of degree. I think team chemistry matters a lot, but so does having a pair as good as Levin and Weinstein on your team lol. So how much the pairs hate each other vs how much the upgrade of the pair would be is the question in any specific scenario, but I def think both matter.
Oct. 10, 2015
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@Melanie: If money were not involved no one would have a problem with a team that won the trials and getting third in the bermuda bowl having been a part of the team.

I am sure I will not be very popular after these statements, but it all stems from jealousy. At the end of the day if you play your boards and win at the table, you deserve credit for that. What kind of game would it be if we just anointed people champions based on how good they were? We wouldn't even need to play bridge, Nickell wins every event, WD!

Especially in light of the recent cheating scandals I would say that the US system of picking teams and their success measures up to anyone (that includes both teams) except maybe Italy (who have had pairs like Lanzarotti-Buratti and Fantoni-Nunes as part of their success, so who knows!).

It is totally cool to be rude about someone who achieves success if they have money or if they receive money though. Amazing culture.
Oct. 10, 2015
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Where did anyone argue that Paul Fireman is as good as Levin/Weinstein? I would argue that no pair on the USA 2 team, perhaps no pair in the world is as good as Levin/Weinstein.

That does not mean that team chemistry does not matter. It also does not mean that Paul Fireman is as good as Levin/Weinstein.

However, I do not understand the lack of respect in the achievement of Paul Fireman. It is the ultimate meritocracy, he won the USBC. He beat some really good teams, and those are 120 board matches (which are the longest you will see outside of the final of the bermuda bowl). He played his boards, he won. He played his boards, he was third in the Bermuda Bowl.

There is some gap between “best player in the world” and “needing to be managed” or (from the Fireman team wins 2015 USBC thread) saying he is undeserving of representing USA and that their team has no chance of winning because he is on it (LOL).

Is Paul Fireman the best player in the country? No. Am I? No. Should I feel bad if I win the trials against a better team on paper and representing my country? No.

This whole charade about this being about him being a sponsor, and that's all that's going on is amazing. I have been accused of being indignant because I am pandering, just LOL at that. If someone said that Kevin Bathurst managed me well on our way to a victory, I would be insulted about that too. It is insulting.

Paul earned his medal. He earned it at the bridge table. Is that not what this game is about?
Oct. 10, 2015
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I agree with everything you said except for “The way it should be.” I do not understand the massive resentment for clients, nor do I think that is the way it should be. They play their boards and at that level they must do it well enough in order to win. If you drop enough imps you cannot win at that level, period.

Who is more deserving to represent USA than someone who wins the US trials? Who is more deserving of a bronze than someone who plays enough boards in order to qualify, and wins a bronze?

I stand by my claim that if money were not involved, and someone was just a weaker player than the rest of their teammates, nobody would care or say disparaging things. So yeah, it seems like people resent the money aspect of the whole thing.
Oct. 9, 2015
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Hi Tom,

I think “managing your partner” is a part of all partnerships, getting the best out of the other player. Gavin is definitely great at that, he has won many championships I think with almost all different partners. The fact that he was able to jump in and play with Joel when Johnny was sick is just another indication of that.

I too am a Gavin fan!
Oct. 9, 2015
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To Jeff Lehman,

Let's say Paul was Gavin's father. Gavin taught him the game and they played on a team. No money was involved as Joel/Johnny Kran/Vince are independently wealthy and are lifelong friends of Gavin and his father. Let's say they won the trials and were third in the Bermuda Bowl.

How do you think the language when discussing Paul would be different? He would be lauded and praised, no one would discuss how well Gavin “managed” him or how he was not deserving of his spot on the US team (this goes back to the thread about Fireman winning the USBC).

Do you think that this is acceptable? What is the difference? The difference are some people are jealous of people who have money, and believe that if they had the chance they would easily win the trials and be 3rd in the bermuda bowl since obviously the pros are just so good it doesnt matter. They probably think they'd be first since they are so much better than Paul!

I can guarantee a team sponsored by someone with your attitude would do terribly. Team chemistry is a thing.
Oct. 9, 2015
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“The language used (“managing” the sponsor) could certainly have been better chosen, but I suspect Justin's indignation is born more of valuing how the bread is buttered than true absence of understanding what the writer intended.”

You know, not everything is about valuing “how the bread is buttered.” Perhaps my indignation stems from the constant belittling and diminishing of a great achievement because someone has money.

Paul played his boards. He won the trials. He was third in the Bermuda Bowl. Did it ever occur to you that if he really played badly that would not be possible? Do we all have to play as well as the best player on our team in order to pull our weight?

The language was poor but it was the intent that is really incredible. Yeah Gavin “managed” Paul that's why they did so well, lol, you have no clue.

Many of you preach so hard on bridgewinners being nice to everyone and blah blah, meanwhile many on here say completely nasty and rude things about both bridge pros and bridge clients.
Oct. 9, 2015
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“We apologize to a generation of (mostly) honest top players who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of excellence in bridge only to now learn that their dreams of glory could never really have come true. We allowed the deck to be stacked against you.”

This really hit home to me. And I know it is the generation before mine (namely, Fred's) who was the most affected, but yeah, wow.
Oct. 9, 2015
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Am I the only one who finds the phrase “not only had to manage an inexperienced sponsor…” truly offensive?

Paul Fireman won the US team trials. Paul Fireman won the bronze medal in the Bermuda Bowl. Show the man a little more respect than “having to be managed.”

I have said this before but in 2014, Paul Fireman got sick right before the trials so his team played 5 handed. I know this very well since I was on the team instead of Vince (who was still not eligible to play for USA). Without Paul our team lost in the round of 8 of the trials.

As fate would have it, the next year I got to lose to Paul in the finals!

A similar team of pros without a sponsor (Kranyak, Gavin, Bathurst, Dwyer), won the trials recently. They added some guys named Levin and Weinstein. They played in the Bermuda Bowl, and did not earn a medal (they were 4th).

And still, people won't even give the man enough respect to not say things like "Gavin had to manage ."

Sorry guys, it's not easy to win the trials and medal in the bermuda bowl. You can't just not pull your weight and do it. Paul was not managed, he was a part of the reason they achieved what they did.
Oct. 9, 2015
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The audacity and nerve of this WBF statement. WOW. You guys are seriously incompetent in every way.
Oct. 9, 2015
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All,

A) I did not accuse B of cheating

B) I do think that what I have said is damning. Because lying about a hand twice is not evidence of cheating, but it is evidence of poor character. Only people of poor character cheat.

C) Yeah good people do bad stuff. They get traffic tickets. They probably don't murder or rape people. There are matters of degree. I do not know anyone who I respect or like who lies about hands they play. But that is not the point. The point is simply that it is clear B lied about this hand. Twice.

D) Yeah it's totally possible that the WBF banned a pair not cheating. That happens very often. Lol. Again not solid evidence but circumstancial evidence is real.

E) It's possible brogeland gets honest pairs banned. So far that hasn't happened. In fact Boye has caught 4 cheating pairs in as many weeks. To doubt him is insane. At this point pairs are confessing in order to hope for leniency because it's inevitable that he will catch him. Boye is changing the culture of the game. It is great.

F) Even if all this happens, the court of public opinion is erring on the side of caution. That is reasonable. If a noncheating pair is somehow accused of cheating, they have a legitimate defense that people will find and support automatically. Maybe it seems that Boye and the bridge interpol is randomly accusing pairs of cheating! Because… well I don;t know why, that makes no sense! However they actually spend hundreds of hours researching data and cracking codes before they even announce their findings. The truth is it is 90+ percent when they do a few hours that a pair is cheating, they spend the next 100 hours making it 100 %. They are extremely cautious, for good reason, they can ruin peoples lives and ruin their own lives by getting sued, etc. They are extremely cautious and that's why they've always been right. It is not like they are frivalously accusing people. How can you not see that?

Again, let's use common sense. If not, I understand skepticism, but until Boye and co are wrong, lets give them some credit. Or the WBF who revokes credentials. LOL.

Seriously, this is not a witchhunt. That is obvious. I understood that line of thought in the beginning, but not now.

The fact is the super high burden of proof and super high level of secrecy has caused this issue. It's caused cheaters to prosper. It MUST be lowered. Circumstancial evidence must at the very least enable an open and honest discussion. The bar is still EXTREMELY high. But it's not what it was. And that's why change is happening. That's why cheaters are finally being caught. That's why the game is being cleaned up.

Thank you Boye.
Sept. 30, 2015
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Nezer,

That does not change anything about what I posted. Do you really think that it does not say anything that B lied about this hand twice? Do you dispute it? That was the point of this post. But if you think they are 90 % to be cheating then this is a positive discussion. That is what has changed in the past few months, that discussion was considered taboo, and at the end of the day you have pairs who were cheating being #1 in the world, winning every major event in the past few years, and pairs confessing. This is a positive thing. The method necessary is distasteful, but that is because the governing bodies have been inept at catching this.

Which is better, having pairs that are cheating win everything and be #1 in the world, or having the possibility of an honest pair be accused of cheating (and no doubt they would aquit themselves) in a public forum? I for one am tired of cheating prospering in our game that I love.
Sept. 30, 2015
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Mariano,

Thank you for the compliments. This is not politics, this is actually a rebellion against the incompetent, corrupt, governing bodies.

I understand why this approach is distasteful to many. It is distatesful to me. In an ideal world we would file recorder forms and the league would take care of it. But look at it this way, guys who were known cheaters were number 1 and 2 in the world for like a DECADE! They made millions, stole jobs and titles from honest pairs. Because the league did nothing. Boye and his team caught 4 in a few weeks.

This was necessary. Is it the right or optimal process? No. But it was necessary. And it has worked. To question his methods, well they have worked. We (top honest players) have felt so liberated. I understand your reservations, but transparency and an open process is clearly necessary. It would suck if an honest pair was accused publicly, but at least at the end of the day they would be cleared. And that has not happened yet, the cheating pairs have been caught.

Boye was criticized heavily for not presenting the evidence early on. But he always had it. His method has worked. I do not know about the evidence regarding B-Z, but I have no reason to doubt Boye. And the fact that the WBF revoked their credentials, well what does that say to you? The WBF does not do stuff like that.

But I have not even commented that they're cheating. I have just factually presented a guy lying about a hand he played. Twice. And I did so in response to a comment that Balicki would never do such a thing since he's a games player. Lol. Open Your Eyes.

All I am presenting here is what has happened. This is not a high character guy who would never cheat.
Sept. 30, 2015
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His post should not be deleted! To have a real transparent discussion, you cannot censor the point of view of people's opinion you don't agree with. He was not abusive, he was honest. Censoring or deleting his post would be the opposite of what I want.

Mariano, I disagree with you but I respect your right to have an opinion contrary to mine. That is how the truth is found, honest discussion by people who disagree with you. I appreciate your honesty.
Sept. 30, 2015
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Mariano,

I definitely have a well documented past. However, please show me where I have straight up lied in order to make myself look good. I did not say anyone cheated necessarily, I have not been part of the bridge Interpol. I do know that the wbf did not approve BZs credentials which is as far as I know a first. But that is not what I'm talking about, I am directly rebutting a response that someone with the character of Balicki would never do something like this with direct evidence.

The fact is Balicki is not some elite games player who would never do anything sketchy. this is evidence of that. The wbf would not revoke their credentials without strong evidence. They would not allow it without a fight, nor would any honest pair.

But we have not been presented the evidence publicly yet, but nor were we about any of the pairs yet. it definitely goes to the character of someone who would lie about things like that. However this needs to be presented. I do not nor am I saying that this means they cheat.

I have been inspired to post this. I have had mental and behavioral problems and I will not disputed that. however I welcome anyone to look at my posts or blogs or video and say that I cheat or have lied or been dishonest. Your false equivocation is totally incorrect in my opinion but it's not about that, that is a red herring. I have presented this evidence as a rebuttal to a post, and i ask you to tell me where I am wrong about it.

Boye has shown us that transparency and crowdsourcing is the only way to clean up our game. I am proud to be involved in this and to be involved in his vision. I invite an open discussion of what I have said; that is why I posted this. this is the way of the future. I wish I had done mor.

Let's have a discussion. It is not normal to lie about playing a hand you did not play. twice. it is not and reflects badly on anyone who does it.
Sept. 30, 2015
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Hope y'all like it,,, I was inspired by the work of Boye et all to make a change and find a minor story that was important to me.
Sept. 30, 2015
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