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Old February 6th 09, 01:55 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

Two of the candidates for the USCF Executive Board are involved in a
situation where they failed to pay the guaranteed prizes. This is
considered to be a very serious in the USCF and often results in
suspension of tournament directing or organizing privileges or
suspension of the right to advertise tournaments in Chess Life.

The tournament was the 2008 Miami Open. An exceptionally big prize
fund was advertised. Then the possibility developed that Hurricane Ike
might hit. As it turned out, Hurricane Ike did not hit Florida.

The question of whether to sanction Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht is before
the Executive Director now, but the Executive Director states that he
is not going to rule on this question now that the two organizers,
Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht, are candidates for the board.

There have been many, many times when Bill Goichberg has suffered big
financial losses at his tournaments due to bad weather and other
problems. Bill Goichberg has always paid the guaranteed prizes
regardless of how big his losses have been. He deserves credit for
that.

In the case of Mr. Blas Lugo and Mr. Eric Hecht, from what very little
I understand about this, there was a threatened hurricane but the
hurricane never hit. Also, the advance entries were low so the
tournament would have suffered a big loss even without the threat of a
hurricane. Mr. Lugo and Mr. Hecht only paid 50% of the guaranteed
prizes and now the players are complaining. Now Mr. Lugo and Mr. Hecht
are running for the board. The board normally decides what to do about
these situations. These are legitimate questions to be asking and
these candidates should address this issue.

Sam Sloan
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Old February 6th 09, 04:17 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

There is one point that nobody has mentioned yet:

Bill Goichberg has run thousands of tournaments over the past 44
years. He has always paid the guaranteed prizes. If he were to fail to
pay the prizes one time for a reason such as a hurricane warning, I
think that the office and everybody else would be more than willing to
forgive him.

However, Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht are new organizers. This was one of
their first tournaments. They apparently had unrealistic expectations
as to how many players would attend. There are reasons to believe that
Hurricane Ike was not the real reason why they did not get the
expected turnout and why they failed to pay the guaranteed prizes. The
advance entries were low even before the hurricane possibility.

Now, in the midst of this controversy, they have suddenly decided both
to run for the board.

This raises questions that they need to address and about which the
voters need to be informed.

Sam Sloan
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Old February 7th 09, 12:12 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

I have just received a private email from somebody who states the
advertised prize fund was $100,000 based on 650 entries and the actual
payout was 15,649.98.

They only got 212 players but the previous year they only got 336, so
their projection of 650 entries was ridiculous.

If this is true (and I hope that it is not true) they paid far less
than the 50% that was previously claimed and they lowered the payout
so much so as to guarantee themselves a profit.

If these figures are correct, the possibility of a hurricane is not a
valid excuse and I would say that they do not belong on the board.

Sam Sloan
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Old February 7th 09, 12:28 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

212 actual vs 650 estimated is a typical "Florida Flop." There have
been many.

(OldHaasie)
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Old February 7th 09, 12:45 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

On Feb 6, 7:28*pm, " wrote:
212 actual vs 650 estimated is a typical "Florida Flop." *There have
been many.

(OldHaasie)


I thought you were going to give us one of your "Florida spiders are
so big they eat the alligators" stories.

Sam Sloan


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Old February 7th 09, 04:16 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

On Feb 6, 7:45*pm, samsloan wrote:
On Feb 6, 7:28*pm, " wrote:

212 actual vs 650 estimated is a typical "Florida Flop." *There have
been many.


(OldHaasie)


I thought you were going to give us one of your "Florida spiders are
so big they eat the alligators" stories.

Sam Sloan


The "USCF should use the Mensa model" is my favorite.
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Old February 7th 09, 11:40 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

On Feb 6, 11:16*pm, None wrote:
On Feb 6, 7:45*pm, samsloan wrote:

On Feb 6, 7:28*pm, " wrote:


212 actual vs 650 estimated is a typical "Florida Flop." *There have
been many.


(OldHaasie)


I thought you were going to give us one of your "Florida spiders are
so big they eat the alligators" stories.


Sam Sloan


The "USCF should use the Mensa model" is my favorite.


Now you've done it!!! Do you realize what you just did?!
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Old February 7th 09, 02:16 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Just
23A1. Obligation to pay guaranteed prizes.
An affiliate that guarantees prize money but fails to pay it in full
may have its USCF affiliation revoked, and the individual(s)
responsible for that affiliate may be denied the right to affiliate
under a different name. See also 32, Prizes.

If extraordinary circumstances such as extreme weather conditions or
civil unrest prevent most potential entrants from playing in a
tournament, the organizer may appeal to the USCF executive director
for permission to limit the prizes to 100 percent of entry fees
collected.

Tim Just
The correspondent who has been writing me complaining angrily about
this has the following to say:

"The payout was actually 49,950.
"I only saw the open section previously.
"Here is a breakdown
open 15,650
u2100 6,900
u1900 6,900
u1700 6,900
u1500 6,900
u1300 5,650
unrated 1,050
-------------------
total 49,950
===================
I counted 222 players.

"It is interesting to note that if 222 players paid 250 each, the
total is 55,500, a nice margin
"If they paid 225 each, the total would be 49,500 a zero margin.
"Players paid between $225 and $275 depending on when they registered.
"Except unrated paid either 100 or 125 dollars. There were 27 unrated
players.
"This is getting too confusing, I'd like to know if they made any
money or broke even?
"It is a shame that they guaranteed prizes and then went back on their
word. pretty unethical.
"How often does this happen? I remember it happened with Richard
verber and he was barred for a while.
"They should be on the list of "these people cannot direct tournaments
until further notice".

---------------------------------------------------------

From the figures above, it appears that they reduced the prizes
sufficiently to enable them to make the profit they expected to make.
If this is true, then they violated the rule that states "the
organizer may appeal to the USCF executive director for permission to
limit the prizes to 100 percent of entry fees collected."

Now, the Executive Director states that he is not going to rule on
this issue because the two organizers are both candidates for election
to the board, and therefore he will be accused of bias.

However, he will also be accused of bias in favor of them and against
the other candidates if he does not make a ruling in a clear case such
as this one.

Will this be a repeat of the 2007 election in which the Executive
Director was accused of many acts of bias for or against the various
candidates for election?

These two candidates should be told to pay the prize money owed to the
players or else!! (Or else what, I do not know.)

Sam Sloan
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Old February 7th 09, 03:05 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpawn
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hall
As a piont of information, I was
contacted by an individual on behalf of Mr. Lugo prior to the event in
Miami expressing concerns about the hurricane. As I recall, at the
time Miami was not out of the woods for landfall and the individual
that we had originally contracted to cover the event online had had
travel difficulty related to the hurricane and was unable to attend.
There is a rule in the rulebook that the ED can grant a waiver to the
guaranteed prize fund in force majora circumstances. I was
aware that the hurricane was impacting attendance; however, the degree
to which is extremely difficult if not impossible to ascertain.

Bill Hall
I believe the failure of the Miami Open was not at all due to the
hurricane. We can make an estimate of the impact, if any, by looking
at the 2007 Miami Open versus the 2008 tournament.

2007
336 total players
~40 out of state in class sections (out of 256)
~35 out of state in open section (out of 80)
overall: 22% of players from out of state

2008
212 total players
~45 out of state in class sections (out of 151)
~32 out of state in open section (out of 61)
overall: 36% of players from out of state

[b]The numbers clearly show that the reason the 2008 Miami Open failed
is because of a dramatic drop in support from local Florida players![/
b] Nearly half of the Floridians who played in 2007 did not come
back. Perhaps also a few out of state players decided not to attend
due to the hurricane, but the comparison to the previous year suggests
any out of state drop-off was small.

I make this distinction because most Florida players would likely
drive to the tournament, giving them far more flexibility to wait and
see what the hurricane does. With Ike moving on to Texas by Monday
before the tournament, the locals easily had time to determine that it
was safe to travel for the following weekend.

Michael Aigner
The rule is the organizer must pay a minimum of 70% of the "Based on"
advertised prizes.

Thus in this case, the advertised prizes was $100,000 "based on" 650
entries.

That means that they had to pay at least $70,000 even if almost nobody
showed up.

I am thinking that there may be another reason why so few players
came. Perhaps Lugo and Hecht had a bad reputation from other
tournaments.

As Mike Aigner has shown above, the low turnout was not because the
out-of-state players did not play, because about as many out of state
players came this year as they did last year. It was because fewer
Florida players played this year. Also, another poster states that it
was known four days before the event that Hurricane Ike was not going
to hit the area, so the Florida players would not have been affected.

This indicates that inclement weather was not a valid reason for
failing to pay the prizes.

One must wonder why they suddenly decided to run for the board with
this cloud hanging over their heads.

Sam Sloan
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Old February 7th 09, 06:48 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,rec.games.chess.computer,alt.privacy.anon-server
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Default Questions for Blas Lugo and Eric Hecht

On Feb 7, 1:29*pm, "Voice of Reason"
wrote:

Sam anonymously criticizes Blas for being litigious because of the
lawsuit US Bioservices Corp. v. Lugo, No. 08-2342, 2008 WL 4747473
even though that Lugo was unconnected to Blas Lugo, while Sam is
a serial litigant whose name is often quoted in arguments for the
pressing need for tort reform and for the streamlining of having
conmen like him designated as vexatious.


Wait a second! What are these two things about? I have never heard of
either one of these things.
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