Backgammon champion, Paul Magriel passes away at the age of 71

Paul Magriel was an American professional backgammon player, poker player and author based in Las Vegas. He passed away in his sleep on the 5th of March.

Legend of the backgammon world, Paul “X-22” Magriel was also a successful poker player died at his apartment yesterday.

The news hit the poker community on the TwoPlusTwo forum, where fellow backgammon player, Bill Robertie posted about the tragical event.

“I’m sad to have to report that Paul Magriel passed away yesterday,” he wrote. “He was found dead in his apartment by his assistant who was helping him work on a new book. No other details are immediately available.”

Magriel used his outstanding mind to achieved great success in several fields, as he was a junior chess champion before turning to backgammon. He later played poker as well, where he accumulated more than $527,000 in tournament earnings.

Paul was also famous in the poker world for creating the term “M number” which is used to describe a players chip stack in tournaments. As the author of a number of best selling poker books, Dan Harrington said: “The idea of M had been floating around the poker world for a long time, but players didn’t have a simple name for it until Paul Magriel started calling it “M,” which sounded right to everyone and the name has stuck.”

The late genius was a great character, his appearances in televised cash games entertained many of the poker fans around the world. A video, featuring a hand where he clashes with Phil Hellmuth from the 2005 WSOP generated more than 100,000 views on Youtube:

Rest in peace, Paul.

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