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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- September 03, 1979
- Vol. 12
- No. 10
David Leibowitz, 23, is the boy wonder of backgammon. Last year at his first major tournament, the World Amateur Championship in Las Vegas, David beat out 600 contenders from as far as Japan to win the Plimpton Cup (named after gamesman George Plimpton) and $129,500. "It never occurred to me that I couldn't win," says Leibowitz, whose victory disqualifies him from this year's tourney (its elastic definition of an amateur is someone who hasn't won $1,000 in a single game). A tournament bridge player while still in high school in Potomac, Md., David discovered backgammon while visiting an Israeli kibbutz in 1973. After graduating with honors in drama and literature from St. Louis' Washington University, he worked briefly for a commodity trade corporation in L.A., as a financial planner in Boston, and taught backgammon at $50 an hour. Then Leibowitz took this summer off to play the international circuit. Come fall, the young bachelor will settle again in L.A., playing private clubs like the exclusive Cavendish West and Pips. Leibowitz' economist father and his mother, a teaching specialist, are finally accepting, even though he is now contemplating a career in acting. They know his life credo: "I play to win, and if I found I was losing I'd stop," he vows. "I hate to lose at anything."
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