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All comments by Randy Thompson
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I think your pard is right when playing Precision. IMO, those who aren't comfortable with opening bad flat hands in the 11-12 range probably aren't used to playing Precision. Go with the flow and open trash and allow pard to open trash and see if you don't like it (and prosper with it)! If you need affirmation, go to the BBO vugraph archives and watch Greco Hampson and Bathhurst Lall Woolsey Bramley or Woolsey Stewart and their opening bid choices. I tend to ascribe more weight to their approach than the approach of folks who don't even play Precision but have strong opinions anyway.
Oct. 11
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“Bridge the Generations?”
Oct. 11
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Not all pairs of people are meant to play together.
Oct. 11
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Bidding when they make a “Tom” bid (two-of-the-other minor) over our 1m opener can be tough. In my most established partnership, we play Transfers over two of the other minor (“ToTom”). So, we would bid 2 here, transfer to spades with either 6+ spades and 4+ points or else 4+ spades and invite+ values. West could bid 3 showing a club fit (forcing to 4) in my methods. Now North could overbid 4 and South could gamble 5 over 5, not knowing who might make. But, not finding a vul 5/5 save at matchpoints is a long ways south of anyone losing their mind. IMO, only if you start with the premise that you always have to be perfect on every hand can you be critical of any of the choices made at the table. I didn't vote because there was no option that said “such things happen in the best of families.”
Oct. 11
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Do you play Precision, Neal?
Oct. 11
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With David's carve out about vul at matchpoints, where too many -200s will sink your game, I think you should open all 11's and all shapely 10's, as your partner wants. You are used to putting discipline on the opening bidder; if you open bad 11 counts, the discipline has to be on responder. It takes a good 13 to force game (if we are looking at 3N, with distribution you can shift to support points and LT count for help in deciding). I once did a Deal Master Pro sim on the Precision 1 openers and found that 62% of the time it was a flat 11-13, with 11 more common than 13. A GOOD 13 (typically with a 5-card suit) would upgrade to a 14-16 1N opener, so think of that 1N rebid by a 1 opener as showing 11 to 13-.

Firing the first shot gives you a tremendous advantage in competitive auctions, even if that first shot is the amorphous 1 opener. One huge advantage of Big Club systems is that it lets you fire that shot on some pretty bad hands without fear of what CHO can do to you. If you open a lot more hands than your opponents, competitive auctions will be ones played on YOUR turf. If you open 1M/2/2, you are light years ahead of the other table(s) and partner can really make good decisions. If you open 1, you will become accustomed to the fog of war involved in both sides having to guess – start with assuming opener has 11-12 flat until told otherwise and you'll guess better than they. Nothing like a Swiss match starting with 3 light 1 openers in a row to get your opponents' teeth grinding! Even if they do well, their nerves will be shot, while you will just bounce happily in your chair like the rabbit, as the same thing happened a couple of matches ago and you are used to it! You must accept that you will get a few very bad boards out of that 1 opener, remembering all the more-than-offsetting good ones. No grousing at partner when you get a bad result for doing something your side always does, like opening an 11 the world would pass.

When playing this style, if partner passes in first seat, that is one LOUD pass! You can get a big edge in competition and on defense when you can cap partner's HCP at 10, or even 9 if he turns out to be shapely. Your example hand has an extra jack! You open 1 and call it a minimum, despite its full 12 count! If you don't want to open that 1, consider going back to 2/1 or KS! :)
Oct. 11
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Deleted pre-coffee comment.
Oct. 6
Randy Thompson edited this comment Oct. 6
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IMO, there are several considerations here. You have focused only one – trying to steal the pot in a 1N contract (that may not make when opening leader notices that he has the majors and leads one) by making it harder for him to balance. I think there are two bigger reasons to bid 2 (that is the only possible minimum hand rebid, as 2 would be a reverse). One reason to bid over 1N is to reach a contract that makes instead of playing one that goes down. A second is that if they DO compete over 1N, as they likely will in this day and age, rebidding 2m lets partner make more rational bidding decisions later. If he knows you have 4+ support for his 6 card club suit, for example, he might not want to sell to even 3M. If Responder is 3-3-3-4, he might not even consider bidding 3 over their 2M if you pass 1N, so you could wind up -110 instead of +50/100 if you push them to 3M.
Oct. 4
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John: The degree of fit for m can matter if using Rev Flan over a standard 3+ 1m opener (where 1 is usually 4+). If you have as many as three of opener's minor, passing 1m with the 0-4 HCP hands should be a serious option. Over a 2+ Precision 1, you can't really have enough of a fit that passing makes sense unless you are specifically 5-4-4-0 and pard can't have enough to try for game over 2 w/o a super fit and some shortness and a max HCP hand – and maybe you will need to compete to 3 anyway when he has that hand. IF you are going to bid over 1m, surely it is right to bid 2 instead of 1, which could fetch a 3 jump shift or a 2N rebid.
Oct. 4
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Always glad to be doing something the way Rodwell does it. I just learned that sequence as the way to invite with 4-4 when taught the method in 2006.
Oct. 4
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Bill: What's the problem? After 1m-1, 1N-2 we are in a game force and opener's 2 bid with 3-4 in the majors saves space rather than wastes it. Responder then bids 2N or 3m to say he was interested in spades, not hearts. I had one pard who insisted that after 1m-1M, 1N-2, opener bid “whichever suit was hearts” if he had both! :) I prefer to bid the four-card OM suit first as 4-4 fits tend to be better strains than 5-3's . You DO have to decide how to distinguish invite 4-4 hands from invite 4-5 hands after 1m-1H, 1N-?? I play that the 4-4 invite hand rebids 2 and the 4-5 hand relays through 2-2 first. No reason it couldn't be the other way.
Oct. 4
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I don't know anyone who plays Reverse Flannery as limited to 5-4 (as opposed to 5-4+). The bidding problems that it resolves are at least as bad in the case of 5-5. The big benefit of Reverse Flannery does NOT happen when opener rebids 1N – those hands are easy with any decent 2-way checkback structure, whether or not you play Reverse Flannery. The big payoff comes on hands where it would have gone 1m-1, 2m-?? or 1-1, 2-??. Now a rebid of hearts by responder would be at the very least forcing and at worst game-forcing (if 4th suit) and not necessarily even natural! I'm not saying that Reverse Flannery will “cure all that ails ya,” but it makes a lot of auctions easier and everyone knows that pard needs as many easy auctions as possible. :) Picture Opener with 3-1-5-4 or 1-3-4-5 or 1-3-5-4 or 1-3-4-5 or 2-4-6-1 or 2-4-1-6 or 3-4-6-0 or 3-4 0-6 shape. He opens 1m and, if not playing Reverse Flannery, we may be in trouble here. That is a LOT of shapes! Reverse Flannery also puts more pressure on the opponents. Last night my LHO held 64 9842 A AJT842 and heard the auction 1-(P)-2-?? to him. Had the response been 1 instead of 2, he would have had a choice of 2 or double, depending on style and judgment. Over 2, he (reasonably) passed, as did everyone else. We scored up +110 and they were cold for 130 their way in clubs. I know that's just an anecdote but that was just last night. It wasn't unuusal; the non-forcing 2M responses frequently put a lot of pressure on the opponents.
Oct. 4
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After 1m-1, 1N-??
2 shows 6-4 weak.
3 shows 5-5 or better slam try.

After 1m-1, 1N-2, there is no reason to change any priorities – bid hearts first with hearts because responder's possible shapes are not impacted by Rev. Flannery..

After 1m-1, 1N-2, 2-?? responder's 2 bid is 6-4 invite values.

Keeping the structure identical to when not playing Reverse Flannery makes it easier to remember. The only change is that responder cannot be 5-4 or 5-5 and invite/weak. All those sequences where he bids as if he might be 5-4 or 5-5 and invite/weak, he has to be 6-4.
Oct. 4
Randy Thompson edited this comment Oct. 4
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John: The last vestige of smoking that I gave up (after quitting in 2000) was one Cuban cigar each day I was somewhere where they were legal. Because it could have destroyed my ability to make a living, I didn't smuggle any back in to the U.S. even though I was “sure” that all that would happen if caught would be the customs folk would confiscate them, take them home and smoke them. I had a law partner from our Miami office of Cuban descent and I could get some now and then from him. And my brother-in-law in Texas had a source. My only smoking (of tobacco) since 2005 were after his funeral in 2012 with his sons (along with some single malt scotch) and again a few years later when vacationing with them in Mexico. Each of the three times I quit (1986 for a year, 1996 for a year, 2000 with a legal-Cubano carve-out, and 2005) I did it cold turkey and didn't cheat. I view smoking a Cubano with my nephews in tribute to their dad as not breaking my 2005 vow to never smoke (tobacco) again and may do that again some day. Not saying quitting was easy, just that the only way I could do it was to just stop and deal with the suffering for a while. Maybe I wasn't as addicted as some other folk.
Oct. 3
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Abstain. 3.
Oct. 3
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Nonsense. Equal Level Conversion has not been alertable for the many decades it has been around. You seem to assume that those who don't think as you do are “non-standard” when there is no consensus about what doubles show or what corrections to a new suit after doubling shows. If you want to hear your opponents tell you what they think the pull to a new suit means, then ask. But, in a club game, be prepared to hear, “Hunh?” as the response. When a club opponent reverses and their partner passes, do you call the director? Is this any different?
Oct. 3
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A sad day for her family and for all who knew her.
Oct. 3
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Just ask the question; don't give reasons for every answer. (i.e., eliminate all after the first period of each answer).
Oct. 3
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If you win, can it be called an addiction? Blackjack once was relatively easy for card counters; rule changes have made that less the case. (I knew some bridge players who made their living at blackjack in the days when early surrender was allowed.) Poker is head-to-head and a much simpler card game than bridge, so it should come as no surprise that top bridge players may also be winners at poker. The skill sets may overlap, but they are not the same. I soon found I was welcome in everyone's poker game because apparently I am easy to read. Good players fold in droves when I have a good hand; they call all my bluffs. It may be possible to win at the track, but you have to spend your life at it and probably need some inside information. Same for sports betting – overcoming the 11-10 vig on bets that are long run very close to 50-50 isn't easy. If someone keeps losing over and over and over again, then yes, it is an addiction – a lesser form of a death wish. But, IMO, you don't get addicted to gambling; you get addicted to losing at gambling. (I am not a psychiatrist, nor do I play one on TV, so this is all just seat of the pants speculation.)
Oct. 2
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I have no problem as a weak no trumper playing that the forcing 1N response can be 6-11, or even 6-12 if we open light. We recently switched to opening 1M on lighter hands. We had only one type of hand that bid 1N forcing, intending to bid a game, but we compressed that hand into another hand type and now our 1N response is “semi-forcing.” That means that opener only passes 1N with a flat hand of 11 to 13 and, if 13, it should not be one that is good enough to accept a 3-card limit raise (probably a pure doubleton in there somewhere). With a better flat hand, opener rebids a 3-card minor, just as is the case with those who rebid over a forcing 1N. This makes a 2N rebid by responder on 10-11 less risky, as at least it won't be opposite a flat 11-13.

Playing 12-14 1N and 20-21 2N, I prefer that the raise show 17-18. With 15+ to 16, we can rebid 2m and then bid 2N at our next turn to bid. With 15-, we may miss a game, but driving to 2N when we might have barely half the deck is at least as risky as the risk of missing a game on 15- opposite 9 or 10-. What to do with those 10- and 15- hands may depend on form of the game (push for game with them if vul at imps but stay conservative otherwise).
Sept. 30
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