Saint Louis wrapup

We’re home.  One or two masterpoints richer, many dollars poorer.  I love NABC’s, but they are costly.

The tournament was well run, as we have come to expect, but there are always glitches.

The Marriott had no coat racks, and there was no good place to keep the many pounds of outerwear necessary to keep from freezing some days.

Sodas were $2.00 at the Marriott, $2.50 at the convention center.  They are completely separate business so each can set a price, I just think it’s weird.

The new league policy on only 13 table sections in National events is a good idea that needs some work on implementation.  There isn’t enough flexibility for last minute problems like someone not showing up.

I really like President Mamula’s idea of not selling seeded entries after 12:45.  When we had to duplicate the hands ourselves there was some slack time to complete the seeding, but that isn’t there anymore.

We had some miserably dirty, sticky cards.  I don’t know if the league replaces cards on a schedule, but it’s clearly time for many of the decks we were using.

They tried to trick me with an ersatz Ask Me Girl, who turned out to be the Ask Me Girl In Training, Lulu.  I want Wendy, the original AMG.

Something I noticed about St. Louis–when you make a reservation on Opentable.com, you get 100 “points”, which you can eventually redeem for $1.  Some restaurants, in an effort to increase business, offer 1000 “points”, or $10, if you make a reservation.  That rarely happens in the Bay Area, except for very early or very late times.  In St. Louis, I got 1000 point reservations 3 times–at Mike Shannon’s, at Gio and at Mango.  I think this means that they are having trouble filling the seats.

I may say NABC’s are costly, but I saw valet parking at the movie across the street from my hotel for $5, and a parking lot for $1/hr.  Already noted were the prices at the $$$$ restaurant, Kemoll’s, which were 20% lower than they would be here.

Putting the hand records in baskets marked with balloons is a good idea.

The ACBL iPhone app is nice, but it didn’t work all that well.  The first night it sent me to the wrong site, other days it just said “see daily bulletin for details”, which isn’t very useful for a bulletin replacement.  Decidedly needs work.

The quality of the Irish Cream has gone way up in the Presidents suite.  Bailey’s is much better than Carolans.

The entertainment was first rate.  After event hospitality is always appreciated, and I liked both the food and the music.

I wish I played better.

You’re on your own about the summer tournament–I won’t go to nationals with the 10 and 3 schedule, and neither will many other people.  Expect that tournament to be about 1000 tables smaller than it would be with normal hours.  Can anybody explain to me why the organizers want to build a pile of $100 bills on the floor, $65,000 worth, and set it on fire?  Because that is exactly what they are doing with this silly schedule.

I managed 7 days in Saint Louis without once having toasted ravioli.  A record that may stand forever.

See you in Phoenix after Thanksgiving.

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