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Most people think of 77-year old Jimmy Cayne as the former CEO of Bear Stearns, the financial powerhouse which imploded in the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis. However, Jimmy Cayne can also look back to his career as an ACBL Grand Master with multiple national victories, including the 2010 Reisinger Board-A-Match Teams. And this BBO hand a few days ago:


IMP Pairs North
Dlr: SouthQ9652
-
J
AKJT862

Cayne
KT
HKQ6
DKQT976
C74


West

Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

2
2
3

East

Pass
Pass
Pass

Cayne
1D
2D
2NT
3NT


Against 3NT, West led the 3...low, low, ST. Given the entry problems in both hands, how would you continue?




A top diamond works well, but Cayne took another approach. Conventional wisdom says "8 ever, 9 never" when deciding to finesse a queen holding 8 or 9 cards in the suit. Cayne broke this rule at trick two by leading a club to dummy's jack. In practice, East won but could not prevent Cayne from taking 9 tricks.

The full deal:


IMP Pairs North
Dlr: SouthQ9652
-
WestJEast
J43AKJT862A87
T75432AJ98
A82Cayne543
9KTQ53
HKQ6
DKQT976
C74


Mathematically speaking, cashing the top clubs is a 57.92% bet, while finessing is 56.22%. Had Cayne played for the drop, though, dummy's long clubs would have been stranded. The only conventional wisdom applicable to this deal is that sometimes, rules are meant to be broken.