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All comments by Joe Hertz
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I think you read that backwards.
5 hours ago
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Patrick, you've misinterpreted what you wrote from the commentary (emphasis YOURS):

TD should only decide it was unintended if he is convinced that the player never, not even for a split second, wanted to make that call. The mistake has to be entirely one of fingers, not brain!

Yes, “never ever intended it, not even for a split second”. In this case it took them 15 seconds to realize they made a bid that they never intended at all, not even for a split second. The fact it took 15 seconds to realize the error does not mean that they ever had any such intent to make the bid they did.

You know what you intended to bid. At some point you realized you bid something other than that. There's no clock on how long it takes to realize it. Just that when you realized it, that you found you bid something that you “never, ever, had any intent to bid, not even for a second”.

Your stated cause does not (necessarily) make for this effect. There's no obligation to immediately react to a mechanical error. Just that you never had any intent. You've misinterpreted what the “not even for a second” means.

I think it's pretty damning in this case, but it is not 100% case closed simply because of the delay. The offending party is entitled to the chance to explain why it took so long.
5 hours ago
Joe Hertz edited this comment 5 hours ago
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“Can be” yes.

But that hesitation is UI and makes the timing of the misbid claim suspicious, so the director should inquire as to why it took them so long to realize the error.

I've been in that situation a few times where I misbid and an alert woke me up to my mechanical error. The alert is allowed to wake me up as the bid is not the one I intended to make. It's mechanical, not a brain error. So what happened in those 15 seconds to wake up the opp is kind of critical.

My examples:

2-2 showing an Ace and a King. LHO asks my P “what does 2 mean?” and I see I really bid 2. Thank goodness I had a heart void, otherwise I might have been hosed (P's next bid after the correction was 7N making).

1-1 alert. I look down and see I bid 2 with 8 hcps and 4-4-3-2 shape. The director (a TA) incorrectly rules that 2 is my bid and my attempt to bid 1 is UI for partner. I ask for a screening right there.

Partner ethically bids 3 and we're down 2 or 3. I comment that “If we lose this (KO round) because of this hand, we're appealing” the DIC comes over just after the hand is finished to ask if she made it in time. She did a remarkably good job of putting Humpty Dumpty back together. Apparently the TA found her and said immediately “I think I screwed up just now”. I still have no idea why he didn't check his work before making the ruling.

My ruling here:

Opp's bid was borderline either way. A hesitating P implies “bidder's remorse”. What I'm not sure about is if there is any new data necessary to win an appeal. It's not a question of law here – It's a judgement call for the director and no new facts are being offered up, right? I might appeal it anyway – being right usually makes it so you don't get an AWMW, but I'd be prepared for no change to the ruling. I just want it documented in the director's file.
5 hours ago
Joe Hertz edited this comment 5 hours ago
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For what it's worth, the 199er section I direct occasionally, I once got called to a table because of a set of opps had no CC. One of this pair was about to graduate from that game, and he was all like, “Well, my regular partner usually brings it and this was a fix up”.

I verified that they had not discussed the bidding sequence in question and told the person that called the director that “undiscussed” was the extent of their agreement. But even in this 199er game I still told them that there was a hospitality break coming and he should use it to write a card, even if that meant copying the one his partner had brought and that he needs his own copy in the future.

And after that, I pointedly put out the “Two Identical Convention Cards are Required” sign when I sold entries. When a 0-5 player expressed concern over it, I told them that it was mostly intended as a warning to some problem children, but it would be a good idea to copy a card anyway as it forces you to think about what you're doing".

Someone still learning needs to learn, but refusing to enforce the rules on new bridge players does them no favors. There is no test to join the acbl. The way most new bridge players learn the rules is by seeing what happens when they are violated. Delaying the point that they get to see that only sets them up for worse consequences later.
Dec. 9
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Out of touch? Along with the 26 people (so far) that pressed the like button on his answer? That's the internet's answer to “sour grapes”.

Michael was only “out of touch” in the sense that he gave an honest answer to a question that turned out to be posed rhetorically.

Oh. The. Irony.
Dec. 9
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“Cheating is a part of daily life” is a view that I can see only two types of people adopting:

Fatalists and Cheaters who claim to be Fatalists.

So Dear Fatalists: The rest of us have no way to tell either of these two groups apart so you might want to be careful about openly admitting that you feel this way. The bad guys adopt this view as a way of minimizing their sin, or even justifying it ala “Everyone does it”.

So if you want the rest of us to “get over ourselves”, we probably can go ahead and do that quite easily, but I really think that you don't want us to do that. You wouldn't like the outcome of the method we'd choose.
Dec. 9
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 9
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They shouldn't be in the event, but dangit, if they ARE going to be in the event, every single thing they do at the table ought to be observed, recorded, and broadcasted.
Dec. 9
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Not at all. You can be homeless (no physical address) and no cell phone (no phone number), and so there is no way to reach you. but even in that situation you can still play bridge f2f.

Just having these things makes it easier and not allowing for that will just lessen the time it takes for bridge to catch up to to the dodo on the evolutionary path.
Dec. 8
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Exactly. See my upstream comment about the player who really thought he was entitled to know about what I wanted to see his convention card for. I'm tempted to make my alternative response, “You might not mind my question transmitting UI to my partner, but I kind of do, so I really need to see your card.”

I think the only way this ends is if we all start enforcing it as players.

Pointedly ask every opp for their cards each round. If enough people do it, then nobody can get away with ignoring the reg.

I mean, if they got the director called about it last round and didn't heed the warning by the next round, then it will hurt them. If it hurts when they do that, they will learn not to do that, but in contrast, they won't stop until it hurts.
Dec. 8
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At the national level of GNT-C, I once had the following exchange with an opp (whose first language was not English, so that might have been part of it I thought):

I win P's opening lead and ask LHO for his convention card.

LHO: (with a little wave) “Standard”
Me: “May I see your convention card?”
LHO: (more firmly) Standard.
Me: Shaking my head and now speaking slowly and clearly. “I. Would. Like. To. See. Your. Convention. Card.”
LHO: “Why? We're playing standard signals.
Me: ”I do not want to know about your carding.“
LHO: ”Oh… what do you what want to know?“
Me: ”Nothing I wish to tell you about. Please show me your convention card“
LHO: ”Why? What's the problem?“
Me: ”Director Please".

Opp really was under the impression he was entitled to know what I wanted to know about their agreements.

I cannot remember now what it is I wanted to know, except it was about the auction they had, and that their card turned out to be wrong about it. The director determined that there was no damage (I had no better option than what I chose), but definitely did tell them that they had them fix it and what their obligations were after that point. I doubt it would have flown in the next round.
Dec. 8
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I'm curious as to what South says is he reason he bid 3. It's clearly meant as an invite, but what was he expecting North to accept with?

Surely he can't really want P to go for it with average high card strength, but a totally square hand with no aces outside of the trump suit…can he?

I'm willing to hear his reason out in case it's something else.
Dec. 7
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Gotta give some credits to the opps, but East was the one who showed the extras. West's error was to take that too seriously.
Nov. 27
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I think it comes down to, “does XX deny a fit?”.

Yes? Blame West
No? Blame East.
Nov. 26
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Whoever is bidding 3NT is going to make his partner think the spades are okay.

Are the other options (aside from a 3 splinter) lies? Yes. But they are smaller lies and get you to far better contracts than this one.
Nov. 26
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Clearly gifts under deductible unless made to charity. The only tax benefit for anyone would be in it's not taxable income for the recipient (and thus the amount of your “gift” would probably be less than it would be if the recipient had to pay income taxes on it.

Or are gifts with monetary value still taxable for the recipient?
Nov. 26
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Well I do have an interest in that deviation from the original topic because I do pay for a housekeeper that visits periodically. I'm quite curious where the line is as she does do this for other clients of hers.
Nov. 26
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Here's a funny thought experiment.

Pay someone $15K as a gift to avoid taxes, with the understanding he'd wink-wink play bridge with you or perform some other service.

1) That's not a gift. You expect something in return.

2) Also – good luck trying to sue the bridge player for your money back if he decides to NOT provide you the service. You gave him a gift! Gifts have no expectation of anything in return. QED. Verdict for the defendant. I don't even think a recorder would touch this.

I am neither lawyer nor accountant.
Nov. 25
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Ken – From Topic #756

"Household employees include housekeepers, maids, babysitters, gardeners, and others who work in or around your private residence as your employee. Repairmen, plumbers, contractors, and other business people who provide their services as independent contractors, are not your employees. Household workers are your employees if you can control not only the work they do but also how they do it."

My read on this is a housekeeper isn't a 1099 person if they also clean lots of other peoples' homes, but your lawn guy would also be in the same category (see: gardener) for the same reason. If they are business-people and you're just one of their clients, that should be pretty clear to the auditor I'd think.
Nov. 25
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But presenting “the other side of an argument” that isn't about bridge or the ethics involved in paying a pro (irony alert) “under the table”. It was just a screed about excessive taxes.

It was however, a very carefully worded screed, meant to mimic Frances' comment's structure. Undoubtedly this was done so as to establish a claim of a double-standard should the rules “only” be enforced against him. It's a cute trick, but I think we all see what he did there.
Nov. 25
Joe Hertz edited this comment Nov. 25
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Most likely: Partner meant to pass and pulled the wrong card.
Nov. 22
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