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All comments by Joe Hertz
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There is one, kind of sorta.

If you look at your history tab, there is a place on each hand to share hands with someone via a handviewer link, a hand editor, or to BBO.

I would hope the ACBL gets to see suspicious results flagged this way.
7 hours ago
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There was once a very big match vugraph'd on BBO. I noticed one of their participants' (the person I was rooting for) was logged into BBO at the same time the match was starting.

I didn't really believe something was wrong, but I still found a Yellow Name and had them look into it. Turned out the participant's spouse was using the account to watch the vugraph.
7 hours ago
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Video monitoring will not work if the competitors are eachother's minders.

My philosophy is: “Do not obviously try to prevent cheating. Try to prevent UNDETECTED cheating. Let every cheater think they've gotten away with it until you smack them with the evidence”.

If you prevent certain techniques from working at all, you only encourage cheaters to try other ones. Don't let them think that an illicit method that works is the same thing as a successful one.

If someone wants to cheat but isn't sure what they can get away with, they hopefully will rethink the entire endeavor.
7 hours ago
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Zoom/Skype between screenmates is unworkable. I'd say why but I don't want to give any ideas.

If I were so inclined, I could get around it and my screenmate would not be aware at all.
7 hours ago
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There already is a way to report hands to BBO but I don't know what becomes of them. Check the same place you go to generate a hand-viewer link.
7 hours ago
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I can think of some methods to collude that would be undetectable from anything a web-app could glean – you'd need a proctor at the person's computer. So I'm of the mind ANY masterpoints won on the internet need to be classified as having been won online.

At some point, some day, online points will need to be devalued or made to count only for ranks pertaining to online status (“Online Master” may have to become an actual rank).

The sooner we admit this to ourselves, the better.
7 hours ago
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There is a mechanism built into BBO to report a hand to BBO. I think I've assumed this would get suspicious hands looked at by someone in the recorder hierarchy if it was during an ACBL sanctioned event.

Is this a bad assumption?
8 hours ago
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I've played on RSVP, and I think it's a crying shame that Brenda cannot offer sanctioned games to her customers.

Once people get the hang of using Discord, it's superior to BBO at what it does. I don't know how it will scale up, but I want to see it try. It's as close as you can get to the experience of an in-person club game right now (except you get to see declarer's hand when you're dummy and since you're on Discord, you need to not blurt out stuff like “You had AK?! I thought that cue was a splinter!”.

Telling Club Owners that if they want to run their own games online that they must use BBO?? This strikes me as nothing short of restraint of trade. Before COVID, one could argue there wasn't much (or any) trade being conducted (After all, how many clubs chose to run their games online?).

But since Mid March? The Demand for BBO to implement this feature was very pent up.

To borrow the title of a Daft Punk song, “The Game has Changed”.
May 28
Joe Hertz edited this comment May 28
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Dont forget me :)
May 14
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1M-3M as game forcing, but a 2/1 bid and raise of the major being an invite.

If you are thinking, “Come on. No average player plays that anymore either…It died mumble years ago”, I can tell you that within the last 12 years or so this treatment was still in the “Club book” of the ACBL Learning Bridge Series. My copy has it.
April 10
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I used to be a never-ever Flannery person. Now I'm a almost-never Flannery person. I ask why the person wants to play it before I decide.

I think it is fair to say that the most common reason people play Flannery (cowardice) is one that entices no expert ever. By Cowardice, I mean that people want to avoid the auction that goes 1-1N-2 with a 4=5=2=2 shape.

The experts have far better and more subtle reasons behind why they play it. Like trying to minimize the number of auctions that begin 1-1.
April 10
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Flash, the last time I checked, had largely been disabled in Chrome. You have to actually do stuff to make it work.
April 8
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I'm in the process of setting up a Discord Server for our Unit so our members can stay in touch (Brenda and I have already exchanged server invites). We've already held a Unit BoD meeting on it. I think I've nailed a validation process down such that we can advertise its presence without it being spammed by who-knows-whom (The ACBL is fortunate as an organization in that each member has a number we can use to check to see if someone is for real)

Discord is so much “lighter weight” than Zoom, and the price is right. I think an ACBL BoD or BoG meeting over it would be asking for chaos, but if you just want something fast, quick, and simple, it really serves the need nicely.

My wife and I have a household Discord Server that has become our defacto intercom as my office is in the basement and hers is on the top floor. If friends want to call us, most will usually find us on it, rather than using a phone.
March 28
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True. I did say it wasn't optimal. Just that it was simpler and required less discussion.
March 26
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Have you established if opener denies 3 spades with the following sequence?

“1-1-1nt-2*-2

If opener could have 4 hearts and 3 spades, then I wouldn't necessarily assume the 2 bid shows extra length.

If you bid 2N here, you might find out he was inviting with 5 and had rebid the spades because you hadn't denied 3 yourself. You might get passed there. I generally play “support partner's suit first”, so I don't need to worry about this case. It's not necessarily optimal, but requires less discussion – this being a case of why it needs to have said discussion.

Otherwise, if he had 5 spades and less than 4 hearts with an invite, once you've denied 3 spades, he bids 2NT.

And if he had 6 spades and an invite, you have him bidding spade and then rebidding them at the 3 level.

So this would necessarily be a game-forcer.

For your sequence, I could imagine he's just trying to keep the auction alive at a low level if he's sure a slam is there but not sure where. So it's possible he only has 5 spades, but if he does, he has real a monster. For now, you're good assuming he has 6.

So in the denying 3 spades case, for starters, you are entirely within your rights to assume he has a game forcing hand. Likely looking for a slam. Whether he must have 6 spades or probably has 6 spades turns on the answer to the previous question, and in the not-denied-3 case, it might not be game-forcing.
March 26
Joe Hertz edited this comment March 26
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FWIW, one year on my GNT Squad, I know I was handed cash, received no 1099 form (the amount was less than the threshold for one).

It's possible a check was made out to our captain and we split the proceeds (I did not ask), but one of our teammates (the wife of the captain) was a CPA.

My guess is that intent to make a profit is what makes a net-loss deductible against other income. If you don't have that, then you have a hobby. I'm sure there are other details that go into determining that.

So, if I'm right, we all get to deduct up to what we have won in the pursuit of more winnings (or performing a task, like entering the NAP/GNT), but only people like Phil Ivey can actually use a net loss in that profession to offset other income.
March 24
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Does intent actually matter?

I mean, you get a 1099 form from a casino for your winnings, and last I checked (admittedly many years ago) losses from such legal gambling is deductible up to the amount of whatever you won, and getting lucky at a slot machine doesn't make you a professional gambler.

How would that be handled? I suspect the answer is the same.
March 23
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It won't be 6 though. It will be 60-600.

This is not the way I wanted to save the social security trust fund.
March 22
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Skype would help, but I can quite quickly come up with a few ways for a ch**ting pair to work around it, even if entire screens had to be shared between screen-mates. I'll refrain from mentioning them for obvious reasons.
March 20
Joe Hertz edited this comment March 20
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Can't have both members of a partnership, right?

So lose Fisher and add Andrea Buratti.
March 19
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