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San Antonio Glitches -- Long -- Comments and Suggestions Appreciated

Posted By: neilkaz
Date: Wednesday, 5 February 2014, at 6:29 p.m.

In Response To: San Antonio Glitches -- Long -- Comments and Suggestions Appreciated (Bill Riles)

(BR)1. There were some unfortunate delays. The delays were caused by several factors.

(BR)The 80 bracket (which I love in principle) needs some refinement. We corrected a few things prior to the tournament. I eventually accepted the compression of the progressive consolation and last chance early rounds in an effort to reduce the number of total rounds necessary; however, by not compressing the late round entries, gaps of several rounds existed on occasion -- causing significant waits. Also, by compressing the early rounds, some compromise was necessary and this resulted in placement 'irregularities' of mixed records entering into like rounds. I had suggested a more conventional progressive feed but my advisors recommended against it because, for a very few people, it would take an extra round or two. In retrospect, I should have held firm. It would have eliminated the mixed record play and the large gaps (delays). Lesson learned. It will not be used in the same form again.

(NTK) Please strongly consider my suggested methods for an 80 player bracket. And yes, I'll address the progressive LC feed in an additional post to that subthread. As a note to all directors and those making drawsheets. If you have some players who go 2-1 in the main starting the conso in the same place as someone who lost in rd 1, there will be some serious bitching. Never should there be a two round jump like that for losers as it is essentially a double bye for the rd 1 loser. Players should be rewarded for winning in the main. Note that my method for 80 players does give most of the rd 1 losers a bye into rd 2 of conso, but that is only a one rd bye and is the ONLY bye needed in conso. Byes should be given early except for cases where the event format plays down to an odd number like 3 or 5.

(BR)There were also some delays in the Advanced division -- even with a standard 64 bracket. Obviously, delays are not always because of the bracket structure. The primary problem here was one extremely long first round match that cascaded delays throughout the remainder of the divisional play. It should have been policed better and not allowed to have happened. It also takes at least a couple of rounds generally to identify a pattern of slow play for given players. Remedial action can then be taken but, unfortunately, much of the damage to the schedule likely has already occurred.

(NTK) This has been a problem at several events recently and I stress that staff MUST do a CONSIDERABLY better job of policing early rd, esp. rd 1 matches, and esp. unclocked matches! Sometimes staff will know who the notorious slow players are in advanced but sometimes not, but if staff walks around every 20 minutes of so, many of the delays can be caught. Ie .. if after an hour, the score is 2-1 and the players are just finishing off their 3rd game, you can suspect a slow play problem. While things were run quite well, there were many side events, plus the USBGF going on at the same time and I'd strongly consider adding another staff member for next year if I were you.

(BR)We must also educate all players -- obviously, not so much in the Championship division -- to be more pro-active in finding their next match. The staff is not (perhaps should be) continuously monitoring the status of every match. If a player has a scheduled match they should make the effort to find the opponent or to ask the staff to find the opponent for them. They should not sit in the back of the room or wander off for hours waiting for their name to be called. The players also have some responsibility for keeping the tournament moving.

(NTK) This disease has plagued tourney BG for the more than 35 years that I have played. It is shocking how irresponsible and seemingly clueless some players can be and the delays they cause by not be present and considering the flow of the event and whether, even if no fault of theirs' their bracket is delayed. This means DON'T wander off to dinner at 4:30 when dinner is sked at 5 pm when you've played only two matches and the 3rd rd match (winner of your's plays them) in your bracket is already finished. Sit down and start your match so that it finishes half an hour sooner after dinner. This also means that you DON'T get to take an excessive break between matches when your bracket is delayed and/or your next opp is waiting for you. 5 minutes should be plenty. Also please be prompt in reporting your win or loss to the staff and check if your next opp is available. DON'T wander off for half an hour after winning or losing when the match to produce your next opp is at DMP. All this is courtesy and common sense.

(BR)We allow players to take advantage of the great weather and the location of the ballroom suite to play some matches in the pre-function area and around the pool. When players do so they should be considerate of the tournament and all other players by alerting us to the fact and by trying to be responsible in their play.

(NTK) Perhaps a staff member needs to wander by those players occasionally and certainly make sure that they know to report results and come back to the main room quickly upon their match's conclusion.

(BR)2. As the director, one of the most aggravating and frustrating elements of the tournament for me was the 'dinner breaks' on Thursday and Friday. As these are 'side event' days we tried to provide considerable flexibility for players to make their own arrangements based on the requirements of their own choices of events. Unfortunately, for some this does not work. Some players are responsible and considerate of opponents and the tournament, others are not. Next year we will have very specifically defined dinner breaks on Thursday and Friday -- though not as long as the major 2.5 hour Saturday dinner break. (We are currently thinking 1.5 hours and 2 hours, respectively.) The "no excuses, no exceptions" rule employed this year on the resumption of play Saturday evening will be employed on all evenings next year.

(NTK) I STRONGLY recommend not having a 1.5 hr dinner break as it is simply too short to eat and go back and forth from the River Walk where most players want to eat. 2 hours is OK.

(BR)3. The Menger is a historically significant hotel with tremendous charm, ambiance, and attractiveness. That does not change the fact that it is, in parts, a 155 year old structure. Also, it is on a federal registry of historic buildings so certain changes cannot be made. Thus, it is not the newest Marriott or Hyatt. There is considerable variance in room sizes, appointments, etc. -- on two sides, the exterior rooms are immediately adjacent to the streets and can be noisy for some. The hotel staff recognizes these facts and works very hard to most efficiently accommodate all guests. They have always worked extremely well with the tournament in relocating guests for any reason. Tara and I will see that any problem is remedied; however, Tara and I CANNOT remedy any situation if we are not told of the problem.

(NTK) The Menger is very charming and I loved my suite and look forward to having the same next year. Hotel staff did a superb job of correcting the one problem I had with the room and that was that the heat wasn't running properly. I have no problems with a 65 deg room, but my suite was barely 60F so I called the front desk and the engineer came and spent nearly 30 minutes fixing it.

Thanks again to you, Tara and staff for a great tournament in a superb location, and I'll also say that the Spurs/Bulls game on Weds. night as a group was a great add-on.

There was a tremendous amount of BG and side events over 4 days, and certainly we cannot expect it all to flow perfectly and without some glitches. In closing, I will again recommend that you consider adding an additional staff member next year.

... neilkaz ...

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