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All comments by Robb Gordon
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While the WBF has too liberal a “drop-in” policy (because of this - in Philadelphia only about 25% of the entrants to the IMP pairs qualified for the final to accomodate all the drop-ins) the ACBL's no drop-in policy is equally, if not more counterproductive. The problem in ACBL land is carryover. There is none in the WBF so everybody starts the next stage on equal footing. Since we (I believe) do NOT want to eliminate carryover, I suggest that drop-ins in situations like this be allocated a carryover equal to the 60th percentile of qualifiers if the original event is MORE “prestigious” like in this case or 50th percentile if equally prestigious. Any “prestige” less than that should not permit drop-ins - the mini-Spingold to the Roth for example.

Yes David, you have my sympathy.
Aug. 15, 2015
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I have been lurking in this thread and I have read a number of interesting incisive posts. Let me say what I know:

1. David Yates is spot-on about Joan Gerard. SHe was a BOD member for many years. She was not universally loved (she had a tough exterior) but was 100% dedicated to the game and the people who play it. She was very involved with the WBF also, and she did have a lot to do with bookings and negotiations although I am not certain that this was the case in her last couple of years on the BOD. I really miss her - she was a good friend.

2. Another great loss was Jeff Johnston. I don't think Jeff was involved in the actual negotiations but he was an expert in logistics and playing space.

3. I don't know who is doing the negotiating on behalf of the ACBL but they have outsourced their housing arrangements to a travel agent for several years. Whether this is a benefit or not is unclear to me.

4. When negotiating a contract with the hotel, the ACBL could negotiate cheap room rates and pay for playing space, but they prefer to comp the playing space and a number of rooms in exchange for higher rates. This makes some sense as it keeps entry fees lower than they might otherwise be but has the unintended consequences of having attendees shop for cheaper housing, and often finding it at the very hotel that the tournament is at!

5. BOD members are basically volunteers. They meet for a week or so BEFORE the tournament begins and most of those meetings are all day. It is more that reasonable to comp their rooms (and they don't all get suites - only the Pres. and a few of the local volunteers (tournament chair, hospitality chair etc).

6. Bridge players are a mixed blessing - on one hand they are generally old enough that vandalism is not an issue (although smoking can be a problem). They generally pay their bills. But - they are reputed to be poor tippers making the staff unhappy. I remember being in line at the Marriott New Orleans for a taxi many years ago. It was pouring rain (I think it was a Fall NABC). When my turn came I got in the taxi and handed the dripping doorman $2. I would have given him 5 but I didn't have a 5. I was embarrassed to hear him as he was closing my door saying “thank you - you are the first one in your group to give me a tip”. Bridge players tend not to spend money in the host hotel. Bridge players (believe it or not) are not good gamblers and are not attractive to casino hotels.

7. As a result of the above, certain venues which might be suitable are closed to the ACBL.
Aug. 14, 2015
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Gee - I wonder if that law allows men into the women's pairs when we are in Reno or LV for the NABC? I don't see the ACBL charging men 10x.
Aug. 13, 2015
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I am not understanding why you (and others) think that women will be angry with men for commenting on this thread. According to the public vote tally the women voting were OVERWHELMINGLY in favor of discontinuing women's events.
Aug. 13, 2015
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I have to disagree with part of the last comment. The part before the comma is fine, but NOTHING to do with bridge ability? Then why do the same women win over and over?
Aug. 12, 2015
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True enough. But as for Jody's comment, I was prompted to put up this poll by the declining attendance in women's events.
Aug. 12, 2015
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ACBL, but there is an answer that includes petitioning the WBF.
Aug. 12, 2015
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1 Bracket 1 KO, minus the adjustment for a 6 person team.
Aug. 10, 2015
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I insured my masterpoints :-)
Aug. 9, 2015
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“I guess (by now) I should be used to people making statements as if factual when much more likely anecdotal (at best).”

Sounds like Michael watched the “debate” Thursday :D
Aug. 8, 2015
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This was an admirable set of reasons and more admirable that you posted them You have my admiration :) But I would have told that person “We all buy our masterpoints.” I can promise you somebody that starts out like we all did and schleps to clubs and tournaments, pays entry fees, gas, hotels, airfare etc (oh and a bridge library) pays PLENTY for masterpoints, and I suspect that those who only play with peers pay a LOT more per masterpoint than somebody who hires a team. I know that this wasn't the point of your posting but as a lifelong amateur (rarely pro) that comment got to me!
Aug. 7, 2015
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One thing I do agree with - as much as I share the desire for a new product to replace ACBLScore, these so-called “infrastructure” issues are quite urgent. It would only be a matter of time before we are cyber-vandalized, and the support for these systems is basically non-existent.

If I were writing ACBL priorities, I would have ALL of these things on top including the new scoring software. But given limited resources I agree that these problems take precedence.

As for those of you who think the answer is to outsource, you are right no doubt about some of this, but even outsourced projects have to have an inside stakeholder/project manager to ensure that milestones are met and that the outside developer has access to the resources within ACBL to accomplish that.
Aug. 7, 2015
Robb Gordon edited this comment Aug. 7, 2015
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In the “old” days any difference of less than .5 matchpoints constituted a tie. I am sure they had a similar rule for IMPs and VPs.
Aug. 7, 2015
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Peggy - .01 VP miss? Now I've seen it all!
Aug. 6, 2015
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This is a good post, although I don't think “fair” necessarily enters into it.

First of all, when Ira Corn created the Dallas Aces, it was with the specific goal of winning a world championship for North America. Previously, the Italian Blue team had dominated the WCs since the mid-50's. As I understand it, Corn initially thought of playing, but soon figured (or was told) that this would be counter-productive. He succeeded, although the Blue Team retired (sort of) soon after. It should be noted that for the Aces to be able to represent North America, they had to win a team trial, by no means guaranteed.

Mr. Zimmerman recruited two of the world's best pairs to play with he and his expert partner. These 3 pairs from France, Italy, and Norway “emigrated” to Monaco so they could play as one team and not have to worry about any “trials”.

So basically in the second case you have a sponsor (who is a pretty good player) playing with hired guns for a country in which none of them really live.

I see a difference here.
Aug. 5, 2015
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We too have hired pros twice. Not to play but to coach and to help us work on system. If top golfers have coaches and top tennis players have coaches, why shouldn't bridge partnerships. It has helped us immensely.
Aug. 5, 2015
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David, there are a few instances of that here, past and present. Some of them have involved supporting more elderly pros as well.
Aug. 4, 2015
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Whether Mr. Bruno is correct or not (I think not), I thank God that I don't have his cynicism. There are many professional bridge players. Some of them are jerks, frankly. But some of them (many in my experience) are among the finest, most honorable, kindest people one could know. Maybe I am just lucky. (no, I don't pay them)
Aug. 4, 2015
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There are many reasons. Just like people have different motivations for, say, a trip to Paris, people have different motivations for hiring pros. I think all the reasons you give (except perhaps “employment”) come into play.
Aug. 4, 2015
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