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All comments by Robb Gordon
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When I started to play tournament bridge one would go to a tournament where there was one (besides side games and novice events) event per day. We loved to play in KOs (they weren't that frequent) and have our asses kicked because we would always learn something.

At some point in time playing against the best (which was one of the unique joys of tournament bridge as opposed to other games and sports) stopped being the point for new players. The Sunday event was Board-a-Match and most people would go home since they had no chance and then they introduced Swiss Teams and Sunday became the big attendance day.

Then people got tired of not doing well in pair events so they invented Flights and Stratification.

But basically there is a large group of players who don't even want to play against people of significantly higher caliber so along came bracketed k/o's which are a smashing success.

We might not like it or understand it but these are the people who pay the bills for these tournaments. To me it is like the “every child gets a trophy” syndrome, but what is bridge for people if they are not entertained?

As an aside, in our District (17) if the top bracket includes teams with an average of less than 3000MPs those teams receive a handicap when playing against the regular bracket 1 teams. It is an ACBL formula, and it can run up to 1 IMP per board.

Given the attitude I have described this is what keeps these teams entered instead of walking away because they have “no chance”. At least this way they have a small chance.
Aug. 10, 2014
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Like almost everybody, I feel that masterpoints are a poor way to seed. However given the conditions, is it fair to bump a team up on request - knowing that another team that rightfully should be in that bracket is being demoted to another? That doesn't seem right.

JoAnna brings up a good point about foreign players. Now that we virtually force foreign players into ACBL membership let me suggest that members of another NBO when applying for ACBL membership should submit a CV showing their MPs from their original NBO as well as national and international championships. The league should use a formula to assign a number of masterpoints to those accomplishments. The player wouldn't actually receive the points but they would be used for calculation purposes such as this.
Aug. 10, 2014
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Not at all Nick. I think it is ingenious. You have wallets instead of boards and pads instead of bidding boxes. Think about shipping all this stuff. You have about 1/8 as much to ship given the same # of tables as an ACBL tournament. The price we pay (other than increased shipping cost) is fewer boards available to pre-duplicate. The benefit is the “comfort” of boards and bid boxes. As I said I am sure this isn't the whole difference, but it must be a factor.
Aug. 9, 2014
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“I cannot recall any event of a reasonable size in Australia doing without duplicated boards in the last 20 years. ”

This may be a logistical issue more than a tech issue. In North America we use boards, in Australia they use wallets which are much more portable. Assuming you are preduping for the entire (say) 8 matches, you would need a LOT of boards. Boards take up a lot of space.

I might be wrong about this but I do think it is a factor.
Aug. 8, 2014
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It was. I think it was well received.
Aug. 8, 2014
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Well we beat the system. I have a wireless “hotspot” on my phone and we bought some Starbucks K-Cups at Von's. The hotel staff (what few they were) were all polite and helpful. We had a good time, although I would not go back to a “Westgate” facility on principle.
Aug. 6, 2014
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The LVH or whatever it's called this week had a $18 resort fee that was cleverly negotiated away. It included internet. Since we weren't paying the fee the hotel decided to charge $13.99 for internet connections. But wait, there's more. Usually when a hotel provides internet for a fee, paying the fee allows you to use several devices registered to your room (ie: a laptop and a tablet). This was different. This charge was per device. This wasn't even the worst thing they did. Don't get me started on the in-room coffee…
Aug. 6, 2014
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From what I have seen Steve, you are way off. Mobile is taking off among the baby boomers. Also, Michael makes a great point. I got great pleasure out of NOT paying that ridiculous LV internet fee.
Aug. 6, 2014
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Thank for all the votes and great comments. I do agree that the new mobile site is outstanding. However I think too much of that “mobile” mentality affected the regular website which would have benefited from more nuanced design. There are two problems I have - 1) I think “news” should go on the front page. You shouldn't have to click a button, especially for something important. 2) there are too many sections that require multiple buttons, nested menus as it were.

I really hope somebody from the ACBL reads this thread - there are a lot of constructive suggestions here.

I don't believe the site cost anything like $2MM.
Aug. 6, 2014
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All of those are good points. But I was only interested in the “regular” version of the website, and the results issue isn't relevant (I don't think) to the design of the website.
Aug. 5, 2014
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Since I complained about some postings a while back and was essentially told at the time the owners wanted to take a “hands off” approach to the extent possible, count me in the group that applauds this forum being moderated and the flag function.

I don't mind putting my name out in objecting to a post but the net effect of that is often to start a “flame war”, exactly the kind of thing I for one don't want to see here.

This site is way too valuable for exchanging ideas, experiences, and even availability for events (pro or not) to have it drown in a sea of ugliness and name-calling.

Thanks to Steve and other BW folks for seeing the light.
Aug. 5, 2014
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That was exactly the problem. We had not discussed that situation (long since remedied).
Aug. 4, 2014
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I got it. I unloaded.
Aug. 4, 2014
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It will probably change no minds but I need to clarify something. This wasn't a 13-17 NT where they opened 1NT on 13 when they felt like it. It was two specific shapes - two specific shapes, 3-3-3-4 and 3-3-2-5 that could be 13-15 otherwise always 15-17.
Aug. 4, 2014
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It does surprise me a bit, but hardly shocking. When I talked to Edgar about this (as I said this was a while ago) he said he would have ruled against me. Roger, I too would be happy to have Adam on or chairing any committee. He is knowledgeable, earnest, and fair even if I don't agree with his conclusions all the time. It is sad to see somebody who works hard to give back to bridge impugned. That is another reason I appreciate the level to which this thread has “basically” risen.
Aug. 4, 2014
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It is “standard” to play a 2/1 over their t/o double as non-forcing. However with most of my partners I play transfers beginning with 1NT where a transfer back to openers suit shows a better hand than the direct raise.
Aug. 3, 2014
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I have been impressed with the intellect shown in some of these arguments. Many years ago I appealed a “screen” ruling at a WBF event. The opponents NT range was 13-17. They were playing a Blue Club-type system where 1NT was actually 15-17 unless the NTer had a long club suit in which case it could be 13-14 as well. We had two NT defenses with the pivot point being a lower range of 14. So when RHO opened 1NT I glanced at the card and employed our weak NT defense. When partner got the tray she inquired and was told “basically 15-17” so we of course had a costly misunderstanding. The director ruled no infraction and we appealed and lost. I was pretty unhappy about that but as I grew older and hopefully wiser I have learned that words like “basically” or “usually” beg for more inquiry. Failing to do so puts the burden back on the inquirer. I think that if people come to play in ACBL events they should have enough nuance in their understanding of English to be aware of this (surely there are similar “caution signs” in other languages). I will take Kit and Michael on my committee please.
Aug. 3, 2014
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Yeah, they can - right after they finish ACBLScore+ :(
Aug. 3, 2014
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Considering the performance of some of the juniors in Las Vegas perhaps we “experts” could use some coaching from them? Michael, Debbie and Barry, thanks for your devotion and hard work!
Aug. 3, 2014
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Some issues that come up are judgement issues. If you pick up KXX QJXX AKXXX K and decide that 1NT is the best bid, nobody would have a problem. But I submit that if you need a “convention” to show a singleton in partner's suit after you open 1NT that your evaluation of what an opening 1NT bid should be is sufficiently out of the mainstream as to be considered either a psyche or an illegal treatment. I am not on C&C so I can't speak to the convention charts. But if it walks like a duck…
Aug. 1, 2014
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