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All comments by Jeff Bayone
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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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Anyone ask Leonard if these three individuals are below the median age at his club?
June 25, 2018
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That's him.
June 25, 2018
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$5, $7, $10….That's why there are no games in Boston. A Starbucks coffee costs about that much, and according to the latest reports, slow roasting coffee may cause some forms of cancer.
It's $25 and up in Manhattan and we have three flourishing clubs with a total of 30,000 tables of duplicate bridge a year and 6,000 tables of lessons and social bridge. Oh, and we give coffee away free.
June 25, 2018
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Major obstacle cleared. No one on the Board need fear for their job.
However, what current nine Board members have the skills and interests that would be in alignment with these new responsibilities?
June 25, 2018
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3rd graders! Imagine that.
June 25, 2018
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Why don't we petition the BoD to make their own motion to create a separate Board to deal with member and club issues.

I'm not saying that there isn't a need for the BoD, I'm just suggesting that a huge 25 member Board that typically has 100 or more motions on their plate having virtually nothing to do with clubs, teaching, or growth, should be happy to get behind creating a body that would, if only to take some of the pressure off the growing calls for the current Board's dissolution.

Oh my.
I just remembered that we do have a Board for that. But it's five times the size of the BoD, so I guess that could be the reason it feels five times as ineffective.
And I'm on it.
Yikes.
June 25, 2018
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Great idea.
I'd be fun to see more last words.
June 25, 2018
Jeff Bayone edited this comment June 25, 2018
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I'll have to go back to the Diamond Book and look at it from that perspective. Nice.
June 25, 2018
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There is a sign just outside Donna's club in Dallas that reads, “This is not an open carry club”.
Down the road, another rather large club and a competitor of hers has, on Tuesdays and Fridays, enough of a turnout to have armed and unarmed sections. The players in the armed section however appear to be dying out.
June 25, 2018
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Great idea. Micro targeting…How about a different sponsor for each card? The restaurant down the street, a neighborhood bar, a gift shop, a florist, a dentist in the building, a dog walker…I just started and I'm up to the 7 of clubs.
June 25, 2018
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Exactly.
June 25, 2018
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You obviously haven't taken lessons at Honors Bridge Club.
June 25, 2018
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Whenever a non-bridge player talks to me about oh they hear that bridge is for old people, I inform them that while it is not just for old people, we do have our share of people getting on. I tell them about an 82 year old women, Irma Schulman, who plays at the club, pausing here just long enough for affect…with her mother.

Murray Seiler was Stayman's partner in college. Murray took the low road and went off to earn a law degree. But he never quite gave up the game, just played for fun. In his later years he took to playing at my Manhattan Bridge Club. Carlton Lett, a brilliant player in his own right, a three time winner of the NYC Goldman's, at the time the most prestigious event on the non National calendar, used to come to the club whenever Murray played and sit beside him for hours soaking up whatever he could. Carlton said Murray, at 90 plus, was still the strongest player in the club. Murray played till the day he died.
June 25, 2018
Jeff Bayone edited this comment June 25, 2018
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Can we try keeping this discussion to just the first few lessons?

In the the entire six lessons of the Honors Beginner 1, “Taste of Bridge” course the following bids are discussed:
Opening one notrump.
Passing that opening bid.
Raising it to the two level to invite.
Or bidding game, sometimes stretching a point because of the bonus.
Opening 1H or 1S.
Raising it to 2,3, or 4 with logic similar to that which was already laid down in our NT discussion.
That's it. No minor suit openings, no overcalls, no changing suits, no take-out doubles, and yes, no Lebesohl auctions.

Who else among you concentrates 80% of their initial efforts on having students PLAY bridge?

Teaching bidding theory before a player appreciates the value of shortness or of a solid five card side suit makes ZERO sense.

I appreciate that teaching bidding RULES is a lot easier then teaching play, teaching how cards work, but it should not be about you.

And yes, the sad fact is that a good proportion of the students coming into the game at an advanced age (ten years out of college or higher) have difficulty with logic and need to memorize, need tables, need that structure, but that should be the fall back, not the start.

Bridge's one axiom is the opening bid of 1NT. Once that's established, we try to show the student that armed with that, the scoring table, and the fact that a trick is approximately 3 HCP, one can build an entire bidding system. It's how I was taught algebra and geometry in grade school. Made sense to me then. Just giving back.

Please continue to weigh in. Thank you to those who did already.
June 25, 2018
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Interesting. 90 views so far and so very few comments.
I've posed questions that experienced teachers should have opinions on. Everyday issues and challenges. Perhaps, like Randy, you all need more time to reflect.
I'll check back tomorrow at this time.
June 24, 2018
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