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All comments by Kevin O'Brien
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Willing to play vs convicted and then reinstated cheater:
aka Unwilling to default vs convicted and then reinstated cheater (and possibly face further penalties):
Jim Mahaffey, Winter Park FL; Sam Lev, New York NY; Gary Cohler, Delray Beach FL; Billy Cohen, Sherman Oaks CA; Berend Van Den Bos, Den Haag Netherlands; Joris van Lankveld, Amsterdam Netherlands

Willing to partner or team with convicted and then reinstated cheater: Romain Zaleski, Paris France; Dario Attanasio, Aci Castello Italy; Miguel Villas-Boas, Salvador Brazil; Diego Brenner, Barcelona Spain; Arrigo Franchi, Italy

Willing to reinstate convicted cheater: ACBL Appeals & Charges Committee, rubber-stamped by ACBL Board of Directors
March 27
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 27
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In our area, these KO matches are usually played in homes; Director is only required to be on call, not actually at playing site.

As for volunteer assistance, you need some event coordinator to take entries and post match results. You also need someone to get the word to on-campus Bridge players; could be as little as posting on appropriate .edu web sites, or an ad in a campus newspaper.

Want to try with as little effort as above?

“Build a little of it, and see if anyone comes.”

Quite possible it will take more unpaid volunteer effort to get adequate results, though.

If looking for college-affiliated student teams to participate in an already successful Unit KO probram, you might have better success.

Good luck!
March 27
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It seems to me that the circumstances are that a player wants to play in the event, but refuses to play against a convicted cheater.
March 25
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If Lanzarotti is a participant in the Vanderbilt, he is currently listed as "Unknown Player" on Bridge Winners team rosters.

ACBL team rosters are more accurate – He appears on team 38, Zaleski,with seeding points! See https://cdn.acbl.org/nabc/19/01/rosters/VAND7.pdf.

Perhaps the Zaleski team will win some matches when opponents default by refusing to play?
March 25
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 25
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IMP Pairs should have increased popularity because of its No-Lanzarotti-playing-in-this-event status, but with 68 Vanderbilt teams it looks as if that's not such a big deal.

Maybe we'll see some #dont-play-vs-cheaters players/teams refuse to play when matched against the team with Lanzarotti? Not betting on that one, though.
March 25
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Ask ACBL BoD (25 separate taxis leaving the game, as the sportswriters used to describe dysfunctional baseball teams?) and Management (Jones & Jones), not me! Expect to hear some paraphrase of “Working phone in playing area = appearance of possibility of cheating. Punishment is swift and onerous if you are on the receiving end of the punishment.”
March 23
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Any phones are not allowed in sight in the playing areas, alas – not even for spectators. Working phone = appearance of possibility of cheating. Punishment is swift and onerous if you are on the receiving end of the punishment.
March 23
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Go into any public library in North America and see the large collection of books on Poker on the shelves. Then look at the Chess books.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has supported local public libraries in North America; mine had assistance in funding and setting up the computers available to users a decade or more ago.

Does ACBL have a competent Grant Writer on staff, or perhaps a few volunteer ones amongst our members? What stops us from getting Bridge software (e.g. Gitelman's “Learn to Play Bridge”) on the public computers? What stops us from getting classic beginning Bridge books on the shelves of as many public libraries as request them?

Next step: school libraries! Eddie Kantar's “Introduction to Declarer's Play” and “Introduction to Defender's Play” belong in those libraries, add Bill Root's now over-30-years-old “Commonsense Bidding,” “How to play a Bridge Hand,” and “How to Defend a Bridge Hand,” and newer books such as Jeff Bayone's “A Taste of Bridge.”

We should be able to make this happen for every public library and every school library that requests them, at no charge to the libraries. We should be able to reach many (all?) Libraries and public school systems through effective outreach.

Don't complain about the few books I suggested above, instead add to the list!

Need to raise consciousness among Librarians? Ask for space in the Library to hold free Intro to Bridge lessons. Ask for the books to be on the shelves.

Need a better game plan, larger involvement and outreach among Bridge players? Find better organizers, writers, and planners than me!

College/University libraries? The Bridge Club just had a team qualify for a trip to the Summer NABC to compete for the Collegiate Championship. They can request the appropriate support on campus; if it's available at no cost through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, they may actually get that support!
March 22
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In North America, the Scouting movements could be a key to reaching tweens and teens.

The Boy Scouts of America have had a Chess Merit Badge for many years now (a decade or more?). Why is there no Bridge Merit Badge? The EBED (English Bridge Education & Development) syllabus offers an excellent basis for extracting Merit Badge requirements.

Between the ACBL Ed Foundation and some deep-pockets supporters (you may see them at NABCs and the Nebraska Regional, one was recently winner of the Under 10K Swiss Teams), it shouldn't be too difficult to finance the Merit Badge proposal and fund the production of the Merit Badge pamphlet. I doubt the total cost would exceed five figures in $USD, thus “petty cash” for those deep pockets.

ACBL-sanctioned Bridge Clubs are still widespread enough across North America, and most still have some members not yet fully in their dotage who would be able and willing to serve as Merit Badge Counselors.

BSA is far from the only Scouting organization in North America, but it's the largest and a good place to start.

I don't see bidding boxes and boards and Bridgemates on a campout, but in my decades-ago days as a Scout and Explorer, I remember sitting around the campfire with a deck of cards playing games with my peers and a few adults.

We can reach the youth without being in the schools – and the youth themselves can lobby for Bridge at school, and spread the game amongst their peers.
March 22
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 22
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Happy Birthday!
March 21
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Still the same.
March 20
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ALZ's major fundraisers are the autumn Walk for Alzheimer's and the June 21 Longest Day. Both are event-based fund-raising, which has much higher overhead than direct solicitation fund-raising.

ALZ does good work and funds good work. This “Pointer Study” is their first major self-directed study. The education and respite aspects are both worthwhile.

2019 is the seventh year of ACBL's support for ALZ. I wouldn't mind if ALZ had more to say specifically about the social and mental benefits of playing Bridge being beneficial in slowing the onset of the disease.

More important is finding physical causes of the disease and from there real cures for it and preventive measures to keep us healthy and dementia-free.

It seems that's a long way off, but I'm encouraged by every bit of progress I find, and I'm finding much more now than when we first got involved in 2013.

I certainly do not begrudge ALZ any of the funds I have raised for them through The Longest Day or contributed to them directly from my own pocket. If I had deeper pockets, my personal contributions would be more.
March 19
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ALZ (their web site is http://alz.org) is a less confusing way tio refer to Alzheimr'w Association than is AA, which is commonly used for Alcoholics Anonymous.
March 19
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The “Refreshments Table” (aka “Hospitality Table”) may indeed always be there, but it frequently includes fresh fruits and vegetables. If these are missing at the clubs and tournaments where you play, you can do something about this – volunteer to be the Hospitality Chair! Alternative – just bring your own, preferably enough to add to the other Hospitality Table contents.

Lead by example!
March 18
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“We are wiling to give you entry fee dollars, but not in your current game. Give us something more comfortable for us at the same time and place, and our dollars are yours.”

Maybe looking at your dilemma from that viewpoint will help you come up with the answer you want to give them.

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And you continue to get their Bridge Education dollars now; how important is it to keep that income stream?

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“The customer is always right. Give them what they want and they will be happy customers.” Does that viewpoint help you figure your dilemma's solution?

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They play at bridge for fun. They want the fun, not the intensity. Can you meet that need, and do you want to do so?

Your call!

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One possibility is EasyBridge – a 35-week program with income in weeks 5-35; continue the group beyond Week 35 – just a 15-20 minute mini-lesson, good snacks, and all the bridge at their level that they want. Any who really want to improve will move on to your current game; the others will call themselves “Bridge Players,” continue with the EasyBridge program, continue having fun with their friends at the tables and cards in their hands, and giving you a continuing income stream.
March 11
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More than 2 million $USD for ACBLscore replacement software which we will throw away? No problem!

Some six-figure $USD amount for a Customer Relations Management software package which we will quietly shelve because it doesn't meet our needs? No problem!

Several (did I read eight?) hundreds of thousands of $USD to the Fall 2018 NABC host hotel because we can't meet the room nights we contracted to fill , our President begging our members to change their hotel reservations to help us out, no one in the ACBL who knows how to market the rooms to non-members? Oh well, just pay it all and move along, no problem. We'll soak the NABC-attending members with higher entry fees to recover some of it.

Quiet settlement of a lawsuit at an undisclosed but estimated half-million $USD cost? No problem!

Fire a CEO, settle the remaining term of his contract for a rumored three-quarter million $USD? No problem! Oh, and let's eliminate the position and have an Executive Director instead.

“Free” trip for the BoD member (and significant other?), “free” hotel room, “free” entry to the playing events? What!? Don't touch that!

Free to Mr/Ms BoD member, and no way will that person agree to moving the meeting from Hawaii to Memphis or Horn Lake instead! ACBL promised each BoD member all of this, and I'm not giving it up! “Après nous le déluge!”

We need members? Okay, then – let's reward recruiters!

Let's propose to reward 20 new-member-recruiters, not with $USD cash, but with NABC Free Plays, grand total of fourteen thousand $USD worth (at the just-increased NABC Entry Fee rates) – good, no money directly out of ACBL resources! And let's make sure it's difficult to collect the reward, and not allow the reward to be shared among members of a recruiting team.

… but wait, if it costs too much, let's reward fewer of them!

ACBL BoD certainly has its priorities straight!

“Potentially objectionable content has been detected. Do you really want to continue?” Sure, why not?
March 8
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 8
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post-tournament summary is where?
March 4
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