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All comments by Mike Cassel
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My favorite Italian restaurant, Fior d'Italia, was closed last time we were in S.F.
They have a Thanksgiving menu and are also serving off their regular menu.
An easy ride up and over Nob Hill on the Powell-Mason cable car
https://www.fior.com/thanksgiving1
Nov. 27, 2019
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I had a hand in the inception of the ‘Soloway style’ KOs that started with smaller bracket RRs qualifying 4 teams to semifinals and I was NEVER in favor of offering Gold points to 3/4th if the bracket was 5 or 6 teams.

IIRC there was a clamor from top level players that they were playing on day 2 and not being ‘properly’ rewarded.

I confess that I haven't kept up with how the MPs are being awarded.

In a similar vein:
A year ago the BOD authorized an award for a second teamd in the GNT Flight B and C if the field was 8 or more teams.

I became excited that we could boost participation in the B flight if the Gold Rush graduate crowd could win a trip by playing well enough in the first day Swiss to reach the KO stage.

The BOD quickly closed that loophole by requiring that only the second PLACE team could qualify.

Nice way to not recognize that teams with 500-1000MPs can't compete against a team averaging 2,250MPs. Flight B is so wide that there is little incentive to play if you aren't an upper echelon B squad.

Very few people I interacted with saw the advantage of utilizing the GNT as a springboard to greater participation by catering to the new LMs. Ownership of being “the second best B team” was more important to our B teams than the threat that there won't be A teams when this cohort gets to the 4,000MP average and there weren't any B teams coming up behind them.
Nov. 25, 2019
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Does the 0-300 bracket of a GRush pay 33% Gold for 1st OA? I didn't think so and don't know.
I thought Gold was only for the top bracket of a GR pair game.
Nov. 22, 2019
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There will not be much *edited for accuracy* Gold in a bracket whose average MPs is that low.
Average Masterpoints
Per Player Pigmentation of Award
750+ 100% Gold
500 – 749 66.67% Gold; 33.33% Red
300 – 499 50.00% Gold; 50.00% Red
<300 33.34% Gold; 66.66% Red

NLMs like getting Gold points. You need a larger bracket with a higher average MP, to get a a %gold for overalls, no?

I'm all for encouraging the Gold Rush crowd to get into IMP play. I wish there were good strategies to do so.
I've clamored for a Gold Rush Swiss on Thursday at our regional when we have an Open Swiss, but cannot get the committee to move forward on it.

They fear a loss of table count if there is no Gold Rush pair game.
Nov. 22, 2019
Mike Cassel edited this comment Nov. 22, 2019
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The concept of what is now known as the ‘Soloway style’ small bracket 4-session regional KO was authorized as an experiment largely (solely?) because, in May 2017, D14 KO attendance eroded to the point where we were forced into three single handicapped bracket KOs that no one liked.

We worked with Russ Jones and Sol Weinstein to work on the BSAF, bracket size adjustment factor, because we did not want to go the road of other regionals that moved to one day bracketed team events run mostly as round robins with short matches.

We wanted to retain, if only on the second day, a long match format. It was never intended to become a norm for districts who had the table count to start a new KO every day, or to extend the concept over more than one or two brackets.

At the same point in time D6 got a 3KO authorized for their Saturday team event.

I warned that extending the concept up and down and across all brackets should be avoided. I was not in favor of allowing overall awards to extend 4 places in 5 and 6 team brackets, but was told that those awards would not be any more than what the teams would have earned for their top 4 performance on day 1.

The small bracket KO format proved popular, was authorized, and here we are.

The KIKO idea is the logical extension of the unintended consequence of letting regionals abuse the original intent to the point that not only have the horses left the barn, but the attempt to corral them is seen as sponsor abuse.

The MP awards for this format is based on strength of field. It is not going to be much of a masterpoint giveway if the average MP holding of, e.g. the fifth bracket of a KIKO's avg. MP holding is 400.

Our May regional paid 40 14 & 9 for 1st OA across three brackets. The second KO paid 42 & 14. Instead of a third KO we ran a bracketed Swiss on Friday. It paid 23 11 & 7.

A reasonable team could do better playing in two one day bracketed events rather than 2-day Soloway style KOs.

I can understand giving players what they want insofar as not having brackets with too wide a range, but do you need a bracket 7 where everyone has 150-225MPs? That seems absurd.
Nov. 22, 2019
Mike Cassel edited this comment Nov. 22, 2019
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I do not understand why there needs to be linkage between the size of the BOD and the number of districts in the ACBL

One of the weaknesses of the current governance structure is the unwieldy assignment to each member of the BOD to participate in any number of committees. Why can't the core committee functions be assigned to a combination of motivated members of various constituencies: BOD, BOG, and ACBL members with demonstrated interest and expertise.
Their work can inform a small BOD who aren't popular district politicians.

I find the need to ‘bribe’ current BOD members with tenure parachutes odious.
Nov. 19, 2019
Mike Cassel edited this comment Nov. 19, 2019
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“we must seek out professional talent to accomplish what we simply cannot handle on our own.”

Cannot agree more.

The existing districts' unit boards each selecting their own rep to a BOD IS inefficient making up for an unwieldy governing body that has long been overburdened with minutiae and micromanaging.

Reglomerating into fewer equipop districts is no solution and risks disenfranchising (emotionally if not factually) the subsumed.

Between Joe, a select group of existing board members, and a selected group of interested members or designees from the BOG could engage in the important process of deciding what critical functions are needed to fashion the kind of board that we need to accomplish the mission.

there is no assurance that existing BOD members or new blood, borne of Unit BOD popularity contests will populate a more functional, smaller BOD.

We can do better than what is on the table.
The existing 25 member body can participate in various task forces that focus on their passions along with volunteers, BOG members that report to smaller professional BOD that empowers the workgroups that do the work the BOD needs to right the ship.
Nov. 19, 2019
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Disguising or misrepresenting your prowess in a KO environment against unfamiliar opponents can pay significant dividends.

One of the best Minnesota players, no longer with us was John Boeder. In his book, Thinking About IMPs, he recounted a match where, early on, he had a squeeze for an insubstantial overtrick and chose not to execute it.

In a money round, QF IIRC, of a mini-Spingold over a decade ago I made an undisciplined overbid early in the match at favorable vulnerability. The few imps I gave away on the second or third board of the match came back ‘in spades’ later.

“So you got the brain but have you got the touch?”
Oct. 24, 2019
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more pls
show off your relay skills :)
Oct. 21, 2019
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I suspect that a bidding poll might favor a 1N rebid with 3 aces and a five card minor rather than rebidding the minor.
The point re. rebidding the minor with this control rich hand rather than 1N seems right. If NT is going to be the strain you want the hand with the quacks declaring for positional advantage.
Oct. 21, 2019
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I would think that there is a difference between a 3 relay to 3N followed by 4 or
3 (clubs) 4
in trying to count tricks.
Can you distinguish between club suits of 5 vs longer length?

South can't count the number of winners so you can't have South bidding clubs to be followed by an optional keycard response.

I can see value in using 3 over 2N as a relay to 3N to play or show a quantitative slam try in a 5 card minor.
3N as a xfr to 4 with 4 and 4 as subsequent 6+ corresponding minor suit length.
you still need to be able to have the strong hand asking for key cards.
Oct. 21, 2019
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2N openings with a singleton are, I would venture, are much more common.
Oct. 21, 2019
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i think the suit was actually 7-4-1-1 if you are speaking of bd 17 in the Saturday afternoon game.
The opponents got to 4HX at our table
Oct. 21, 2019
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The reason for the OP was to ask if there is a methodology for bridge that can isolate “exponential outlier” behavior?
Oct. 11, 2019
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I can see that I didn't go far enough in the ‘beef up the club spots’.
Thanks to all who have shed light on major suit raises in a wk NT system.
Oct. 10, 2019
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what do you do rebid over 1 with 4 and an unbalanced minimum
e.g.
Kx Axxx x AQxxxx 2? blocking?
Oct. 8, 2019
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as a nonWkNTr I thought that the single raise showed values as you stated according to those I've played against.

fwiw the K&R on the given hand is 17.30
fwiw the K&R on your clubs is 19.30
Oct. 8, 2019
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IIRC he pitched a ninth inning for the Cleveland Indians

https://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pitchinglogs.php?p=colavro01&y=1958
Oct. 7, 2019
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very close
Sept. 30, 2019
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I thought leaping Michaels was the call for hearts and a minor.
Of course there is a range of strengths for the call, so maybe the cuebid followed by 4 is a “super Leaping Michaels”?
Sept. 20, 2019
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