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All comments by Pat Norman
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Georgisna,

My thoughts as well.

Perhaps Dave could next look at if there is glass-ceiling discrimination in bridge?
Oct. 31, 2015
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I understand your argument about hired guns moving to where the money is. Consider, however, how much the Olympics improved when many of the sports recognized the charade of amateurism. And take tennis, the only true country by country test is every four years in the Olympics.

In order to support oneself by playing bridge (i.e. fully dedicate yourself to the game) you pretty much have to have some financial backing in order to keep your skill set up. Yes there are many players who have bridge as a secondary income, but without sponsors (or should the ACBL foot the bill) there is no real support system.

Unlike many sports like golf, tennis, even ice skating, there is not a large viewership, no big prize money (at least not in the US these days) etc.

Even in ice skating, some of the best moved from the “Iron Curtain” countries to the US and we welcomed them with open arms.

IMHO - bridge is fairly unique and not comparable to most other games in its hierarchical and monetary structure and cannot be viewed in the same way. If Roy Welland, who is obviously a fine player, chooses to move to Germany and try his hand against other German players in order to represent that organization, then it is okay with me.

If we must have a Bridge “Olympics” then so be it … once every 4-8 years. But like other “sports” having an annual championship for any team who qualifies (perhaps via some ratings point system along with special allowances for smaller NBO's) is going to tell us most who the best players are, no matter their citizenship.
Oct. 29, 2015
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Michael,

I started out playing in college, where room costs mattered a lot. My guess is that it still does for younger players.

Many seniors are on budgets, hence the grumbling when the local sectional or club raises entry fees by a dollar, so a near-by lower cost option might still be attractive.

In places like Orlando there are time-shares and cheaper hotels galore. It is not just the weather that is attractive. Ditto for Vegas and Reno, which used to have a very large regional in the hotel dead period between Christmas and New Years, hence rates were lower.

I am one of those that prefers to take a day or so off and see the sights, so that when I worked, I would actually vacation part of the time when attending a tournament.

One could test a price-point theory via survey.
Oct. 27, 2015
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It seems to me that cost is a much larger factor than the Reisinger timing for most attendees at Nationals. At one time a number of enterprising individuals, not related to the ACBL in any manner, would find blocks of rooms for less money both at the hotel venues and other hotels/motels that were relatively accessible to the playing site.

The ACBL frowned upon this because it supposedly made the cost of holding the Nationals in host hotels greater because larger guaranteed room occupancy represented cheaper ballroom space and more free rooms for ACBL employees/politicos/directors. It designated one official travel agent for all ACBL bookings. Host and ancillary hotels were informed that only that agent represented the ACBL.

In doing so, the ACBL may have benefited or not. I have not seen an analysis of what was gained or lost. If attendance was adversely affected by this … then the gain in free rooms and lowered costs might just be a chimera.

The “free market” worked very well in the old days. There was definitely a demand for cheaper air and hotel costs. I believe that demand still exists.

Oct. 26, 2015
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Adam, Thanks … I looked at the Reisinger team winners & runners-up history dating back to around 1930 and did not discern much difference in the quality of that list vs. the major knockouts.
Oct. 26, 2015
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We do know how to belabor a point here on BW don't we?
Oct. 20, 2015
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Nicholas, I too discussed with National Board Member here in my District. They were aware of the discussions and who was advocating a change. Not clear that they themselves advocated the change.
Oct. 20, 2015
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Sorry Michael - I am joining into this discussion as well.
We are not related to pigs except in far distant millions of years of evolution back when beady-eyed mammals shared the earth with dinosaurs (actually maybe millions of years closer than that but who's counting?). Modern man (us) has only been around for around 150,000 years more or less.

You might say that we are also part mushrooms since we share over 60% of our DNA with them as well.
Oct. 20, 2015
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Arno - Agreed that he had some good insight. However, when you had to sort through all the “junk” to get to it, not so much fun. That is the reason I have put a few individuals into the cone of silence here on BW. And, as there are many bright and capable posters on here, I am not bothered by the fact that I cannot hear the voice of a very few. No matter what, it is definitely inappropriate to annoy others by using the private e-mail feature here to harangue them. I enjoy sarcasm and dissidence very much, but not dissonance.
Oct. 17, 2015
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How about if they are just a pure pain and take up way too much of the voluntary time the BW admins devote to this site (and hence to us,the participants). Some people just suck all the air out of a room or a discussion.
Oct. 16, 2015
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I have been chemo'ed but my brain still works, albeit more slowly, and wanders. Does this mean I cannot play at more competitive levels because of many idiosyncratic huddles? I think I would expect constant director calls from most of the commenters here. For what it is worth, some players are more focused than others.
Oct. 15, 2015
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Having an excellent memory is a prerequisite for many of the games mentioned. In bridge it helps, but, I believe, it is not overriding. Math is also a useful skill, but verbal acuity (bidding) may also be important. Like poker, bridge requires much more knowledge of the propensity of your opponents than many other games.
Oct. 14, 2015
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Wanted to keep the bidding as low as possible to allow pard to enter this auction - as I don't think I am done bidding yet and would like to find out if pard is at all interested in my suit(s). Hence 1NT instead of 2NT.
Oct. 12, 2015
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Thanks Chris - Better IMHO. And I am too lazy to chase you with a butter knife.
Oct. 11, 2015
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Thanks for this thoughtful analysis. I also have the visceral reaction that the Reisinger is not as lucrative for professional players and requires a vigilance that is not duplicated in any other form of the game.
Oct. 11, 2015
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Judy,

I have deep respect for Bobby and his abilities and what he has done for bridge and did not intend my comment to denigrate what he said or who he is.

I do feel however that Bridge is different than many sports, in that amateurs get to test their mettle against the best players in the world. In golf, you have to pay dearly to enter a pro-am at the highest level. In bridge you can pay a minimal amount of money and play against the very best. And it is a game of instant gratification too … where you can get a good board against the very best. Sometimes cunning is as important as well-honed skills at our game.

I agree with Bobby that we should show what a wonderful game it is … but that it is fun because you get to play against the best if you choose. In chess you have to rise up through the ranks or take a master class.

It is a sport where you can be an active participant instead of just cheering on others. I think we do not advertise this enough. Poker comes closest but is not quite comparable.

I have always enjoyed putting my pearl handled Derringer on the table against the big guns. It can be just as deadly at close range.



Oct. 1, 2015
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Declarer is known distributional - If highly so with less HCP - then a club loser might just go away. It is not dummy's distribution I care about - it is declarer's. A heart lead may set up dummy's suit for a pitch, if not causing a quick pitch at tricks 2/3.
Oct. 1, 2015
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Corey,

Thank you for this. I too was unable through work, money, family, or health to play at higher levels as often as I would have liked. It is definitely ok to remind those who play at higher levels that the fight B Nobel Laureate does exist (I know at least one).

That said, it is invigorating to play at the higher levels and to see if one can be competitive. So many players today wish to avoid playing against the tough guys. I remember when we were all mixed in together and to do well in your section of a regional in what was called the masters pairs really meant something.

When the ACBL broke out groups into A,B,C but we all played against each other with the lesser flights being compared amongst themselves as how they did competing against all levels, I thought that was good for bridge. In fact I remember playing the Regional event at the Nationals one year containing all levels of players together that had 1080 pairs in the event.

I personally think the segregation of bridge into many small events has gone too far. Bobby Wolff should mingle with Sadie Glutz again for a small portion of the time.
We ourselves have created the gulf about which Bobby speaks.
Sept. 30, 2015
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Do we know the timing of the submission of the evidence either to the Polish League or the WBF?

Perhaps this matters in that each of the earlier cases occurred more than moments before Chennai.

In Israel, the Federation had time to review and actively made their decision.

In Monaco, presumably Mr. Zimmerman reviewed but it took public opinion and publications to get Monaco to withdraw.

In Germany, Mr. Welland and Ms. Zuken lobbied their teammates to get the truth. Those teammates buckled and withdrew themselves.

Poland - We do not have the timing on presentation nor have we seen the evidence provided. Perhaps the WBF and the Polish League did not have time to review thoroughly nor did the team see the information presented. Hence they truly did divide the baby … maybe that was incorrect but an argument can be made that at the last moment this was the only fair way to go.

This does not mean that their decision will not turn out to be a bad one.
Sept. 29, 2015
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Volunteering for testing here … if it works for me it will work for anyone. And I can break it pretty well too.
Sept. 27, 2015
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