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Bridge trolls

#1 User is offline   tclayjr4u 

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Posted 2014-August-20, 18:28

In case nobody has noticed there are a plethora of people who care nothing about bridge but pride themselves on ruining every hand possible just to infuriate bridge players and BBO does everything imaginable to aid and assist these miscreants. This was a problem on Yahoo as well and not only does it cause problems with members but it also frustrates the people who patronize BBO and strips us of the joy of playing because they simply come in and bid anything no matter how ridiculous. Can BBO address this problem or is it just easier to throw our hands up in the air in utter frustration?
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#2 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2014-August-20, 19:02

View Posttclayjr4u, on 2014-August-20, 18:28, said:

In case nobody has noticed there are a plethora of people who care nothing about bridge but pride themselves on ruining every hand possible just to infuriate bridge players and BBO does everything imaginable to aid and assist these miscreants. This was a problem on Yahoo as well and not only does it cause problems with members but it also frustrates the people who patronize BBO and strips us of the joy of playing because they simply come in and bid anything no matter how ridiculous. Can BBO address this problem or is it just easier to throw our hands up in the air in utter frustration?


Hi, and welcome to the forums.

It's not very clear what you are complaining about. That some people play worse than others? Do you believe there are some people who have no idea what bridge is and click randomly on the screen just to annoy others? I doubt that is the case.

If you have a suggestion please be more clear about what exactly bothers you and what the solution might be.

#3 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2014-August-20, 20:02

I am intrigued to know in what manner or manifestation you perceive that "BBO does everything imaginable to aid and assist these miscreants".

First and foremost BBO is a software provider/facilitator, not a police force.

Although it does provide a police force, the players themselves take on the lead role in that function:

A private club can deny membership
A tournament host can deny membership/entry to tournament either as player or kibitzer or both
A table host outside of tournaments can deny entry to the table either as player or kibitzer or both.
A BBO member can flag an individual as enemy.
A BBO member can also compile a list of friends and gravitate to tables of known friends and players (at least outside tournaments, and tournaments tend to exercise positive anti-troll measures)

Responsibility for controlling each of the above rests not with BBO but with an individual member, be it private club management, tournament host, table host or player.

If none of those measures are sufficient you can report the member to abuse@bridgebase.com
You will not be notified of the outcome, and this can lead to frustration but should not be confused with inaction.

So, without naming names, you need to be more specific.
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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#4 User is offline   Bbradley62 

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Posted 2014-August-20, 21:36

I'm guessing he ran into someone like my "friend" from this thread: http://www.bridgebas...ed-on-board-15/ .

I reported him to abuse, and subsequent to my complaint this guy played another 548 hands for +7140 IMPs. On 200 of those hands, his partner was a variation of his own name. It sucks that he's screwing up scores for everyone else who plays the same boards. He stopped playing for 7 days, so maybe there was a suspension, but now he's baaaaack...
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#5 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2014-August-21, 01:34

Oh dear, in that case I have more sympathy with the OP.

In some respects I am glad that he is back under his original name (not that I know it, but would be glad if I did). It does not stop him screwing up the game, but at least he is visible. I don't see that a permanent ban would help; he would just return under a new ID, and we would be in the same position except that we would need to identify him again.

I am curious what events he is playing in, and is the tourney host unaware? Presumably not an ACBL or EBU event (or any non-free event).

One advantage of forcing him to use a new ID each time might be that his MP ranking would be stripped from him. That said, I would hope that abuse would strip him of accumulated MPs as part of a suspension, so that would remove the incentive to start up anew. In any case, if he has any MPs, they would have to be paid for, so perhaps his real ID is known to BBO.

Ultimately the only way to curb him would be to eliminate anonymity. While it may be inevitable that a few of these individuals will persist in an anonymous environment, without ever wholly eradicating that problem, as a cure I would rate loss of anonymity worse than the disease.

Partial anonymity may be a workable solution? Suppose a member had to deposit a dollar with BBO by a credit card as a condition of membership, but that identity would be visible only to BBO upper management and then only made use of in the event of a disciplinary matter, and still remained private in the event of conviction and used only to prevent a further $1 deposit from the same card holder. Still not a perfect solution, but maybe perfection is beyond reach.
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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#6 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2014-August-21, 05:35

My feeling is OP is complaining about table hoppers and random play in main club in general. Bad play isn't breaking any BBO rules, obviously, but table hoppers can be stopped by adding completion rate limitations to the table settings.

#7 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2014-August-21, 07:35

Maybe the OP ran into a 7NTXXer?
(-: Zel :-)

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#8 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2014-August-21, 09:39

View PostZelandakh, on 2014-August-21, 07:35, said:

Maybe the OP ran into a 7NTXXer?

That sounds like it, since the OP said they "come in and bid anything no matter how ridiculous".

This is an acknowledged, age-old problem. We don't prevent it, but that's not the same thing as doing "everything imagineable to aid and assist" them. We just don't have any effective way to stop it. It's the nature of the Internet.

If we charged for play in the MBC, it would probably mostly go away. That cure would be worse than the disease.

#9 User is offline   Bbradley62 

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Posted 2014-August-21, 10:03

View Postdiana_eva, on 2014-August-21, 05:35, said:

My feeling is OP is complaining about table hoppers and random play in main club in general. Bad play isn't breaking any BBO rules, obviously, but table hoppers can be stopped by adding completion rate limitations to the table settings.

When 5 consecutive hands have 5 different players sitting West, you have to wonder how much is the fault of the table hoppers <_<
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#10 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2014-August-21, 10:36

View PostBbradley62, on 2014-August-21, 10:03, said:

When 5 consecutive hands have 5 different players sitting West, you have to wonder how much is the fault of the table hoppers <_<

if East is the habitual 7NTXXer, those table hoppers are his innocent victims. They use HMFAG, it sends them to his lair, he makes a crazy bid, they leave. Rinse and repeat.

If someone bothers to report him, our abuse people will investigate and ban him. Then he'll just create a new account and start up again. We can and sometimes do block based on IP, but there are easy ways around this, like using public hotspots.

#11 User is offline   Bbradley62 

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Posted 2014-August-21, 12:59

View Postbarmar, on 2014-August-21, 10:36, said:

if East is the habitual 7NTXXer, those table hoppers are his innocent victims. They use HMFAG, it sends them to his lair, he makes a crazy bid, they leave. Rinse and repeat.

If someone bothers to report him, our abuse people will investigate and ban him. Then he'll just create a new account and start up again. We can and sometimes do block based on IP, but there are easy ways around this, like using public hotspots.

I was thinking more along the lines that East may have been unpleasant to various Wests.
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#12 User is offline   johnschoeb 

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Posted 2016-February-09, 13:32

There seems to be a recent increase in the number of trolls "playing" on BBO and it is extremely frustrating. Those trolls that concede all tricks or bid 7NT just to foul the board need to be eliminated. I don't know if most of the trolls are 10 year olds or just idiots thinking they are funny but it ruins the game for all of us. BBO needs to do a better job eliminating thesis people and perhaps it should start with requiring all people to post at least a first name, a cow try and a rudimentary profile. Most trolls I have run into have none of the things.
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#13 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2016-February-09, 14:03

View Postjohnschoeb, on 2016-February-09, 13:32, said:

it should start with requiring all people to post at least a first name, a cow try and a rudimentary profile. Most trolls I have run into have none of the things.

"cow try" = "country"?

We could require them to post these things, but how would we force them to be correct?

Posted Image

#14 User is offline   oryctolagi 

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Posted 2016-February-11, 05:51

With respect, I don't think the troll problem is as bad as all that.

My only other bridge activity is at the local U3A group. I don't know how many people are familiar with U3A (= "University of the Third Age") nor whether equivalents exist outside the UK, it's a charitable organisation for retired people, very friendly and informal, who get together in small groups for various self-organised activities at minimal cost. 'Small' groups maybe, the bridge group is very popular, we regularly have some 15 tables playing! We do Chicago and match-points duplicate.

As you will have guessed, most of the participants are pretty 'senior' (we had one star member who'd just celebrated her 101st birthday - sadly she has since passed away, but others there are in their 90s) - and of course politeness goes without saying :) . So I've asked one or two people there, have you tried BBO? Some of the answers are, "yes, but people are SO rude over there". I've tried to reassure them that it's not all like that: I'm quite a fan of BBO, it's helped me a lot to get back into the game after a gap of many years.

This suggests that there's a perception of bullying, rudeness and trolling, on BBO, which is largely imaginary. Sure, I've got a few people on my blacklist. But these are the exceptions, not the rule.

What more can I say?

Table-hoppers. Yes, some folks may not appreciate that this is rude. It's something I refrain from doing myself. One way to find out if you're up against a rogue partner, is: use "List Open Tables" instead of HMFAG, and when you see an attractive seat, join that table as a kibitzer first. That way, by looking through the past records, you'll see if there's been a quick succession of people occupying the seat you're about to take - which might indicate a problem partner.

Another benefit in taking a seat from being a kibitzer, is that the hand has to be re-dealt. A way of avoiding coming in and having to play out a part-played hand, which I dislike intensely.

The downside is that this all takes time, and in the meantime someone else might grab your seat. If there's a way of working around that, I'd like to know.
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#15 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2016-February-11, 11:13

View Postoryctolagi, on 2016-February-11, 05:51, said:

Another benefit in taking a seat from being a kibitzer, is that the hand has to be re-dealt. A way of avoiding coming in and having to play out a part-played hand, which I dislike intensely.

I don't think that happens much any more. Last year we implemented a feature where a robot fills in to finish the hand if someone leaves in the middle of a hand, instead of someone using HMFAG.

#16 User is offline   oryctolagi 

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Posted 2016-February-11, 12:47

View Postbarmar, on 2016-February-11, 11:13, said:

I don't think that happens much any more. Last year we implemented a feature where a robot fills in to finish the hand if someone leaves in the middle of a hand, instead of someone using HMFAG.

Well, it's happened to me several times. When I join a table straight from the List Open Tables view. And I've come in as declarer or defender too - not just as dummy. I know I won't get credited (or debited) with the outcome of the hand, but it's rather hard on the other players who didn't flounce.

If it's an opponent who suddenly appears as a substitute, mid-hand, I try to help them out by explaining what's been played so far (assuming I can remember). Should I be doing that?
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#17 User is offline   Lovera 

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Posted 2016-May-19, 10:07

View Postoryctolagi, on 2016-February-11, 05:51, said:

With respect, I don't think the troll problem is as bad as all that.

My only other bridge activity is at the local U3A group. I don't know how many people are familiar with U3A (= "University of the Third Age") nor whether equivalents exist outside the UK, it's a charitable organisation for retired people, very friendly and informal, who get together in small groups for various self-organised activities at minimal cost. 'Small' groups maybe, the bridge group is very popular, we regularly have some 15 tables playing! We do Chicago and match-points duplicate.

As you will have guessed, most of the participants are pretty 'senior' (we had one star member who'd just celebrated her 101st birthday - sadly she has since passed away, but others there are in their 90s) - and of course politeness goes without saying :) . So I've asked one or two people there, have you tried BBO? Some of the answers are, "yes, but people are SO rude over there". I've tried to reassure them that it's not all like that: I'm quite a fan of BBO, it's helped me a lot to get back into the game after a gap of many years.

This suggests that there's a perception of bullying, rudeness and trolling, on BBO, which is largely imaginary. Sure, I've got a few people on my blacklist. But these are the exceptions, not the rule.

What more can I say?

Table-hoppers. Yes, some folks may not appreciate that this is rude. It's something I refrain from doing myself. One way to find out if you're up against a rogue partner, is: use "List Open Tables" instead of HMFAG, and when you see an attractive seat, join that table as a kibitzer first. That way, by looking through the past records, you'll see if there's been a quick succession of people occupying the seat you're about to take - which might indicate a problem partner.

Another benefit in taking a seat from being a kibitzer, is that the hand has to be re-dealt. A way of avoiding coming in and having to play out a part-played hand, which I dislike intensely.

The downside is that this all takes time, and in the meantime someone else might grab your seat. If there's a way of working around that, I'd like to know.

The things are in this way:when you are kib at table you see the four hands and what play is made so you can have an idea for yourself and can watch commenting listed via table by players about hand and how is played. There is also the possibility to enter at table when a player leave it (usually beginning talking "it is my last, tkx all..") if you click on position free (i.e "South") yet if appears "..not allowed seat..".(Lovera)
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