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All comments by Richard Willey
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Hada slight glitch (as usual). Fixed it
May 11
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For kicks and giggles, I decided to run a Monte Carlo simulation. The numbers that I arrived at are essentially identical to what Dr Lawler suggested

I created 100K 28 board tournaments and looked at how many HCPs were held in one hand.

Mean HCPs held by North = 9.998983
Standard Deviation of HCPs held by North = 4.12866
Number of tournaments (Out of 100K) where you hold 223 or fewer HCPs = 322

Attaching R code for anyone who wants to double check that I didn't screw the pooch (always a risk - and I did just that in the first version I posted)


sim_length = 28 * 100000

foo <- c(4,4,4,4,3,3,3,3,2,2,2,2,1,1,1,1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0)

counter <- matrix(0, 1, sim_length)

for (i in 1:sim_length){

bar <- sample(foo)
counter <- sum(bar)

}

mean(counter)
sd(counter)

counter <- matrix(counter, sim_length/28, 28)

Sums <- rowSums(counter)

test <- Sums < 223

sum(test)
length(Sums)
mean(Sums)

sum(test) / length(Sums)
May 11
Richard Willey edited this comment May 11
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>> “The old F2F crowd dies out.”

> They will always be replenished with the empty
> nesters and the recently retired.

Perhaps I should said “becomes completely irrelevant”
May 10
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I agree that it would be more convenient for folks to be playing at home in their PJs, however, that isn't compatible with running a secure game.

It's far from clear to me whether the lure of gold points will be sufficient to attract people to an online regional. Personally, I expect the online playing environment to bleed into the real world in two different areas:

1. Events where travel is particularly burdensome. We're already seeing the ACBL use proctored electronic playing environments for the collegiate championships and the like. This allows students from all over the country to compete without the need to travel to a central location. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this start to bleed into events like the GNT's and the GNP's, especially in districts that cover large swatches of territory. (We've been seeing people complain for years that travel times are - in part - killing participation in these events)

2. Major events like the Vanderbilt and the Spingold that have been spoiled by cheating scandals. (Here, the combination of the improved security offered by the electronic playing environment and the comprehensive record keeping are especially popular).

With this said and done, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see this start to bleed into more and more types of events as progressively more people play most of their bridge online and the old F2F crowd dies out. The fact that this failed once or twice in the past doesn't mean that it will always do so in the future.
May 10
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The ACBL charges $20 for regionally rated events at the Nationals. I doubt that they'd be able to charge significantly more that this for an online event.

Not sure what the division of the spoils would be, but I suspect that there is an upper bound wrt card fees.
May 8
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Personally, I think that this is worth experimenting with. Even if this falls flat on its face, the data will be interesting.

One concern is that a club might have connectivity issues of some kind that reared its ugly head during the tournament proper. I think that it would be a good idea to require that

1. Any club that wanted to participate in this event needs to run some (small) number of practice events before things go live

2. Any partnership that wants to play in this event also needs to participate in some number of practice sessions both AT the club and also on BBO
May 8
Richard Willey edited this comment May 8
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@sabrina Thanks for the correction. I wasn't aware that BBO had extended into pairs events.
May 8
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> What makes anyone think regionals online are not next?

Simply put, it seems like a weird jump in the evolutionary chain. (At least if we mean the same thing by the word “Regional”)

To date, most of the BBO's efforts that grant ACBL MPs have been focused on various forms of individual events. To date, they have provided options by which one can get unpigmented points as well as a very small number of events that grant gold points.

What they don't really provide in a meaningful manner is events in which pairs / teams compete against one another using an electronic playing environment and are able to win ACBL masterpoints. I expect that this will expand and change in the future, however, I don't expect that we'll see an attempt to replace regionals. Rather, what I think that we'll see is an expansion of “one off” events where the convenience of the electronic playing environment offers sufficient advantages over physical travel that folks are willing to put physical proctors in place. (The ACBL Collegiate Championships are a classic example here. I wouldn't be surprised to see this expand into GNP / GNT finals and the like). In addition, I suspect that the various cheating scandals will eventually convince people to shift to an electronic playing environment for top level events like the Vanderbilt and the like.

But replacing regionals? Don't see that happening for a long time. (Maybe you'll see BBO able to offer silver points once or twice a year, but that's hardly the same thing)
May 8
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> Maybe we should simply let the market decide for us.
> Markets may be better at it then organizations.

Can't help but note that this position seems diametrically opposed to your constant claims that the ACBL needs to do much much more to support clubs…

Trying to recall, you're a club owner, right?
May 8
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I was simply wondering whether there was any reason not to put you on ignore…

As for the incomplete profile, there's a lot of good studies that show that anonymity combined with ephemeral user IDs tends to low the level of discourse. People create sock puppet accounts that they use to troll and disrupt conversations and little to no personal cost.
May 8
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> Take away reachable regionals and we kill the goose.

I don't think that

A. Having a small number of large regionals and
B. Having reachable regionals

is mutually exclusive

Let's assume that the ACBL decided that it wanted to create large regionals in the course of the year. Moreover, in order to do so, it decided that it wanted to make these regions “exclusive”, by which I mean that there would not be any other regionals the same week.

This doesn't necessitate cancelling the competing regionals, merely shifting them forwards / backwards by a week or so.

So long as this gets announced with a couple years notice it should be possible to work around it.
May 8
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@felix

Why should I or anyone else on reading this thread care about your opinion?

At the end of the day, you offer nothing other than an unending series of unconstructive rants coming from an account with an incomplete profile.
May 8
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> I would suggest one Team event in every WBF tourney,
> where minimum conventions are to be used

The issues that you complain about have nothing to do with whether or not players are using conventions, but rather whether or not they have agreements about the meanings of various sequences. Unless you presume that there is one true unequivocal natural meaning for ever bidding sequence, limiting / barring conventions won't do anything to address this problem. Indeed, I suspect that it would make things far far worse. (The memory load playing a scientific relay system is far lower than that of playing “natural methods” and the memory load of playing my normal system is much much lower than having to learn some ridiculous version of 1950's standard in addition to a system that works)
May 7
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It depends on how long it takes partner to bid 3m
May 7
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> If the tournament organisers feel they're doing the
> right thing by admitting cheaters, why would they
> tolerate even the threat?

Because the tournament officials are conflict avoidant.

The strategy that Roy is using relies on his ability to either disrupt the tournament or generate lots of negative publicity for the tournament if a good law abiding citizen is banned but cheats are being allowed to play.

The smart move for the tournament officials is to simply rig the draw such that players who announce in advance that they will not play against player foo don't get seated against player foo.

its how the WBF sidesteps the whole Israel issue. I have not doubt that they would trot out the same tired old chestnut here.
May 6
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Far be it for me to answer for the ACBL, but here's how I would proceed:

1. Identify a location. I'd be looking for a spot that has the following characteristics

<In order of importance>

A. Cheap hotel rooms
B. Cheap airline flights
C. Decent options for playing space
D. If there's something else to do other than bridge, great!

Good options would seem to include San Antonio, Kansas City, Atlanta, Houston

2. Identify a date. Probably need to start planning this for three years out or so because

3. Don't allow anyone else to hold a competing regional at the same time. From the looks of things, the ACBL currently has roughly four regionals per week. Don't sanction any other regional that same week.

4. Promote the event in the same way that the ACBL promotes the NABCs and run the event for 2-3 years.

5. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. See how many people show up. See if the event generates enthusiasm and excitement. If not, great… It's easy enough to go back to the current situation. If however, people seem to like having another “big” event like this one spin up a couple more.
May 6
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> I said why would we want then to run regionals of course
> they don't now but would we ever want them to?

I don't think that anyone is suggesting that the ACBL should run regionals.

Rather, they are suggesting that the ACBL support an ecosystem which is conducive to the formation of large regionals.
May 6
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> Why would we want the ACBL to run more tournaments
> when they screw up NABC according to majority
> BW comments?

The ACBL doesn't run regionals
May 6
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> Is it a more social game? That's what drew me from chess
> to bridge in my 20's. Or is it simply better marketed?

I don't think that MTG is inherently a better social game than bridge, however, there is a real path dependency issue at work.

Bridge has become a game for old people. This makes it orders of magnitude more difficult to market the game to other players. In particular, I think that there is a real tension if one believes that the draw of bridge is “I play bridge for intellectual stimulation” but the player base is geriatric and incredibly resistant to change.
May 5
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> When I ask bridge players why they play either of these
> games, none say, “for the challenge.” They say, “I play
> bridge for intellectual stimulation, and Mah Jongg
> and Canasta for fun.” If I learn MTG, will I be in this camp?

“Bridge! the broccoli of card games…”
May 5
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