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All comments by Phil Clayton
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Thanks and congratulations on your upcoming anniversary.

My wife and I also had our children when we were younger, in spite of what our friends and relatives thought was best. There are tradeoffs, but one of the best benefits is that as your kids get older, you will be able to relate to them much better than older parents.
Sept. 22, 2012
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Hi Jenny, welcome to the well.

You have a beautiful family. Why did you and Gavin decide to have children right away instead of waiting a few years?
Sept. 21, 2012
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So you'd open 1 with xx KQxxx AQx AJx?
Sept. 21, 2012
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Yes, Geeske is right, a good five card suit is a reason, but even if I had a respectable five card suit and some intermediates, I'd upgrade.
Sept. 21, 2012
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West is too good for a 15-17 NT.
Sept. 21, 2012
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With most preempts, I prefer Roger's agreement about a double.

This auction is different since 4 can be very wide ranging and I play the double here as “I have a lot of hearts and more defense than you would expect”. Partner is obligated to pull with a yarb and a little heart length, but should sit with short hearts and a card or two.

However, we aren't beating 4. I have a feeling I'm trading -590 for -500, w/e.
Sept. 21, 2012
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My opponents always pass 2 and land on their feet. I know its fashionable to open these hands, but there are consequences.

2N seems like a reasonable lie.
Sept. 21, 2012
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With 4531 / 4513 I expect a 3/ call. With 4522 and ‘extras’, we might play 3N, that is true. However with no real trick source, we might need a lot of extras to make 6.

Take a nice hand like AJxx, AKxxx Ax xx. This is a prime 16 that may get to slam on momentum after 3N and I don't think its that specific.

The main problem with a direct 3N that I can see is that I would really like partner to show a 5th spade or club support. 3N supresses this.
Sept. 20, 2012
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I'm not terribly concerned what 2N shows or doesn't show, other than partner has the chance to pattern out with any 3 level call.

3N does show extras, but it is also a space hog.
Sept. 20, 2012
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To be clear: responder is obligated to cue a red suit control, but opener is not obligated to bid past game once having conveyed serious interest. I thought this was universal.

Wasn't there a poll about this a few months back?
Sept. 17, 2012
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West isn't good enough to pass. While a trump lead is usually right here, the singleton spade J is a huge bonus for West's view. While declarer could have a worse hand, and East a better one, 470 looks way more likely than +300.

Sept. 17, 2012
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No I think partner would bid 3N with this (I assume you play NS?).

We have a ton of controls and partner is making loud noises. Not bidding 4 would be terrible; the only question for me is whether or not to take control, but I would rather be responding to RKC than asking with AAK.
Sept. 17, 2012
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I cannot see bidding 3. Partner is not inviting. If partner has a hand with weak spades, a heart stop, and two diamond honors, tough luck.

2 plays like a dream on a heart lead and continuation.
Sept. 17, 2012
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For me: Video > Text > Audio
Sept. 15, 2012
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I'm going off of memory (I don't play it), but in essence you assume that opener has the big balanced. There is a way to unwind the hand types, and pretend like you are responding to 2N. I just do not remember how. A friend of mine, David Wei Chuan wrote up a summary in the bulletin a few years ago under the column that discussed interesting bidding ideas. I played with him once since the article was published but of course it never came up.

2 as an immediate negative works fine. You usually have to show a 2nd negative after a 2 response, anyway. The only real drawback is wrong siding hearts. Frankly I do not have strong feelings about it, and if had a partner that wanted to play 2 automatic or waiting I'd bend.

What I do not like are controls. I have seen so many train wrecks when opener has a balanced hand and responder has shape, extra values and suddenly needs to be captain. Players stopped responding with controls over a strong club years ago, so I do not understand why many still insist on it over 2 now.
Sept. 14, 2012
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There's several playable methods. Your choice should depend on your willingness to trade precision for simplicity.

1. 2 waiting and 2 bust. Probably the most common method in play. You can play Kokish after 2, but it functions differently - 2 is a GF balanced or just spades.

1A. On top of “A”, you can add in the following:

- 2 = balanced 8-10. Gitelman / Moss play this and it clarifies later sequences.
- 2N to 3 are positives and transfers. Opener ‘accepts’ with some level of support, and bidding is streamlined thereafter.

2. My preference is similar to how Rasmus plays above; where a 2N opening is 22-23 and 2 includes a 20-21. All responses except 2 are various negatives catering to the 20-21 hand.
Sept. 14, 2012
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Congratulations to USA. The finish, like so many Ryder Cups, could not have been scripted any better.

Since we are closing the 2012 phase of this “project”, its time to analyze “lessons learned”. The purpose of this isn't to point fingers, but rather to improve the processes so quality of the 2014 and 2016 competitions exceed 2012's.

In reviewing the website for the Buffett Cup, I cannot tell who the point person is for the organization. Patrick Jourdain ran the event in 2010 (he is listed), but there doesn't appear to be anyone in charge for 2012. Was it a volunteer from Omaha? Someone from Berkshire Hathaway? Mr. Buffett himself? I would suggest having a visible and accountable point of contact.

For the contact information, it is useful to provide email addresses. However, I would put the 2012 tournament organizer as a contact for media requests. Its great the Cup made the NY Times on September 7th. What if another media outlet picked up on this story and wanted to run an interview? Maybe Donna can discuss if she had any other requests.

Dale Burrell is listed as the webmaster. Did he understand his role, and the need to update scores on the Buffet Cup website? I would suggest at least providing a link back to Bridge Winners.

Peg and Donna did a nice job on some of the Bulletins and if anyone takes the time to read them, you can see that the Omaha volunteers did a wonderful job hosting the players. However, with Bulletins from the NABC's and WBF competitions, people have come to expect some of the hands from the play, as well as the running score. The Daily Bulletins show the day's schedule, and some pictures, but the Bulletins might well have been prepared in advance.

There are “newsletters” (written by the captains) on the website that do have the results. Why wasn't this information included in the Bulletins?

Once again, Brdgewinners stepped up and provided outstanding video commentary and live scores. This took a lot of work and even though it was done at the last minute, it came together and looked great. Gavin, Chris and some of the players onsite like Joel and Sontag really added a lot of color to the broadcast. I hope this continues for future events.
Sept. 14, 2012
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Well, what a nice surprise! I turn on BW and Gavin and Chris are doing LIVE video commentary of the last segment.

What could have been a frightfully dismal week for vugraph has ended on a very positive note.

I hope we get more of these in the future.

PS: Gavin - try to make the hand diagram larger.
Sept. 13, 2012
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It might be the camera angle, but based on Peg's pictures the vugraph operators are positioned about 10' from the table.

They need to be a lot closer, and their desks need to be higher as well. Otherwise, how can they possibly be expected to see the play?
Sept. 13, 2012
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A few points. Our w/r opponents have unexpectedly gone dark. While they might both be balanced, this points to partner having a non-yarb.

Partner had Qx Qxxx Jxx JTxx. I suppose over 1 partner bids 1N, and you can complete the description with 3. Partner would realize the strength of the QQ and bid game.

I simply bid 3 and partner passed. +200 was an average, since in spades you cannot pick up the AJ on your right, and plenty of pairs played 1.

I do not know what happens if you cuebid. Are the cue bidders raising hearts next? If yes, why is that better than a direct 3?
Sept. 13, 2012
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