Is this title an oxymoron? In the Australian OzOne forum, Hans Sartaj wrote about the Italian's, having just lost to them again in Yeh Bros Cup. He states "Italians hardly ever open a 3-level preempt" among other interesting observations (I could add an item or two from my own experience).
Let's go to St Louis NABC, a couple of weeks ago, for the Vanderbilt semi-final between Henner-Welland (event winners) and Cayne. Sartaj's statement was substantiated already on board 1.
Open room auction (action):
----3S - X - 4S
6D - p - p - X all pass
Henner-Welland made the typical preempt with 3S as North. This is normal to most people (I believe), although there are some who hate prempting with a void. East (Cayne) got in a small jam; you will find players voting for pass, double and 4H. Cayne chose the flexible take-out double, which probably would be a majority choice.
After Sementa raised to 4S, Seamon took a practical stab at 6D (infering the spade void from the bidding), doubled on the way out by Sementa. Probably more worried about missing a grand than going down in a small slam moments earlier, Seamon had to concede down 1.
In the closed room Nunes held the North hand and passed (surprise ;-). After Balicki-Zmudzinski started 1H - 2D, he tried a modest 2S and the bidding continued 3D - 3NT, just making for -11 imps.
"...worry of generating a random result impacts their bidding style. It makes them conservative on preempting (avoid going for 800) and aggressive on bidding game (avoid game-swing)."
Food for thought.