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All comments by Jan Martel
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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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The bye teams pay table fees :)
March 24, 2014
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It is logistically very difficult to change matches at the quarter.
March 24, 2014
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IME 1st and 2nd is most common, with 2nd & 3rd probably next (that has the advantage of not forcing either of the pro pairs to play 3 sets in a row).
March 24, 2014
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My agreement is that when the opponents have shown 2 specific suits over 1NT, the cheaper cue bid (2 here) is like a negative double, looking for a stopper. That's similar to your second option, but there's no requirement for opener to bid 2NT instead of choosing a minor.

I wonder how many of the people who abstained (as I did) did so because you didn't include our preferred meaning or give us the option of choosing “other”?

If what you're really after is “what is standard?” I don't think there is a “standard” treatment.
March 13, 2014
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Thanks, Chuck. Guess this is as good a place as any to say that I do still need (a few) Vugraph operators for the Vanderbilt. ACBL expects that there will be between 36 and 66 teams in the Vanderbilt, so the first round (on Monday) will be the Round of 64, and the event will end on Saturday. I have operators for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, but still need one or two on Friday, and would cover an extra match Thursday evening if I find another operator then.

If you are available either Thursday evening (the Vanderbilt will start at 7:00) or afternoon (starting at 12:00) or evening on Friday, please email me - marteljan at gmail dot com.
March 5, 2014
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