Backgammon Players - Paul Magriel

A professional backgammon and poker player

Paul David "X-22" Magriel Jr. (pronounced “Ma-greel”) was born in United States on July 1st, 1946. He is a professional backgammon and poker player and author of several books. He also developed a theory on tournaments that is used to this day. He was also a fellow of the National Science Foundation at Princeton University.

Paul Magriel and Backgammon
Magriel is a former mathematics professor and National Science Foundation fellow in probability, who gained much publicity in backgammon when he became the Backgammon World Champion in 1978. Two years earlier, in 1976, he and his wife, Renee Magriel, wrote the book Backgammon explaining his strategies. The book is widely considered to be the (first) Bible of the game (many believe Bill Robertie’s books are the ‘new’ Bibles). Paul and his wife also collaborated on weekly backgammon columns published in the The New York Times starting in 1978.
Paul’s nickname "X-22" comes from the time he set up many backgammon boards to simulate a real tournament, X-1, X-2, X-3, and so forth, and the player called "X-22" was victorious. Paul Magriel is widely considered the world's premier backgammon teacher and one of its best players. see tournament report.

Paul Magriel and Poker
Magriel had several noteworthy finishes in poker tournaments from the mid 90’s in Europe, playing in London, Vienna and Paris and participating in Texas Hold’em, Omaha and 7 card stud tournaments. He won the 2,000 Euro no-limit Hold'em event at the Aviation Club de France in September 2002, defeating a field that included professional players such as Pascal Perrault, Patrick Bruel, Simon "Aces" Trumper and more on the way to win the 48,600 Euro first prize.
In March 2003 he reached his first World Poker Tour (WPT) final table, and finished at 4th place in the $5,000 no-limit Hold’em World Poker Challenge event in Reno, Nevada, taking about $30,000.
Magriel has since finished in the money on many occasions at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and has made the final table on the Professional Poker Tour and Ultimate Poker Challenge.
Magriel created the "M Principle", which is a theory that is described comprehensibly in the ‘Action’ Dan Harrington’s Harrington book Hold'em Volume II WSOP Champion. The theory explains at which stages of tournaments expected value exists to make moves on other players, depending on variance of all players' chip stacks.
When playing poker, Magriel often shouts "Quack quack!" whilst making a bet, usually to declare a bet which has a numerical value beginning in 22 (for example, 220 or 2,200). This is a reference to a pair of 2's being known in backgammon as "Double Ducks" and in poker as Ducks.

World Backgammon Champion
1978 Paul "X-22" Magriel US

Paul Magriel’s book:

  • Backgammon by Renee Magriel Roberts, Paul Magriel (Check also backgammon books page)