Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Dan Lester
1 2
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Well, Bob, you've already added new “ranks” with the new requirements for LM and the various higher ranks. There are new requirements for all levels for those who joined after 1/1/2010, as I'm sure you know. That took re-educating people of all levels. Or maybe many haven't noticed or don't care. But does the person who achieved Diamond LM under new rules think that they should somehow be distinguished from a Diamond LM under the old ones? I can assure you that those who have achieved, or are about to achieve, LM (just plain LM, nothing exalted) under the new rules think they should get some sort of recognition. I know the arguments on both sides, just reminding that it isn't just at top ranks that these issues arise.
Feb. 19, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
One question for Ellis: You say “allowing them to attain ranking without ever playing against a ranking player” What level does it take to be a “ranking player”? Is one of the players who I play against regularly with 3000 MP a “ranking player”, or is s/he (we have them of both genders) of not? What does it take to be a “ranking player”? This is a serious question.
Feb. 15, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
First, Jeff, I didn't ever mean to give the impression that I've done anything to build bridge. I just direct two different games (one Open, about a dozen tables a week, one Invitational, about ten tables a week). I'm Club Manager of the former, working for an elected board of a community non profit club. The other Open clubs in town run similar numbers. For various historical and personal reasons we have four Open clubs (either one or two days a week each) and three Invitational clubs. I'm the “new kid in town”, having been here four years. Almost all of the growth is due to a small number of people who teach, direct, manage, etc. They've done so over the years since the first sanctioned game some 12 years ago. None of the clubs has a permanent (owned, leased) place to play, though several have been in the same location for some years. Seems good for a community of about 100,000 people that doesn't have a bigger city closer than 120 miles (Las Vegas). All of the open games have regular players with over 2500 MP, so we “new kids” do play against, and with, more experienced players. I learn something in every single game, and the “local experts” are happy to give us hints and instructions, and many of them also play with the “new kids” fairly frequently.

Speaking strictly personally, I do not have a goal of becoming a LM. It would be nice if it happens, but being retired and far from wealthy I can't run all over the country to tournaments every month. I've earned points in regionals and sectionals, and try to attend 2 or 3 tournaments a year. I play in teams, knockouts, and gold rush whenever possible. And I play five days a week locally, trying to balance my playing time with those who are LMs, those at “my level”, and those who are “just beginners” with fewer than 20 MP. I learn from every single game, no matter what level my partner or competition are.
Feb. 15, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'll agree that Brett is theoretically correct, but the likelihood of anyone getting 50 silver points in STACs (which in our area are two weeks a year) without ever attending a tournament. And then there are the red and gold…….
Feb. 15, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Dave is correct on some players preferring to stay lower. At a game yesterday a local person (who Dave also knows) complained that she was in B instead of C in the previous day's club game. The Director explained what the strata were and why she and her partner were in B. She grudgingly accepted it, as she would have received some small fraction of a point (about .3) if she were in C but got nothing in B. Like many locally the strata vary depending on the club and on the Director's/Manager's attempts to balance the field, which almost all are quite careful about. I know that locally you can't get any club black points without playing against people with over 2500 points, even if you're a C player (fewer than 100 to 300, depending on the club). And I doubt anyone can realistically achieve LM without playing against other LMs in a tournament, whether regional or sectional.
Feb. 15, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Just to add the rest of the story, briefly, I promise: For LM one now has to earn 500 total instead of 300, 75 silver instead of 50, 100 red/gold instead of 50, 50 gold instead of 25. Hey, this should help the attendance at Regionals, and at sectionals and STACs to a lesser extent. Right? I've wondered if that is the REAL reason for the change five years ago? In other words, ignoring the relatively limited points most can earn in a STAC, it means 50 percent increase in Sectional attendance and 100 percent increase in Regional attendance.

OR, it means lots of folks are discouraged by the whole thing and just stay members to get the magazine and have their points counted. Or they drop out even though they still play duplicate and decide points don't matter. We have some of each of those categories among our players. Some of our players are on limited incomes and they complained when card fees went from 4 dollars to 5 dollars per game. :-) (Yes, I know what people pay other places).
Feb. 15, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I agree, Jeff, that most participants are long past pigmented point issues. And note that I'm not complaining about the new requirements, despite some aspects of them not making sense. Although I'd played bridge socially since 1962, my life as a university professor didn't allow time to pursue ACBL activities until I retired. I moved to St. George, Utah, late in 09 and joined ACBL in January 2010, days after the new requirements went into place. So it goes.

St. George has a great many retired folks who move here for the weather and the beauty, and many more who “snowbird” from other places (we're 120 miles from Vegas, weather similar to Vegas, but slightly cooler). Until a dozen years ago there was no ACBL sanctioned game here, and the club that was first sanctioned barely had that vote passed (40-38 they say). Since that time a number of clubs have developed and there is at least one sanctioned game per day M-F, and some games on Saturdays. Las Vegas and other cities (Phoenix, LA area, Palm Springs, etc) are relatively accessible as well.

I was asked to study for and take the Director's Test when I had about 15 MP, and have directed a couple of local games regularly for three years. I have about 200 points so far and some of each pigment needed for LM. My wife also plays regularly, though I play with a number of people.

With a couple of people teaching bridge in various venues we now have over 100 people playing regularly, and most games average about ten tables each. We have also had a club started in Mesquite NV, 30 miles away, by people from here.

I'm regularly asked things like “how come Mary just got her LM with 25 gold and I need 50”, and similar questions for the other pigments and total points going from 300 to 500. I say “because that's the new rules”. They say “that's not fair”. And I remind them that “life isn't always fair” (or what we think of as fair). Although some of the regular players don't care about making LM, I'd say over half do, and almost all of them have joined since I did in early 2010. The local success with developing new players has been stunning. One of the clubs has had FOUR Enhanced Club Championships in the last three years, each requiring adding ten new ACBL memberships. I'm guessing not too many places are growing the ACBL at that rate, particularly if you look at it proportionally to the size of the community. Yes, ACBL needs to add younger members, and I don't see many of them at tournaments, but at least we're adding lots of “old folks” who we hope will be around for many years. We have four regular players, 3 of whom are LMs, who are 90 or 91, and another dozen in their 80s. We of course lose a couple every year.

So, when any of us become LM under the “new system” will we also get a Bronze LM card? Current LMs can reach that “achievement level” without adding any silver, red, or gold, and just by hanging out at the local club.

I'm sure that much of this sounds “trivial and unimportant” to those with 20K or 40K points, but there are a lot of people who care. And though most are actually reading and learning from the Bulletin, they don't see much in there about “the unwashed masses out here in the sticks”.

I hope this is taken as positive and serious, as I assure that that is how it is intended. And I think the questions are important to ACBL at large. Feel free to quote any of this if helpful to do so.


Feb. 15, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I don't have thousands of points, but have friends who do. If you have 40,000 points, say, are the 50 (say) points for winning the knockout compare to the 3rd place finish in the national event, even if (say) only 30 points. In fact, if you have 40,000 points does it matter if you get 30 more or 50 more as long as you're successful? Or is it like the people who earn millions a year and “I earned a 10 million bonus and you only earned 8 million bonus”?

Yes, these are serious questions.

And what about those of us who are working towards LM under the new system, thus needing more pigmented points than those who are getting Bronze LM under the old system?

I asked some of this a couple weeks ago and got no answer. Perhaps it isn't deserving of an answer? I will say that as a Club Director and Manager I do get asked questions of this type.
Feb. 14, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Understand your point, Steve. At what point does one become a “good player”. Are our local top players (3K MP) who can tell you every card in your hand after the first three tricks, who know every card played, who win regularly, both locally and at tournaments, “good players”? I'm not suggesting some given number of MP is “magic”, but trying to learn what “it takes to be a good player”, other than lots of experience working at “playing up” (which I do regularly).
Jan. 27, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
And what are the current prices on Gold, Red, and Silvers? And even black ones? I hate to wait for those to accumulate. :-) I assume you're going to hang onto all your Platinum ones. :-)
Jan. 25, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Fine to sneer at the current system, and I'm neither defending nor attacking it. But to make LM a new person, as well as accumulating 450 other assorted pigmented points, would have to win overall in some four or five 100 pair two session Gold Pairs at a regional or NABC. I respectfully suggest that is not a trivial exercise, particularly due to the random effects that make up about a third of results for any pair in any bridge game.
Jan. 25, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
On a different comment here, I don't mind if a C player gets some points with 39 percent for being first in C. In our local clubs the points are normally dominated by A players who are all scoring in the 60s or high 50s. Since all of the percentages must average 50, that doesn't leave much for the C, and even some B players, depending on the mix on any given day.
Jan. 25, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As a “new” member with some 185 MP, I need 500 to achieve LM. I, unfortunately for me, joined ACBL a couple weeks after the change to 500 on 1/1/10. The real killer for those of us in my situation is the need for 50 Gold instead of 25. Getting any significant gold requires attendance at a number of Regionals or NABCs, unless you're either very good or very lucky. I will never pay for a partner to “help me get gold”, though I know many do.

As it is now, someone who achieves LM under the new system has accomplished much more than almost all Bronze LMs. The number of points is the same, but the number of Gold is double and the number of red and silver is higher as well. Many friends have suggested that it is just an ACBL “scam” to increase attendance at tournaments. It also discourages some newer members, particularly senior citizens, from even bothering to attend tournaments, as they feel it will never happen for them anyway, so why bother. I'll be 71 in a couple weeks, and will continue to attend as many tournaments as I can afford. I'm actually at the Vegas Regional right now.

I"ve wondered whether those of us who achieve LM under the new rules will simultaneously be awarded the Bronze LM certification, or if there is, or will be, some other way of distinguishing our accomplishment? I'm not personally worried about it, but as a Club Director I've been asked by newer members.

Jan. 25, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Yes, we need ACBLScore. There will “always” be some places that don't have internet connections (including one where a couple of our clubs play), and the last of our six local clubs just got Bridgepads a few months ago. I agree with Kevin that money isn't the issue as much as “just do it” on the current project and even more importantly “just do it” on getting rid of the old beast computer. I don't know what all of the ACBL computing needs are beyond keeping track of a vast number of boards, games, players, types of points, and so forth. However, they have to include budget, payroll, project planning (what, project planning?), email, and the website. All of this can be done on inexpensive networked servers that are interconnected, and there are plenty of people who can determine what should be done on which with what software. In fact, I'll bet that Kevin could do it in short order.

After 50 years in higher education I no longer “do” committees or politics, but I'll certainly support those who do. I'd even pay, if necessary, an extra 5 a year in membership if it assured that this would get done. And that's from an old retired guy on a fixed income.
March 10, 2013
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
How do privately developed systems like bridgeresults.com fit into your plans? Could or should some of them be brought into the ACBL system, or their work integrated into it? This system does some of what you're after, even though only a part of it. (I have no interest in it other than as a satisfied consumer) On the other hand, at the recent Las Vegas Sectional, those posting their results made some human errors that had to be corrected, and results were posted slowly. All of our local clubs post the results within a minute or two of the final boards being played, and some players start looking them over on their smartphones within the hall, or on their computers the minute they get home. I was frustrated not to be able to do that in Vegas. However, they had a much larger turnout than expected, and I don't know what all of their issues were. But it does illustrate what we all know….that humans can still cause problems with well designed systems.
March 8, 2013
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Whatever is done, don't make the ratings “secret”. We all know that “secrets” can't and won't be kept, so please don't bother with it.
March 8, 2013
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Good luck on getting the unit and district people to see the big picture on technology. All too many bridge players balk even at “touching the computer” (meaning a Bridgepad or Bridgemate). As a club manager and director, it has even been difficult to get other directors comfortable with ACBL Score and bridgeresults.com, which all of our local clubs use to display scores and hand records.
March 8, 2013
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As a retired system and network manager I totally support moving away from that antiquated piece of junk. Change is difficult and expensive, but must be done. I know nothing about the ACBL budget and what all runs on this beast, but if/when it comes crashing down, we'll be wishing we'd updated.
March 8, 2013
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I've also never seen any cheating, but yes, egregious stupidity is all too common.

As to how the errors get into the system, North enters them and E/W doesn't notice North's error in direction, contract, or whatever. Yes, E/W should actually LOOK at the suit, contract, tricks made, and direction, but they can be sloppy, just like they can be incredibly stupid.

They're never going to be seen by the director or anyone else until they're published. The only exception I've run into on that was a recent case where in a 7.5 table Howell, a pair at a pivot table who was stationary for physical limitations forgot to rotate the card after the first 7 of the 13 rounds, so the last six boards were scored in the wrong direction. The stationary pair, who are unhappy if they don't get a 60% score in every game, noted they had a 46% game when checking the Bridgepad after completing the game. They knew something was wrong and called the director, who sorted out the problem and did EDMOV on ACBLScore to correct the problem. They turned out to have a 59% game. Of course this also changed all scores to a lesser extent, but it was corrected before the results were published.

Don't we have fun?
Jan. 4, 2013
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I thought discussion was on correcting errors, not different ways they happen. :-). Game I directed last evening had result published on bridge results.com. As soon as got home had a call that a board was scored wrong way. 8 tables bid 4S or 6S and all made 6 e/w. One table had 4S making 6 n/s..so obvious I didn't even call to confirm the error, which usually do.

Obviously one practical issue is whether scoring manual or electronic and also how and when players are informed of results. All six clubs in St George UT use bridgepads and put results up immediately on bridgeresults.net Has made a great improvement in communications with players.
Jan. 3, 2013
1 2
.

Bottom Home Top