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I wonder whether the magnitude of the punishment is indicative that there was some kind of plea bargin.

The ACBL did not believe that they could “prove” that Passel was cheating. The offered him a reduced penalty in return for not contesting the punishment.
Aug. 17, 2015
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Silly question:

Is “the Infernal Machine” inspired by Magic Diamond?
Aug. 14, 2015
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The sad thing is that I knew someone would post that response and I still didn't bother to figure out how to enter &#961; on this forum
Aug. 12, 2015
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If you care about additional places, then just use a measure like Spearman's rho to compare the ideal ordering with the results of the tournament.

I agree that my definition of “fair” is narrow. I see this as a virtue.
Aug. 12, 2015
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FWIW, for the purposes of this discussion, I would define “fair” as the same as “accurate”. We want a system that is going to maximize the chance that the “best” team wins each match. (Or alternatively, that the best team wins the tournament)

It might be helpful to think of the tournament as a sampling problem. Each board that gets played between a two teams provides a sample that you can use to estimate which team is better.

All other things being equal, the greater the difference in strength between the two teams, the fewer samples we would need to reliably guess which team is stronger. (I'm a lot more confident using a 7 board round to contrast the #1 and #64 seed than I am the #32 and #33).

One possible design that is consistent with this goal is

1. Maximizing the absolute difference in the strength of the teams during the early rounds.

2. Increase the number of boards played per round as the tournament progresses.

I agree with David Burn that a Monte Carlo simulation is likely to yield good results. However, intuitively, I think that the chess system is significantly better.

Aug. 12, 2015
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I think that it is feasible to significantly improve upon the seeding process for events like the Vanderbilt.

From my perspective, the single most important type of information to have is a comprehensive set of board results.

Aug. 12, 2015
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> ACBL is neither helpful nor needed. I could easily run a
> tournament for a fraction of the cost.

Here's the rub. When you're running a bridge tournament, your goal isn't necessarily to minimize the cost. I expect that any of the following goals trumps “minimize cost”

1. Not losing money
2. Maximizing attendence
3. Predictable schedule

Don't get me wrong. I agree with your core critique regarding the ACBL (lack of) competency. With this said and done, I think that you are significantly misrepresenting the difficulty in running a large event like this.
Aug. 11, 2015
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Given the high likelihood of catastrophic declines in member roles, purchasing expensive capital stock that will be used a handful of times each year seems questionable.
Aug. 10, 2015
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FWIW, I took a look at the pair's system card. It seems pretty clear that the pair is playing a Magic Diamond derivative.

Magic Diamond was an attempt to create a version of the old strong pass passed systems that could be played in most competitions.

The reason that I bring this up is that the “strong pass” family of systems made a quite convincing argument that having methods that allow you to open eight and nine counts is, indeed, winning bridge.
Aug. 10, 2015
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Looks like a modified version of Magic Diamond
Aug. 9, 2015
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And somehow we allow natural 1NT openings.
Aug. 9, 2015
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A few months back, I wondered what would happen if someone were to DDOS the ACBL during Nationals. I wonder if we are going to find out.
Aug. 8, 2015
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I was just reading though some of the links that Kevin provided and a line item caught my eye.

The technology minutes from 7-23-2015 contains a section titled “Current/Resource issues” which states that the ACBL infrastructure is

“Running on a Class B TCPIP network with no network segmentation”

This can be read in a number of ways, a number of which suggest that the ACBL owns its own class B address.

IPv4 address are a scarce commodity these days. If the ACBL does, indeed, own a class B address, it could probably sell this for somewhere between \$500 - \$650K.

Might help offset some of the unexpected expenses.

Aug. 7, 2015
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Let me get this straight.

Six months ago, the ACBL was facing an enormous crisis because of the ACBLScore fiasco.

We are now being told that this was the tip of the iceberg and that, in fact, the basic infrastructure is so complete screwed up that ACBLScore needs to be parked to address a whole host of other issues.

And all of this is being buried in a side report.
Aug. 7, 2015
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On the food front, I strongly recommend Toplobambo. (Reservations are essential). Hands down the best Mexican in the country. (I've flown to Chicago just to do dinner there)

http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/topolobampo/

The sister restaurant next door (Frontera Grill) shares the same kitchen, is also great, and if you show up early you can get a seat at the bar.
Aug. 6, 2015
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The short form of Roger's post would appear to be:

“I want to pretend that I am good at games of skill. Now all I need to do is exclude anyone who is better than me from competing.”

Aug. 4, 2015
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“Ceteris paribus, I would enjoy no advantage whatsoever as, say, East in a duplicate event (whether matchpoints or IMPs) if I and only I knew in advance that I would hold the ace of clubs on every deal.”

I might actually buy this if all things are equal, but they aren't.

Once again, as soon as you allow people to modify their choice of bidding system based on the knowledge that hand strength is skewing away from expected, you create the possibility to exploit the asymmetry in information.

Aug. 4, 2015
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Consider the following:

Different bidding systems do better on different strength hands. For example, a strong club system is better at handling average strength hands than standard, however, it worse at handling strong hands.

A system like Roth Stone with super sound openers will do better when it gets deal a opening bid. Arguments can easily be made that stacking points into your hand would be advantageous if I were playing certain bidding systems.

Aug. 3, 2015
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How does the not pushing little pieces of pasteboard around the table change the game?
Aug. 2, 2015
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