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BLC Boot Camp is a partnership between The Backgammon Learning Center (BLC) and Mochy, the No. 1 Giant in the World.  BLC is headed by Perry Gartner and Phil Simborg and we have 15 highly skilled and trained teachers with more backgammon students and teaching experience than any other individual or group in the world.  More information about private lessons can be found on the BLC site; www.backgammonlearningcenter.com

The Rest of the Team

“Falafel” Natanzon

The BLC Boot Camp Founders

Mochy has not only been voted the No. 1 player in the world (Giant) by his peers, his performance record as tracked by BMAB is the best in the world as well.  Mochy has given lessons and lectures and run camps for children and adults in Japan and around the world for several years and he is highly regarded for his analysis and teaching skills as well as his playing skills.

Ben Friesen started playing with the Flint Area Backgammon Club in 2008 and has studied diligently in order to become a championship level player. He is an avid tournament and chouette player with accomplishments including back to back runner up finishes at the Michigan Summer Championships and two top twenty ABT finishes. Ben specializes in streaming and transcribing matches as well as teaching beginner and intermediate players.

Perry Gartner

Phil Simborg is the world’s first “Professor of Backgammon” teaching backgammon in an accredited college course he helped establish and teach. Phil has been teaching over 20 years, has published over 200 articles, lectures at many US tournaments, and leads seminars to groups all over the world via the internet.  In 2015 Phil finished the American Backgammon Tour as No. 5.

Phil Simborg

Michihito Kageyama


Perry has won many tournaments, was a semi-finalist in the World Championships two times, was ranked as high as No. 2 on the US Tour. He is is a noted author, lecturer and teacher and was Executive Director of the U.S. Backgammon Federation.

Michihito Kageyama (Michy) is ranked  No.2 in the recent Giants of Backgammon list. He has won ten Japanese major titles and was the finalist in the World Championship in 2012. He started playing backgammon seriously when he was 36 years old, demonstrating one can reach the top level of the game, even though not having played as a youngster.  He has written six backgammon strategy books in Japanese. These books will be translated into English soon.

Dennis Culpepper was the 1996 ABT champion. He has been playing backgammon for over 30 years and has over a dozen 1st place finishes. These finishes include back to back Eastern Open wins in 1986 and 1988. He is one of the top players on gridgammon with his rating being consistently over 1900,  

Dennis Culpepper

Ben Friesen

Backgammon Learning Center

Boot Camp

Mike “Falafel” Natanzon is currently the No.4 Giant of backgammon and has been on the giants list since 2001 including being in the top 5 since 2005.