Join Bridge Winners
An update: ACBL, BBO, and the clubs

The plan to help our clubs directly, and ACBL indirectly (OK directly too), is based on these two assumptions:

1. Face to face club players will want to keep playing and keep earning Black Points.

2. These same players will want to give back, pay forward, support, lend a hand, in general do what they can to help insure that their club will be there when this is over.

The plan will not work if either assumption is wrong.

But if it is correct, then a $10 fee, for a two-hour online session, makes perfect sense.


The plan:

First a testing period.

Jay choose a few club owners to work out the kinks. I wasn't privy to which clubs were selected or why.

This afternoon at 1:00 pm will be the fifth test case. The first two had $3 card fees. Since then it has been raised to $10. The fields have been manageable in size. I believe from the mid-teens to about 30.

Once the games begin, problems seem to cease. Feedback has been very positive. 

In NYC only about  25% of regular club players have BBO accounts and have played in BBO ACBL Masterpoint tournaments. They have a BBO funded account, they know how to call the director, how to claim, and how to handle the different pace of play. 

That leaves three times as many players with steep learning curves. A large portion have never played online before. They don't know how to place a bid, or play to a trick. They may not even know how to access BBO, even what it is. 

But they are learning and enjoying the experience. You might think that we club owners have mixed emotions about this. Maybe down the road we will. But right now we can't afford to worry about "what if's". Fear of losing one's business, one's life's work, one's livelihood, is a powerful motivator.  We are all motivated.

Each time we add a club to the mix it gets easier. We learn. We fix and tweak instructions to the players. We get better at knowing how to anticipate and answer their questions, deal with their problems, and where to direct them to those who can, if we can't.

In Manhattan we started with one club, Cavendish, which, by ACBL standards, runs slightly above average size games. Aces, with smaller games, was added after two trial sessions. This afternoon Honors will be added.   

ACBL is taking their $1.00 or $1.25 (not sure which it is) out of this $10. ACBL and BBO have been in negotiations about what BBO's cut will be. I have not been privy to this discussion. I am hoping BBO keeps it to whatever ACBL is getting. The balance will be going to the clubs. Each participating player will have a 'home club'. 'Home club' is the club where most, if not all, a players f2f games are played. If they play at two clubs, Sometime soon, we'll have a formula for that. We haven't discussed this further. I imagine our BW community could have a field day with this. Go for it!  We could use everyone help.

I am open to questions and ideas. We are in brand new territory. Territory that's ripe for inside and outside the box thinking. 

Yours truly,

Jeff Bayone 

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