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All comments by Sabrina Miles
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I don't like the idea that some folks, based on their “celebrity status” would be treated differently than others. If the purpose of punishment is to discourage repeat offenses by the offender and simulteanously inform the masses of potential consequences of their own actions, then full disclosure of all disciplinary actions would seem the wiser course. Indeed, I think folks can learn as much – if not more – from the discipline of joe six pack, who they are more akin to than from learning what happened at the upper echelon of the bridge world.

I don't think many, if any, folks would disagree with a cry for more transparency. At the same time, one must acknowledge that for the good of the organization sometimes transparency is not the be all and end all.

What I learned from the threads regarding MP (both of them) is that: 1) folks tend to jump to conclusions without considering the other side (I guess I have always known this, but I must admit that it continues to astound me each time I encounter it from rather sophisticated folks, e.g., bridge players ); and 2) folks tend to have an abject mistrust of the ACBL and its decisions. I really don't know why folks mistrust the ACBL. Might transparency alleviate some of the mistrust? Perhaps. However, the depth of the mistrust, the level of resentment/thoughts of ineptitude are far greater than one would anticipate seeing from members who are part of an organization. As a relatively new member of ACBL, I feel most comfortable questioning my representatives. I have yet to not get an answer to my queries. I trust that my representatives interest is in ensuring that good bridge is provided for and to me. I have not always been in lockstep with the answers to my queries, but I feel confident that my concerns have been heard, and passed on where necessary. What more could I ask from my ACBL reps? Further, I trust that the questions/inquiries are passed up the line and addressed. So, I guess, I just don't understand the cynicism. I don't think that transparency alone will address this seemingly deep-seated cynicism. But I am not sure what will.
Aug. 20, 2015
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An apology is an acknowledgment of an offense or failure. Here, you seem content to pass the whole thing off on the ACBL publication (which, to my reading did not say that Mike cheated). It seems you still refuse to acknowledge that you grotesquely jumped off the ledge, whatever the impetus. And, to me, that is no apology at all. But then again, you don't owe the apology to me, maybe Mike is fine with you passing the buck.
Aug. 18, 2015
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I did not know that etiquette required one to play with his/her partner for the duration of an event – albeit they did not qualify to go on in the event. Who made that rule? Is it common? What's wrong with “thanks for the games, sorry we didn't do better, I'm going to try my hand at the regionals….hope you have a good day”?

In the matter here, I don't understand your partner stating that he wanted to play with you and then leaving you. That, in my opinion is a breach of protocol. When he said lets go play a regional, he is then obligated not to leave you at the desk….it's most akin to dancing with the one who brought you.

But this is a good thing to highlight. I will make sure I discuss it with potential partners before the inevitable occurs.
Aug. 18, 2015
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“I think your conjecture that EW were using the rules to their advantage is unfounded.” First, please read what I wrote. Although I did not state that this EW used the rules to their advantage, it clearly is my belief that more experienced pairs do so. In this case, it is my opinion that there would be little reason to call the TD as soon as dummy came down if EW did not have reason to believe that N might not have a 4cM.

“Attributing malice to EW is unduly harsh, and IMHO, not at all justified.” The attribution of malice is wholly on you, not me or my comments. I do not believe that using the rules to get the best possible result for your team is malice. The rules have a purpose. And as long as the rules are in place, folks are entitled to whatever redress they might provide. My insinuation regarding the utilization of the rules by the more experienced players was more a query whether the rules should be changed so that actual damage need to be shown before a penalty is imposed. I suggest that a pair playing 4-way transfers with 20K master points between them is not damaged by the failure to alert. They know better. And I dare say, the rule regarding alerts was not put in place to protect them. Yes, I know it is a slippery slope to put such rulings in place. But it is food for thought. Nonetheless, as long as the rules read as they do, then NS had an obligation to alert and EW were entitled to take advantage of the rules – as I believe they did.
Aug. 18, 2015
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I find it interesting that E did not open the hand. I also think it interesting that E-W believed they were damaged by the non-alert. How many playing the Senior Swiss do not play 4-way transfers? In 4-way transfers the 2NT bid always suggests that responder may not have a 4cM. It surprises me that the more folks know about bridge, the more they use the rules to their advantage to penalize opponents for trivial matters that truly do not make a difference.
Aug. 18, 2015
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I don't think the brief synopsis in the bulletin labelled you a cheat. It described your “crime” and set forth your punishment. The fallout was merely gossip run amok. Unfortunately, some folks will believe the worse about anyone without any factual basis or any logical analysis.

I find it incredible that some would believe that your crime was cheating and simultaneously believe that ACBL condoned such behavior with a slap on the wrist punishment. There is no logical nexus between the two. But maybe the disconnect says more about folks belief in the ACBL than it says of folks thoughts about you. How folks could belong to an organization that they have so little faith in upholding basic tenets of fairness is astounding. As a relatively new member of ACBL it seems to me that the organization has its work cut out to remind folks of its mission and instill confidence in its decisions.
Aug. 18, 2015
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Nat, you're quite mistaken about the ABA. It was not formed as a “specialized organization” catering to people of color. It was formed at a time when several units in the ACBL refused to let people of color compete in their clubs. The ACBL submitted the question of admission to its members in ‘49 and the admission of black members were overwhelmingly disapproved. It wasn’t until 1961 that folks of color were admitted. It's not surprising that folks who were prohibited from playing in the ACBL would form an alternative organization that permitted them to play the same game. It happened in other sports, e.g., baseball, bowling. BTW, unlike the ACBL, the ABA never banned or limited the participation of white folks.
Aug. 17, 2015
Sabrina Miles edited this comment Aug. 17, 2015
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My understanding of the brief synopsis in the bulletin is that Passell was found guilty of violating 3 laws. Prearranging a deal, or part thereof, was just one aspect. One can't really tell exactly what he has or has not done from the information given. It seems to me that if you can't tell exactly what he has done/been found guilty of, it is fool-hardy to attempt to pass judgment on the discipline imposed.
Aug. 17, 2015
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Umm…Peg, that depends whether you were on a 4, 5 or 6 person team…j/k.
Aug. 6, 2015
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For me, it would depend on whom I am playing with: with a couple partners I would open 2 - hear controls response - 2NT (depending on control answer) - knowing that a 5-3 fit would be found because we play puppet. I would also know that if I hear 3 (an A and K) that slam is looking real good and would explore starting with my suit.

With other partners, I would bid 2 - 2 waiting - 2 - whatever (besides 2NT) 3 and either 4 or 3NT to play.
Aug. 5, 2015
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With due respect, I think the absolute worse argument for retaining any rule and/or practice is that “we've always done it that way.” Thank goodness our country has evolved in the last 200 or so years; it has done so because so many folks refused to believe that “because we have always done it that way” was a valid reason to continue some rather unfair practices.

I said that to say this: if you have a reason for keeping the MP system as it is (for KO events) then put forth the argument, but please don't suggest that because we've always done it that way is a valid argument.
July 27, 2015
Sabrina Miles edited this comment July 27, 2015
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I don't understand your argument. Money has value, thus you believe it makes sense not to increase the prize money for teams of 5-6. But MP have no value you state, thus, you see no reason not to increase them for teams of 5-6. If MP have no value, what's the difference in not increasing them? Obviously they have value. Sponsors spends 100K's on pro's to win. If the sponsors do not care about the MP, what exactly is the problem? If they do care about them, why should ACBL sell them?
July 27, 2015
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hmmmm, your surmise is surprising, especially since S opened the bidding in first seat. Yeah, in 2nd seat – maybe in 2nd or 3rd seat, I could see your point. But in first seat, N anticipates, that her partner opens in first seat with, at minimum, 12 HCP, and after the second bid…with at least 12 HCP and 6…for the 3 bid….now N can anticipate that p has at least 7 and 14 HCP.
April 21, 2015
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On second thought, , X shows …at least 3 pieces…and 8-10 HCP. It still says “do something intelligent partner.”
April 21, 2015
Sabrina Miles edited this comment April 21, 2015
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Very enjoyable story. Thanks for sharing. If anything, it teaches us that today is not as bad as it seems!
April 21, 2015
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I thought 4 was a shut off bid; effectively ending the auction. I didn't want to end the auction at 4, so I did not bid it. Given the alternative, that 3 could be passed out, maybe settling for game is sufficient. It would give average score.
April 21, 2015
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Solowly jump shifts have not been discussed. Generally, all our jump shifts have been weak.
April 19, 2015
Sabrina Miles edited this comment April 19, 2015
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While your p's 3 is reasonable as blocking, I know that my preferred p would not make such a move (his 3 would show values as well as long ). Thus while I would definitely support my p's bid rather than double, if I knew my p's bid was not necessarily strong or long, I can see no reason to double.
April 16, 2015
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Assuming that 2 is waiting and not showing controls, why not show your hand with 3 now? It won't be passed out; you still have an opportunity to support when p bids 3NT and should p support your , well then its a cakewalk….even with your 3 HCP.
April 16, 2015
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And you don't have sufficient values to reverse to show your should opponents enter the bidding. You can mislead about shape or mislead about HCP, but never both.
April 15, 2015
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