Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Birthday to me!

Today was my birthday and I got an e-mail from my friend, Kate: "Are we going to bid the birthday grand tonight?"

The last time she asked that it was her birthday and we did indeed bid and make a grand slam (take all 13 tricks). Would we do it again?

On the deal shown above, we held A 10 6 5 3 opposite K J 8 2. We bid 6 and made seven when trumps behaved to win 5.0 IMPs. If we had bid 7, our score would have been 12.2 IMPs.

I'm not sure what conventional wisdom says about bidding the grand. It depends to some extent on how many in the field will even bid 6. If many won't bid six, then you're risking a lot if your odds aren't at least 66% to make seven.

Let's look at the actual numbers from BBO.

The players who were minus 50 (in various contracts including 6NT) scored -12.3 IMPs. So we would have risked 17.3 IMPs (lose 12.3 instead of win 5) to improve our score by 7 IMPs, from 5.0 to 12.0. Obviously, this is a bad idea -- conventional wisdom wins again.

Three pairs bid the grand, 52 bid six and made either six or seven, 45 stopped in game, one pair played a partscore (2nt!), one played a cuebid (4 after bidding and raising hearts!) and three went minus.

Robin (sorry, I follow his blog, but don't know his last name) wrote a nice piece about this topic (see here).

P.S. Don't ask how old I am -- I might have to lie!


  1. Happy birthday cheers and many more.

  2. Great that you can still remember the date! WPOM

    HBOM! And many more!

  3. Happy Birthday, and Many More

  4. Happy Birthday! Many more years of good MOJO!!!

  5. It's Hillyard, Dave. Thanks for the plug.

  6. Happy Birthday Mojo, congrats on finally achieving adulthood

  7. Happy birthday again, Dave! I remember you posting about the Hollywood Poker Open a few months ago. I was doubtful they would run their series in Tunica, since that venue just doesn't attract players. This week I got a postcard in the mail with the schedule and there's one being held in St. Louis. (Not sure why they sent me one, as I've never played in St. Louis and haven't played at Hollywood in Tunica in forever!) The date is April 4-14 and there are 3 tournaments that offer the Vegas trip in the prize pool. Here's the schedule link:

  8. @jusdealem: Thanks for the link!!

  9. Have a great weekend. I've noticed that you're looking younger these days!