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All comments by Michael Bodell
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I like your videos and enjoyed seeing you (and you and Justin) make your road to the Bowl videos. Please keep it up!

Some questions:
How accurate, if at all, do you think the Butler for ranking pairs is (I.e., http://db.worldbridge.org/repository/tourn/lyon.17/microsite/ButlerBB.htm)?

How much, if at all, did you play attention to strength of schedule during the BB? Specifically, it seemed like Australia was playing many of the expected weaker teams early in a quite unbalanced schedule and still had many of the top teams left for the later matches, and even when Australia was around the top 8 mark, the unbalanced schedule meant this was not remotely a safe spot to be given who had been played and who was still left to be played. Did that matter at all, or was the plan just to expect to win each and every match and not care who was the opponent (I.e., expect 12+ VP against everyone instead of saying we need 18+ VP against Bangladesh and Gaudeloupe since we might only get 7 or 8 VP against USA or France)?

Based on how you, and everyone else, did this year, what do you think would be the fair odds on the percent of the time Australia makes the top 8 KO teams if you were to re-run the Round Robin 100 or 1000 times with the same teams present?

How did you decide on transnational teams, and did you have those lined up before you knew if you were going to Q or not for the KO stage? How much bragging rights are tied to the finish of THOMPSON (with Hollands on the team currently 49th) compared to DAMESY (with Mill and 2 others from the Australian team on the team currently 57th)?
5 hours ago
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I think it is probably closer to 20%, maybe even 25%, of the players at a typical NABC who play at least one open NABC+ event. There were 5324 players than earn MP in Toronto. By my count there were 747 who played day one of the Roth Swiss + 4 drop ins adding up to 24 more. If you add in the other spingold people who didn't play the Roth, plus all the people playing the NABC+ pairs or other NABC+ events, I think you have far more than 1% of people playing in to Toronto. And that's without even counting the 10k events.
10 hours ago
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From the email on which I received it I think this message was focused on NABC+ events. I don't know that this means that is the only place that the ACBL is focusing, or if it is the only place there were concerns/complaints/issues.

It isn't covered in this message, but arguably the hotel policy change is more covering to some of the rank and file too (since the NABC+ people are more likely to be patron members, and have separate reservations, and/or more likely to be organized to make reservations on day 1).
13 hours ago
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Sorry if I jumped this post by starting the other thread. I had waited 2 days from when I received the email message to see if anyone had posted it here, but when I hadn't seen it, wanted to make sure it was shared with others. As I said in that message I think the act of reviewing things and sharing them openly is very positive.

Overall Toronto was a great site and great NABC+. As I answered in the other thread to the question what did regional players think about Toronto: “Pretty much every comment I heard was positive (I heard multiple times the comment ”could we have nationals here every year?“). I did hear more from NABC+ types, but still think this was representative. The hotel staff at the ICC were good, the playing space was a good one with a lot of light at the upstairs ”regional“ spaces. The bathrooms were right by the playing area (regional spaces). There was a pretty good selection of restaurants at reasonable prices including a cheap food court across the street, although it did get a little crowded between sessions if the Jays games were getting out or about to start (tons of people wearing Jays gear, despite the fact the Jays aren't that good this year).”
14 hours ago
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Pretty much every comment I heard was positive (I heard multiple times the comment “could we have nationals here every year?”). I did hear more from NABC+ types, but still think this was representative. The hotel staff at the ICC were good, the playing space was a good one with a lot of light at the upstairs “regional” spaces. The bathrooms were right by the playing area (regional spaces). There was a pretty good selection of restaurants at reasonable prices including a cheap food court across the street, although it did get a little crowded between sessions if the Jays games were getting out or about to start (tons of people wearing Jays gear, despite the fact the Jays aren't that good this year).
15 hours ago
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Was there a follow up poll to this?

I joined the consensus 5 voters but I was very tempted to start with pass and then later bid clubs over the opponents bids until they double me hoping that this lets them stop earlier and/or has them use science to get to their max level which I then bid over.
Aug. 21
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You also have 1/3 of the 4-2 spade breaks (Tx with someone). And a stiff T of spades would give you an extra spade trick which might make diamonds easier since you only need 3 tricks.

So I think 7nt is ~95% on non-club lead and like ~55% on club lead (single dummy).
Aug. 19
Michael Bodell edited this comment Aug. 19
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If only there were a recent competition of 240+ young people who play duplicate bridge at north American championships whom we could ask and or do the research to figure out. Perhaps there might be more evidence that teaching young players can lead to regular bridge players. And when some of the same are making final day of nabc+ events and are likely to be playing for the chance to represent their country in world competition, I think they'd count as “competitive duplicate players”.
Aug. 19
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On 3, you could think that it speaks well of this effort (in that it might be possible) or poorly of this effort (in that it hasn't happened), that the Asian Olympics next year will have a card game as a demonstration sport and 4 years later it is scheduled to be a full medal sport and the IOC is considering if it should also allow it for 2024 in Paris.

Of course said card game is played on computers (Hearthstone), so maybe if the WBF moved some of the bridge play into the modern world, simultaneously cutting down on a number of the cheating opportunities, it might be able to try and move into the eSports wave.
Aug. 18
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So with 1 day (3 matches) left the top 8 teams are 17.66 or more VP over the 9th place team (and the 9th place team still needs to play the the Swedish team that is top by more than a full match). If the top 8 teams hold on then 40% of people's choices to win in this poll will not make the KO round.

Indonesia are currently in 2nd place, despite picking up 0 votes in this poll. While they also still have to play the 1st place team, but there other two matches are against Egypt (16th) and Morocco (18th) and they are currently just shy of 40 VP over the 9th place team, so I think they are fairly safe to hold on and qualify for the KO.
Aug. 18
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I bid 3nt but I'm planning on signing off in 4 unless partner shows short . So I'm not planning on making a slam move over 4. Maybe short clubs by partner should also move, but am less sure about that.
Aug. 17
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Yes. Like OP I don't love it as I prefer my declined invites to be played at the 2 level not the 3 level, but the invite showing 6 with 3M after 2 is standard.
Aug. 17
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If you look at the field in a number of national pair events you'll find there are some partnerships of two professional players playing together. Presumably a fair number of these players are not being paid to play with one another (at least not directly, obviously they may be doing it partially with the expectation that doing well with the event may increase their brand or as Greco-Hampson said to warm up properly for their subsequent paid team event).
Aug. 16
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There were 240 youth 19 and under playing in the Toronto national last month in the YNABC (plus a couple of more youth that were playing only in non-youth events). That means players 19 and under were about 5% of the population at the nationals.

That doesn't seem like wishful thinking to me, especially since there hasn't been a concerted ACBL wide effort on youth players, given the strategic direction from the past CEO was explicitly on early retiree players insted of youth.

Youth players also showed up at this national at ten times the rate of non-youth players. That is, of youth players who have won masterpoints in 2017, about half were in Toronto. Of non-youth players who have won masterpoints in 2017, about 5% were in Toronto. This might indicate the return on investment from recruiting youth is very high in two ways:

1. They play in bigger tournaments more often, representing more serious players and more potential source of revenue/tables.
2. They are likely to have much longer bridge careers just thanks to life expectancy.

In addition, there may be other ways to reach youth effectively beyond what has been tried so far. The highly popular experiment with the robot individual tournament, which 2500+ people played, may well prove to be the sort of event that would appeal to younger players - or hint for something that is more online similar to the many other very successful online games.

Heck, to combine with another long time world bridge aspiration, it was in the news last week that the Olympics is adding a card game as a demonstration sport in next year's Asian Games before being an official sport in the 2022 Asian Games and that it is also being considered for 2024 in Paris (the game is Hearthstone, an strategy collectible card game played online - there are 3 other eSports games added as well - see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/08/08/paris-mulling-inclusion-of-esports-in-2024-olympic-program/?utm_term=.8b6058d4afba ).

I'm not sure how many people are watching the Bermuda bowl online at one time across the various platforms. The International DOTA 2 tournament that just finished had more than 10.9 million simultaneous viewers and likely many, many more over the full 11 day tournament. And those viewers likely skew young. But even if 90% of those were Chinese, and even if 90% of the remaining were never going to be interested in bridge, and even if 90% of the remaining never were to join the ACBL you are still looking at 10 times our current youth population to try for.
Aug. 14
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That is one of many explanations. If you look at day 4 I suspect the very first comparisons were to GIB. But even if that isn't the case, a different population of players based on time of day could explain it, regression to the mean could explain it, etc. I think there are a fair number of possible explanations, so I think cheating is extremely unlikely to be the reason. Not impossible, but unlikely (and note it would have to be very widespread to impact so many hands).
Aug. 14
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I find it hard to imagine that those numbers are mean instead of medians. I mean 10% are under 40, including close to 1% youth and 1% juniors. Those would pull a mean much lower than the oldest 10% pull things higher.

Note in both cases a focus on membership recruiting, especially young membership recruiting, is needed. And can work as evidenced by other countries as well as pockets of the acbl where it is being done.
Aug. 14
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I don't know if this is the reason, nor even if this were the reason would it be good enough, but there are some reasons where declarer telling the non-screen defender information could cause defenders to exchange information or be potentially problematic:

1. If the answers declarer gave to questions their screenmate asked were either shared directly, or even influenced what the declarer tells the other side defender then this is a channel for illicit information between unethical defenders (if I ask about a suit, that's the one I want led, or the reverse, or any other code) or accidental information transmission between ethical defenders (same thing but without the pre-conceived code).

2. If the defenders were having a mis-understanding in the bidding, and as a result the meaning of declarer's (or dummy's) bids are now different because the meaning of the defender's bids were different, the information from declarer to the other opponent could now clue them in to this situation. For instance S is declaring and opened 1 and W overcalled 1. W explained to S that 1 was a transfer showing but E explained to N that 1 was natural. Now N bid 1 which N explains to E as natural, but that S explains to W as takeout of spades. N/S end up declaring a NT contract, but now if the explanations are given to the defenders before the opening lead this is likely to let them know about their own mistakes in the auctions.

I guess some of this, particularly the 2nd, could be mitigated if the exchanging of information was through the TD or some other official that would essentially look and say “everything is good” whenever the explanations were the same *or* whenever the explanations were different because of the defenses first mistake, and would themselves carefully summarize the differences in cases where there are differences that are solely the cause of the declaring side.
Aug. 14
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A combination of the vugraph + the video can sometimes make it clear. The video is usually decent enough resolution to make out most of the cards played.
Aug. 14
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From Bryan's profile: http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-2-keysmye31t/ is the poll. I abstained since I saw this thread before the poll, but as of right now it is 52% double, 48% pass with 46 votes and unsurprisingly for a split vote good players on both sides of the vote.

I think directors second reason is terrible, but her first is reasonable given a good quality poll that got the result of everyone doubles. Which brings up the question, was it a good quality poll and how many people were asked (and were they independent, or were some of them asked in a group or partnership setting where the same answer is more likely)? Assuming the decision is basically 50/50 then if she polled only 5 people it is 1/32 likely that all X, and only 4 people would be 1/16. Unlikely, but certainly not at all impossible.

Of course if the poll wasn't unbiased, for instance if it suggested double, then the unanimous result in a small sample might be even more likely.

One place where I could see differences is that in the BW poll the 2 is explained as preemptive. If in the directors poll it was instead unexplained and upon people asking the director just said unalerted or some other answer in a way that suggests more that there might be a mis-understanding going on, then this might well result in more doubles than the poll. Similarly the 4 is explained in the BW poll as showing a club fit, if in the director poll it was again shrugged and left unexplained again suggesting a misunderstanding then more people might have doubled.
Aug. 14
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But best hand only means that no one has a hand with higher HCP than the human. Ties are allowed, and people can have better hands than the human if you take distribution in to account.
Aug. 12
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