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All comments by Eric Sieg
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Is it clear that the 11% should be spent on advertising? Or is it meant to improve the experience of bridge in your local area? What form that takes might vary. I agree it shouldn't ever be honorariums, but putting on my regular member hat for a bit: I would hope some of that would go to improving my experience as an existing member as opposed to spending it all looking for more members.
April 15
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I'm definitely going to be in the minority for 1NT, but feels too strong to pass (Am I really going to pass an X with potentially 0 spade tricks?, also hard to catch up), double feels misleading, and 2NT on a misfit where they could start by taking 4-5 spade tricks might be overstating, especially if it tempts partner to bid game on a random 12.
April 15
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I would bid 1NT but I think its close. I also think the more important thing is to understand partner's preferences and account for them in bidding. I bid differently with some partners vs others. Partners who would strongly prefer I open 1 on this hand I'll open 1, also if they are very likely to garbage with 4414 I'll open 1.
April 13
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Jim: we have a webpage and email campaign and FB page and online newsletter as well. The issue is that even in Seattle, a high % of our players are older and not tech savvy. When I went to tag players in photos from a recent sectional, most of them weren't even on FB. My understanding is that the older audience appreciates a newsletter they can take home and read as opposed to needing to navigate to a webpage and open it there.
April 12
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Randy, that seems like a problem with your unit. I've been on unit boards in two areas and known people on a variety of others and the concept of an honorarium seems weird. The most I've personally ever seen is free plays for board members. And free plays into local sectionals hardly seem that extravagant when spending 40+ hours a year on unit board related work, especially when I can make up the “benefit” in less than 2 hours of real work.

This seems like a local issue that you should address with your board rather than a widespread ACBL-wide issue.

Most of our spending goes into the creation of and printing of a unit newsletter as well as a chunk on local youth stuff. I would suspect that subsidizing the local tournaments is the exception rather than the rule, despite how much you and Chris like to complain about it.

Quick summary for Seattle, looking at 2018 as an example: Tournaments were net +$1500 for the year. Non tournaments ran a deficit despite the 11% being put in that category, with 3130 on printing and distributing the newsletter (6 per year) and 1250 on youth bridge being the biggest costs. Overall for the year was a surplus. No money was spent on honorariums, kickbacks, lunches, mileage, etc for board members. Christmas party is usually hosted at someone's house with everything except the protein being supplied by board members and probably 50% of those attending aren't on the board - they are people who have done good things for bridge in the area.

Again, I wonder what % of units are doing the absurd things Randy mentions and what % are made up of people giving up time and money to try to make bridge better in their area. I would suspect that the vast majority are in the latter category.
April 12
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2 full time for profit locations in Seattle. That said, the 2nd benefits from a wealthy and generous owner who doesn't make much money himself but pays his people well.

Given how Chris and Jeff like to bitch about the 11% for units, I think a good additional question is: what % of units use that 11% to subsidize tournaments instead of spending it on members? Our tournaments are profitable as is and tend to subsidize our spending on members. This is despite keeping entry fees at $10 which seems insanely low for Seattle.

Another additional question: What route is there for units and districts to financially help for profit clubs when tournaments close down their regular games? I know that in the past there have been concerns about putting our non profit status at risk, but that seems like a problem someone must have solved by now.
April 11
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I like to preempt, but 2nd seat with Hxx of hearts I wouldn't have done it here. Switch the clubs and hearts and I think its clear.
April 9
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I wouldn't for two reasons:

1) I already struggle with insomnia. As Insomnia is listed as a possible side effect of Modafinil, I really don't want to touch anything that might mess with my sleep more. Not sleeping is terrible and I don't want to risk anything which makes sleeping harder.
2) What if I started using it, it felt effective, and then it was banned? Much easier to not start in the first place I think.

That said, its certainly a gray area. Will be interesting to see how bridge addresses this going forward.
April 4
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$580 Flight, $750 lodging, $300 food, $500 card fees over 10 days. So 23.4% for me. This was one of the more expensive flight/lodging NABCs (ironically) for me, so % has certainly been higher in the past.

That said, I'm not sure I mind the NABC events going up somewhat. However, not sure I understand regional events going up. Seattle is one of the higher COL locations in the US and sectionals are $10 and regionals $14. I'm not sure its a good idea to start gouging the rank and file with exorbitant regional entry fees at NABCs. They are usually a worse experience than regional events at regionals with weaker directors/inferior conditions so keeping the cost more reasonable seems appropriate.
April 2
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Yes
March 18
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Additional info: 3 is a club invite
March 17
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Did north even have XX available? Without knowing that, other people redoubling in a poll seems fairly irrelevant.
March 15
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I love playing bridge, but its definitely not good for #3 and #4. The cookie counter is always there and its a sedentary activity, even sitting EW.
March 15
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Bah, just noticed I marked this as a KO. It should say matchpoints.
March 15
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Which is why east should probably be the one keycarding, as in my auction. I hate keycarding as the hand with all keycards and no filler - hard to know what to do.
March 12
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I picked West 100% because the bids were pretty terrible. But if it were an option I'd pick system 50%, West 100%, East 33%. Jumping to 3 here is awful. Any system that suggests that is the right bid should be doubted.

A more normal sane auction might be:
1 2 2 3 4 4 4 4NT 5 5 6 7
March 12
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Yeah, obviously the entire hand is about the club suit. At the table I took the low road, but wasn't sure how clear it was. I was also curious if anyone would bid 6NT. If partner has 2 clubs without the K, it seemed a lot less likely that clubs would get led around into the strong hand vs through the strong hand.
March 8
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If the auction had gone 3 X 3 P P then you might have had a point Chris since 3 should be (I believe?) alertable if it isn't forcing. If it is forcing, S would undoubtedly raise on their xxx of hearts and a side singleton. I have trouble imagining that many bridge players would think bidding hearts to say “I have hearts, and I want to play here and/or want a lead in this suit” would be alertable regardless of a side fit. This situation comes up pretty often. If 3 guaranteed a club fit and was known to just be lead directional, then it would be different and (obviously) require an alert.

As for the X, that seems pretty clear cut. Had N passed you would have bid 3 so its appropriate to express doubt and also that N might be psyching. I've gotten to game in suits the opponents have bid with this partner a variety of times and knowing how to do that seems like a good bridge skill.

For the actual hand, W's hand was AKQx x AKQTxxx x and they thought they were too strong for 3 and planned to bid 4 over 3 from partner or 5 over 4 from partner. At the time, E wasn't sure if it was forcing and passed with most of their values wasted in hearts (Jx QJ8xx J987 T9) but then there was discussion after about if this should be forcing - hence this post. We've since both agreed that this should be forcing and don't feel bad about the confusion since at least one world class player voted above for nonforcing.
March 8
Eric Sieg edited this comment March 8
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Actually, just looked and the 3 bidder had AKT9. Given partner's holding of QJ8xx of hearts and a few more scattered points, I think X is pretty reasonable :)
March 7
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If its unclear what 3 is, does it still need an alert? Could be natural, could be lead directing, nobody knows.

On this hand, 3 was indeed a club raise with AKTx of hearts.
March 7
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