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All comments by Paul Elstein
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There was a character in a '50s cartoon who was described as “cheated at poker, Old Maid and even Solitaire”
Feb. 19, 2017
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One of my favorite baseball trivia questions involves the great pitcher Warren Spahn. In his first season, he won no games, lost no games, yet pitched a complete game. How was this possible?
It was NOT a tie game. Answer is a few lines below.






The game ended in a forfeit in which the players' statistics are counted but pitchers do not get a win nor a loss.
Feb. 6, 2017
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My father used to say “Tell an Englishman a joke and he'll laugh about it in his old age.” And he was a strong Anglophile
Jan. 29, 2017
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“You say new/young players who are restricted in what they bid will quit the game. What percent of players do you estimate that is? I think it is a miniscule percentage of players and even if none of them dropped out of bridge because they feel insulted by bidding restrictions, bridge”

I totally agree. Where is the evidence that young people are turned off from bridge because of the lack of innovation? First of all they would have had to play for a while at a relatively high level before they would even be aware of this. Has anyone here gone to college campuses, for example, and asked students why they don't play bridge?Or even better why have they stopped playing bridge?
Jan. 28, 2017
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“How is this for an uninspiring fact. When I first learned to play bridge in 1962 or thereabouts, I was the youngest player in the game. In 2017 in a club where I direct, I am the youngest person in the room. Just how many years has our game got left in it?”

Recently, I've been teaching 2 bridge classes. One was for beginners and one for those who had played but wanted to learn more. Not one of the players in the class was under 60 years of age, but still were interested in becoming better players. I'm optimistic that bridge will continue as before. Maybe fewer top-notch players in the U.S. than currently. But as many people who enjoy playing the game. And isn't that more important?
Jan. 28, 2017
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While my memory is a little foggy, there was a situation in baseball where dumping would not have been scorned. In 1981, because of a players' strike the season was suspended for some weeks. When it was going to resume, the Commissioner announced a split season. The team in first place at the time of the strike would be the first half champion. Whoever won the second half would be that champion and the two would play each other in the playoff.
However, if the first half champion also won the second half, the team with the second best overall record would be in the playoff. Here's the potential dumping scenario:
The Yankees win the first half and are 1 game behind Boston in the second half. Baltimore has a much better overall record than Boston but is in 3rd place at the time with 2 games to play against the Yankees. If Baltimore beats the Yankees, Boston goes to the playoffs. But if the Yankees win the division, Baltimore goes to the playoffs because they had the 2nd best overall record. Thus, Baltimore has a real incentive to dump the games to the Yankees
Fortunately, this scenario did not occur in either league (It was bad enough that the National League Team with the best overall record for the season, did not get into the playoffs having won neither half)
Jan. 24, 2017
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Not trying to defend Mr. Hartman (he sounds a little pretentious to insist on being called Robert) but this poem was cited by John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Bullfight critics, ranked in rows
Crowd the enormous plaza full.
But only one is there who knows,
And he’s the man who fights the bull
Jan. 21, 2017
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Like Dick Cheney heading the group to pick a Vice Presidential running mate for George W. Bush. The recommendation was Dick Cheney.
Jan. 21, 2017
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If anyone wants to take the under and bet with me, I'll make enough posts by myself to win.
Jan. 20, 2017
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A friend of mine once partially defined a “sport,” as one where participants where uniforms. I'm not sure about whether this excludes bowling and table tennis, but it's not a bad start.
Jan. 20, 2017
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Of course, what would stop Team B from adopting the same strategy as Team A? With both teams “dumping” can you imagine what a fiasco would ensue?
Jan. 19, 2017
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The answer to the OP's question is yes, but…
Jan. 9, 2017
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Where does Malcolm Gladwell's quote that “10,000 hours is the magic number of greatness” fit in? Assume you play 25 hands in 3 hours, have you achieved greatness yet? Obviously, as with much of Gladwell's writing,the 10,000 hour figure is controversial and may have been discussed on this Board some time ago.
Jan. 7, 2017
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Actually, while for some time I have been thinking about writing about this topic, Paul Marston's post led me to post it yesterday.
Jan. 2, 2017
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It is very unlikely in football that the players themselves would dump. a) it is too easy to risk injury by letting up;and b) their salaries and in many cases their jobs could be impacted by poor play.

However, let's say that the Giants did not mind having the Washington team make the playoffs instead of the Packers/Lions. Not playing Eli Manning and some of the starters would not be criticized, since they could risk injury impacting on their own playoff chances. Conversely, if they wanted Washington eliminated, they would take the risk and start Manning and the others.
Dec. 27, 2016
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The Giants–Washington (won't say their other name) game was originally scheduled to be played earlier on Sunday. I believe it was moved up before the Packers-Lions game was. Of course, no one in the NFL cared about the ticket owners who might not be able to attend the later games.
Dec. 27, 2016
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Are there details of his making a grand slam without KQ10xx of trumps? Maybe leading a small trump from dummy, LHO with Q10xx covering with the queen for some reason and Declarer's Ace drops the king. After getting back to dummy, leading the trump nine, covered by the 10 and Jack. Follow this with 2 higher spot cards beating 2 lower ones.
Dec. 25, 2016
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Babe Ruth allegedly played bridge. Probably wasn't a Life Master, though.
Dec. 25, 2016
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But isn't one peek worth a dozen finesses?
Dec. 22, 2016
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Is there any evidence that he has not been elected into the Hall of Fame solely because he is from Canada? Even anecdotal evidence would be better than nothing.
Dec. 19, 2016
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