E*V*I*L (Electronic Vancouver IMP League): Season 6 Registration

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Last update: Tuesday, June 1, 2021.  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 teams that prefer to play earlier or later). 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 fifth season is nearly complete and we are now registering teams for the sixth season as we move to the Season 5 playoffs. I've set up a system that will create two or 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 are a new team, how does it all work?"

  1. Tuesday nights: Virtually all matches are played on Tuesday evenings starting at 7pm, and ending at 9:30 or so. A few teams prefer to play a bit earlier or a bit later; captains should check with one another and decide on a start time. 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 allow 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 use a 20-point VP Scale that has 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 can agree to play any number of boards that is convenient.
  3. Live standings updates!: We monitor the results of matches and a computer program updates the standings at half time and at the end on match nights (except for the final week, where nothing is posted until all matches are complete). (Help me out here by including 'E*V*I*L' in the title of your match when you set the segments up.)
  4. Liberal substitution rules: We are not bound by ACBL rules so teams can have lots of people 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 1-5. (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 next lower 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. The format will depend on how many teams are in the play-in tournament, but will be drawn at random and consist of at most three short matches, and likely only one for most teams. 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, or even the third, 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 five head-to-heads and have the four teams losing by the least play for the other two slots.
  4. Deadline!. The sign-up deadline is Thursday afternoon, June 3 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 Six. I will need an hour or so 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--at my usual pace--on a program to turn them into stats that can be presented to ACBL. This will continue in Season Four, Five and Six.)

Players and teams signed up (as of Thursday June 3, deadline passed for Big Show).

Final qualifications based on playoff wins may not be decided until the playoffs end. Feel free to use the sign up form multiple times if playoff success allows you to move up, or something changes. Season Six Registration is now CLOSED for The Big Show but OPEN for The Big Ticket until June 10 at 4pm, or until two more teams are added to the six we have (one more will not be added to create a bye, six with a few replays is better than seven with byes).

    Big Show-Qualified Teams (top three in the Big Show, plus the fourth-place team if they win the playoff, and the regular season and playoff winners in The Big Ticket): Also qualified, Yan (Big Ticket regular season champs) and Hansford, the winner of the Big Ticket playoff final.
Team Anderson
the Big Show
Tom Anderson
Ryley Breiddal
Cindy Oishi
Stephanie Williams
Team Krywaniuk
the Big Show
Andrew Krywaniuk
Ken LoChang
Andrew Nalos
Ken Ramsay
Vincent Yung
Les Fouks
Team BC Buds
the Big Show Play-In
David House
John Bryden
Duncan Smith
Michael Newcombe
Sandy McIlwain
Karen Turner
Team Yan
the Big Show Play-In
Flora Yan
Junkai Peng
Helen C
George Meng
5 teams are eligible, but I am told that Hansford is taking a season off, so probably 4 slots will be open in the Play-In tournament.
    Big Show Play-In Tournament Teams (Eligible: All Big Show teams not earning a Big Show slot, Big Ticket teams with 70VPs or more, the Big Deal regular season and playoff winners, and new teams with an average of 2000+ masterpoints per player.): not yet signed-up but eligible: G. Morse (probably taking a season off), Christoffersen, Wilson, Adams (already set for The Big Ticket), Koblenz (already set for The Big Ticket), and Yager; Smith has chosen to take Season Six off.
Team Carr
the Big Show Play-In
Stuart Carr
Thomas Davis
Wade Carpenter
Nolan Derby
Diane Ayukawa
Team Levesque
the Big Show Play-In
Julien Levesque
Nigel Fullbrook
Pauline McClafferty
Rhoda Tafler
Team Yue Su
the Big Show Play-In
Yue Su
Larry Pocock
Amy Gao
Baixiang Liu
Tao Feng
David Huang
Team Jin Mei
the Big Show Play-In
Jin Mei Luo
Jin Mei
Qiao Li
Cecil Chan
Nancy Neumann
Edward Fok
Team Hong
the Big Show Play-In
Jennifer Hong
Henry Yao
Qiang Hua
Juan Xu
Kenny Ying
Long Xie
The Play-In will take place Friday June 4 and the details will appear here at dinnertime on Thursday. Looks like four slots in the top division to fill, from five teams.
5 teams registered by the deadline, and we will reduce to 4 in this way:
  • This will be a two-stage qualification of 12 board matches. One of the five teams randomly selected will receive a bye to the second stage. The other four will be randomly matched against one another, with the two winners and the team losing by the smallest number of IMPs qualifying for the Big Show, the other loser facing the bye team for the fourth qualification. The teams playing initially have more than a 75% chance to get in while the bye team has a 50% chance, them's the breaks, but we will offer a small twig to the bye team: If both first round losing teams lose by the same number of IMPs, the bye team gets to qualify without playing a single board and the losers meet for the fourth spot. First stage matches not completed by 9pm (10 minutes per board on a 7pm start, surely a reasonable limit) may lead to penalty VPs in Season Six for teams deemed predominantly at fault. If both initial matches end in a tie, the bye team will qualify automatically and the teams winning the fewest boards will play the second stage qualifying match; total points will be the second tiebreaker; and after that we will do boards won and then total points excluding the final board, the final two boards, and so on until we have a winner and a loser.
  • First stage matches will be scheduled for Friday evening, June 4, with a 7pm PST start the default, but can be started earlier by agreement (please let me know what you have agreed to). Matches not completed by 9pm PST will incur my wrath which may translate to penalty VPs deducted from your total whereever you end up. When matches end I will contact the losing captains on BBO and let them know what their round two situation is: qualified despite loss, about to play [captain's name], waiting for other match, etc. We hope to have the second stage match started by 9pm or shortly after.
  • Matchups: Teams will be given a random number from 1 thru 5 (see below for how this was done). Team #1 receives the bye to stage two and the free qualification should both first-round matches end in the same margin. Teams 2 and 3, and 4 and 5 are matched together in stage one matches.
  • ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED AND IMPORTANT: By playing in the play-in tournament, you agree to play Season Six 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 Six and Season Seven, and to return you will have to start Season Eight in The Big Ticket, whoever you play with.
  • Matchups: Teams were ordered 1-5 by alphabetical order of captain names [1 Carr, 2 Hong, 3 Jin Mei, 4 Levesque, and 5 Yue Su] and a shuffling of the numbers 1-5 was obtained on random.org by using the timely and important phrase "GetVaccinated!" as a randomizer, producing this list [1: 5 Yue Su, 2: 2 Hong, 3: 1 Carr, 4: 4 Levesque, 5: 3 Jin Mei]. This gave Yue Su a stage one bye and led to the following stage one matchups:

    • Hong vs Carr
    • Levesque vs Jin Mei

  • 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 via chat (BBO mail will work if it is really urgent) to have a look at the board and decide the issue. Substitutes are fine if you need them, as long as they are suitable (don't try bringing in Meckwell...). Probably best to play these 12-board matches in one segment, you can switch to new players for the second segment if you survive. If you play two segments, remember there is a time limit.
  • Good luck to all. Even if you don't qualify, the Big Ticket has some good teams and you'll have another chance in ten weeks! Five reducing to four has a bit of luck involved. Losing by less gets you in,, so play like every IMP counts: it might!
  • Results:
    Stage One Matches:
    Hong defeated Carr by 18 IMPs.
    Jin Mei defeated Levesque by 5 IMPs.
    Hong, Jin Mei, and Levesque qualify for The Big Show!
  • Stage Two Match:
    Carr defeated Yue Su by 13 IMPs
    Carr qualifies for The Big Show!
    Big Ticket Teams (qualified for the Big Show Play-in tournament but choosing not to qualify, plus teams dropping down from unsuccessful qualifying attempts for the Big Show.): also eligible is Knight.
Team Koblenz
the Big Ticket
Brian Koblenz
Richard D'Litzenberger
Kathy Bye
John Cox
Team Adams
the Big Ticket
Patti Adams
Angela Fenton
David Schmidt
Jim Sache
Team Johnson
the Big Ticket
Jack Johnson
Maryellen Gallo
Brock Short
Ray Clemmons
Ed L'Heureux
A few teams still out in the wilderness and not yet signed up. The third Big Deal division is not popular with many, which makes the Big Ticket division large and a bit unbalanced over only seven weeks. A suggestion was made to not have playoffs in the Big Ticket and play more than seven weeks to play more of the other teams. This is a question for players now added to the signup form. So far, there is a clear majority to keep things as they are.
    Big Ticket Play-In Teams:
Team A.Morse
the Big Ticket Play-In
Anita Morse
Shameine Ali
Frances Corney
Jo-Anne Modesto
Eda Kadar
It looks like only six in the Big Ticket (one from the Big Show Play-In, three registered, one more registered for the Play-In which won't happen, and another registered for the Big Deal (we're assuming Promislow is happy to play up a level). I have kept the registration open and two more teams can be added as late as June 10. If we stay at six, we'll schedule a five-week round robin and then schedule rematches on the last two weeks based on the standings after Week Five: we'll play 1st/6th, 2nd/3rd, 4th/5th in Week Six and 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, and 5th/6th in Week Seven.
    Big Deal Teams (All Big Deal teams not earning a shot at Big Ticket or Big Show qualification, and new teams below 750 masterpoints per player.):
Team Promislow
the Big Deal
Eric Promislow
Barry Promislow
Gita Sheikholeslami
Herb Brown
The third division has not attracted a lot of support from our I/N players, most team players prefering to compete in the Big Ticket division. If that changes, we'll go with it, but I suspect not.
    People Looking for Partners or Teammates — Message them on BBO! (None registered so far.)
InformationResultsVVBC IMP LeagueRecords & StatsVBC Main Page
Last update: Tuesday, June 1, 2021.  Information on this page may change frequently. Hit F5 to update; many browsers save copies of a page and miss checking for updates!