Friday, July 18, 2008

Smell 'em? Write 'em down!

Do you sometimes smell unexpected slam potential during an auction and then just sit there for a minute, somewhat helpless? Ultimately, you probably sign off if there seems to be no route to a slam, at least not one you have thought of yet.

I'd suggest writing these hands down, when you smell a slam, whether it exists or not. You might also keep track of deals where slam does make but you did not smell anything.

Hopefully, those who are reading this are noticing an increasing aroma of slam potential, if nothing else other than that you are thinking outside of the box most people are in (33 HCP).

However, the "smell test" could be useful for a few reasons. First, maybe you are not sniffing around enough because you are not picking up enough on holdings and sequences where slam potential is actually present. Writing this stuff down, and seeing patterns, may help.

Second, you may start noticing trends. Those trends translate into ideas. For, if every time you hear some specific strange sequence there is a slam that is on or not on depending on whether partner has the club or diamond Queen, maybe you should have some bid ask which minor-suit Queen partner has. You understand what I mean, I'm sure.

Third, if you are smelling things that are not there too often, this could be a good reason to restrain that enthusiasm. If a specific sequence seems interesting to you all the time but always ends up being a mess of nothing, then hopefully you will stop being so enthusiastic if that same auction creeps up again.

One caveat, though. Do not fall into the trap of being excited about the one hand analysis. Look for trends, not a single case. If the single case is interesting, run a deal generator or something.

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