Paul Cronin

BBO “Experts”

As an afterthought to the previous blog on the incredible number of “experts” playing on BBO, it is worth noting that a lot of ACBL masterpoints are being won on BBO. The lifetime leader is listed at 7,780 masterpoints, and this year’s leader to date at 653 masterpoints. The latter figure averages out to about 7 masterpoints a day.Recent daily “best performances” are about 14 masterpoints in a day. None of the above would seem to bode well for clubs, as the award there for 3 hours of play against a 15 table field would get you about 1.6 masterpoints for first overall. It is also possible to play a large number of “robot” tournaments per day on BBO , and it may well be that the robots are not capable of dealing effectively with “off the wall” bids.


John GooldApril 17th, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I’ve never thought that awarding “masterpoints” for online bridge was a good idea. The whole concept is ridiculous, treating points won online as equivalent in any way, shape or form with points won in face-to-face (or with screens!) competition is meaningless.
Call them something else.

Judy Kay-WolffApril 17th, 2012 at 5:14 pm


JoeApril 18th, 2012 at 4:16 am

Black or colorless masterpoints have little to no value in any event. Why worry about them? If some people like to have a big number after their name, more power to them. I’ll continue to evaluate my bridge skill the only way that matters… by how many partners have thrown me out of the club after a session 🙂

In all seriousness, if people truly care about evaluating skill, use an ELO type rating system. Any sort of cumulative system will inevitably have little value, as simply playing more often will give you a higher ranking.

LakApril 18th, 2012 at 4:56 am

Have you tried

I tried out myself and a few others I know and it seems generally accurate.

LakApril 18th, 2012 at 4:57 am

Sorry, that previous comment was meant to be on your previous blog (about how to check a potential partner’s skill level).

paul croninApril 20th, 2012 at 4:44 am

Hi Lak,

I took a quick look at and would like to know who Branko Stankovic, the owner of the site, is. I don’t think it’s ethical for him to display a list of BBO screen names of those he calls proven cheaters on BBO.

LakApril 22nd, 2012 at 1:10 am

Hmm … didn’t investigate the “black list” further. You are right; that’s close to libel.

GMarco24April 22nd, 2012 at 8:34 am

Hi all,
Branko Stankovic is only owner of hosting, site is created and maintained by Marko Gligorijevic (GMarco24). is based on user’s monthly score. Unfortunately we don’t have bigger database than that. It’s accurate for players who players with many different partners and opponents and play 500+ boards. Through the time, as out database grows, rating will become more accurate.
I’ve planned many more features, but, right now it will stay as it is.
BBO haven’t officially said anything, but I’ve spoke with Uday and he said he is Ok with it. He was interested to know more about blacklist too:
For every player who is blacklisted I looked more than 30 hands. Also, they all have weirdly high score. As a international master I believe I have enough knowledge to make good judgement, and trust me, they are all cheaters. Well, now, we can lead discussion about should I display it or not, but I think, as they don’t have any punishment for things they are doing, it’s just a way for punishing them.
Blacklist is not important site feature, so, if many people agrees I can take it off.

paul croninApril 22nd, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Hello Marko,

Could you tell us more about your bridge activities – all I can find is you played for the Serbia University Team in 2006 for the 3rd. world university team cup in Tianjin.

GMarco24April 22nd, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Yes, that’s me. Unfortunately I had to cancel participation for Mind Olympics in Beijing 2008. and I played Small Countries Cup 2011. in Slovenia for open team of Serbia.
On BBO side, I was BIL teacher for 1 year and I was regular BBO commentator for one period, but I really don’t have much time for bridge last couple of years.
I also had one more site (blog type), but it’s in Serbian and Google translation is not doing a good job, because I use slang language and internal jokes, so not really funny for foreign readers.

sang11December 17th, 2012 at 11:52 am

l love to play bbo bridge
my skill level?

VivJune 30th, 2013 at 8:24 am

Guys bbo skill is a great addition to check your progress. Just don’t know why bbo doesn’t introduce something themselves but I definitely find using this is an enhancement so well done. Also cheaters are only cheating themselves…happens in every game including scrabble etc…frankly it’s not the Olympiad so I just ignore that and use this to track my own improvement or otherwise,

Peter WoodhouseJuly 16th, 2013 at 5:13 pm

It’s all a joke intermediates are beginners or novices, advanced are either novices or good club players not county standard, experts generally are not . the only world class players and not all of them are to be seen in the top vu graphs, and please note palookas how slowly they play cos they count and think

DaringdollAugust 9th, 2013 at 2:51 am

Did you realize people can be playing side by side on 2computers and see each others hands? So what’s the point?

Norm GordonAugust 10th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Gave up caring, long ago. One can become an ACBL “life master” without even knowing the basics much less “mastering” anything.

People become “masters” without ever having read a book, knowing common card combinations, what is even a simple squeeze (never mind the whole world of squeezes), etc. Not sure what the word “Master” means when applied to bridge.

davepenJune 12th, 2015 at 9:02 pm

Does anyone know why BBO Skill has not updated recent scores?

YunusDecember 2nd, 2015 at 11:05 am

It also very closely micims the feel of their installed app offering in look and usability. FAIL: I would like to know one person who actually likes MYOB’s user interface. Everyone I talk to hates it. Yes it gets the job done but only for people who have to use it everyday. The onus on MYOB to come out with a robust product was always higher than for other entrants. MYOB has the experience, the money and the clout to bring a product to market with the features that users need. I think their experience is a negative. They need to rethink the approach and harness the web to make a great app. The web offers the chance to do things like capture expenses at the point of use, allow collaboration, and interface seamlessly with other applications via API’s. Do you really think MYOB has the mindset and the rockstar developers to pull this off? Do they truly understand the internet? I could be proved wrong but they are going to untrain themselves from their exitsing mindset if they are going to succeed online. Just look at Microsoft online They really haven’t been able to get any great wins online but they are the dominant desktop player.

ErdemDecember 8th, 2015 at 10:49 pm

You make some excellent poitns about the challenges for ISVs moving to SaaS.I would also add a vital point is that senior management need to commit to making the change happen. There is a risk that while they research SaaS, they limit resources to not distract from the real-business of the existing products and services. This is the case where SaaS subscriptions will replace the predictable stream of maintenance revenues from existing products.In my experience senior managers, and especially company owners, find it difficult to make the break with the past and commit the long-term future of their ISV to SaaS.If they try to play it safe and try to dip their toe in the SaaS waters then they are making a big mistake. The move to SaaS needs total commitment.As the saying goes “he who hesitates is lost.” 29th, 2016 at 12:39 am

I love going to the beach. I haven’t ever visited Destin but I’ve heard a lot about it. I love the pic with you, big Pookah, and Pookah the celebrity.Dr. Reginia recently posted.. 29th, 2016 at 1:11 am

I love that the bagger always picks up my bags to carry them out for me. Sometimes I prefer to do it myself but I adore the courtesy. When i do need or wantvhelp, it’s never embarrassing and I never feel that I’m putting anyone out. It’s just normal that someone is helping with my ages at MOM’s. 13th, 2016 at 12:52 am

I take it you haven’t read Hitler’s second book yet. Hitler did, in fact, have plans for the rest of the world after the East. And why not? If you’re the master race, that doesn’t just mean you’re master over a bunch of Russian serfs. It means you’re master over everybody, including Brits and Americans.

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