All comments by Csaba Czimer
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At our table it went
Pass Pass 1 3*
4 5 5 6
Pass Pass 6

3 = +
My partner beleived North with his 2 aces and saved, even guessed clubs for +15 IMPs.
Oct. 3
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Oct. 3
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Why did not you discard a diamond on 2nd round of spades instead of ruffing high? Did you play for an overtrick in the 24 HCP slam?
Oct. 2
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slightly off-topic and will be long, sorry…

I was around 12 when learned (simple 5-card draw) poker from a math book and played it with friends with small stakes involved.
(I started playing bridge around 14).

In the 90's a lot of casinos opened in Hungary and they gave you more in chips than the entry fee was, if my memory serves well, the entry fee was 1000 HUF (~ 5 USD then) and you got 1500 in non-returnable chips. I was never interested in roulette, but also read a book earlier on programming that mentioned basic blackjack strategies and Epstein's story. I bought another book titled “How to win in casinos”, its blackjack topic also described basic blackjack strategies, and also mentioned card counting. The funny part was that it suggested different strategy on doubling that the other book I read before. I became curious and wrote a software that calculated the optimal strategy (none of the 2 books was completely right :)). Then I wrote another one that simulated the play against the casino using the optimal strategy. The result was that it loses 0.5% of the stake in the long run (there was no surrender option in most of the casinos). Compared to the 2.7% loss that you can achieve playing roulette (there is only 0 and no 00 in Europe) it was much better. Meanwhile I paid some short visits to the local casino on the way home (it was located 200 meters from my workplace), hunting for the entry-bonuses.

The next step was learning and applying counting. In short: when there are more than average 10-valued cards in the remaining deck, then the result will be somewhat more predictable, and thus a bit more favourable for the players. So, normally you play at the lowest stakes, but when the remaining deck is favourable for you, you raise your stakes and may even make a small profit (I mean expected value of course). I highly recommend the film “21” with Kevin Spacey, it is impeccable regarding the strategy and how to make money using it. (it came out more than 10 years later…)

Counting the cards did not look very hard for me (as an avid bridge player), so I trained some weeks playing against a software and when I felt ready, my visits in the local casino became more frequent. In the first month of regular play I won more than my salary was in the bank. In the second one I won twice as much (in let's say 10 hours a week in the evenings). In the third month it was even more… I started dreaming on quitting my job and playing professionally. After some month I doubled my stakes… and started losing. Imagine a very little expected value with a huge variance. In the next 2 month I lost my previous winnings and a little more. Then I stopped completely, actually the main reason was that I had to finish and give in my thesis on a post-grad course. After that I re-run my simulations, and found an error in it. Corrected it, and surprise: it turned out that it is not even profitable, thus I stopped regular playing. It was about 23 years ago, I have played blackjack about 4 times since then.

One of them is a memorable story too. You have to know in advance that most people play blackjack terribly, the don't have the slightest idea about optimal strategy. The European Open Bridge Championship took place in Poznan, Poland in 2011 and we entered too. Not much success, the field was very tough, Poles are very good players as you may know, and there were a lot of them playing. Anyway, even Meckwell were there.
The story is that there was a casino in the hotel where we, and many other bridge players stayed, and I decided to play in one evening. The casino, and the blackjack table where I played was full of bridge players. I played an hour or 2, and have never seen such a high level of play in my life. Noone at the table made any non-optimal decision, it was a joy to watch. And we even won.

I also enjoy playing poker, even watching films on gambling. Rounders is one of my favourite one. Poker is another small story if anyone is interested.

In recent years I also played a lot of backgammon, no money involved, only against gnu Backgammon running on my PC. It my not be gambling, Kit will tell us :)

I may not be an addict :), still make my living on programming, and play bridge once a week and on weekend tournaments (let's say 25 days a year).
Oct. 2
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Oct. 2
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The System is not too old, developed by bridge players (unfortunately I am not one of them, just a happy user). I'll show them this topic, they'll contact you, or share some info here.
Oct. 1
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It is a bit more complex than the choices you offered :)

Good to know:
- 1 then 2 is mostly 6+ (good 5 possible) and limited in cca 11-14 HCP
- 1 then 2 is about 11-17, thus partner passes it less frequently

Thus…

- With a weak hand (up to 14) and good 5 clubs I open 1 planning to rebid 2.
- With 2=2=4=5, 11-14 HCP and not totally empty majors I open 1 planning to rebid 1NT.
- With strong (17+) hands I open 1 then reverse with 2.
With 15-16 HCP and a singleton I tend to open 1 and rebid 2, wich is wider range than 1 then 2.
- With 15-16 and 2=2=4=5 I prefer opening 1NT, even with a singleton top honour.
- With 11-14, good diamonds, weak clubs I also open 1 and rebid 2.
- With 11-14, scattered values 1 and 1N rebid is also possible, even with singleton in partner's suit.
Sept. 30
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A system is already there and working. Check this out:
www.lovebridge.com

Tuesday evenings (18:15 CEST = 12:15 pm New York summer time) you can follow the upper divisions of Budapest Team Championship with a 30 minutes delay (to prevent peeking), or can watch any past event. (Click on Vugraph, red button in the upper left corner)

We play it on tablets (behind screens, but it is not essential), the UI is comfortable, easy to use, we like it, noone complains of not playing with cards. And the opportunity to analyze the play or compare to other tables is fantastic. The difference from BBO is that you don't need operators, and you can always see things as they really happened.

The software also measures and records thinking times, thus TDs' works is easier if someone is late, or it is doubtful whether there was a BIT. You can't revoke, can't bid or lead out of turn, etc.

Anyway, this is the third championship we play on tablets, there was a 8-round MP pairs champinonship and a 8-round cross-IMP one (248 boards each).
Sept. 30
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Sept. 30
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We play it as GF, non 5-5
Sept. 30
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A and to the Q is exactly the same chance as finessing the 10 in 1st round (what De Wijs played)
Sept. 30
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I held this hand and passed.
My reasoning:
-160 is not the end of the world in teams, we can easily go for -200 if I bid something. If it's -360 then we can go down doubled for -500.
1NT was excluded, it promises more ((7)8-10) in our methods.
And my partner is agressive when bidding games.
Sept. 26
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Sept. 26
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5N (pick a slam) - 6 (huge hand, 2 suits)
7 ( + , since did not bid 6 directly)
Sept. 10
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South's sequence looks like a grand slam try (without that he could have bid 6 directly). North has more than enough to bid on (6), now South can bid 7

Anyway North's 6 is a huge underbid, since partner forced to at least a small slam and North has about 4 extra tricks above a minimal double
Sept. 10
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Sept. 10
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When it is my choice, I prefer Precision or standard with strong NT, there is a friend who sticks to weak NT.
But…
- you may pass with 4-5 hcp and balanced hand
- the real question is whether you do better in 1N, which is not sure at all
- I don't think that 2M is an option with 16, and we don't play any special gadget to handle strong NT hands
Sept. 9
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Sept. 9
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When I (rarely) play weak NT …
- we normally raise 1M to 3M with strong NT and support (it denies shortness)
- with a bad 15 raise to 2M is allowed
- with 4M-333 1N is allowed
Sept. 8
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Someone should have asked keycards, as usual.
Have I already mentioned that noone is smart enough to play control bids profitably? (yes, I have)

To be a bit more constructive: if North decided to go past 3N, 4 as a splinter is a good descriptive bid, isn't it? Then South can sign off or ask keycards (hopefully with step 1), or can cuebid 4 and North can ask for keycards if you play that way.

Another thought: if 4 is a control bid, has it denied and controls? Because in that case South can simply stop in 5.
Sept. 6
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Sept. 6
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Nice duck at trick 1 from East
Sept. 6
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my undisturbed version:

1N - 3 __ 15-17 // GF, short , 54+ minors (some play exactly 1=3=(5-4))
4 - 4 __ 4+ , good hand // RKC
4 - 5 __ 0/3 // spiral scan (kings in importance order?)
5 - ? __ has K, but no K

Now North can count:
- if South's s can be discarded on s then A + AK + ruff + 5 + 4 = 13
- if South has 3+ then A + 2 ruffs + AK + 4 (South) + 4 = 13
- otherwise the heart finesse or the Q at South may help
Of course in most cases we need s to behave, or 5 diamonds at south.
Sept. 6
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Sept. 6
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I don't have any problem with your remark, but it's completely useless to teach adults (except perhaps your partner after the session) to anything. If they haven't learned it so far, they won't learn it now. Perhaps do not even want to (as this lady).
Sept. 6
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Sept. 6
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OK, try this one: Opener can't be strong, since he opened with 3. Hence NF.
Sept. 6
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Opener can't be strong, since he did not open with double. Hence NF.
Sept. 1
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Never ever bid a grand unless you checked the keycards and can count at least 12.5 tricks. That is, grand slams are not based on general strength.

Anyway, I gave up playing fit jumps, because those hands (that looked good in textbooks) never occured in real life. Splinter hands do occur.
Aug. 30
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Aug. 30
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