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Cheating Allegations

#81 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 10:36

View Postcherdano, on 2015-August-29, 02:10, said:

I mean, if Brogeland succeeds in getting them banned this might be literally the biggest favour anyone has ever done for top-level bridge. And the BBF chorus...criticizes him for not giving authorities enough time/too much grandstanding/being overly dramatic.

I'd say this says more about BBF than about Brogeland.


I'd say it's about the authorities not about BBF, BW or some other community. It's normal for people to react cautiously to such an open accusation which breaks the tabu. I don't know why BB didn't just launch the site and the hands and the voiding title announcement all in the same time, he probably had his reasons. But don't blame the community for reacting to a public accusation which was not accompanied by proof at that moment. And most people had no idea what was done and what not via the official ways, is it not natural to at least wonder about that?

#82 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 12:13

View Postdiana_eva, on 2015-August-29, 10:36, said:

I'd say it's about the authorities not about BBF, BW or some other community. It's normal for people to react cautiously to such an open accusation which breaks the tabu. I don't know why BB didn't just launch the site and the hands and the voiding title announcement all in the same time, he probably had his reasons.

I think his reasons are pretty clear, as far as I can see: He gave the authorities all the information and asked them to take appropriate action (and to take it soon since there is a WC coming up).

He uses the step by step feeding of information to the public -and making a bit of a "performance" out of it- as a form of leverage towards the authorities: "Look, authorities, it looks much better on you if you take action soon. The longer you wait, the more I will publish and the more the public opinion will wonder when you are finally going to do something."

I don't think that his strategy will work. But that is because I am a cynic and I think the authorities will shrug their shoulders, regardless of what Boye is doing or what the public will think. But I think it is a very good strategy to try (and I can't think of a better one).

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#83 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 12:22

They are clear now. They weren't so clear before, that's what I am saying. Why would people ask about going through proper procedure if they already knew he did all that? They didn't know, all they had were speculations along the lines of "he would never do that unless... "

#84 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 12:25

View Postdiana_eva, on 2015-August-29, 12:22, said:

They are clear now. They weren't so clear before, that's what I am saying. Why would people ask about going through proper procedure if they already knew he did all that? They didn't know, all they had were speculations along the lines of "he would never do that unless... "


Well, he had certainly written that he had done so.

Also, I mean I have met Brogeland maybe all of five minutes (and that's an overstatement), plus read his "In the well" interview on Bridgewinners. Apparently, that means I know him much better than many who deemed it necessary to question his intentions and judgement in a public forum.
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#85 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 12:33

View Postcherdano, on 2015-August-29, 12:25, said:

Well, he had certainly written that he had done so.

Also, I mean I have met Brogeland maybe all of five minutes (and that's an overstatement), plus read his "In the well" interview on Bridgewinners. Apparently, that means I know him much better than many who deemed it necessary to question his intentions and judgement in a public forum.



I don't see anything wrong with those who deemed it necessary to question his intentions and judgement. That's what public forums are for, to debate the pros and cons.

Edit. Arendt, not everyone was reading hundreds and later thousands of comments on BW. Please understand that many people had only this to start with:

Quote


Four members of the team that won the 2014 Spingold and Reisinger (Boye Brogeland, Allan Graves, Espen Lindqvist, and Richie Schwartz) have announced their intent to vacate their titles from 2014-5 that they won with Lotan Fisher and Ron Schwartz. A comment that Brogeland posted on Bridge Winners earlier today:

If you have a cheating pair on your team, I believe you should lose whatever Masterpoints, Seeding points and titles you have won together. The Schwartz team from the two previous cycles (Richie Schwartz, Allan Graves, Espen Lindqvist and Boye Brogeland) has decided to give up the Spingold Trophy, the Reisinger Trophy and the North American Swiss (ed: they won the 2015 Jacoby Swiss, not the NA Swiss) that we “won” in 2014 and 2015. We believe in a clean game and we love bridge.




Please show me where it says he first waited for the authorities to do their job and only when they failed he went public? It was stated somewhere in some comments and adjacent threads - but this is the ten of spades.

This post has been edited by diana_eva: 2015-August-29, 12:42


#86 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 12:34

View Postmikeh, on 2015-August-29, 05:22, said:

Secondly, you are, I think, wrong about Buratti-lanzarotti. Afaik, the first publicity about them cheating, other than whispers, was after during Tenerife, and in Tenerife the system worked as it is supposed to work. They were seen cheating, ironically by an Israeli pair, who reported it, and the authorities convicted the cheaters and only then did the hundreds of players openly discuss their experiences. So that case shows that the system can work, eventually. I don't know if formal complaints had been made before Tenerife, but there was no Brogeland type campaign to force anyone's hand afaik.

FYP.

This is exactly what I said, someone said something publically, everyone talked, they were banned. But don't think for a small time that the system worked. It was Israeli pair that started all calling director. And director couldn't do anything so it went to AC.

I heard that first question of AC was : Why did you play European Championship for Spain?

this might shock you, it has nothing to do with the case, the real thing is that the case was already ecided by the AC before the hearing, they all knew them and they liked so much the opportunity to serve justice. Maybe someone will say that the AC was biased, and he would be totally right.

Why did they care about them playing for Spain (Spain finished in second place behind Italy, their only medal in Open, and their only placement for Bermuda Bowl ever). Well I think some facts remain unknown to the public.

Italy had banned them from playing in their team long ago, that is the reason they moved to Spain. They couldn't compete for Italy and I think they weren't allowed to play in Italy either but not sure, because nothing went official ever. Here system failed. FIGB knew they were cheating, but did no public statement about it, they let them go to Spain to cheat (does this sound familiar, cavendish 2013?). They were cheating in Spain for 2-3 years before Tenerife a time were they won every tournament they played together (I think 5 of them) by a large margin. Tournament prizes they stole went from 1800€ to 2500€.

When they split pairs they would do mediocre results. But it is remarkable that, according to the tournament director, and the two opponents involved, Buratti playing with a known WM were caught cheating on the Sevilla Open in 2004. However since the AEB was under control of a certain player and it was not in his interest, this never came to public.

When Ventin hired them to play EC for Spain, there was some debate if they were eligible to play in European Championship or not,

So this conversation more or less happened between AEB (spannish NBO), EBL and FIGB. (AFAIK)

AEB: -Hey EBL are Buratti-Lanzarotti eligible for Spain?
EBL: -Please do not let B-L play for Spain!, they are cheaters and non spannish.
AEB: I understand, but are they eligible?
EBL: FIBG, please can you make an official statement?
FIGB: No, we won't
EBL: sigh, yes they are eligible
AEB: Ok, they are in!

System worked wonderfully here also. Well at least WBF banned them from BB the next year, not sure on wich grounds.


I hate to hear you had people whispering in your back. Sadly this is not something new to me, when me and my father started to top 1st-3rd on every tournament we played we had the same problem.
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#87 User is offline   PhantomSac 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 14:16

Lanzarotti and Buratti were well known cheats long before they were caught. Hamman was trying to make a big case to not invite them to the cavendish, asked tons of top players for hands, eventually it was decided that the evidence was "not conclusive" so obv they played and won. Before that I think they were doing quite well in ACBL nationals, nothing like the success of F-S, but yeah, they musta been cheating for 5+ years also having great success before getting busted. If that is the system working, I would like a new system.

And the cheating doctors? They didnt even cheat at the highest levels so they went much longer I guess. They came to the cavendish once and were just "the cheating doctors." You may not like "whispers" but these things are very well known before anything ever happens, if it ever happens. And the only reason anything does ever happen is because the whispers get too loud and the players become too high profile. In this case bridge has just been a mockery for a while and ACBL still wont do anything because OMG WE DONT KNOW EXACTLY HOW THEY DO IT. Brilliant stuff.
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#88 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 14:24

View Postdiana_eva, on 2015-August-29, 12:33, said:

I don't see anything wrong with those who deemed it necessary to question his intentions and judgement. That's what public forums are for, to debate the pros and cons.


Well, several posters said Brogeland should have waited so that conclusive evidence can be gathered. That is questioning Brogeland's judgement! Someone with good judgement (and his intellect) would not start making public accusations without conclusive evidence!

Quote

Edit. Arendt, not everyone was reading hundreds and later thousands of comments on BW. Please understand that many people had only this to start with:

I think you are proving my point. Many people felt the need to comment on Brogeland's actions who had not even read all his publicly available posts.
(And reading through all his comments on Bridgewinners is very quick to do - just click on his username the first time you see a comment from him, click on comments, spend 5 min reading, done.)
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#89 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 14:26

GREAT LEAD -

https://www.youtube....h?v=3XGwQt0A0_s
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#90 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 14:28

View Postcherdano, on 2015-August-29, 14:24, said:


I think you are proving my point. Many people felt the need to comment on Brogeland's actions who had not even read all his publicly available posts.
(And reading through all his comments on Bridgewinners is very quick to do - just click on his username the first time you see a comment from him, click on comments, spend 5 min reading, done.)


Really? So you see a breaking news and your first reaction is to go BACK to some completely unrelated articles (eg the Mike Passell thread, who the heck would think to search there huh?) and all that assuming they want to register on a website asking for real name and proof of that + being familiar with how that website works so that they can scroll through pages of drivel in 5 minutes. Yeah makes sense, I guess most people are stupid like that and rushed to judge.

#91 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 14:43

View Postdiana_eva, on 2015-August-29, 14:28, said:

Really? So you see a breaking news and your first reaction is to go BACK to some completely unrelated articles (eg the Mike Passell thread, who the heck would think to search there huh?) and all that assuming they want to register on a website asking for real name and proof of that + being familiar with how that website works so that they can scroll through pages of drivel in 5 minutes. Yeah makes sense, I guess most people are stupid like that and rushed to judge.


I don't know what you are saying. To do what I described above you don't need to subscribe, and you don't need to go back to old threads. Just click on one of the threads with lots of posts, and click on Brogeland's name.

In any case, you don't have to do that. But it seems a worthwhile thing to do before explaining why what Brogeland did was wrong! Especially if you are not all familiar with the history of the pair (say, at least their extraordinary results over the last year). Just as an example, what's the point of writing

Quote

Making the allegations publicly, and making that grandstanding announcement will prolong the process of catching the alleged cheaters. Surely they will lie low for quite awhile.

if you don't even have the most basic, readily available facts?
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#92 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 14:55

View Postcherdano, on 2015-August-29, 14:43, said:

I don't know what you are saying. To do what I described above you don't need to subscribe, and you don't need to go back to old threads. Just click on one of the threads with lots of posts, and click on Brogeland's name.

In any case, you don't have to do that. But it seems a worthwhile thing to do before explaining why what Brogeland did was wrong! Especially if you are not all familiar with the history of the pair (say, at least their extraordinary results over the last year). Just as an example, what's the point of writing

if you don't even have the most basic, readily available facts?



All I am saying is that it's wrong to be so peeved about people who are replying directly to the shocking announcement. Boye could have included in the announcement re vacating titles that authorities were given all the evidence but aren't reacting fast enough.

He didn't do so, and it's probably a smart thing he did to get people all worked out about following procedure only to discover later that actually... he did that already. Very creative, but don't blame people for falling for this :)

#93 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 15:26

Well, if you are saying the point of BBF is to exchange uninformed knee-jerk reactions to such developments - then that's not so different than what I wrote :P :D (Sorry I will stop now - you are welcome to have the last word. Really! :) )
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#94 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 16:03

View PostPhantomSac, on 2015-August-29, 14:16, said:

Lanzarotti and Buratti were well known cheats long before they were caught. Hamman was trying to make a big case to not invite them to the cavendish, asked tons of top players for hands, eventually it was decided that the evidence was "not conclusive" so obv they played and won. Before that I think they were doing quite well in ACBL nationals, nothing like the success of F-S, but yeah, they musta been cheating for 5+ years also having great success before getting busted. If that is the system working, I would like a new system.

And the cheating doctors? They didnt even cheat at the highest levels so they went much longer I guess. They came to the cavendish once and were just "the cheating doctors." You may not like "whispers" but these things are very well known before anything ever happens, if it ever happens. And the only reason anything does ever happen is because the whispers get too loud and the players become too high profile. In this case bridge has just been a mockery for a while and ACBL still wont do anything because OMG WE DONT KNOW EXACTLY HOW THEY DO IT. Brilliant stuff.

even I knew that the racecars were dodgy....a good friend of mine played against them in a couple of major events and told me that they were about the same ability as he and I were, while the other top Italian pairs were significantly better....that they had to be doing something funky to get the results they were getting.

However, a whisper campaign is no better than, and potentially a lot worse than, the alternatives. You say that all the top players had hands to talk about? Then someone should have taken the initiative to poll his peers and compile a set of hands and take that set to the authorities. Maybe that happened, maybe all the authorities heard was single hand or two or three hand anecdotes. Bear in mind that few of the authority figures would have the skill level to detect what to the to players would seem to be idiotic play, absent UI. Bridge is a rare game in that the top players are the only ones capable of detecting a pattern of non-obvious abuse, so they, it seems to me, have an extra obligation to police the game...is that fair? Arguably no, altho since we are generally speaking of people who make good money at the game, arguably yes. More to the point, they have a choice: whisper and whisper, to no effect; complain on an individual basis, to no effect; complain and shout, as Brogeland has chosen to do; or maybe organize amongst the known ethical top players a pooling of stories. I doubt it would take more than a handful of tournaments to compile a good, convincing database.

My apologies if this last approach has been tried and failed.
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#95 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 16:56

One complaint, big complaint seems to be when it comes to cheating at the top levels it takes years of building a case, hearing the case, hearing the appeals.

Welcome to the world of today...that is how things work...it takes years.
Thus the whole idea of plea bargaining to speed things up.
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#96 User is offline   PhantomSac 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 16:56

View Postmikeh, on 2015-August-29, 16:03, said:

You say that all the top players had hands to talk about? Then someone should have taken the initiative to poll his peers and compile a set of hands and take that set to the authorities.


Nice post. That is exactly what has happened in this case. Boye did not get hundreds of hands on his own in a few weeks (though he did work tirelessly looking at vugraph archives). There were lots of hands out there and Bessis is an example so far of someone who gave many hands (and got some from other top pros he asked also). Maybe that should have happened earlier, but as you know we are raised to NOT take this initiative on our own, and instead to rely on the recorder form.

I can promise you that there have been dozens (and I would guess hundreds) of recorder forms filed on this pair. I sound like a broken record but they have been required to be monitored every single board they play and be on video tape for the last year. I am guessing that stemmed from lots of recorder forms! If it is the case that it is on the players and not the league to catch cheaters (even though the system is we report hands to the league), then that's fine, make it official. The league is incompetent.

Quote

Bear in mind that few of the authority figures would have the skill level to detect what to the to players would seem to be idiotic play, absent UI. Bridge is a rare game in that the top players are the only ones capable of detecting a pattern of non-obvious abuse, so they, it seems to me, have an extra obligation to police the game...is that fair? Arguably no, altho since we are generally speaking of people who make good money at the game, arguably yes.


Exactly right, it would be wrong of anyone who is not like top 50 in the world to judge the most successful pair in the world of the past few years. That is why Larry Cohen suggested exactly this, a tribunal made up of world class players who judges these cases. However, the league needs to implement that, the players do not have the power. And the league wants to know HOW the cheating is occurring. That system is terrible, as you say world class players know when theyre being cheated and if presented hundreds of hands and allowing the defendants to defend themselves, they decide that this is definitely cheating then that's a good system. I would love that. That idea was only presented after Boye did his thing (by Larry Cohen), but I think we are all in favor of it. However we do not have that power.

It needs to be made official by the league. The league needs to implement this change. You are right we have waited too long for the league but that is what we have always been taught to do (sorry I'm not trying to preach this to you, you have been a top player since before I was born and obviously know this better than me, just making my point).

What you are seeing is the effect of the league NOT doing any of these things. They are not acting on 100s of hands that are 100 % proof to world class players. They are not enlisting the help of world class players to evaluate. They are demanding to know HOW before they act. Your ideas are very good. They are the same ideas that "we" (world class players) have. They are the same ideas we have posted on bridgewinners to stop cheating. They are the same ideas we are looking for the league to implement.

But yeah, before that happens, what then? Do it ourselves without the league? That is what is happening. The recorder system doesn't work. World class players are not enlisted by the league (until now, I believe they are looking more strongly with the help of WC players BECAUSE of the what Boye has done). We are done waiting around for 5+ years while the top events are won by cheaters. We are done whispering. We are organized (because of BOYE's initiative). We do not trust the league to do this, we want to work with them to help. We want change. That is what is happening here. And it's a great thing, even all the discussion it has generated.

I don't like reading bridgewinners or their layout but you should take the time to read all the various threads and posts. It will probably take you several hours but it might be worth it.

I will only say 2 things in closing:

1) Boyes last post said tomorrow he will release video clips that have been publicly available on youtube. These are cross referenced with the hands I will assume. He urged the ACBL to give up their footage of fisher/schwartz and make it PUBLIC, so that the many smart people can try to crack the code etc. Reading between the lines, that makes it seem like the ACBL is NOT working with Boye, and is being secretive and non transparent with their video. Maybe that is required by law but it is not in the best interest of convicting or exonerating F-S.

2) You make the point that "only top players can really judge this." I wholeheartedly agree. Here is a list of people who have OPENLY said now that they are convinced F-S cheat:

Jeff Meckstroth
Geoff Hampson
Peter Fredin
Boye Brogeland
Drew Casen
Tom Hanlon
Brad Moss
Thomas Bessis
Kit Woolsey
Bobby Levin (one of Brogelands stories on his site starts that bobby came up to him and said "did you see how they cheated you?" though he has not spoken publicly I will guess we can believe that account)
Myself

I am very sure I am missing others because that is just off the top of my head. And tbh I have heard it from so many people that I want to make sure I get the ones who did say it openly rather than throw someone under a bus. What world class players have defended F-S? Ron Pahctmann, Rons brother in law, and it is debatable whether you would consider him a "top player."

Even Lauria in his statement (teammate of FS) said he will wait for the ruling, but that FS played badly in the final lol. Not exactly the strongest defense.

Based on your last post I think you might actually agree with whats going on mike if you had all the facts.
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#97 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 19:02

View Postmikeh, on 2015-August-28, 10:01, said:

Cut me a little slack when parsing my posts: I get the impression that every time I post something, you look through it striving to find something that you can blow up, distort and score points in whatever mind game you think we are playing. I really don't understand this. I have never met you. We don't have any real life history. You seem to have an image of me in your mind, which is different from who (I think) I am.
I empathise with Mikeh. I'm sorry he feels that way :(
But his views on cheating allegations seem sensible :)
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#98 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 20:43

View Postcaptyogi, on 2015-August-28, 04:24, said:

Cheating Method 1 :

Expert Level Player gets involved in Dealing, Machine Dealt Boards, copies .PBN or .LIN files on pen drive , takes them home and at peace goes through all the deals, makes note of Typical Deals and makes Good Use of this information on the table, every round of 8 to 10 deals, IMP Scoring, 2 deals, where Slam or Game is not possible to bid , but it is Cold or other way round , Slam or Game has to be bid , but it is bound to fail for sure, are Good Enough for your team to give 20-0 Win.



While I have heard of someone using this method, it's because they got caught at it. people can come up with much more devious methods to cheat. remember even a small piece of information can make a big difference. you cant guarantee a 20-0 win but if you were doing that all the time your going to get caught
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#99 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 22:39

if YOU WANT to execute the death penalty in bridge per WBF/
acbl/etc the complaint is it takes years.

the answer is yes it does//some perhaps many at the top level hate, really hate the time and effort.

This is the response to that/ a response process that some agree and some disagree

Clearly a few only a few top players come out in public to agree in public hanging

Per Justin's post most of top 50-100 say little to nothing.
---------


Larry Cohen presents a way to stop or discourage cheating
Many respond/discuss/debate
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#100 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 22:58

btw just based on results are these two the top the very top pair in the world based on the last year...based on the last 2-3 years?

If no then where do you place them based on wins?
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