Fri, 7 September 2007
Howard talks to Paul Magreil, author, world champion backgammon player, and world class poker player. Known as X-22 on the backgammon circuit, Magriel has arguably won more major backgammon tournaments than any other player in the world. He is widely considered the world's premier backgammon teacher, an original and clear-thinking theorist and one of its best players. The sobriquet X-22 originates from Magriel's simulation of a real backgammon tournament (compare simultaneous exhibition in chess) with many boards, designated X-1, X-2, X-3, etc. The player "X-22" won. Magriel first came into prominence on the backgammon circuit when he won the World Backgammon Championship in 1978. From 1977 to 1980, he wrote weekly backgammon columns for the The New York Times. Magriel had several notable finishes in poker tournaments from the mid-1990s in Europe, playing in London, Paris and Vienna in Omaha, hold'em and seven-card stud events. He won the €2,000 no limit hold'em event at the Aviation Club de France in September 2002, defeating a field including Pascal "Triple P" Perrault, Patrick Bruel and Simon "Aces" Trumper on the way to the €48,600 first prize. In March 2003 he made his first World Poker Tour (WPT) final table, finishing 4th in the $5,000 no limit hold'em World Poker Challenge event in Reno, Nevada. Magriel has since finished in the money three times at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and has made the final table of events on the Professional Poker Tour and Ultimate Poker Challenge.