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Richard Marinaccio: Monopoly Champion

Get to know a Buffalonian

Go Directly to Las Vegas. Collect $20,000. From Oct. 20-22 Richard Marinaccio, 26, of Snyder, will try to do just that. Marinaccio will represent the United States at the 2009 Monopoly World Championship and compete against champions from 40 other countries at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for the title of world’s best Monopoly player. Stakes are high for the lawyer and assistant counsel at Meritain Health in Amherst, who will attempt to become the first American world champion since the inaugural competition in 1973. Marinaccio won a berth after winning the the U.S. National Championship in April, despite having only casual experience playing the game with his family and friends.

Right off the bat, what’s your favorite Monopoly peice and why? Artvoice is kinda partial to the top hat.

Thimble. I used that piece when I won the 2009 U.S. National Championship in Washington D.C.

Do you feel a sense of pride representing the U.S. at the World Championship?

I feel a great sense of pride representing the USA in this international competition. It is even more special this year because the championship is being held on U.S. soil, in Las Vegas. The tournament will have competitors from 40 different countries and this will be the first time some of these competitors have visited the U.S. I am honored to be the “host” of this competition.

Who is the better Monopoly player, the sound, cautious investor or the ruthless gambler?

The ruthless gambler. I consider myself a gambler around the Monopoly board and I defeated the sound investor in the final match at the U.S. Championship. I play to win big, not just to hang around. I have only lost once in competitive monopoly.

What’s the best investment on the Monopoly board? Is it recession proof?

The orange properties are the best. They are affordable and the most frequently landed on properties. Nothing is recession proof in Monopoly. The dice control the Monopoly economy.

Do you feel being a lawyer gives you a “killer instinct” or advantage when it comes to the game?

Being a lawyer gives me an edge. I am a corporate lawyer and negotiate contracts everyday. Monopoly is a game of negotiation.

BONUS: Where do you think Buffalo’s Boardwalk would be and why?

Property on the waterfront. Like in Monopoly, its value would increase if houses and hotels were built on it.

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