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All comments by Jeff Bayone
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The saddest think I every heard, from the perspective of a club owner, was from one of only two students remaining from a starting class of four tables. She said, “Your students can have ten good experiences and then one bad one and their gone.” Talk about pressure. Talk about why the success rate is so small.
June 27, 2018
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I couldn't make head or tail out of the link. But it sounds impressive. Is there someone out there that would interpret for us?
June 27, 2018
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Jef,
You have the luxury of working with only a select few.
Clubs don't. We work with everyone who wants to stick with it, no matter how untalented they are.
Precision has totally disappeared from play at all NYC clubs. Maybe 1%. And when our players come up against a Precision pair in a club game, you can see their annoyance with that artificial system.
Personally, I'd like to bar it except in our top White section.
It's a system best played by pros against other pros.
I was turned off to it's artificiality 40 years ago when it was first introduced by New Yorkers CC and Kathy Wei. Nothing's changed my mind since.
June 27, 2018
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From my perspective, that's the way to do it.
WE treat our NYC adults the same way you treat your children. If we do not connect with them immediately, they're on to something else.
Bidding is exciting, down the road. At the start, it's there simply to get them to a contract so that they can PLAY.
June 27, 2018
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There's a business women talking.
June 27, 2018
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Why is the key.
If you understand why, then you don't need to memorize. And if you didn't have to commit something to memory, you can't ever forget it.
June 27, 2018
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Precision.
An artificial system that requires tons of memorization?
You were being facetious I hope.
June 27, 2018
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Slow???
Just the opposite. Way too much bidding from my perspective.

For six lessons Honors does 80% play 20% bidding.
1nt-pass
1nt-2nt
1nt-3nt
and
1M-pass
1M-2M
1M-3M
1M-4M
That's it.
No minor suit openings, no changing suits, no nothing.
Play, play, play.
June 27, 2018
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There are no easy solutions to bidding. I think the Yellow card is as simple as you can get and still have a complete system to handle most situations.
June 27, 2018
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I'm actually very happy with the SAYC.
More important windmills for me now.
June 27, 2018
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God created everything in six days. Turns out, they may not have been actual 24 hour days.

By the tenth lesson, according to the website you provided, your students would have been exposed to (taught) the following bids, correct me if I'm wrong:
Opening one-of-a-major, minor and NT.
And a subsequent rebid.
Overcalls.
Take-out doubles.
Peemptive bidding
And strong 2 Club openings.

Now is this the creation kind of ten lessons, or do actually ply them with all this in ten physical lessons?

All this and I assume they have time to learn about promotion, finessing, setting up long suits, trumping in the short hand, discarding, sounding out the shapes of the hands and suits around the tables, opening leads in both trump and no trump contracts, and of course the three types of signalling.

If this is so, New Zealanders are a heck of a lot sharper than New Yorkers, most of whom spend a full year plus on just the barest introduction to all these topics.
June 26, 2018
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I especially like the way you talk about how you and Bob discuss the bidding. I'm very interested to see how this translates.
June 26, 2018
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Unfortunately it will take a while for them to be able to enjoy playing without you. It's the nature of bridge. It's kind of like tennis. You need to have at least a grasp of every area there too. The forehand, the backhand, the volley, the serve, court coverage, scoring. Takes many lessons to get them all in.
June 26, 2018
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Marketing is certainly a worthwhile topic to pursue, but can we do that at a later date?
June 26, 2018
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Though my book is designed to teach NT play, followed by trump play, followed by NT bidding, followed by trump bidding. My actual lesson series veers from that. First three lessons: no trump play and bidding (on week three). Next three lessons: Trump play and bidding (on week six).
June 26, 2018
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A love/hate relationship.
June 26, 2018
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One word.
Trump
June 26, 2018
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Chris,
This is from a book that may or may not, ever get written.

Location of honors:
Ever hear of a five-trick king?
That may be the value of the holding king and one diamond when your partner opens a weak two-bid in diamonds (2D)?
When partner opens with a weak two, and you hold the king and one diamond, do you see six potential tricks right there?
How cards work and visualization.
When you hold the king of your partner's weak 2-bid suit, picture the actual card holding he could be looking at. He should have “two of the top three honors six times.” I'm sure you've heard that about a million times by now. But now I want you to actually try to “see” partner's holding and then put it together with yours:
AQ9642 opposite K7
Can you see that this will produce six tricks most of the time?
Note: The opponents' five outstanding cards rate to split 3 opposite 2, two out of three times. (Easy to remember: 3/2…2/3).
So, if you pick up: A54 A76 K7 A8642 and your partner opens 2D, jump to 3NT. After all, your three aces and the six tricks that you've visualized will come from your diamonds will produce the nine tricks needed for game.
But what if instead you pick up what looks like a fairly similar hand: AK54 A76 7 A8642
And partner again opens 2D?
Same 15 HCP, but now how many tricks in a no-trump contract are you planning on making with a holding of AQ9642 opposite that singleton 7? Maybe as few as one.
So, it’s not just about how many “points” you have. Or whether they be shortness points, length points, or high card points. As with real estate, it often seems to come down to where those points are…. location, location, location.
June 26, 2018
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All life is timing.
June 26, 2018
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Coffee. Henk says he gets his coffee at the bar. Maybe that has something to do with why card fees look low in Europe. Because we have no bars in our clubs, coffee is free. Let's say $3 a cup, a cup an hour, what's that in Euro's?

Professionalism.
I work a 60 hour week (love it), have two full time office staff working 40 plus hours a week, two part time office staff, 20 hours each, and a wife that works along side me pro bono. For those keeping count, that's 180 plus hours a week.

Attention to detail can be the difference between success and failure. Yes, I have to hire and train the best directors and teachers I can find, but that's a once in a while task. Yes, I have to keep tweaking programs, come up with an occasional novel idea, get my teaching staff together a few times a year to set up everyone's topics for the coming few months, but in the end, it simply comes down to attention to detail.

Players are here anywhere from two to four hours. If things aren't as perfect as they can be, they will notice. If they do come to us with a legit concern, we make sure, if it is at all possible, that it gets taken care of before the next time they play. With 300 people a day, that takes some doing.

One hundred plus emails answered daily, 50 phone calls, a half dozen players wanting us to find them partners. Weekly there's fifty different classes to book, track, charge, 16 duplicate sessions, nine social bridge sessions. There are all-day seminars, Friday wine and cheese evenings, Pro-am-am-ams, morning 750 Swisses, guest speakers, scrabble night, scrabble tournaments. And now we just added a full schedule of canasta, starting after the July 4th vacation week.

I almost forgot, to go with a paid staff of forty, there's also a staff of 15 volunteers. With canasta on the way, that will soon jump to the mid twenties.

Four years ago Honors was a much smaller, not for profit, volunteer run duplicate bridge club with a few classes a week, regularly needing generous infusions of cash from it's members. Then it decided it could no longer afford to continue that way.

If you are lucky, and your club is running smoothly with an all volunteer board and a mostly volunteer staff, imagine where it could be if you found and brought in a professional manager and a full time staff.

Or not.
June 26, 2018
Jeff Bayone edited this comment June 26, 2018
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