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All comments by Jan Martel
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Which is one reason money doesn't drive this decision.
May 27, 2014
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Maybe, but I doubt it :). Clearly, the ideal number of teams is one where it is sensible to have a 2 day Round Robin to reduce to the number of teams required in the Round of 16. More or fewer means that we have to change the schedule at the last minute, and that causes a lot of problems (not all monetary).

That number depends on the number of Round of 16 “slots,” which is determined by the byes. With the 11 Round of 16 slots this year (1 Round of 16 bye & 2 Round of 8 byes took the other 5 Round of 16 spots), we would run a 2 day Round Robin with from 12-18 teams in the Round Robin. Fewer than 12 and we'd start with the Round of 16, more than 18 and we'd need more than 2 days in the Round Robin.

It would have looked silly to run a 2 day Round Robin to cut from 12 to 11, so that wouldn't have been a “good” number. OTOH, with more than 14 Round Robin teams, we'd have had to negotiate for additional playing space for the Round Robin, which might have meant paying for it. At some number of teams, we'd have needed a third director for the Round Robin. Additional Round Robin teams also means more pre-duplicated Round Robin boards at about $30 per team per day, more screens (moderate rent but probably additional shipping costs) and more lunches at $20 per person (I know, that seems like a lot for sandwiches and salad or tacos, but it's the least a hotel will charge for lunch).

So I guess the bottom line is that it really isn't clear. Our costs from the Round of 8 on are fixed, and the Round of 16 is fairly fixed, but additional entries are Round Robin teams and those costs aren't fixed.

Getting a large entry for this event isn't a goal. Making the event as attractive as possible to those who play in it is, which was the reason for this survey.
May 26, 2014
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Having celebrated Thanksgiving the week before its official date for many many years, and discussed with some people in Phoenix that they had celebrated Mother's Day the weekend before or during the week, I'm not so sure about that!
May 21, 2014
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Does anyone by any chance have a LIN file from the second segment of the Fleisher-Seligman match? I managed to call the third segment segment 2, so its LIN overwrote the segment 2 LIN on the Vugraph computers.

If you use the Windows version of BBO, were watching segment 2 when it finished, and weren't watching segment 3 when it finished, you should have a LIN file from segment 2 (it's in the “hands” folder in the Bridgebase folder on your C drive). If so, and you can email it to me (marteljan at gmail dot com), I'd appreciate it, so I can post the scorecard for that segment on the USBF site. Thanks.
May 14, 2014
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It was a procedural penalty for a mis-explanation of (I believe) opening lead methods. That's all I know.
May 12, 2014
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Actually, Diamond (who started as the 4 seed) originally shuffled with 3 (Gordon) and remained 4. For the reshuffle, however, the Conditions of Contest provide that a Bye team cannot be involved in a reshuffle, so if a team that originally shuffled with a Bye team wins the Round Robin and chooses a reshuffle, it shuffles with the team 2 below it (as Gavin said, it would make no sense for them to shuffle with the team 1 below because that wouldn't change their bracket).
May 11, 2014
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You're welcome :). And be sure to thank Al Hollander, also, as he was the one who asked me to provide this information.
May 11, 2014
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It's too embarrassing to see BYE rolling over their opponents :)
May 11, 2014
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Michael is correct. The Round Robin winner and second place teams get 8 additional seeding points, which might or might not change the rank of the teams. In addition, after the teams are “shuffled” in pairs, the Round Robin winner has the right to request a re-shuffle.

Conditions of Contest at http://usbf.org/docs/COC/ITT/2014CoCFINAL.pdf set forth the rules more completely.
May 9, 2014
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Funny, I guess we all have different experiences. I would have a much harder time limiting the nice people I have met in the bridge world to ten than limiting the truly obnoxious ones (yes, there are some, but not nearly as many as the nice ones).
April 26, 2014
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Partnerships change. Both Hamman-J. Lall and Martel-Zia started as a result of the Hamman-Zia breakup a couple of years ago. Neither partnership “clicked” so the players are moving on to different partnerships.
April 19, 2014
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As I said, yes, but the USBF Credentials Committee has to rule on whether they keep the bye with the added player.
April 19, 2014
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The list above is of the teams as they entered the USBC. Both Fleisher and Gordon added players for the USBC: Fleisher added Cohler, who will “wheel” with Fleisher and Martel; Gordon added Seamon, who will play with Pepsi.

The USBF Credentials Committee had to rule on whether the teams should keep their byes after adding players who did not play in the events in which the teams earned Positioning Points. The Credentials Committee voted unanimously that both teams should keep their byes.
April 18, 2014
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However the seed order could change after the Round Robin, because the top 4 teams in the Round Robin earn additional seeding points and some of the teams are fairly close.
April 18, 2014
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Thanks for being in the well. Now for the really important question:
Tell us more about the cutest member of your family - Rufus. I know you've had him for your last two Vanderbilt wins (I'm sure he deserves at least some of the credit). Is he related to any former dogs in your family? Did you know when you saw him as a puppy he'd be such a great dog? Anything else?
April 10, 2014
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Having the 3 day North American Swiss start on the first day of the Reisinger has been very good for the Reisinger. As a result of the Swiss, the Reisinger entry is small and reasonable cuts allow the field to be reduced to 10 teams for the finals. Even the first day of the Reisinger is a great event, and the final is probably the most select field we'll ever see anywhere. I'd hate to see that change.
April 8, 2014
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A few corrections about USBC (“trials”) seeding:

First, although in the Open USBC the Round Robin does not determine the seeding, it does affect it - the top 4 teams in the Round Robin get additional seeding points, which can change their position in the KO, and the Round Robin winner has the right to ask for a “re-shuffle” of seeds.

Second, the seeding points used for the USBC are different from those used for the Vanderbilt and Spingold. In addition to V/S seeding points, which reflect masterpoints and performance over the last 10 years, USBC seeding points have an element called Individual Positioning Points based on performance over the last year on a team with no more than 3 ineligible (foreign) players. Seeding points are capped at 50; IPPs are capped at 26.25. The IPPs tend to be a significant part of seeding points.

Finally, although Round Robin performance has limited importance in the Open USBC, in the Women's USBC it is determinative unless a team has a bye to the Semifinals, and in the Senior USBC it is 1/3 of the seeding for the KO phase.
April 4, 2014
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“And apparently there was very loud music playing above the room in which the Platinum Pairs final was contested. (Sadly I can’t account for that one first hand.)”

I happened to walk past the room with the loud music on my way down to kibitz the Platinum Pairs for a few rounds and was worried about it. But in the Platinum Pairs room I couldn't hear any music - the sound-proofing for sounds from above was amazingly good.
March 28, 2014
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With 4 matches in single digits, I wish I could show all of them tonight!
March 27, 2014
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There has been a lot of discussion about the choice of “morning” vs “afternoon” starting time. Some prefer one, some prefer the other and we'll probably never reach agreement.

The reason for the change from 1:00 to 12:00 for the Vanderbilt is that more time is allowed with screens and when they used to start at 1:00, the matches wouldn't finish until well after midnight. Then on the final day of the tournament, the Knockout started at 11:00, so you finished play at something like 1:00 am and had to play again at 11:00 am, which nobody liked. Moving the start time to 12:00 with screens means that the final day only starts an hour earlier than the semi-final day.

The 12:00 start also makes it easier for those playing in the KO to go to dinner with friends who are playing in the regular NABC or Regional events, since the dinner breaks are at about the same time.
March 26, 2014
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