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All comments by Jeff Bayone
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Tried that. Had that. Couldn't live with it.
Nov. 27
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Are you sure that would have had any effect on bridge's future?
Nov. 27
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Size matters….little. Composition matters much more. We've got 25 experts on how to run a Unit. Zero on how to run a bridge club, a teaching program, or a national organization. I'm thrilled this vote failed. Next time, when putting something to a vote, at least make sure that if it passes it might actually do some good.
Nov. 27
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Plus or minus what degree of accuracy would you guess?
Nov. 27
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Len, this should be required studying for every BoD member and club owner. Haven't digested it all. The part that jumped out immediately corresponds with what we are witnessing on the ground here in NYC. Games are back in vogue. We are trying to partner with Hex and Co. They operate four “games' cafes” in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Their younger clientele plays evenings and weekends, ours weekday mornings and afternoons. Great potential synergy here and in every city where this phenomenon is starting to happen.
Nov. 27
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That's when you do whatever you can to hold onto your students at all costs, even passed the point where it would be better to let them go onto something more appropriate. What incentive does an independent teacher have for giving up their client? I've almost never had one come to me and say,“I have a new customer for you. She's been taking private lessons with me twice a week for three years now and I believe she's ready for your club.”
Nov. 27
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We have almost the same thing. The card fee at Honors is $35. A standby who does not get to play gets a coupon that allows them to play for $5.
Nov. 27
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I'm starting to try to organize clubs. Teaching clubs first. You've given me a selling point I hadn't yet considered.
TY
Nov. 27
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Thanks for the kind words. Those chairs you admired are over $200 a piece. With tax and delivery, well over.

We did find some wonderful side tables, finally. Sturdy, right size, very attractive, easy surface to clean. It has a lower shelf for pocketbooks. Expensive, but I'm guessing, a lifetime's use.
Wayfair:
Ermont End Table by Laurel Foundry Modern Farmhouse
Color: Charter Oak
Price: $57.99
Nov. 27
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Morris,
Do you us BeB with your students the way Henry and I do?
Nov. 27
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We do not compensate our regular open game directors by the table unless they run more than one game and the table count exceeds 20 total tables. The best directors are like the best umpires. After the game, if no one remembers who directed, they did a great job.
For our novice program, the head of the program does get rewarded if table count is high, but only on the understanding that she is not to warehouse the players.
(We do compensate teachers above the beginner/advanced beginner level based on count.)
We do compensate for giving lectures before the game.
As far as singles…see Alan Powell. We try to keep the number of house players available to a minimum. We found that having house players was actually a negative. Singles would refuse to play with one another, hoping instead to land a better playing house player.
Nov. 26
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Richard,
Exactly how would identifying millions of players out there, while never being able to capture but a hand full of them, be what they wanted?
BTW: When was this survey completed?
Nov. 26
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“So this information ACBL received through a paid survey run by professionals is ”bull"
The part I do believe is that they paid for this survey.
Nov. 26
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Without the clubs there is no next generation of players.
Nov. 26
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I don't see this at all. There are more and more people coming to us with no card skills period. Most of the country probably doesn't know bridge is a card game. There's no money in bridge, outside the bridge community itself. A deck of cards is still a buck. A new bridge game doesn't come out every week. No one pays us for TV rights. We must look after ourselves and try to build our own business from within.
Nov. 26
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Ellis, Randy, and every other teaching club owner out there.
It's about rewarding us for our work.
Call it what you will.
25 years is a good run Randy. October was 43 for me. How about you Ellis? And if we closed tomorrow what will we have going forward to show for that long run? No pension. Perhaps a thank you in our obit if we also won a National Championship or two along the way.

If I created just 20 new players each year, there would be close to 1,000 out there by now. But those 1000 also had others they brought into the game, and they had others.
If every time one of them played in a club that wasn't mine I got a thank you, if every time they went off and played at a Sectional, Regional, or National, I got a thank you, that would make me feel good. If a monetary award was tied to that thank you I would not only feel good, I would feel empowered. I actually know the very first group of students we taught 43 years ago. Long story. Four of them still play regularly at the Sectional level and above. That's not the norm. The overwhelming majority don't last or never make it that far. But when they do! When we find that needle in a haystack and bring them along, all the way, to LM or higher, that feels good. Maybe that's been enough for people like us all these years. But that's clearly not enough for most people and it is coming to that realization that is central to understanding why this present system, or lack of system, is killing our clubs and with it, our game.

Reward teaching clubs. Not with $5, $10 or $30 over three years. Reward us, and maybe everyone else that's an ACBL member, with a long term contract agreeing to some stipulated thank you every time that a person we are credited with creating plays at a club that's not the one that created the player or in an ACBL event. And make it meaningful. Jay Whipple has assured me that keeping track of this would be a “piece of cake”. Of course, the devil will be in the details. But let's not sweat the small stuff. The heavy lifting needs to be done first. It's convincing the BoD that the idea has merit. It may even be in convincing you guys that the idea has merit. But think about all you've both correctly identified as club problem areas and see how nicely this general theory of relativity solves them. How much, for how long are the only two variables. E=mc2 E = reward, m = how much, c = how long. Simple, neat, effective.

And when the next talented young teacher comes along and calculates that over those next 43 years, from the first duplicate player he or she creates on, they will be rewarded handsomely for their efforts, he or she may decide that instead of playing pro every afternoon why not open a bridge club, because with their talent, energy, and drive, they know that that's where the REAL money is!!!!
Nov. 26
Jeff Bayone edited this comment Nov. 26
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I've lost a friend and with it maybe the last chance the bridge community had. Bahar was fired because he posed an existential threat to the Board. Loss of control. Anything else you may have heard is smoke and mirrors. Bahar was trying to be a real CEO. He will probably be remembered as our last. It will be ED's from here on. Sad.
Nov. 25
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Mostly agree of course. Not sure about the size part.
Nov. 25
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Totally agree.
Nov. 25
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Good…I need this and more feedback. It took a while but now we are starting to scratch the surface.
I knew there would be an initial mutiny on the bounty. And if my idea of expanding the bounty almost exponentially is to take hold, the nuts and bolts of the program certainly need to be worked through. I've spent a lot of time talking and thinking about how to implement such a program. I believe it can be done.

Suppose the BoD comes to the realization that the only way to keep bridge from the inevitable, is to empower its 165,000 members, its 2,800 bridge clubs, and the hundreds of independent instructors. What will it take to get these people motivated, to get them out there to do the work necessary to bring in new members? $30 paid out over three years? For most of us, that's the equivalent of about an hour's wages for what will often be umpteen hours of work.

A disclaimer: This is not about me personally or my clubs. Honors, Cavendish, and Aces together will gross close to $4,000,000 this year. Whatever the bounty, it will have little impact on our bottom line, nor will it alter the lifestyles of any of my partners.
But it could have a dramatic impact.
This is about the hundreds of break even bridge teaching centers. It is about changing the thinking of non-teaching clubs. It is about giving independent teachers a reason for not warehousing their clients or worse, actively trying to turn them off to duplicate bridge. And, most important, it is about creating a bridge club business model that makes sound economic sense. What would it take to convince Larry Cohen, or Joe Grue, or Zack Grossack, or just about anyone else now standing on the sidelines, to open a club?
I'll tell you what won't…$30 spread over three years.
Nov. 25
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