Punk Rock Backgammon

Had a pretty good game-week this week, with lots of little things adding up to plenty of fun and adventure (as far as backgammon goes).

On Tuesday, my baffle box arrived in the mail and I immediately unboxed it and gave it a whirl. It’s the box that’s sold by Phil Simborg, but it didn’t fit my board as intended. It has adjustable spacers on the bottom which allow it to expand or contract to the depth of the dice tray it’s sitting atop, but the width of my tray, on my board, didn’t accommodate the notch width of the box.…

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Rolling the Dice in Paradise

I’m starting a new blog-entry category: Articles and Press.

I’ve found a few articles, here and there— and mainly of the older sort, that I’ve occasionally posted to my Facebook, and thought I would also begin keeping them here, on Mack Gammon, as well.

I’ll give a little snippet of interest for each, but the main concern is for your ability to click through to the article itself (which will typically be much, much longer), because I don’t simply want to repost another publication’s work.

We’ll begin with this one:

Rolling the Dice in Paradise
High-stakes backgammon players flock to Monte Carlo to pit themselves against the competition and soak in the opulence
By Michael Kaplan, From Cigar Aficionado, Tom Selleck, Nov/Dec 2007

Excerpt:

“In poker it’s the riffling of chips.…

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1,400 Games

Yes. Yes it did.

After taking nearly four months to play 400 games on Daily Gammon, here I am, just over two months later, with 1,400 games under my belt.

That’s a pretty serious escalation, and I blame it on the doubling cube. The games really start adding up when your matches go to multiple points.

For those who don’t know my “backgammon timeline,” prepare for the boring:

  • Began playing the game in May of this year (2019)
  • Discovered Daily Gammon on May 14
  • While traveling, played one-point matches to learn the game
  • Decided in August I would get serious, bought many books
  • Began playing with the doubling cube for the first time in September
  • Had a Birthday, showered with gammon gear, continued reading
  • Located a local League in October, kept getting crushed using the cube
  • Began clawing back in November, and attended my first League meeting
The ups and downs (and downs, and downs) of learning

So I’ve been playing for six months, three of those with serious intent, and only two of those in multi-point matches using the cube, with one week in a League setting.…

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Sunshine and Tears

I find myself in Pensacola this week, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with my brother.

My brother, who’s over a decade older than I am, spent his formative college years in the 1970s playing the hottest, trendiest game around at the time: backgammon. He was pretty good at it; good enough he would “earn” tuition and beer money playing lesser-skilled fish in the bars of the era.

When both he and I were slightly older, in the 1980s, my parents would pack me off to stay with him for a few weeks during the summer months. He was teaching college courses and had a lighter schedule that would accommodate our having all sorts of adventures, mainly of the sailing sort.…

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Have Board, Will Travel

I unboxed a new birthday tournament board a couple of days ago, and in writing about it I mentioned I own two other boards: an inexpensive attache board purchased from a friend (and then promptly forgotten in a closet for several years) and a travel board I purchased prior to a trip to Europe this past June.

While the tournament board is impressive, and still has that new board smell, I believe the travel board remains my favorite. I carry it with me in a backpack, along with all of the electronics I need for a mobile office, and it’s available to me for a game no matter where I am.…

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Unboxing

What could that be?

Seventeen pounds of UPS delivery.

Let’s open it up and see.

Safety first.

A box in a box.

Safely snuggled in styrofoam.

Getting clarity, now!

The moment of truth.

3… 2…

Open sesame!

A Wycliffe Brothers Tournament 23″.

Aw, you sexy thing.

Talk about trouble with the cube…

Ridiculous. Marvelously ridiculous.

So, you have probably guessed by now that a new backgammon board came in today. I have a birthday coming up and it sort of just happened…

Purchased during the Labor Day weekend (because, sales), it arrived just about ninety minutes ago. My wife, who we’re calling “B” here, lost the inaugural match.…

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400

I’ve just finished my 400th match on DailyGammon, which isn’t a huge number by some long-time member standards, but it’s a milestone for me.

The site’s been around since the early 1990s, and is one of the oldest websites on the World Wide Web (back when it was called that; now it’s just “The Internet”). There are players with tens of thousands of matches under their belts. I’m a babe in swaddling clothes by comparison.

I found DailyGammon during the second week of May this year (05/19) while “going into training” for playing during our trip to Italy. I started off slowly, playing only matches to one point (no doubling cube, which at the time was a mystery to me, and still largely is).…

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