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Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Friday, 21 February 2014, at 1:43 a.m.

In Response To: Introducing Myself (Pat MacNeil)

I completely agree with you in virtually all areas. I think it is wrong for children to play in tournaments or elsewhere for money. Sure, kids love to gamble just like the rest of us...I started playing games for money at a very young age and most of my friends did. But as an organization and as adults running tournaments, children should be welcomed.

I don't even believe they should be charged an entry fee...except maybe to cover tournament expenses and hospitality. And if they enter a division with prizes, it should be with the understanding that they do not pay into the prize pool, and they may not win from the pool. However, if they win, the USBGF or ABT or whoever is running the event should have something special for the kid...like a nice board or trophy or something. Not money.

I have NEVER advocated that kids should gamble or play for money, but one lunatic here has suggest that I did, which is a lie. I don't run the ABT and I don't run tournaments.

What I do is I teach kids to play backgammon. I teach kids in schools, and I organize clubs wherever I can. I have taught backgammon in a college, credited class until the class was abondoned last year because the local teacher moved on to another position.

I collect and give out boards to kids...any kids that need a board...and I give them free lessons. And I convince their teachers and parents that backgammon is a great game for them. Gambling and money are NEVER a part of it. When asked, I don't lie, and of course I tell them that lots of people play for money and prizes, and I do too. But the game is fun and exciting without money, like chess or scrabble or any other healthy game.

I applaud you for your attitude and I look forward to seeing you at future tournaments. What a lovely introduction!

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