Al The Plumber


As some of you know, the ACBL excommunicated me from most ACBL events long ago due to my egregious overbidding.  At the time, the high grand slammin’ poo-bahs all played an ancient system called Gilbert & Sullivan.  I don’t have any notes about that, but there is a WeeWeeLeaks report that they moved on to a real pisser of a system called Standard Culbertson.  Actually, Ely Culbertson sold it to the highest misbidders when he transferred himself to an even bigger lunacy called the United Nations.  Cleverly abbreviated as the UN, it is world famous for its UN-surpassed World’s Biggest Psycher contests.  The greatest contract artists from each of the national organizations come to a big building in NYC that serves no other purpose, which also is true of the UN.  Directors tie up innocent kibitzers for light-years in every misdirection, and the National Asses, uh, that should be Aces, battle it out in a format that is called DUPE-LIE-GATE.  Between the recap sheets, there are also reams of tricks in their “free” $35,000/night hotel rooms.  Well, they are free to the contestants anyway.  It is irrelevant who ends up paying for them in the end, and in which ends. 

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Anyway, my bid that made them decide that enough was enough, even though they said I didn’t have enough, was my 7NT preempt.  Of course, it got a good matchpoint score!  I psyche you not.  My bid was based on bridge logic, and as we all know, luck should have no place in the game.  However, somehow millions of players get screwed by their partners and at least an infinite amount of other unsuitable bad luck besides — regardless if in a suit or NT, or if they complain about it more than 24/7 or not, etc.  (Naturally, that does not apply to you.)   

EXTREME WARNING: The 7NT Preempt should not be attempted by anyone who does not have a PHD (Preemptor, Highest Degree) in Stauberian Preempts.  Even those with Inquiring Cerebrums may require lobotomies.

The ACBL did give me one last chance to cough up lots more entry fees from then on.  I still could play, or whatever it is that I do at tournaments, if I agreed to use a far, far, far more conservative system called Meekwell.  Talk about adding insult to injury!  I saw that the guys who concocted it obviously bid far, far, far less frequently than I did.  Worse yet, they seemed to believe that white men can’t jump!  Furthermore, I watched one hand and that cured me of ever playing such nonsense.  Even when one of them finally did something other than wimp out yet another nauseating PASS card, the guy had a great hand, and he bravely mustered up the courage to bid all of 1C!  AND — he didn’t even have any clubs!!!  Sure, I bid voids all the time, but why not preempt that suit instead?  Who wants to play a pus* system that was designed by WIMP bidders, especially for WIMP events?  (I can’t think of the appropriate word, but I think it starts with “pus”.)       

I did sneak into a few Nationals anyway, but didn’t put my name on our convention cards so no one else knew.  Judging from my partners’ bidding and play, I don’t think they knew we were playing either.  Then a few years ago, the ACBL, well-known for its charity, kindly gave me special dispensations to play in some such random National events again.  I’m sure that being desperate for lots more entry fees due to the world endplaying itself had nothing to do with it.  They said that my previous bidding had gotten less absurd with aging due to the horrendous drop in American and worldwide standards for just about everything, including bridge.  Wow!  Finally, some good degenerate news!  In addition, the WeeWeeLeaks reports that claimed my invitation was due to the bribes, er, I mean donations, that I had arranged for the ACBL from Bernard Madoff, Marc Rich, George Soros, and the Koch/Righteous Brothers are complete BS, not to mention, patently false.  [Besides, the U.S. Patent Office was closed because the High Commissar said there were no bids left to invent.]  In any case, pardon me, but I will not dignify any advances regarding such contracts with any further responses. 

Shortly before the afore-mentioned papal pap, I had moved to FL because I was not game to getting snowed any longer by the ACBL or any other entity, partially or otherwise.  Another player, Lew Finkel, also had gotten fed up with the snow jobs, but made the mistake of moving only a few miles from me.  I had played against him occasionally years ago, but as with other ACBL big, medium, or small cheeses, I didn’t talk to him either.  Likewise, no other ruff riffraff  wanted to know a persona non gratin such as myself.  You can bet that the feeling was pair-mutuel.

I snuck up on Lew with massive quantities of Kool-Aid that were being given away by a bunch of politicians.  Therefore, I immediately was able to indoctrinate him into using Stauberian methods.  Just as with the politicians’ victims, he had no vote in the matter.  Moreover, little did the ACBL know that I had re-disorganized my bidding, and was once again several deviates below their newly degraded standards!

He scribbled some notes, but I couldn’t read them anyway.  Of course, I had previous experience with this situation.  Before my excommunication and that of Marty Bergen for similar reasons a little later, he would give me zillions of pages of blurry purplish notes that would have been illegible even on non-dumpster paper.  Naturally, I ignored them too.  Actually, he seemed to do likewise.  I just kept bidding whatever I felt like jumping to at the time.  That “system” seemed to be good enough for a lot of Government, I mean ACBL, work.  Excluding a beginners’ mistake eons back when we had been deluded into believing that Weak 2’s required 6-12 HCPs and a 6 card suit, we won 40% of the National events in which we overbid as partners — well, maybe I should say across from each other.  (Attn smart asses: No, it was not because 40% of 0 = 0!)

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, the Colorado Springs, CO Unit #360 had developed a champion rating system during my enforced hiatus.  It is maintained by the super aptly named Chris Champion!  You can read about it at  (Please activate the link in the center before going to the other links.)  I doubt that he will be overjoyed to get the kind of comments that I always seem to get about my research.  However, if you have any non-Stauberian, i.e., constructive, responses, I think he would be pleased to get them, well, maybe at least most of them!  I even gave him a suggestion, and within just a couple days, he had incorporated it.  It had to do with a big bonus rating if your name happens to contain the letters “Star” in that order but not necessarily consecutively.  I’m not very knowledgeable about a lot of the details of the system, but it may be similar to the power rating systems for many sports, games such as chess, etc.

Among other uses, one may be to assist in determining which seeded players/pairs/teams are the seediest.  I had noticed over the years that the seeding often was “strange”.  Of course, some of the highly seeded pros probably could follow suit occasionally.  BUT — it was rather awkward for other players who really knew something about the game to play along, and hide all of their drooling when playing against them! J  Incidentally, another seeding problem occurs when some little-known good to excellent players make an appearance.  I’ve even known an occasional player here or there who was at least equal to and maybe better than most of the top seeds in a National Event!  Of course, most or all of the seeders usually would have no way to know these kinds of players, and they probably would not get any seed at all.  If such players at least had played enough within the designated timeframe to be rated, the seeders would be able to do a better job.       

Chris gets results from over a gazillion games from the club level all the way through National shootouts.  By cross comparisons, or even friendly ones, almost an infinite number of players/pairs/teams are rated vs. each other.  They must have 12+ scores within the prior two years to be included.  It appears to me that it also will be useful for justifying what may appear to be Zero Tolerance obscenities and unwarranted sharpened duplicate boards that are directed at partners, teammates, and opponents.  Fortunately, I’m not a lawyer, but I believe, “The truth is an absolute defense”!  [Actually, the truth is that I have never had a partner who had any clue how to defend.]  For many of you, it will be just like college déjà vu all over again, even if Yogi Berra wasn’t a classmate of yours.

Lo and behold, I caused another ACBL disaster.  The more that Lew and I made a mockery of the game, the better our ranking got!  We had gotten up to  9th-10th in the whole American Contract Bridge League universe of pairs, apparently even counting the mysterious Unit #999 pairs who may have no or only one player from The Americas, or perhaps in only Area 51. 
What a travesty!  A few more depravities out of my research lab, and we might even get to the top!  —  Maybe even higher than that if we had any idea what was on our convention cards or in Lew’s scribbling.  Everything that the ACBL stood for was in imminent danger of being preempted out of existence, and they decided that they could not take any more of this sitting down.  Therefore, they sat us down.  We could not play together until we dropped below the required 12+ session scores over the past two years, and any events that we entered could not get us to that number either.  No number of additional entry fees would change their minds.

As our results dropped off, we finally had fewer than 12.  What a relief to the ACBL.  Therefore, they have issued the most important Alert of all time!  It is now safe to check the ratings again!

Well, as of this writing, I’m getting even more oceans of Kool-Aid than usual from the politicians, so I might preempt the ACBL yet again.  Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts — not to mention the spades, diamonds, and clubs of bridge decks everywhere.  Only the Shadowy Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy knows!          

P.S.: * I just remembered!  The word is “pusillanimous”.

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