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ACBL Instant Robot Tournaments Very Unfair Competition??

#1 User is offline   bridgbum 

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Posted 2015-January-12, 18:50

When the BBO instant robot games (not ACBL-rated) came out, I tried them.

They had one extremely unfair feature.

Some of the instant tournaments were played using a newer version of the GIB robot program.

That means that your opponents are stronger than were the opponents who played when the original tournament was conducted.

So you are at a disadvantage when you play these games.

I saw many times when the robots competed in the auction, not letting me play at a good contract. I got a terrible score.

Reason: When the tournament was originally played, the robots let the humans play in a good contract. When I played, the opponents competed more (a later version of the GIB program), and I landed in a bad contract, or the opponents won the contract and went down only a little. I'd get a zero on the board. Nothing I could do about it. Very unfair.

I can't believe that BBO would do this in their ACBL-rated games. I don't know if they are or not. Perhaps they will respond to this.

QUESTION: In the ACBL instant robot games, will the version of GIB in that game be the same version that was played in the original game? Or might it be a newer version of GIB?
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#2 User is offline   bridgbum 

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Posted 2015-January-13, 13:02

I just found out the answer, playing an instant acbl robot game.

I opened 1nt, lho overcalled 3h.

Partner had a decent hand with 6 spades.

My robot partner passed 3h. Didn't bid 3s or 4s.

At all the other boards, previously played, of course, the robot jumped to 4s, which made.

I defended 3h, because my robot partner wouldn't bid over 3h.

I got a zero on the board, costing me a first place in the game.

So the robot version playing in your game may not be the same as in the earlier game that was played.

It can lead to a very undeserved zero on a board.

I suppose you might get a good board somewhere along the way...

Anyway, there will be some injustices when you play the instant robot games.
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#3 User is offline   bridgbum 

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Posted 2015-January-13, 23:34

Here's another example:

My lho robot preempted 3d. Partner passed. rho raised to 4d. I bid 5c.

3d p 4d 5c <--- my bid
p ?

In all 8 of the tables where this auction occurred, the robot North passed 5c.

At my table, playing with a newer version of GIB (apparently), my robot partner raised 5c to 6c.

6c made. So I got a 100% on the board.

The robot games are usually said to be a good measure of your skill versus the other humans, because every human has the same partner and the same opponents.

But that's not necessarily true in the ACBL Instant Tournament games.

On one earlier deal I got a zero (see another post I made in this original post). On this deal, I got a 100%.
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#4 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2015-January-14, 01:31

Stop giving BBO your money. That's the only signal that matters.
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#5 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2015-January-14, 02:05

I agree that assigning different versions of GIB to different pairs in the tournament would be unfair; however, I don't believe this to be true. GIB isn't deterministic. It won't always make the same choice with the same hand.

There is nothing that you are describing that can't be explained by a combination of

1. The same version of GIB using different seeds
2. Paranoia
Alderaan delenda est
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#6 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2015-January-14, 02:26

View Posthrothgar, on 2015-January-14, 02:05, said:

It won't always make the same choice with the same hand.

Is that true? Playing robot rebate games and comparing auctions at different tables I have never seen it make a different choice with the same hand in an identical auction. Whenever it makes different opening leads (which is common) there is always some small difference in the auction.
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#7 User is offline   GreenMan 

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Posted 2015-January-14, 03:55

View Postgordontd, on 2015-January-14, 02:26, said:

Is that true? Playing robot rebate games and comparing auctions at different tables I have never seen it make a different choice with the same hand in an identical auction. Whenever it makes different opening leads (which is common) there is always some small difference in the auction.


This is my experience as well.
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#8 User is offline   Bbradley62 

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Posted 2015-January-14, 09:35

View Postbridgbum, on 2015-January-13, 23:34, said:

The robot games are usually said to be a good measure of your skill versus the other humans, because every human has the same partner and the same opponents.

But that's not necessarily true in the ACBL Instant Tournament games.

ACBL is not the relevant part of this description; it's the Instant Tournaments (both ACBL and general BBO) that have this feature.

View Posthrothgar, on 2015-January-14, 02:05, said:

I agree that assigning different versions of GIB to different pairs in the tournament would be unfair; however, I don't believe this to be true. GIB isn't deterministic. It won't always make the same choice with the same hand.

There is nothing that you are describing that can't be explained by a combination of

1. The same version of GIB using different seeds
2. Paranoia

Gordon and GreenMan are correct.

As has been explained ad nauseum, in the vast majority of Robot Tournaments all robots are of the same version and have the same seed on every hand. So, GIB will make the same choice at every table in a tournament, given the same situation. (If he has the same situation in a later tournament, he may make a different decision than he made in the earlier tournament, but all GIBs will be consistent within each tournament.) The only exception to this is the Instant Tournaments, in which the one active player is playing against a field of players who all previously played against each other in a non-Instant Tournament. The one active player is playing with/against a different version of GIB than the other players did.

There are many different versions and seeds when hands are played in the Main Bridge Club, so there may be a wide range of actions there, but tournaments are not run that way.
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#9 User is offline   ArtK78 

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Posted 2015-January-14, 09:46

I played a couple of ACBL instant tournaments this morning. I found them to be similar to normal robot tournaments. However, the robots put up a remarkably bad defense on this suit combination:



I was declaring a spade contract. I had 2 winners in dummy (North) but no entry outside of hearts. First, when I pulled 3 rounds of trump, the West hand had to pitch. It pitched the 10. Then, when I led a low heart towards dummy, West played the 9. Now I had 2 winning hearts. allowing me to make my contract.
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#10 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2015-January-14, 10:12

View PostArtK78, on 2015-January-14, 09:46, said:

I played a couple of ACBL instant tournaments this morning. I found them to be similar to normal robot tournaments. However, the robots put up a remarkably bad defense on this suit combination:

GIB defense isn't great, what else is new? How is this specific to new ACBL instant tournaments?

Sometimes the changes in GIB version work to your advantage, sometimes it works against.

#11 User is offline   jcwla 

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Posted 2015-January-15, 02:31

Just played one of these.
I got a Drury auction, and with a 12 HCP 5-3-4-1 hand made a invitational 2 bid.
Robot rejected the invitation and retreated to 2 making 4.
All those who'd played before got a 3 raise promising four trumps and most shot out the game.
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2015-January-15, 10:44

View Postjcwla, on 2015-January-15, 02:31, said:

Just played one of these.
I got a Drury auction, and with a 12 HCP 5-3-4-1 hand made a invitational 2 bid.
Robot rejected the invitation and retreated to 2 making 4.
All those who'd played before got a 3 raise promising four trumps and most shot out the game.

This sounds more like a suggestion for 2-way Drury than a problem specifically with ITs.

#13 User is offline   ArtK78 

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Posted 2015-January-15, 11:18

I have to admit the ACBL instant robot tournaments have advantages over the regular ACBL robot tournaments:

1) You start play immediately.
2) Even at off hours, there is always a game.
3) You don't have to worry about your score changing as new results are added, since there are no new results.
4) When you are finished, you get your result immediately.

I happened to be up very early this morning, so I played in some instant tournaments. At the hour that I played, it would be problematic whether there would be enough people playing to have a game, and, even if there was a game, it might not be enough players to get the maximum MP award.
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#14 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2015-January-15, 11:22

#1 is my main reason for playing in ITs. I prefer to play in a regular robot tourney. But if it's at least 5 minutes until the next tourney, I'll usually settle for an instant rather than wait.

The changes in the robots since the original play are a minor annoyance, IMO.

#15 User is offline   baraka 

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Posted 2015-May-29, 12:28

View PostArtK78, on 2015-January-15, 11:18, said:

I have to admit the ACBL instant robot tournaments have advantages over the regular ACBL robot tournaments:

1) You start play immediately.
2) Even at off hours, there is always a game.
3) You don't have to worry about your score changing as new results are added, since there are no new results.
4) When you are finished, you get your result immediately.

I happened to be up very early this morning, so I played in some instant tournaments. At the hour that I played, it would be problematic whether there would be enough people playing to have a game, and, even if there was a game, it might not be enough players to get the maximum MP award.


The most unfair thing in IT's is that there is no stratification. If you are a B or C player you have almost no chance. The A players are way too strong. A 1400MP silver life master against 2 or 3 10000+MP players with no stratification ? Come on!
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#16 User is offline   ArtK78 

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Posted 2015-May-29, 13:22

View Postbaraka, on 2015-May-29, 12:28, said:

The most unfair thing in IT's is that there is no stratification. If you are a B or C player you have almost no chance. The A players are way too strong. A 1400MP silver life master against 2 or 3 10000+MP players with no stratification ? Come on!

That is the way bridge used to be. Play with the big boys! Stratification came in during the 1980s if I remember correctly. Before then, every event was open. There might be a master's pairs played concurrently with a non-master's pairs, but that isn't anything like stratification.

In the early days of Flighted Pair events, the Flight A pairs were small and, as a result, true quality events. Play in some regional Flight A pair events was similar to the second or third day of some North American Championships.



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#17 User is offline   baraka 

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Posted 2015-May-29, 19:46

View PostArtK78, on 2015-May-29, 13:22, said:

That is the way bridge used to be. Play with the big boys! Stratification came in during the 1980s if I remember correctly. Before then, every event was open. There might be a master's pairs played concurrently with a non-master's pairs, but that isn't anything like stratification.

In the early days of Flighted Pair events, the Flight A pairs were small and, as a result, true quality events. Play in some regional Flight A pair events was similar to the second or third day of some North American Championships.


I have started playing bridge for an enough long time ago to know that what you say is all so very true. But why did the ACBL change all of this and created stratifications of all sorts if not to attract more players (money that is)? I guess my point is not so much the unfairness of no strats in ITs. It's much more the why should I bother with IT's when I can play in stratified robot games. At least I'm competing against people in my capability range, not the brightests of the brightests. Where's the fun in being screwed to the ground all the time ? At 67 years of age I'm well passed the idea that I'm going to get much better any time soon ! As the song goes... I just want to have fun.

Regards
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#18 User is offline   ArtK78 

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Posted 2015-May-30, 05:04

You have choices. In the instant tournament, you are the only player playing. The other 14 players played this tournament a long time ago. It is an interesting idea. I don't see any need to stratify the game.

So, if you want stratification, you can always play the regular ACBL robot tournaments.
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#19 User is offline   baraka 

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Posted 2015-July-04, 07:16

Played ACBL instant tournament this morning. Crap ! Robots defend better today then some years ago and you can get some very bad results simply because of that. It's unfair and never again will I get involved in this crap !
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#20 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2015-July-04, 11:04

View Postbaraka, on 2015-July-04, 07:16, said:

Played ACBL instant tournament this morning. Crap ! Robots defend better today then some years ago and you can get some very bad results simply because of that. It's unfair and never again will I get involved in this crap !

Change is on the way.
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