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All comments by Richard Willey
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> The clubs are where the majority of ACBL members play.

I'd be interested in seeing comparisons between

1. The number of boards that ACBL members play annually in F2F clubs
2. The number of boards that ACBL members play annually on BBO

> giving the club owners a voice would be a good way to start.

I'm skeptical whether you'll see much beyond a series of short cons
June 9
Richard Willey edited this comment June 9
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Here's why I always start people off with minibridge

1. Teaching people to bid takes enormously more time and effort than getting them up and running with Minibridge. Minibridge allows people to experiment with the game and see if they enjoy declarer play and defense. If they do, great! Now you can start worrying about bidding. And, if they don't, that's also fine because none of you have wasted much time.

2. The purpose of bidding is to help your side arrive at contract that will score well. Until a player can look at a pair of hands and understand whether they should be played in a part score versus game versus slam and what the best choice of strain might be its really hard to teach bidding in any way other than telling people to memorize a bunch of rules. Conversely, if people understand concepts why it's good to play in major suit fits or why a 4-4 fit is so powerful life becomes a lot easier.

3. Minibridge allows people to start playing and experimenting with the game in a matter of minutes. If I am having a game night with some friends and the choice is Settlers of Catan or Spirit Island or spending 3-4 hours hearing about bidding, bridge is going to loose every time. However, I have been able to convince folks to give minibridge a try.

4. Minibridge works. Folks in Europe have had a lot of success with this approach. I've been able to successfully use this to introduce the game to friends.

5. Minibridge pairs extremely well with Bridge Master.
June 9
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Say what?

Bridge is far from deterministic. If you have two teams from District 22 in a single RR it is most certainly going to decrease the chances that a non District 22 team advances out of that round.
June 8
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Hi Adam, didn't realize that you were a fellow Wesleyan alum (Class of 88 on this end).

I saw a number of idea's in your presentation that I quite liked, many of which were new to me. (For example, I haven't seen anyone suggest sanctioning minibridge before and incorporating this into ACBL events. This strikes me as a - potentially - a really good idea). I also very much like the fact that you are focusing so much on demographics. ACBL management's past failure to understand this basic issue is going to be incredible costly.

With this said and done, I think that there are so other areas that you need to consider or potentially re-think. For example, I think that it would be a big mistake to grant club owners formal representation on the ACBL Board. Simply put, I don't think that there is sufficient alignment between the interests of the two constituencies to warrant their inclusion. If a club owner is able to make it through the electoral process, great. But reserving seats for them seems very very wrong. (Please note, a couple years back, I was actually in favor of this type of motion as well, but then I started paying more attention to the proposals that the club owners have been bringing forward)

I also believe that the ACBL management needs to consider whether the organization should be preparing to radically downsize. I appreciate your desire to improve demographics, however, I suspect that it's too late to right the ship. The number one thing that the ACBL needs to do is commission a demographic model that can be used to project future cash flows, tournament participation, and club survival and then decide what's to be done.
June 8
Richard Willey edited this comment June 8
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If we go back to the same hotels this might infringe on the players ability to pee in the stairwells and we would wouldn't want that to happen now, would we?
June 8
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To quote Bakunin, “The urge for destruction is also a creative urge”

At some point in time, people need to realize that the ACBL is beyond salvation. Documenting their never ending string of foibles is part of this process.
June 8
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Few quick thoughts;

1. My normal reaction in a case like this one is that the written CoC trump everything else. Adjudicate this case with the existing CoC and then use this as an opportunity to fix / improve the CoC so there isn't a repeat of this whole mess in the future. However, in this case, we have a conflicting tension - apparently the local district had been ignoring the written CoC for years. So, in this case I am torn. It's far from clear to me what the right course of action is. The one thing that I am sure about is that it it grossly unfair that people were put into this position to begin with.

2. From my perspective, the written letter from District 22 is missing one of the most important pieces

A. A recognition that something went terribly terribly wrong

B. An announcement that the District is evaluating what types of systematic changes are necessary to make sure that this kind of idiocy doesn't happen again.
June 8
Richard Willey edited this comment June 8
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Anyone else tempted by a 1NT opening, even playing 15-17?

Diamond suit is looking pretty good and it helps protect the spade queen.
June 5
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Do you know that this individual didn't pass information on to his partner?

From my perspective, the only thing that you have is the word of an individual who you just observed breaking the rules of the game and that isn't good enough for me.
June 5
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> Next step is to get rid of the screens when video
> recording is used.

Nonsense

Well considered security models often consist of multiple layers
June 5
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I don't think that Survey Monkey supports allowing third parties who weren't on the original invite list to participate in or even view the survey after the fact.
June 5
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Can't speak for other folks, but as I recall I received the survey as an email from the ACBL.

Regretfully I deleted the original email and it doesn't appear to be in the trash anymore
June 4
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Yes. And I am saying that the ACBL was stupid do so without the supporting infrastructure in place.
June 4
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People (myself including) have been arguing that the ACBL needs to do serious demographic modelling for decades.

The organization prefers to shove its head into the sand…
June 4
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> Send me a lead I sell them a membership every time
> they play anywhere ACBL makes money how could
> this not benefit ACBL?

I am not arguing against the ACBL doing lead generation. Rather, I am claiming that we need to be able to evaluate the cost of generating a lead against the value of that lead.
June 4
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Let's assume that the ACBL claims that it is putting in place that will kick back some fraction of tournament fees to the players that you recruit… (Perhaps this number is 25%)

I understand how this might divert $$$ from the ACBL into your pocket. However, it's far from clear to me how this would cause you to change your behaviour. What would you be doing differently based on a claim that the ACBL will remit money to you in the future.

Please note: Based on everything that you and Jeff claim, it takes years for players to make it through your social bridge programs and start playing in tournaments so there is no immediately return. Moreover, the ACBL needs to be in business to given you any money and I sure wouldn't be placing any significant bets that depend on a promise that the ACBL will be paying you anything down the road.

To me, this sounds like short term grifting. It makes a lot of sense if your goal is to grab as much money from a dying organization before things go completely to hell. However, I can't see any way that it actually benefits the national org.
June 4
Richard Willey edited this comment June 4
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Being asked to pay your sanction fees is completely different.

Simple question for you Jeff, how much money would you pay per lead that the ACBL sends you?
June 4
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> If students are generated from this attempt by Red
> Rover all well and good. We can bean count later.

Says the man who doesn't need to pay any of the costs
June 4
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> Just what NPV do you propose calculating?
I most certainly have opinions on this topic, but none of that matters because I am not a member of the BOD / BOG and I am not one of the people who is making these decisions.

What you are saying here is that the BOD and the CEO do not have a common understanding regarding the “value” of a member that can be used to evaluate these type of program. The fact that something that is so fundamental to any kind of decision making is not already established is absolutely horrific and suggests that no one involved in this project has any business doing so.

> The time for NPV metrics is when we all know what is possible.

No, the time for NPV metrics is before you start spending any significant amount of money and signing contracts.

Simple question for you…

What discount rate does the ACBL use and when was the last time this changed?
June 4
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Perhaps, but there are a whole bunch of things that the ACBL needs to do before starting on marketing surveys and the most basic is trying to understand the net present value of the future cash flows that you get if you recruit someone and I can almost guarantee that the ACBL is completely oblivious on this point.
June 3
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