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Suspicious bidding

#1 User is offline   Ranmit 

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Posted 2024-January-07, 10:46

You are playing in a semi-formal tournament, with unknown (to you) players. You encounter a pair which seems to get 'lucky' with their bids. You don't strongly believe that they are cheating (and definitely don't have any evidence for that) but would like to flag them for someone to keep a track of.

What is the best approach to take here? I guess you can't just call the TD because you don't want to accuse them of cheating.
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#2 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2024-January-07, 23:46

Who's your Regulating Authority? Do they have a procedure for reporting things that might require a look-see, but not a ruling at the table, like the ACBL's Player Memo? If not, I'd just report it to the TD away from the table, suggesting he might want to keep an eye on the pair.
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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2024-January-12, 16:10

View Postblackshoe, on 2024-January-07, 23:46, said:

Who's your Regulating Authority? Do they have a procedure for reporting things that might require a look-see, but not a ruling at the table, like the ACBL's Player Memo? If not, I'd just report it to the TD away from the table, suggesting he might want to keep an eye on the pair.

I agree, and in both cases think hard about whether you may have misjudged (maybe you were in a misfit and they could tell, or whatever) and supply the maximum of useful information (before you forget).
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#4 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2024-February-03, 16:32

View PostRanmit, on 2024-January-07, 10:46, said:

You are playing in a semi-formal tournament, with unknown (to you) players. You encounter a pair which seems to get 'lucky' with their bids. You don't strongly believe that they are cheating (and definitely don't have any evidence for that) but would like to flag them for someone to keep a track of.

What is the best approach to take here? I guess you can't just call the TD because you don't want to accuse them of cheating.

We had a married pair in our local club that were renowned for doing dubious things and being less than forthcoming in alerts and explanations despite playing an artificial system. During the pandemic when tournaments switched to online play we had to play against them and literally could not get through a round with them because of their refusal to explain anything. A short email exchange with the club TD revealed that several members had expressed concern about them but without direct evidence of wrongdoing his hands were tied. So I used BBO Hand Records to go back through their tournaments and found over a dozen examples of potentially suspicious activity, combined these into a report, and sent it to the TD for his analysis. Coincidentally (or not) the pair got a permanent ban from online club tournaments a few months later.

So feel free to collate any evidence you have and pass it on to the appropriate TD. It may not be enough on its own but if others do the same, or the TD just keep an eye on them and notices discrepancies, it might eventually do some good. This is much better than spreading rumours amongst the regular players or posting about the pair publicly. If you don't feel you have enough to approach the TD even with an enquiry, save the hands you have and add more as you find them. At some point you will have enough data points to open the question (privately). It does not have to be a formal accusation of cheating.
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