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How to tackle the 'rogue 7NT' bidder?

#1 User is offline   661_Pete 

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Posted 2017-January-11, 17:46

This is a constant nuisance for those of us who take our participation in BBO reasonably seriously (monitor our IMP average and strive to improve it, I mean).

Not because of such a player turning up at our table. After all, for misbehaviour of that kind they would surely be ejected by any responsible host.

Instead because of the distorting effect they can have on other tables which have played the same hand.

I've noticed this sort of thing several times, and as it happens there was one in today's play, although this time it worked to my partner's and my advantage, so I suppose I shouldn't be complaining! Nevertheless, if we gain, our opponents lose, and I don't like to score against decent opponents (good players both) on these terms. I'd rather score because of honest play.

Sitting East-West, we were in a good 3NT contract, well bid and made. mostly thanks to my partner's good play ;) , and earned a top on the board. What surprised me was that we netted over +11 IMPs on the hand, more than you would expect for a simple 3NT, so I looked at the traveller. And sure enough, on one table another E-W pair had gone 1NT-7NT, totally unwarranted and presumably out of bloody-mindedness. Whatever, this little excursion bagged that pair -8.5 IMPs and pushed all the other E-W scores up by a substantial margin.

This is not as bad as the alleged cheating which lots of BBO players have been complaining of, of late. But it is still annoying.

Should there be zero-tolerance of that sort of behaviour? After all, it is easy enough to spot and report - unlike cheating.
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2017-January-11, 17:51

View Post661_Pete, on 2017-January-11, 17:46, said:


Sitting East-West, we were in a good 3NT contract, well bid and made. mostly thanks to my partner's good play ;) , and earned a top on the board. What surprised me was that we netted over +11 IMPs on the hand, more than you would expect for a simple 3NT, so I looked at the traveller. And sure enough, on one table another E-W pair had gone 1NT-7NT, totally unwarranted and presumably out of bloody-mindedness. Whatever, this little excursion bagged that pair -8.5 IMPs and pushed all the other E-W scores up by a substantial margin.



Does the number that BBO tells you a board is worth matter a damn?

If you actually care about this, simply rescore the hand yourself and mentally award yourself the score that you actually deserve.
If you don't care, all the better. You don't need to do anything.
Alderaan delenda est
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#3 User is offline   GrahamJson 

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Posted 2017-January-13, 10:10

A simple remedy, at least for the scoring aspect, it for BBO to adopt Butler scoring. In this the top and bottom scores for a board are ignored and the remainder are averaged. This eliminates bias caused by one extreme score. I believe that if the board is played many times the top and bottom two scores are not used when calculating the average.

http://www.bridgeweb...rgh/page14.html
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#4 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-January-13, 11:34

There are massive issues with Butler scoring:
  • the datum (that average you are talking about) is almost never a bridge score, and the IMP scale relies on bridge scores for a lot of its boundaries (never mind that there's no spot on the IMP table for a 43 difference, frex). This means unrealistic comparisons. It also means that a change in the score in your benefit (from -140 to -110, for instance) may in fact *reduce* your IMP score, if it changes the datum sufficiently (there's a well known example from a high level cash-prize tournament).
  • compared to the "blow off" 7NTxx hands, the number of hands where an extreme score is actually valid (Oh, I'm the only one playing Precision, so I'm the only one that can find the grand; my opponent refuses to sit still and took the -2300 sac of our 6 contract; Cappelletti mixup leads to 3-4 on the 4-1 fit or 5x-4 if bidder panics) means that we shouldn't magically "throw them out". Sure, *they* get their result; but I get an automatically better score than I would because I don't have to score against the Precision grand bidders.
  • because of the nature of throwing the scores out, the total result on a board/session is never zero. If you happen to be on the side that averages -23/18 board session, is that not as much of a bias problem as the blow off 7NT?
  • Of course, datum doesn't work at MPs...


I'll deal with the 7NTxx-10 hands the one time a day I play against one to avoid all that nonsense. Please let's never go back to that distorting, wrong, easy-to-score-by-hand but we haven't done that since 1990 method of scoring.
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#5 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-January-13, 13:27

Butler scoring was a crutch in the days when bridge was scored by hand, since calculating all the cross-IMPs was extremely tedious for humans. It has no place when games are scored by computer.

Really, you should just ignore the effect of the 7NTxx hands, since it affects all the pairs playing the board equally. All that matters is your relative score among your peers, not the absolute number.

#6 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2017-January-13, 14:00

If 15 out of 16 tables make a routine game (including at your table), and one (other) table plays in 7NXX 4 down, then against that table in isolation you are looking at about a +/- 20 imp swing depending on vul etc.

In terms of your average IMP score for the traveller you are looking at about +/- 1.3 IMPs.

Then if you consider its significance over a month of about (say) 250 hands (typical for the OP) its impact on your average score is about 0.005 IMPs.

Bottom line? Don't let it get to you.

Butler scoring does not solve the problem. It eliminates the 1.3 IMP aberration but at a much greater cost on the vast majority of other hands where everyone plays to win. Furthermore, Butler scoring has absolutely no effect on mitigating the problem of the scores of the players at the table where the offense happens.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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#7 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2017-January-14, 04:40

View PostGrahamJson, on 2017-January-13, 10:10, said:

A simple remedy, at least for the scoring aspect, it for BBO to adopt Butler scoring.


You don't need to use Butler scoring. You could also drop out a couple of extreme score comparisons in the cross imp scoring that is used and accomplish the same thing.
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#8 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2017-January-16, 10:29

True, we could cross-IMP against almost all the results. But that only kills off the problems with the datum (increase in my score may decrease my IMP result, datum is not a bridge score). It might even kill the "but at MPs" - I'd have to do the math, but I'm guessing it would still zero out.

However, it doesn't resolve the (much more common) issues that the extreme scores are valid (issue of the last tournament was whether, due to use of UI, -1100 at the table should have been -1400 or -1700; into -430 at the other table! Now do I feel bad if I don't get to score against that result/feel good that I don't have to score against that result - at the other tables?) and that because those extreme scores *compare*, the result on a board is never zero, and if the bias goes all in one direction (it was usually about 4-5 IMPs one way back in the datum days, but occasionally it was 25, 30) is that fair to the players sitting the other direction?

What if the ghost of Barry Crane is sitting E-W? ("Why did Barry Crane not score as well at IMPs than MPs?" "+5, +5, +5, -17") Or the FP pair? Or, as I said in my last, the player who just will not be preempted, and bids all 52 cards when taking sacrifices?
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#9 User is offline   Rain 

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Posted 2017-January-27, 09:23

If you were in a tourney there would be a TD who could take some action.

Otherwise, report these idiots to abuse@. We can block play for a while if nothing else. But we cannot adjust board results or invalidate the results of MBC.
"More and more these days I find myself pondering how to reconcile my net income with my gross habits."

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#10 User is offline   USViking 

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Posted 2017-January-28, 15:21

Thankfully I rarely encounter people who try to spoil the fun for others by jumping to
ridiculous 7-level contracts. It might be a less than a one in a thousand deal occurrence.

A few days ago, though, I was in a tournament where not just one, but two pricks pulled
the stunt at different tables on the same hand.

[removed names]

Does anyone have any thoughts on the case, as in collusion? I know administration always has
a lot to do, but I wonder if it might be worthwhile to look into these miscreants' hand records.

FWIW they amusingly both rate themselves as experts, while the unofficial BBO Skill site rates
them as advanced, which means they are really intermediate.

This post has been edited by diana_eva: 2017-January-28, 16:20
Reason for edit: removed names

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#11 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2017-January-28, 16:12

View PostUSViking, on 2017-January-28, 15:21, said:

I think matters like this call for naming names so I will name them

You can't be prevented from thinking thoughts.

You can be prevented from expressing (some of) them

View PostUSViking, on 2017-January-28, 15:21, said:

FWIW they amusingly both rate themselves as experts, while the unofficial BBO Skill site rates
them as advanced, which means they are really intermediate.
It may have so rated them about 3 years ago when that site last updated.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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#12 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2017-January-28, 16:22

View PostUSViking, on 2017-January-28, 15:21, said:

Thankfully I rarely encounter people who try to spoil the fun for others by jumping to
ridiculous 7-level contracts. It might be a less than a one in a thousand deal occurrence.

A few days ago, though, I was in a tournament where not just one, but two pricks pulled
the stunt at different tables on the same hand.

{removed names}

Does anyone have any thoughts on the case, as in collusion? I know administration always has
a lot to do, but I wonder if it might be worthwhile to look into these miscreants' hand records.

FWIW they amusingly both rate themselves as experts, while the unofficial BBO Skill site rates
them as advanced, which means they are really intermediate.



It is against the Forum rules to name names. Please report offenders to abuse. If it turns out they regularly spoil games for other people they can be warned and temporarily suspended either from tourneys or from BBO.

#13 User is offline   USViking 

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Posted 2017-January-28, 17:14

View Postdiana_eva, on 2017-January-28, 16:22, said:

It is against the Forum rules to name names. Please report offenders to abuse.

Will do.

View Postdiana_eva, on 2017-January-28, 16:22, said:

If it turns out they regularly spoil games for other people they can be warned and temporarily suspended either from tourneys or from BBO.

Thanks.

I may volunteer to research their archives and pass any info of interest on to you.
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#14 User is offline   USViking 

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Posted 2017-January-28, 17:21

View Post1eyedjack, on 2017-January-28, 16:12, said:

You can't be prevented from thinking thoughts.

You can be prevented from expressing (some of) them

I stand prevented. Alas.

View Post1eyedjack, on 2017-January-28, 16:12, said:

It may have so rated them about 3 years ago when that site last updated.

What the hell are you talking about? You think pricks like them could ever improve?

Don't be ridiculous.
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#15 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2017-January-29, 02:02

View PostUSViking, on 2017-January-28, 17:21, said:

I stand prevented. Alas.


What the hell are you talking about? You think pricks like them could ever improve?

Don't be ridiculous.

Hmm. You joined the forum in 2008. You appear to be an active member, with about 200 posts to your credit. I think it charitable to give you the benefit of the doubt concerning whether you were ignorant of this forum rule which is regularly repeated, or deliberately chose to flout it.

That aside, you quote a non-BBO rating site while conveniently omitting to disclose that it has been non-operational for three years, which I suspect was also known to you, and in the very same post you express doubts about its accuracy, even had it been a live site, while equally conveniently choosing to assume that its inaccuracy tends to support your personal assessment of these players.

I think I have a better grasp of the ridiculous.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

"Gentlemen, when the barrage lifts." 9th battalion, King's own Yorkshire light infantry,
2000 years earlier: "morituri te salutant"

"I will be with you, whatever". Blair to Bush, precursor to invasion of Iraq
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#16 User is offline   USViking 

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Posted 2017-January-29, 13:43

View Post1eyedjack, on 2017-January-29, 02:02, said:

Hmm. You joined the forum in 2008. You appear to be an active member, with about 200 posts to your credit. I think it charitable to give you the benefit of the doubt concerning whether you were ignorant of this forum rule which is regularly repeated, or deliberately chose to flout it.

Thanks for being so swell about it.

FYI I have made >10,000 posts aggregate at several internet boards, all with different rules, none of which I could pass a test on after my usual one initial cursory scan. Some boards are tight about privacy, some are wide open.

IMO cheaters (playing to lose is as much cheating as anything), such as the two I named, do not deserve the same privacy rights as non-cheaters, but I guess that is a topic for another thread.

I admit, though, I ought to have considered the risk of retaliatory behavior arising from public denunciation. Now how about you admitting you should have pointed this out to me.

BTW I perused the two cheaters' full January results and counted 13 episodes of flagrant cheating between them. I will follow up with a report via PM to BBO authority.



View Post1eyedjack, on 2017-January-29, 02:02, said:

That aside, you quote a non-BBO rating site while conveniently omitting to disclose that it has been non-operational for three years, which I suspect was also known to you,

The fact is, you weasel, I did not realize the site was not continuously updated in accordance with its FAQ.



View Post1eyedjack, on 2017-January-29, 02:02, said:

and in the very same post you express doubts about its accuracy, even had it been a live site, while equally conveniently choosing to assume that its inaccuracy tends to support your personal assessment of these players.

Try not to be so dense.

My obvious, only purpose in bringing up the skill ratings was to ridicule the two cheaters.



View Post1eyedjack, on 2017-January-29, 02:02, said:

I think I have a better grasp of the ridiculous.

If you had any grasp of the ridiculous you would be saving your ammunition for the cheaters, rather than for the people who are trying to help you put the cheaters out of business.
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#17 User is offline   USViking 

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Posted 2017-January-29, 14:07

View PostUSViking, on 2017-January-29, 13:43, said:

...I admit, though, I ought to have considered the risk of retaliatory behavior arising from public denunciation...

I think it would be appropriate to retract this, since although the denunciations were public, the cheaters' real names remain private.


View PostUSViking, on 2017-January-29, 13:43, said:

Now how about you admitting you should have pointed this out to me.

I should be fair even to weasels like this Ijacksomethingoranother guy and retract my criticsm above.
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#18 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2017-January-29, 17:03

View PostUSViking, on 2017-January-29, 13:43, said:

If you had any grasp of the ridiculous you would be saving your ammunition for the cheaters, rather than for the people who are trying to help you put the cheaters out of business.


To be completely accurate, 1eyedjack is just a run of the mill poster does not have any more input to getting rid of cheaters than you do.
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#19 User is offline   USViking 

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Posted 2017-January-29, 19:06

View Postjohnu, on 2017-January-29, 17:03, said:

To be completely accurate, 1eyedjack is just a run of the mill poster does not have any more input to getting rid of cheaters than you do.

Thank you for the information.

Staff here has always been 100% civil and courteous, and I apologize to administration for thinking any of them might be otherwise.
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#20 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2017-January-30, 06:38

The table host can always redeal the board once a rogue 7NT bid has been made.

Otherwise, I think you should just not take the XIMP (or matchpoints, for that matter) score too seriously. If you want a meaningful comparison, play team matches, or select one of the vugraph matches for comparison instead of the BBO field.
I think the notion of captaincy (and all other intentional language used to describe bidding, for that matter) is ultimately dispensable. --- nullve
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