Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Richard Willey
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Exclusivity promises with a geography is often associated with a franchise type business model
May 5, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Why stop there…

If anyone that you teach establishes a club of their own, you should deserve a percentage of the revenue base that their customers generate! (We'll call it your “downstream”).

And don't forget, bridge is a partnership game. You desrve money for the partners of those players that you once trained!

And we can probably generate a lot more money if we dispense with playing cards, and instead focus on beauty products and herbal supplements.
May 5, 2018
Richard Willey edited this comment May 5, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> What would the countervailing risk of openness have been?
> (Yes, ACBL would have had to buy out his contract, but ACBL
> would have been much less likely to be sued!)

From my perspective, the primary risk would be Bahar launching a lawsuit for defamation, claiming that the ACBL's decision to volunteer details regarding his dismissal negatively impacts his ability to find employment in the future.

I'd expect that the the costs of litigation and the damages owed from an adverse decision to be much more significant that buying Bahar out from a couple years of his contract.
May 5, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> Frances, most of the United States has
> had universal suffrage since 1920

Let me guess… You're white…
May 5, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> If our board did something they are ashamed of,
> shouldn't we know? And if they didn't, shouldn't we know?

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

Personally, I think that changing the structure of the US legal system because you want some juicy gossip falls into the former category…
May 5, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
True, however, times have changed dramatically.

Remove the threat of lawsuits and I don't think many establishments in the US would return to allowing smoking. Casinos, probably. But I can't think of many more.

I do agree that this has nothing to do with altruism, but in this day and age I think that allowing people to smoke would cause you to lose many more people than you would gain.
May 5, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
yes. Thanks
May 5, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> Well, that's true. My question is: do we, as members of
> a non-profit membership organization, have a right to be
> informed about what led to this firing? I'm not sure
> I know the answer.

Ours is a litigious society.

Even if we, as members of the ACBL, had a right to this information, it would be incredibly irresponsible for the ACBL to disclose this info. If the ACBL were to do so, it could very well provide Bahar with ammunition that he could then use to sue the organization.

Most of the companies that I deal with refuse to provide any information about part employees other than start date and last day employed. It doesn't matter if you were Mother Theresa or Jeremy Dahmler, you get the precise same answer

Start Date was:
last Paycheck was:
May 5, 2018
Richard Willey edited this comment May 5, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> We attract about 12K a year we lose roughly the same.
> Apart from the fact that my club needs growth, do we
> think bridge will die out if we change nothing?

I think that you are ignoring the impact this has wrt the skill level of the population of bridge players.

The players that you are losing have decades worth of playing experience. Not all of them will be experts. But, on average, this has to mean something.

The players that we are gaining are 62 year old retirees who will never have the chance to master the game in the way that players of yore did.

Bobby Wolff used to make disparaging comments about bridge getting dumbed down into “Best Card Wins”… What you are describing is how this happens.

But hey… At least they're paying money for the priviledge and… at the end of the day I guess that this is what really counts.
May 4, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> I don't get it the owner of the largest most successful club
> has clearly stated that the way to go is 45 plus years old

Its far from clear to me that “What's good for club owners” is the same as “What's good for bridge”.

Moreover, while I am glad that a city the size of New York is actually able to maintain a bridge club with a stable population of paying customers, it is far from clear whether these experiences will generalize in any way, shape, or form.

Personally, I think that the overwhelming majority of club owners could duplicate the programs that the Honors club put in place and they would still fail. (Because the player base in a small town in Indiana is much smaller than that of NYC, much more distributed, and much more dependent on cars)

Oh yes…

I am pretty sure that the “largest and most successful club” is BBO by several orders of magnitude.
May 4, 2018
Richard Willey edited this comment May 4, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If it were me, the main thing that I would do is

1. identify a group of 25 or so juniors who are actively involved in bridge today
2. Offer to pay their transport to to the summer nationals
3. Cover a couple extra days of lodging

In return, said juniors participating in a 2 day long brainstorming session, the goal of which is “How do we attract more folks under 25 to the game of bridge”

In all honesty, I think that they're going to have MUCH better perspective on how to solve this problem then the folks (myself included) who I see discussing this.
May 4, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> How many members do we get from ACBL grandparents
> getting their grandkids to try bridge? Forget members,
> how many players? Let's see…our own members, who
> love the game, can't get their grandkids involved. But
> somehow, some whizbang marketing idea will.

Who would have thunk it…
Kids don't like to play games with their grandparents!
Will wonders never cease…

If you want to attract kids, grandparents are the last people you want as your recruiters.

Back in the day, when students were playing colleges, I really doubt that they were recruited by a bunch of 70 year olds. Rather, you had a healthy ecosystem where students recruited other students.
May 3, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> Anyone ever bother to consider that the current ACBL
> membership (and that range of 150k to 170k that's been
> the number for the past few decades) might just be the
> natural equilibrium point for the organization?

<Richard spends a couple momemts consider proposal and emerges with>

Total membership is a remarkably poor way to measure the health of an organization.

The reason that people are rightfully concerned about the healthy of the ACBL has very little to do with the change in the membership numbers, but rather a combination of

1. The average membership continues to climb precipitously
2. Old age kills people. (It also dramatically impacts people's willingness/ability to travel and participate in “mind sports”)

So, personally, I think that any discussion to frame the discussion as such is, at best, whistling past the grave yard.

I think that a more sophisticated model that focused on the aggregate playing strength of the bridge playing population would be even more terrifying…
May 3, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> Impossible to measure, of course,

Actually, this is trivial to measure, however, the ACBL doesn't care enough to bother tracking this type of information.
May 3, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> I think the board doesn't think his plans won't increase
> membership down the road.

Perhaps, however

1. I don't think that there was enough time to give this a fair evaluation
2. Even if there were, its possible that the disruption caused by sacking the CEO this soon is much more disruptive then letting him stay

As I have mentioned before, I think that the real challenge that the ACBL faces is how to unwind gracefully. However, can the organization transition from a living in a world where bridge is a mass market form of entertainment to one where it is a niche? How will the ACBL continue to function with a small fraction of the resources that it has today,
May 3, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
>In North America either Bridge must gain in popularity
> or continue to suffer membership decreases. Each and
> every CEO candidate is told this at each and every step
> of the search process.

Here's the thing Chris… It took decades for the ACBL to dig itself this deep a hole. Anyone with half a brain could have looked at the numbers 15 years back and seen where things were headed. Now that things are complete $^*@$ed up no one can wave a magic wand and immediately make things right.

Its complete unrealistic for the Board to Expect anyone to be able to significantly reverse the membership design in less than a year. Arguably, this decline can't ever be done. Personally, a prefer a CEO who is spending his time on a set of small and achievable improvements rather than ridiculous flights of fancy.

I really don't think that the problem here is with the CEO, rather, its with a BoD who doesn't comprehend just how badly they screwed the pooch…
May 2, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Real coups involve guns and jeeps and …

Hmmm….
May 2, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
There's all sorts of rule's violations that the WBF choose not to bother with.

Doesn't mean that its not a violation of the Laws.
May 2, 2018
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If a new bridge organization evolves, I suspect that it will look a lot more like BridgeBase Online with a relatively small number of large F2F games than anything like the ACBL.

A system that requires 1,000s of volunteers isn't going to be feasible in a very short amount of time. Not for the ACBL and not for whatever comes to replace it.
May 2, 2018
.

Bottom Home Top