Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mark Raphaelson
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One argument against drop-ins I haven't heard mentioned is that this gives an unfair advantage to the top players who PLAYED day one. They had a chance to pad their carryover against an arguably weaker field. Now in order to “catch” them, you would need to do so against a stronger field than was used to get it in the first place.

And I'm sorry, but this is not “tautological nonsense”. Insulting the argument you are against doesn't strengthen your argument, it weakens it.
an hour ago
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I think it's clear that the 2% (1%?) (.5%?) Of the ACBL that can benefit from dropping in are for it. Not sure that this is an unbiased opinion (nor to a lesser extent is that of those who play and might lose to a drop-in, I suppose). But as someone who only played when it came to town (Orlando), and now that Orlando is out of the rotation for Nationals, I have no skin in the game, and think the policy to allow them is a terrible one, for reasons already stated.
14 hours ago
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Making it to the quarterfinals is much more difficult. I doubt anyone feels otherwise. So is winning the Masters. It just shouldn't get you entry into the middle of an elimination tournament.
17 hours ago
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Nice post, and an extreme proves the point. Why just after round 1? Meckwell is clearly better than any pair including me, so if I win an open event, should I then have to play them for the title if they were busy in the Bermuda Bowl or somewhere else that week?
17 hours ago
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I don’t like drop-ins Max I am,
For I think they are a sham,
I do not like them in San Fran
I would not like them if in Cannes
I do not like them here or there
I do not like them anywhere
I do not like them sir or ma’am
I do not like them Max I am
April 18
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“As someone who is going to enter the Blues, I think it is unfair to me *not* to allow drop ins. On the very small chance I win, I will know I did so against a field that excluded some of the strongest pairs that would have liked to play in the event.”

This argument doesn't hold water with me. What if Meckwell were at a wedding out of town? That cheapens your win as well? And anyone who would have LIKED to play the event could have. The drop-ins don't WANT to play in the event. It's a consolation event.

I don't like the idea of drop-ins at all. Especially when a carryover is involved. I'm more worried about what's fair to the people who played the entire event and suddenly lost to someone who didn't have to play the same opponents to get there.

Also, where do you draw the line? Should good players who had delayed flights get to drop in? They cheapen your win and they (really) wanted to play in the event.

And is it fair for the teams that didn't have to play Meckwell because they were in a different section? Adding teams mid-event seems like the least fair thing to me…by far.
April 17
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For the most part if people lose, they are playing in something else. But for tournaments like the GNT or Spingold, I think a one time entry fee makes sense. Everyone pays double the first round of an elimination, and the ACBL collects the same fee, and you don't get punished for waiting to lose until the finals.
April 17
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Why does this seem like the only business model I've ever seen that tries to piss off their best and most prestigious customers? “Mr. Smith loves our restaurant. We should charge him extra. He'll still come, since he loves it.” “The Johnson's come to our resort every year. Let's see how much we can charge them and still have them come.” Seriously, why would anyone consider this?
April 17
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“Finally, playing against bridge professionals is an attraction to most bridge players who recognize that they cannot play golf with Tiger Woods or play tennis with Billy Jean King.”

While for me, this has great appeal, I think the proliferation of KO's and stratifications have eliminated this ‘attraction’. This is especially true at Nationals, where there are so many high level events cordoned off in separate areas that you might not even SEE the top pros. One of the reasons I prefer regionals to nationals. At least in the Sunday Swiss you get to play in the same event.
April 17
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I really like the idea of crediting club players, the backbone of the ACBL. You give a discount to people who support the ACBL all year, and create an incentive to go to a regional. Every 10 club games gives you 50% off an entry in a regional.

As for the North America issue, isn't there already a fee for not being an ACBL member, which I didn't think you could join if not in a district? Or can anyone join?
April 16
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2) Many of the juniors we hear about are ones that have been traveling to tournaments since they were young. Who would have been taking them if their parents a) didn't play and b) could afford to not only travel a lot, but pay a lot of entry fees?
3) Wasn't the point of this (and the title) ACBL not losing money on NABC? How is not resulting in more profit to the NABC reaching this goal?
5) no conflict at all. Just because people CAN afford something doesn't mean that's the price they should pay. If we're going to a socialist model, why not have the really wealthy pay $1,000,000 per national, since they want to play and can afford it, and let everyone else play for free? That should increase attendance dramatically. This is the extreme of your model. Just because your proposal is less extreme doesn't make it better. It just makes the injustice more well-hidden.
April 16
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This sounds horrible to me. Even though I'm not in the upper brackets you describe, I find this business model offensive for many reasons.

1) Penalizing high performers. This is just offensive on the face of it. You do well, so you should pay more.

2) Stereotyping assumptions that juniors are less financially well-off than most seniors. I find that most bridge juniors either have wealthy parents who exposed them to the game, or are professionals with a lot more income than most seniors who play for fun.

3) Until the ACBL gets their finances under control, what right do you think they have to just charge more to some folks to cover up their incompetence? AFTER they get rid of the ACBL-paid junkets for the inflated board, and AFTER they stop pissing away millions on poorly-planned projects, THEN they can start talking about how they don't charge enough for certain events. Not until then will I believe they are serious about not losing money.

4) Who is going to be monitoring the true addresses of players? I had better get an address closer to the playing site so I can save $150 over the course of the week. Snowbirds have two addresses. Talk about a can of worms.

5) This is a thinly-disguised tax on the wealthy. “if you can afford to play, let's get every last dime we can out of you” and then we'll be talking about how to get those highest-paying players back.

Blech.
April 16
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Not sure why this is a joke. I never thought it right that the sit-out side paid the same amount for fewer boards.
April 12
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Very interesting thought process about partner's short club leading him to balance with marginal values. I admit I wouldn't have thought of passing 3 with the West hand. Thanks Kit.
April 7
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Perhaps seeing the other hands might help me understand why everyone bid game. Maybe S preempted 3 at other tables or something. It's not a very good game.
April 7
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Can we vote on moving it back to the small digest size? I liked it better back then.
April 5
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Jim, What makes you think that the ACBL is as competent as a local newspaper?
April 5
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Option one seems disingenuous. If I forego the paper bulletin, what are MY savings? Someone I don't see the communication like this:

“Due to expense increases, we have decided to move the Bulletin from a paper copy to online. As a result, your dues will decrease $20 per year, and if you have already paid your dues for multiple years, you will get a $20 credit per year towards your next renewal.”

I would expect rather:
“Due to expenses related to printing and mailing the printed Bulletin, and to prevent future membership fee increases, we have moved the bulletin to an online format.”

but if you can convince me that they just wouldn't use the money to fund the next Hawaii junket and that money would be coming back into my pocket, I'd be happy to consider this.

Maybe they should offer a discount if you don't want the bulletin if it's that expensive and what most of our dues goes toward. The other issue (pardon the pun) is that a lot of the advertising in the bulletin is for bridge tournaments. So in addition to advertising revenue lost, if people stop reading because the bulletin is online, how much money would they end up losing due to decreased attendance?

Not just the ACBL, but I'm very tired of companies doing things to save/make themselves money and try to camouflage it like they're doing you a favor. Over the years we've lost half-gallons of orange juice and ice cream when companies decide to skim a little product so they don't have to change the price point, hoping we don't notice. I'm sure this would be a similar smoke-and-mirrors move.
April 5
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If they got banned, you would waste a perfectly good stripper's ass?
April 4
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Not a caffeine guy either. Coffee gets me too damn hot and I'm already the hottest person in the room. I don't think it really effects me much anyway. I recall having diet Pepsi on my nightstand when I was younger in case I got thirsty during the night.
April 4
Mark Raphaelson edited this comment April 5
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