Friday, May 27, 2011
Chris Blackwell Strawberry Hill Jamaica
Over the weekend of April 16-18, approximately 100 persons milled around at Strawberry Hill for a game, new recognized by some Jamaicans, but a point of social contact for many others.
It was the fifth annual Strawberry Hill High Stakes Backgammon Tournament, organized by Alastair Macbeth, which welcomed 26 entrants vying for their share of 2 million dollars in prizes.
One female, Lisa Gabor from NYC, along with 25 male competitors such as William Mahfood, Ruddy Armstrong, Mike Hirst, Balsam Vaswani, Dwight Sangster, Andrew Issa who had been playing at various spots, at times on their computers, entered the battle of skill, strategy and risk. Others supporting included Damian P Daley and Patrick Ewbank day.
Chris Blackwell, owner of Strawberry Hill, tournament’s title sponsor, played host, and an exemplary host he was. He with the support of sponsors such as Wray Nephew, Wisynco Ocean Spray and Haagen Daz ensured that nobody was left wanting. Property manager Nicholas Lynch, and his smiling team kept everyone fed, and warm. For added warmth, there was a cozy fireplace, and, Joe Adduci had his brand cigars for those who smoked. The weekend started with a cocktail party on Friday evening, and a one-night knockout Sniper Tournament with 16 entrants vying for Dickie Jobson (deceased member) Memorial Award. Aaron Johnston copped this award along with $50,000.
That Friday evening, after an informative welcome address by organizer Alastair Macbeth, all specially invited guests and players feasted on a Jamaican meal starting with pumpkin soup as appetizer. This was energy for the sniper tournament which was to last until almost 3 am Saturday morning.
Saturday was relaxing, with a round robin segment, and ending in a night of rain watching and memory collecting. Planned entertainment by Gramps Morgan was put off by the after effects of the erupting volcano in Iceland, which had rippling effects on the artiste schedule in London, but there were Latin music beats to soothe all weekend long.