Monday, April 20, 2009

Club Session of 4/20/2009 (2009-15)

(Post incomplete; more to follow)

Our local club tournament occurred just two days ago, so it is not surprising that some of the members did not make it to club tonight. Still we had seven players. Thanks to Julie for providing pizza for those who were there!

Here are the stats for this evening's session, based on three rounds of play, with any extra games played beyond three not included. Session results are listed first by number of wins, then by spreads.


7 players playing 9 games

Betty -- 3-0, +99
Andy -- 2-1, +272
John -- 2-1, +132
Loren -- 1-1, +104
Joetta -- 0-2, -180 (third game results not yet received)
Scott -- 0-3, -427
Julie -- 1 game, results not yet received


4 of 7 players playing 8 bingos in 4 of 9 games played
7 seven-letter bingos, 1 eight-letter bingo
no phony bingos successfully played

Andy -- (B)ARRELS 61, (J)OINABLE 68, SNAKIER 77
Betty -- AREOLES 66, RETINAS 75

Joetta -- TRAVELS 80
John -- EX(P)RESS 67, GAVO(T)TE 78


Highest Win -- Andy, winning against Joetta, in Round 1, 405-242 (+163)
Lowest Win -- Loren, winning against Scott, in Round 2, 345-220 (+125)
Highest Loss -- Joetta, losing to Betty, in Round 2, 376-393 (-17)
Closest Game -- Betty, winning against Joetta, in Round 2, 393-376 (+17)
Most Points Scored with a Bingo -- Joetta, playing TRAVELS for 80 points against Betty in Round 2
Most Bingos Played in a Game -- two bingos played by Andy (against Joetta in Round 1); by Betty (against Joetta in Round 2); and by John (against Andy in Round 2)
Most Bingos Played during this Club Session -- three, played by Andy


(Table to be Added Soon)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lexington Scrabble Club local club tourney, 4/18/2009

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous spring day in the Bluegrass, and a great day for an all-day local club tournament. Fourteen of us spent the day mostly inside doing battle over our Scrabble boards. In addition to our local folks, we were happy to have Marc Broering and David Meredith drive over from Louisvile to join us.

Here are the results from this two-division, seven-round tourney --

Marc Broering, 6-1, +611 (first place, $80)
Tyler Hannan, 5-2, +486 (second place, $40)
Steve Bush, 4-3, +287
Will Scott, 3-4, -261
David Meredith, 2-5, -493
Andrew Wade, 1-6, -630

Brad Wade, 6-1, +703 (first place, $80)
Charles Faber, 5-2, +401 (second place, $40)
John Spangler, 5-2, +286
Joetta Wilkinson, 4-3, +18
Betty King, 3-4, +212
Cheryl Coovert, -367
Thomas Hehl, 2-5, +185
Pat Binzer, 0-7, -1438

SECONDARY PRIZES ($10 each in both divisions)
Highest win -- Div. 1, Marc Broering; Div. 2, Brad Wade
Highest loss -- Div. 1, Andy Wade; Div. 2, Charles Faber
Highest play --Div. 1, Tyler Hannan for UNRIFLED, 121 pts.; Div. 2, Brad Wade
(Commenters will please confirm these results; sorry for my poor memory here.)

The tourney was held at our Monday evening club location, VFW Post 680's meeting hall, which worked out well. Special thanks to the post's Ladies' Auxiliary for making lunch (grilled hamburgers and cheeseburgers with all the fixings, french fries, nachos) on site and at a very reasonable price. The food was great, and several opted to eat out back outside in the post's picnic pavilion.

All of the blog team members were there so I expect a lot of posts and comments.

For my part, hats off to:
  • Cheryl Coovert, who in our first round game, beat me soundly with THREE bingos in a row: CUIS(I)NE 76, ANOINTER 70, and INSPIRE 71.
  • Pat Binzer, who only recently started at club and now has her first tournament under her belt -- like all of us when we first started, she is hanging in there and becoming more familiar with the rules and vocabulary of club and tournament Scrabble and having a good time in the process.
  • Joetta Wilkinson, our club director, who has now directed her first tournament and is already talking about doing more! Way to go, Joetta!
It was a fun, relaxed day with seven rounds of competitive Scrabble. Life is good!

Added text (4/23/2009): NSA's ratings for our tournament are now up. Cross-Tables seems to be behind on postings; right now the most recent tournaments shown there were held on April 5. Maybe the C-T guys are on spring break! If so, it's well deserved!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Club Session of 4/13/2009 (2009-14)

(Post incomplete; more to follow)

There were five of us for club tonight, fewer than usual, but we still had fun.

Our club tourney is this coming Saturday – seven rounds of Scrabble; should be a great time!

Here are the stats for this evening's session, based on three rounds of play, with any extra games played beyond three not included. Session results are listed first by number of wins, then by spreads.

5 players playing 7 games

Tyler -- 3-0, +440
Betty -- 2-1, +141
John -- 2-1, -101
Andy -- 0-3, -146
Joetta -- 0-2, -334

4 of 5 players playing 16 bingos in 7 of 7 games played
11 seven-letter bingos, 5 eight-letter bingos
2 phony bingos successfully played

Andy -- BRON(Z)ES 70, DESTAIN 75, SINTERS 81

John -- REFINISH 78



Highest Win -- Tyler’s Round 3 win against Joetta, 502-326 (+176)
Lowest Win -- John’s Round 3 win against Andy, 341-327 (+14)
Highest Loss -- Betty’s Round 1 loss to John, 363-384 (-21)
Closest Game -- Betty’s Round 3 win against Andy, 339-335 (+4)
Most Points Scored with a Bingo -- Tyler’s Round 1 bingo ALMONDS for 93 points against Andy
Player with Most Bingos Played in a Game -- Tyler’s Round 3, four bingos played against Joetta
Player with Most Bingos Played during this Club Session -- Tyler, nine bingos played


(Table to be Added Soon)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Will's Myrtle Beach tourney: Main event

In the main event, I was seeded fourth of 14 in Division 2. Two of the three higher seeds had beaten me already in the early bird.

Game 1 against Joann Burchett:
Not much memorable about this game, although I made a late comeback. I was down by 29 and made consecutive plays of 39, 39 and 28 while Joann scored 16, 19 and 19. She bingoed with O(U)TRIDEs on turn 5, but only for 66. I had no bingoes; my high play was BR(I)M/LOOM for 42. We split the blanks.

Game 2 against Frank Schin:
Going into a tournament, one goal I always have is to not have a game below 300 points. Well, that didn't last long. Frank spanked me, 416-272. He opened with PlACATE for 76 and later played RETIMEd, also for 76. Meanwhile, I was dropping plays of 10, 10, 11, 14 and 15. My opening rack was DEEIIIT, and I played TEIID to clean it up, but things didn't get any better. On turn 7, I had WORDILY on my rack, but I had to settle for WORDY/WE for 35, and that was my high play. Looking at that rack now, I wonder if I missed an open S for DROWSILY. On turn 6 I held EFLLRUY and made E(A)RFUL, to which Frank added a T front hook to make his RETIMEd. Looking at it now, I wonder if I missed an open U to make RUEFULLY. If I ever figure out Quackle, this is one game to analyze.
I'm now 1-4 lifetime against Frank. He is a decent guy, and he graciously insisted that he drew the bag on me, but I didn't help myself, either. I felt lost the entire game. It's the kind of game has dragged me down in the past, but fortunately, I managed to put it behind me.

Game 3 against Cheryl Melvin:
I almost blew this game. I played ELICITS/TROGS on turn 4 to take an early lead, but on turn 7 I played an awful phony: a T front hook on ILEX that Cheryl had just played to make TILEX*. I got it confused with SILEX. So Cheryl promptly plays ATONIES/SILEX to take a 50-point lead. Luckily, on turn 12 I played SEABAGS/MEATS to retake the lead, and I held on from there to win, 442-401. I drew three esses and the X, and she drew everything else, so I felt good about pulling that one out.

Game 4 against Marilyn Pomeroy:
I had played Marilyn about eight years ago, and I've seen her at various tourneys since then. It was good to be able to play her again, but the result was the same as our first game.
She played DOZER for 51 points on her second turn, and followed that with POSTING/PI on her third to take an early lead. I made a couple good plays with XYSTI/TRUED for 36 and RHEA/EX/AY for 28, but then I made a boneheaded play: GRR*. I hadn't reviewed the threes for a while, and it cost me. I thought GRR and BRR were both good. So she takes her free turn, and holding AIRRRST, I exchange. After Marilyn plays, she's up, 205-85. I play (E)LOINERS on turn 8 for 70 and one of my best plays of the tournament, CERATIN/EMU/RE/AG, for 83 on turn 13, but it's not enough to excavate myself. Marilyn wins, 390-353.

Game 5 against Katya Lezin:
I was 0-3 against Katya, so I was eager to correct that trend.
Katya jumped to an early 50-point lead, but I caught up and passed her with IODATES/FAERIES for 72 on turn 4. Then I got away with a phony 8,
TI(D)EWALL*, on turn 7. She held but didn't challenge, and I was so certain that it was good that when she back-hooked it with an S with QIS, I didn't even hold. Now I've got to make sure it's out of my head. It's a win, 377-305.

Game 6 against Alan Riechman:
Alan takes an early lead with MARINES/COBS for 70 on turn 3, but I bounced back on turn 5 with (E)NTAILED. I then seal the win with DETAILS on turn 10. I drew both blanks and 3 esses, so that certainly helped.

Game 7 against Toni Douglas:
I open with a phony, NOTAH*, confusing it with LOTAH, but Toni isn't sure and lets it stay on the board. And that was the highlight of this game. I drew both blanks, but not until the very end, so they were no help. My best play was for 38 and hers was for 43. I win, 364-309. A win is a win, so, woohoo!

Game 8 against Noah Lieberman:
Noah is Katya's teen-age son, one of those precocious youngsters who are rising through the ranks. We had a close game until I played the only bingo, SLUDGEs, back-hooking the D to GADI, which I had played three turns earlier. Noah didn't like GADID, so he challenged, but it came back good. My study of fives paid off! Later, I played Qi for 31 and BYTE and something else (bad recordkeeping) for 57 to pull away for a 421-302 win.

So after a 2-2 morning, I finished the day 6-2, feeling good. But I still had to play the top 3 seeds.

Game 9, against Susan Bertoni.
Susan had beaten me at Nationals last year and in the early bird, so I wanted a measure of revenge. We both struggled this time, each exchanging twice during the game. She edged to an early lead, but I caught her with ANGLING on turn 7. She then edged ahead again, but with both blanks and 2 esses, I played rEVISeS for 80 on turn 13, and she couldn't catch me. I won, 380-361.

Game 10, against Matt Hopkins.
Matt and I split our two games in the early bird, so this was our rubber match.
He opened with a bingo, UNCLEAN, but I limited the damage by playing ZITI. After that it was back and forth for a while. I picked up a blank on turn three, then picked up the second one to keep it company. Finally, I used them both on turn 8, with MISNAMED for 83. I don't remember which letters were the blanks, because Matt is a fast player and I'm slow, and I abandoned any attempt at tracking after turn 6.
Matt immediately answered with GAWKIEST for 70 to go ahead by a point. However, I followed with JOLTED for 45 to take control.
After turn 11, I was up 371-337. Matt made a 23-point play to make it 371-360. I had both remaining esses, and while considering my options, I noted to myself that so far in the tournament, I hadn't made a single dumb mistake. I rarely make it through a tourney without one bonehead decision, often one that costs me a game. Well, I was about to make one.
I had given up on tracking, so I didn't know Matt's final rack, and my time was short, so I couldn't go through it now. However, there were no bingo lanes, and I knew I could go out in two plays, picking up Matt's leftovers and eking out a win.
I had a place to play EASE for 18 points, but VOX had been played down from the triple-word in the upper righthand corner. I couldn't resist, so I played ES to make (VOX)ES* and (TON)E for 21. It was a move that my clubmate John Spangler, Mr. Latin, would never have made. (The plural of VOX is VOCES.)
Matt nearly jumped out of his chair: "Challenge!" I looked again at my play and instantly realized what I had done. I've studied fives hard, especially those using the power tiles, and VOXES* wasn't in there. I told Matt there was no need to adjudicate and took back my tiles.
Matt then made a 25-point play, I played EASE for 18, and he went out on the next play, picking up 6 points from me to win, 403-389.
I said to myself, "What a F#*<-up!" (Okay, I said it out loud, but it was aimed in my direction.) I sat there with my head buried in my hands as I fell into a bottomless, lightless pool of self-loathing. Matt was a gentleman, sitting there quietly until I gathered myself. He probably thought I was crying. Among other things, I was convinced that I had just blown any shot at winning the division. A 7-2, I was in third place going into this game, and now I had taken a big step backward. What I didn't know was that both players ahead of me also lost that round, so I wasn't as bad off as I thought.
Often, a bad game such as this throws me off, and I stumble around the rest of the tournament. Fortunately, I was able to clear my head and keep playing.

Game 11, against Marcia Wade.
Marcia was the top seed, and she was having a good tourney, sitting in first at 8-2. I knew I had to be on my game against her.
Marcia is quiet, calm and efficient. She's a longtime player, once rated inthe 1800's, but she doesn't track and she doesn't visibly agonize over what she should do. She just plays.
After opening with UNTO, I played ZAX for 38 on my second turn, then I got away with a phony, QUALL*, on my third turn for 28. QUOLL is good, but I somehow thought they both were. (Back to studying my fives.) Marcia didn't challenge, and then I played BRENS/QUALLS for 35, and Marcia again let it go.
Some players advise playing conservatively against higher-rated players, but I didn't, mainly because I wasn't seeing bingoes and my best plays were opening up the board. So I played them: AMONG for 35, VIES/SQUALLS for 31, FITLY/IVIES for 41. I built up a lead, but I knew Marcia would come back. She did, playing TACKIEr for 73 on turn 8 to take a 10-point lead. We stayed about even, then on turn 10, she played mUDDISH. I held, unsure. This late in the game, if I challenged and lost, she would almost certainly win. But if I didn't challenge, she was still likely to win. I challenged, but with zero confidence. I was stunned when the adjudication came up "unacceptable." (The only bingo in DDHISU? is kIDDUSH, and I don't think that was playable on our board.)
After that, we traded the lead, but I won a squeaker, 343-340. I was certain Marcia would ask for a recount, but she simply congratulated me and told me I had played very well. She's my new favorite opponent.

Game 12, against Celia Thompson.
For the second game in a row, I didn't have a bingo, but I was able to make some high-scoring shorter plays, most notably JAUKS/SHIRE for 40, while Celia struggled. She drew both blanks, but they didn't do her any good, and I won, 397-256.

Game 13, against James Clark.
This game started out even until turn 4, when I bingoed with RESTYLES for 63. James challenged unsuccessfully. He also exchanged twice, which put him into a big hole. On turn 9, I played EXULT for 60. James finally found a bingo (a cool one): DHOOTIes for 62 on turn 10, but it wasn't enough. I won, 412-266.

Game 14, against Marcia Wade.
Somehow, both Marcia and Susan Bertoni had lost again, so now I was in first place, 10-3, and they were now both 9-4.
I get down a bingo on turn 3, AMPLEsT for 70, but Marcia soon catches up. Then I play STINgIER for 74 on turn 7, followed by (C)ROFTS for 36, and I'm in control. Marcia narrows the gap, but I go out first and pick up 22 points from her rack, including the X. Final score: 394-330.

So I win the division with a 12-3, plus 526. I drew 15 of 28 blanks, so that certainly helped. I played 15 bingoes in 14 games; my opponents played 10.

It was a fun, well-run tournament, and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Club Session of 4/7/2009 (2009-13)

(Post incomplete; more to follow)

Yesterday evening the NCAA Finals were played, and our club session this week was switched to tonight. Eight of us showed up for an evening of Scrabble.

Here are the stats for this evening's session, based on three rounds of play, with any extra games played beyond three not included. Session results are listed first by number of wins, then by spreads.

8 players playing 22 games

John -- 2-1, +261
Tyler -- 2-0, +220
Loren -- 2-1, -110
Betty -- 2-1, -31
Joetta -- 1-2, +176
Steve -- 1-1, +59
Andy -- 1-2, -5
Pat -- 0-3, -570

6 of 8 players playing 15 bingos in 9 of 22 games played
11 seven-letter bingos, 4 eight-letter bingos
2 phony bingos successfully played

Andy -- (D)EARIES 64, DRILLE(R)S 59, REPAGES* 80, UNOILED 68
Joetta -- MINTIER 74
John -- SC(H)EMED 67, HOTTEST 69, (S)TRAINED 70

Loren -- UNREELS 71

Steve -- DIVINGS* 85, METERING 69


Highest Win -- Tyler, winning against Steve, in Round 1, 481-300 (+181)
Lowest Win -- Loren, winning against Joetta, in Round 1, 310-307 (+3)
Highest Loss -- Andy, losing to Tyler, in Round 2, 370-409 (-39)
Closest Game -- Loren, winning against Joetta, in Round 1, 310-307 (+3)
Most Points Scored with a Bingo -- Steve, playing DIVINGS* for 85 points against Tyler in Round 1
Most Bingos Played in a Game -- three bingos played by Tyler (against Steve in Round 1) and by Andy (against Tyler in Round 2)
Most Bingos Played during this Club Session -- four, played by Andy and by Tyler


(Table to be Added Soon)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 2 Fenton

I did pretty well on day two. I went 4-3, +220 and won the class prize (as I did last Fenton open tourney) for 45 bucks so I was pretty happy with that. I played a pretty tough field (1124, 1377, 1504, 1537, 1637, 1792, 1804), and I think I'll gain some rating. I crushed my record for high tourney game, scoring 652 against Cheryl Melvin (1124). 4 bingos (CAVINGS, GENITALS, BOASTERS, MEUNIERE - triple triple) and almost all of the good tiles. Getting the 400 spread points from that game really went a long way (put me high enough up to win class prize). More game write-ups to follow this week sometime.

EDIT: It looks like I'll gain around 50 rating points for the weekend, its hard to tell exactly because the ratings will change slightly between day 1 and day 2

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Day 1 Fenton

I went 5-2 today and I was very pleased with my play. Both losses were as far as I know unwinnable and didn't even pass 300 in one. I ended up second in the division (70 bucks) and also won the high win prize with 517 (10 bucks). That was in the last game of the tournament where I got 4 bingos, my opponent also won high loss that game with 398, so it was quite a high scoring game. Coolest play of the day, EOLOPIl(E) for 70 (5 vowel 8's have come in very handy), it was held but not challenged since my opponent had lost the turn before challenging SALTEST. A bunch of people went to a local restaurant after to watch MSU play in the final four, since its sort of the local team everyone went crazy when they won. Tomorrow is the real challenge, the open late bird. I hope I play as well there as I did today and pick up some good rating. Off to play poker...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Good luck to Tyler at Fenton this weekend!

Our ace young club member, Tyler Hannan, is off to Fenton, Michigan, today for a 7-round main event tourney there tomorrow and a 7-round late bird on Sunday. When Tyler played at Fenton in January, he gained 194 rating points from that weekend. Tyler has been playing in Scrabble tournaments for less than a year; he is a phenomenal player, and we all really enjoy having him with us at club.

Good luck and many bingos again this time at Fenton, Tyler!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Will's Myrtle Beach tourney -- early bird

The Myrtle Beach tourney included a four-game early bird, which had me the bottom seed in Division 2.

Game 1, against top seed Bruce Shuman, a longtime player and a nice guy:
I jumped to an early lead with a bingo, SINGLET, on turn 3, and I held it through most of the game, despite exchanging 3 U's twice. On turn 11, I made a fun 4, YIRR. Bruce made a late charge right after that, and on turn 15, he went up by 10, 351-343. I held LSUU. I was extremely short on time, and my only chance to win was to not go over on time. There was no place to play ULUS, so with 7 seconds left I played LUGS through a G for 10. Bruce went out on his next turn with a 10-point play, and that was the game, 363-353. Then someone pointed out to me that I could have gone out with SULU, hooking the S to YIRR. I never saw it. So running short on time cost me my first game, and poor clock management would plague me all weekend.

Game 2 against Matt Hopkins:
Matt got caught in traffic and arrived late, forfeiting his first game, and he was clearly rattled, but it didn't carry over into our game. He bingoed on turns 2 and 3 with AMENDING and AIGRETTE, then followed those with KANJI for 24 and PYX for 45 to lead 229-104. I finally answered with FUNKIEST for 82 and later played QuEST/ORCAS for 73, but it wasn't enough. Matt won, 415-372.

Game 3 against Susan Bertoni:
I played Susan last year at Nationals, and she is a gracious player. Unfortunately, I had the same result against her in this game as I did last year.
I opened with CANE for 12, and Susan exchanged. After I played CL(A)NG, Susan dropped BEA(C)HING for 68, the first of 3 straight bingos. I exchanged. Susan then played DOTTERS/CANED for 68. What I should have done was play WOAD to the triple, picking up WE, OR and AS for 49, leaving me only 57 points behind. What I did was challenge. DOTTERS? Never heard of the word. Now, of course, I'll never forget it.
Next, Susan plays WhIMSEY(S) on the triple, which of course she wouldn't have been able to play had I played WOAD. WHIMSEYS? Come on. It's spelled SY, and it pluralizes to IES. Challenge!
Well, what do you know, there's an alternative spelling!
So she plays IRES/SI/ER/YE for 28, and the score is 248 to 30. Can I go home now?
I finally did play WOAD, for 41, followed by DEXIE for 30 and MOSEY/BEACHINGS* for 37. Susan considered challenging the phony, but she wasn't sure and decided it wasn't worth the risk.
Somehow, I managed to reduce the final deficit to 71 points, 408-337.

Game 4 against Matt Hopkins:
Matt is 1-1 and I'm 0-3 for this King-of-the-hill finale, so I'm playing merely for self-respect. Things go better this game. I bingo with ROOTAGE for 61 on turn 5. Matt plays CZaRS on turn 7 for 75, but I answer with DEX/DO/EN/XI for 57. He plays RUDDIEST on turn 9 for 86 to get within 3 points, but I play STROWeD/URINALS on turn 11 to jump ahead again. Finally, a win: 442-385. So I finish the early bird 1-3, minus-67.