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All comments by Joel Shapiro
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When I owned my club, there were three advertising methods that worked well. 1. Word of mouth. 2. Word of mouth. 3. Word of mouth. Google might have been sort of ok too.

What didn't work was flyers, community newspapers, large-circulation daily newspapers, city magazines, our Unit's quarterly publication, and radio. All of which could be quite expensive, and the ACBL's co-op program only paid a pittance. Mass-market sustained advertising campaigns in a big city like Toronto can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Also, the ACBL will only help out with campaigns for lesson programs and membership recruitment, not for games in general.

The ACBL is not to blame, however, for the demise of my club - ongoing construction of a new rapid transit line along the main street where we were located made it increasingly difficult for our players to get to us and to park, and the building where we were located has since been torn down for a fancy condominium. But we had a good run.
May 16
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This may sound real dumb, but maybe Harry's problem (that day anyway) could have been solved with a couple of fresh hearing aid batteries. It wouldn't be hard for a club to keep a few of the most popular sizes on hand.
Jan. 31
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I'd go with the silver bullet, as long as it says Coors on the outside of the can.
Jan. 12
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I was not blaming the ACBL for my club closing - yes, it's an anomaly - but Jeff wondered where all those tables went, so I told him.
Dec. 28, 2018
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I first heard it from my first sadistics, er, statistics professor at the U of Toronto way back in 1971. I don't remember his name.
Dec. 28, 2018
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Where did the 7000 tables go? Randy has it right. Either other clubs, including those that don't pay commercial rent, or they just dropped out of bridge.

We were paying $100,000 a year in rent and charging $10-$12 for a game. We had lessons, books for sale, novice games at several levels, and even some viable evening games. We've been out of business for two years now and people still tell us they miss us.

It was great while it lasted but all good things must come to an end. The ACBL was't much help - the co-op program is inadequate for a big city by two orders of magnitude, the extra fees for special games just turned players off, and we have more than 20 tournaments a year within reasonable driving distance, all siphoning players away. If anyone else had ever opened up two blocks away, the ACBL would have sanctioned them. But I'm not complaining…
Dec. 15, 2018
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Statistics are like bathing suits. What they reveal is interesting, and what they hide is essential.

My club, one of the 25 largest a few years ago with over 7000 tables, died because the city decided to build a subway right along our street, making access too difficult. Also, the building's owner tore it down to build a condo. The mayor's mother played at our club occasionally but that didn't help.
Dec. 15, 2018
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Poor ruling. The statement “I'm passing” is legal.
Oct. 12, 2018
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Actually, at my former club, we provided tablets upon request to all players. Advil, Tylenol, and Gaviscon were the most popular,
Oct. 11, 2018
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Me - 7 NT.
Opp - Double!
Me - Whoops, battery getting low, forgot my charger, see y'all later.
Oct. 11, 2018
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Based on the above table, it might seem that all future NABC's should be held in Toronto.
Oct. 11, 2018
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“Hand removed” is chess, not bridge. IMHO the director got this one right, and I would have ruled likewise.
Oct. 11, 2018
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A few years ago I was at a baseball game in the US (Philadelphia, I think, maybe Baltimore) and a vendor came down the aisle yelling “Bud Light, bottled water”. So I yelled back “What's the difference? He replied ”Four-fifty!"
Sept. 29, 2018
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What will happen when they exceed 2500 points is that the tournament will make the event 0-3000.
Sept. 8, 2018
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X is rather low. MMM might be a more reasonable threshold.
Aug. 29, 2018
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Funny you should mention American football. You state that a player who deliberately injures another on the field is subject to criminal sanction. I am amazed at how many NFL players have deliberately injured others (including their spouses) OFF the field and yet continue to play and be idolized by fans and make millions of dollars.
Aug. 29, 2018
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Worse than that. Three hands ago he led the jack of spades with the jack facing left. When he played that jack four hands ago, the jack faced right. Either he's doing something very improper, or he doesn't know jack about opening leads.
Aug. 29, 2018
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Fair enough, Peg - but as a director I am getting tired of dealing with complaints by the fastest pairs in the room that others who are noticeably more infirm are slowing the game down. Other responders mentioned gamesmanship - not you. Ten minutes behind is clearly way too much and I will always pull a board and penalize if that extreme lateness is the case. Some people will always complain if the pair ahead of them has only four cards to go.
Aug. 16, 2018
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Actual gamesmanship is one thing and must be discouraged - but let's all have a little compassion and understanding for players who, by reason of increasing age and infirmity, are simply not as fast as they used to be but still enjoy playing our game. So what if a two-board round goes for 16 minutes now instead of 15? So what if the whole round now lasts 3-1/2 hours instead of 3-1/4? More and more of us are getting older and slowing down, so before complaining and before calling the director ten times a session, RELAX. There But For The Grace Of God Goes You.

Before anyone flames me for this probably unpopular opinion, please remember that I am NOT talking about slow play as deliberate gamesmanship. That has to stop.
Aug. 16, 2018
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TANSTAAFL is a well-known acronym and useful mnemonic, attributable, I believe, to Robert Heinlein.

MNEMONIC: Making Names Easily Memorable Only Needs Initial Characters (attributable, I think, to Isaac Asimov).

See, I disclose my sources. But then again, I don't claim to be a bridge writer.
Aug. 9, 2018
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