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All comments by Ping Hu
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I think the best way to handle these hand is using Gazzilli coupled with Drury. You won't miss game if opener has a good hand.
March 20, 2018
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@Nic, I don't have a lot of questions for you, just two of them that other people have asked for?

1. How did your role change from ACBL's program manager for ACBLscore+ to a for-profit company owner who got the project? I've search all your posts on Bridgewinners, but could not find a clear answer. I doubt there are anything in NDA that forbids you to say about this matter.

2. Do/did you have any business relationship with anyone/organization working for or affiliated with ACBL? I doubt this has anything to do with NDA because it is not about your relationship with ACBL. However you may have other reasons not to want to answer it. Since you did you give a straight answer as I did, I would guess the answer would be YES.
March 17, 2018
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@Nic I've come back home last Tuesday and back to my work now. I have not said you were an ACBL employee. It is just in the BOD minute I found you were “hired” as the program manager for ACBLscore+. No matter you are an employee or contractor you were suppose to act with ACBL's interest if you took that position. People here are asking for answers. Did you explain how and when you changed the role and got the project for yourself and eventually cost us 2M?

You just could not change your habit of criticizing other people. I've said I won't gone in details about Charlotte but you keep bring it up. Let me give you a quick answer here.

My program was used to run 3 KO start. In my previous work with D7 directors we used a wired projector without any problem. So this time I had the director installed my program on his laptop previous day and ready to go. Mitch Hodus came in and brought a wireless projector he wanted to use in San Diego. The director tried to install the software on his laptop to connect to projector but it did not work. It took more than 40 minutes before we finally gave up. We switch back to TD's laptop and tried to start the program because it is time to start selling entries. We could start Bridgemate and realized it would not start because TD had on older version. At that point I could have decided to call a quit. But Mitch and I were only going to be there for couple days and we don't want to miss any opportunities. Mitch said his laptop had latest version of Bridgemate. So we installed my program on his computer and started Bridgemate and taking entries. Everything worked well until we tried to bracket when program did not respond. Later on I found it was caused by a manual file copy during installation, instead of copy file from flash drive to pc, it only created a symbolic link. Later on the flash drive was removed so the program stopped to be responsive when it could not find the file. I realized the problem right way and advised TDs to fall back to old process. The delay caused a slow start, but the time from entry close to TD posted pairing is more like in 15-20 minutes.

The second KO was a simple 64 team event. TD just decided to make 4 brackets and with a couple click pairing was created and published on projector. The whole process from decision (about bracket) made to pairing up on screen was just about 20 second. Non-eventful. In 3rd KO start, we experienced wireless connection problem with projector. But the delay was minimum (1-2 min) and director just used my bracket and paired randomly as they usually do.

If you think you have grievance with ACBL, I have mine as well. Before San Diego I wrote to them and concerned about wireless connection with projector and hope they could do something to make it reliable but nothing was done. Initially I was told I could run my program for the whole tournament and I had made my plan to I could be available the entire tournament. When I got there I learnt you and another vendor will give demo. Each one of us will only run one KO and one Swiss. After my first KO ran into problem after projector unplugged, I asked for another chance to run KO again. ACBL said no. However I would not opening criticize ACBL on this forum. This is where we differ.

As of how to compare our programs, I'll leave that to users to decide.
March 15, 2018
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@Nic: I've already given you my answer - absolutely not!

Now, will you answer my questions to you?!

When this thread started, I've been reluctant to comment because I'm involved in the certification program. I hope someone from ACBL could provide some information to clarify it. It is only when this thread going from accusation to personal attack, I decided to jump in to give some real information. I absolutely agree that players has the right to know how ACBL spent its money. As I said in my first comment, I hope this will bring us back to a discussion on issues from accusation.

If you feel you were offended by my comments, I'm sorry I just asked the same questions other players want to know but in a more direct way. When Ed Judy asked where the 2 million dollars went, your answer was lawyers and I said “follow the money trail”. When we dig in more on that issue, I found you were first hired by ACBL to run the ACBLscore upgrade program, later your own company was awarded the project. In any other company it is not possible to spend any money (not say 2M) on a project without a Proof of Concept. A program manager who got a project for his own company is unheard of. A program manager working for ACBL has a professional responsibility to ACBL to act on client's interest. Wasn't there a conflict on interest when your own company the project? If this is in industry your company would be barred from making a bid. I don't know a lot of this before. It is only in this thread they came up to the light.

In the company I worked for (Thomson Reuters), when a development project failed to deliver what it supposed to do, the entire department got laid off. Once there was a junior operator in India who made a mistake and accidentally deleted a lot data and caused a major disaster for customers, the senior executive was fired. Someone has to take responsibility. You have been on this “ACBLscore upgrade” for four years but could not satisfy your client need. Now ACBL gave you another chance but you started to use this forum to discredit ACBL again.

Even though I have my own opinion about you and this whole ACBLscore+ ordeal, I've never criticized you in public. However you have tried to bridgewinners to make others looking bad and brag about yourself. So let's set the records straight.

In San Diego, ACBL asked to use my program to run a KO start and a Swiss team. My program was installed on an ACBL laptop. For Swiss team it was the TD who ran the program. I sit besides him and only provided answers when he had a question. The program ran with Bridgemate, players typed in their ACBL number and scores for each board just like in pair game. At the end of round, TD used my program to calculate each match results and update ACBLscore. Then he used ACBLscore to create next round pairing and use my program to send pairing to Bridgemate. In the meantime he published the pairing using projector. During round 2 and 3 there were slow tables at the end. He even figure out a way to get a partial match result (with one board missing) and used that in ACBLscore to generate next round pairing to get it started. Later when that board result came in from Bridgemate my program could update ACBLscore with the real match score. This whole process went smoothly and players' comment were all positive. Someone asked why didn't ACBL do this early.

My software was also used in a KO start. Unlike current ACBLscore and other vendor program that simply takes player's bracket entry (the team masterpoints) “as is”. My program has the ability to have players entering their player number from Bridgemate. Then my program could check ACBL player database to calculate team MP and use them in bracketing. This eliminated the problem to put a team in wrong bracket that sometimes happen with other programs due to human error in data entry. At the end my program also creates the real ACBLscore game file with all brackets and player's name. This saved a lot of work from TD so they don't have to manually type in each player's number into ACBLscore. The event my program ran was expected to have about 60 teams, but 86 showed up. Most of them came right before the entry should be close. At game time (1pm) there were still about 20 team in the line to buy entries. When the entry was closed it was already 10 minutes past. Then TD created the bracket using my program in about 3-4 minutes. It was delayed a little bit because the dot matrix printer took more than two minutes to print out the team list (too bad we did not have a laser printer there). I don't know how yours and other vendor's program do bracketing. My program allows TD total control on how to break each bracket, and he has options to move individual team up and down after that. Once he satisfied with brackets he could use my program to do table assignment and publish them using projector. At the time we were publish pairing, we found the projector was disconnected. There were more than 10 feet from TD table to the projector and later on we round some player unplugged the projector. (I've written about this incident in San Diego thread and won't repeat them here). With projector gone (this wasted another 3-5 minutes), we had to fall back to old way to use rack to publish pairing. We did bracket one but it was just slow trying to read each team and table number one by one and put them on the wall. So director decided just using my bracket and randomly pair teams within bracket like they usually do. Once this was complete and players started to play it was about 1:30pm. Then there was a team complaining about being assigned to wrong bracket. So director has to go through the usual procedure to change bracket. It turned out there were a KO and a CKO start at the same time in same room. Two of teams who each bought entry in each event decided to swap their entry without notify TD. When every dust settled it was 40 minutes past game time and Gary Blevins decided to issue each player a 50% refund in entry fee.

Despite of these misshape TD still used the brackets created from my program. At the end my program created ACBLscore file with all bracket data with player names. Although they did not completely used my table assignment, they only need some adjustment in ACBLscore to swap teams to make them agree with actual pairing.

I'm going to let everyone making his/her own judgement about what “success” means. And I would be interested to see how other vendor's program would do in case of delayed entry time and projector being unplugged.

In your early Bridgewinners' post you also mentioned my program was used in Charlotte but used only for two days and speculate it was a failure. The matter of fact it was due to my personal schedule. I still had a full time job and very busy. I could only spent two days in Charlotte. The complete story in Charlotte needs a separate thread and I'm not going to write any details here.
March 14, 2018
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@Nic I have no business relationship and any personal interest with Bridge Finesse.

Would you disclose all your business relationship with any other people or organization working or affiliated with ACBL?
March 14, 2018
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The certification program is only for vendor's product used by TD to run tournament like Swiss team and KO start. There were three of us in San Diego. Bridge Finesse is not in the certification program.

As I understand ACBL mainly utilize Jay's program to display results. It also utilize program's from BBO and Bridgewinners. In ACBLlive you could see the acknowledgement of these three vendors when it uses these services. It is more of a disclaimer to let user know the content was produced by third party.
March 14, 2018
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@Nic. Could you tell us what you did after you take over the project as the manager? It sounded like ACBL had high hope on you and stopped looking for CTO. Do you go through the normal SDLC starting from POC etc.?
March 9, 2018
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This is in contradiction from what Donald Mamula said. Hope he could answer this question.
March 9, 2018
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Nic, this is even more amazing. How could a project move on when POC was not successful. Did you make this decision when you were the manager?

Don, do you agree with Nic's statement? How much more we don't know?
March 8, 2018
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I should add Gary also told me not to contact tournament directors to set up more tests. So Nic is not alone in this. Now it is up to Greg to decide how to run this certification program.
March 8, 2018
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How did I get player's acbl number from their name? I could not figure it out.
March 8, 2018
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I'm speechless. So ACBL first hired (or contracted out) a non bridge player to do POC for its critical software. Then hired a CEO without much bridge experience in the same time frame.
March 8, 2018
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I meant this a feature in ACBL live and it is easier to get than Commongame, just type in player names. So what is the point of OP?
March 8, 2018
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@Donald Mamula, could you confirm what Nic said is true. ACBL first hired a non bridge player Steve Bailey to do a POC for upgrade ACBLscore. Then hired Nic as program manager. Eventually award the project to Nic's own company? In all this time, Jim Luposhinsky is on side line?

I'm not aware Jay was also a candidate for CEO in 2011. It looks like ACBL made a lot of mistakes at that time.
March 8, 2018
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You could go to ACBLlive and type in anyone's name and find their game results. In commongame at least you need to know someone's player number that is not always available. So this is not anything worse than ACBLlive.
March 8, 2018
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I would like to provide some additional information. Hopefully it could help to turn this thread from accusation to discussion.

I'm also one of the vendors ACBL asked to do a demo on San Diego (see San Diego NABC thread). Besides Nic and me, a third vendor Greg Coles also made demo.

Early this year I got an e-mail from ACBL about the certification program saying any vendor needs to have their program successfully run in three tournaments, San Diego does not count. I started to contact some directors to run my program in regional and sectionals. After I informed ACBL my plan, I was told it needs to be regional or national, sectional does not count. Up to about one month ago I was still told ACBL will arrange us to run test in Philly NABC.

Two weeks ago I received an e-mail from Gary Blevins that ACBL has decided not to run tests in Philly (same message as Nic got). His message also said ACBL has hired Greg Coles to join its IT team to lead the Vendor Certification program. I immediately replied with my displeasure because I'm made all my travel arrangement to Philly. I contacted Jay Whipple to ask what changed. Jay was not aware this at all and asked me to call Gary directly. I called Gary later and was told the plan will change after Greg is on board. The goal is to test and certify programs in regionals and use them in Atlanta NABC. So it sounds like everything (what to do next) is in Greg's hand now.
March 8, 2018
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@Don, you were on BOD at that time. What happened to Steve Bailey, who did initial study? His name seems disappeared. Was Jim Luposhinsky ever involved in this project. It is hard to believe with such talent in ACBL, this project failed so miserably.
March 8, 2018
Ping Hu edited this comment March 8, 2018
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Just follow the money trail.
March 8, 2018
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Ray and John, I read that investigation by Adam. It raised more questions. Adam said in his report, “The ACBL was unwilling to share a copy of Bailey’s report with me, so my assessment of the committee’s recommendations is based on the recollections of the committee members who spoke with me.” I could find an early report mentioned this committee at
http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/about/1101-exhibits/2011_1_Louisville_Steering.pdf
It has some estimate for cost and optimistically expect it to be fully working by April 2012.

Adam's report also did not explain how Nic's role changed from an ACBL employee (Project Manager for ACBLscore) to a for-profit company owner that got the same project he supposed to manage.

What was also interesting is the Seattle report recognized the importance of technology and recommended hiring of a CTO “with a deep understanding of all theory (technology), application (technical matters), and bridge.” What happened with this recommendation? It is too bad we could not find a person like Jay at that time.
March 7, 2018
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It looks like a lot of people (including me) are not happy about this 2 mil waste. I tried to search over ACBL website to see how we got there. It seemed to start in 2011. The following report indicated Nic was hired as Manager to oversee the project. However any details after that is hard to find.
http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/about/1103-exhibits/2011_3_Seattle_Technology_Report.pdf
March 7, 2018
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