Day 5: Three games and it's over, having gone far too fast. With a record of 15 and 13, I'm hoping for at least one win, which would guarantee a winning record. I've climbed within hailing distance of the leaders, which, considering my start, leaves me pretty happy no matter what happens.
Game 29: The morning starts wonderfully: Going first, I pull SCRIBERS out of the bag and play it, and opponent challenges. Two turns later, with a vowel-heavy rack, I play EULOGIAE through the U that my opponent just played. I'm up by 130 points and manage to maintain a healthy lead, then I seal the game when, with both blanks, I play ENGRAILS for 66. I make a dumb late mistake, front-hooking an A onto VIS, but I follow with FLAW for 42. Final score: 453-333. I'm going to finish with a winning record. Woohoo!
Game 30: Opponent opens with QUANT for 48 followed by DALLIED for 67, but I answer her bingo with DOWDIEST for 89, then TREATER for 70. Three turns later I have PIRATES for 63, and a few high-scoring small plays keeps me out of trouble. Final score: 436-351. Record: 17-13.
Game 31: In a rematch from game 22, which I lost by 10, opponent opens with QUOTE for 48 and gradually increases her lead. On turn 4, I play JINGOIST for 68 (JOISTING also would have played, but I wasn't as sure of it). Opponent answers with RAVENING for 89, but I then play JAUK for 45, followed by APHONIAS for 72, using the first blank. Opponent regains the lead, but I draw the second blank and play TORNADO for 70. With a crowded board and little in the bag, we make a series of small plays, and I squeak out a win, 425-409.
Final record: 18-13, +964. I finish in 21st place, after having dropped to 121st place after game 5. I finished in the top 10 in points scored, more than 12,000, and average score, 411.5. I have better than average luck, drawing 34 of the 62 blanks, but I played well, too: 62 bingoes, exactly 2 per game, compared to 36 for my opponents. My rating is now 1451, a 164-point gain, and I find out later that I won $150 for second-best performance over my seeding. I can identify at least two games that I could have won, but other than that, this was an overwhelming success, and a blast to boot.