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All comments by Sabrina Miles
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I think the focus in the questioning is misplaced. It's not the small regional, per se, that is the problem, but the larger regionals…and how they manage to attract the numbers that they do that should be the focus (perhaps small regionals serve a purpose of a rather contained marketplace). I decided to attend more tournaments this year, and regionals in particular. I wanted to attend somewhat larger regionals. The first stumbling block into my decision-making? There was no central data base to tell me which regionals have (historically) larger than average entries (albeit I know that past performance is no indicator of future results :) ) I think the ACBL would be well served in showing the total tables and # of folks in a tourney in a central easily accessible data base.

In any event, as the dutiful student, i went month by month, tourney by tourney to see which tourneys produced larger than average entries. I did not know that some tourneys ran every other year….my calculations started all over again! I choose to fill in my schedule with tourneys in my immediate area first, i.e., <300 miles and filled in the rest later (big mistake!) While I would always pick my district tourneys over others, proximity of other tourneys was neither an expense saver or necessarily a more desirable venue for me.

As a newbie, I don't know the history of the regionals. I don't know why some are larger than others; I don't know why others think one is preferable than others. I do know that I have preferred attending larger regionals – albeit my master point total garnered at the larger regional does not reflect my enjoyment at such regionals. I think if the data was easily accessible, the smaller regionals might remain smaller regionals for the local folks….the larger regionals might become larger regionals for those seeking such and the intermediate regionals, i.e., those 750 - 1250 tables might just fall by the wayside.
July 18, 2018
Sabrina Miles edited this comment July 18, 2018
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Interesting topic. I had similar question regarding hand played this past week in regional open event, Bidding went: 1 - p- p- 1NT - 2- p - p - 3NT- at this point in the auction the opponent asked me, what did p's 1NT mean. I said: our agreement says 10 to bad 14, but given his 3nt bid, it is strong with stoppers in both the bid suits. 3nt made. But I still wonder whether I am obligated to notify opponents of p's misbid.
July 16, 2018
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@Tim, and what would lead you to that conclusion….whether antidotal or otherwise (at 2380…I did not agree with your blanket assertion)?
May 3, 2018
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Condolences
May 3, 2018
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@Steve, who are you identifying when you suggest that MP are completely meaningless to those who play for many years? My cursory review of the MP races, particularly for those with 500 - 3500 MP (several categories) seems to reveal that such folks are VERY interested in MP awards. Indeed, except for the top MP category (10,000+) the 1500 - 2500 and 2500 -3500 McKinney category seem to be very interested in racking up those MP awards; whether through pro partners or otherwise, MP seem to matter.

For me personally, I decided that I would travel more, learn more, and play more to “rack up” the master points in my category (1500-2500) this year. On my journey, I have met some folks who also had the same thoughts as me! I've also discovered that the journey to the top of my category is rather futile unless I want to hire a pro at each stop along the way. Nonetheless, I solider on. I have had (and am having) the time of my life! I am meeting new folks (i.e., potential partners), sharing insights (i.e., reading more from suggestions); deciding wisely where I'd like to return (i.e., Hilton Head, SC, Gatlinburg, TN) and continuing on my journey. While I do not think I will repeat the journey, I will return to the places that I find most enjoyable…and those who provide me with the hospitality which suggests that a lone participant or partnership will find compatible partner/teammates at their events.

To suggest that such participation along the ACBL journey is dead is to do a disservice to all of us….and there are many….who solider on each day.
May 3, 2018
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@bill…I read those columns while in grad school in ‘81-84. Indeed, it was the columns that got me interested in bridge….never heard about it growing up….never heard about it in college. I don’t think your suggestion is that far off. While the sunday column might be different than it was back in the day….the same proposed means to attract an audience is not that far off….in my opinion.
May 3, 2018
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@Randy, as a proponent of on-line play, I, for one, do not wish to go to tablets. I think it is inevitable but not desirable. To me, tablets are just too easy to misclick on. I prefer my 27" iMac…or playing cards )
May 3, 2018
Sabrina Miles edited this comment May 3, 2018
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@Kevin, if you and your p are so far ahead of the “rookies” you should amass many MP and quickly ascend the ranks to where you belong. It has been my experience that when a pair shows their ability to stand out in a crowd, they quickly receive multiple offers from potential teammates.
May 3, 2018
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The need for gold rush is diminished when you have an event with 22 brackets … with so many brackets folks are really playing against their peers and no separate “gold rush” designation is necessary. What a great idea and marvelous event(s)
April 23, 2018
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I would not disagree with any of the above-mentioned suggestions, but for me, looking back at my beginning days, I would not change a thing: BBO is the place to go. That included playing many free games on BBO (mostly all types of tournament games) to get a sense of what others were doing and what was going on bidding wise, people wise and style wise; joining the BIL (beginning/ intermediate lounge they provided free mentor programs when I just started (and my mentor is now my regular partner) there was formerly (not sure now) a lecture put on by BBO at noon every day for newcomers with great support and learning opportunities and by all means, enjoy the vugraphs – especially those with commentary that give a bit of insight into the game – even when you have no idea what the bids mean – you will pick up on the play of the hand.

Unfortunately, bridge is not a game to be picked up quickly. A slow approach works best.
April 15, 2018
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@Alan, I live in Southern New England, and am quite willing to drive 4 hours (after 6 hours I prefer to fly, but would consider driving), and my research suggests are no where near as many regionals to attend as you suggest. Shucks, even driving 6 hours, for me to upper NJ, there are not 7 regional a year to attend. But I defer to your schedule…please forward to me.

BTW and for the record, I note that it is less expensive (with more participants and greater hospitality) for me to fly from Bos to Atlanta and drive to a District 7 regional tournament from Atlanta – and pay hotel and car rental expenses – and tournament fees, then to drive the 2.5 hours to NYC to play in the regional there. YMMV
April 15, 2018
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I am often accused of playing my opponents rather than my cards (alas, it is most often true)…but based on your comment here, do you think that is a bad thing? a thing to be curtailed or one to be encouraged?
April 15, 2018
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Other than pass or double, what other calls would you consider Kieran?
April 11, 2018
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A broken clock is correct twice a day :) 6 is lay down. 4nt makes 6. For all those 0 boards, there are also 100 boards.
April 11, 2018
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What is the most effective manner for E-W to compete after N's opening 3 preempt?
April 11, 2018
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From the common game, on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – Board 9. Note, those who passed 3 and left it to partner, who is equally constrained, scored a whooping 25% of the MP.
April 11, 2018
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I don't think my p really has s. I would guess that the 2 bid was forcing and required me to further describe my hand. 2NT does so. Leaving p in opponents opening suit, when I have 3 pieces and opponent opened in 3rd seat opposite my p's passed hand does not bode well for partnership harmony.
April 10, 2018
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@sathya….isn’t that why we have commentators? Not defending Bird here, but when I watch Vugraph, I like it that the commentators have opinions and views —right or wrong — the spoken commentary has added so much to the game that one must give them a pass every once in a while. For goodness sake they cannnot all be be Roland Wald!
March 18, 2018
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Fantastic!
March 15, 2018
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On the other hand, it bothers me that some folks hold their cards so lackadaisically that opponents cannot help but see the cards. To my chagrin, I am so focused on picking up my cards, and determining my next bid that I rarely notice opponents flashing their cards. My p, on the other hand, has repeated asked folks to please hold their cards back; and more than a few times to the same players, in the same session! Unfortunately, not everyone asks others to hold back their cards. Thus, those who are ethical and attempt not to see the flashers' hand, may well be handicapped not because others try to peek into the flashers' hand, but because the flasher is unaware/unconcerned they are repeatedly showing their cards – even when told they are. IMHO, a player memo should be filed on both – those who peek AND those who repeatedly refuse to hold their cards in a manner to shield them from their opponents.
March 12, 2018
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