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All comments by Eric Sieg
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This seems like a problem that everyone will get right if they realize its a problem, but might carelessly play wrong at the table.
Feb. 14
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I play 3 as non serious with all my regular partners and have found it to be a clear winner over always bidding 3NT for non serious. 3 is almost never doubled for the lead, usually that person is on lead anyway. In comparison, leaking info about spade controls on hands we don't have real slam interest seems like a serious downside that happens frequently. After trying both, I think 3 for non serious is clearly better and don't even think it's close.
Feb. 13
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Why wouldn't non serious be helpful playing precision? I make serious cues all the time playing precision, it's all about strength in context. The ranges are tighter which lets me serious with some hands that I would be forced to non serious with playing wider range openings.
Feb. 13
Eric Sieg edited this comment Feb. 13
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3 seems like a huge underbid. 2NT to then splinter (showing 16+) seems like an overbid with no aces. 2NT to ask partner about shortness doesn't seem terribly helpful when I don't need partner to ruff losers and mostly just care about how well we are fitting. If I start with 2 it might be at 4 before I've shown my FIVE CARD support for partner, putting things on a total guess for X vs 5 vs 6.

It seems like we have a bid that shows we have a good hand, spade shortness, and 4+ trumps, and want to see how well we are fitting. It's weird to me that, at least at the moment, 3NT is sitting 4th :P
Feb. 11
Eric Sieg edited this comment Feb. 11
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While I think 4 right away gets your hand off your chest better, I think partner has expressed his opinion twice so we should respect it. Maybe we get 300 instead of 450, but +300 vs -50 is a bigger swing our direction and there's always a chance we get 500 against spades.

At MPs I think it would be hard not to bid 5.
Feb. 11
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Don't love X, but have sympathy. 3NT normal. 4 pull was good. 5 is mind boggling to me. Not getting to the heart slam is whatever, but not getting to slam at all after S pulled to 4 is wild.
Feb. 10
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I think this is the best description I've seen for how I feel about the 3 possibilities. I might steal your words in the future :)
Feb. 10
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I think we can look at our hand to determine the odds of a system forget. We have 5 hearts, LHO prefers hearts to diamonds, RHO has the reds and partner never bid, even over 2H? Sounds way more likely that E misbid, bid spades again, and we need to lead appropriately.

Even if there is an infraction, there's a director in our area that's notorious for never correcting situations like these because “we should have known something was going on”. No clue if they were involved in this particular event.
Feb. 9
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I'm not sure you get to complain about getting put in bracket 2 if you don't win it David :)
Feb. 9
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I think 1NT showing a strong balanced NT is normal. Just kidding :) Amusing how many missed the passed hand part….

I think forcing to the 2 level shows a more offensive hand with more shape. 5+ 5+ would be expected, although partner can do what they want. X would promise 4+ 4+ for me, although every once in a long while it might be 4 and 3 with the right hand.
Feb. 8
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I don't think anyone in the “encouraging” camp thinks 3 is a rescue. It's meant to be constructive and forward going, but is also somewhat limited.
Feb. 7
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Think the answer also depends on partnership style and tendencies. In some partnerships, we overcall and balance more aggressively and try not to hang each other for doing so. In those, I would consider this constructive and suggests not passing but not strictly forcing. In more conservative partnerships, playing this as forcing makes more sense. So, my answer is actually a mixture of “forcing” and “encouraging”, depends on partnership.
Feb. 7
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When I first started playing bridge again ~4 years ago, I cared a lot about the power ratings. Going higher felt like a reasonable goal. However, I found that checking didn't really increase my enjoyment of the game. When trying a new partnership that didn't click or introducing a partner to a new system or getting a bad run of club games would sink my rating, it would bum me out.

I think some sort of rating system is 100% critical to bridge. We don't even have to invent a new one, and I don't understand the ACBL's obsession with trying. Masterpoints are awful, and seeding off of masterpoints is a disgrace.

However, it is a lot easier to feel progression with masterpoints. Heck, that initial run to lifemaster when you need specific points and are trying to pull it all together is exciting - whether it takes months or years. The problem with masterpoints is that it is a terrible method of seeding and that the appeal falls off after attaining LM significantly.

While I think using a rating is clearly superior, I also worry about the incentives issue. For example, in my experience the absolute worst thing I can do if I care about power rating is play at a weak club with a strong partner. The opponents do all sorts of haphazard things and you frequently don't control your own destiny. If those things go badly like they generally should and you get a score in the mid 60s, the power rating doesn't move. If its the day when leading unsupported aces, passing forcing bids, getting confused in the bidding and playing a part score with 28 hcps etc end up being correct and you get a 50 or 55, it tanks the rating horribly. I've looked at power rating as it is now, and when club games are eliminated and my power rating in tournaments with my main partner has consistently been significantly higher than when including all the club games. If rating now matters and I cared about maximizing it, I would stop playing club games and stick to BBO and big tournaments. However, that doesn't sound like a good thing for the ACBL.

So, improving seeding while being careful of incentives is interesting. Supposedly the NGS works great, so maybe we can just copy that. Or maybe rating is hidden and we let computers do their magic behind the scenes to spit out brackets. Who knows.

The main thing I know is that masterpoints are a terrible seeding system and any attempt at a rating system will do a much better job.
Feb. 2
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If LHO has 6 spades and 4 clubs, spade back now (I ducked, don't think it matters) is only way to hold it. Don't think it matters hugely which one. If LHO has 7 spades, we aren't beating it. Sure wish partner led a spade, then its down 2.
Jan. 31
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Official rule in notes is that if suit is agreed and we can't bid RKC because we are too high (usually opponents bidding), then 5NT is GSF. I've wanted to bid GSF one time in my life, and it was in a bidding contest and it helped us get to the right spot. However, the number of times less regular partners have just decided that a 5NT meant as pick a slam should be GSF is several times that. I could happily give up GSF in all circumstances (and have with various partners) and not feel like I was missing out on anything at all.
Jan. 27
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Yeah, in retrospect I think 4 is the right bid. I didn't think of it when first talking about the hand, but involves partner in the decision instead of just guessing.
Jan. 23
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I think people are avoiding 4 because there's no guarantee partner has 4 spades here. They could be something like 3424, or maybe 3523 with minimal values. I definitely don't think its unlikely that partner has 3 spades, 3 eats up space so there are a variety of hands partner might where they might feel X is the best bid even though they don't have 4 spades.
Jan. 23
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And different than our table, where it went: 1H (2D) 4C* P 4H (5D) all pass, down 1. (4C was a fit jump, altho a bit offshape with 3 hearts and 7 clubs).
Jan. 23
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I'll certainly do the math, and I expect teammates to do the same. That said, if the math is remotely close, I'll error on the side of safety if there's a big swing involved because of the intangible negatives associated with being wrong.
Jan. 13
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The tiny bit of snow that was on the ground in KC is not the same as what people fear from MN. During that “snow” in KC, I was playing tennis outside with a friend.
Dec. 22, 2019
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