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All comments by Richard Willey
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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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> Steve, a mostly “electronic playing environment” can be
> had while also being “face-to-face”.

It could. I don't think that it should.

A partial solution provides some benefits. Most notably, record keeping would become much better. In turn, this would allow one to do detailed statistical analysis of player choices in bidding and play.

However, you'd also lose out on some very significant security improvements. I'd very much prefer to see a system in which all of the North players are segregated in one room, all the South's in another, …

My primary concern is that a pairs may be building radio systems into their clothing and using this to signal information about their hands. The further you are able to separate the players, the more powerful the transmitter will need to be, and the greater the chance that you will be able to detect them signaling.

I understand that this will chance many aspects of the game. In particular, players won't be able to watch one another play and can't take advantage of various types of “tells”. Then again, my understand is that seizing upon tells isn't supposed to be part of bridge.

Here's a silly hypothetical that sums up my feelings

I'm going to offer you two choices regarding how to conduct the Cavendish.

Option 1: Players compete face-to-face using playing cards, however, the opportunities for cheating are magnified immensely

Option 2: Players compete using computers and are segregated by direction. The opportunities for cheating are extremely small.

It's fine if you prefer Option 1. (Just don't go and complain about people cheating in high stakes events if you decide to go down this path)





Aug. 1, 2015
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Couple thoughts on the cheating front:

First, while I see lots of people complaining about cheating, I don't see anyone willing to implement mechanisms that would add real security to the game. More specifically, I don't see people willing to consider switching to an electronic playing environment. An electronic playing environment would make it orders of magnitude more difficult to cheat. Moreover, the potential to keep perfect records would permit real statistical analysis of hands. However, people are unwilling to do this because it is oh so very important to push little pieces of pasteboard around the table. If the problem isn't serious enough to warrant investing in real controls, then shut your pie hole about the problem.

Second, people seem to be focusing on using bridge authorities like the WBF and the ACBL as the regulatory body to deal with issues around cheating. Given the amount of money that is thrown around hiring top talent, I wonder whether it might be better to consider pressing for criminal charges. If you cheat at cards in a Nevada casino, you can be subject to criminal prosecution. Might be worth seeing whether there are similar options for bridge. (It avoids the whole issue surrounding lawsuits against the ACBL and ups the ante for the folks who are cheating)






Aug. 1, 2015
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The problem with dividing the world into Us and Them is that you are always going to be someone else's “them”.
July 30, 2015
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The only time I ever read the Bulletin is when someone else comments on some particularly egregious editorial and I need to see for myself that some would commit something so stupid in writing.

In contrast, I watch online Vugraph's at least once a week and typically prefer international events.
July 30, 2015
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I don't believe that item 111-100 is the proposal that is in front of the BoD this time around.
July 30, 2015
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> Concern for the large increase in dues has been an agenda
> item since dues were increased at the turn of the century.
> the above motions were from 2001 (013) and 2006 (061).

I am well aware of this fact.

Every few years, a small number of cranks band together and go tilting at windmills. The rest of us sit back and laugh. The fact that this has been tried many times before doesn't mean that you are any more right, it merely shows a slow learning curve.

Frankly, the only thing that surprises me about this go around is that I haven't seen more people gripping about the US Women's team in Shanghai.

July 29, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment July 29, 2015
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Mike, are you reading the same version of the proposal that I am? Here's a link to the proposal as it was described on Bridgewinners:

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/chicago-bod-motion-proposes-that-the-acbl-stop-paying-wbf-dues/

I am attaching the relevant text:

_________________
New:

The ACBL shall not pay any amount to the WBF for membership dues.

Chapter VII

B. WBF REPRESENTATIVES

Representatives of Zone 2 to the World Bridge Federation shall be appointed by the Zone2 NBOs under rules which shall be adopted jointly by those NBOs.

Effective January 1, 2016Estimated cost/savings: $165,000 yearly
____________________

Neither the text of the proposal nor the projected cost savings seem consistent with your claims that this proposal is simply switching the payments from the general fund to the International Fund.

Perhaps that is the intent of the sponsors of the amendment. However, this is not the motion that is being voted on.

FWIW, part of the reason that I am so sure that this motion is going to fail is that this motion is a blind expression of unthinking rage/spite rather rather than a thoughtful or considered policy proposal.



July 29, 2015
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IMHO, one of the issues that lead to the implosion of the BBO forums was the introduction of a bunch of irrelevant discourse about politics and economics that resulted in a fairly toxic environment.

I am dismayed to see these sorts of asides start to leak in to Bridge Winners as well.
July 28, 2015
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I think that folks are getting a bit too worked up about the proposal regarding WBF funding.

The “black helicopter brigade” has been bitching about international bridge for years. They’ve never been able to move the ball towards the goal. This particular proposal is particularly ill considered in that it fails to describe what would happen if the motion actually were to pass. I can’t believe that this is going to go anywhere.

I have no doubt that the vote is going to be closer than normal because of the necessity that several BoD members recuse themselves for conflict of interest.

Personally, what has me concern the most is that this appears to be yet another case in which the ACBL’s counsel is providing highly suspect advice to members of the Board in an attempt to marginalize their role. Most of the discussions to date have been focused on (ACBL versus USBF) or (Pros versus the hoi polloi). I think that (ACBL CEO versus the BoD) is a more useful lens. And, while I have little use for much of the ACBL BoD, I think that the current CEO is many times worse.

I think that a reasonable discussion can be had regarding the appropriate relationships between the ACBL, the USBF, and the WBF. I am not unsympathetic to the suggestion that the relationship between the ACBL and the WBF should be wound down in a considered and deliberate manner. Sadly, proposals like the one currently being considered are at best a distraction from the more serious discussions that need to happen.
July 28, 2015
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I'm dubious. Players who pick up the game in their mid 60s aren't going to be as strong as ones who learned in their teens/twenties and have been playing for 30 years.
July 24, 2015
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I wonder why the flight A players aren't showing up.

I suspect that it is a combination of

1. Flight A players are dying off quicker
2. Flight A players can find better games on BBO


July 24, 2015
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