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All comments by Eric Sieg
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mildly shapely? :)
Aug. 21
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Note: 4 is cold, but declarer needs to work on diamonds earlier rather than ruffing hearts. As soon as they willingly trumped a 2nd club they were going down on best defense.
Aug. 21
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Eh? Club switch works too, but either spade or club beats 4. What spade W follows with doesn't matter hugely.

You are just trying to run declarer out of trump before they get diamonds set up.

Assume 7 return, and W plays the K.
N wins and continues diamonds
E wins and plays a heart or a club. Either play results in N having to ruff somewhere and runs out of trump before diamonds get set up
Aug. 21
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I wouldn't call doubling 4 risky. I understand not bidding 5 on a flat 15 count, but surely E should be able to see the need for a spade switch after the first diamond once he gets count on the diamond suit.
Aug. 21
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I answered K as standard, but don't think I have any partnerships where I would lead it. Usually play Rusinow, and usually play K as power in partnerships that aren't Rusinow which effectively means I would lead Q in all partnerships.
Aug. 15
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Kit also frequently suggests playing the Q from KQ to make it harder to duck the A, although that's a lot less deceptive with the T on dummy.
Aug. 15
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X and hope to beat it, but wishing I had bid 3 as a natural invite if it was available.
Aug. 15
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David: My concern (and reason for posting) is that the downsides of bidding might outweigh the upsides of possibly finding a fit. We discussed this hand at the bar (when the actual hand was all white) and I thought I was too timid for passing white but thought pass was clear if red and others disagreed. At this point the poll is clearly in favor of bidding, but maybe I shouldn't have polled since I still think pass is right :)

We have a bad 6 count opposite a hand that opens all 11s. If you care about K&R, it evaluates as 5.75. With us having 4 spades, RHO having 11-17 HCP and likely 3-4 spades, it seems like the upsides bidding are outweighed by the risks of playing a hand red that we don't want to be declaring. My gut is that after the X, partner is 11-13 HCP something like 80% of the time (usually balanced) and is unlikely to have 4 spades and probably less than 3 a bit over half the time. We have enough that they probably can't make game, so the most likely spot is 1NT and with (likely) fewer HCPs and no source of tricks that I can see, I'd much rather the opponents be in 1NT than us. If they make its 90 for them or -100 for us (ignoring the tempo advantage of leading), if we do happen to make its 90 for us or -100 for them. A very real possibility is 120 for them or -200 for us given we have fewer HCPs, no source of tricks in our hand, and a tempo disadvantage if declaring 1NT.

In addition, they have something like 11 to 17 (or maybe more) HCP sitting behind our strongest hand, further (in my opinion) increasing the odds of us not wanting to declare red.

Finally, the auction can go extra bad if partner does have 3 spades. Imagine something like 1D X 1H 2C/2H X(support) P ?. I have nowhere to go but 2 spades but would want to puke as I bid it. Would obviously do it confidently in hopes that opponents compete, but if they do they'll likely make it and if they don't we are probably getting -200.

I personally think bidding is more tempting with more shape and fewer HCPs. Then we would probably take the same (or more) tricks but have the additional upside of maybe talking them out of game. I think bidding is more tempting with something like Kxxx x T9xxx xxx since they probably have a game and we have some ways to take tricks on offense. Easier playing precision since partner won't do something obnoxious like jump to 2NT to show 18-19 balanced :)

I think a sim would be interesting, with rules something like: S has 11-17 HCP, 3-4 spades, 3-4 hearts, 3- diamonds, 3-5 clubs. How often would partner have 11-13? 11-13 balanced? 4 spades? How often would we actually want to be declaring red? On the actual hand, EW are down 2 double dummy in any contract at the 1 level even with partner having a great 12 count (evaluates as 12.7) with 3 spades and the spade A and club 9 onside.
Aug. 15
Eric Sieg edited this comment Aug. 15
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If the partnership isn't sure if this is a transfer, seems like odds of not getting 4 right are pretty high. Don't see how the 4 bidder can have UI, but I'm sure the director will be coming over shortly.

In a normal partnership where people know what they are doing, answering exclusion seems normal. So, 6.

Certainly helpful to know the level of those playing as it helps inform the likelihood of that being a slam try vs a system forget.
Aug. 7
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Debbie, I'm aware :)

My memory of how Jeff/Chris/etc explained that this wouldn't generate more money for them was that NABCs are a package deal. I'm not sure it passes a basic common sense test to assume that 7 more days of premium NABC time to play this event won't result in a higher payment. Regardless, whether its because it is the type of event that they enjoy or they make a lot more money or both, I think this event is aimed at the Chris and Jeff's of the world and not the average NABC+ participant (of which there are many more).

I think the new format is great. Would have been great to see it in the Spingold and maybe the Vanderbilt.
Aug. 6
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Moving the RR back to spring seems like a clear improvement. The timing right now is just weird. They overlap another 10k event as well as the Youth/Collegiate stuff, they end a day before the tournament ends, and don't have any great lead in events. RR followed by NAPs in the Spring seems like a much better combo.

Quick comparison on attendance: RR in Vegas this year was 100 pairs, in Atlanta the total attendance was 76 pairs. Compare that to the old spring RR attendance, back in Dallas in 06 (picked as my first NABC) which had 202 pairs playing the RRs.

I also don't think the overlap between RR and Silodor is terribly large, another mark in favor of the move.
Aug. 6
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I expect the attendance to be pretty good the first year due to the novelty. Maybe 120ish teams? Then it will gradually drop back down to the typically bad attendance for 7 day KOs, aka probably 70 to 90 teams, most of whom are sponsored and/or international.

Of all the possible changes that could have been made to improve NABC schedules and events, this is what we got? Another 7 day KO to generate big paydays for professional players? I understand why Chris Compton, Jeff Meckstroth and co would be strongly in favor of adding another such event, but am disappointed that others failed to provide a counterbalance to their desires to have another big payday. Big KOs are the one of the least popular events amongst ACBL rank and file and in the long run this won't be significantly different. At least (for now) there are other choices of events to play. It would have been nice to see this clearly superior approach of starting with a 2 day swiss added to the Spingold (where you have NO other choice of event to play) rather than cluttering the fall schedule with an unnecessary event.
Aug. 6
Eric Sieg edited this comment Aug. 6
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Put other. Sometimes attitude asks for a switch, sometimes it just shows where my entry is, depends on the context. After declarer misplayed by playing heart A, entry is a lot less relevant so should be suggesting a desire for a spade imo. Having to discard spade 9 to show the A seems insane though, play UD so you can get rid of the worthless 3. Doesn't matter on this holding but could on other hands.

Finally, many people play smith echo so the club play could have shown that partner liked hearts so you could have continued without any spade signal.
July 17
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I have always enjoyed the midnights when I've played. However, I'm usually playing in a real event the next day and think I owe that partner my absolute best performance.

I wish midnights at regionals were a thing, but haven't ever seen it.
July 17
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Seems right to lead the lowest heart and hope partner can read it. Sometimes they'll be able to figure it out, sometimes not. Can't imagine leading anything else though.
July 17
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Meant to post this same complaint earlier. 90 minute wait for bidding problems seems weird.
June 22
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Hi Craig,

I love your simulations, but I think your parameters need looking at on this one. North has at least 2 s as 0-1 would not be a balanced limit raise. Unbalanced 3 card raises are shown in a way that doesn't start with 1NT.
June 18
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I don't think this is going to a hand that gets easier to describe by coming in later, so might as well start describing now. 3 to start, planning to bid spades later. After P P, it certainly sounds like partner has some hearts and some values, but they didn't X so will stick to the plan of showing spades.
May 16
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Having played both competitively, MTG dwarfs Bridge in popularity - especially in the US. Its easy to pick up, play, and (if you are smart) its possible to start winning packs and money quickly as well.

To compare popularity, we have 2 full time bridge clubs in Seattle. There are dozens of places to play MTG in the Seattle area and just one of those (altho one of the larger) will usually pull in 100+ for its bigger nights (even though 10+ places will also offer MTG that same night). Our last regional had ~800 different people win masterpoints across 7 days, while the most recent equivalent MTG tournament here drew somewhere between 2 and 4 times that (3200ish people in two events, but unclear how much overlap there was). Gatlinburg had 2800ish people who won masterpoints, while the biggest MTG tournament that's equivalent to a regional had 7500 in Vegas even with simultaneous tournaments in China and the Netherlands drawing north of 3500 that same weekend. There are many GPs (equivalent to regional) that have drawn north of 3k unique players in a mere 2-3 days.

I don't have any experience with keyforge. It might be up and coming but right now it seems to draw a tiny fraction of what MTG gets. There are MTG games almost every night of the week at our bigger game store and only 1 keyforge event.

The more impressive (imo) thing is that MTG has a 25(ish?) year history of growing. They didn't just pop up and get super popular and might disappear in a few years. Hearthstone doesn't have that history. Intelligent inclusive strategies that try to figure out what they did right, what they did wrong, and how they can do better and continue to grow have been a big part of that imo. They have made some pretty big mistakes, but there will frequently be random MTG players at a coffee shop or bar just playing for fun - basically what bridge used to be (from what I understand) but is no longer.

I don't think MTG and Bridge necessarily target the same mindset, but there's a lot of similarity and I think understanding what they (and smart companies in general) have done to grow their userbase can be very informative in understanding how we can do better with Bridge. Trying to better understand the motivations of our players seems like a good start.
May 3
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Also, if you treat the 2% increase last year as an aberration and assume it should have been about 5% lower… it now makes the attendance look more like the trend it likely is instead of a sudden plummet.
April 30
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