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All comments by John Miller
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Eric, I wonder if “our 3rd seat openings are normally normal, but we do occasionally do something creative eg opening a short strong suit instead of a long weak one” isn't a little self-serving. I certainly try to be a difficult opponent in the sense that I don't want you automatically ascribing an accurate meaning to all of my actions. Making that statement accomplishes that purpose without my actually having to do something unusual. I wonder if there is more long-term gain from opponents not trusting me when I do absolutely normal things than from opponents trusting me when I do something unusual.

Not sure on this … just a thought.
May 19
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Well, that particular one was self-alerting, in some sense. The opponent asked my partner what my pass of Stayman meant, and he answered honestly that we had never discussed it and he had never seen me do it. He did, however, figure out my hand.
May 19
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In a BBO team practice I picked up something like xx Txxxx AKJ Kx and in third seat at favorable chose to open 1. Partner ended up on lead against 3N and led a diamond. I shifted to a heart and declarer, protecting against five hearts in partner's hand and three in my hand was careful to lose the late trick to me by leading up to his Q. Everyone was surprised when I cashed two hearts to beat 3N.

One of my teammates suggested that I need to self-alert (BBO) the 1 opening bid in the future, at least with this partner (who is my regular one). I have done similar one-off things in the past when a particular hand suggested a creative approach, such as a third seat 1N opener with a 3=3=2=5 pattern with AKQJ of clubs and no other high cards. I subsequently passed Stayman, in effect creating a weak 2 in clubs. It never occurred to me to do so before picking up the hand. Do I need to alert 1N from now on?
May 18
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Why do you think splinters don't help sort out five-level decisions?
May 15
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It's unknown on BBO for an auction to start with Double or Redouble
May 15
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It also matters if 1 (2) 2 is forcing or not. If not, it slightly increases the comfort of rebidding 2N with a minimum hand and bad hearts. Not a panacea by any stretch, but it helps on the margin for 2 to be non-forcing.
May 15
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Frances, I made that exact mistake years ago in a club game, except that the red suits were reversed. I wasn't as lucky; partner Texased with 4. At that point I noticed I had missorted my hand. I decided it was best to accept the transfer, after all, partner could have seven or eight hearts. He did not, and we got a cold bottom.

One advantage of BBO is never missorting your hand. Counting those long suits, though …
May 15
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Avon, I see it as a question of frequency. After an overcall, splintering in a side suit is 1) less frequently applicable, and 2) arguably helps the opponents more than partner. After a takeout double, 1) splintering comes up far more often than fit jumps, and 2) they have “shown” all of the remaining suits, so I am splintering in “their” suit. We just presume that if they make a takeout double and I have shortness it is their suit. The negative inference of me not splintering can be even more important than learning about the shortness when I do splinter.
May 15
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Those are two distinct auctions. I agree with the second, although we define 4 there as a splinter in the overcalled suit. In the first, showing where the shortness is helps partner with five-level decisions. Admittedly it could help the opponents as well, but my experience is that they don't need me to tell them where their fit is.
May 14
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Also, a small technical point … 10-2-1 is more than twice as likely as 10-1-1-1, although you are correct that 11-1-1 is more likely than 11-2.
May 14
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Four years ago I explored this topic in relation to powerball … https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/powerball/
May 14
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Word gets around … how did you hear about Marilynn?

I think this photo is much more attractive than the real one … did you ever hear the story of this photo?
May 12
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I was sitting East on this hand and it occurred to me later that putting in the 7 at trick one was a little wooden. A better card would have been the J, although I don't know whether it would have changed anything. Declarer did go down at our table in any case.
May 12
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People have been throwing around the 75% number … by my calculations, East would have to play J from J9x 7/8 of the time for ducking the Jack to break even. Practical bridge says cover.
April 29
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I had a weird not-entirely-parallel experience in a virtual club game a week+ ago. I was declaring and either a BBO glitch or an opponent being an a**hole was causing the “explain bid” box to repeatedly pop up so I couldn't see the dummy. I got the director to fix it somehow and played to trick one with three minutes left in the round. RHO, with nothing in particular to think about, refused to play to trick one until the round finished.

I texted the director saying that for the record I was taking the ruffing finesse (clearly the right bridge play) and noting that if my opponent were good enough to duck it twice I would end up with a decision on which spot to ruff with. No idea if opponent would be up to that. She gave me the most favorable result, I'm guessing, because my opponent never gave me the chance to reach the decision point by refusing to play to trick one.
April 29
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The more likely my partner is to raise with three, the more hands I would consider bypassing.
April 29
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I voted other because my homegrown Multi defense doesn't suffer from your potential ambiguity … advancer has a call which is a slam-try raise of hearts, albeit no direct way to splinter in spades. However, I also have a meta rule that applies to your auction (2) 2 (P) 4, that each partner has one opportunity to bid 4M naturally. The only exception is 1 - 4, which is a splinter. So your analogous auction would be natural for us.
April 24
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There's a flip side to this which I see because I live in an exurb and my wife is square in the middle of the relatively low level of bridge that is played locally. All of the local clubs have transitioned online, which I find remarkable, as the average age of the players is late 70's. They all know one another well, enjoy playing against each other, and have their own pecking order which I only dimly discern. Once in a while they will venture to a local regional, play a gold rush game (even though they are already life masters) and ask me afterwards if I played against that Asian guy (I think that one was referring to Itabashi) and oohing at the star power.

They don't want to play against you. When STAC week comes around they grumble at the nearby experts who never play in the game who show up because they think it is their best shot at getting 75% and winning the conference. I play with my wife in these clubs. Last week they needed a pair to fill in and they got two Poles(!) I was sitting the same direction so never figured out if I knew them but afterwards there were a lot of comments about how good they were. I doubt the Poles really enjoyed themselves. I know I treat these events as purely social occasions. Because I know my opponents and have gone to birthday parties I enjoy the game even though it isn't bridge as any person on this site would recognize. Yes, it's an open game, and they will be nice to you, but they won't like it if you keep showing up and getting 70%. They want their black points.
April 24
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I agree with not being a fan of passing 3N to show the sixth heart, but I only see five hearts in the original hand.
April 24
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I'll add that the (non-light) Meckwell auction will go through your hated 2N waiting bid.
April 24
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