John O’Hagan is a man of impeccable character and uncommon intelligence. His easy, laid-back demeanor makes him among the most approachable of the Elite players. Mind sports and math are part of his DNA. His father was a broadcast engineer, and his mother was a bridge player. He developed his calm façade as the oldest child and only brother to five younger sisters. In high school, he played baseball and captained the hockey team. In college, he and his roommates fooled around with a funny game that has triangles, dice and checkers. After college, he spotted a couple of books about that funny game and thought, “Hmmm, I did enjoy this. Let’s take a look.” His extraordinary mathematical aptitude and steady logical thinking returned rewards almost immediately. His first cash was the Nevada State in 1989, and he never looked back. Since then, he has won numerous ABT titles and has placed in the Top Twenty, nine times. In 2022 he won the Chicago Masters, placed 3/4 at Cherry Blossom, cashed at the U.S. Open, came in second in Ohio, and won the Texas Championship and the Geoffrey Parker board that comes with it. In December 2021 at California State he came in second in the Open to his good friend Ed O’Laughlin. He is #1 in Acepoint standings.
A stalwart of the BMABs, he is ranked Grandmaster 2, and has been elected to the Giants of Backgammon every single time since 2005. He is currently, in 2022, ranked #9 Giant in the world. In 2005 he missed being the World Champion by a hair, coming in 2nd in a 25-point match at DMP. His online game is fantastic too. With Galaxy’s 20,000 members, he is ranked #7. In the world.
He is a sought-after backgammon coach and a frequent contributor to PrimeTime Backgammon. He has dedicated efforts to studying match equity and has developed several rules for takepoints and gammon values during match play. And he has a backgammon law named after him. O’Hagan’s Law (for the doubling cube) is followed by intermediate and elite players worldwide.