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All comments by Mario Fonzo
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Geeske -

Fabulous expose of your reasons, and I'll second Robb's assessment of your entire article being admirable.

You recognize some of the issues some of us have with hiring professionals, and that you enjoy socializing and getting to know the better players. I mean who wouldn't? And, you almost have to buy your way into those circles (Yes, I know there are exceptions), so it's out of reach for most of us.

Masterpoints may well be secondary for you, but I feel confident that they are not trivial for the vast majority.

Jeff's initial post sure got the juices flowing and that's always a good thing imo.

I wish you good fortune and enjoyment in all your pro and non-pro bridge endeavors.

Mario

P.S. I'm a bit envious of your ability to hire teams and partners. And I think just about everyone else would say the same if they were being honest.
Aug. 7, 2015
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Thx.
Aug. 7, 2015
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If South has a clear pass … then what is North to do with xx in hearts and some 3244 - bid 4/minor? Are we sure that's such a great method? On the actual hand it would have been great, but …

Is this a reasonable hole in that approach?
Aug. 7, 2015
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David,

It's a catchall waiting bid. Not values and shape for 2NT response positive, no 5 card suit headed by top honors, could be nothing at all.
Aug. 6, 2015
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Cam,

You said “The other taught me a lesson (a lesson I did not enjoy nor employ) how to intimidate opponents. I found that offensive.”

I believe you found it offensive. What I can't believe is that you were willing to pay someone while you sat haplessly across from his boorish behavior.

Aug. 6, 2015
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But I fully understand the spirit of Steve's post. It's very easy to be friends with someone with an unlimited budget who wines and dines you and provides you every comfort while you're with him.

I'm not saying that some of these people wouldn't remain friends, but let's say if the well ran dry, would that be who they're playing with or having dinner with? Not so sure.
Aug. 5, 2015
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Yeah, but Jeff - how can you consider that you're “on top” if you played 1/2 the hands and spent a hundred grand to field the best team you could? I mean, for me it'd be like the difference between shooting par at a tough golf course on your own, or where every 2nd shot Tiger Woods swings the club.
Aug. 4, 2015
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Would it be “cheating” to pose as a newbie if you're a professional player in those money games? So you are playing against someone whose profile indicates they're an intermediate when they're really some hotshot incognito?
Aug. 4, 2015
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I've related this in some other thread a couple years ago on here, but at one point Steve Sion was my RHO and I had to call the director because he refused to stop trying to see our hands. When I called the Director, he sort of laughed and told me that everybody knows to guard their hands against “Stevie.” pfffft

And then there was the time that as E/W my partner offered to do the score slip, much to the delight of the elderly North who apparently did not relish the job. I saw him write down that we made more than we made.

I was gobsmacked. I confronted him. He said something like “We're doing really well, and these old bags will never know the difference.”

Well you just have to know this wasn't the one and only time he ever pulled something like this. I reported it to the Director and asked to be replaced for the remainder of the event. The Director sort of acted like it was no big deal and informed me I had to complete the session. Needless to say, I never played with this schmuck again.

That guy is still playing events and winning his share. Hopefully there is a special place in hell for the likes of him.

And I also witnessed a big name in bridge (world champion level big) peeking into his opponents hands on nearly every round. I spoke to a Director and again, nothing was done.

I don't get the impression anyone cares very much.
Aug. 4, 2015
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LOL, David
Aug. 4, 2015
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There was a guy (forgot his name) who enjoyed pulling the wool over people's eyes. After the dummy came down and declarer went into the tank, he surmised that he was on a guess to find the queen of spades. So he plucked that card from his hand and tucked it into his shirt pocket on the sly. I just can't recall the guy's name, he was a big obese man - hah - that doesn't narrow down the field much does it?

Then he leaned forward and made it easy for the declarer to take a peek to see that the queen must on his left. So the guy took the finesse and he reached for a card in his hand, broke out into a large grin and produced the queen from his pocket.

I can't recall details of what came of it if anything, but it was a pretty funny story at the time because the declarer was sort of known for this “peeking” behavior.



Aug. 4, 2015
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Travolta was great in that ;>
Aug. 4, 2015
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If the guy always insured he'd be dealt the deuce of clubs, then we might be convinced he wasn't seeking (or receiving) an advantage from so doing. Then it would simply be “strange.” The Ace of Spades - no way.
Aug. 4, 2015
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I was a little surprised myself.
Aug. 3, 2015
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Hmmmm … 20 (minimum partner can have for his 2NT bid) + 15 = 35. To be off an A-K you'd be limited to 33 HCP, no?
Aug. 1, 2015
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Congratulations. We have 13 winners! Jim Munday knows how these suckers work. SO, Jim - Do you have some way to compensate for this sort of thing? You can't very well bid over 3NT can you? I was blown away when I saw the dummy. Having seen a LOT of weirdness from the GIBs over the years, this one took the cake for me! I would have though it impossible.

Special recognition to Randy Thompson for being the first to get it right.

Thanks all for playing.

July 31, 2015
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Either that or go to Gatlinburg in each of your remaining years and Gold will be yours!
July 31, 2015
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I think the problem might have been that making Bronze LM only be a mere 200 points from plain old LM set people up for this thinking.

You only had to win a paltry (by comparison) 200 additional points to make another rank, and then a not-too-bad 500 more to make Silver LM. Then the gap widens to 1500 to get to Gold. That seems too big.

We can't go back but something more realistic like perhaps 1000 for Bronze LM, 2500 for Silver LM and then 5000 for Gold LM and so forth would have made more sense. Then the chasms might have been a bit more palatable.
July 31, 2015
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A great match in the making?
July 30, 2015
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Eleven options and each one has been selected by at least 1 person. LOL. I'll post the answer tomorrow evening. Thanks for playing along.
July 30, 2015
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