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Steve Sax--One of the True Greats

This week I would like to recognize one of the best players in the world, and also a good friend of mine, Steve Sax. 

[Steve is currently Ranked No. 7 in the world on the Backgammon Giants list--that is the votes of his fellow players around the world.]

Steve started playing backgammon in 1974 and learned the game from his parents.  Steve mostly played with his brother and friends, but when he finally turned 21 in 1981 and was able to play at the Cavendish West Bridge Club he started playing more seriously.


At the Cavendish Steve ran into a great player, Bob Wachtel, who gave him his first lesson and completely changed his attitude about the game. 


Steve has many interests other than backgammon and enjoys bridge, gin rummy, poker and golf.  He doesn’t claim to be much of a golfer, but how many people do you know that have had 3 holes in one?!  [By the way, I'm not a great golfer myself, but I've had 2 holes in one.]


Steve is also into photography and has a tremendous collection of shots from Dodger Stadium, as baseball is one of his great loves as well.


Steve has a BA in Psychology from CSU Northridge but he spends his days playing and teaching backgammon.  His backgammon wins are too numerous to mention, but he has not only won many events, his recorded matches show an error rating so low that knowledgeable players consider him to be among the better players in the world.  Steve is consistently listed as a Giant of Backgammon. 


Aside from all of his tournament wins, Steve is very proud to have earned two “I Beat Carter” hats.


As for the future, Steve hopes to eventually write a backgammon book.  I asked Steve who his “backgammon heros” are, and he listed Barclay Cooke, Paul Magriel, Bob Wachtel, Mike Senkiewicz, Joe Russell, Kit Woolsey, Stick Rice, Mike Corbett and Bill Robertie.

Steve also paid tribute to the ABT tournament directors who have kept the game alive and offers special acknowledgement to his “sponsor” and doubles partner, Bob Glass, who has supported his tournament attendance since 1997.


Steve says he prepares for tournaments by playing matches on line against Joe Russell….as of this writing, Joe is leading 33 to 32 in 7 point matches (proving just how much luck there is in backgammon!). 


So why did I decide to pay tribute to Steve Sax on this web site?  I consider Steve to be one of the great fixtures in the backgammon world, not only because of his skill, but also because of his attitude.  Steve is ALWAYS working on his game, working to improve, and never just “settles” for a win…he wants to know if he played well, and if not, why.  But most of all, Steve is generous with his knowledge and always ready to share his ideas with others.  I also found that any time I am looking to play for money, Steve has never, ever, turned me down!