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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Camrose Trophy 2018 and Donplayer upgrades to coach

Last weekend saw the rearranged Camrose Trophy at the CityNorth hotel. All went pretty good over the weekend. Good performances from Jim Mullally and Carol Sheridan kept the show on the road. Gilda Pender weighed in on Friday and Sunday. We also imported the always willing Sandy Millership and tireless Liz Scott. Paul Porteus CBAI CEO and match manager also put in several shifts as BBO operator. We also had Toss Magee from Ardee and Dermot O'Brien from Dublin South.
On the playing side the Irish team was hamstrung from the off as Tommy "Fidel" Garvey was unavailable so we were on a 5 man operation backboned by ironman 160 board performances from Thomas Hanlon and  John Carroll. After Rory Boland twisted his ankle outside Carlow  and two other team members suffered from unforeseen circumstances Ireland was struggling all weekend. Despite not firing on all cylinders Ireland put in a decent shift and the favourites England remained in sight until early in the final match.

Carol Sheridan an inter A player from Balbriggan and part of the Sheridan bridge dynasty operated on BBO for the whole weekend and indicated that the players in her room "play quite well"
Meanwhile Mairead Basquille tried to move a monument. She placed the Rex Anderson name in the North seat and Greenwood in South. Did not matter as Rex had played South for over 110 Camrose matches so was not going to change..... Not even the Great Mullall could move Rex into the North seat. "Okay call me Greenwood but I am sitting South"

All results can be found at The website of Fearghal O'Boyle

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Meanwhile Declan the Donplayer is now giving out coaching advice. "Eamon you need to start avoiding those 20% and lower boards. " "if you can manage that you will be able to look down on those good players Cashen and BJ O'Brien and that Mullally chap who sometimes comes to the club with you" ..Declan the Donplayer has played once in a bridge club and now he is handing out advice on how to play bridge.
This week he offered me a pint bet about whether I would break 67% or not. I accepted .. Then a few minutes later Declan the Donplayer finally slipped in the dog pooh by suggesting a further pint on me breaking 64%. I will win that pint in comfort. The 67% is tight but if the computer adds up the scores correctly I might just get over the line.

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Finally for this episode I have found a few more locals who are showing an interest in bridge much to my surprise. A group of local 20 somethings play a game called SWITCH and one of them indicated to me that their mother and grandmother are the best bridge players in Swords. So the plan is by Xmas this group are going to be able to play bridge with their Ma and Grandma as an Xmas present.

One of them came over the other night to ask about a bridge app for her phone. Then she said "Eamon you need to get the hair cut" .. I said I am going over to that hairdressers sometime this week pointing in the direction of the local hair place. She says " Wow I work there for the last 3 weeks ..come in on Thursday morning and I will be on the barber side and we will get it done.
So it is done now ...all over number 2 cut. The Paul Tranmer style.

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Tonight in Malahide Regional Bridge Club the semi final of the Kirwans League takes place. It started with 18 teams and was co-ordinated by Mary Kelly Rogers. Now there are 4 teams left in the final 4. Sheridan Timoney Newcomen and Terry. The team I ended up playing on Terry takes on Newcomen from Drogheda area tonight at 1930. There is little information available on the Newcomen team so I don't know who my opponents are or what their system is.

It might be Sean Newcomen and Christy Tierny and a player called Reid. All I can see on the website is after an uninspiring start they banked two 20-0 victories to score 51 of their 76 points in the last 3 matches so they have come into a rich vein of form. However the Conor O'Hara powered Terry team will not go out too easy one hopes.
Kirwans League Master section

Meanwhile in the 2nd semi final Sheridan takes on the Joe Coyne powered Timony team.
In the League match they only managed to play 12 boards despite having the 2 Marys organising according to my sources. So the result after 12 boards stood as per the rules. With the 16-4 result qualifying both teams to the semi finals I guess it was acceptable to both.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

National Pairs Weekend 2018 and more Donplayer stories

This weekend in Athlone the 3 National Pairs events take place.

For the Inter Bs we have the Civil Service Trophy. For this event my 2 horses picked before the event were No 52 Dorothy Arthurs and Beatriz Brain along with No 61 Giles Murnin and David Connolly.
I have no idea who pair 61 are but I have seen the names before and the Connolly chap anchored the Great Mullall team to victory in the Fun Teams some years ago as a novice. Anybody who can keep the reins tight on the Great Mullall must know something.
Arthurs and Brain are from my home club and seem to do well there. However it is tougher out in the real world where many card playing cute hoors lie in wait for unsuspecting soft bellied Dubs.

For the inter As we have the Laird Trophy. This Trophy is called after Graham Laird a former CBAI President from Donegal. Here I chose pair 44 and pair 47 as my horses. Pair 44 as I have seen the names before and they are stabled in Declan Byrnes magnificent stables in Waterloo Road. I think he calls it the Regent Academy on tour. I think some of them turned up at Elm Park Charity night a few Wednesdays back. Elm Park Charity night raised 12000 plus euros for Brother Kevin.
Unfortunately my Regent Academy horse is not fit for purpose this weekend.
My pair 47 is from Malahide Regional Bridge Club but would hardly be match fit for an event of this calibre with so many hardened cute hoors around.

In the secondary event for Monsters my selections were  deRaeymaker Boland and and the in-form Delaney Brady recent dominators of the Clonmel Bridge Congress Pairs. As an aside Madam Delaney annexed the Clonmel Intermediate event. My 2 selections are running 1st and 5th after 2 sessions. In the lower regions of the Davidson we note former Regent Bridge Club star Conor O'Hara partnered by Malahide No 1 David Terry. David Coyne and Jeannie Fitzgerald are also under performing so far but might rise into the top 10.

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Meanwhile here at home Galligan is getting into training for the DNR Kirwins League.
A leading pair from the depths of Clare played the Vanderbilt 2018 hands recently and I made up a tournament using the live play and some robots and the Clare humans for some practice.
After 20 hands here is the situation



I am using cross imp scoring .. The Clare pair played against GIB robots on BBO.
Eamon is playing against off line Jack robots.

I used the bridge program Jack from Holland
www.jackbridge.com

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Meanwhile on www.bridge-now.com Declan the Donplayer continues his search for Bridge mastery.
I spent a few hours in the local pub sitting with Declan as I took on Murphyslaw on BBO in our regular BASH. That night we had famous bridge teacher Thomas MacCormac kibitzing. Thomas agreed with one of Murphys comments .. " GIB is an idiot"

Declan the Donplayer really loves the game. Recently he has ascended to scoring regularly past 50% on www.bridge-now.com .   He knows the part about putting the opponents out of their comfort zone.  One time he wanted me to bid 4S but I was vulnerable …
Declan said .. " Bid 4S ..don't listen to everything you hear on the news .. Its not all true "
Vulnerable does not matter … they cannot see your hand … Put them under pressure … They will bid 5H and we will take them down .. As it happened 4S was hopeless but 5H went down ..



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Declan the Donplayer is moving forward

As some people might know I taught Declan the Donplayer how to play bridge. I never realised how far this project would go. Now it has grown legs and is running fast. The Donplayer was offered an 8% handicap advantage and somehow wheedled it up to 10%. Now we play on Bridge Now and I have to outrun Declan the Donplayer by 10% to win the week. We score a month at a time but I am losing most months. This week my 63.05% was not good enough to defeat the Donplayers 53.76%.
Last week my 63.5% had no chance against the Donplayer 57%. Now I need to win the final 2 weeks of March to get a draw for the month.
Meanwhile Declan the Donplayer also points out that he is looking down on CBAI Treasurer James Mullally regularly these days without any handicap. I was directing with the Great Mullall in the Elmpark Charity event on Wed night. I mentioned Declan the Donplayers and Great Mullall indicated that he is too busy to be playing bridge all day as he has a business to run and clients to service so he only logs in between clients and does not focus fully on the bridge.
Declan the Donplayer replies …"Well I would like to see Great Mullall hanging off a ladder playing Bridge Now on his phone.
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Meanwhile my other protegee Shane the Unblocker has gone quiet. However he thinks he is being smart by stopping at 19 boards on a bad week and going past 19 when he has a decent score.
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Out in Dublin North Region Mary Kelly Rogers is running a large Masters League with 18 Teams participating. Team Dave Terry started off by getting a hiding off the Joe Coyne powered  Team Timoney before reorganising and getting a move on. Team Timoney is still out in front but Team Terry got a 19.3 in round 2 followed by 13.9 16.11 and 14.3 to climb into the top 4. In the final match of the Swiss last night Team Terry found Conor O'Hara and Dave Terry on form and Team Gibney got badly mauled on a score of 19.3.... or 63 imps .. The Bearparks put up a decent struggle for Team Gibney.

DNR Masters League Results
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Saturday, March 03, 2018

IBU Trials completed with Jack

This evening a few minutes ago I finally completed the IBU trials final.
Unfortunately I confirmed that Hanlon McGann Garvey and Carroll are better than myself and my trusty Jack robot. However I confirmed for myself that although Rory Boland can defeat me at drinking I managed to keep ahead of him at the bridge despite him having a stronger partner than I did.

I thought Hanlon McGann had a big Sunday but it looks like Carroll Garvey got into the zone in the final 2 stanzas. Coyne actually led early on Sunday morning after a slam went awry at the Boland Moran table. They bid a small slam OFF 3 key cards .. Totally bizarre.

Now the scoring I am using is cross imps where one compares with the other 3 tables and averages the imps. Moran and Boland had the misfortune to play all the hard boards so their score is worse for this reason.

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Over the last 2 nights I played a couple of BASHES against Murphyslaw. In real life he is Noel Murphy and he beat me on Thursday night but I recovered all on Friday night. Murphy is an A2 player but he does not understand that it is almost impossible for an A2 to defeat me at bridge.
THEREFORE he should be very proud to beat me over 28 boards … You don't get lucky for 28 boards so he must have some talent.
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Last Monday morning I partnered Leaping Michael … so called as he always Jumps the bidding any chance he gets. There is a leaping michaels convention hence the name.

Out in Malahide we also have Lightning Murray who fancies himself at the bridge. However it must be played FAST and FURIOUSLY … No stopping for tea or pause for thought or anything else.





Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Nearly finished IBU trials final.

Despite my best efforts I am a long way behind Carroll Garvey Hanlon and McGann.
However so far I am well ahead of Rory Boland and he is already retired to the bar since board 128.

Still 15 hands to go and I am going backwards ar a fast speed. 
Would be terrible to end up behind Rory Boland. 

Maybe I will get some plus scores to move myself upward. 

Outside in Swords the Beast from the East has landed. Had to sweep snow off Angelas car a while ago so she could go to work. However the dog still asks to go out to do his business. 
Its a little windy and snow is no longer falling. 

Jill Kulchycky who recently won IBU ladies trials (along with Tersesa Rigney) passed away yesterday. Details can be found on www.rip.ie. Jill also took the Ladies prize at the recent Holmes Wilson Trophy with her team mates. Its not normal to win a trials and be gone before the event you qualified for takes place. 

Anyway I will play the last 15 boards in time and report back. 

The Beast is still blowing outside and its only 724am .. Been up an hour already. 

Camrose Trophy this weekend in CityNorth ...all welcome Beast permitting ..









Saturday, February 24, 2018

Playing the IBU Trials Final with Jack

Over the past few weeks I have been playing the IBU Trials Final with my trusty computer partner JACK (www.jackbridge.com) using 5 card major and strong NT with 2/1.

I am doing ok ..better than some finalists and worse than others. I would expect to be trailing to Hanlon McGann and Carroll Garvey but given my lesser opponents and my Jack partner should have good chance of beating the other players.

Despite vugraphing nearly all sessions I have little memory of the hands so this means its no problem to play a set of hands from the past despite having seen them in real life.

So after 123 hands nearing the end of the 8th set of 16 here are the scores.

My scoring system added 1 extra table of Jacks and my own extra table to the 2 tables of the final thus giving more reality to the cross imping. However I am aware that the additional JACKS may also flaw the scores in someones favour but think it is better than just cross imping 2 tables.


I have a feeling Hanlon McGann will rise to the top in the final 2 sessions as it felt like that while vugraphing. However we will see how it goes.
Maybe Galligan rises to the top with some good scores.
Regardless of result it is great to compare against Irelands best 2 teams or best 6 pairs.

Of course it might have been different is Onishuk rolled home the 7H contract but we will never know.
Once I floored a 7C cold contract by being a trick ahead of myself playing against Ciara Burns and John Murchan. Moral of the story is keep your focus in the slams no matter how easy it looks.

Recently I attended a Tournament Directors Workshop in Cyprus ... God that is a real headwrecker.
However I am better as a director because of it.

Monday, February 05, 2018

IBU Trials Final Sets 5 6 7

Down in the Clayton Leopardstown on Saturday 27th early the IBU Trials Final between a hard working COYNE panel and a kind of lack lustre Barton team continued.

Set 5 was action packed with 82 imps shared between the two teams ..



Saturday continued with Barton gaining 15 imps early but Coyne responded with a  33-7 imp finish  to  to tighten the match closer. Part of these imps saw 4H redoubled making at one table followed by a quick game swing added to that.


So now after 96 of the 160 boards it was a 3 imp game Coyne 190 plays Barton 193.

Meanwhile back on Galligans laptop Galligan and Jack computer took up the challenge using 1set of Jack comparisons plus my table plus the live trials comparisons.For the moment Galligan is doing well on paper but Galligan received a large gift of Jack flooring 7 spades when cold and gifting Galligan 57 imps when making the contract was probably 20 imps the other way so near 80 cross imps on 1 board of a gift. However that's what happened. Even Hanlon nods the odd time.


The final 16 boards on Saturday came up so lets see.

On the 2nd board Glynn rolled home 4HX while 5C  went down at the other table.
On the 9th board Garvey pulled one of his back catalog 8 card 2C openings and that ended in 3N down 4 for minus 400 ...added to the cold 5C for 600 made 1000 … and 14 imps
Team Barton went on a little rumble for the last 7 boards racking up 25-2 imps trim the lead.
Overall Score on Saturday night left both sides sleeping on 223 imps each ..a draw.

The final board on Saturday saw the first wind of Storm Hanlon on the horizon finding a good berth in 4H on a Moysian fit ...the old 4-3.