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All comments by Richard Willey
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> I think so too. But we were not talking about that.
> We were talking about not showing cheats in
> vugraph. And you implied that showing them
> is good for bridge.

Once again, you are inventing claims

Fred never implied that showing cheat's on Vugraph is good for bridge.

Rather he said that the there are tradeoffs and that the costs associated with implementing a system that can successfully block those individuals outweigh the benefits of doing so.

These two things are completely different.
Dec. 10, 2019
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> I understand that in order not to be annoyed, you
> expel from any discussion the “people who don't
> bear any of the costs or need to do any of the
> work”. Good policy.

I certainly can't claim credit for this concept…

The Internet Engineering Task Force has long used “running code and rough consensus” as a core guiding principal. Simply put, if someone hasn't done the basic work to implement their “idea”, their opinions don't carry much weight.

How does that old saying go “Opinions are like buttholes. Everyone's got one”. However, making sure that people actually do some work

1. Help thin out boivating idiots
2. Dramatically improves the quality of what actually gets submitted.

And yes, it is a good policy….
Dec. 9, 2019
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Paul, it's really annoying when people who don't bear any of the costs or need to do any of the work start explaining how “easy” something is.

Let me try and give a practical example:

How do you propose that BBO handle the case of the Doctors? Its seems pretty clear that Elinescu and Wladow where using out of bound signals. I think most anyone would agree that IF one were to have some kind of blacklist they should be included.

However, Elinescu and Wladow are also incredibly litigious and actively look for opportunities to launch lawsuits. Were BBO to implement a policy that (effectively) states that Vugraphs that feature E+W may not be broadcast this could easily turn into a lawsuit around defamation or the even the right to be forgotten.

Moreover, one the camels got its nose into the tent - once BBO is starting to make decisions on a case by case basis - life gets much much more complicated.
Dec. 9, 2019
Richard Willey edited this comment Dec. 9, 2019
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The ACBL's alert chart (circa 2012) specifically states that a natural and non forcing response to a two level opening bid is alertable
Dec. 9, 2019
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> Richard, I make no claims of any kind.

“BBO CHOOSE to show Fantoni. BBO didn't had to
(as per your example) but CHOOSE to show
him anyway”

is not the same as

“they chose to leave it open for cheaters to show off”
Dec. 9, 2019
Richard Willey edited this comment Dec. 9, 2019
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Pretty much.

You need to ask BBO to get added to the list of Tournament Directors, however, once you're been added you can do what you want
Dec. 8, 2019
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> I don't believe that is true. The vugraph is “open” only
> because the BBO management allows it to be open.
> BBO is privately owned and can do whatever it wants
> to do, period.

> If they choose to leave it open for cheaters to show
> off, that's worth complaining about.

I have no issue if people want to complain about this. However, I think that this way of framing the issue is very different from the claims that Paul was making.
Dec. 8, 2019
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> OK, Richard, some used the platform. But which
> platform permits to be used with no limits and/or
> boundaries

Any platform that wants common carrier status…

Historically, here in the US folks differentiated between platform that had common carrier status and those that did not.

Common carriers were required to carry all traffic. A decision by a carrier to differentiate against SOME types of traffic would cause them to lose common carrier status. Traditionally, this was viewed as advantageous by carriers. To this day, most Internet Service Providers fall into this category.

These sorts of concepts are still very common in discussions regarding Internet platforms (although its not as common as it used to be). As a practical example, the company that I work for (Akamai) has made a conscious decision not to be a common carrier because there are certain types of content that we do not want to carry.

I certainly don't speak for BBO, however, my impression is that Fred very much preferred to have a system with relatively simple standards and avoid situations that required case by case decision making. As a practical example, back in the day when country flags were first allowed, I asked to get one added for Mordor. Fred refused to do so saying that he wanted a simple well establish standard (in this case UN recognition) to avoid getting dragged into all sorts of political controversies.

> and is not responsible for the product ?

Common carriers are responsible for their products, however, these are normally issues surrounding Quality of Service.
Dec. 8, 2019
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> BBO CHOOSE to show Fantoni. BBO didn't had to
> (as per your example) but CHOOSE to show
> him anyway.

“BBO” did not make any such decision. Rather, someone used the platform that BBO provided to broadcast this content.
Dec. 8, 2019
Richard Willey edited this comment Dec. 8, 2019
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> Great, David, next step would be to celebrate
> on CNN one of drug cartel's hit-men. As a
> comparison, seems to me very much alike.

CNN is not an open platform.

Raher, CNN's management decides what content will be broadcast on CNN's various channels over the course of a day.

In contrast, the BBO vugraph system is open. CNN provides infrastructure that third parties can use to broadcast whatever events they choose.

The right anology is something like YouTube.

Now its worth noting that YouTube is a cesspool and they're's also sorts of really odious crap that gets broadcast there. It's gotten bad enough that YouTube is spending significant $$$ trying to do convince folks that they are cleaning up their act.

The reason that I bring this up is that if you want BBO to start exercising more editorial control, you're going to significantly increase both the friction required in creating events and the cost to BBO. Let me give you a practical example:

You don't like the BBO is showing Vugraph content where Fantoni is being shown. I don't like the fact that BBO is showing Vugraph content of events that are being run in China. And once this door swing open, its open for all sorts of stuff.
Dec. 8, 2019
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BBO provides a platform.

The choice of what Vugraph to show is left to other folks.
Dec. 8, 2019
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Not sure whether announcements are going to move the needle much

Meaningful penalties for players who don't follow the rules
Meaningful fines for directors who don't enforce the rules
Dec. 7, 2019
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I am not doing any such thing because the ACBL side of the data is not publically available.

I would use the Zip Code of the club because there are all sorts of snowbirds who registered Zip Code probably doesn't align well with where they play.
Dec. 4, 2019
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> The 500th largest club in 1991 had 978 tables for the year.
> Last year it took 1,065 tables to make that list. Larger clubs
> seem to be staying healthy, maybe even thriving.
> Smaller clubs are where the losses have been coming from.

FWIW, I think that focusing on club count and the number of tables played at the largest clubs might be insufficient.

Consider the following example:

In 2009, there were three bridge clubs in East Elbowia

Club A averaged 500 tables over the course of the year
Club B average 300 tables over the course of the year
Club C averaged 200 tables over the course of the year

In 2019, there was one bridge club in East Elbowia

Club A averaged 800 tables over the course of the year
While Club A experienced significant growth and might appear healthy, the amount of bridge being played in this city declined dramatically.

This is why I have been emphasizing the need to look at the total number of tables being played in a given zip code rather than club size. (Its entirely possible that Club A isn't doing anything “right”, rather one bridge club was going to survive, it happened to be Club A, its its growth in table count simply reflects consolidation rather than growth)
Dec. 4, 2019
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Couple quick comments:

1. During the ACBL BoG meeting on Sunday, Steve Moese was also talking about “Bridge Centers”. As I recall, the definition that he used was different. (He was focusing on an arrangement in which multiple clubs were sharing space in the same building). What you are describing sounds much more like what he described as a “teaching club”. You two might want to use consistent terminology.

2. You commented “I bet a lot has to do with the resources larger clubs have to bring new players into the fold through teaching and player development programs”. I suspect that this is a second order effect and that a combination of the size of the surrounding community and the population density is what is driving the resource base for the large clubs. It will be interesting to see what locations are successfully able to support your member clubs.
Dec. 4, 2019
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> Does it tell me that club owners don't care about
> helping to run the organization that they depend
> on for their livelihood, maybe even their club's
> very existence, or that the system is rigged
> against them?

I think that it is a mistake for Jeff and the like to focus on voting power as their primary lever in dealing with the ACBL. I suspect that you're much more likely to be able to effect change if a number of large clubs band together and threaten to stop running sanctioned games. However, this is going to require that you get a bunch of club owners to agree on some set of changes that you want to see implemented.

FWIW I agree that the process that the ACBL uses to elect BoD members is likely to be biased against club owners. If folks really believe that this should be addressed than (to me at least) the best option is probably to shift to a model in which

1. The BoD is elected directly by ACBL members
2. Elections take place at the national level
3. Some kind of proportional representation scheme is used

This might allow a coalition of Club Owners or Bridge Teachers or players under 50 or some other interest group to get enough votes together to get a BoD member elected who might reflect their interests. However, I'd be shocked if this were to ever happen and, so long as you have a system in which a single BoD rep is elected from a single geographic district, I don't find it at all surprising that a minority (like clubs owners) are unable to ever get one of their own elected.

At the same time, this isn't really something that concerns me that much. From what I can tell, the interests of Club Owners and ACBL members diverge pretty dramatically and I very much worry that the club owners priorities boil down to squandering the ACBL reserves trying to subsidize their clubs.
Dec. 4, 2019
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> We, not just Honors, but the whole bridge community,
> aren't doing more than easy pickings. I wonder what
> more can be done here.

Jeff, aren't you the one who is constantly saying that

“If only the ACBL gave me a lot more money to spend on recruiting, I'd start bringing in all sorts of new members”

and

“We need a model where I get compensated every time one of my players participates in an ACBL tournament. If this happens I'll start recruiting more”

If you're advancing these sorts of claims, I'd think that you should have specific marketing plans ready to go, along with detailed information how this would boost your recruiting efforts.

So far, the main plans that you've been advancing seem to be

1. Ask your members to be more proactive
2. Serving “easy to chew” food at lunch time
Dec. 3, 2019
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Few quick comments:

1. Having been forced to use Paypal and the like for a few sizable transactions this year I am painfully aware of the size of their fees, especially if you're doing international transactions that involve current exchange. I'd be careful on this one…

2. I would be incredibly leery about ANY system in which the ACBL needs to hold a copy of your credit card numbers “on file”. This could mean an awful lot of things and it's good that you are asking for clarity.

3. Shawn is correct that many ecommerce sites provide an option to store your credit card number or some such, but very few of them make this an absolute requirement. Given the ACBL's track record with tech projects I think that it is entirely reasonable that one might be willing to trust your credit card # to Amazon but not necessarily to the ACBL.

4. If you are seriously worries about this stuff, your best option is probably to set up a debit card specifically to pay the ACBL sanction fees and make sure that there isn't any extra money in said account.
Dec. 3, 2019
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I'm not saying that this isn't an effective way to recruit members.

However, if you are already using this technique to recruit 75% of your members that I think that your ability to significantly impact membership count using the same set of techniques is going to be limited.

You're already plucking the low hanging fruit.
Dec. 3, 2019
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In other words, you are simply saying the exact opposite with responding to the points that I made….

Sorry for misunderstanding, I gave you a bit more credit than that.
Dec. 2, 2019
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