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All comments by Richard Willey
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> It's difficult for Flight A opponents to keep up with
> all the latest ACBL regulations. Expecting Flight C
> opponents to do so is unreasonable in my view.

I suspect that handing down a score adjustment would be a useful incentive to encourage players to learn the rules of the game.

The players in question are competing in a game of skill.
They broke the rules.
There should be consequences.
3 hours ago
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I'm not sure that there is a “very good” solution to these problems.

There are a whole bunch of different things that different folks are optimizing for. Almost by definition, I think that whatever solution that is arrived at is going to make some people unhappy.

I think that the best thing that can be done is to provide radical transparency regarding the contracts that the ACBL has signed as to provide members with the opportunity to make informed decisions and to optimize their own responses.

For example, the ACBL Fall Nationals will be taking place in Tampa.

The ACBL should (immediately) publish the following pieces of information

1. The number of (non local) attendees that the ACBL projects will be attending
2. The list of host hotels that the ACBL has selected
3. The total number of rooms that are available in these hotels
4. The size of the room blocks that the ACBL had contracted with the various hotels
5. The prices that will be charged for different classes of rooms

In turn, this will allow players to estimate whether there is a real risk that the hotels will immediately run out of space as happened a couple days back and take steps to protect themselves.

In a similar vein, it would be interesting to understand precisely what happened in Montreal. In particular, how many rooms did the ACBL believe would be required and what was the total size of the room blocks that the ACBL contracted for?

In addition, the ACBL membership was told that the ACBL re-negotiated its contracts with host hotels to try to minimize a repeat of the Hawaii debacle a couple years back. Did this result in a decrease in the number of rooms that the ACBL reserved?

As I said originally, I'm not sure whether there is any kind of perfect solution, however, however, I think that the chances of ending up with anything that is even adequate drops dramatically if these types of details are hidden from the membership. Moreover, I would question the management of any organization that was hiding these details from its membership.
4 hours ago
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The ban on opening 1NT with a small singleton is a stupid rule, but its a rule none-the-less.

If you break said rule, you should be prepared to have the book thrown at you.
6 hours ago
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Peg, its possible to use Google to restrict your searches to a specific site or set of web pages

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-do-a-google-site-search

Note: This presumes that the content is stored as a web page rather than, say, a PDF.

If you're playing around with PDFs or Documents, GREP is your friend
9 hours ago
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> So what do you recommend for those wanting to
> play in the GNT if they in their district, but won't
> know whether or not they qualify until May?

Book an AirB&B today
If you fail to qualify, cancel
9 hours ago
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The event in question is called Worldcon

Individual Worldcons are “branded”. The Worldcon that is scheduled to take place in Washington DC is being called DisCon. The event that is taking place this year in New Zealand is called CoNZealand.

You normally have between 4.K –> 6K people attending an event.

These days, the events run for roughly a week

The current entry fee to attend the entire event in New Zealand is roughly $300 USD. (WorldCon uses a sliding scale. The earlier you purchase a ticket, the cheaper it is). There are options to purchase day passes and the like.

Each WorldCon features a vote to select the location for the WorldCon that will be held two years hence. (Various teams compete for the right to host the future event) So in Dublin, in 2019, folks choose Washington DC as the location for the 2021 event.
22 hours ago
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> What does matter is that a stopperless 1NT overcall
> has the same effect as a psych on an inexperienced
> player who doesn't know such a thing exists.

Learning new things is very much part of playing a game of skill

> I've talked to many such players about how
> they respond to unpleasant surprises

Why do you frame this as “an unpleasant surprise” when, in many cases overcalling 1NT without a stopper is a perfectly valid choice of bids. Please reference the following bidding poll where an overwhelming majority of players are choosing to overcall 1NT without a minor suit stopper.

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-2-9x13qr32da/

> and at least half jump to the conclusion that they can and
> should do the same thing. If a stronger player does it, it must
> be okay.

Great! Your players are capable of learning.

FWIW, I probably wouldn't choose a 1NT overcall with this particular hand. I think that I prefer 1 and maybe even double. But, this sure as hell isn't something that I am going to get worked up over.
Jan. 18
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FWIW, I posted the following hand as a bidding problem, asking what folks would do following a 1 opening to their right

AT
KQ83
AQJ8
872

With 40 people answering, 22 chose a 1NT overcall.
The next most popular bid (pass) was chosen by 11 people

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-2-9x13qr32da/

The reason that I bring this up is it would appear that overcalling 1NT without a minor suit stopper isn't necessarily “that player's ‘weird bidding system’ ”, but rather, perfectly normal bidding.
Jan. 18
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> I see worldcon or discon has an event at the sheraton
> wardman park in Washington DC aug 25-29, but I can
> not find a program to give me a room rate for the
> event. https://discon3.org/

Did you check what year Discon is taking place?
Jan. 18
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> You wrote aggressive critical words with no hope of
> improving the situation — outwardly sounding ego
> driven comments — apparently wanting to appear
> knowledgeable — but demonstrating ignorance.

And here, I thought that I was offering a good constructive solution

1. Don't trust the ACBL with respect to room reservations
2. Book your own rooms in advance (potentially with cancellation clauses)
3. Treat the ACBL's room offers as an option

It's the same advice that I have been giving people for years.

> For one thing, many did not know they were
> ”planning to go months ago” … and many players
> want only to stay at a host hotel … what kind
> of a comment is that? A person with children
> (grown children are uncontrollable, have
> you noticed?) is an idiot for not scheduling
> their vacation months in advance —
> before their family makes plans?

Then take advantage of a cancellation clause. You won't get quite as good a deal, but I'm guessing that you'll still be a whole lot better off

But, I can't help but note once again that five minutes search this AM shows a bunch of well reviewed hotels as close as or closer to the convention center at very attractive prices. If you are willing to use Air B&B, you can save an enormous amount.
Jan. 18
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> You write, ”It’s a shame when an organization goes
> out of a way to victimize its members, but in the
> case of the ACBL, it has been well known for
> decades.” Please spare me and other members
> of the ACBL your pity, its rejected.

Back in 2001 I decided to attend the ACBL Fall Nationals in Las Vegas.

I looked into the hotel rates that the ACBL was offering and discovered, much to my surprised, that I was able to get rooms at the same hotel for significantly less, simply by calling the hotel directly. I was actually able to book at roughly 2/3rds the ACBL rate by using one of the crazy new online sites. I've been watching this sort of nonsense unfold ever since.

I don't dispute that there are occasions in which the ACBL is able to provide good rooms at deep discounts. The recent Nationals in San Francisco look to be just such as case. But, balanced against this there have been a lot of cases in which the hotel rates have been exploitatively expensive.

From the looks of things the (non-existent) rooms that are being supposedly being offered in Montreal certainly have an attractive price. However, I can't help but note that it's possible to do a whole lot better booking an Air B&B in the same location. And, even today, can find deals like the following the same distance from the Convention Center as any of the host hotels.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g155032-d259456-Reviews-Le_Square_Phillips_Hotel_Suites-Montreal_Quebec.html

(US dollars admittedly. The cost in Canadian dollars is about the same as the ACBL room rates in the host hotels. However, these rooms actually exist)
Jan. 18
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Chris, I am calling bullshit

First and foremost, I have friends who are responsible for negotiating contracts with hotels for events like WorldCon, Arisia, and the like. And somehow, they are able to accomplish this with the elaborate set of cross subsidies that you the ACBL insists is required to book ballroom space and the like. I specifically asked friends whether the practice of folding the cost of ballrooms into the price being charged by the room blocks is mandated by the hotels and they said “No”. Hotels and event organizers like to do this, but that this should be avoided unless you can get very good deals

1. It makes the hotel rooms artificially expensive
2. Attendees are smart enough to notice and find alternative accommodations (either in the same hotels or nearby)
3. The organization will run into problems meeting its commitment for room blocks and will incur penalty charges

The smof (the “secret masters of fandom”) actually have a nice little guide that describes best practices for n

http://conrunner.net/wiki/index.php?title=Hotel_Liaison&fbclid=IwAR29KxVRrb371SnAQqdxGgD1SlntpxOmA9DD_BjyL835KsyTI6LeDwroaZs#Proposal_and_Due-diligence

The following is one of the very first guiding principles expressed in the guide. (Emphasis is my own)

Typical proposals will offer you a “room block,” which is a commitment by the hotel to hold a certain number of rooms for your attendees to book at a discount rate. This is analogous to reserving tables at a restaurant. The room block will have an expiration (where unused rooms are released back to the hotel) and will often include an attrition clause. The attrition clause will require you to pay for unused rooms, up to a certain maximum. 60% to 80% is common. DO NOT ACCEPT OFFERS WHERE THE ROOM COST IS HIGHER THAN WHAT THE HOTEL OFFERS OR WHERE TRAVELOCITY OR OTHER DISCOUNT SITES CAN OFFER A BETTER DEAL. Almost always, the room block will be expressed in terms of “room nights,” which is “each night a room is booked.” IF YOUR ATTENDEES HAVE NO INCENTIVE TO BOOK ROOMS THERE, THEY WILL NOT DO SO AND YOU WILL BE LEFT FOOTING THE BILL. Cheaper, nearby hotels can also affect how many rooms you will book.
Jan. 18
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No offense, but who in their right mind would trust the ACBL with respect to managing hotel rooms?

If I were planning to go, I would have booked rooms on my own via Air B&B or TripAdvisor or some such weeks if not months back with an option to cancel. And then, when the ACBL rooms opened up, if I felt like it, I could have tried to improve on what I had.

It is a simple fact of life that

1. The ACBL is grossly incompetent when managing these issues
2. The ACBL's room contracts are deliberately designed such that member's rooms rates subsize the event (and are therefore artificially expensive)

It's a shame when a membership organization goes out of its way to victimize its members, but in the case of the ACBL this has been a well known fact for decades.

If folks haven't figured this out yet and haven't figured out how to protect themselves, well hard to know what to say…
Jan. 18
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No offense, but who in their right mind would trust the ACBL with respect to managing hotel rooms?

If I were planning to go, I would have booked rooms on my own via Air B&B or TripAdvisor or some such weeks if not months back with an option to cancel. And then, when the ACBL rooms opened up, if I felt like it, I could have tried to improve on what I had.

It is a simple fact of life that

1. The ACBL is grossly incompetent when managing these issues
2. The ACBL's room contracts are deliberately designed such that member's rooms rates subsize the event (and are therefore artificially expensive)

It's a shame when a membership organization goes out of its way to victimize its members, but in the case of the ACBL this has been a well known fact for decades.

If folks haven't figured this out yet and haven't figured out how to protect themselves, well hard to know what to say…
Jan. 18
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No offense, but who in their right mind would trust the ACBL with respect to managing hotel rooms?

If I were planning to go, I would have booked rooms on my own via Air B&B or TripAdvisor or some such weeks if not months back with an option to cancel. And then, when the ACBL rooms opened up, if I felt like it, I could have tried to improve on what I had.

It is a simple fact of life that

1. The ACBL is grossly incompetent when managing these issues
2. The ACBL's room contracts are deliberately designed such that member's rooms rates subsize the event (and are therefore artificially expensive)

It's a shame when a membership organization goes out of its way to victimize its members, but in the case of the ACBL this has been a well known fact for decades.

If folks haven't figured this out yet and haven't figured out how to protect themselves, well hard to know what to say…
Jan. 18
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The accuracy of one's disclosure

Traditionally, within the ACBL you were not allowed to have any kind of agreements regarding psyches. One was forbidden from disclosing the frequency with one might psyche or what types of hands one might want to psyche with.

However, if a convention were to be legal, one was allowed, neigh required, to explain it to the opponents.
Jan. 17
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I very much doubt that I'd have any interest in playing at any club that you were administering, so it sounds like everything would turn out for the best…

FWIW, your comments bring the following quote to mind: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it”
Jan. 17
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> I take pride in the fact that I don't need to make
> psychs or bids that fool the weaker players to
> win a club game. If anything, it makes winning
> more meaningful.

Personally, I couldn't care less about you and your personal aesthetics. If this is the way that you choose to play, so be it.

Regretfully, I think that you have let these beliefs color how you are administering your games and this strikes me as highly problematic.
Jan. 17
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I hardly think that it is elitist to expect that games be run according to the rules rather than random whims on the part of the club owner / club members.

Games are defined by their rules. To me, the height of arrogance is claiming that some set of personal aesthetics should be given higher standing than the rules of the game and, more specifically, imposed on third parties.
Jan. 17
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