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Pool and Backgammon

Posted By: channingW
Date: Friday, 20 March 2015, at 7:59 p.m.

In Response To: Finish this sentence...Long reply from a new player (Bob Koca)

Fatboy nailed it his answer. The same dynamic shows up in the golf majors. There's a saying that goes, "Pressure bursts pipes." The thing about pool is that people in poolrooms all know each other and their bankrolls. I once saw a homeless man win $780 from a guy starting out playing for a soda. But what I miss most about hanging out in poolrooms is watching a guy get down to his last money, and then muster up the heart to regroup and get all his money back. At that point it's up to the other player to decide whether or not he/she is going to keep playing or be happy to break even. Those people that pull up are called "knits." Players with heart ask to raise the stakes.

As far as backgammon, I think it takes a similar kind of heart to make the right move in BG. The higher the cube value the more the fear of losing creeps in terms of making the right play. That's one of the great things about the game, IMO.

I also think that the match play vs money play dynamic is similar between pool and BG. Money play has a more pugilistic quality to it. The legendary Vernon Elliot said it best: "I don't play pool tournaments; I play the winners." In pool for years the best players in the world were Filipino. You might beat them in a tournament, but in long sessions they'd get the cash. What backgammon (and pool) needs is a way to bring top player "money play" action to the general public.

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