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All comments by JoAnn Sprung
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Totally biased poll
Jan. 31
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Mark you seem to be implying that the pair has questionable ethics. Are you suggesting that they have secret signals, clip boards or have seen the hand records prior to the game?

It seems pretty obvious (to me) that this isn't a strong pair. From just two boards I would suspect that North is very aggressive and South passive. Random pairs do random things usually to their detriment.
Dec. 26, 2017
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Steve the pause requirement after a skip bid isn't any different from before the removal of the stop cards. The only difference is that there isn't a stop card that can be used at the player's discretion. Technically it was an all or nothing use but a lot of players would use it when they wanted to make sure their partners took notice.

I've experienced a lot of times when the opps didn't hesitate after a skip bid warning. Sometimes they would look at the ceiling and count to ten. UI was rampant.

IMO removing the discretionary stop card is a big improvement. Theoretically the other players at the table shouldn't be able to tell whether the next hand really has a problem or not. A failure to pause constitutes UI.
Dec. 20, 2017
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The other day at the club I played a low heart instead of following suit. I caught it in time to avoid a revoke but had a penalty card. This allowed the declarer on the next trick to play the heart queen out of his hand and my having to follow low instead of winning the trick.

I did not think declarer was doing something wrong. Actually I expected declarer to make the play since I had the known heart position.

It was a penalty card. Why shouldn't I pay a penalty? It is a players right (obligation?) to play to their best advantage within the rules of the game. If someone miscounts trump and leaves one outstanding should we not ruff in because they made a technical error?

Not following suit is an error pure and simple. Why should players be pressured not to “take advantage” and ignore select errors? Who determines which are ok? Once we start inserting our own judgment into which errors to enforce we elevate ourselves above the directors and rules of the game.
Dec. 13, 2017
JoAnn Sprung edited this comment Dec. 13, 2017
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“What I was objecting to was that he didn't call the director and immediately played the 10 from A109x opposite his KQx”

That is a different kettle of fish. I would object to that as well. If the poll had asked “would you try to take advantage of an exposed/dropped card without calling the director for a ruling”, I suspect that you would have gotten a different response.
Dec. 6, 2017
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AT I know what you meant. I disagree with the characterization.

If there is a penalty card the declarer has the right (obligation?) to play the hand to their best advantage. Once we start choosing which errors to “take advantage of” we are going down a slippery slope.

Some real world examples:

1. The defenders come to the table in the finals of a national swiss event (round three) without a convention card. The world class pro refuses to fill out a card and says “just ask us and we'll tell you what all the bids mean”. The opponents are supposed to be nice guys and let it slide when clearly they have an obligation to provide a card and verbally explaining everything could provide UI. The opponents call the director and are vilified for doing so.

2. A declarer plays Qxxx opposite AJTx by leading the queen. The expert declarer knowing the K is on their right plays the Q from dummy which is ducked. Not anticipating the duck they go up ace! They claim the number of tricks they would have gotten had they actually taken the finesse. Then they look in their hand and see they don't have the ace. Instead of apologizing to partner for their error they say “well if thats the way they want to win”.

3. A pro claims as declarer. The defenders realizing that there is a trump outstanding (which could have been easily pulled earlier in the hand) sit there and wait for declarer to state a line of play. Declarer after a minute finally states that they will take a marked finesse in a side suit (no mention of pulling the last trump). The director is called and rules against the declarer. The opposing pair is vilified as “playing dirty”.

Imagine you lose the Blue Ribbons because the opponents at another table choose not to “deliberately” call the director and allow one of these situations to slide because they are pressured to do so?

We have directors and rule books for a reason. If there should be no penalty for a card dropping out of the players hand the rules could be changed to address that. Lets stop trying to be judge and jury and allow the directors to do their jobs.
Dec. 6, 2017
JoAnn Sprung edited this comment Dec. 6, 2017
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The question as posed casts a negative light. “DELIBERATELY take advantage” implies something nefarious. Allowing the director to make the ruling is, of course, a deliberate act. Taking advantage is not the way one would normally characterize it.

If the the card accidentally dropped on the table the director can take that into account when making the ruling. i.e. minor vs major penalty card.

Once players are pressured to let things slide then they are put in an untenable position viewed as a villain for calling the director.
Dec. 5, 2017
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Ron, I have no business connection with Amazon. (if only it were so) As a bridge player I thought the service was a really nice alternative to lugging bottles of water and groceries back to the hotel and wanted to share. Recognizing that it's a specific company service I did ask BW for permission in advance. The company could certainly just charge a delivery fee which would go to the driver or bundle it into the cost of the products.

I'm sad that this is being portrayed as a commercial. In the future I'll just share privately with friends.
Dec. 2, 2017
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Michael - agreed about the practice but I'm not sure about the legality issue. Can people work as independent contractors thus bypassing the employee minimum wage requirement? I don't know just asking….
Dec. 2, 2017
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The drivers on Amazon now only work for tips. It wouldn't occur to me not to tip.
Dec. 1, 2017
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Wouldn't you like to know:)
Nov. 30, 2017
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Nick - The first point - really?

for b) That's not really a ringing endorsement for allowing court proceedings instead of arbitration. A lot of people on this board complain that the League is hampered when dealing with cheaters for fear of being sued and the Insurance company forcing us to settle.

I'm not a Lawyer but I would suspect court cases cost more than arbitration even if we win.

This is a membership organization - “we” are the League not “they”. When someone brings a suit they are suing all of us.
Oct. 23, 2017
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Question for all of those who are railing against the ACBL arbitration policy - Are you willing to have your membership and entry fees raised substantially for the privilege of some to be able to sue their own organization?
Oct. 23, 2017
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Ron you didn't post your partner's hand. In this case your partner's pull of 2S is suspect. If you explained her bid as the majors that alerted her to your taking a major preference as opposed to a suit of your own.

What if you had explained her bid as hearts and a minor? Would she have pulled to 3C? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps you hold QJTxxxx,x,Qxx,xx. If partner holds a spade void than the 3C bid is logical. If partner was 65 with 6 clubs and extra values perhaps a pull is reasonable. Otherwise she needs to pass 2S.
Oct. 17, 2017
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@Robb - “I want to be really clear about the club thing. Except for major ethics issues we have NO ability to investigate nor enforce discipline at the club level”

Not to beat a dead horse (I know too late) It appears that you are advocating the collection and maintaining of recorder forms from clubs without any routine followup.

IMO This is dangerous on several levels
1. The accused doesn't have a chance to refute the claims made. As we know once both sides are heard the story may be very different.

2. The recorder system has gotten a bad rap, perhaps deservedly so, for nothing happening. So many people have said “why bother”. If we encourage club players to submit forms without any followup the image of the forms being ignored will continue.
Oct. 12, 2017
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@Robb - “2. While the ACBL has very little to do with player discipline at the club level I DO want player memos from clubs for our database.”

Robb thanks for weighing in and good luck with your new job.

Are you going to be sending guidelines to the recorders and clubs about this?

As a former recorder I always discussed the recorder form with both sides to get their input and in some cases provide feedback/guidance to the offending party if necessary.

Is this going to be the procedure for clubs going forward? Does this sync with the current CDR or are you anticipating a change?
Oct. 11, 2017
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@Don - “And the ACBL needs to be clear about that”

Don - It certainly does. Not even our powers to be agree on whether the Recorder can and should be involved in club matters. Believe me I asked.

The League needs to issue clear guidelines about when the Recorder can be involved in a issues that arise at a club. Just saying ethical doesn't cut it. For example we could all agree that a pair colluding to transmit info is included. How bout a fast double or quick shift to a singleton? What about a pair that fails to disclose agreements?

FWIW I believe that the board made a mistake in separating club players from the rest of the bridge world in this regard. Most club players (should) know how to behave ethically and the current situation puts the owners in a difficult position. It's sending the wrong message.
Oct. 10, 2017
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Peter you can always bypass them and submit to the next level up.
Oct. 10, 2017
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Don - Then someone needs to get the word to the League. We've had club owners beg the League for the recorders to get involved and told that they have to handle their own problem children. I know for a fact that recorders have been told that they cannot accept or keep files of recorder forms initiated at regular club games.

BTW it's improper for the recorder to keep files on players unless they inform the violator of the complaint and given a chance to reply. This is not the FBI.

I believe cheating in this case refers to situations like a pair colluding. The kind of cheating that the League wouldn't inform players that they were being watched until they lower the boom.

This confusion should definitely be cleared up by someone at the League.
Oct. 10, 2017
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Kudos to both you and Robb for taking the necessary steps to make the system a success.
Oct. 9, 2017
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