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PSP Las Vegas Open 2002
May 1-5, 2002
Las Vegas, Nevada

An Apology and Explanation

Twenty-six 5 man teams and one-hundred-nine 10 man teams entered and played the 2002 Las Vegas Open.  The schedule of games of play in that event was less than stellar.  In fact, it was bad, forcing teams to rush from game to game with barely 20 minutes between the end of one and the start of another, making teams play one of the eight fields three or four times and having some teams play six or seven of their games in one day, playing the remaining one or two on the other day.  They deserved better, and they deserve an explanation, at the very least and an apology for the way things turned out.

Bill Mills of and I have been working on a computer program to generate the groupings of teams and the schedule of play. I had been doing it by hand using certain algorithms and Bill took those concepts and created software to create the schedule of play.  The program was in the developmental stage, and since we would not know the number and classification of the teams that would be playing in Las Vegas until one week before the event, we planned on using that matrix of teams to test, polish and tweak the program to create the schedule, balancing the number of games played in one day (either 4 and 4 or 5 and 3), the number of fields played by each team and the spacing of the games so that all teams would have at least 60 minutes between game starts.

I came back from Portugal Tuesday evening, April 23rd.  We were going to work on this from Wednesday, April 24th, through Monday, April 29th.  Unfortunately and unexpectedly, my wife's mother died on the 24th, and I had to suspend all work related activities to deal with that tragedy.  The funeral was on the 29th, and on the 30th, I was on a plane out to Las Vegas since the tournament was to begin the next day.

Both Bill (Mills) and I knew the program was not sufficiently polished to produce a good schedule, but I had no choice.  I made the decision to use the program-generated schedule.  I took the schedule created and used it as a framework to, by hand, consolidate and organize the games.  Obviously, time was of the essence.  I must emphasize two things at this point.  First, this was my decision, not Bill's and second the promoters and I believe the teams owe Bill Mills big time, for without his efforts, which were and are substantial, we would have had nothing to go with.  At least, we were far enough along to do something manageable.

Bill and I, at the event, were able to complete our analysis of the development of the program, so that from Chicago, our next event, and onward, we will have groupings and schedules of play that will be the fairest and the most manageable to and for the teams competing.  It will be generated by computer so that all will know that no bias was involved (it never was), and if I have a family emergency or get hit by a bus, or retire, my presence or ability to do the scheduling will no longer be a factor.  It should be further noted that schedules can be given to the teams much sooner than in the past.

This explanation is, in no way offered as an excuse to the teams playing in the Las Vegas Open.  I wanted to give you the best in a schedule, and I fell short.  I offer you my sincerest apologies and the promise, with the continued efforts of my friend, Bill Mills, that you will have the best going forward.

Jerry Braun

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