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In The Well: Jay Whipple

Jay Whipple is the ACBL President for 2018. Whipple’s agenda for the year centers around a single theme: the smooth functioning of the ACBL chief executive officer and the Board. But today, he enters the Well to answer your questions.

Technology is a familiar thread in Whipple’s ambitions. He describes himself as an entrepreneur “who packages things and puts them together with people.” One such innovation was Fast Results, a service that emailed game results immediately upon posting. It grew quickly into much more and became an indispensable service for clubs and tournaments interested in providing their players with immediate scores. Fast Results transitioned to become ACBL Live, though a “heavily district-centric” component of Fast Results still enables tournament organizers to set up daily bulletins and survey attendees.

Whipple is also responsible for the Common Game. It started when Allan Graves was lamenting ‘how we used to go to bars and talk about hands following the game’. Whipple developed technology that would enable sharing of hands across multiple clubs, and Graves provided hand analysis. Now the Common Game allows clubs access to aggregate results seven days, three times a day. Pros volunteer their analysis.

Earlier last year, the ACBL experimented with a pilot “Regionals at Clubs,” a concept proposed by Whipple. Through BBO, players could electronically participate in a two-session Regional Pairs. The clubs acted as monitoring sites. The infrastructure requirements – such as a reliable internet connection -- were difficult for some clubs to meet, but Whipple says it was an excellent learning experience. This led to more recent experimental events such as the week-long REACH for Gold event at the club, which was proposed by District 6 director Margot Hennings.

Whipple, who represents District 9 (Florida), is in the second year of his second three-year term on the Board. He chaired the Board’s Strategic Committee and headed up the CEO Search Committee. He lives in Boca Grande with his wife Kimberly, whom he credits “for her unwavering support.”

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