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When are Advanced Players No Longer Advanced

Posted By: Phil simborg
Date: Saturday, 21 May 2016, at 3:07 a.m.

In Response To: When are Advanced Players No Longer Advanced (johnk)

There will never be a "perfect" solution to this problem as you cannot please everyone. It is clear, however that what we have right now is not good for many people and certainly not good for the game. Most advanced players who are forced to move up have to pay far too much to play in a division where their chances of cashing are terrible, and if they dont move up the rest of the intermediate field has good reason to complain. The result is we lose many tournament players and we all suffer. The game suffers because we lose attendance (and I dont blame a 9 or 10 PR player for not wanting to compete against giants.). And the players suffer because they simply cannot enjoy major tournament experience without feeling like a fish.

I have recommended several reasonable solutions that woukd help for many years, but the tournament directors snd leaders of our game, at least here in the US, not only resist change, they tend to degrade and attack people who recommend change saying they must not love the game and if it aint broke etc etc. Generally they feel that a recommendation to change things is a personal insult to them--an indication that they are being attacked for doing things the way they have been doing them.

That was THE MAIN REASON I and others worked so hard to establish the USBGF so that the players coukd take control of the game and make rules and policies that better reflect the current market and makeuo of the game and players. Further, the goals of tournament directors (making money, hiding cash from the IRS, staying under the radar from state and local gambling rules) is not necessarily in line with what is good for the healthy growth of the game and enjoyment for most of the players. That the USBGF has been slow to make significant changes is a result of the continuing strong infuence of the "old guard" and the fact that most of the leaders in the organization are themselves tournament directors snd too players.

Now, these people are wonderful people and most are good friends of mine who I respect greatly for all they have given and give to the game. But are they willing to make the kind of changes needed to solve or at least alleviate the problems raised with this, and many other issues? No.

So what would help this soecific problem?

First, anything below the open division should NOT cost a lot of money and prize money should not be a major motivation for playing. If the cost to enter intermediate divisions was far lower then people wouldnt mind so much if someone stays in that division linger even if they win a few tournaments. The game woukd be about winning points and trophies and having fun (like bridge which gets thousands of players for NO prize money).

TD's dont like this idea because it lowers their income from their rake--but this doesnt have to be the case. Simoly charge enough entry fee to give the TD what he needs snd is entitled to for his hard work to run the tournament and pay his expenses. But lower the prize money. Now, those intermediates who like the higher prize money can achieve this from side pools and/or calcuttas.

If this is done then rules can be changed to allow people to remain intermediate longer without a great loss of lower-level players. There still needs to be some requirement for moving up, but I have always believed that no intermediate should be forced to move up within a calendar year. That way they have a chance to take first place in the intermediate division and we can have more prizes as well as bonuses to give peoole a reason to attend more tournaments.

This is a win for everyone. More people playing is great for the game and eventually we will even have more open players as a result because more 6-10 PR players will stay more seriously involved in the game longer.

Even in the championship division i beleive entry fees need to be more reasonable and let the big time players and gamblers have multiple side pools. Get more people playing in more divisions and eventually we will attract more sponsors and money added to help us all.

This can and should all be done without taking any money out of the TDs pockets--they are all underpaid in my opinion and i dont think anyone would object to a $50 fee for the honor of playing.

And yes, as usual I am prepared to receive vicious personal attacks from people who resent change and like to attesck the person rather than the concepts. So be it.

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