Forum Archive : Books

Deyong: The Playboy Book of Backgammon

From:   Shuman Lloyd Lee
Date:   15 August 1991
Subject:   B'gammon for Blood; misc. stories

During the 70s backgammon heyday, there were lots of books coming out.

Bruce Becker's B'gammon for Blood is a real howler.  My favorite part of
that book is the chapter on doubling.  His checker play might raise a
few eyebrows, but he's a good gambler.

As an aside to the infamous Bruce Becker.  Lewis Deyong,  author of _The
Playboy Book of Backgammon_, some time in or around 1980, issued a
challenge to this Bruce Becker person, whoever he was.  It was something
like a challenge to a 17 point match, with Deyong willing to lay 6 to 5
(I think it was $6000 if Becker would put up $5000) provided that Becker
would use the opening moves he recommends in his book.  Either Becker
never received the challenge, or he simply declined.  To this day, no
one in the B'gammon community knows who this mysterious Bruce Becker
really is (last I heard, anyway).

Speaking of Lewis Deyong, his above mentioned book is highly highly
highly entertaining.  The instruction is poorly organized, however.
Very difficult to read for learning.  Great for just spending an hour
recounting exaggeraged backgammon (highly highly highly?) stories.

There is the one story about how Claude Beer (a tough competitor, but
not a "recognized expert") beat the late Barclay Cooke in the finals of
a tournament through sheer gutsiness, taking every opportunity he could
to make "big" plays.  Deyong talks about how Beer, finding himself tied
at double match point, had to play a "gutsy" 5-2 to clear his midpoint
against Cooke holding Beer's Bar point, leaving a four to lose the
match, rather than play it safe and hope for a double on the next roll.
Cooke responded with a woeful 6-2 and thus lost to Beer.  Deyong, in
praise of Beer's courage, concludes (I paraphrase), "...certainly Beer
was lucky to win the match.  But how many others would have lost with
the same dice?"

Well, as it turns out, I met Barclay Cooke at the World Amateur
Championships in 1978.  As he tells it, it was Barclay that rolled the
5-2 and cleared _his_ midpoint, and _Beer_ hit to win the match!  But
that didn't fit in with Deyong's point about playing with courage.  So
he changed the facts a little.  Barclay tells the story about when he
"confronted" Deyong with this (as background, if you don't already know,
Barclay Cooke was not much of a stereo-typical self-proclaimed arrogant
genius, but, relative to the field, a mild mannered gentlemen of the
game.), and Deyong responded, "But Barclay, no one will ever know!"
Barclay, in his famous gentlemanly and good-natured but exasperated
tone, said, "But Lewis!  _I_ know!"

The best thing about the teachings of Barclay Cooke (IMHO, of course
:-) is his attitude about luck.  He was fond of saying, "good players
always roll well!"  Or when doing the commentary on a match, and one
player produces a few good/great rolls, "ohhh!  He's a great player!"
(his tone was nor malicious, just good-natured, if a little sarcastic).
Of course, his comments were tongue-in-cheek, but his attitude was
clear:  Backgammon is a capricious game where the "right" play often,
give the outcome of the dice, turns out to be a loser.  To be a
self-proclaimed expert and always insist on your own plays is to ignore
the nature of the game, and the fact that your play could well be the
"right" one.

Oh well , enough of Uncle Shu's Backgammon Stories.  Maybe I'll tell you
more later if you finish your vegetables at dinner and don't talk back
to your mommy.
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



Bagai: Classic Backgammon Revisited  (Gregg Cattanach, Feb 2002) 
Bagai: Classic Backgammon Revisited #100  (Raccoon, Nov 2004) 
Bagai: Classic Backgammon Revisited--Errata  (Jeremy Bagai+, Apr 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ball: Alpha Backgammon  (James Takahashi+, May 1994) 
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Marty Storer, Jan 2008)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Mislav Radica, Nov 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Rob Adams+, Oct 2007) 
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Gregg Cattanach, Oct 2007) 
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings Book A  (Neil Kazaross+, Jan 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Ballard & Weaver: Backgammon Openings--Volunteers needed  (Nack Ballard, June 2007) 
Barr: Barr on Backgammon  (Walter Swan+, Feb 1996) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (Gus, Mar 2003) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (PTaber+, June 1999) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (Michael Fuhrmann, Aug 1997) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (Daniel Murphy, July 1997) 
Becker: Backgammon for Blood  (Durf Freund+, May 1994) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (&Atilda;˜ystein Johansen+, Apr 2006)  [GammOnLine forum]
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (André Nicoulin, Oct 2000) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (David Montgomery, May 1999) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (Peter Bell, Aug 1998) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (Jacques Torrione, Feb 1998) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (Robert Scibelli, Dec 1997) 
Bell: Winning with the Doubling Cube  (Kevin Bastian, Nov 1997) 
Bray: Backgammon for Blood  (Chris Bray, Sept 2007) 
Bray: Backgammon to Win  (Chris Bray, June 2007) 
Bray: Backgammon to Win, second edition  (Chris Bray, Aug 2012) 
Bray: Backgammon--An Independent View  (Chris Bray, May 1998) 
Bray: Backgammon--An Independent View Revisited  (Chris Bray+, Jan 2005) 
Bray: Second Wind  (Chris Bray, May 2007) 
Bray: What Colour is the Wind?  (Chris Bray+, June 2002) 
Bray: What Colour is the Wind?--Rerelease  (Chris Bray, Sept 2006) 
Brooks: Backgammon's Best Openings and Replies  (Chuck Bower+, Dec 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Clay: Backgammon Winning Strategies  (Michael Strato, Nov 1999) 
Clay: Backgammon Winning Strategies  (Gary Wong, Jan 1998) 
Cooke & Bradshaw: Backgammon--The Cruelest Game  (Chuck Bower+, Aug 1998) 
Cooke & Orléan: Championship Backgammon  (Timothy Chow+, Apr 2011) 
Cooke & Orléan: Championship Backgammon  (Marty Storer, Sept 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Cooke: Paradoxes and Probabilities  (Neil Kazaross+, Sept 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Cooke: Paradoxes and Probabilities  (Peter van Arkel+, Sept 2002) 
Cooke: Paradoxes and Probabilities  (Donald Kahn, Dec 1998) 
Cooke: Paradoxes and Probabilities  (Stephen Turner, Apr 1996) 
Corbett: Backgammon Problems  (Stick+, Jan 2008) 
Deyong: The Playboy Book of Backgammon  (Shuman Lloyd Lee, Aug 1991) 
Dwek: Backgammon for Profit  (Bob Stringer, Sept 2002) 
Euler: Everyday Errors in Checker Play  (BaronGossettEulerPhD+, June 2012) 
Garal: Fair Backgammon Tournament Rules  (Jakob Garal, June 2007) 
Heinrich & Woolsey: New Ideas in Backgammon  (Douglas Zare, Mar 2003) 
Heinrich & Woolsey: New Ideas in Backgammon  (Craig E. Groeschel+, Sept 1998) 
Heinrich & Woolsey: New Ideas in Backgammon  (David Montgomery, May 1997) 
Heyken & Fischer: The Backgammon Handbook  (Martin Fischer, Sept 1998) 
Heyken & Fischer: The Backgammon Handbook  (Marina Smith, Feb 1998) 
Hickey & Storer: What's Your Game Plan?  (Timothy Chow, May 2011) 
Jacoby & Crawford: The Backgammon Book  (Patrick Wilken, Aug 1991) 
Kansil: The Backgammon Quiz Book  (Daniel Murphy, July 1997) 
Kansil: The Backgammon Quiz Book--Five problems  (Chuck Bower, Oct 1997)  [Long message]
Kennedy & Papazian: Backgammon Master Games  (Ben Fairbank+, Apr 1999) 
Kershaw: Backgammon Funfair  (Tom Keith+, July 2012) 
Kershaw: Backgammon Funfair  (Peter Bennet, May 2012) 
Lamford: 100 Backgammon Puzzles  (Harold Simon+, Oct 2001) 
Lamford: 100 Backgammon Puzzles  (Mark Driver, July 2001) 
Lamford: 100 Backgammon Puzzles--Snowie analysis  (Michael Schell, Oct 2001) 
Lamford: Improve Your Backgammon  (Alef Rosenbaum, May 2003) 
Leet: Winning Backgammon  (Ryan Long, Apr 2002) 
Leet: Winning Backgammon  (MW Book Review, July 1999) 
Lortz: Double ... now: An Authentic Cube Remedy  (Chuck Bower+, Jan 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Mabardi & Luce: Vanity Fair's Backgammon to Win  (Paul Tanenbaum, Feb 1998) 
Magriel: Backgammon  (Baldo+, Mar 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Magriel: Backgammon  (Neil Kazaross, July 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Magriel: Backgammon  (Chuck Bower, Nov 1999) 
Magriel: Backgammon  (Dean Gay, Sept 1999) 
Magriel: Backgammon  (David Montgomery+, Aug 1997) 
Magriel: Backgammon--2004 Edition  (Tom Keith+, Dec 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Magriel: Backgammon--GnuBG evaluations  (Randy, July 2008) 
Martyn: Phillip Martyn on Backgammon  (Steve Brorens+, Nov 1996) 
Munchkin: Gambling Wizards  (Chuck Bower, Aug 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Obolensky & James: Backgammon the Action Game  (Edward D. Collins+, Oct 1999) 
Reese & Brinig: Backgammon: The Modern Game  (Al Mirpuri+, Sept 2011) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Paul Epstein, July 2005) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Albert Silver, Nov 2002) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Tore Fredriksen, July 2002) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Erik M Sørensen, May 2000) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems  (Daniel Hollis, May 2000) 
Robertie: 501 Essential Backgammon Problems #75  (Hardy Hübener+, Nov 2005) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon  (Doni+, Jan 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon  (Scott Steiner+, Sept 2002) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon  (James Eibisch, Jan 1998) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon  (Allen R. Adams, Nov 1995) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon #165  (Peter Grotrian+, Mar 2005)  [GammOnLine forum]
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon--Errata  (Matt Senecal+, Nov 2004) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon--JF rollouts  (Øystein Johansen, June 2001) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon--JF rollouts  (Alexander Nitschke, Feb 1997) 
Robertie: Advanced Backgammon--JF rollouts  (Peter Fankhauser, Jan 1996) 
Robertie: Backgammon for Winners  (Carl Tait, Aug 1998) 
Robertie: Backgammon for Winners  (Gerry Tesauro, Oct 1993) 
Robertie: Modern Backgammon  (Mattias+, Apr 2003)  [GammOnLine forum]
Robertie: Modern Backgammon  (Gregg Cattanach, Oct 2002) 
Robertie: Modern Backgammon  (Frank Mazza+, May 2002) 
Robertie: Reno 1986  (AH+, Aug 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Shiina: Cube Action 1000  (Mochy, Feb 2013) 
Steed: Backgammon: The Meanest Game  (Albert Steg, Aug 1998) 
Stern: Backgammon: The Quick Course to Winning Play  (Mark Driver, May 2001) 
Storer: Backgammon Praxis  (Chase+, Apr 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Storer: Backgammon Praxis  (Marty Storer+, May 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Thorne's Backgammon Tactics (Reprint)  (Sam Sloan, July 2012) 
Tremaine: Amazing Book of Backgammon  (Jim Wallace, Feb 1998) 
Trice: Backgammon Boot Camp--2nd edition  (Jeremy Bagai+, June 2007) 
Tzannes brothers: Backgammon Games and Strategies  (Mark Driver, Apr 2001) 
Tzannes brothers: Backgammon Games and Strategies  (Albert Steg, May 1994) 
Tzannes brothers: How Good Are You at Backgammon?  (Mark Driver, July 2001) 
Wiggins: Boards, Blots, and Double Shots  (Ned Cross+, Mar 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]
Williams: Backgammon Live in London  (Sean Williams+, June 2008) 
Woolsey & Beadles: 52 Great Backgammon Tips  (Paul Epstein+, Dec 2007) 
Woolsey & Beadles: 52 Great Backgammon Tips  (Mislav Radica+, Oct 2007)  [GammOnLine forum]
Woolsey & Jones: Understanding Backgammon  (Jon Nall+, Feb 2004) 
Woolsey: How to Play Tournament Backgammon  (John Bazigos, Oct 1994) 
Woolsey: The Backgammon Encyclopedia Vol 1  (Dean Gay+, Feb 2004)  [GammOnLine forum]

[GammOnLine forum]  From GammOnLine       [Long message]  Long message       [Recommended reading]  Recommended reading       [Recent addition]  Recent addition

  Book Suggestions
Computer Dice
Cube Handling
Cube Handling in Races
Extreme Gammon
Fun and frustration
GNU Backgammon
Luck versus Skill
Magazines & E-zines
Match Archives
Match Equities
Match Play
Match Play at 2-away/2-away
Opening Rolls
Pip Counting
Play Sites
Probability and Statistics
Source Code
Strategy--Bearing Off
Strategy--Checker play


Return to:  Backgammon Galore : Forum Archive Main Page