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Props to the Las Vegas Streaming, props to Neil Kazaross

Posted By: Barry Silliman
Date: Tuesday, 26 November 2013, at 3:20 p.m.

I offer my heartfelt thanks to Yoshi and whoever else may have assisted him in offering all of that live streaming from Las Vegas. It was simply awesome. I have one very minor quibble- for color-blind people like me, it is hard to distinguish between the black and red points on the Taki-board. (I have this problem in real life but fortunately everybody I have ever played live has been willing to defer to playing on my own Taki board with the clearly contrasting points).

And as for Neil Kazaross- I can only wish that someday I could play well enough that if I put up a 4.63 PR in the finals of a major tournament after what am I sure was a grueling weekend, that it would be considered an off-day for me.

I'm sure others were streamed but it seemed like every time I checked out the live streaming during the weekend, Neil was playing somebody. For the good of the game Neil was willing to allow his matches to become easily available in the public domain, proving he's willing to risk laying an egg for the world to see, and also willing to give potential future opponents an insight into his game that might give them a bit of an edge, even if ever so slight, over what they might have if so many of his matches were not streamed. He deserves the thanks of the entire backgammon community. (As do the many others who willingly allow their matches to be streamed).

Neil is doing us all another huge favor. The next time some poor tournament organizer in the U.S. falls on the wrong side of some puritanical or monopolistic state anti-gambling law that considers backgammon to be a game of chance, Neil's success on the ABT (what is he now the favorite for this year, like, his 6th ABT player-of-the-year award?), Neil's success will be exhibit A for the defense when it contends that backgammon is a game of skill.

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