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All comments by Kevin O'Brien
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tough – my first impulse was a 5 call – I paid my entry fee, I'm entitled to bid! But your commenters have reminded me that discretion is the better part. Thanks for the education! :)
Nov. 5, 2014
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There must be some usable freeware to convert text emoticons into the appropriate graphics/icons – perhaps even adding a (beer) icon to an isolated 7 appearing in text. Go for it, Greg! :)
Oct. 6, 2014
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Jay Whipple III and his crew at FastResults/BridgeFinesse/TheCommonGame seem to have a workable on-line partnership desk. Judging from market penetration, it is the best around. Bridge Winners already cooperates with The Common Game; what's next?
Oct. 6, 2014
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Parents taught us card games; I was a fierce Hearts competitor in games with my younger siblings and I remember losing lots of small change in Blackjack games against fellow Scouts and adult advisors (including Dad).

I was introduced to Bridge at University by a Freshman roommate in the fall of Freshman year, and the place to play was the campus Saturday afternoon Duplicate game. Later there were enough players in the dorm to have a game going most evenings and weekends, and even a league of living group teams.

Long, long time ago. But it can come back. “Spades on steroids” sounds good. Who is MN's big rival? WI? Get your faculty group together and challenge the WI faculty to a match – and if there is student bridge at WI, get them to challenge MN students to a match. You will have fun with that start! It may be you field an all-Asian-born team of grad students, but at you least have a start there. “Where are the Undergrads who will uphold our honor against our rivals?” Some may come forward!
Sept. 16, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Sept. 16, 2014
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Randy, they go home rather than stay and play with certain players. I've seen it happen more than once.

Many of the players aren't seeking a partner of a certain level or better, just a partner of a pleasant temperament. They would rather go home than be stuck with a partner of a difficult temperament.

I don't blame them; Bridge is supposed to be FUN!
Sept. 7, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Sept. 7, 2014
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Hi Randy,

Restaurant cooperates with me as much as possible, but says they are unable to offer set meals or discounts/cost-splitting. They do appreciate the 8-10 extra customers they get on game nights, and give me the impression they are supportive.

I am NOT out to steal players from the competing game; I have a healthy co-operative relationship with that game's owner.

When I have 8 or more tables, I have a random drawing for a restaurant gift certificate (which I purchase from the restaurant).

I don't have the playing site long enough to have a two-session game; indeed players would complain if I started earlier or finished later.

I DO run team games, with 8 or more it's Swiss, with 7 or less it's Round Robin. I have 6 GNT Qualifier games between September and February, and the Club Appreciation Team Game in October. Previous club manager/directors hadn't run any team game in years.

Individual is a no-go, not enough Masterpoints (winners get 3/4 what they would get for winning the same size pairs game, that will drop to 1/2 when the next ACBL changes are implemented) and too much confusion.

You're preaching to the choir about offering the most possible Masterpoints; running Howell (one-winner) games gives more Masterpoints to the winners; players like that. I run all the “extra” Masterpoint games I am allowed.

You're also preaching to the choir about fun; I do what I can there (I've used ideas from ACBL and from this site to add interesting fun twists to Matchpoint Duplicate) and get excellent positive feedback about the fun!

Reading material might work.

Thanks for the ideas and interest!
Sept. 7, 2014
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Hi Margaret,

Interesting idea! Thanks!
Sept. 7, 2014
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Hi John,

Tuesday evening has the ANCC game. I have yet to ask players about changing nights; I'll see if there is any interest, thanks.

I'm VERY tied in to my site; changing sites would lose the residents who now play – and I'll never find a better site at the same cost. Moving closer to the center of our unit might well lose me the half-dozen “regulars” who cross the river to play at my game.

You are part of the large group who if you play on my club's night, it makes far too much sense for you to go to the other club. That's okay, I knew going in that I had that situation.

Thanks for your interest and ideas!
Sept. 7, 2014
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Hi Steve,

I “inherited” the game – it was given to me by caretakers who had rescued it from a previous manager who left it in bad shape. It's been an evening game for about twenty years now, I think.

I do offer supervised play, impact so far has been minimal.

Word of mouth and friends networking has helped a great deal.

Thanks for your interest and ideas!
Sept. 7, 2014
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Hi Sam,

I read your BridgeWinners posts about your club with great interest when I was starting out. Now I'll go check out your Web page.

Thanks!
Sept. 7, 2014
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That one's up to building management; I've never had any complaints.

Thanks, David
Sept. 7, 2014
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Hi Michael,

Our site playing area shares the room with a part of a restaurant's seating area; many players dine together before the game. The restaurant's bar is open well into the game time, some players take advantage of that to slake their thirst.

The first thing I did to boost attendance (I started mid-January 2013) was to offer a free play the fourth game in February to all who played the first three weeks. That jump-start brought back almost a dozen players.

I have the lowest price for any evening sanctioned game in the area already.

Do I need more loyalty/frequent participation from my “regulars” or to convert more casual/occasional players to “regulars?” I'd like to do both, of course!

Thanks for your interest and ideas!
Sept. 7, 2014
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Hi Bernie,

The first thing I did was to improve the refreshments. I tried being my own “guaranteed partner” but discovered I am not one who can do a better-than-adequate job at both directing and playing simultaneously.

I have been unable to find a regular replacement; there are a few players of less-than-top-quality-partnership-skills who show up partnerless frequently enough that potential “standbys” are discouraged by the prospect of having to partner such a person.

I do the best I can with forming short-term partnerships, some blossom – but I am very clear in explaining that I CANNOT guarantee a partner.

Thanks for your interest and suggestions!
Sept. 7, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Sept. 7, 2014
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Hi Randy,

+ Major Metro area in eastern USA
+ Daytime bridge seven days a week; two same-day sanctioned morning games fairly close to my evening game, one FREE (at least no extra charge) if enrolled in County Senior Citizen program
+ There's a well-established evening game in direct competition with mine; I live closer to the competing game than to my playing site! Neither of us tries to steal the other's players; when the competing site is closed (holidays) their players are invited to my game; any who come always return to the bigger competition.
+ Only a few A players, many “regulars” are B players, a few C as well. When possible (non-STaC, non-GNT, non-NAP) I juggle strats to have enough in C to produce C Masterpoint awards.

Thanks for your interest!
Sept. 7, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Dec. 21, 2014
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Good idea, Daniel – alas, I only have the site one evening a week.
Sept. 7, 2014
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I advertise drop-in Supervised Play; those who participate enjoy it and learn. Our Unit has a Bridge-in-Schools program; no fruit of that yet at my small club.

Most of the players know that having fun is a big part of this game; I get lots of praise from “regulars” and I think they do a good job of welcoming newcomers.

We have one social event a year; three couples among the “regulars” and many of the rest leave spouses at home.

You could play six hours (2 evenings) of bridge at my club for less than it costs for one first-run “Blockbuster” at the local cinema.

Besides my one small game, I play in other local clubs five or six times a week, and have not been able to find the time to troll Senior Centers seeking players.

Thanks for the ideas and interest, John!
Sept. 7, 2014
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I have a Facebook page, Allan; I'll study yours to see what improvements I can make with the ideas you have implemented. Thanks!
Sept. 7, 2014
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Telephone! A personal barrier I need to work to overcome; I made one call tonight but need to make more tomorrow. Thanks, Gordon!
Sept. 7, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Sept. 7, 2014
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perhaps an ACBL-specific forum on ACBLScore
Aug. 9, 2014
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Certainly a forum on managing a Bridge Club!
Aug. 9, 2014
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