2024 American Backgammon Hall of Fame

View the 2024 American Backgammon Hall of Fame inductees.
2024 Hall of Fame

The U.S. Backgammon Federation (USBGF) is delighted to announce the induction of Wilcox Snellings, Lee Genud, and Lewis Deyong into the American Backgammon Hall of Fame.

Wilcox Snellings was universally regarded as one of the top few players of his era. He was widely regarded as one of the world’s best, if not the best, money games players. He was voted the number one Giant in 1993 and 1997 and finished second in 1995. Recorded matches from the pre-bot and early bot era show that Wilcox played at an exceptionally low PR for players at that time. In the final 23-point match to win the 1997 Las Vegas Invitational, he recorded a PR of 3.59, a rarity in those years.

After a 22-year break from tournament play, he finished in the top eight in Monte Carlo in 2019, playing a 2.7 PR average, and again in 2022, with a 3.05 average. He currently sits on the Giants of Backgammon list at #7.

Lee Genud won the Backgammon World Championship in 1981. She is one of only four women to win the title in over a half-century of existence.  Lee won the Women’s World Championship in 1978 and 1979. Between 1979 and 1985, she won or came in second in 37 major world tournaments. 

Lee directed backgammon clubs in California and New York, including Cavendish West, and taught thousands of students how to play the game.  She was the resident pro of Pips in Beverly Hills. She was also the resident pro at the Playboy Mansion West. She taught over 2,000 people to play backgammon while in Los Angeles. Between 1977 to 1980, she was the founder, co-owner, tournament director, and teaching professional at the Card & Cube in Long Island.  

Lewis Deyong was one of the top players in the world during the first decade of “Modern Backgammon” 1964-1974.  Lewis Deyong transitioned into perhaps the best promoter, organizer, director, and auctioneer the backgammon world has ever seen. As the auctioneer in Monte Carlo, Lewis set a record of raising $256,000 (well over $1,000,000 at 2023 value.)

Among his finest masterpieces were the Monte Carlo World Championships, the U.S. Black & White Scotch Circuit of tournaments, and the $10,000 EF Pro-Am tournaments, which he ran for ten years, starting at the Ocean Club, Paradise Island, Bahamas, then Turnberry Isle, Florida, finally moving to Las Vegas.

Join us to Celebrate in New York

The Hall of Fame awards will be presented at the USBGF Annual Awards Dinner, scheduled for January 6, 2023, at the New York Metropolitan Open in the Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson Hotel. You may register for the tournament and the dinner on the New York tournament website​.

Wilcox, Lee, and Lewis join 29 other honorees in the American Backgammon Hall of Fame: Matvey “Falafel” Natanzon and Masayuki “Mochy” Mochizuki (2023); Art Benjamin and John O’Hagan (2022); Karen Davis (2021); Ed O’Laughlin (2020); Steve Sax (2019); Alexis Obolensky, Joe Sylvester (2018); Ray Fogerlund, Joseph Russell, Mike Svobodny (2017); Patrick Gibson, Tim Holland, Danny Kleinman, Howard Markowitz (2016); and Nack Ballard, Carol Joy Cole, Barclay Cooke, Bill Davis, Malcolm Davis, Kent Goulding, Oswald Jacoby, Neil Kazaross, Paul Magriel, Bill Robertie, Mike Senkiewicz, Walter Trice, Kit Woolsey (2015).

Legacy Honorees for 2025 and 2026

The Legacy Hall of Fame Committee has chosen two honorees to be inducted in future years. John Crawford will be inducted in 2025. Billy Horan will be inducted in 2026.

It’s worth mentioning that although John Crawford and Billy Horan are set to receive this distinction, we will continue with our usual nomination process in the upcoming years. Additional players will also be recognized alongside them.

John Crawford is memorialized by the “Crawford Rule” he invented for tournament play.  In 1970 he co-authored “The Backgammon Book” with Oswald Jacoby.  In 1965 he won the International Tournament Champions in the Bahamas, acclaimed as the best International Tournament in the backgammon world.

Billy Horan was an extraordinary backgammon player. He was one of the best money players in the world and won many of the largest tournaments in the world.  He was among the most feared players at the famed Mayfair and Coterie clubs in New York City, where many of the world’s best players cut their teeth. He twice won the prestigious World Cup tournament, a feat never equaled. 

The Legacy Committee is responsible for ensuring the recognition of players who have left a significant mark on the world of backgammon, particularly those who are currently less active or who have sadly passed away.

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