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All comments by Tracey Bauer
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My family did a fun math exercise and research project tonight during dinner I thought I would share

There has been a lot of discussion about other games played on BBO with robots that are NOT ACBL sanctioned games and people that game the system. Why those games are relevant in this discussion I am not sure but I am only going to compare F2F and Online points won by sanctioned ACBL events.


ACBL Online points are won in either of two ways :

Speedballs and Individuals with 4 humans played on the hour with a maximum of 1.20 payout ( very difficult to win first given 40-200 pairs play per tourney)

Robot tournaments limited to 2 per hour at .90

IF you win every tourney you play in do not sleep, shower, or work you could amass 15,768 in a year (this means that Leo would have no LIFE and die from lack of sleep for the next 12 years to get the points Mario Fonzo posted above…..not quite a strong argument in my opinion)



The reality of what was won in 2013 online is here:


https://web3.acbl.org/mpraces/?race=BC

Leo won 2,179.51
2nd place Jay Saks 1384

in 2013 F2F race :


https://web3.acbl.org/mpraces/?race=BC

Chris Compton 2,767.60
Mark Itabashi 2757.39

Online's second place finisher would be 30th on the F2F list.

MY QUESTION…..where is the TSUNAMI of online points crushing the Lifetime Masterpoint list?



okay not convinced…..lets see where the game is currently in 2014

F2F 2014:

https://web3.acbl.org/mpraces/?race=BC

Jeff Meckstroth is leading with 2002.08
Eric Rodwell 1906


Online 2014:

https://web3.acbl.org/mpraces/?race=BC

Leo Lasota 1255.43
MuSha Crawford 914


Online's 1st place currently would be in 9th place and Onlines 2nd place person would be in 29th place in the Barry Crane 500 for 2014


There are not a TSUNAMI of points being won online. Congratulations to every individual on those lists who show up to tournaments and LOVE our game no matter the venue.



As I have stated in my earlier posts, the Board of Directors need to make informed decisions about the best interest of the game of Bridge in North America and how we not only sustain the game but grow the game over the next decade and century. We need to stop being scared of online but see its advantages and create a whole universe that is the ACBL that encompasses both mediums.

Online helped me hone my skills so that I want to play even more F2F tournaments. I have met wonderful people online by picking up random partners in speedballs and will play with one such partner for the first time on Tuesday at the Great Western Regional. I play f2F and online and feel I represent the normal demographic that is not a pro but very interested in bridge.

Also since I was unduly attacked last time I posted my story….I do not know Leo but I have been reading every one of these posts and do not like how people distort facts. I find it egregious if decisions are being made just so one person does not achieve recognition. The rules being made effect more than just Leo.

I have gotten involved at the Unit level and sit on our board since 2013. I did this because I do not think my demographics interests are being thought of and wanted some input to help grow the game.

For the LOVE of the Game lets spend our energy towards growing the game.








Aug. 24, 2014
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Our local Marin County clubs set their dealing machines to even out the points per session. Many players have complained that doesn't abide to ACBL rules … I personally do not know the rules but I know my preference is for truly random even if that means I may have a session with very little high card points.
Aug. 22, 2014
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(Disclaimer that this is not thought out because I have 10 minutes before my next client meeting)

I am offended by Melanie and her comments. ( comments like these and insinuations that I have other motives keep people from posting)

First, she read into my response which is a statement that Gene pointed out that comes from my industry ( fashion). I am a newbie to the political world of the ACBL and I am only just beginning to meet people as I have attended more tournaments. I have no views on the politics nor would I disparage those who spend so much time helping us run the organization.

Second, NO ONE…not a soul spoke to me about this thread or put words in my mouth. That was MY personal story and one I wanted to share because I don't think my perspective is a known quantity in the organization. It was to prove that I exist and can LOVE bridge and that online play helps encourages a love of this game and made it possible for me to continue to improve even though I have children and a job.

Third, I spent this past weekend with my FAMILY and took little time reading bridgewinners articles. I did take some time on Sunday evening when I couldn't fall asleep easily and clicked more… That is a FACT and only one I and the programmers if they can see how I opened article. Anyone that personally knows me will tell you I get more done than anyone they know….I have a drive and a passion and I make very good use of my time.

I am a real person that CARES about the future of bridge and the playing experience and respect for my peers.


I am sorry if I sound like PR. I do work in sales and marketing.

Also please look up ACBL UNIT 508 on Facebook ….I'm the admin and worked with the ACBL on how to use the medium to attract new players and pass information socially.

Aug. 19, 2014
Tracey Bauer edited this comment Aug. 19, 2014
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I'm glad you all appreciated my perspective. I know us 30-50 yr olds make up such a small percentage of the games population but we will be a growing segment if we understand how to incorporate online while encouraging F2F.
Jenny Wolpert also made a great suggestion in her interview that the future of bridge needs to evolve to the next generation and start offering smaller time venues….like 18 board speedballs that can be completed in 1 hour and 45 minutes. Clubs can run two of them in a row so those with more time can stay for both and those with less time can find a quickie F2F fix. In today's world it's very difficult to find 4 hour blocks of time. This could be incredibly successful model here in the Bay Area and one we should explore.

I also think a thread with 400+ comments should be moved to featured articles for a few days to get even more feedback since I found this just the other day when I clicked more stories.

Also I think playing one or two games of online bridge will not give a newbie perspective. It takes quite a few attempts at the format before one becomes comfortable. I think we should give this a year or six month before changes and the the BOG do take the time. We wouldn't have them on our board if they had played less than a week of F2F bridge…..in today's age we should be electing board members that are familiar with all aspects of our game and who are best to keep us succeeding into the next century. I work in the luxury business and the brands I work with do not make short term decisions for a quick buck or emotional reasons … their decisions are structured to keep their brands relevant for the next 100 years and keep evolving with time.
Aug. 19, 2014
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Michael, I plan on seeing you next week at the Great Western I hope! . Unfortunately tomorrow I can't do the lilipad because of my Bookclub. .Btw just got off BBO after logging 90 mins online …30 minutes kibitzing and 1 speedball with a friend and winner of the 0-1500 spingold…
Aug. 19, 2014
Tracey Bauer edited this comment Aug. 19, 2014
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I completely agree that we should develop a quick speedball like 18 board match that can be played live in 2 hours in the major city hubs around the US. Wow…..wouldn't even more of us fit in the game if we could get off work grab a bite to eat then head to the 7/7:30 pm game and be in bed by 10 pm and up for the work the next day? It was one of my favorite comments out of so many great points made.
Aug. 18, 2014
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I wanted to give my input in hopes that the BOG and BOD read all the commentary before making a decision.

As a member of the demographic that would never be interested in bridge… I was introduced to bridge by my husband at the age of 34 and was very pregnant. After discovering that I had a “knack” for games he showed bridge online and taught me some basics we then began playing once or twice a month at a beginner game at local clubs. I read the book “The Backwash Squeeze and other Improbable Feats: A newcomers Journey into the World of Bridge” and became very intrigued about this hidden world of bridge. We then heard about the ACBL from the club owners and that a national tournament was coming to San Francisco. We joined the ACBL before the SF national and after bringing lots of little plastic trophies home from the I/N games I was hooked!


Reality of my life….I work full time in a demanding sales job, and I have two children. I also used to play soccer in the Bay Area on four different teams throughout the year and Soccer trumped Bridge until a year ago when my knees gave out. I LOVED bridge, there was something so intriguing about it but time is so limited and I squeezed in a couple club games a month, a few days at a regional a year, and the occasional national because Chris and Donna Compton have a child care program in place so we could attend. My husband and I would learn one or two new conventions before a tournament and try them out. Throwing ourselves into the best competition even though we were completely clueless….but that was the way to learn and what other sport do you get to play against the best just by having enough guts to put yourself in the game.

In the past eight years the only reason I have become so into this game is because of BBO. You will see me online most evenings after I get my family fed and settled….maybe even a quick speedball before dinner. I can log 12 hands in 50 minutes then go back over the data in my leisure. I can replay the movie and learn from the people who bid and declared better than me and my partner. I get a data set of 60-200 pairs on most of the games to look over. I personally like playing with people and choose humans unless I just have 40 minutes and/or there isn't a human online that I would like to play with. I have listened to lectures online and perused the articles. You'll also see me watching as much of the vugraphs as time allows me all trying to absorb the game.

Two years ago I found out that my soccer career was over and a year ago I threw myself deeper into this game. I am now on the Marin Unit board and have started marketing bridge through social media. I make time for live games and try and support my local clubs when time permits while at home logging hands every day to improve my game. This year as my competence has grown i have fit in all the D21 regionals, Dallas, and Vegas. I am also very interested in how we market this game to the 20-50 year old set whom I am sure would love it if they truly “knew” about it. As I get more involved in the game I hope to help us continue not to just live but thrive in the new century. This passion started out online and now I play even more F2F bridge.


The above is WHY online bridge is important to the future of the game and translates to people coming to tournaments.

Many people have commented on this post with inaccurate information about how the online tournaments function.

I would recommend that the BOG/BOD play 20 speedballs with humans and 20 ACBL robot tourneys….or you should excuse yourself from the vote since you do not have enough data to make an informed decision.

There is talk that people cheat online….duplicate bridge is a game that is very attractive to people with high ethics and I think there are a small minority that cheat. If you feel an opponent is cheating then you send an email to Jacki and they look into it. Also two people playing in the same house….very laughable that anyone trying to improve their game would cheat….what would the reason be? Feel free to look up my stats my worst games are me and my husband playing in the same house. Marintlc and Marinkb.

I had the wonderful experience in Vegas of meeting a longtime online partner and fitting in a morning side game….it translated very nicely from a speedball to a live game with our 62% game.


People love social interaction and the online game is an extension of our whole ACBL experience. It has given me the venue to improve rapidly by logging hands against great opponents ( played against Gavin yesterday in a speedball) and a chance to work on a partnership with a potential new partner from another district.

I also recently played the WBF women's online tourney and because of our modern technology (iPad) I fit the games in between client meetings….once even pulled over on the side of the road in salinas, ca looking into farm land while I played with a pick up partner from Turkey. Wow….amazing right?

I overhear so many old time players disparage online bridge as I secretly laugh inside since I know if I haven't bypassed their ability yet I will be diligently working on in it during the next decade. I log many more hands than the average club player and have the ability to do deep analysis on where I go wrong and how to improve(those BBO movies are great,eh?)

Also my demographic does not value master points as a way of determining skill level….a combination of MPS, years playing the game, power rating (currently mine is at 59.2), and for me personally I want to partner those who are open, still learning and continue to evolve with this great game.

For the future of bridge we need to meld the whole bridge playing experience and value all forms of the game.
Aug. 18, 2014
Tracey Bauer edited this comment Aug. 19, 2014
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Thanks for your articles love reading them. I share your “Keller Convention” with all who will listen. I also heard about the in room coffee issue and since I'm in route with my family we brought our coffee maker! Good luck today.
July 19, 2014
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Sorry. This was one of my first posts. In future I will give more detail. We play a transfer system so my partner bid 2H transferring into spades then bid 4sp. It was a strong NT by opps.
June 5, 2014
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I did double then doubled 4H. Unfortunately we played 4H doubled making. On defense I only scored my aces. Partner was broke and hoped I would take 4 tricks on defense
June 3, 2014
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At the table my p bid 2H ( transfer to spade) , I bid 2 sp then he bid 4 sp. personally I had wished him to bid 4 sp and play the hand keeping the strength and shape unknown to the defense if he was always going to push to game.
June 3, 2014
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I doubled at the table then opps bid 4H. I've been told that bidding 2D in this auction is best since the auction won't die when I have a heart void….thus I will be able to double back in to show my spade suit. I chose double then when opps bid 4H I doubled again and opps made 4H doubled when my partner passed. Do you agree with this theory?
June 3, 2014
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Great article. I also am reading about squeezes and end plays. “Bridge Squeezes Complete or Winning End Play Strategy” by Clyde E Love. Copyright 1959 given to me to read by my mentor. I'm reading it after a west coast pro executed a wonderful end play on my husband at the Great Western regional this weekend. Was it good play or that my lovely adorable wonderful husband holds his cards about a foot in front of him and I watched the pro look in his hand many times? BTW thank you to all my friends that kept reminding my dear husband to hold his cards in.
June 2, 2014
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In major national and world events there should be a check in area for electronic devices for both kibitzers and players. I also agree kibitzers should remain stationary at national events until a vugraph session has finished for that round. It is too easy to cheat for those inclined otherwise…although I believe most people drawn to duplicate have strong ethics and only get a kick out of truly beating people with their own skills and wits.
May 28, 2014
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Michael…wouldn't you then have to alert to your opps that you have switched the meaning?
March 4, 2014
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Debbie…kudos to you and all the work you are doing in the South Bay/ peninsula to promote bridge. As a mother to to an 8 and 10 year old I am very interested in talking to you about replicating your program in Marin County….will you be at the Burlingame regional this week? My email is tlcinsf@hotmail.com
March 3, 2014
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If you use the artificial game force of 2c does your partnership need to alert it?
Jan. 18, 2014
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May I just say that pressing leads on an iPad isn't working out too well for me. NO WAY would I lead King of hearts. UGH. Third time it has clicked my wrong card. Enjoying the site and commentaries though!
Aug. 6, 2013
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