Las Vegas International Cup and Nevada State Championship 2000
(Hotel Desert Inn / Las Vegas, 25th - 30th April) 

Tournament-Report by Jake Jacobs

The Desert Inn Hotel and Casino must be Mads Andersen’s favorite spot in the whole world! Two months ago Mads, playing as the pro in a Pro-Am team with Argentina’s Gianni Bizarro, split the $119,200 first prize (and cashed in the Super Jackpot). Last week he returned to the Desert Inn for one of Howard Markowitz’s semi-annual Las Vegas tournaments, and won the largest Master’s Jackpot ever - $50,400. Mads’ win was over an exceptionally tough 28-player field, and culminated with a 21-15 victory over German superstar Dirk Schiemann. Congratulations Mads!

Master´s Jackpot final,
Mads Andersen (left) - Dirk Schiemann (right)

The $27,000 International Cup went to Nack Ballard, while the Nevada State title this year goes to Californian Steve Clark. For a complete list of all winners in all divisions please see the sidebar.

If there were an award for "Best Hard Luck Story" (there ought to be!) it would go to Tom Zarrinam. Tom and I played in the round of 64 of the consolation flight of the Nevada State Tournament. We had both just lost in the round of 16 in the main flight. I felt snubbed by Lady Luck as, after recovering from a 14-7 Crawford deficit, I reached a position of overwhelming strength at double match point, only to see my opponent throw 66 in the bearoff. Once I heard Tom’s story, however, I stopped feeling sorry for myself.

Nevada State Championship final
Dorn Bishop (left) - Stzeve Clark (right)

Tom was Black, on roll in this position against Drew Giovannis. The score was tied at 11-11 in their 15-point match, so a gammon would win it for Tom. According to Snowie it IS possible for White to win – about 1 time in 300 – but those wins require hits, and Drew never hit. No, he didn’t win the race (that might be the worst beat in backgammon history!), but he saved the gammon. Tom rolled 43 wasting, and Drew entered immediately with 44. Tom never managed to throw a double, but Drew did. His next four rolls were 66,33,66,66. When Drew bore off his first two men, Tom still had five checkers on board. Snowie claims that Drew can save the gammon about 17 times per thousand, but most involve hitting a shot. It is hard to separate out the gammon saves by hits from the gammon saves without hits, but combining information from Sconyer’s Bearoff Database with a series of Snowie evaluations it appears that Snowie’s non-hit gammon saves may occur as often as 1 time in 200 or even a little more. If that is true it proves what we suspected all along: Snowie rolls better than we do!
Masters Jackpot
1 Mads Andersen
2 Dirk Schiemann
¾ Fred Chamanara/Malcolm Davis

International Cup/Championship Division
1 Nack Ballard
2 Jose Salema
¾ David Rockwell/Kenji Shimodaira

International Cup/Intermediate Division
1 Mark Ferrin
2 Carter Mattig
¾ AnnaMaria Zarb/Unes Gollestani

International Cup/Beginners
1 Jacqueline Lee
2 Afranio Aquino
¾ Sohrab Ghobadimanesh/Ron Bernstein

1 Yoshikazu Hashimoto
2 Cy Yehros

Limited Jackpot A
1 Dorn Bishop
2 Steve Mellen

Limited Jackpot B
1 Bill Phipps
2 Joe Freedman

1 Alvaro Savio
2 Judy Collins

1 Nasu Mashakiko
2 Betty Coppic

Nevada State Championship/Main
1 Steve Clark
2 Dorn Bishop
¾ Drew Giovanis/John Graas
Nevada State Championship/Consolation

1 Dennis Culpepper
2 Jeff Acierno
¾ Jake Jacobs/Paul Franks
Nevada State Championship/Last Chance

1 Andre Nicoulin
2 Mike Corbett

Nevada State Intermediate/Main
1 Mary Franks
2 Dion Hogan
¾ Peter Mallen/Phyllis Smolinski
Nevada State Intermediate/Consolation

1 Leo Liberal
2 Carter Mattig
¾ Scott Sevel/Ted Kirit
Nevada State Intermediate/Last Chance

1 Joe Moore
2 Guy Nicosia

Nevada State Beginners/Main
1 Joubert Malouf
2 Jacqueline Lee
¾ Sohrab Ghobadimanesh/Michael Robertson
Nevada State Beginners/Consolation

1 Arsalan Najafi
2 Jason Lahmani
¾ Tim Oldfather/Glen Lipska
Nevada State Beginners/Last Chance

1 Marge Koenig
2 Afranio Aquino

1 Kaneko Shinichiro & Omo Osamu
2 Norm Wiggins & Ron Coffin