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Cheating Polls & What is Upcoming
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Two ACBL “Cheating Polls” were published on BW on February 11, 2019, and have run for over five days.  Both were completely unscientific, responders being self-selected, also seemingly general, and requested identification of those in the ACBL you would trust in enforcement of extremely sensitive cheating related issues.


We gratefully appreciate and thank those who participated; your input, without any given purpose, was incredibly valuable! A few felt strongly that the “poll” was meaningless.  Since I had to present it cryptically to garner useful information, my deep apologies to those for the seeming obscurity. Many abstained, and understandably so.


Rather than any actual “contest”, the nominal “Cheating Polls” were, in actuality, intended as a best request to get a reasonable idea of confidence in the ACBL’s current decision and enforcement system regarding cheating.  32 names were presented in alphabetical order (BW allows 16 per “poll article”), and comments indicated that my reason for chosing the specified names was indeed obscure.


The next page should shed light on why the given names were set forth.  Later, Avon Wilsmore has presented a methodical and passionate introduction to two joint upcoming Articles.



QUESTION: Which of the following would you trust most to represent the ACBL interests in anti-cheating procedures and enforcement?


IMPORTANT: These results are not a statement about the intentions, personal qualities or depth of integrity and/or commitment of any persons or persons, but rather, are important to assess the confidence in the ACBL anti-cheating measures by a wide array of highly interested players.


The Presented List came from the following:

A & C (ACBL BoD Appeals & Charges Committee – the presumptive and/or putative ACBL “Supreme Court”)

2019 ACBL President Russ Jones

EOC (Ethical Oversight Committee)

ACC (Anti-Cheating Commission)

Kit Woolsey (Member of Bridge Integrity Task Force)

TOTAL VOTES: 566, Abstentions about 300

Average Votes per Poll: 283



A & C Committee (7 Members): 17 total - Average 2.42 per Member

ACBL President Russ Jones (1): 4 total

EOC (15 Members): Average 20.3/Member

ACC (8 Members): Average 20.3/Member

Other (Kit Woolsey) (1): 78



The final stop in any disciplinary proceeding, with no further appeal, and the ultimate enforcer of ACBL anti-cheating issues, is the Appeals & Charges Committee of the ACBL BoD.  Its votes on discliplinary matters are final and are only reported to the entire BoD as fait accompli.  Its proceedings are held in total and absolute secrecy; from all accounts, it prohibits itself from any iota whatever of commentary or disclosure (More on "Joint Statements / Statements" next Article).  No other BoD Members, with the exception, I believe, of the President without vote, may be present during its deliberations.


For the entire Appeals & Charges Committee, 17 votes were cast out of 566 = 3% of recorded votes, despite its seven Members being 22% of all those listed.  There were 14 of the 25 others presented who, individually, singularly garnered 17 or more votes.  (I acknowedge that the A & C Members almost surely aren't as well known as many top stars, and yet would inquire as to what extent they should be entrenched in the ACBL's final decision making apparatus).


Of the 32 names set forth, and approaching 1,000 votes from 400 people more or less, including abstentions, every listed Committee Member received at least one vote, with a single exception for whom zero votes were cast: Georgia Heth, Chair, ACBL Appeals & Charges Committee (essentially the “Chief Justice” of the US Supreme Court).



APPEALS & CHARGES COMMITTEE of the BoD:  Georgia Heth (C), AJ Stephani (VC), Dennis Carman, Sharon Fairchild (replaced in 2019 by Claire Jones), Margot Hennings, Merlin Vilhauer, Jackie Zayak.



Boye Brogeland 2020

John Carruthers 2019

Eldad Ginossar 2021

Marty Harris 2021

Eric Laurant 2019

Marion Michielsen 2020

Brad Moss 2019

Howard Weinstein 2020



Kevin Bathurst 2019

Cheri Bjerkan 2020

Peter Boyd 2021

Bart Bramley 2021

Jon Brissman 2019

Dennis Clerkin 2020

Lesley Davis 2021

Bruce Ferguson 2019

John Fout 2020

Bob Glasson 2020

Brian Platnick 2021

Hendrik Sharples 2019

Karen Walker 2021

Kevin Wilson 2020

Eddie Wold 2019

READMISSION: Two Articles For the Price of One, by Avon Wilsmore


On 7 Dec 2018, Jonathan Steinberg published an article:


The December 3, 2018 ACBL list of Expelled and Suspended members still included: Lanzarotti Massimo 9891560 99 999 3. November 18, 2005 as having been expelled. http//


“I have confirmed from several official sources that he has admitted his guilt, been "rehabilitated" and is or will soon officially be a member of good standing in the ACBL.


“But there was nothing in the ACBL Daily Bulletin in Honolulu nor has any official announcement been forthcoming. Why? Is the ACBL trying to hide something or bury the news? I imagine the Daily Bulletin can only print news that has been approved by the powers-that-be... “


Sunlight is a wonderful thing, and, 12 days later, it inspired "ACBL Official" to tell us what was going on:


“The ACBL Appeals & Charges Committee has released its report on the readmission of Massimo Lanzarotti to the ACBL”


This article generated much discussion. Not everyone was convinced the ACBL was doing the right thing. (GH NOTE: the Report did not state that it was reviewed and/or vetted by the A & C Committee or anyone, as its heading seems clearly seems to show: "By Georgia Heth, Chair, Appeals and Charges Committee").

Ex-ACBL President Don Mamula ran a poll a couple of weeks later:


Mamula, at one time privy to the inner workings, declared in a BW comment:  “Want to know why the ACBL and WBF haven't truly stood up against cheating? Look no further than (Georgia Heth’s hometown) Morton, Illinois.”


The readmission of cheats into the active bridge community is a tough topic.  BW members Mike Lipkin and Gary Hann discussed the matter with me in some E-mails, and Gary and I decided to pen to paper, or at least finger to keyboard.


What follows is in two parts: Gary's Article is "The ACBL, Georgia Heth and Lanzarotti"; my Article is "The Three and a Half Cs".







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