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All comments by Joe Hertz
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We're well beyond ludicrous speed now.
Aug. 25, 2015
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Lance actually was found guilty by his sport first. His case was more Pete Rose than OJ.
Aug. 25, 2015
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I know in my case that's true. The 4441 patterned 20-21 hand in most standard methods actually requires a lie.

You can open 2NT with a stiff, or open a 4 card suit, and jump-shift or reverse into another 4 card suit.

I really want to get an answer out of the ACBL on this.

If I cannot get one, the only option left is horribly passive-aggressive: Play it, but always have a folder containing all the evidence showing that Fantoni and Nunes were permitted to play it in the Spingold Semi-Final despite not submitting it under Superchart Regs. How much more clear can you get that that is MidChart legal?

If it ain't wrong, it's right.
Aug. 25, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Aug. 25, 2015
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The meta…it burns.
Aug. 25, 2015
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“Well yeah, his partner has to pass so he can't be expected to make a systemic bid, but he just can't psyche like that…”

whiskey.
tango.
foxtrot.

Aug. 25, 2015
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This happens quite often. I mean, if you want to go anti-field, how can you do better than bidding 2 to play?
Aug. 25, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Aug. 25, 2015
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I do what you did *all* the time. Many times the problem is self-evident from just doing that or maybe adding “No Alerts”. If I know I have a contentious opp (or even one who is a stranger) that's often the best way of keeping the peace.

In those cases, I didn't have to even state a concern. Nobody can claim I characterized what they did in an unfair way because I didn't characterize it at all.
Aug. 25, 2015
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I suspect it's not so much a symptom but an effect. It's the internet. We've had trolling, bans for sock-puppeting, and I'm sure we'll start seeing flounces.

We're actually pushing Godwin's Law too.

For those who've not heard these terms, they are terms to describe bad behavior common to the internet.

Sock-Puppets – phony accounts used to hide the user's identity.

Godwin's Law – From Mike Godwin, who stated that on the internet, during any given argument, the more time it goes on, the probability of a Nazi reference being made approaches 1.0.

Corollary to Godwin's Law – Making a reference to the Nazis in an argument on the internet not about the Nazis means you lose the argument immediately.

Flounce – Quitting a community in oh so dramatic and wordy fashion.

We're growing up. These are the pains.
Aug. 25, 2015
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Libel/Slander has three elements. Statement made. Was made with malice. Damages caused.

I suspect all three of those are met.

The statement being the truth is a defense though. The proof will be on those asking for their wins to be vacated.
Aug. 25, 2015
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So it could be anything from Lotan using Gal's account(s), and/or Gal using Lotan's account(s) with or without permission?

Never a dull moment when alleged sock puppets start posting.
Aug. 25, 2015
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I must admit to being curious about how Option #2 became an approved defense. It relies on the opponents not making a tactical pass out.

I tend to think that would be a rather glaring weakness if doing so wasn't considered a law violation.
Aug. 25, 2015
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I buy that the pass constitutes a response to a conventional bid (the “pass or correct” 3), but the problem here seems to be not even the description of 3 as “pass or correct” but rather the obvious bridge implication that comes along with that description.

Taken literally, “pass or correct” it is accurate. Opener will do one or the other – but it needs to be made clear to the opps that passing it out can actually be done for tactical reasons too, because in some situations bidding anything would be more likely to help the bad guys than it would us.

So the pass doesn't bother me as much as “Pass Or Correct” being misinformation.

So what's the right way to describe it?

“Correct or choose to do nothing?”

“Correct or Cower”?
Aug. 25, 2015
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Dumb question. Are you under any obligation to pre-disclose which multi defense option you play?

They have to pre-alert, and sure, they can ask…but my reaction to this problem is to continue to play option #2, and not mention it until the rules require me to do so.

If they go out of the way to ask, and *then* psyche once they inquired to find out if it was “free”, then the stink might be a tad more noticeable.
Aug. 25, 2015
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I had a feeling it was a sock puppet.

You might want to consider banning who it was that had the same IP address for the same infraction….
Aug. 25, 2015
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I'm very sensitive to tempo in auctions. I live in fear of someone thinking I took too long. So this is why I really try to bid at the *same* tempo whenever I can. Rarely if ever will I bid lightning-fast quickly. I try to stick to a 3-5 second range that always includes a look at my cards (unless my RHO had a long hesitation and then passed, or some other event clearly gave me all the time I could possibly need).

The logic behind this is that everyone has some terminal velocity they can bid at. You cannot think and bid any faster than that speed.

So if you consistently operate at terminal-v whenever you can, any difficult decision will be obvious – especially to your partner.

I once had an opponent think it was okay to have his bid card in his hand because mine was already in motion coming down to the table since he “always bids fast”. If he's right, that might be true. But it also means that he has no margin of error. Two seconds would be an unmistakable hesitation for that bridge player. He can't ever take that long.

I suspect that for any bridge player, whatever your median speed is would be an optimal goal to strive to bid at all the time. If nobody can tell if you had to think or not, you clearly didn't give off any unauthorized data, nor have you mislead your opponents.
Aug. 23, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Aug. 23, 2015
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Tempo is always subjective. To me, the question isn't “Was there hesitation?”. It was, “Could I (or some arbitrary-yet-consistently-applied-example-of-a-bridge-player) tell that they had some arbitrarily-yet-consistently-applied level of difficulty in deciding what call they made, and if so, could that person tell what they were considering?”

If the answer to the above question is some arbitrarily-yet-consistently-applied level of yes, then that person's partner is in receipt of Unauthorized Info.

The problem though is that in America, we routinely use incorrect units. For example, we habitually describe an object's mass in terms of force – that which the planet Earth pulls down upon it.

So in these cases, we simply must choose to gauge levels of difficulty in terms of unit time.
Aug. 23, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Aug. 23, 2015
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Then really truly bogus :-)
Aug. 22, 2015
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I once had this “brilliant idea”, where 2 TD's told me to go for it, and one told me I'd be smacked if I ever tried it (so I haven't):

If you make a skip-bid warning (maybe even if you don't) and you go to see your LHO with a bid card in his hand waiting to hit the table a nanosecond after yours does…

Place your bid table on the card FACE DOWN. Once your LHO bids, call the director. It's complete and irrefutable documentation of how out-of-tempo your LHO acted: He couldn't stop himself when you did that. One could argue he even bid out of turn.

It might be safer to always put your bid card face down and then turn it face-up when nobody bid out of tempo, if for no other reason than the same argument that has one always using the skip-bid card if they use it at all.
Aug. 22, 2015
Joe Hertz edited this comment Aug. 22, 2015
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Perfect example. No, you can't drive through a red light to make a right turn in most states. You have to stop first. It is a red light, after all.
Aug. 22, 2015
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You certainly should call the director as any argument that they didn't let you state a line of play is bogus. The Director's reaction would be telling as to what your next step is.
Aug. 22, 2015
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