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Giants List - Candidates etc...(long)

Posted By: Coolrey
Date: Sunday, 22 November 2009, at 12:18 p.m.

In Response To: Giants List - Candidates etc...(long) (Bob Koca)

Bob: Why should not having a job eliminate one from eligibility?

Ray: It shouldn't, but it tends to. A lot of very good backgammon players are exceptionally bright people and they learned early on that they could make a little money hustling at backgammon. Thereafter they lost all initiative, and so we have a lot of hustlers in backgammon. These guys CAN make some money, but they don't make MUCH money because they have to beat less capable hustlers. Those guys won't tend to become a Giant because they can't enter enough tournaments to get enough exposure to generate the votes worldwide. Unless they are particularly skilled hustlers.

It's kind of the reason that the game is not more popular because when a new "pigeon" shows up at some club, USA, he is besieged by the local hustlers and loses his money and then he quits the game.

For me, I have a hard time respecting such a person as this and I feel it is an excellent excuse to eliminate some very good players who might be a giant based on their backgammon game alone... but fall short in other areas.

Should GIANTS only be considered based on backgammon alone? I don't think so, and I will be voting.

Why should Steve Sax get more votes than Norm Wiggins? Steve might be a 1% better backgammon player than Norm is, (or maybe not). Who is the better man? That's a cinch. Norm won't get enough votes to become a GIANT because he spent time with family obligations and work instead of building a reputation as a great backgammon player by travelling far and wide. Norm wrote a great book on the game but he wrote it for intermediates, (I think it is in it's second or third printing). Norm has always helped weaker players improve and is always willing to lend a helping hand. He buys the snacks for the LA tournaments every year now and has contributed in the past to the trophies.

I attended a tournament at Jon Vietor's house once. Jon likes to throw a party for all of his friends, often he has one or even two meals catered! A guy doing errands for Jon came in with arms full of groceries. Steve and I were talking in the hallway. I asked him if he needed some help and he indicated there were several other bags in the car and he would like some help. I went to help, Steve went the other way!

Now I have to decide who ought to be a GIANT. If these two players are very close in ability, whom shall I vote for? I think there is more to being a GIANT than just playing good, or at least there ought to be. I represent 1% of the voters so unlike a presidential election I can make a difference. I plan to. Anyone else can too, there are only about 100 voters worldwide in any given year... Maybe 120 now, I don't know.

Hugh Sconyers invented hypergammon and once added $5000 of his own money to a $40 entry fee hypergammon event in Vegas. There were eventually 198 entrants!

Hugh ran his rating up to 2400 on GG, 200 points higher than anyone else ever reached. He did so by beating the CRAP out of the program, (Gnu 2ply I think), GGraccoon... Which everyone ELSE on GG swore cheated them with the dice. You just can't believe how many people in the last 10 years swore to me that GGRaccoon was a cheater, no way. Hugh did that by playing 1 point nackgammon with the bot and launching immediately into massive back games. After that they altered the software so that GGRaccoon could NOT play nackgammon anymore!

Now there is a GIANT.

In my opinion there are many more than 32 great backgammon players worldwide and it is hard to choose between them. So, to whittle down my list I will be eliminating quite a few of those players who don't work. YOU don't have to use my criteria, you can create your own. It seems to me that with few exceptions the Giants ought to be people who would be universally respected, all other things being equal.

I am well aware that the last requirement might well cause my own name to be whittled off a few peoples lists. So be it! I may only get ONE vote if that is the case... and it will be on my ballot. But on that ballot there won't be any bums, tyvm.

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