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What's acceptable here

#1 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 06:40

I've just had a disappointing bridge experience that I feel is unacceptable, am I wrong ?

We entered a teams tournament normally run by a county under EBU auspices although they may have subcontracted out the running of it.

It was running on Realbridge, we entered in time a few days before, for an 11am start today.

I really struggle with morning starts due to ME, so I spent £20 extra treating myself to zero prep food for today, got up 90 mins earlier than usual (I get up really slowly when this happens and it will cripple me tomorrow) and was sitting logged in at the last table with our name on it (table 52).

The director then logs in and says they have an odd number of teams, Realbridge can't run a three way (why the hell not, it's a pretty common situation at congresses), they tried to find an extra team but couldn't, no robots were available and as we were the last team to enter, we can't play.

If they'd given any sort of warning this could happen, I'd have pulled out yesterday if they were a team short and would have saved myself a lot of pain and money.

Do I have any right to expect better ?
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 06:54

Few quick notes:

1. RealBridge has only just introduced team games. I don't find it at all surprising that three ways aren't available.

2. RealBridge has never had any kind of support for bots.

If RealBridge had been running team tournaments for 2-3 years, then I think that it would be reasonable to expect more in the ways of bells and whistles. As is, I think that you had unrealistic expectations.

I understand that you're pissed. I would be as well. But I'm not sure how the could have handled this differently.

For example, you would have liked to have been notified in advance... This works great if everyone else in the tournament shows up to play 100% of the time. (I very much doubt that is true). It is entirely possible that RealBridge did have an even number of teams yesterday, but three teams didn't show and you happened to be the last to register.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 07:15

View Posthrothgar, on 2021-May-02, 06:54, said:

Few quick notes:

1. RealBridge has only just introduced team games. I don't find it at all surprising that three ways aren't available.

2. RealBridge has never had any kind of support for bots.

If RealBridge had been running team tournaments for 2-3 years, then I think that it would be reasonable to expect more in the ways of bells and whistles. As is, I think that you had unrealistic expectations.

I understand that you're pissed. I would be as well. But I'm not sure how the could have handled this differently.

For example, you would have liked to have been notified in advance... This works great if everyone else in the tournament shows up to play 100% of the time. (I very much doubt that is true). It is entirely possible that RealBridge did have an even number of teams yesterday, but three teams didn't show and you happened to be the last to register.


I would have expected the director to tell me if a team pulled out as it would cover their hide. It was a tournament with sufficient of an entry fee paid in advance that I'd expect people to show up. It is also very normal in a county congress to have a standby team in case of an odd number or a pullout, I would consider it absolutely mandatory if you can't handle an odd number.
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#4 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 14:05

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-May-02, 07:15, said:

I would have expected the director to tell me if a team pulled out as it would cover their hide. It was a tournament with sufficient of an entry fee paid in advance that I'd expect people to show up. It is also very normal in a county congress to have a standby team in case of an odd number or a pullout, I would consider it absolutely mandatory if you can't handle an odd number.


When organising a congress it is indeed normal to have a spare pair or two for this sort of problem. Would have expected that to be easier online than at a physical venue.
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#5 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 15:50

View PostDouglas43, on 2021-May-02, 14:05, said:

When organising a congress it is indeed normal to have a spare pair or two for this sort of problem. Would have expected that to be easier online than at a physical venue.


Particularly given that (as I think happened at one of the local congresses) one pair and a couple of directors can make up a team in an emergency.

I know another member of our team (a junior) could have done several other things today and this treatment caused his father to send an email to the organiser expressing his displeasure.
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#6 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 16:13

At my club we have a random teams once a month as part of a running club competition (people enter as pairs and are randomly assigned to tables). This problem with RealBridge has affected this competition, not to the extent of booting a team out but if there are an odd number of teams, one team has to sit out each round, and when there only a few teams with five board rounds (which there have been every month so far), each team has to sit out for over 40 minutes. Unfortunately we are stuck with it until we get back into the physical club as we can't have two pairs on standby and BBO cannot do random teams. Having a three way teams match sounds like a great way around the issue, pity RealBridge can't do it.
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#7 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 17:24

View PostAL78, on 2021-May-02, 16:13, said:

At my club we have a random teams once a month as part of a running club competition (people enter as pairs and are randomly assigned to tables). This problem with RealBridge has affected this competition, not to the extent of booting a team out but if there are an odd number of teams, one team has to sit out each round, and when there only a few teams with five board rounds (which there have been every month so far), each team has to sit out for over 40 minutes. Unfortunately we are stuck with it until we get back into the physical club as we can't have two pairs on standby and BBO cannot do random teams. Having a three way teams match sounds like a great way around the issue, pity RealBridge can't do it.


I'm sure they'll do it eventually, it's not rocket science although does interfere with everybody playing the same board at the same time. The best you could do while keeping everybody playing the same boards is have 3 2 board matches go on in the 3 way while the room plays a 6 or 7 board round so you limit the sit out to 15-20 mins ish.
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#8 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-May-02, 19:40

RealBridge has only existed for 7 months.
There are only two Directors: GP Hazel and S Mohandes.

I'm sticking with the BBO and Stepbridge until they have a proven track record.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#9 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 01:29

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-May-02, 19:40, said:

RealBridge has only existed for 7 months.
There are only two Directors: GP Hazel and S Mohandes.

I'm sticking with the BBO and Stepbridge until they have a proven track record.

Of course BBO has no directors although they have a lot more yellows, due to size, although the number who can help with team tournaments (as opposed to matches) is limited. BBO does not cope well with odd numbers either, although it can provide a team of robots. Then you have to cope with the people who'd rather sit out against them!

I suspect a major issue with three-way matches is not the ability to do it (RealBridge team tournaments have many more, flexible, formats than BBO) but the concern about board security if you play long three-ways. It should be relatively simple to provide short three-ways, but they do slow the movement down and so are typically only used in real-life for one round, not all of them. Long three-ways, played over two rounds, typically use the boards for the following round early, creating a security issue.

Of course you could play different boards in all the three-ways, whatever the length: in the ACBL, where pre-dealt boards are rare in teams events, this is probably a non-issue. In the UK, you would need to prepare more boards, printouts of different sets, and players cannot compare with other teams. Probably a price worth paying in these times. Alternatively just have a standby team.
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#10 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 04:32

View Postpaulg, on 2021-May-03, 01:29, said:

Of course BBO has no directors although they have a lot more yellows, due to size, although the number who can help with team tournaments (as opposed to matches) is limited. BBO does not cope well with odd numbers either, although it can provide a team of robots. Then you have to cope with the people who'd rather sit out against them!

I suspect a major issue with three-way matches is not the ability to do it (RealBridge team tournaments have many more, flexible, formats than BBO) but the concern about board security if you play long three-ways. It should be relatively simple to provide short three-ways, but they do slow the movement down and so are typically only used in real-life for one round, not all of them. Long three-ways, played over two rounds, typically use the boards for the following round early, creating a security issue.

Of course you could play different boards in all the three-ways, whatever the length: in the ACBL, where pre-dealt boards are rare in teams events, this is probably a non-issue. In the UK, you would need to prepare more boards, printouts of different sets, and players cannot compare with other teams. Probably a price worth paying in these times. Alternatively just have a standby team.


There are 2 ways of doing a short 3 way, the one with insecure boards within the round where you have each team playing 6 of 9 boards with no sitouts, and the one where you play the same boards as the main room but 3 2 board matches sequentially with no insecurity and a short sitout which you'd never use F2F. If the room is playing 7 board rounds it probably won't slow the room down.

Long 3 ways are better, but you would need different boards.
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#11 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 13:27

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-May-02, 19:40, said:

RealBridge has only existed for 7 months.
There are only two Directors: GP Hazel and S Mohandes.

I'm sticking with the BBO and Stepbridge until they have a proven track record.


What difference do you think it makes if RealBridge only has 2 (or 1,2,....100) directors?

Private clubs or organizations that run tournaments on RealBridge supply their own directors.
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#12 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 14:54

The company only has two Directors! not "Directors of games".
I'm saying it's a small start-up with a commensurate amount of experience.
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#13 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 15:33

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-May-03, 14:54, said:

The company only has two Directors! not "Directors of games".
I'm saying it's a small start-up with a commensurate amount of experience.


You have no clue how much experience they have, also Andy Bowles who is well known in these parts as Gnasher works for them.

The bridge side they have plenty of experience, the software side I don't know.
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#14 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 17:24

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-May-03, 15:33, said:

You have no clue how much experience they have, also Andy Bowles who is well known in these parts as Gnasher works for them.

The bridge side they have plenty of experience, the software side I don't know.


There are plenty of people around with "lots of Bridge" experience.
I'll take your word for it that they are two of them.

As you say, running a software company is a completely different matter.

Look at the problems that companies that have been running for decades have on a daily basis.
BBO has been around for much longer and still has major problems with its site - judging from the constant kvetching on this site alone.

Would you choose to go and see a 1st-year medical student with your health problem or see someone who has been in practice for a couple of years?

Most businesses fail within 5 years of opening their doors. UK data.

What is hard to understand is why the national Bridge organisation of any country would choose to hand over their operations to someone that has just put up their shingle.

Quote

Around 80 per cent of UK companies fail within their first year and, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, only 42.4 per cent of businesses started in 2013 were still trading five years later.

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#15 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 17:54

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-May-03, 14:54, said:

The company only has two Directors! not "Directors of games".
I'm saying it's a small start-up with a commensurate amount of experience.


If you are talking about a board of directors, staying in the bridge world, the multi-million dollar ACBL has 25 directors and probably 90+% of them have no business being on any board. By way of comparison, multi-billion dollar Apple has 8 directors on its board.

Of course, many very successful private companies are run by their founder and owner without any board of directors.
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#16 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 19:09

View Postjohnu, on 2021-May-03, 17:54, said:

If you are talking about a board of directors, staying in the bridge world, the multi-million dollar ACBL has 25 directors and probably 90+% of them have no business being on any board. By way of comparison, multi-billion dollar Apple has 8 directors on its board.

Of course, many very successful private companies are run by their founder and owner without any board of directors.


Could not agree more.
The Trump organisation is a great example.
I'm in no rush to invest in it - even if it wasn't a private company.
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#17 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2021-May-03, 23:43

Frankly, I trust RealBridge much more than BBO.

RealBridge is owned by bridge players and they seem to have an interest in promoting the game of bridge.

BBO is now owned by vulture capitalists who seem to be interested in nothing other than milking their ACBL exclusive contract for all it's worth during the pandemic. I predict they'll take their massive profits and run as soon as the ACBL contract is up.
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#18 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 00:04

View Postakwoo, on 2021-May-03, 23:43, said:

Frankly, I trust RealBridge much more than BBO.

RealBridge is owned by bridge players and they seem to have an interest in promoting the game of bridge.

BBO is now owned by vulture capitalists who seem to be interested in nothing other than milking their ACBL exclusive contract for all it's worth during the pandemic. I predict they'll take their massive profits and run as soon as the ACBL contract is up.


And your evidence for that unusual assertion is - what?
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#19 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 04:35

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-May-04, 00:04, said:

And your evidence for that unusual assertion is - what?


Well, for one thing there's the circumstances around Uday's departure...
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#20 User is offline   Gerardo 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 07:52

FWIW, Uday is back (started this month) as VP of BBO.

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