Title:
PROCESS FOR CONDUCTING BACKGAMMON TOURNAMENTS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A process for conducting a backgammon tournament using tournament chips comprising the steps of registering two or more tournament players, assigning one or more tournament chips to each of the players, setting a chip value for each point scored in a game of backgammon, pairing tournament players in groups of two, playing a round of the tournament consisting of games of backgammon involving each group of tournament players, determining whether a tournament player is eliminated from the tournament based upon each player's tournament chip total, and repeating the steps of setting, pairing, playing and determining until only one tournament player remains. The process may be performed online or in person.



Inventors:
Gonen, Shlomo (Calabasas, CA, US)
Gonen, Jonathan A. (Calabasas, CA, US)
Rosen, Danny (Valley Village, CA, US)
Berkovitz, Darren (Bell Canyon, CA, US)
Stubblefield, Stacy (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/160505
Publication Date:
01/25/2007
Filing Date:
06/27/2005
Assignee:
INTERLOGIC LTD. (Beverly Hills, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
OMOTOSHO, EMMANUEL O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KELLY & KELLEY, LLP (WOODLAND HILLS, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A process for conducting a backgammon tournament, comprising the steps of: registering two or more tournament players; assigning one or more tournament chips to each of the tournament players; setting a chip value for each point scored in a game of backgammon; pairing tournament players in groups of two; playing a round of the tournament consisting of games of backgammon involving each group of tournament players; determining whether a tournament player is eliminated from the tournament based on each player's tournament chips; and repeating the steps of setting, pairing, playing, and determining until only one tournament player remains.

2. The process of claim 1, wherein the determining step comprises the step of adding to the tournament chips of a winning player in each game the lesser of a chip point total score of the game or the tournament chips of a losing player in the game.

3. The process of claim 1, wherein the determining step comprises the step of subtracting from the tournament chips of a losing player in each game a chip point total score of the game.

4. The process of claim 1, wherein the pairing step follows a Round-Robin method.

5. The process of claim 1, wherein the pairing step follows a multi-elimination bracket method.

6. The process of claim 1, wherein the backgammon tournament may be operated on-line or in-person.

7. The process of claim 1, wherein the assigning step results in each tournament player being assigned an equal number of tournament chips.

8. The process of claim 1, wherein the assigning step results in each tournament player being assigned an unequal number of tournament chips depending upon the tournament player's performance in a previous tournament or an amount of money the tournament player pays to register in the tournament.

9. The process of claim 1, wherein the pairing step results in tournament players being paired randomly.

10. The process of claim 9, further comprising the step of randomizing player pairings such that a tournament player will not play another tournament player a second time until he or she has played every other remaining tournament player at least once.

11. The process of claim 1, wherein the pairing step is based upon the tournament players' performances in a previous tournament or an amount of money the tournament players pay to register in the tournament.

12. The process of claims 2, wherein the chip point total score of each game varies based upon duration of time, number of games played, number of tournament players remaining, number of rounds played or a doubling cube value.

13. The process of claims 3, wherein the chip point total score of each game varies based upon duration of time, number of games played, number of tournament players remaining, number of rounds played or a doubling cube value.

14. The process of claim 1, wherein a tournament player is eliminated based upon his or her tournament chips falling to a predetermined number of tournament chips.

15. The process of claim 14, wherein the predetermined number of tournament chips is zero.

16. The process of claim 1, further comprising the steps of collecting money from tournament players to register in the tournament and placing the money into a prize pool.

17. The process of claim 16, further comprising the step of paying a tournament player a portion of the prize pool depending upon whether a tournament player is eliminated and in which round the tournament player is eliminated.

18. A process for conducting a backgammon tournament, comprising the steps of: registering two or more tournament players; assigning one or more tournament chips to each of the tournament players; setting a chip value for each point scored in a game of backgammon; pairing tournament players in groups of two; playing a round of the tournament consisting of games of backgammon involving each group of tournament players; calculating a chip point total score for each game based upon duration of time, number of games played, number of tournament players remaining, number of rounds played, or doubling cube value; adding to the tournament chips of a winning player in each game the lesser of the chip point total score of the game or the tournament chips of a losing player in the game; subtracting from the tournament chips of the losing player in each game the chip point total score of the game; eliminating a tournament player if his or her chip total falls to a predetermined number of tournament chips; and repeating the steps of setting, pairing, playing, calculating, adding, subtracting, and eliminating until only one tournament player remains.

19. The process of claim 18, wherein the pairing step follows a Round-Robin method.

20. The process of claim 18, wherein the pairing step follows a multi-elimination bracket method.

21. The process of claim 18, wherein the backgammon tournament may be operated on-line or in-person.

22. The process of claim 18, wherein the assigning step results in each tournament player being assigned an equal number of tournament chips.

23. The process of claim 18, wherein the assigning step results in each tournament player being assigned an unequal number of tournament chips depending upon the tournament player's performance in a previous tournament or an amount of money the tournament player pays to register in the tournament.

24. The process of claim 18, wherein the pairing step results in tournament players being paired randomly.

25. The process of claim 24, further comprising the step of randomizing player pairings such that a tournament player will not play another tournament player a second time until he or she has played every other remaining tournament player at least once.

26. The process of claim 18, wherein the pairing step is based upon the tournament players' performances in a previous tournament or an amount of money the tournament players pay to register in the tournament.

27. The process of claim 18, wherein the predetermined number of tournament chips is zero.

28. The process of claim 18, further comprising the steps of collecting money from tournament players to register in the tournament and placing the money into a prize pool.

29. The process of claim 28, further comprising the step of paying a tournament player a portion of the prize pool depending upon whether a tournament player is eliminated and in which round the tournament player is eliminated.

30. A process for conducting a backgammon tournament, comprising the steps of: registering two or more tournament players; collecting money from tournament players to register in the tournament; placing the money into a prize pool; assigning one or more tournament chips to each of the tournament players; setting a chip value for each point scored in a game of backgammon; pairing tournament players in groups of two; playing a round of the tournament consisting of games of backgammon involving each group of tournament players; calculating a chip point total score for each game based upon duration of time, number of games played, number of tournament players remaining, number of rounds played, or doubling cube value; adding to the tournament chips of a winning player in each game the lesser of the chip point total score of the game or the tournament chips of a losing player in the game; subtracting from the tournament chips of the losing player in each game the chip point total score of the game; eliminating a tournament player if his or her chip total falls to zero; repeating the steps of setting, pairing, playing, calculating, adding, subtracting, and eliminating until only one tournament player remains; and paying a tournament player a portion of the prize pool depending on whether a tournament player is eliminated and in which round the tournament player is eliminated.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In prior art backgammon tournaments the overall winner is determined by match play. Competitors are paired off and each pair plays a series of games (“match”) to decide which player advances to the next round of the tournament. Matches are played to a specified number of points. The first player to accumulate the required number of points wins the match.

Points are awarded in the following manner: one point for a normal win; two points for a gammon; and three points for a backgammon. The amount of points awarded can be affected by the doubling cube. If the doubling cube is used, the winner receives the value of a game multiplied by the final value of the doubling cube. Thus, if a player wins a gammon with the cube on four, the winner receives eight points. If the players are playing a seven point match, the match would be over in one game.

At the end of the game, the first player to remove all of his or her checkers from the board wins the total amount of the stake indicated by the doubling cube. A gammon wins double the stake of the cube and a backgammon wins triple the stake of the cube.

Prior art matches are normally played using the Crawford rule. The Crawford rule states that if one player reaches a score one point short of the match, neither player may offer a double in the immediately following game. This one game without doubling is called the Crawford game. After the Crawford game, if the match has not yet been decided, the doubling cube is available again.

There is no bonus for winning more than the required number of points. When playing a match to a certain number of points, the winner is the first player who wins that number of points. It does not matter if the player wins more than that number or how many points the opponent has scored. The sole goal is to win the match, the final score is immaterial.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a process for conducting a backgammon tournament, specifically a backgammon tournament using tournament chips.

The process comprises the steps of registering two or more tournament players, assigning one or more tournament chips to each of the players, setting a chip value for each point scored in a game of backgammon, pairing tournament players in groups of two, playing a round of the tournament consisting of games of backgammon involving each group of tournament players, determining whether a tournament player is eliminated from the tournament based upon each player's tournament chip total, and repeating the steps of setting, pairing, playing and determining until only one tournament player remains. At the completion of each game of backgammon a chip point total score is calculated. The determining step may comprise step of subtracting from the tournament chips of the losing player in each game, the chip point total score of that game. In addition, the determining step may comprise adding to the tournament chips of a winning player in each game, the lesser of the chip point total score for that game or the tournament chips of the losing player in the game. A losing player is eliminated from the tournament when his or her tournament chips fall to a predetermined number of tournament chips.

The backgammon tournament may be operated online (over the Internet) or in person. The pairing of tournament players may follow a round robin method, wherein each player plays every other player in the tournament. The pairing step may also follow a multi-elimination bracket method, wherein a losing player is placed in a conciliation bracket with other losing players. In the preferred embodiment, player pairings are determined randomly with the only limitation that a tournament player does not play another tournament player a second time until he or she has played every other remaining tournament player at least once. The random nature of the pairing step may also be influenced by the tournament player's performances in previous tournaments or the amount of money the tournament players pay to register in the tournament.

Each tournament player may be assigned an equal number of tournament chips. Alternatively, each tournament player may be assigned an unequal number of tournament chips depending upon the tournament player's performance in a previous tournament or the amount of money the tournament player paid to register for the tournament. As part of the registering step, tournament players may pay money, which money is placed into a prize pool.

The last remaining tournament player after all others have been eliminated is the winner of the tournament. A tournament player may receive a portion of the prize pool depending on whether a tournament player is eliminated and in which round the tournament player is eliminated. The longer a player remains in the tournament, the greater that player's portion of the prize pool.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate the invention. In such drawings:

FIG. 1 is a diagram of a prior art single-elimination match play backgammon tournament bracket.

FIG. 2 is a flow chart of the process for conducting a backgammon tournament pursuant to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention relates to a process for conducting a backgammon tournament. More specifically, the present invention relates to a process for conducting a backgammon tournament using tournament chips.

As discussed above, prior art backgammon tournaments consist of match play where tournament players play head-to-head matches (a series of games) until one player scores enough points to win the match. In such matches, points are calculated by using the doubling cube and other rules discussed above.

In these prior art tournaments, a player that loses a match against another player is eliminated from the tournament. The winning player moves on to the next round to play another winning player from another match. As depicted in FIG. 1, such match play proceeds until one player remains. As is also shown in FIG. 1, once a player loses a match he or she is eliminated from the tournament.

FIG. 2 depicts a flow chart of the inventive process for conducting a backgammon tournament. The process begins with registering two or more tournament players. (200) The backgammon tournament may be operated online or in person. Accordingly, the step of registering two or more tournament players may be done online or in person. During the registration step, a tournament player may be required to pay money to enter the tournament. Money paid by tournament players to enter the tournament may be placed into a prize pool. The prize pool may be used to award prizes to tournament players based upon where they finish in the tournament.

After registration each tournament player is assigned a certain number of tournament chips. (202) In the preferred embodiment, each tournament player is assigned an equal number of tournament chips at the beginning of the tournament. Alternatively, the number of tournament chips assigned to a player may vary depending on that player's performance in a previous tournament, the amount of money the tournament player paid to register for the tournament, or other criteria chosen by the tournament operator.

After all tournament players have been registered and assigned their tournament chips, the tournament players are paired into groups of two for a round of the tournament. (206) The pairing of tournament players may follow a round robin method, wherein each player plays every other player in the tournament and no player is eliminated. Alternatively, the pairing of tournament players may follow a multi-elimination bracket method, wherein a losing player in a round is placed in a conciliation bracket with other losing players, such round robin and multi-elimination bracket methods are well known in the art.

In the preferred embodiment, player pairings are determined randomly with the only limitation that a tournament player does not play another tournament player a second time until he or she has played every other remaining tournament player at least once. The random pairing of tournament players may also be influenced by a tournament player's performances in previous tournaments or the amount of money the tournament players paid to register in the tournament. For example, if the registration fee for a tournament is either $20 or $40, players that paid $20 would only be paired with other players that paid $20. Similarly, players that paid $40 would only be paired with other players that paid $40. Conversely, the players that paid $40 may join the tournament later and compete against those players that paid $20 still remaining.

At the beginning of a round, a chip value for each point scored in a game of backgammon is determined. (204) As will be discussed more fully below, this chip value is used to calculate a chip point total score for each game of backgammon played in each tournament round. The chip value may change from one round to another throughout the tournament. The chip value may be raised or lowered consistently throughout the tournament based upon any of the following criteria: the duration of the tournament; the number of games played; the number of players eliminated or remaining; or the number of rounds played. It is possible to run the tournament without changing the chip value.

After tournament players are paired into groups and a chip value is set, a round of the tournament is played. (208) Each round of the tournament consists of games of backgammon involving each group of tournament players. Each group of tournament players will play a single game of backgammon in one round. After each game of backgammon is completed, a chip point total score is calculated for each game. (210)

In standard backgammon rules, a player wins one point for a normal win, two points for a gammon, and three points for a backgammon. The number of points scored in a game may be affected by the doubling cube. There are a number of rules pertaining to doubling that are commonly used in backgammon. The most commonly used rule is the Automatic Doubling Rule. Under the automatic doubling rule, if identical numbers are thrown on the first roll, the stakes are doubled. The doubling cube is turned to 2 and remains in the middle of the board. Players usually agree to limit the number of automatic doubles to one per game. Each game starts at a stake of one point. During the course of the game, a player, usually with a sufficient advantage, may propose doubling the stakes. The player does so by indicating the appropriate doubled figure with the doubling cube. Each face of the doubling cube bears a number to record progressive doubles and redoubles, starting with 2 and going onto 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. A player can double anytime it is their turn and they have not yet rolled dice. Player who is offered a double may refuse, in which case the game is conceded and the player offering the double receives the number of points at stake prior to the offer of doubling. A player who accepts a double becomes the owner of the cube and only that player may offer the next double. There is no limit to the number of times a double may be offered in one game.

By way of example, in a first round game a chip value of ten chips per point is set. Player A defeats Player B for a normal win with the doubling cube at 4. The chip point total score for that game would be 40 chips. This is calculated as follows:
1×4×10 chips=40 chips

In another example, in a second round match a chip value of 20 chips is set. Player A defeats Player C by gammon with the doubling cube at 8. Therefore, the chip point total score for the second round game would be 320 chips. This is calculated as follows:
2×8×20 chips=320 chips

Once each game in a round is played and a chip point total score for each game is calculated, each player's tournament chips are adjusted accordingly. The tournament chips of each winning player are increased by the lesser of the chip point total score for the game that player won or the tournament chip total of the losing player of that game. (216) Conversely, the tournament chips of the losing player in each game are reduced by the chip point total score for that game lost. (214) Each winning player automatically advances to the next round. (222) A losing player may also advance to the next round if his or her tournament chip total at the end of a round is above a predetermined number of tournament chips. (218) Conversely, a losing player may be eliminated from the tournament if his or her tournament chip total at the end of a given tournament round is equal to or less than a predetermined number of tournament chips (220) In the preferred embodiment, this predetermined number of tournament chips is zero.

The next round of tournament play and each subsequent round consists of repeating the steps of setting a chip value for each point scored in a game, pairing tournament players in groups of two, playing a round of the tournament, and determining whether a tournament player is eliminated from the tournament. Successive rounds are played until all tournament players are eliminated except one. (222) The last remaining tournament player is the winner of the tournament. (226) The winner of the tournament may receive all or a portion of the prize pool. (228) Other tournament players which have been eliminated may also receive a portion of the prize pool depending upon in which round the tournament player was eliminated. (224, 228) In the preferred embodiment, the longer a player remains in the tournament, the greater the player's portion of the prize pool.

The following is an example of a backgammon tournament involving four players: Player A, Player B, Player, C and Player D. To register in the tournament each player pays $200 which money goes to the prize pool. The tournament operator may also require tournament players to pay an additional fee, i.e., a commission. Since there are four players, there is $800 in the prize pool. The prize pool will be divided among the top two players in the tournament, the winner receiving $600 and the runner up receiving $200. Each player begins the tournament with 500 chips.

First Round: Each point=10 chips

Player A vs. Player B

Player A wins by gammon and with the doubling cube at 32. Therefore, Player A wins:
2×32×10 chips=640 chips
Player A wins 640 chips from Player B, but because Player B only has 500 chips Player A wins all 500 of Player B's chips and Player B is eliminated. Player A now has 1000 chips.
Player C vs. Player D
Player D wins by gammon and with the doubling cube at 4. Therefore, Player D wins:
2×4×10=80 chips
Player D wins 80 chips from Player C. Player D has 580 chips. Player C has 420 chips.

Ranking After First Round:

1. Player A1000 chips
2. Player D 580 chips
3. Player C 420 chips
4. Player BFinished in fourth place

Second Round: Each point=20 chips
Player A vs. Player C
Player C wins by backgammon with the doubling cube at 2. Therefore, Player C wins:
3×2×20=120 chips
Player C wins 120 chips from Player A. Player C has 540 chips. Player A has 880 chips.

Ranking After Second Round:

1. Player A880 chips
2. Player D580 chips
3. Player C540 chips
4. Player BFinished in fourth place

Third Round: Each point=40 chips
Player A vs. Player D
Player A wins by gammon with the doubling cube at 8. Therefore, Player A wins:
2×8×40=640 chips
Player A wins 640 chips from Player D, but because Player D only has 580 chips, Player A wins all 580 of Player D's chips and Player D is eliminated. Player A now has 1460 chips.

Ranking After Third Round:

1. Player A1460 chips
2. Player C 540 chips
3. Player DEliminated - Finished in third place
4. Player BEliminated - Finished in fourth place

Third Round: Each point=80 chips
Player A vs. Player C
Player A wins by backgammon with the doubling cube at 8. Therefore, Player A wins:
2×8×80=1280 chips
Player A wins 1280 chips from Player C, but because Player C only has 540 chips, Player A wins all 540 of Player C's chips and Player C is eliminated. Player A now has 2000 chips and is the winner of the tournament.

Final Ranking:

1. Player AWinner ($600)
2. Player CEliminated - Runner Up ($200)
3. Player DEliminated - Finished in third place
4. Player BEliminated - Finished in fourth place

Although several embodiments have been described in detail for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention.