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The calcutta serves many functions

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Saturday, 12 October 2013, at 1:28 a.m.

In Response To: The Calcutta - legalities and a solution (Jason Lee)

1. It brings people together and gives you a chance to talk about who is who;

2. It teams you up with someone else and gives you someone, other than yourself, to follow and to root for;

3. It does add some additional action for those who like more action. Anyone who doesn't like more action or doesn't care doesn't have to bid and doesn't have to buy-back.

4. The legal question is another matter. If you are in a state where it is illegal and there is a concern that it could put the tournament at jeopardy, it is stupid to have a calcutta. If a fantasy backgammon can be formed that is legal, that would be a fun replacement.

5. I have always liked pari-mutual betting as the payout is always, by definition, fair, as the amount of return for any winner is based on how much is bet on that person. However, I think this could be more fun by having pari-mutual betting not on individuals, but on paired teams. And it would be fun if those teams had a theme...like three players from LA, and 4 players from Chicago, and 3 from New York, all on the same team. Of course these teams would not be balanced...they might well be horribly unballanced, but then, you have an incentive to bet on an underdog, just as you would in a horse race. If you are in a state where this would be just as bad as a calcutta, then take it off the radar by not publicizing it and by having it run "unofficially" by someone other than the tournament promoter. This is a fun way to have more action and root for a team. Also, there are many innovative ways to do this, including both intermediate and open players on the same team.

I think it is great to have tournaments that don't require large entry fees so that people who can't afford the risk, or simply don't want to take the risk can come and enjoy the competition just to win a trophy or some points (as in bridge), but at the same time, right now, many of the people who come to ABT events like to gamble and want some action, so giving to them in the form of a calcutta, fantasy league, or pari-mutual is great so long as it doesn't flag the authorities.

You can still get everyone together for announcements and to "unveil" the teams and give people a half hour to get their bets down, and then give everyone a chance to have a lite bite or start playing an hour or two earlier.

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