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Masters and Intermediate flights now underway at Casino Royale
by Michael Strato - 2 November 2006
Katharina Schakermann
MAIN FLIGHTS BEGIN
A total of 43 competitors registered to play in the main events here last night at the Worldwide Backgammon Federation’s 3rd Caribbean Backgammon Open at Casino Royale in St. Maarten with 25 will vie in the Masters Division and another 18 in the Intermediate Division.

That’s 10 players more than last year and a positive sign that attendance will continue to grow establishing this event as a permanent fixture on the international Backgammon calendar.

 

The mid-level Champion Division was cancelled due to insufficient participants and players were given the option to either register for the Masters or Intermediate flights. Several decided to pay the $1,000 Masters entry fee for the shot at that free seat in the PartyGammon Million tournament next January in The Bahamas, an added prize contributed by WBF sponsor PartyGammon.

 

As for the prize pool for this tournament, since 25 paid $1,000 in the Masters and 18 paid $100 in the Intermediate, totaling $26,800, Casino Royale is adding another $13,200 as added prize money to reach the total minimum guaranteed prize pool of $40,000.

 

The winner of the Masters will receive $10,000 (40% of the $25,000 collected in that flight) plus all of the added prize money ($13,200) making a first-place prize total of $23,200 in cash plus the free seat to PartyGammon Million (worth $10,000) for a grand prize total of $33,200. Of course, the players that reach the semi-finals and final will likely hedge and share the cash prizes in a much different way but none are obliged to - and the tournament organization does not get involved with private deals made on the side nor do they frowned upon hedging.

 

The winner of the Intermediate Division takes home $720; here are images of the complete payout list posted on the wall in the tournament room last night:

We have created ladders for the Masters and Intermediate flights and have updated those and the ones previously made for the Sperti Trophy and Warm-Up side-events. All the progress up until today (5 p.m.) can now be seen in the GammonLife Tournaments Section by clicking here and then clicking on the link of the bracket you would like to view.

 

Everyone loves this venue, the climate, the scenery, the things one can see and do, the food, the prices and so on, and many plan to return again next year and bring their friends along.

 

Erik Gravgaard, one of seven Danish players attending, was out on the breakfast deck of the hotel this morning, with the coconut palms and the aqua-blue Caribbean Sea in the background, holding up his arms up to the bright blue sunny skies exclaiming, “What a tough life!”

 

Compared to what? “To Copenhagen,” he said, “where it is windy and snowing and the temperature is minus 2 degrees Celsius.”

 

Erik is also quite content about his progress in the Masters last night where he defeated Tilo Knierim of Germany in Round 1 and got past Austria’s Werner Schmuck in Round 2. One more win and he makes it to the Semi-Final, where he can hedge in the big payout. However, his life is about to get really tough because to get there, he first needs to beat his business partner Benjamin Lund, who he’s paired against in Round 3 today!

 

François Tardieu of France also needs to win one more match to make it to the money in the Masters. And he will play Lars Trabolt of Denmark in the Final of the Warm-Up.

 

François is having fun and will probably stay an extra week or two to play in two poker events to be held at Casino Royale after the backgammon tournament. François won the Backgammon Doubles event with partner Serge Rived at the Barrière event last week in Paris and the week before made it to the final table of a major poker tournament at the Aviation Club in Paris, where he finished 7th. The final table was filmed for television and Tardieu was interviewed as part of the program. Watch for the dates of airing of that show in the near future.

 

More news and updates tomorrow… here are the latest photos:

Rainier Witt versus Odin Spillum in the Masters.
Werner Schumuck on his way to victory over Simonetta Barone.
Nilce Laps of Brazil once played backgammon with Omar Sharif in Egypt.
Nodar Gagua versus Benjamin Lund.

After registration closed, Director Marco Fornasir prepared

the list of how the prize money would be distributed.

Miss Gammon 2007 candidate Dahlia with Werner Schmuck.

 

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