There was supposed to be some ugly weather over the night, and I was staying about 20 minutes away in Flint, MI. So I got up extra early and was out the door only to find out the roads were fine. It worked out as most of the crew was already at the Holiday Inn where day 2 was hosted and we socialized for a bit.
I was a little intimidated going into day 2, since I had the potential to play a lot of really good players and pick up good rating points. I was just hoping it would not start out like the day before.
Game 1 - George Viebranz (1602) - Score: 322-434 (Win)
My first tournament game against an actual expert. I was pretty nervous, but that turned out to be short lived as I drew the bag for a double-blank bingo tEGMINa for 74, QUAD for 44, LEAK for 57, while George suffered through some ugly racks, finally getting down MURINES, but too late. He did try to sneak ricy past me, however, which I challenged off (icy has no front hooks).
Game 2 - Carol Ravichandran (1534) - Score: 387-361 (Win)
Before the game she said I was the one person she didn't want to play, since I was low rated and could still hold my own. Later I found out her and her ex-husband were responsible for Lexpert (word study program), I wish I had known because I almost solely use Lexpert for my studies and have found it to be the best program for me. The game was fairly even as I bingoed early with OUTRIDe then hit JALOP for 60 while she scored well with the Z, Q, and X. I bingoed late in the game with INVERTS, which she followed with BARNIEsT, coming within 10 points. I had messed up on my tracking (like always), but had about 12 minutes left so I retracked the entire game, and with superior endgame tiles I pulled out the win.
Game 3 - Steve Knapp (1529) - Score: 431-378 (Win)
I was definitely worried about this game, as while I was playing Carol, Steve was next to us playing Chuck Armstrong (1800ish) and played some very nice words to eventually win the game. I led the game early on after I bingoed with ELATERI(N) and plays with the Q and Z. But he came back with GODETIa with the G sitting right above the triple at G1. I made a terrible play here that should have cost me the game, playing OX to the tws for 45 and setting up his VIM for 44 to tie the game. I had AX for 50 but had wanted to block the triple-triple lane. I drew the second blank and got hECKLES for 82 to win the game.
We broke for lunch after game 3 and I went with Tina, Pete Zeigler, Steve Grob, and George Viebranz to a good little Mexican place about 10 minutes away. Steve ordered a "Giant Burrito", which was no joke, it was as big as a football at least, and he had to take most of it home in a to go box. It felt much better going to lunch being 3-0 as opposed to the day before's 0-3. We got back a little late but Miki was just doing some announcements.
Game 4 - Jeff Clark (1668) - Score: 399-401 (Loss)
I had been looking forward to playing Jeff and he didn't disappoint. A very tense game where my bingo early on of TIDIERs, left me slightly behind since he had scored big with a lot of shorter plays. With the game tied at about 200 apiece he played SANTERO for 63, and I followed it with WAITRONS for 82. (If he had played notaries for 5 more he would blocked my play, he said he had considered it but didn't like putting the n in the 3x3 column). He scored heavy for the rest of the game with PLOWED 36, CWMS 33, and JEsT 49 while I hung in there with EYRA 32, and MAVIN 20. I spent a very long time on this end game. I held AEENORS (no place for the bingo) versus his AABGLSZ and I was down by 22. I played NEGS 32, he played GLAZE 30, and I went out with O(C)REA to lose by 2. We analyzed the endgame for a while after that and weren't able to come up with a winning sequence for me.
Game 5 - Steve Grob (1652) - Score: 262-409 (Loss)
I had already had my bagging versus George in game 1, so it was only fair that I have one happen to me. He bingoed with FLOWER(E)R and the double blank AdVERTs and I wasn't able to string much of anything together.
Game 6 - Terry Aitken (985) - Score: 358-327 (Win)
I was hoping to have an easy game since he was rated one of the lowest of the tourney, but a stupid challenge on my part (EXILER) and generally clunky racks put me down 327-267 with 2 tiles in the bag. Holding ACEELU? I was able to find the only bingo ACULE(A)tE to gain a small lead. He felt he had to challenge to win (which wasn't true) and I pulled out a close one (thanks to 5 vowel 8 study).
Game 7 - Chuck Armstrong (1805) - Score: 287-459 (Loss)
I went into this game knowing I was going to lose and I was glad that it was one of my worse drawing games. Not to say that Chuck didn't play like an expert. He bingoed early with SARCOID, then bingo bangoed with R(E)pLEVIN, AND (M)EGAPODe.
I was very happy finishing 4-3 with the field I had played in. Even more so when I won the Class prize (highest finish in comparison to seeding) for 40 bucks.
It was almost 6:30 by the time all the awards were given out and since the roads had gotten bad outside Linda convinced me not to drive home, and set me up with Steve Grob who lives about 15 minutes away from the hotel. I helped him with some of his computer problems, showed him a few Lexpert tricks, and then we played a few games. In the first of which I made my best Scrabble find to date, a natural disconnected 9. He uploaded the game to Cross-Tables and here's the link http://cross-tables.com/annotated.php?u=2808#0, it happened on turn 20. He said it was the best play he'd seen all weekend, which I took as quite a compliment since he'd played in both events. We played another game in which he thumped me and then I got some rest.
I was very happy with my rather late decision to attend this tourney. I made quite a few friends, picked up 200 rating points, won my entry fee back, and definitely improved my Scrabble play. I look forward to my next MI tourney and urge others to make the short drive up there (only about 6 hours).