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ACBL Masterpoint Insanity

We all recognize that the ACBL is in the business of selling masterpoints, and has been for some time.  We all recognize masterpoint inflation over the year's and the proliferation of events and strats to make "everyone" a winner.

Even so, there has always been some underlying logic to masterpoint formulas.  Several years ago the ACBL introduced the "Strength of Field" (SoF) concept to Regional Bracketed KO events.  In my opinion, it was and remains a huge success.  There was motions to introduce the SoF concept to matchpoint Pair events and Swiss Teams.  Sadly, at the last minute a concerted effort by a few ACBL Board members scuttled the proposals.

Today we have a masterpoint award system devoid of logic and reason.  Bottom Line: If you are playing in a stand alone Open Pairs or Swiss event, the awards will be small.  If your event is opposite a similar limited (usually under 750 masterpoints) Gold Rush Pairs, the award will be large, ridiculously so.

I am currently playing at the amazing Greeenville, SC ACBL Regional, arguably the best (definitely Top 5) Regional in ACBL land.  You start with downtown Greenville, add in the famous D. 7 hospitality and low entry fees... this one is a winner.

Yesterday there was a 16 table Open Pairs opposite a Swiss Team event.  There was no Gold Rush Open Pairs.  The 16 table Open paid 11 or 12 masterpoints to win.  Today there was a 12 table one section A/X Open Pairs opposite a Mid-Flight and a Gold Rush Pairs.  First place paid a remarkable 32 points to win!  The examples above are typical throughout ACBL land. 

Since masterpoints are at the heart of ACBL's business, it is incumbent upon the ACBL Board of Directors to at the very least have some internal consistency among masterpoint award charts.  That is not the case today.

Creating some logic and sanity in ACBL masterpoint awards will not solve the demographic issues as the average ACBL member nears his/her mid-70's but it must be done.  The Greenville Regional appears to be headed towards a 10% drop in attendance which is the trend throughout the ACBL.  Very worrisome.

Hopefully, ACBL's new CEO, Bahar Gidwani, will be able to start to reverse the downward trend.  A modicum of fairness, logic and internal consistency in masterpoint awards would be a fine start. 

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