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All comments by Jim Perkins
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Every year for about a week, I try to go somewhere where cell phones don't work.
3 hours ago
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It even survived 1989. And if that wasn't a message, I don't know what was.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ExMR0c0aM
5 hours ago
UI?
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@ John (and all) I faced this auction on Mon (5/21):

(1) 1NT (2) 4 . . . .

While we play 4-level transfers generally and systems on over NT overcalls, we have never discussed 1NT - 4 in any context. Partner is a bit rusty so I am not sure what to make of this 4 call but I guess she wants to play in s and forgot to transfer. I don't think I have any UI, but I had a question about my PASS.
16 hours ago
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We don't have to teach new minor forcing before kids can learn to play cards. They can learn the basics of Rank (Ace beats a King, King beats a Q, etc.), Leading (player that won the last trick has the right (and obligation) to start the next trick), Following Suit (you must follow suit if you can, and you must follow suit in order to have a shot at winning the trick) and Trump (one suit can be named trump, in which case the lowest card of that suit is higher than the highest card in any other suit) in less than 15 minutes.

This is enough to get some competition started and to already make the game more than luck.

I don't care if we create a bunch of spectator fans of bridge. I just want to create more players. Or at least a pool from which more players may be drawn eventually.
16 hours ago
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I was an early adopter of online poker (first account opened, Nov 1998 – was it really almost 20 years ago?). And I rode the tsunami sized wave of literally tens of millions thinking that they had found the answer to where does money come from.

The brick and mortar poker establishments fought the online version. Stupidly. Some still do – including he who shall remain nameless lest the ban on political ranting be raised. Nevertheless, once the one person that owned a B&M poker establishment got his way and internet poker was shut down, I hope he learned his lesson.

Online poker fed live poker at a rate of about 100x whatever online took away from live. I see the same mentality in club owners of ACBL sanctioned clubs. Online is not your enemy, it is your friend. No one can love live bridge until they have first learned to play bridge.

And bridge, even in the days of my youth (70s) was being learned mostly on computers – which would tell you what you did “wrong” without any yelling or shaming.
May 22
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I asked the question in another forum:

How did football (the world wide version known as soccer in the USA) go from being a fringe sport that we couldn't even play on an organized basis and to which we definitely didn't know all the rules (circa 1967 or so) to becoming a sort of rite of passage for all USA children aged 3-8 or so (by the time my oldest was in that bracket – early 1980s)? What happened?

As to baseball – it was never the Great American Sport. It was the Great American Passtime. In an era when there was time to pass. This was before America took on the role of Worldwide Consumer in Chief and everyone had to work 60 hours a week to afford all that consumption. I don't think it's coincidental that bridge is more popular per capita in Europe where workweek pressures are less . . . draconian.

In baseball's heydey of the 60s and early 70s, farm boys could make a diamond amongst the cow patties and there were enough boys on 3-4 farms (usually) to make up two full 9 member teams. City boys couldn't play baseball, per se, in the street, but they did invent their own variation, stickball, and played. Nowadays if adults see youths congregating in groups of 15 or so the term gang gets used.

One of the great joys of my entire life (now into its 7th decade, barely though), was leaving my house early in morning during summer vacation from school and heading over to the school yard for daylong sessions of lob ball (not allowed to pitch fast or hard). There was no greater success in those days than hitting it so far that it broke a window at the school and the janitor came out yelling and boys escaped in at least 4 different directions.

Still, I think bridge should examine the USA soccer phenomenon. What happened and why did it become so popular in just one decade? Popularity continues to this day.
May 22
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The NFL has already settled its concussion liability. I know. And the cost is more than a billion. At least the headline number is more than a billion.

To date, NFL has over $430 million in settlement claims payments and or determined liability and they have only just begun (439) to process the total number of claims submitted (1831) or for which they are subject to presentation over the duration of the settlement procedure (20,496).
May 22
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I think that bridge is growing, perhaps exponentially, in China. And it is certainly more popular among Europeans in their family load years (30s, 40s) than here in the USA.

Guess why? Separate reply thread below.
May 22
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“Are you trying to find a new partner?”

Asked of a student after she described an auction in which she bid her own suit 3 times in preference to raising partner's twice bid suit with her 3 card support.
May 21
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“With 6-5, come alive.”

“With 6-5 distribution, keep bidding until someone doubles.”
May 21
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“Balanced hands defend.” Applied to competitive auction close decisions.
May 21
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Yu and I used to joke about “not losing the post mortem.”

I personally use it to refer to a situation where partner has made a bid that does not appeal to my hand. But she already has heard about my hand. Or at least I haven't given her any reason to believe that I have what she needs for her bid to work.

So I don't try and save her. I just content myself with not losing the post mortem. Whereas, if I act and am wrong . . . .
May 21
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IN ACBLScore and an even number of tables, when you set up the game, you scroll down “Howell, Mitchell, WEB, Ext.” and choose WEB. Then it asks the number of tables and you enter that.
May 21
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We're all wrong all the time. Some of us are less wrong than others.

Mercifully, neither bridge, nor any significant piece thereof, has been solved as of today.
May 16
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I don't care which is which, but 2NT should show something and X should show something else.

I do know that every time partner opens 1NT (15-17), the OPPs overcall 2 and I am 2=3=4=4 with 8 HCP, no spade card and we play lebensohl. So I often lobby for cooperative* but I never get anywhere with that line.

* I have 8 HCP and no good bid.
May 16
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I have fired two of my three best partners for their inability to shut up at the table. The third one moved away. Sigh.
May 15
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There are two kinds of bridge partnerships. Casual, one day only, affairs. And long-term.

Neither requires clarification of agreements immediately.

IMO.

I read in Bumblepuppy Days that it used to be a rule in Whist that no one was to speak during the games.

If only . . . .
May 15
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BBO. Population.

The Sierra Network was the most fun bridge community anywhere, ever, online or flesh and blood. Damn you AOL (who bought it and shut it down).
May 15
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Team Schireson leading through 3. Way to go, Max!
May 13
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OK – so 4th try.

Division of Labor:

NO – Selecting international competitors and coordinating with World Organization; Processing input to the Laws project; Organizing approximately 20 elite and 3-4 super-elite tournaments each year (including most aspects (including, for example, the upthread suggestion commission payment to clubs that send players to these events); Perhaps LS should organize limited events to be held in conjunction with super-elite events being held in their geography so that we get intermediate and novice players in the same building with the very top players); Developing, monitoring and improving a player rating system (which may or may not completely ignore results achieved at LS events); Developing standards (Charts, Alert procedures, etc.) for bidding conventions and systems allowed at their own events.

LS – Recruiting new members and promoting the game locally; Organizing local tournaments; promoting more cooperation and less competition among local tournaments and clubs*; Developing a local award and/or ranking system to encourage players to play and improve; Developing a collective action body to negotiate with the NO and coordinate among themselves regarding matters relating to profitability of individual players, etc.

It looks like the one major sticking point in this bifurcation will be the MasterPoint system and any changes thereto. If everyone could figure out a way to live without a unified MasterPoint for both NABCs and 49'er club games, we might find a way forward.

* David Holmgren has a brilliant essay regarding how (in biology) competitive strategies outperform in growing energy environments while cooperative strategies outperform in declining energy environments. I am more than willing to discuss Holmgren's theory in more depth, but the nature of competition as sacrosanct makes it border on political. I leave it to the reader to determine if bridge circa 2018 is a growing energy or declining energy environment.
May 13
Jim Perkins edited this comment May 13
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