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All comments by Kevin O'Brien
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Peg,

Don't overdose on those tact pills! Be careful, “they” may draft you to become a Bridge Politician.

:)
Dec. 28, 2014
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Hi JoAnn,

“Show up at the Board of Governors meeting and ask questions.” . . . “In Providence I believe 3 people (myself included) took the mike to question Hartman. If 100 people show up instead of just 3 it would send quite a statement.”

You stood up in Providence, I hope more join you in New Orleans. If I go, I'll be there.

“Lobby many BOD members. Don't just limit yourself to your representative.” . . . “Send a mass email to all BOD members demanding that Hartman be removed from chairing the technology committee.”

The structure, chair, membership, and function of the Technology Committee was set at Providence. Don't expect any of that to change without another BoD vote; why would the CEO relinquish position and power when he can instead suppress both dissidents and dissent?

So ask the BoD or BoG to write up the appropriate motion (who should chair the Committee, how open its meetings and correspondence should be, etc.), and make sure it gets on their New Orleans agenda.

“Get a critical mass of people who demand answers.”

I don't think anyone gets a critical mass of people; it just happens – and it happens by BECOMING ONE OF THESE PEOPLE.

Of the 169,000 or so ACBL members, I bet less than five percent care beyond that they can play at their local club and an occasional tournament under familiar conditions, and their monthly magazine shows their month-old Masterpoints total. Most of them won't read this because they don't know or care about either Bridge Winners or ACBLScore+. Worse, some of those 95 percent may be CEO-apple-polishers serving on the Board of Directors or Board of Governors.

Have the Technology Committee meetings recorded, and the video posted on the ACBl website (unless filming and posting is seen as a hostile move, then maybe Bridge Winners will post the video); do the same with the Board of Governors meeting in NO.

In other words, be even louder, become even more active, encourage and welcome others to the cause, be very patient, and still don't expect much.

I'd rather be the optimist than the realist, but I have seen and heard too much.

Here's hoping the Technology Committee can lead ACBL IT into the twenty-first century, and that no one suffers from holding their breath waiting for this to happen.
Dec. 28, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Dec. 28, 2014
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Georgiana, you're close . . . ex-members of the BoD already pay for their rooms at NABCs (if they go).
Dec. 28, 2014
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“Exactly what can a displeased or concerned ACBL member do now to ensure “something good and helpful” develops out of all this, and in a timely non-secretive manner?”

Sadly, nothing. The best we individuals can do is to lobby our District's BoD member to push for the Technology Committee to have transparent proceedings and report clear recommendations, and then to work in the BoD to fully implement those recommendations.

If we find our District's BoD member is unresponsive, we go to our Unit Board and lobby those individuals to replace the BoD member at the next election.

Note that this may require actually BECOMING a Unit Board member, or even becoming a candidate for the BoD in your District.

This whole process will take a while (BOD members are elected for three-year terms, so it will be Spring 2018 NABC before all current BoD members have stood for re-election).

In the meantime, the Technology Committee investigation has the classic “Fox guarding the henhouse” setup (or in current events terms, the North Koreans in a joint investigation with the USA of the Sony Internet hacks).

Make your views and concerns very well known to your District's BoD member, your Unit Board, and even ACBL President Suzi Subeck and CEO Robert Hartman himself – directly, in all cases. Posts and comments on Bridge Winners are not enough.

Posts and comments on Bridge Winners are not enough!

And, in case you missed it earlier, posts and comments on Bridge Winners are not enough!

So, be very loud, become very active, and don't expect much.
Dec. 28, 2014
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Nic,

You know the reception ACBL CEO will supply to your most generous offer, and you know the reply you will receive.

All you are doing is embarrassing ACBL management, and you know this too.

Too bad it has come to this.

I doubt that Jay Whipple, Greg Humphreys, and the rest of the new Technology Committee will be able to make a dent in Management's intransigence, (the Committee can only assess and advise, not command), although we can all hope the Technology Committee succeeds in ushering ACBL Technology into the Twenty-First Century.

Again, too bad it has come to this.
Dec. 27, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Dec. 29, 2014
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Thanks, Alan – I'm far from an expert on movements.

If Mark Aquino wants to start reviving the Individual (not just at Newton) with a Jimmy Fund exhibition with pros donating time and amateurs investing time and donating money, all he needs for a start is himself, six other recruited pros , and twenty-one philanthropic amateurs with sufficiently deep pockets – plus of course an appropriate location, some equipment, and a lot of publicity and a volunteer Director.

Maybe he or someone else will do something similar for The Longest Day , maybe even on BBO.
Dec. 25, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Dec. 25, 2014
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We did something similar in our college dorm, only one season – eight players and two or three substitutes when needed to fill in. No Masterpoints, shuffle and deal. Proved I still had a lot to learn about the game – just like I do today.
Dec. 25, 2014
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In the Rainbow Movement, North is stationary. It's a variant of that movement here, but doable – three-board rounds, with E, W, and S rotating for one board at each of those seats at the same table. Presumably, the Rainbow movement can be used to get the players to their next tables. Original S goes up one to S at the next table, boards down 1 table, original E and W up/down 2 tables for most rounds (all rounds if there are a prime number of tables in the section, if I remember).

Phil, there was an Individual at the NABC even beyond the Masters Individual mentioned above. The Keohane Trophy, now awarded for Swiss Teams, was originally for an Individual winner – but repurposed after the last NABC Individual event was removed from the schedule. I don't know the details, perhaps some other poster here is more familiar with that part of ACBL/NABC history and will enlighten us all.
Dec. 25, 2014
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Hi Mark,

A while back, Zia got a bunch of pros to join him in an exhibition game at an NABC, amateurs donated big bucks to play, and they all got together to play – the $$ raised went to relief from an earthquake in Pakistan.

Phil Clayton, above mentions a “Playing with the Pros” event at a club. Recruit some pros who play in New England, and hold a benefit “Playing with the Pros” exhibition Individual event at an upcoming NE Regional to benefit the Jimmy Fund. That's a first step. Good luck!
Dec. 24, 2014
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Yes, John, really. Just like the players flocked to team games when the Masterpoint awards were higher than for Pairs games, they will return to Pairs games in 2015 as more Masterpoints will be available there.

Tournament organizers will add Individual events if/when Masterpoint awards for those events are increased, because players will go where the Masterpoints are.

I just hope we live to see this!
Dec. 24, 2014
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Hi Mark,

When you won in 1978 didn't Charlie Coon finish second? I believe you two were in the same section in the final session, and I partnered one of you when you played at the same table. I don't remember which one partnered me, or which of you profited from the two boards, but I'm pretty sure it was the one who was my opponent (I was much worse a player then than I am today).

So where are the Bridge rain-makers who will step forward to pull off the Aquino-Hamman proposal? Go find them!

And you and all of District 25's players should lobby ACBL Board of Directors to give appropriate Masterpoint awards in Individual events! Total Masterpoints awarded for an X-player event should be at least the same whether the event is teams, pairs, or individual!

Dec. 24, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Dec. 24, 2014
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A humorous look at the 2014 Keohane Individual Regional Tournament:

http://www.nebridge.org/pages/139/
Dec. 24, 2014
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I remember playing in the Individual Regional as a beginner back in the late Sixties. The tournament was in the Hynes Auditorium, at the Prudential Center. There were at least a dozen sections. Two session Open on Saturday, two-session Final or Consolation on Sunday. I loved it, and went back year after year, even after I left the area. Thousand-mile round trip? No problem! Most years, as I concentrated on my career and other activities, it was the only bridge I played.

Yes, I noticed the deterioration of the tournament, and I was clueless as to why – fewer sections, other events to draw players away from the Individual, all made no sense to me – but I was just an ignorant Club Master who only played once a year in most years.

Once I got serious about bridge, I thought I might actually do well in the Individual, and I did actually place in the overalls of the Saturday competition a few years ago.

But now I know why the tournament, and Individual competition, is dying – at least in part. Blame the ACBL.

You know those complicated formulas that determine how many Masterpoints are awarded for each event, the formulas they change every five years and the changes are always hotly debated – even here on Bridge Winners? Well, there's one factor in the formula that used to be the same for Matchpoint Pairs and IMP Teams – was 1.0. In 2015, it will be 1.5 for Matchpoint Pairs, and 1.0 for IMP Teams. The factor for Matchpoint Individual, alas, remains the same – 0.75. As long as the “Powers That Be” continue to insure that Individual competition gets less bang for the buck, there will be less demand for the event. See http://web2.acbl.org/codification/MPBOOK.pdf for the 2014 requirements, note the “T” factor on Page 2. Then see http://www.acbl.org/acbl-content/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Providence-Motions.pdf, item 143-116 on page 18.

You know there are Sponsors/Clients who will pay what is necessary to play with the best to win at Pairs or Teams. They can't hire a partner or teammates to play with in the Individual – so another reason top pros won't play in such an event (Sponsors, too!).

The Individual requires not just the bidding, play, and defense skills required in Matchpoint Pairs, and the skill of evaluating the skills and moods of each pair of opponents and one partner, but also the evaluation of skills and moods of up to twelve additional partners and double the number of opponents. When you list the toughest events in bridge, the additional evaluations required in an Individual make it arguably the most difficult form of competition. Yet the rewards for success are significantly devalued – for 2015 to 2019 only HALF the reward for success in a same-size Matchpoint Pairs competition.

Go figure!

Increase the rewards, and the players will return.

See also http://www.acblmasterpoints.com/mprindividual.htm
Dec. 24, 2014
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment Dec. 24, 2014
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Yes, almost all ACBL Districts use the BridgeFinesse.com On-line Partnership Desk software. That's Jay Whipple III and his people, also your The Common Game and FastResults software provider. I'm a user of everything they provide that fits on a club level, and I can attest to their first-class customer service – not just responsive, but timely! And all free – a very popular price.
Dec. 9, 2014
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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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