Saturday, June 11, 2011

Victoria's Arden Cup roundup

I am very grateful to John and Steve for the local club
tournaments. They gave me the confidence to sign up for a 20-game, 3-
day tournament. The other club members also gave me the
encouragement and support I needed.

I decided before I went that I would have a positive attitude and
have a good time no matter how I did. My results were 9-11, +224. I
had a total of 22 bingoes--two of them phoneys.

I was a little nervous when we first started, and I lost round 1 by
50 points (bingo: ABOULIA). I lost round 2 by only 13 points
(KNEELING). I started to relax and my confidence went up. I won
round 3 by 106 points (TREASURE, REALIST).

I started round 4 with SANTERO. My opponent wanted to challenge but
did not. However, when I played YOUS adding an S to SANTERO, she
challenged both words. I won round 4 by 85 points.

In round 5 I was challenged on GENITOR and won by 132 points.

Even with two bingoes I lost round 6 by 72 points (LENDERS, AUXINES*)

Usually by rounds 7 and 8 I'm tired, and I do poorly. Not this
time. I won round 7 by 92 points with 2 bingoes (MUSTANG, DISHERS*).
The 8th and last round on Saturday I won by 32 points, thanks to my
opponent, who challenged NAGGIEST.

On Sunday morning I was feeling quite confident until my opponent's
first play was PREREAD. Then I stumbled to lose by 144 points.

I did not let myself get discouraged, and I won round 10 by 90
points (FITTINGS).

In round 11 my opponent and I both had one bingo each (mine:
TINKLER, his: STOGIES), but I still lost by 68 points.

I played BELLIES in round 12, but my favorite nonbingo play was
JAVELINA (only 34 pts) using the V and the L on the board. When I
played FIZ my opponent challenged. Then on his next turn, he played FIZ.

In round 13 I challenged FET and lost by 34 points even with ORDAINS.

Next I had my high game of the tournament--473 points. My opponent
challenged SPINATE. My other bingo was RANDIES, and I won by 192 points.

In round 15 I added an S to CAME to play LADDIES. I knew they were
good, and I was glad when my opponent challenged both. Later I played
ATONIES, but I still lost by 9 points. He asked if I wanted a
recount, and I said no. I heard another player say that she always
asks for a recount if the difference is 10 or fewer. I did not think
a recount was worthwhile.

My opponent for the last round on Sunday was Greg, who would end up
winning first place in our division. I exchanged tiles twice and with
no bingoes, I lost by 29 points.

Monday morning I must have been tired. I lost the first 3 rounds and
came up with only one bingo, IODATES.

Then came the 20th and final round. I was determined that I would
not lose this one. I even played a phoney (RAB*) hoping my opponent
would not notice. He didn't. I was very happy to see my first bingo
(POODLES), and even happier when my opponent challenged my second
bingo (DAMNERS). We each had 5 of the power tiles, so if he had been
alert, he could have beaten me. I won by 36 points--a good ending.

I noticed that players left the challenge slips by the computers. I
took some of them home just to see what kind of words were being
challenged. I wish I had done that all three days in all divisions.

The director and his assistant did an excellent job of running this
tournament. They were well organized, helpful, friendly, even funny.
The trophies certainly were an incentive, even the smallest one. I
could not help but stare at some of the Scrabble celebrities that
were in attendance.

The Oakton Community Center is a beautiful facility with programs
for children, teens,and seniors. It has a huge 2-story indoor
playground similar to those at McDonald's restaurants. It has a large
parking lot, and shops are within walking distance. Unfortunately,
due to a rent increase, the director will have to find another site
for next year. I prefer to have less prize money and stay in the same
location. I certainly would like to participate again next year.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Outstanding post, Victoria. I was also really impressed with both the directors and the venue. Both made for a very nice experience.