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All comments by Jeff Bayone
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Alan,
Maybe this could open a whole discussion on “special” games. Our three clubs, Honors, Cavendish, and Aces, first independently, and now as one, have been cutting back on these costly games. The reason is simple economics. As our playing population has aged, extra master point games barely seem to register with them any more. Club Championships literally produce no effect, but at least they don't cost extra.
This year we've cut NAP qualifying games significantly. No one seemed to notice. STaC week will be cut back this time for the first time. We will run some sessions as Silver Point games, but not all.
I would like to see an extra way of reaching players who are LM's ten times over. Maybe a ratings based system. Something to get their juices flowing again.
Aug. 13, 2018
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I just reread part of a thread that suggested that while the European Bridge community has been busy trying to have bridge be called a sport, whether you agree or not, the net effect was that it did produce about two million pounds worth of free advertisement in the form of media attention.

We need to find more of these one-off attention grabbing ideas. Clearly trying to sing the praises of what bridge actually is has been getting us nowhere.

How much publicity would bridge receive if LeBron's family Foundation introduced bridge into his new school for at risk kids?

How much local publicity would bridge receive if when old Mrs. Murphy, from some little town just north of Kansas City, came back from a bridge cruise having won $7,500 instead of 19 Master Points?

Lofty pronouncements of bridges's health benefits and of how exciting a mind sport it is, keeps getting us nowhere.

Celebrity and money might. That's the American way.
Aug. 11, 2018
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They are called boys until what age?
Aug. 11, 2018
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BeB is working on a whole area for the beginning student. It will include simple suit combinations and 4 to 6 card endings.

Try looking at in again in about two months. Right now I carefully select the hands I want my beginning students to work on.
Aug. 8, 2018
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Joan,
Have you tried the Israeli online program Best e-Bridge for teaching support? And if you like putting the cart before the horse, A Taste of Bridge talks about bidding for the first time on page 101.
Aug. 8, 2018
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There are so many hands out there that are classic teaching hands. These must be available to share. No one even knows who the first one was to create a given hand. We now have at least three different groups working on bridge teaching hand libraries. The ACBL must encourage the free dissemination of all such material. Teachers need the best tools possible, especially those who do this part-time or are new to this.

It's not plagiarism, it's good bridge practice (best practices workshop) and must be thought of as such.

On the other hand, using eight preset hands taken directly from a teacher's lesson down the road and pawning that off as your own, now that's a different story.

The lines gray somewhere.
Aug. 8, 2018
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by .09
Aug. 6, 2018
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Exactly. I qualified it with an ‘if’…
Aug. 5, 2018
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I'm one of the “advertisers” this article appears to be aimed at.

I know it may be hard to believe but I just saw this thread and it is way too long to wade through, so maybe this has been said before.
I cannot believe the amount of work, effort, time, energy, and passion that Mark and his staff must be putting in to produce an issue of this size and scope each month. And for what? The hope of one day reaping millions. I've been in Mark's place for 40 years in the concrete world of bridge. I'm still looking for my first million. Neither of us do this for the money. We do it for the love of what we do.
The only article I looked at was that very first instance of “plagiarism” where he copies color commentary from an article written in 1931. Really? Mark's doing 12 hours of real work a day and someone points to something copied from a 100 year old piece as an intro to the real meat of the article as being worthy of ostracism from the writing community. Like I said I haven't read the thread, but if the rest is like this, come on bridge community, get a life.
The body of work Mark is turning out is incredible and should be celebrated. If his “plagiarism” costs another writer serious loss of income let that writer sue Mark himself. Till then, give the guy some space and all the credit he deserves for what he, and not anyone else, is doing.
Aug. 3, 2018
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Three weeks of no trump followed by three weeks of trump. The taste of bridge course must include both, otherwise I might work even more with no trump before moving on.
Aug. 1, 2018
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To those, I will suggest one more: Trumping in the short hand.
Aug. 1, 2018
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Not to toot my own horn, but I will.
Check out the ABTA 2018 ‘Newcomer Book of the Year’, A Taste of Bridge. I think you will see that the first 100 pages are devoted to exactly what you spell out is your approach to reaching beginners. I think we are very much in tune.
Aug. 1, 2018
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So what's the verdict?
Looks like, from the few comments, that jackpot pools don't work. I think they might, if the players don't have to contribute to them and if they are large enough, relative to the card fee, to make someone sit up and take notice.

Like I said at the top, Friday evenings have gotten smaller and smaller. I don't want to lose this session. Over the years I've seen my Saturday and Sunday evenings go. I'd rather run a 10 table game that makes a little money then run a game half that size that makes the same.

So we started a jackpot night. We started this too short a time ago, and over the summer, when weekends in the city are slow by nature. Our Friday evening pool is contributed by the house. One card fee per table goes into the pool. At $25 that starts to add up quickly. We also guarantee a minimum prize of $150. We run it as a handicapped pairs event, with up to 4-boards. The prize is split between the highest pairs with and without the handicap. If that's the same pair, they win it all. So far the only winner of the entire pool has been a C pair that had a miraculous 64% game a few weeks ago. They are still being congratulated.

Like I said, it is too soon to tell. During this time we have had two STaC games that cancelled the pool, breaking up the flow.

Mid November should be enough time to see how if this will work. So far it has generated talk, and probably paid for itself. I think we're getting on average, about two or three tables additional tabkes, but some of that increase is from our staff who definitely like the idea. If they want to be eligible for the prize, we charge them an extra $5 on top of their reduced rate of $5 (which covers dinner).
Those two or three tables make a big difference when it means the difference between a Howell and a Mitchell. People bring people. Action brings action.

Anyone else want to give this a try and report back?
July 21, 2018
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Bottom line…Do the Sectionals,Units, and clubs in your area, function as a unit, supporting each other?
If you were in charge, could you come up with a better system?
July 20, 2018
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Won't work there is right.
July 19, 2018
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Got it.
TY
July 19, 2018
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I think our NYC Unit may be moving in that direction too.
July 19, 2018
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Probably too small to move the needle.
July 18, 2018
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100 fewer tables. So you're saying the players played anyway, it just didn't cost you an extra $5 - $6 a table?
Did 499er attendance increase?
July 18, 2018
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What does the CAS verdict change?

What would it say about anyone who would want either of them on their team?

Nor can I imagine sitting opposite these two, or either one of them, remembering how I had been used and mocked by them for session after session, year after year, for hours on end. Knowing how hard I worked, the effort I put out, and now knowing all the while I was playing against a stacked deck, would make it impossibly uncomfortable to have to play against them again for many years to come. How would I ever be able to look in the mirror if I allowed myself to put competition and a paycheck before my own self respect?

No organization or promoter would risk their event if the bridge community simply stuck together and boycotted any event these two played in.

Or am I missing something by me not being a player on the international field?
July 18, 2018
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