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All comments by Steve Zolotow
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A famous con man sold the Eifel Tour for scrap metal twice. On at least one of those ocassions, he convinced the buyer that the deal was legitimate, by demanding additional money to bribe some officials.
Aug. 16, 2016
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Two comments for this thread:
Mike S-S: Some of the most successful pros of the last 10 years have cheated, although one hopes they are gone now.
Peter H: In the old days pros played money bridge & had to be significantly better than the competition in order to make a living. The main thing the ACBL has accomplished is convincing people that masterpoints are meaninful. In fact, so meaningful that it is worth hiring a pro to get more.
Aug. 15, 2016
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I think this is more of a Groucho Marx situation: I don't want to be on the Board of Directors of any organization that would have me as a member.
Aug. 14, 2016
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I think some sort of survey is definitely in order. I agree no one would like going from a 1-7:30 in LM prs followed by early start in teams. I'm not sure if the reverse might not have more appeal. First pair game at 10-3, followed by 1-7 for team. This would allow for the social dinners on the first days, followed by a little extra rest before the team struggle begins. The survey or poll could also ask about preferred number of boards in a session and preferred time per round. I like a lot of boards, but I've found that as systems get more complicated (requiring more alerts & explanations) there is often little time left to play or defend a complicated hand. Bathrooms are often relatively distant and crowded at break times which can cause problems for aging players. My own thought was that within the same starting times, it would be better to add a little extra time per board or for breaks, and shorten the dinner break.
Aug. 14, 2016
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I have tried to tone down this post. I can’t imagine a more specious argument against change than this one: ‘we can’t change because we can’t make everyone happy.’ Isn’t increasing the number or percentage of happy people worth something? Perhaps holding West Coast events earlier would increase attendance? We’ll never know unless, it is given a fair trial. The ACBL and American bridge aren’t flourishing. Change (not just of starting times) is needed to produce vitality. BBO and the ease of viewing bridge is a huge step in the right direction, but it didn’t originate from the ACBL. Bridge seems to be promoted more successfully in some other countries (Scandinavian ones?), perhaps we should try to initiate some of the things they do?
Aug. 14, 2016
Steve Zolotow edited this comment Aug. 14, 2016
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The only issue more serious than bridge is poker:)
Aug. 13, 2016
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I was sharply rebuked at dinner for discussing gender separate brain game (bridge, poker, chess) events as if they were an important issue, when we live in an age where there are countries and cultures that don't allow women to be educated, to drive, to chose their husbands, etc.
Aug. 13, 2016
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As a footnote: the WSOP (World Series of Poker) has a Ladies Event (many find labels like ladies or girls offensive as opposed to women.) Since it allegedly has a weaker field, men entered. WSOP lawyers said that it would be sexual discrimination to prevent it. So for a few years men continued to enter. Then they changed the entry fee whick had been 1000 to 10,000, but women get a 9,000 discount. Thus a man wishing to play has to pay 10K for a seat that a woman would pay 1K for. Since that change men have stopped trying to enter.
It might be legally difficult to stop a man from entering a woman's event in bridge as well. If a man were to enter a woman's bridge tournament, I wonder how they would treat seating points, etc?
Aug. 13, 2016
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Jan - be aware that people watching a West Coast tournament from the East are better served by earler starting times.
Aug. 13, 2016
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My guess is that any poll-those who play NABCs & place, those who play & seldom place, & those who sometimes play would produce fairly similar results. A 60-40 divide one way or the other. My contention is that by using the 10am-3pm schedule for some (West Coast makes the most sense) events would be more equitable than the current plan of all 1pm-7pm events.
Aug. 13, 2016
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Sabine, I have read a lot of stuff relating risk to age (teens to late twenties seem take more risks, but as their brains develop they become more cautious.) I haven't really seen any studies relating risk to gender (good PhD topic for any pyschology majors.) I certainly don't think there is something ‘wrong’ with women's brains, even if they are not programmed to take as much risk or be as competetive/aggressive. Perhaps genetic selection favored men who take risks aggressively, and women who avoid them. Perhaps women are less obsessive/complusive, and that may be a requirement for devoting the required time and energy to become proficient. Studies have also shown that women are better at communication and holistic thinking (perhaps due to a larger channel connecting brain halves.) This would make me think that they could be better at forming partnerships and bidding. While men, who are supposed to have more mathematical spatial ability, should be better at card play. And again for all this stuff, it is unclear how much is nature and how much is nuture. I hope I don't come across as sounding sexist, as I try to separate evidence from speculation. (There is a book called the Art of Risk, which is supposed to be good, but I have read only an exerpt in current Discover Magazine.)
Aug. 12, 2016
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Jeff is being rational at best or expressing a personal preference at worst. A lot of young people want to play early & party late.
Aug. 11, 2016
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I think the organizations that are in charge recognize that bridge tournaments are designed to provide entertainment & whatever forms of entertainment are popular should be provided. They are not about to terminate a popular event because it doesn't fit into an idealistic picture what a skill oriented non-sexist event should be.
Aug. 11, 2016
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There are a number of serious gender issues touched on in this thread. The first is to me a no-brainer. Equal compensation should always be given for equal performance. Whether the compensation is monetary or masterpoints doesn’t matter. The more interesting issues relate to the question of whether gender differences exist in mind games, and if so what is their cause. I would suggest that they currently do, and that the vast majority of the top performers in bridge, poker, chess, backgammon, etc. are male. There are two plausible arguments for this disparity. The first can be considered under the heading of Nature. This would center on the effects of differences in brain structure and brain chemistry. The second can be considered under the heading of Nurture. This argument focuses on the fact that males are raised to be more competitive and aggressive than females.
Aug. 11, 2016
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Seating women E and S (and thus a mixed couple on each side of the screen) makes sense only if these events are intended as social events, kind of like speed dating.
Aug. 11, 2016
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Also after the late session cabs were hard to get. There was an acrimonious line outside the playing site, and cabs came every 5 minutes. I had to wait nearly half an hour to spend my $15.00 one night and on another I found a limo driver who took me for the bargain fare of $25 after some negotiation.
Aug. 10, 2016
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Jan, One other plus for early starting times on the West Coast is that people on the East Coast can watch the VuGraph without staying up all night.
Aug. 10, 2016
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A priory slam is played by the Abbot?
Aug. 10, 2016
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Restaurant times are already a problem. Many don't open by 5, and certainly don't expect a crush of people then. I hate to keep harping on the failings of the ACBL, but it is unbelievable to me that part of the site negotiation doesn't specify that bars and restaurants MUST be open from 4:30 to 7:30 and from 10:00pm to 1am, and expect a big influx during those times. Yet they continually find venues where players leave team games and have to beg the bar to serve them a drink even though the bartender just gave last call. Restaurants and even room service have already been closed for a while. If they can't accomodate us, we shouldn't give them our business. (It is somewhat of a mystery why venues with a crowd of people wanting to eat & drink would ever close before the local laws require it. I'm sure their staff would like an extra hour of high tipping bridge players.)
Aug. 10, 2016
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I have found that most players have excuses for bad plays. Currently one popular excuse is that I was tired and it was too late for me to think straight. With an earlier start time, the excuse would have to change to I can't focus early in the morning or I didn't get enough sleep because I had to get up so early to play.
Aug. 9, 2016
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