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All comments by Mike Cassel
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a better poll might have been what to do over 5.
I would have bid 5N. Might partner qbid his heart void or make another forward going bid?
If East has a void and a heart trick and 6N would be a make your boat has sailed.

6N, on this auction, would be a complete and possibly disastrous guess. Goading your opponents into choosing a losing call when they were in a making contract is a coup of the highest order.

I think you have to lie in the bed you made with your previous bid.

If you need imps or are unsure of your prospects a XX might goad the opps into bidding more guaranteeing a plus score.
July 22
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Congrats to those responsible for setting the schedule
Having the mini-Spingolds start on Tuesday has helped bump the Spingold field from 78 to 98 teams.

Give the advancing players a chance to compete against better teams maybe for more than one day.

Now if they'd only start a 10K on day 2 of the Platinum in the spring.
July 22
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There aren't enough spades left in the deck for 4N to be an offer to play.
July 21
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Two of the four districts in Flight C that sent two teams to Las Vegas (13 & 21) found both teams surviving to the quarterfinals.
July 20
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I'm a 4N bidder on the assumption that this shows two places to play, but the bid is not without risk.
Where are the diamonds on this hand? No lead directing advance?
Partner could have a big diamond hand with a spade stopper and less than adequate support to make slam in one of my suits.

When I bid 5 over 5 he should assume I am willing to play slam in clubs, but we might not have a making slam.
July 19
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i have no idea how many sites there are. I've played in those three venues in the past.
If by sites you mean metro areas around the country I don't know that either
July 19
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What matters is a flight B player knowing which area clubs will have the smallest turnout and a history of the weakest games and arranging to play with my best B partner so I can take advantage of more boards played against less experienced opponents.

I'm not going to play at Faulkstone? or Raffles. I'll go to Center City. Do they still have a game?

Am curious if Jay contacted clubs in e.g. Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, L.A., or other metro areas to solicit their opinions on this idea.
July 18
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Can you guess how much pushback we received when we floated the idea of eliminating the Open Flight? That would allow districts to boost their support for the other flights by 33%.

How much more participation would there be if district Flight C GNT Champions received $2,000 from the ACBL on top of the travel subsidy from their home district?

That would eat up only $50K of the $200K+ profit from NAP club qualifying events.

That only 2% of the membership competes in the GNTs speaks more to the failure in marketing the event than anything else. What diverted financial resources Rich? The ACBL's only costs for the GNTs are the expenses of holding the event a day before the start of the NABC. The director expense for the GNT KO phase might be partially expended elsewhere in larger table counts the first weekend. The free entries for the lower flights the first two days comes out of each district's Grass Roots Fund raise: no cost to the ACBL.

Now if you want to talk about diverted financial resources we can discuss the International Fund which supports an even smaller cohort at the top of the MP pyramid.
July 18
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Walter,
my clicking on your links only show the eighth round pairings, not the results.
Nor does my browser for acbl live show the final VP results of the Swiss
July 18
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One of biggest regrets from the days of the GNT/NAP Coordinator forum was our inability to convince the league that supporting a position to centralize and disseminate Best Practices being employed around the country would pay dividends.

Offering the GNT Flight A second place squad a subsidy to play in the mini-Spingold is a CAPITAL IDEA. How many districts have even considered such an idea?

Why is it that the income from NAP club qualifying is more then $200,000 above the expenses of giving free entries at the spring NABC and the award for an NAP district champion ($700) might barely cover the typical airfare and two hotel nights?

We have two Grass Roots events that COULD mobilize interest from our grass roots club players through “Win A Trip to the NABC” promotions, but we haven't.
July 18
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Y, could not believe that a VP score in low 60s could Q for the final 16
July 18
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In my district a number of former Flight C GNT champions became regular NABC attendees having never been to a National after they won a trip as a GNT champion.

“Win a Trip” does provide an incentive to compete.
July 17
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This is the first year that districts with GNT district final fields of 8 or more teams can send a second team to the national finals in flights B & C.

There are 41 B teams and 26 C teams in the Swiss today.

Two districts fielded no C teams.
Only four districts have a second C team.

The GNTs could be such an opportunity to offer less experienced players an entree into the NABC experience.

The WSOP Main event just ended with over 8,500 players. Part of the explosive growth this century came from the advent of satellite tournaments where winners punch a ticket to the big show

The ACBL's Special Events could be so much more. We obsess about driving new member growth and we don't use a leverage in front of our noses to kindle interest among members we already have.

We're not, of course, talking about $10K WSOP entries, but we certainly could offer larger travel subsidies to our NAP and GNT champions. “If you build it they will come”. But we don't.

What are your districts doing with their Grass Roots Fund dollars to encourage participation in the NAPs and GNTs?
July 17
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kid you not
“No bid is truly bad if it evokes an even worse bid by your opponent”
July 16
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Ely Charlie Oswald Edgar Fred

Mount Rushmore of our Bridge World
July 14
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Steve
Your energy and thoughtfulness and commitment to the game are beyond commendable.
I also do not see the current BOD relinquishing their grip.
I think there is a natural belief that the interests of 25 individual districts might be irreparably diluted in the 9 & 50 proposal.

I like the idea of creating a 9 member executive function. I think a consensus of what talents are needed to constitute that body would be possible and that subgroups of that group could take assignment to oversee a viable committee structure.
The current committee structure is absurd. Stretches the 25 member BOD to the point where elasticity is shot.

If BOD and BOG and selected interested member volunteers staffed workgroups (taskforces) the skillsets of those groups could be much more effective, imo, than the current committee structure.

The BOG has been an underutilized primarily ceremonial vestige? in the 15 or so years I've been ‘politically’ interested. I don't know if it was ever a highly functioning cog. I give the group great credit for forwarding reconsideration of any number of proposed GNT motions that failed on first try.

My fondest experience was the Special Events Task Force that dovetailed with the NAP/GNT Coordinator Forum from late 2011-12. Of course, after a single year, a new ACBL prez came in and deposited the BOD members of the group into a subcommittee of the IIRC, the Bridge Committee.

We wanted to focus on Best Practices and target resources to reward districts doing the best job of increasing participation in the Special Events. We got the Grass Roots Fund established only to be stonewalled by the league's refusal to use the generated funds to reward best practices. They did not want to administer the fund. The result was a few districts getting huge income boosts and the need for a complicated formula to redistribute 20% of the funds raised. A district's ability to raise a lot of Grass Roots Fund $ doesn't mean they are encouraging play in the NAPs and GNTs.

No interest on the part of the BOD to fund a position to highlight and disseminate best practices. No willingness to direct NAP club qualifying profit (now more than $200K annually) to further participation in Special Events. Little or no recognition that the NAP and GNT could be gateways for less experienced players to come to and then love the excitement of participating in NABC competition.

Bahar may have had serious problems but he was right on the money when he encouraged new ideas and experimentation. I wonder if what is now known as the mini-Soloway KO would have gotten off the ground without his encouragement.

I see no future for tournament bridge in ACBL land unless and until we can inculcate a desire for continuous growth and improvement for the Gold Rush graduates and New Life Masters
when they stop having masterpoint success in tougher fields.
I'd like to see a histogram of regional and NABC table counts by MPs over time.

How about a new reward system beyond masterpoints. Something like boy scout merit badges. When an advancing player finds a coup, or squeeze, or partial strip endplay etc.

You are right about cliffs, it's not just demographic. It's also experiential.

It's hard to keep loving something that doesn't love you back.
July 11
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y i picked out the wrong link
July 10
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Item 182-29: Extend KO Experiments
The experimental method of running KOs as first day qualifying (usually Round Robin) and second day semifinals and finals, with associated increased Masterpoint awards, be extended through December 31, 2018.
Effective immediately
Carried unanimously
July 10
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With a number of teams in the event that is not a multiple of the number of teams in a bracket, you can put the extra teams at the top or you can put them at the botton.

Why not extra teams in the middle:
e.g. 7 9 12 9 if you have
 9 teams with less than 1,000MP average 
12 teams with 1,200 to 2,500MP average
9 teams with 3,000 to 5,000MP averag
7 teams with MP average > 7,000MP

natural bracket breaks, not arbitrary bracket numbers
July 10
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