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All comments by Sabrina Miles
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I think your point undercuts his “11 years of rehabilitation” Rehabilitation can only begin after one acknowledges and renounces his past behavior. I think he has at least another year to serve, but hey, it is what it is.
Dec. 19, 2018
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“A cynical person might also observe that a lot of bridge today is driven by money…” I think it is just as likely to be a pragmatic persons observation….which include much more than just courses.
Dec. 19, 2018
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I think you significantly undermine your argument when you ascribe motives to the BOD members who voted for the Honolulu site without more than conjecture on your part. In particular, I think that attributing “self-interest of a paid trip to paradise” as the most likely reason that the BOD members voted for the Honolulu site, and thereby compromised their fiduciary duties, to be purely sensationalism and a straw man argument. Personally, I put more stock in the opinion of Donald M who was on the BOD and who voted for the site and stated his reasons for such vote — none of which included self-enrichment.

That said, I am at a lost to understand how you would implement your proposal to “build a better mousetrap.” In Atlanta, there were not enough members in attendance at the annual meeting to obtain a quorum, despite some advertisement for such attendance here on bridgewinners. What, exactly, is your proposal in this regard?

I think you are right that one individual should not be able to bind the ACBL to a contract to over $500,000 without oversight. Are you sure this has happened? I agree that more transparency is necessary for our BOD to execute their fiduciary duties. It seems that several on the BOD agree, and are on their way to establishing such guidelines to ensure it.
Dec. 7, 2018
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Who are the texts from?
Dec. 4, 2018
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@steve, not placing blame, merely apportioning it more aptly. I understand that the loss was acknowledged with the choice of sites. I find the real chutzpah being Gary’s post that the membership paid for a holiday for the wealthy.
Dec. 4, 2018
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@Peg, my reply was in response to Gary’s initial post which stated that the membership was subsidizing the wealthy participants to the tune of $$$ dollars. I merely pointed out it was not the participants that caused the loss…and his piling on of those who decided to go was misplaced.
Dec. 3, 2018
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And what was the subsidy to us regular, could never be confused with wealthy, folks? The loss was the loss. It is far more attributable to those who did not attend than those who did.
Dec. 3, 2018
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Ok…I truly am in another camp on this one. And although most are piling on on the District Directors (DD) in this regard, I choose not to. Why consider the trip to Hawaii a junket? I believe my DD has EARNED the trip. I am just one of more than 8,000 folks in my district (25). In the past couple of years, I have emailed my DD on 6 separate occasions. On each occasion that I have emailed him with a question or a problem or to unload what I felt was an injustice, he has taken the time to respond to me….and follow up….or tell me the other side of the coin…EACH AND EVERY TIME! And I truly felt that he looked into the matter that I brought to his attention. While I am not in lockstep with each of his decisions, he has made me aware of the reasons that he chose a different path than I presented. I am but one….he has more than 8,000 others to take care of too. If but 25% of his charges wanted his ear, as I did, it would be a full-time job! A job with very little compensation for the time, effort and work that it requires.

I think it is high time that folks stop complaining about the Hawaii trip, the “free games” and whatever other perks they believe the DD are receiving. Membership could never pay them the salary that they deserve. I think we are damn lucky to have them….at least I think we were damn lucky to have Mark Aquino in District 25.
Nov. 14, 2018
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@randy…or those seeking competent partners (or teaching opportunities) at compatible rates, would not have to work very hard either. I find it hard to fathom that the majority has not spoken up! But perhaps the majority is the rich majority….and if you have to ask the rates, you can't afford it!
Nov. 13, 2018
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@Randy, more importantly than Michael's rate(s)…why is there not a central data base to indicate the pro's rates….as well as his/her per diem and extras? It has been my perception that it is not only the ACBL that is not being transparent … or does one hand wash the other?
Nov. 13, 2018
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I don't think the proposal applies to Hawaii…and the ACBL is not going back. The proposal, if approved, will apply to the locals in other places….and generally, there should be a substantial number of them….who should also pay the cost of the playing facility. In short, why is there a rebate for the locals? If we are going to charge those not staying at the host hotel…charge us all equally…and presumably less, since there will be more folks to charge.

BTW, I have doubts whether this is a revenue neutral proposal.
Nov. 11, 2018
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The proposal was not only to encourage folks to stay at the host hotel…but also to spread the costs for space for those who do not stay at the host hotel. If the ACBL is going to spread the pain, then spread the pain. If you are not staying in the host hotel, there is no rebate. Perhaps when the locals stay away in droves, as they did in Orlando, because of the cost, this whole foolish sock it to the travelers motion will be dropped.
Nov. 11, 2018
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I know that I will not be paying $25/session to play in a regional event at the Nationals. I am a firm believer in voting with my feet. There are some fantastic regionals in the US.
Nov. 9, 2018
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@phil….of course you did not. My comment was in response to Frances' statement that ‘bridge players] join the rest of the world and stop paying for everything in cash.

In response to your comment, I note that I rarely pay with debit/credit cards for a bill under $100 – and most restaurant/hotel bills are over that amount (at least I anticipate they will be in Hawaii). I don’t think we should worry about decreasing cash sales as much as we should be vigilant in adhering to established/good sense procedures in handling cash sales.
Nov. 6, 2018
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I haven't bought bridge bucks at nationals, but I have bought District 7 vouchers. The vouchers are sold for the exact amount as a single tournament entry. They are so convenient…and time saving when it comes to getting an entry. The vouchers are sold separate and apart from the entries. Since I am not a member of District 7, I generally know the number of entries I anticipate buying for a tournament and can purchase then all at once…saving me time and energy. I've even gone back for an additional tournament, because I still had a few vouchers left.
Nov. 6, 2018
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Sounds to me that these are crimes of opportunity rather than planned robberies. The solution, I would surmise, is to take away the opportunity. Just don't leave cash unattended. The risk is not worth it. Perhaps it's such a common sense solution, that the ACBL has not put out a warning/guideline about the matter? Or perhaps they have in the TD/DIC training materials, and folks are lapse in heeding the advice?

We use volunteers for many things at our tournaments. Perhaps we could have a volunteer to merely follow the money – and assist in collecting and/or keeping an eye on it for the tournament administrators.
Nov. 6, 2018
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I really hate the idea that cash is no longer an acceptable method of payment. Why must I put my wine and cheese on a credit card merely because I am on an airplane? With so many data breaches these days, the only thing worse would be handing over my debit card information for that purchase. When you lose currency, you only lose what you have on hand. When some steals from your credit/debit card….you not only may lose your $$$ you also will lose LOTS of time trying to straighten the mess out.

Additionally, there is a cost associated with accepting alternative payment forms. It seems that most bridge tournaments are run on a tight budget….alternative payment sources are just another thing to slice into the profitability of the tournament.
Nov. 6, 2018
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Some host hotel deals are very good…..others not so much. I, too, have booked directly with the host hotel, this year, at a lower rate–with included amenities (usually breakfast)–than the bridge rate. When I have done so, it was not for a savings of $5-10/night…but more like $25-40 per night, plus breakfast.

The catch, however, was that my rate was based on pre-payment with no refund of any monies allowed, unless I separately purchased trip insurance. The bridge rate, most times, allowed for cancellation up until a specified period and then once the penalty period kicked in, the bridge rate provided that the cancellation penalty was only one night's payment – and not the entire period.

It has been my experience that full pre-payment allows for a much better hotel rate. Bridge folks seem to want both flexibility and the best possible rate. Unfortunately, one generally has to choose one or the other. It might behoove the ACBL/Units/Districts to look into a lower, non-refundable rate as part of their negotiations with the host hotels. While some might prefer the flexibility of cancellation without steep penalties, others might prefer the lower overall expense. Is there a reason why both could not be accommodated?
Nov. 3, 2018
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Well, bless your heart David, you deduced all by yourself that I was expressing my own opinion.

Edit to add: Thanks to all the wonderful ladies of District 7 who have taught me how to better express myself!
Nov. 1, 2018
Sabrina Miles edited this comment Nov. 1, 2018
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It's so easy to make light of ACBL's masterpoint system…and to say they have no correlation with skill. Indeed, most folks on this site pontificate endlessly on the matter. But all things being equal, without knowing who is who, masterpoints do tend to correlate with skill level. (As an aside, I note that most folks believe their MP holdings do not adequately reflect their skill level). I have seen for myself, this year, that there is a great variance in skill level of players each of whom hold 2000+ MP. It is my unscientific belief that at a certain point, and right now I am beginning to believe that point is 7500 MP, the skill level evens out…and partnership experience makes one pair superior to another.

Folks pay for MP…whether by hiring a pro…or attending endless tournaments (and paying the attendant expenses, i.e., travel, lodging and tournament expenses). Either way, folks pay for the MP.

Why does hiring a pro tend to generate less histrionics from most than those who attend multiple tournaments? By design, hiring a pro, generally, requires one to play in the highest stratification, and by correlation, hoists upon one a higher level of MP if he/she places in the overalls. In opposition, two non-pro folks with @ 2500-2800 MP playing together in the mid-flight (which in most districts is limited to 3000) are often said to be unfairly rewarded for not having to play top players.

Of course, there are great players who also hire pros as partners or teammates. Again my unscientific guess would be that those folks are also limited. More often than not, those hiring pro partners….are not pro partners equivalents.

Thus, why is there a “need” to separate folks into us vs them. Us is those players who exclusively play in the top flight – by design or because of partnership MP (and sometimes because we challenge ourselves) versus those who do not play in the top flight? Who is to say that those playing in the midflight and/or the Gold Rush are not equivalent players to some of those playing in the top flight?

I seriously doubt that there are those playing in the Gold Rush events or the MidFlight Events who do not earn their MP. No, the MP awarded in such events are not too much. No, such rewards do not give unwarranted adulation to less than top flight pairs (remember it is not the player…it is the pair or team that counts).

The grass is not always greener. The days of yore were not always better. Today's “second tier” players are not necessarily second tier players. In short, folks are not getting more MP than they have earned and deserve.
Oct. 30, 2018
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