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All comments by Richard Willey
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> As I said, the only people who will really object are
> either cheats, or those who want to play with cheats.
> Everyone else will try to deal with the remote chance of
> playing with a cheater.

I'd said that you have a Manichean worldview, but that gives you far too much credit. Let's just go with simpleminded.

Personally, I think that the the most significant objections to any such proposal will come from the regulators who will rightfully fear the lawsuits that will come about from any attempts to impose a system based on collective punishment.

I suspect that any pair that doesn't have perfect information about the proprieties of their team mates to follow as a close second, and I don't think any of us approach perfect information.
Oct. 19, 2015
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> Is it so bad, to make there be a downside from agreeing to
> play with a cheating pair, and not to give those who CHOSE
> to play with them, a free pass?

I was raised with the view that systems of collective punishment are simple minded and barbaric.
Oct. 19, 2015
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> So, in 2016, someone who plays with a cheating pair, takes
> a year off. Loses everything they “won” with the cheats, as
> well. And the cheats go out for a long, long time.

Any proposal that the team mates of players who cheat should be banned for a year is a complete non starter. Any organization that attempted to enforce this type of rule would (deservedly) be sued into the dirt.

Proposals of this sort are so divorced from reality that they discredit more legitimate efforts to address the very real issue of cheating.

Oct. 19, 2015
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> BZ possibly being cheaters, meaning Poland qualified for
> the BB by cheating and therefor having no legitimate claim
> to the BB title, triggered a crowd-source investigation of
> publicly available information here on BW. The BW community
> managed to establish proof of cheating by BZ. Further proof
> was established on the basis of information that was part of
> the (undisclosed) Boye file that was sent to WBF.

There are some remarkable logical fallacies and leaps of faith in this paragraph.




Oct. 18, 2015
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> What part of data you use to develop a hypothesis and what
> you test it on doesn't change the data nor the reality.
> It's a voodoo thinking. This kind of thinking means that if
> you by accident looked at the whole dataset you are no
> longer able to use that as evidence which is of course
> nonsense.

Piotr, you appear to have strong opinions on this subject. Sadly, what you are posting is nonsense.

Dividing datasets into test sets, training sets, and validation sets is fundamental to statistics and machine learning. There isn't a decent statistics package out there that doesn't contain libraries and functions to do exactly this. (This very morning, I was using R's cvTool's package)

Moreover, other than you, I don't recall anyone claiming that you need to throw away a data set if you accidentally look at the whole thing. What has been said by multiple individuals is that if you do use the same data set to develop your hypothesis and test your hypothesis you need to be very careful in presenting your results because a lot of traditional analysis techniques are subject to bias.

Oct. 15, 2015
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Comment 1: The critical difference between what is happening today and what didn't happen two years back is the combination of video feeds that are accessible to the public and the good hand records. Once this came to pass, remarkable things started to happen.

Comment 2: I am not surprised that the owners of bridge magazines didn't go out tilting at windmills while simultaneously leaving themselves exposed to lawsuits.
Oct. 13, 2015
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> I play a light opening system. It is very tempting to
> psyche in third seat after partner's first seat pass
> denying as many as 10 HCP. But I consider this to be
> unethical. Perhaps I am wrong about this, but it doesn't
> feel right.

That's all fine and dandy. Just don't confuse your sense of aesthetics with the regulations.
Oct. 13, 2015
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> This “he's not taking a risk because he knows something
> about his partner's hand” is rubbish. That knowledge is a
> reward for methods which define your partner's hand better.

Kieran, that might be the way that things work in the antipodes, but here in North America its our god given right to ruthlessly work the ref in order to protect inferior bidding methods.


Oct. 13, 2015
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Hi Kit,

Really impressive piece of work. I especially like the fact that you have continued to improve methodology as the investigations continue. (I, for one, believe that dividing the data into a test set and a validation set significantly improves the reliability of the analysis)
Oct. 13, 2015
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I admit that I am having a great deal of difficulty determining what point it is that you are trying to make.

As far as I can tell, you are claiming the following:

If I am dealt a 5-4-3-1 hand, there is a percentage chance that one of the suits will be distributed 5-4-3-1.

This doesn't seem particularly controversial, nor does it seem interesting.
Oct. 12, 2015
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Don Mamula wrote

> The legitimacy for the WBF championships comes from two
> directions - from above in the form of IOC recognition and > from below in the form of recognition and participation by
> the federations.

Color me cynical, but I suspect that the most significant issue is actually the relationship between various national governments and the individual federations.

This doesn't matter much in the United States, but as I understand matters a lot of the European government provide direct financial assistance to their local federations.

I question what an attempt to disassociate from the WBF would mean to those sources of funding. (At the very least, I would expect competition for the $$$)
Oct. 11, 2015
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Anyone else believe that we'd be a lot better off if we got rid of the laws the prohibit hitching on singletons and the like?

Top level players openly state that reading the opponent's subconscious hitches is an important part of their game. (For example, see Meckstroth's comments regarding electronic playing environments and the like)

It seems ridiculous and neigh unenforceable to permit players to draw inference from hitches, but not allow the opposing side to muddy the waters.

I think that we'd be a lot better off openly admitting that this is part and parcel of the game and modifying the rules accordingly. If we need to sacrifice some vestiges of Victorian social propriety, so be it.
Oct. 10, 2015
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I have long opposed efforts by various members of the ACBL Board to cut off funds from the WBF.

Even at the start of the latest cheating scandal, I felt that this was misguided at best.

The latest pronouncements from the WBF are the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. This has to be the most tone deaf, self absorbed piece of masturbatory clap trap that I have ever had the displeasure to read.

From the tone deaf IOC reference to the veiled threats to its own player base, this articles shows an organization that has completely lost its way.

At a time like this, the only way forward for an organization like the WBF is a sincere apology, followed by a realistic plan to improve on the current situation. If there is one thing the latest crowdsorcing effort has shown, it is that the creation of yet another committee that will operate in silence is unacceptable.



Oct. 9, 2015
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“Baseball needs a little speeding up. You know how you speed up baseball? Everybody gets one swing, that's right. One swing, F*** you, you're out, sit down, next, let's go, come one, sit down, come on, let's go. Here's another thing that would make baseball a lot faster: If the pitcher hits the batter with the ball, the batter's out. You hit 27 guys, you got yourself a perfect game my friend. You get two really good accurate pitchers out there and you could be out of that ballpark in 15 minutes. You could be home watching football on TV and see some serious injuries. One more thing for baseball, out in the outfield I would have a series of randomly placed landmines. “There's Marshall, settling under that ball.” (EXPLOSION sound effect) “Holy s***!”

<George Carlin>
Oct. 8, 2015
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If Poland manages to outplace every team that qualified from the Euros (as well as every other team in the Bermuda Bowl) I would consider this to be strong evidence that Poland was one of the six strongest teams in the European Championships.

If this does not hold true, than either the Euro qualifiers or the the Bermuda Bowl would need to be a complete crapshoot.
Oct. 7, 2015
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I can see an argument that the Polish team should have withdrawn from the Bermuda Bowl if there is reason to believe that the team would not have qualified had B+Z not been cheating. (This argument obviously presumes that it can be demonstrated that B+Z were cheating).

Based on the performance of the current Polish team, both in the RR phase and the quarter / semi finals, it would appear that the team that was selected would most likely have qualified had the competed. As such, I (personally) don't see a reason that the entire Polish team should exit the event based on the (assumed) behavior of team mates during the qualifier.

I understand that other people feel differently. As for this line of argument, I think that the Roman's said it best.

De gustibus non est disputandum
Oct. 7, 2015
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Can't help put admit that I am rooting for Poland just to see the what happens if they win the whole shebang.

Interesting times…
Oct. 7, 2015
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Hi Kit

Given the the degree of accuracy and level of focus that you require, I would recommend having multiple people watch each match and see how consistent their results are.
Oct. 7, 2015
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FWIW, prior to joining Akamai's information security team, I worked at The MathWorks (I was the product manager for the statistics system and spent a fair amount of time working with Image Processing Toolbox)

Personally, I'd start by playing around with the edge detection algorithms which are quite good and have a lot to work with in these examples.
Oct. 5, 2015
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I would think that using image processing software (MATLAB + Image Processing Tbx) is a better way to go.
Oct. 5, 2015
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