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What was most fun and most exciting in Charlotte??

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Tuesday, 3 September 2013, at 5:48 a.m.

I am sure many will disagree with me, but the most exciting and fun thing I did at the Charlotte tournament was SkunkGammon. I even donated $50 to charity in order to "buy my way in" to play.

It wasn't even backgammon, but a dice game that was simply fun to play, and there was real strategy involved, although it was clear by the outcome that there is also a lot of luck (Carter won over me, Koca, Rod, Ray, Roberto and other far better, smarter people).

We enjoyed it so much that several of us went over to another table and played it some more while waiting for our next match.

SkunkGammon is far simpler and no where near as good a game as backgammon, but it was a delightful diversion as it was something new, that required our developing some new strategies and ideas as to how to win, and it had the luck factor of the dice involved as well.

Later, Koca and I played two other games that were variations of backgammon. Even playing for $1.00 a point, we had a lot of fun. Because the games were new and different, it required creativity and reasoning to figure out the best strategies to win.

I am not saying we need to change backgammon in any way. But I am say, why have side events that are nothing more than repetition of the same thing, only to shorter lengths? What happened to Backgammon-to-lose (my favorite), RandonGammon, CancelGammon, SimborgGammon, Nackgammon, SassonGammon, and again, Koca has several variations that are really interesting and fun to play.

I would encourage all tournament directors, and players who have any influence over directors, to have more side events that are just plain fun and exciting and interesting. Let's have more SkunkGammon. It raised a lot of money for the Diabetes Foundation in honor of our beloved Peter Kalba, and we had a ball.

Thanks, Jeb, for not only running a great tournament, but doing those extra things to make it special: streaming, Skunk Gammon, a great format with set starting times and never more than 10 minutes of delay in starting; low entry fees and staggered pools so people who want to gamble more or less have the choice; two USBGF lectures designed specifically for beginners and another specifically for more seasoned players; a beautiful venue; courteous staff; lovely trophies; GREAT RULES that were strictly and courteously enforced and resulted in a minimum of disputes and bad blood; and great promotion and cooperation with the USBGF to show how great backgammon can be when we all work together to support our favorite game together.


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