Paul Cronin

Here they go again!

The re-opening of the MP case on the BW website is now up to 334 comments, and that number is growing by the hour. Many, many people are still baffled that the decision of the ACBL Ethical Oversight Committee, which was comprised of bridge experts, and which was

Probation = 13 months     and  loss of  18,000+ masterpoints

was overturned by the ACBL Appeals & Charges Commitee, and changed to

Suspension = 14 days over the Christmas holidays, and loss of  15.4 masterpoints.

The re-opening of the case on BWs is due to a posting, for the first time, by a member of the team MP was playing against. That member states that he complained to the director at the tournament about the incident, and was told that his best course of action was to file a Player Memo. This he did, and the Player Memo, rather than going to the Unit 102 Recorder or the District 9 Recorder for handling at either of those levels, somehow ended up being handled by the ACBL EOC, making them the de facto body of original jurisdiction. This, in my experience, is …….unheard of, as the normal protocol would have been to have Unit 102  hear the case first, with that result being appealable to the District 9 Appellate Committee. The findings of the D9 AC would then be appealable to the ACBL A&C Committee, with no involvement of the EOC at all.

Also unheard of is the making of a joint statement by MP and the ACBL following the decision of the ACBL A&C Committee

There is considerable feeling that such treatment would not have been afforded to a “lesser” player, and that any perception of a double standard being employed is very,very bad for the game. 


Judy Kay-WolffMay 10th, 2016 at 5:55 am

Hi Paul:

This is not directed at Mike or the decision .. just the general approach to issues like these which are ruinous for bridge in general and eventually will lead to its disappearance.

I don’t know who served on the committees and I don’t particularly care. After seeing the disorganization of my own district and the results that filtered down to our Unit, we all should have hung our heads in shame. When Edgar and Bobby were active in the administrative aspects of the game, none of this garbage would have gone on. Few people are qualified to make the guidelines and just because of some title via election, selection or personal appointment, it doesn’t necessarily amount to the proverbial row of beans. Unless some qualified individual (with no personal agenda) steps up to steer the ship, this game will self-destruct!! Instead of money. “special games” and master points being the focal points on which decisions are made — it is time those at the helm considered the future perpetuation of our once-wonderful game and instituted guidelines to try to restore its dignity and honor. Sorry for the tirade but the time is now. We can’t use blinders any longer.

Thanks for your usual candor Paul. The entire procedure was reminiscent of a bull turned loose in a china shop.

paul croninMay 10th, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Hi Judy,

Times have indeed changed! I think I told you before, but it does bear repeating…..that at a National a long time ago Bobby, as Recorder, sought me out at the tournament and explained to me how something I had done while playing had been reported to him. I was in awe that a player of his stature would take the time to find me and explain the matter to me. Bobby took his role seriously, and carried it out superbly, and that incident has stayed with me my entire life. I never had the opportunity to meet Edgar, but if he was anything like Bobby I wish I had. We are sorely in need today of people like Bobby and Edgar, and I hope for the sake of the game that they exist and will step forward.

Judy Kay-WolffMay 10th, 2016 at 11:37 pm

If bridge goes on in the direction it seems to be headed, we are in for a big letdown. The top players revered the Bobbys and Edgars of their time as there was no doubt whatsoever their leanings were in the best interest of the game .. not themselves. Today however, ‘everyone is an expert’ (self-proclaimed perhaps). Just ask them!

Paul ElsteinMay 11th, 2016 at 1:51 am

I’ve been following the now more than 400 comments on BW. As one who knows none of the parties involved, I too wonder whether a lesser player would have gotten off with more than just a slap on the wrist. I think it is incumbent on MP, the ACBL, and whoever else might have been involved in this process to waive confidentiality in this situation and explain the rationale for subverting the process. If MP indeed were (mostly) blameless, I would think he would wish to clear his name. But as both of you know far, far better than I, the ACBL does whatever it wishes, with little or no thought given to the members’ needs or desires.

Judy Kay-WolffMay 11th, 2016 at 3:18 pm


… and the beat goes on!

It does not necessarily concern this issue but so much more. To be at the helm (or serve in many cases that appear like life or death situations for certain individuals), the judging bodies must be more qualified. Believe me, Paul, I speak from experience over many decades.

As I said previously, I am not directing this at the topic case, but recollections of ridiculous decisions over half a century. I had one myself .. being giving an AWMW for no reason at all, when my partner and I were blamed for the indiscretion (putting it gently) of my opponents. I fought its reversal for fifteen or so months and eventually was told I could appeal it.
Bobby came to the meeting to represent us and it was REVERSED WITH NO REBUTTALS or arguments. BUT .. I read immediately following the verdict, the ACBL barred appealing the issuing of Award without Merit Warnings. I think that says it all. Embarrassing, eh?

It is time that consideration be given to altering many of the ridiculous, self-serving committees and methods devised and appointed by the ACBL. No one was more successful than Bobby of blatantly getting rid of many culprits who dared to try to get away with murder at the bridge table. Some of the old timers would turn over in their graves if they saw what is now happening.

Until more people like you speak up .. it’s not gonna happen!

Judy Kay-WolffMay 11th, 2016 at 7:54 pm

I just realized I made an egregiously terrible error in my ramblings above. I omitted my good friend, Roger Stern, who was right there on top of things for decades — along with my other judicial heroes. He was respected by his peers and had very sound and fair judgment. For those of you who remember him, he has been widowed for a few years, but still active, and every now and then we exchange telephone calls.

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