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Subject: 2011 Mix and Match Abstract Tournament Announcement rss

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Garrett the Hammer
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Note: There are few changes from my initial post (nothing major). I'm still a newbie to all this tournament organizing.

Hello all,

I want to announce the "2011 Mix and Match Abstract Tournament". This is an online turn-based tournament to be held at Richard's PBEM server (www.gamerz.net/pbmserv/). This is an experiment of sorts, but I think it should be fun and present the opportunity to play many different abstract games.

1. Send me a message with your gamerz.net username by September 30, 2011 (about 2 weeks) to join the tournament. It will start early October.

2. The tournament will consist of two rounds. Rounds will last 90 days maximum, or 45 days per player. Every player should get a maximum of 45 days per move and 45 total days per game. Round 2 will start after Round 1 is finished.

3. Each round players will play all other participants in the tournament in a chosen game (discussed below). That is, the number of games each player plays simultaneously in each round is N-1, where N is the number of tournament participants. In the event of a large number of participants, sections may be used to limit the number of games played (e.g. half players may be in section 1, while the other half may be in section 2).

4. Each round every player will pick a row and a column (privately sent via message). The game to be played between two players will be determined by matching the row/column between the players. Which player is a row and which player is a column will be determined randomly. For example, player one chooses the D/4 combination, and player two chooses the E/1 combination. By random selection, player one is determined to be the row. The game between the two players is D1, or Halves.

Players choose new rows/columns in round 2 and switch which player is the row/column. In the example above player one is the column in round 2, while player two is the row in round two.

5. The games in the tournament are shown below (the grid isn't a perfect square but close). I chose games the have web interfaces (go to www.gamerz.net/pbmserv/gamerz.php for the web-interface). I also eliminated a number of classic games (e.g. chess and its variants, backgammon, go, etc.) from the list.



6. Once the tournament is underway, I will post a list of participants. Players will decide their row (or column) for the round (messaged to me), which I will also post. The row player should challenge the column player for that round. Row players go first. In the example above, player one is the row player, so issues the challenge to player two, and takes the first move.

7. After the game is over, row players should report the results to me.

8. If you're not on www.gamerz.net, signing up is easy. Send an email message to pbmserv@gamerz.net with the subject as "subscribe username password", where username is your choice and password is also your choice. Do not use a sensitive password, since it will be sent via email. Once you've signed up you can go to www.gamerz.net/pbmserv/gamerz.php to view games, challenge other players, and make moves.

Please feel free to message me if you have questions, concerns, or ideas.
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David Bush
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In the system described above, suppose the row people in round 1 are referred to as set A, and the others are set B. If everyone in set A chooses a row for every game in round 1, then this will not result in a game choice for playing against other players in set A. The same problem will repeat itself in round 2 for the same people. This is like a team match where the teams are determined arbitrarily.

Instead, players should be assigned a row choice or a column choice depending on each pair of players who plays a game. For example, label each player with a unique integer which remains constant during the tournament. Half the players should have odd numbers and half should be even. For any two players whose number sum is odd, in round 1 the lower number player chooses a row and the opponent chooses a column, and in round 2 switch it around. If the sum is even, in round 1 the lower number chooses a column, the opponent chooses a row, and switch it around for round 2. There are several other ways to do this of course. But you can keep the same table for all games.

EDIT: So, the players could be asked to make both a row choice and a column choice for each round, but no one should find out what any opponent's choice is before they make their choice. You might even want to keep the assigned numbers a secret until the games of round 1 begin. Maybe you would have to announce a time limit on this meta game, and those who take too long are dropped from the tournament, so that the others (who must wait for everyone to complete their choices in the meta game before anyone plays a game in the list) get to play.

MORE EDIT: Should the same row and column choices be applied to round 2, or will the players be allowed to play the meta game again?
 
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Garrett the Hammer
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Ahh... you are entirely correct. It's Saturday where I'm at, so my brain is on vacation. I am now declaring you assistant tournament director.

Revised #4

4. Each round every player will pick a row and a column (privately sent via message). Players will be randomly assigned an identifying integer number after their row/column selection. The game to be played between two players will be determined by the matching the row/column between the players. The identifying numbers will be used to determine which row/column choice to use. If the sum of the identifying numbers is even, then the lower numbered player is the 'row' and the higher numbered player is the 'column'. If the sum of the identifying numbers is odd, then the lower numbered player is the 'column' and the higher numbered player is the 'row'. For example, player one chooses the D/4 combination, and player two chooses the E/1 combination. Player one's ID number is 4, while player two's number is 6. The sum of the two IDs is 10 (even), so player one is the row, while player two is the column. The game is D1, or Halves.

Players choose new rows/columns in round 2 and are assigned new ID numbers.
 
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David Bush
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If you change ID numbers between rounds, then for each pair of players, call them player A and player B, A might choose a row and B might choose a column in both games these two players play. Since there are nine columns but only eight rows, this could lead to lawsuits for extreme mental cruelty. If you want to make sure the players switch roles for every pairing of two players, you should keep the same ID numbers for both games of the tournament.

If you do keep the same ID values, you could also use the same row and column choices for both rounds, since for each pairing A versus B, A will choose a column and B will choose a row in one round, and the opposite in the other round. This will be easier for the tournament director, who has to do all the pairing announcements and ID values all by himself without any help from an assistant, and it could speed up the tournament since players will have to wait for everyone to finish the metagame just once.

In fact, the metagame could be played as part of the registration process. This is just a suggestion. When you send Aaron a message to register, you should also indicate a row choice A-H and a column choice 1-9. Or, you could just name the game which is at the intersection of these choices when you register, which game you might never play during the tournament. This way, the metagame is done by the time the tournament starts, and no one will have to wait to play. You could have all the game choices for all the pairings for both rounds worked out and posted at the beginning of round 1. Gamerz allows a third party to start a game between two other players I believe.

********************************************************************

What about time controls? What about options like grid size? Will we just use the default Gamerz values? Maybe players who are familiar with a specific game or games might want to state their preferences. The default time control on Gamerz is two (three?) weeks per move. We could speed it up, if we want to. Anyway, I think it's important the options for each game should remain constant thoughout the tourney.

There's also the issue of who moves first in each game. How about the row chooser in the metagame always makes the first move in the actual game.

Oh, I just saw your "adjudication after 90 days" announcement. I sure hope it doesn't come to that. I'm not sure what time controls are available on Gamerz. Can you give each player 45 days to make all their moves in the game? So some games might be decided by timeout, but it would all be done automatically, and no one has to try to adjudicate a game they might have no prior knowledge of.
 
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Garrett the Hammer
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twixter wrote:
If you change ID numbers between rounds, then for each pair of players, call them player A and player B, A might choose a row and B might choose a column in both games these two players play. Since there are nine columns but only eight rows, this could lead to lawsuits for extreme mental cruelty. If you want to make sure the players switch roles for every pairing of two players, you should keep the same ID numbers for both games of the tournament.

If you do keep the same ID values, you could also use the same row and column choices for both rounds, since for each pairing A versus B, A will choose a column and B will choose a row in one round, and the opposite in the other round. This will be easier for the tournament director, who has to do all the pairing announcements and ID values all by himself without any help from an assistant, and it could speed up the tournament since players will have to wait for everyone to finish the metagame just once.


After some thought the easiest way is probably foregoing the ID value idea and simply randomly letting one player be the row and one the column. E.g. random selection leads to choice of who is the row and who is the column. In some pairings a player may be the row in both rounds, but I guess that's life.

Another idea is simply to reverse the row/columns in the second round. If player A is row against player B in round 1, then player A is column against player B in round 2.

In the end I think these ideas all have the same general idea - randomly deciding who is column, who is row.

twixter wrote:
What about time controls? What about options like grid size? Will we just use the default Gamerz values? Maybe players who are familiar with a specific game or games might want to state their preferences. The default time control on Gamerz is two (three?) weeks per move. We could speed it up, if we want to. Anyway, I think it's important the options for each game should remain constant thoughout the tourney.


Honestly, I was going to leave it up to the players. I'm assuming they'll go with the default settings. I don't want to have to micro-manage the settings for 72 different games.

twixter wrote:

There's also the issue of who moves first in each game. How about the row chooser in the metagame always makes the first move in the actual game.

That's exactly the point I specified in #6 - row players go first (and issues the challenge).


twixter wrote:

Oh, I just saw your "adjudication after 90 days" announcement. I sure hope it doesn't come to that. I'm not sure what time controls are available on Gamerz. Can you give each player 45 days to make all their moves in the game? So some games might be decided by timeout, but it would all be done automatically, and no one has to try to adjudicate a game they might have no prior knowledge of.


Just checked - you can specify a limit of 45 days per player per game. Maybe that is the better choice.
 
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Garrett the Hammer
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There are a few more days left to sign up for the tournament, so send me a message if you're still interested.

So far, the following are signed up. An asterisk (*) indicates that you've chosen your row/column combination for round 1. If you haven't chosen yet, please send me a message with your choice.

mrraow*
russ
inundator*
aarondesk*
skouboe*
stighemmer*
dzander*
sharkey*
mmammel
cml888
mantonow
JeanM_M*
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David Bush
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Does the following sound right?

IF the game choice at registration determines your row choice and your column choice, THEN the only thing an ID value will do is determine which of your two games against a specific opponent will be in the first round, and which will be in the second. So whether you use ID values, or determine this at random, or use whatever method you wish, makes little difference to me.

If two players choose the same game, they will play that game twice against each other, alternating who makes the first move. These two games should not be played simultaneously.

If two players choose different games in the same row or column, then they will play those two games, and the side who is playing their chosen game will make the first move in that game.

If two players choose different games at opposite corners of a rectangle, then they games they play will be at the other two corners of that rectangle, and the game in the same horizontal row as your chosen game will be the game where you make the first move.
 
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Garrett the Hammer
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twixter wrote:
Does the following sound right?
IF the game choice at registration determines your row choice and your column choice, THEN the only thing an ID value will do is determine which of your two games against a specific opponent will be in the first round, and which will be in the second. So whether you use ID values, or determine this at random, or use whatever method you wish, makes little difference to me.


Yes, you are correct. Some random value (ID, coin toss, or whatever) will do determine who is row in first round, and therefore who goes first. That's all the random value will be used for. Players switch roles (rows/column choices) in second round.

twixter wrote:
If two players choose the same game, they will play that game twice against each other, alternating who makes the first move. These two games should not be played simultaneously.


Actually I was going to let players pick new rows/columns in the second round So in your scenario they would play the same game in both rounds (alternating who goes first) if they picked the same rows/columns in both rounds.

twixter wrote:
If two players choose different games in the same row or column, then they will play those two games, and the side who is playing their chosen game will make the first move in that game.


Yes, assuming they had the same row/columns for both rounds, but I was going to allow a new choice for round 2.

twixter wrote:
If two players choose different games at opposite corners of a rectangle, then they games they play will be at the other two corners of that rectangle, and the game in the same horizontal row as your chosen game will be the game where you make the first move.


Yes. If player one chooses A1 and player two chooses H9, then they will play either A9 or H1.


 
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David Bush
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aarondesk wrote:
Actually I was going to let players pick new rows/columns in the second round ...

In that case, ID values become more valuable. They replace all the separate random choices with a single system. But any way you want is okay.

As I understand, once the pairings are announced, the player who moves first in each game will be expected to issue the challenge. BUT before that happens, the other player should be given time to contact the first player, IF he or she wants some non-default option implemented, such as a different grid size or a different starting arrangement, depending on the specific game they will play. If the players cannot reach an agreement then use the default values.

Here is how to issue each challenge:

* Go to http://www.gamerz.net/pbmserv/gamerz.php

* If don't have a username for gamerz, get one. Make sure you are logged in on the web page.

* Click on the game type you have been assigned: Abalone or Akron or Amazons etc.

* Click on the "challenge" link. Here is what the Abalone challenge page looks like:


* The "help" link should explain the options. Be sure your opponent is amenable to any non-default options. For Abalone, "bowl" means a different starting arrangement.

* The time limit should be set to 45 days per game per player, as shown. Your total time time to make all your moves in the game is 45 days. This is a fast pace compared to the default of 3 weeks per move. Make sure you have the correct time control selected.

* The nag time could be 3 days or whatever you and your opponent want. Nag is just an email reminding you if you take more than X days to make your move. If a game typically takes 45 moves by each side, then you should keep up a pace of a day or less to make each move when it is your turn.

* Click the challenge button when you have all the options set correctly.

We don't want anyone to lose a game on time, so please keep up!
 
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Russ Williams
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email announcement wrote:
If necessary, I can break up participants into two
groups, so players are only playing 7 or 8 games at at time.

I'm thinking splitting into 2 pools might be wise. I don't mind 7 or 8 games at once, but 16 would be a bit much, considering that we will probably have to hastily learn the rules for some of them.
 
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Russ Williams
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email message wrote:
One suggestion, however I've received is to stagger the starting point of the games. For instance, everyone could still be in one group, but the starting point of the games would be such that everyone is only playing about 8 games at a time. The overall effect is that you still play all players in the tournament, but you don't do it all at once.
This could be accomplished by having players play 8 games at a time, and as games are completed the players could start up new games to replace the finished ones.

That sounds cool to me. I'd vote for that (a full round robin spread out in time) as 1st choice, with 2 pools of players as 2nd choice (In the latter case, several of the top players from each pool should go on to a final, not just the top player of each pool, right?)
 
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David Bush
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This is reposted from my email post on pbmserv:

I have a suggestion about how to accommodate delay requests.

Suppose everyone sends aarondesk an upper limit value on how many games they are willing to play at once. For example, if I understand skouboe's request, his upper limit would be 5.

We will select which games to delay using the following methodology:

* First priority is to select games between players who request an upper limit on simultaneous games.

* If player A requests an upper limit which would require more of A's games to be delayed than there are other players who want delays, choose games between A and opponents who did not request a delay, in such a manner that the delayed games are distributed as evenly as possible among players who did not request a delay.

* As games are completed, delayed games will be started, making sure that no player ever exceeds their requested quota. We could continue this process until all the first round games are played.

To start the first round, a pairing list will be announced. The player listed first is expected to issue the challenge, and will make the first move in the game. See above.

The players could take up to two weeks before they start, to learn about the game and discuss with each other what non-default options, if any, they would like to use. We recommend the players take the time to make sure they are in agreement before the game starts. If the players cannot reach an agreement, use the default values. If you do not start your game within a week, we will send both players "nag" emails asking if they are still discussing the game. If the game is not started two weeks after the pairings are announced, we will start the game ourselves, using the default options.

We will announce the start of each delayed game by messaging the players involved, and will give them two weeks to get started, just the same as with the initial pairings announcement.

So for example, once skouboe is down to 4 games, we will tell him who his opponent is and what game they are playing, to bring his games back up to 5, and we will keep doing this until all 16 of his first round games are done.

Does that sound okay, or would you prefer to let your number of games in progress drop to 0 before you start any new ones?

This is all just a suggestion. It does not have the AD seal of approval yet AFAIK. BTW Aaron, I am willing to do the extra work involved.
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Russ Williams
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twixter's plan sounds fine to me, as far as I understand it: let everyone say a max # of simultaneous games they want, and he (using whatever "internal tournament pairing implementation") will make it so. The only caveat is the max # should have some "reasonable" bound so the tournament doesn't degenerate into a crawl if someone says the want only 1 game at a time. Maybe 8 games should be the minimum possible value, for example?

Do I understand correctly that there would be 2 rounds of full round robin play, so that (assuming 17 players are in the tournament) each player could score from 0 to 32 wins (up to 16 wins in each of the 2 rounds)?
 
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David Bush
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How about we set the "minimum maximum" to 5 games, since someone already requested that upper limit. But this depends on whether we will break each round into two separate start times, or use my suggestion above.

Yes there are 2 round-robin format rounds, and each round will have its own metagame. Players will again send to Aaron their game choice from the 72-game grid, which will be used to determine what game you play against each of your opponents. EDIT: Each player plays just one game per round against each opponent, so yes with 17 participants that makes 32 games per player in the tournament.

For every pair of players, whoever moved first in round one will move second in round two.

As far as I know, each of these 72 games has just three possible outcomes: win, loss, or draw. So we could award 0 points for a loss, 1 for a draw, and 2 for a win.

We haven't discussed tiebreak methods yet. For round robin events, the preferred primary tiebreak is Neustadtl, sometimes erroneously called Son:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neustadtl_score

This is the sum, over each opponent, of your score against that opponent times the score that opponent achieved in the tournament.

A secondary tiebreak could be the total wins you have achieved in the tournament.
 
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David Bush
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The pairings for round one will be posted here and on the Gamerz mailing list this coming Saturday, 15 October. There are a few points I would like to make clear.

I am in charge of posting the pairings and announcing the start of delayed games. So, please send information or questions to me. My email is twixt atsymbol cstone period net. Or, message me here or via pbmserv. My handle there is chmeee.

You don't have to study all 72 games ahead of time. The games you will play in round one will either share a column or a row with your metagame choice. For example, if someone chose Akron, which is in spot A5 in the table, each game that person plays will either be in row A or column 5. That's just 16 games. I recommend you look over those 16 games to see if there are any non-default options you would prefer to have invoked. Please post any such preference here, or message me about it, before the 15th. This is a bit hokey, and I apologize, but this seems better than posting the pairings and telling the player who is expected to issue the challenge "wait now, for your opponent to request a modification to the challenge." If no one requests a non-default value by the 15th, then the announced games could start right away.

For those players who requested an upper limit on the number of simultaneous games, the pairings for round 1 will list no more games for you than your requested upper limit, as long as that limit is no less than 5.

You are allowed to change your requested upper limit during the tournament. I will not be able to stop games that have been announced, but if you want fewer games than what you have, let me know, and I will not send you more games until the number of your games in progress drops below your requested upper limit.

Please do let me know ASAP, if you want to increase your upper limit.

When I announce the pairings, if you are listed as the first player, you will be expected to send the challenge, as discussed above in this thread. If you don't issue the challenge by the 29th, I will initiate the game.

I hope this all sounds acceptable!
 
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Russ Williams
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Am I just blind/incompetent, or is Visavis not in the BGG database?
 
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Avri Klemer
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russ wrote:
Am I just blind/incompetent, or is Visavis not in the BGG database?


I assume you are talking about Hyle. Vis-a-Vis (with an accent on the "a") is an alternate name, and the accent is likely the reason it does not show up in a search.

I know (and love) this game as "Entropy" . . .
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Russ Williams
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nycavri wrote:
russ wrote:
Am I just blind/incompetent, or is Visavis not in the BGG database?


I assume you are talking about Hyle.

I'm talking about "Visavis" (sic - with no hyphens) as in the tournament table above (cell B6) and called "Visavis" at Richard's PBEM Server...

Quote:
Vis-a-Vis (with an accent on the "a") is an alternate name, and the accent is likely the reason it does not show up in a search.

Sure enough... continual search problems with diacriticals. Many games with diacriticals are found when searching without them, but apparently there are still bugs in the system. Weird.

But is that the same game?

http://www.gamerz.net/pbmserv/visavis.html
"Visavis was invented by Michail Antonow in 1995 and copyrighted in 1996. It was originally called Nexus."

This does not seem to be Hyle (designed by Eric Solomon).
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Avri Klemer
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No game called Nexus or Visavis here . . .

 
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Russ Williams
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I've just submitted Visavis to the boardgame database, so hopefully we'll see it soon!
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Russ Williams
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twixter wrote:
The pairings for round one will be posted here and on the Gamerz mailing list this coming Saturday, 15 October.

Have I just missed it, or have no pairings for round one materialized?
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Nary a one
While we wait for the start date - which must clearly have been 2012, not 2011, I'm happy to play practise games of anything (user mrraow).
 
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Garrett the Hammer
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Hello everyone,

My sincerest apologies for letting this drag on too long before starting. There was some discussion on the pairings and how to set it up, but in the end I think it was getting too complicated.

Enough people have expressed interest in not playing too many games, so I decided it would just be easiest to break up the tournament into two sections. So everyone will only play 7-8 players during the whole tournament.

Below are the pairings. Please find your name under the "Player" column, then read across to see what/who you play. RP = row player, so the player who should start the game and goes first. Remember the games should be set for 45 days per player. For convenience the games are listed below.

Please contact your opponent, and start by next Wednesday Nov. 9.


Section A


Section B


Game Table
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Chuck Lee
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Hi aarondesk,
Please note ID: cml888 appears twice in the pairings. Please correct this ASAP.
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Russ Williams
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Hmm, it looks simply removing the duplicate instance of cml888 would cause one pool to have 7 players and other to have 9 players? Will the pools be rearranged, so we should pause before starting games?
 
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