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All comments by Mario Fonzo
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All in good time, Grasshopper.
Aug. 1, 2013
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Congratulations you 3 leaders - you chose the lead the World Champion chose to make on the hand, and found partner with KQxx as a bonus.

I liked the thought behind choosing 8 lead by some of you. Thanks all for participating.
Aug. 1, 2013
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Since this seemed like a no brainer rebid to me, I'm guessing there is some lesson for me to learn, as Michael wouldn't post a no brainer. That's why I'm here …. to learn :)
July 31, 2013
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Would you not expect your partner to bid 1 with something like Txxxx, x, xxx, AKxx or thereabouts?
July 30, 2013
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Well, as the cards lay - we can make nothing our way, and those who passed on the first round win the award on this one. If you double over 3C, pard almost certainly bids 3D as he has Qxxxx and out. Thanks for your input.
July 28, 2013
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The lead at the table was the 4. Partner having Kx didn't hurt, was an easy set and a huge IMP pickup for this opening leader.
July 28, 2013
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3 misclick for 3 UNDO!
July 26, 2013
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All tidbits provided.
July 26, 2013
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Bob,

When you said “the 6 hand itself was certainly not evidence they were cheating on other deals.”

If there were only one hand in question, they most certainly would not have received the sanctions they got. I know it's not the U.S. where the governing body trembles at the thought of litigation, but even so …

On the other hand, if they were caught dead to rights to be cheating at all, why were they only banned from playing with one another instead of from bridge?

Having nothing to do with this pair's ethics at bridge, I had the pleasure of spending some time with them at a Nationals prior to this incident. They were extremely nice guys, who welcomed me into their bridge conversation despite that I'm a nobody in bridge. Their intensity and passion for the game oozed from their pores, and I still recall that their theory about why Italians dominated for so long on the world stage was because of the strong bidding and hand evaluation principles drummed into players from the start.

It was very sad to hear that they were caught cheating. The tremendous pressures of professional bridge at those levels doesn't excuse cheating by any means, but at least we can grasp the relevance of these pressures on a player or pair to start down a slippery slope at some point.

I also feel once a cheater, always a cheater. And that does not mean that they necessarily will continue to cheat, but once that scarlet letter is emblazoned on a player's chest, it never fades.

In a word association game, mention of this pair would return “cheaters” more often than “great players.” We all have decisions to make in life, and they had to understand the possible consequences of their actions. Now they get to live with them for the rest of their lives.
July 25, 2013
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This is a good one, isn't it? Without this interference, I am forcing to game, np. But armed with this information, it may not be the best. Plus, I'm not certain we can make 9 tricks in NT, and they're vulnerable to boot, which makes double seem appealing. Then again … Maybe Harvey has the right idea with his bid :)
July 25, 2013
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55 votes and so many different bids too, but none of them was the bid I saw made at the table, which was very successful and netted a huge IMP gain. Two hooks, both on, no problemo.

I was interested to see if anybody would come up with this 6NT bid besides this one player. You have all restored my faith by not choosing that bid.

I did appreciate the optimistic 4NT bids, but that seems the extent to which this hand could reach.
July 24, 2013
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Tom,

What would have been your course of action over a 3 response by pard?
July 23, 2013
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I don't much care for the xxx in , but I am rather proud of the rest of my hand. Pard sees the vulnerability, and I hope he will appreciate my faith in him :)
July 23, 2013
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Vulnerable vs. not, is partner making this 4NT bid on scant values? My feeling is that you would be bidding 5 without the ace or the two kings. What am I missing? I have utmost respect for all your opinions, and some pretty fine players chose to bid but 5, yet unless partner is insane, don't I have to show him my excellent values?

Are we to bid the same with a 2 count as with this hand? I admit my limitations, but would love to understand.
July 23, 2013
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Yeah I admit my days of playing competitively are long gone.
But it was pick your best suit back then, and I'm pretty sure 6 will be on given the vulnerability and all.

If more modern standard is 2 places to play then I definitely would bid 6D not 5D.
July 22, 2013
Mario Fonzo edited this comment July 22, 2013
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I often find myself swimming against the current. Why should this bid prove any different? :)
July 22, 2013
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Your pard may be unfamiliar to you, but 3 must be about spade support, and 4 likely shows a huge hand, so I'm content to bid 4 since his good hand doesn't enhance this heap I hold.
July 22, 2013
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We all hate this kind of situation so you have my sympathies. But pard didn't peep over 1D, and now you know for a fact they most likely have a potentially better spot to play. I pass and am happy to gripe about this one in the bar after the session if it was right to balance.
July 22, 2013
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Ed, Thanks … will await your findings with great interest.

If pass is right, many of us can learn from this.
July 18, 2013
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For all of you that bid 3 instead of 4, and those of you that chose to bid 2NT, could you expound on the reasoning behind your choices? Thanks.
July 17, 2013
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