Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Joel Shapiro
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Wow, Ray, clubs 14 miles apart! Here in Toronto the ACBL has no compunction about sanctioning new clubs 14 blocks apart. In one celebrated case several years ago, TWO blocks.
July 20, 2018
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One size never fits all. The problem with the above is the simple word “the”, as in THE bridge centre. Am I right that in Mpls/St. Paul there is only ONE ‘bridge centre’ in each city that is affected (and reimbursed) when there is a local tournament?

Won't work in the Greater Toronto Area. We have DOZENS of sanctioned bridge clubs, including several privately-owned for-profits. Mine was one of the latter until I had to close. No way the Unit would ever consider compensating all those clubs every time there is a tournament within an hour's drive, which is about TEN times a year. Make it a two-hour drive and there are nearly TWENTY tournaments every year, including at least three regionals. Also, no club here is even remotely capable of hosting a tournament - we need to go to a hotel, Legion hall, community centre, etc. Our largest sectional can draw 500 tables over three days - bigger, I think, than some regionals - and needs a hotel which costs over ten thousand dollars. Way beyond any club's ability to host.

I don't profess to know the answer to all this but it sure isn't to apply the methods that work in smaller places (or bigger places like Manhattan) to us up here.
July 19, 2018
Joel Shapiro edited this comment July 19, 2018
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I shudder to think what might happen if it ever becomes necessary to determine what the bridge meaning of ‘is’ is.
July 19, 2018
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First thing we do, we disqualify all the lawyers from playing in this event. - Shakespeare, updated
July 19, 2018
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Yes - the players came anyway, for a regular black point game, with no extra fees. 499er attendance might have been up a bit. But the Unit had 100 fewer tables for the week in their STac because we opted out for our open games.
July 19, 2018
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I ran that for many years on Friday evenings, in a game that was mostly A players, with some B's. Players could, at their option, contribute $2 to the pot and the house would match whatever was collected. Typically 2/3 of the players participated. Overall winning pair got 50% of the total pot, 2nd place 1/3, 3rd place the rest. Most thought it was a bit of fun but I doubt it really attracted much extra attendance. Usually the house contributed about $50.
July 18, 2018
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I did that years ago. STaC's for 499ers and below only. The STaC ended up with 100 fewer tables for the week. My attendance stayed exactly the same.

The issue of players finding the weakest possible field in which to compete has been a problem for years, ever since stratification started, but that horse has left the barn on the ship which has already sailed.
July 18, 2018
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I preempt or overcall once a week myself, but I don't gloat about it, because I get too many bottoms.
July 12, 2018
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I am sure that Mr. Willey actually wrote that the BoG members should be taken out and treated to a shot of whiskey (or whatever they prefer) and then return to their various deliberations in a better mood. Too bad the gremlins got at it.
July 11, 2018
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1. Stop sanctioning new clubs six blocks away from successful existing ones.

2. Re-test and re-certify club directors every time major revisions are made to the Laws, the alert procedures, or the convention charts. Say every ten years or so.
July 11, 2018
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No one complained at my club when we started using webs - they didn't take long to get used to them. However, we never ran webs for 10 or 14 tables - just a Mitchell with a skip - those movements were close enough to perfect that no one really cared. Even 11 and 15 were usually regular Mitchells. I always used webs, however, for 11.5, 12, and anything more than 15.

For odd numbers of tables from 17 to 39, you need three sets of boards. For even numbers of tables from 28 through 40, you need four.

I never had a problem with showing percentages or results either, because I never did. Even before we purchased Bridgemates, we always used pick-up slips, never travellers.

I also removed all our stop cards years before the ACBL got around to that. Again, only three old fogeys complained.
July 11, 2018
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I remember getting one of these requests years ago. I simply replied that we don't do private in-home lessons for individuals and that the ‘daughter’ should come to our club and join a set group. I gave them the club's address - publicly available information anyway. Never heard back. Could have been because I also asked for a $195 deposit to be mailed to the club upfront.
July 11, 2018
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I meant to click the 5 of clubs and clicked the 8 of diamonds instead. Is that a minor penalty card now?
July 2, 2018
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My club in Toronto stopped running STaC games several years ago, except for 299ers, for the following reasons:

1. Players balked at the extra fees - $2 or even $3 CDN.
2. Only 299ers care about winning additional silver points.
3. Our STaCs covered such a wide geographical area (in one case, all of Canada!) that one good pair in a five-table game in a small town could frequently win overall and players in large games in big cities never stood a chance.
4. Players balked at the extra fees.
5. In the Toronto area at least, we have so many sectionals within, say, a two-hour drive that if anyone really wanted to accumulate enough silver points for LM status and was willing to travel for just one year, it could be done easily.
6. Players balked at the extra fees.
7. At least one club with very large games and very few A players (essentially a 499er game) billed itself as Open and the few A players who played usually cleaned up. Similar gripe to point 3.
8. Players balked … you get the idea.
July 2, 2018
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Note to Mr.Burns - I think it was Pierre Berton who once remarked that the definition of a Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe.
June 29, 2018
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Back in the day, my golf handicap was my nine-iron.
June 29, 2018
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This may sound really crazy, but instead of offering existing players a cash incentive for recruiting new players, how about offering them masterpoints instead? Suppose I recruit a new member and that new member earns, say, four MP's in his/her first year of play. The ACBL can easily track that I was the newbie's ‘sponsor’ and award me some percentage, say 10%, of 4 MP's (unpigmented) as my bonus. To encourage me to keep the newbie interested, my bonus would be 20% of the newbie's second year winnings and 30% of the third year. Nothing more after that. Hopefully the newbie is hooked by then and doesn't need a sponsor any longer.

But wait, you say … aren't masterpoints supposed to be indicative of my own playing ability? Aren't they devalued enough already? Oh, that was another thread. Sorry.
June 29, 2018
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Several years ago a bridge club in Toronto opened up with the club on one side of a partition and a pub on the other. All well and good for the pub, but liquor laws then forbade anyone who was underage (under 19) to play bridge. The juniors were not amused.
June 27, 2018
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I didn't send them a Chanukah card either.
June 26, 2018
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Canadians would be horrified at the idea of guns in a bridge club.

However, I can see that in parts of the US, it would be considered normal - provided that descendants of Mrs. Myrtle Bennett are not welcome.
June 25, 2018
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