Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Richard Willey
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When do those individuals learn other trick taking games like Hearts, Spades, or Euchre?
March 16
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Actually, Jeff, I think that you might need to re-read the regulations.

If I disclose that I am playing a 15-17 HCP NT and chose to open 1N on an 8 count every now and again this is NOT evidence that I the range of my NT opening is 10 HCPs.

And, if you choose to try “enforcing” that around me… Well, I suspect that I'm going to enjoy this a whole lot more than you are.

Now, there are some questions whether edge cases should be treated as psyches or concealed partnership understandings. (which is all fine and dandy so far as I am concerned), However, that isn't the claim that you made.
March 15
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I suspect that the really big issue is that there is a significant difference between “good for the ACBL” and “good for the game of bridge”.

I'd argue that the two most important developments in bridge in the last 30 years were

1. Matt Clegg developing a GUI for OKB
2. Fred Gitelman developing a self sustaining model for BBO that didn't depend on subscription fees.

Neither of these had anything to do with the ACBL or the WBF.
March 15
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> found it interesting you took cards to teach them to
> play you didn't all 4 have tablets?

We all had tablets, laptops, and the like. We didn't have reliable Wi Fi for much of the trip. (We didn't have electricity for one of those night, which was a bit of a rude awakening)

There is a time and a place for everything. I am a major proponent that significant events should be run using an electronic playing environment. I would hope that this might eventually drift down to other tournament games. I play orders of magnitude more boards on my computer than I do F2F.

However, the weekly game in the Akamai lunch room still uses cards (unless we get snowed out, in which case its back to BBO)
March 15
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> Clubs disappear so does ACBL and USBF they rely
> on membership we bring to game and they really
> rely on monthly dues.

> Where would you advertise your tournaments?

> Do you think pros can survive only playing WBF
> events they need NABC.

I believe that there is going to be a radical contraction in the game.

The club based social game is probably going to die out.

I suspect that some version of the top level game will survive, however, I doubt that the ecosystem will be large enough to support organizations like the ACBL. The WBF will probably need to significantly scale back. There might be some pros. (I hope so. They help expose how pretty the game can be. However, if the pros go the way of buggy whips I'm not going to be heartbroken).

To the extent that the game has a future, it's going to be friends playing with one another and internet platforms that will provide true believers from around the world and opportunity to play with one another.
March 15
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> You are one who has a million ideas but don't risk
> one penny of your own easy to talk hard to put up!

> Tell me what have you personally done to grow bridge?

Most recently, I just got back from a ten day trip to Morocco with three friends of mine. I brought along a deck of cards and taught them mini bridge. We played six nights or so. Not sure if any of them will stick with it, but I gave it a try.

I think I did a hell of a lot to help expose the fact that the ACBL and the USBF were using a badly flawed hand generator for all their big tournaments. I suspect that this had a significant effect in cleaning up certain aspects of the game.

I've helped Hans with some of his work to permit tournament organizers that they are biasing their deals. I also figured out some interesting ways to extend the work that Veronica is doing with her paper on boosting random number seeds.

I've provided Fred with some advice on ways to enhance the BBO GUI. Some of the features that are in there (like having Dealer available for scripting and the Full Disclosure system are direct results of suggestions that I made. Associated with this, I've done an awful lot to help people learn to use various Dealer script and the like.

My write up on MOSCITO is a bit dated right now, however, its long been cited as one of the best written descriptions of the system. Some of the evolution of the system - for example, the 1 game force / semi positive response scheme over storng club openings - is based on work that I did (if / when I decide to retire I really should get around to cleaning that up and re-issuing it)
March 15
Richard Willey edited this comment March 15
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> This is the problem you need to think of bridge
> as a business not a non profit.

No, I don't

I don't own a club. I don't depend on this to make money.

You, you club, and all your members could disappear off the face of the earth and it won't impact my ability to play bridge with my friends or play bridge online. Moreover, I suspect that the high level game that we see in major tournaments, USBF events, and the like will continue to function quite well without you.

FWIW, I do believe that the social game is probably quite dependent on clubs, but that is not the same as all of “bridge”. (and that's a very good thing since I doubt there are going to be many clubs outside of major metropolitan areas or retirement communities within a few years)
March 15
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True. But they are aware of what a pain it is to learn bidding and scoring and all sorts of rules and the like.

If the game never progresses beyond “High Card Wins” what's the point…
March 14
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> What is missing?

Change the Master Point formulas!
March 14
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> Does it matter that the fields and players may be
> weaker as long as new people still want to learn
> and play bridge?

As the quality of play continuously declines I suspect that people will become progressively less interested in learning how to play bridge.
March 14
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I think that one of the primary lenses that you use to evaluate what is good for bridge is how much money you will make off it. (Your suggestions about adopting multi level marketing schemes being the most obvious example.)

I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with the profit motive. However, it's not necessarily at the top of my list of concerns. For example, if the game of bridge transforms into a “social” game with supervised play at a handful of large bridge centers in major cities, then that game is really of no interest to me any more.
March 14
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> The average age of our players is older, but we need
> to look more closely at why. Yes, our long time players
> are aging. But instead of them being replaced, as they
> were in the 1970's with college aged kids, we are now
> teaching mainly empty nesters and the recently retired.

What percentage of these players will ever be able to develop into decent players?

On the (increasingly few) occasions that I have ventured out into F2F events, I have been flabbergast at how much weaker the fields have gotten over the last 20 years.
March 14
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> Though the total number of clubs has fallen,
> the top tier clubs have actually been
> increasing in size.

Perhaps club size isn't a very useful metric…

For example, one reason that the size of large clubs might be growing is that small clubs are dying and some fraction of their players are migrating to whatever playing spaces are left. If this is true, then it hardly seems like good news for the game.

Personally, I'd be much more interested in understanding the cumulative number of boards that are played within some geography over time… This seems like a much better way to evaluate the health of the game rather than the amount of money that Jeff Bayone is capturing.
March 14
Richard Willey edited this comment March 14
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How about “These Cambridge Teens are disruption a 100 year old card game!”
March 13
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Yeah, if we dumb the game down enough, we might actually end up with a “mind sport” that the current player base is capable of playing. Admittedly, following suit is hard, but I'm sure we can get rid of that pesky requirement as well…
March 13
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> The sports organization must to ensure compliance WADA rules.

Only if you are silly enough to claim that bridge is a sport…
March 13
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The following reflects the perspective of a North American

1. The biggest issue that bridge faces is that the market niche that it once dominated has been overtaken be new and better forms of entertainment including but not limited to

a. Video games
b. YouTube and the like
c. Television
d. Movies
e. Other types of games such as Magic the Gathering, Gloomhaven, and the like. (As a practical example, over the past couple years 180,00 copies of Gloomhaven have been sold. That is one of MANY different modern board games)

2. Equally significant, the ACBL is in a demographic death spiral. The game was artificially popular for a period which created a demographic bulge of players between the ages of foo and bar. This block of players got steadily older, as everyone does. However, at a certain point in time, bridge became a game for “old people” and it became harder and harder to recruit any new players.

Now we're at the stage where almost all of the recruiting effort are directed at retirees (hard to get anyone under the age of 55 to attend day games…). Worse yet, we have a cadre of very skillful players who are aging out of the game and we're replacing them with folks who will never progress beyond the level of novices. In turn, this is destroying the complexity and beauty that folks once found appealing.

3. The ACBL management structure is grossly incompetent. They had years to prepare for these changes and try to provide a soft landing for the organization. Instead they spent their time bickering over masterpoints and wasting millions of dollars of various mis managed projects.

Simply put, I am unconvinced that the game deserves to survive…
March 13
Richard Willey edited this comment March 13
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Schools are slashing non essential programs. I see almost no chance that we're going to get them to prioritize a card game.
March 13
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“The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.”
March 12
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Barry, it feels as if one big issue here is that you seem to have some kind of desire for external validation, be it a ruling from a club director or your score in this event or perhaps even the dread “master points”.

If you are thoroughly convinced that the opponents did something wrong and this swung what should have been a top board into a bottom, just mentally add 4% to your MP score, see how you did, and get on with life. At the end of the day, you really want to be involved in a competition with how your best possible self might have score on these boards, not the folks that you happened to be playing with.

Don't get me wrong… There's a whole lot of idiocy that happens at the bridge table and getting “C flighted” - which is how my friends describe bad boards that occur when the opponents screw up a hand and get lucky - is no doubt annoying. But this is part and parcel of bridge, especially now that the level of play seems to be plummeting as we are continually replacing experienced players with eternal novices. However, at the end of the day I suspect that you'll enjoy the game more if you ignore the stuff like this.
March 12
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