E*V*I*L (Electronic Vancouver IMP League): Season 4 Registration

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Last update: Thursday, January 14, 2020.  Information on this page may change frequently.  Hit F5 to update; many browsers save copies of a page and miss checking for updates!

"What, when, where?"  We began an IMP League on BBO on Tuesday evenings in Spring 2020, from about 7pm to 10pm (most matches finish earlier, but we have a few 'Usual Suspects' who always seem to be playing when the clock strikes ten...).  This event was and will be completely free from entry fees, but we'd prefer that it be limited to VBC and local players, with a minimum of guests from far away.  As I write this, the third season is nearly complete and we are now registering teams for the fourth season.  I've set up a system that will create three divisions of play, with appropriate qualifying chances to give every existing team and completely new teams a fair chance to move up based on success, or choose to play at a lower, less competitive and more fun, division.  We'll run the league in seven-week cycles from now on, with three week breaks to conduct playoffs, sign up teams for the next season, and run the single-night qualifying tournaments for the top division and (if needed) the second division.  Again, the full details are at this link, a fairly quick read.

Even exisiting teams need to sign up!  All teams, existing and new, need to sign up.  If your team played in season three you can click the button and add in any roster changes.  If you are a new or significantly changed team, just click the 'new team' button and let me know who you have.

"We didn't play in the first or second or third seasons, how did it work?"  

  1. Tuesday nights: Virtually all matches were played on Tuesday evenings starting at 7pm, and ending at 9:30 or so.  If you choose to play on a different night we ask that you let the Commissioner know when the match is reschduled to.  Only in the most extreme of cases do we want to see matches played more than a few days from when they are scheduled.
  2. Teams set up their own matches: The BBO site includes a messaging system that is easy to use, allowing captains to contact one another and their team members while on BBO to arrange match details.  We allowed teams to play any number of boards from 16 to 28 and decide whether to play them all in one sitting or in two halves with possibly different people in the second half.  We used a 20-point VP Scale that had decimals to compare a 23-IMP win over 22 boards (14.93 VPs) and a 23-IMP win over 26 boards (14.61 VPs), so teams could agree to play any number of boards that was convenient.
  3. Live standings updates!: We monitored the results of matches and wrote a computer program to update the standings in real time on match nights.  Matches disallowing kibitzers are unable to be updated until the end, but usually I will update at halftime and sometimes as things get close to the end.
  4. Liberal substitution rules: We are not bound by ACBL rules so teams can have lots of people on them if some feel they may not want to play each week.  No problem.  If you put in a player who improves your team, I might give the other team a fair handicap.  Nobody did this in seasons 1-3.  (Maybe, going by masterpoints alone, the team I subbed for got better, but the other guys were counting the IMPs I leaked with great relish....)
  5. No masterpoints, no entry fees: Just good bridge among familiar people.  20 teams signed up and we played for nine weeks in season one.  I even got into one match as a substitute, which was incredibly fun even though I wish I had played better.  Nine weeks and ten-team divisions seemed a bit long and made the top to bottom gaps a bit wide, so we made the adjustments described above for season two.  The current system allows teams to move up with success quickly to the top level, if they wish.

"How do we get in?"  

  1. Signing up teams, pairs, and singles.  I've created a short survey at Google Forms which you can fill in by clicking here.  You can sign up a team, a pair, or a single and as we get closer to the deadline I will collect the results and update the list below of signed-up teams.  Everything listed here will be by BBO names only, no other personal data will be listed here.  If you prefer to contact teams by e-mail, contact them first by BBO message and ask.  Listing e-mail addresses online has the potential to expose people to all sorts of internet ugliness, so BBO messaging is preferred and worked last time.  If you really prefer regular e-mail, you can use BBO mail once to get the opposing captain's e-mail: but remember that most will communicate within the BBO system, so check that as well periodically.
  2. "Why are there so many options?"  Most returning teams have options based on their finishing spot: choose to play in the division they are currently in, or try to qualify for a higher one.  If you read the options from the top down, you can pick the first one that applies to your team.  Or you can choose to enter in the second or third division without needing to qualify.
  3. How will the play-in tournaments work?  For the Big Show, the top division, we'll count the number of teams and the number of spots open once the registration deadline ends.  Probably there will be five slots available.  The format will depend on how many teams are in the play-in tournament, but will be at most three short matches.  For example, with eight teams contesting five spots, we would draw them into four head-to-head matches, the winners earning a spot, and the remaining four teams playing two more short rounds to decide the fifth spot.  With an odd number of teams, we'll probably draw three at random to play for two spots and have the others play for the rest of the spots.   It will be quick and there may be some luck involved in short 8-10 board matches, but if you fail, it only takes seven weeks in the second division to earn a new chance!  The play-in tournament for the Big Ticket will likely not be required unless there will be an odd number of teams in the division; if so, it may well be a quickie: with ten teams competing for seven slots we would probably draw them into two three-ways qualifying two each, and a four-team KO where the winners would be in and the losers would play for the last spot.
  4. Deadline!.  The sign-up deadline is Thursday afternoon, January 14 at 4pm, the day before the play-in tournaments.  There is no way to extend it further or add teams later; if you do not register, you will not be in for season four.  I will need an hour to add the play-in matchups to this page and message the teams in the play-in tournaments about their opponents and the format, and after that it will be too late to get in.
  5. "We failed to qualify and don't want to play in the lower division.".  This is an unacceptable attitude and will not be tolerated.  If you quit, no team involving any of your players will be accepted for the next two full seasons.  It's seven games over seven weeks.  Earn your way back.

New (possibly) for Season Three onwards  Unit 430 has expressed interest in having our league as the 2020-21 winter IMP League competition, with masterpoints awarded.  I am aware that some of our players are against the idea of introducing masterpoints into this, and I was uncomfortable with changing the format back to the way the IMP league was run before, with A/X and B/C/D, since our system of divisions seems to be working very well and providing some interesting results!  So what we will look into is some way of reporting the results after perhaps seasons three and four combined as the results of the Unit IMP League to ACBL, with match awards and overall awards for the top finishers.  I haven't gotten my head completely around how to do this yet, likely the entire league will be one big division with VPs in the top division worth more than the second and third divisions, and stratified results based on them, with some logical bonus for playoff success.  Bottom line: from Season Three on I will keep the results of all matches so that at some point in the future I can combine the data into a file that will at least look like a local IMP league that the ACBL will award masterpoints for.  The Unit has agreed to pay the sanction fee for the event and charge the players as much as the VBC has: nothing!  So it won't cost you anything, and we'll try to make it worth a few masterpoints to the most successful teams over Seasons 3 and 4, and keep the quick turnaround and the three (hopefully it expands to three) divisions.  (UPDATE: I collected match data from every match in Season Three and am working on a program to turn them into stats that can be presented to ACBL.  This will continue in Season Four.)

Players and teams signed up (at deadline).

Final qualifications based on playoff wins were decided on January 12.  Feel free to use the sign up form multiple times if playoff success allows you to move up, or something changes.  Registration is now CLOSED for ALL divisions, but since we have a Big Ticket Division of 11 teams, the 12th spot will be given to the first full team that contacts me.

      Big Show-Qualified Teams (4 qualified and all have registered.  Team Martineau has a new captain - Julie Smith - and the previous captain is taking a season off to celebrate the double championship in Season Three.)
Team Smith
the Big Show
Julie Smith
Jack Lee
David Waterman
Ben Takemori
Judy Harris
Mike Takemori
Team Hansford
the Big Show
Doug Hansford
Susan Peters
Tom Devine
Paul Obrien
Don Sache
Sheila Sache
Team Hong
the Big Show
Jennifer Hong
Henry Yao
Qiang Hua
Juan Xu
Kenny Ying
Long Xie
Team Yue Su
the Big Show
Yue Su
Larry Pocock
Amy Gao
Baixiang Liu
Tao Feng
David Huang
      Big Show Play-In Tournament Teams (4 slots available for the Big Show.  6 registered by the deadline, and we will reduce this to four in this way:
  • The six teams will be matched randomly and play a single match of 16-30 boards, with the winners advancing.  Team captains must agree on a match length and decide who will set up the match, whether the match will be played in one segment or two, and other options, just like all league matches.  The standard seems to be 24 boards.  Disallowing kibitzers is something that MUST be done if either team captain insists.
  • Matches will be scheduled for Friday evening, January 14, with a 7pm PST start the default, but can be changed by agreement (please let me know what you have agreed to).  Matches must be completed by Saturday, January 15, at 10pm PST.
  • If one of the three matches end in a tie, the two winners and the two teams in the tied match will be the four teams in The Big Show.  If more than one match ends in a tie, tied teams will be ordered based on a) percentage of boards won (even by 10 points, a tie is one-half of a win), b) total net points per board, with the top four teams (winners first, tied teams next) placed in the Big Show.  If there are no tied matches, the losing team which scores the most VPs based on our VP Scale (which is dependant on IMPs and on boards played in the match) will be the fourth Big Show team.
  • ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED AND IMPORTANT: By playing in the play-in tournament, you agree to play Season Four in The Big Ticket division if your team does not qualify.  Quitting if unsuccessful is NOT an option, and inconveniences other teams: if you do this, all members of your team will be barred from participation in Season Four and Season Five, and to return you will have to start Season Six in The Big Ticket, whoever you play with.
  • Matchups: Teams were ordered 1-6 by alphabetical order of captain names and a shuffling of the numbers 1-6 was obtained on random.org by using the phrase "impeachedtwice" as a randomizer, producing the list (6, 3, 2, 5, 1, 4).  This led to the following matchups: Wilson vs Jin Mei, Christoffersen vs Krywaniuk, Anderson vs Koblenz.  BBO names for all of these are below.
  • The ACBL Open+ Convention Chart and ACBL Alert regulations are used for all matches, but matches are not actively directed: players should agree on a reasonable remedy at the table if possible, and if there is no agreement the match should continue: only when the segment ends will the players be able to contact me to have a look at the board and decide the issue.
  • Good luck to all.  Even if you don't qualify, the Big Ticket looks like a fairly strong group this time and you'll have another chance in ten weeks!
Team Anderson
the Big Show Play-In
Tom Anderson
Ryley Breiddal
Cindy Oishi
Stephanie Williams
Team Wilson
the Big Show Play-In
Mike Wilson
Marco Paladino
Sam McIlwain
Peter Maclean
Team Krywaniuk
the Big Show Play-In
Andrew Krywaniuk
Ken LoChang
Andrew Nalos
Ken Ramsay
Vincent Yung
Les Fouks
Team Koblenz
the Big Show Play-In
Brian Koblenz
Richard D'Litzenberger
Kathy Bye
John Cox
Team Christoffersen
the Big Show Play-In
Chris Christoffersen
Martin Johnson
Gus Axen
June Keith
Team Jin Mei
the Big Show Play-In
Jin Mei Luo
Jin Mei
Cecil Chan
Ernest Wong
Lulu Minter
Bree leant
Qiao Li
      Big Ticket Teams (3 qualified directly, 2 more are currently slated to drop in from the Big Show Play-In tournament on Friday, and 7 more qualified for the play-in tournament.  That's 12 teams, and we will play seven matches, as in the top division, set up so that the stronger teams have a slightly tougher schedule.  The schedule should appear on the main web page this weekend.)
Team Johnson
the Big Ticket
Jack Johnson
Maryellen Gallo
Brock Short
Ray Clemmons
Ed L'Heureux
Team Chang
the Big Ticket
Judy Chang
Keith Lee
Ian Affleck
Glenda Affleck
Team Yager
the Big Ticket
Brian Yager
Marg Gibson
Jane Skinner
Paul Fournier
      Big Ticket Play-In Tournament Teams (6 so far, all six are in--no need to play this Friday--along with 5 more and hopefully one late entry).  Team Butler has a new captain, Ron Knight.
Team Carr
the Big Ticket Play-In
Stuart Carr
Thomas Davis
Wade Carpenter
Nolan Derby
Diane Ayukawa
Team Adams
the Big Ticket Play-In
Patti Adams
Angela Fenton
David Schmidt
Jim Sache
Team Promislow
the Big Ticket Play-In
Eric Promislow
Barry Promislow
Gita Sheikholeslami
Herb Brown
Team G. Morse
the Big Ticket Play-In
Greg Morse
Ron Pratt
Kelvin Raywood
Shelley Burns
Team Knight
the Big Ticket Play-In
Ron Knight
David Butler
HongJian Wu
Bob Blake
Paul Kouri
Team Yan
the Big Ticket Play-In
Flora Yan
Junkai Peng
Diana Jing
Dianna 2008
Lisa Li
Helen C
Team Levesque
the Big Ticket Play-In
Julien Levesque
Anita Morse
Shameine Ali
Nigel Fullbrook
      Big Deal Teams (0 so far). Looks like two divisions this year.
InformationResultsVVBC IMP LeagueRecords & StatsVBC Main Page
Last update: Thursday, January 14, 2020.  Information on this page may change frequently.  Hit F5 to update; many browsers save copies of a page and miss checking for updates!