I've been a little bummed out by the negativity of the Albany posts, so I just want to say that I had a great time (OK, I did a bit of sulking on Thursday night, but it passed)! 24 awesome games of Scrabble, most against awesome people, well-run, deserving winners, great trivia night with etheridge2
(I think we would have won with just one more player, though). It was definitely the most intense tournament I've been to, in a good sense--just what I was looking for. I made a lot of (uncharacteristic, I think) word knowledge mistakes that I hope I'll be able to straighten out when I get back into OWL study. It would have been nice to steal some of the easterners' lunch money, but 13-11 and a handful of ratings points is OK for now.
#14 vs scrabblek8
: W, 564-324: Tight game, until I bingo on my last four turns, including a massive natural HEXOSAN. Sorry, Kate.
#15 vs Bruce Adams: L, 298-383: Early on, I let him play JARLIKE*! Aargh! He completely shut down the board with parallel plays after that.
#16 vs Kenji: W, 526-409: I draw well and bingo early and often (CARBINOL, SURFBOAT) on a wide-open board, then pick up the blank.
#17 vs vinylchances
: L, 387-400: Back and forth game-- the Q is in the bag late and Evans is able to use it to play TRANQ to the TWS to outscore me.
#18 vs gijoel666
: L, 401-432: Very fun game. Joel double-doubles early with OPAlINES. I've been trying to cut down on the fevered writing of alphagrams on my scoresheet when I have blanks, but I must have spend 5 minutes on ACDINU? After the game, ididjonassalk
told me I had IRACUND. Aargh! Joel is incredulous when I finally lay down CUD. Joel plays PAE(DO)LOGY*... and I hold and start feverishly writing down blank anagrams again, looking for a 3x3. I finally challenge it off (Joel can't believe it's no good) and get a bingo down. Late in the game, I bingo to take the lead, but he hits back with ZLOTE for 48. My only hope is to hook ZLOTE with my S on my outplay... but of course it's no good.
#19 vs wisemonkey
: L, 337-448: This was far closer than the final score indicates. The board is fairly closed, the score is tight but Cecilia is one turn ahead of me. With seven in the bag, the Q and X are still in there. She plays off two tiles to block an X spot. I play off three to create an X spot and draw the Q. She draws an unexpected bingo, AMIDOGE(N)... and in the process, creates a spot to play XI, the last two in the bag, for 60! I have to eat the Q to block the spot... arrgh!
#20 vs spherulitic
: W, 417-370: A satisfying comeback. Chris takes a big lead with ARMCHAIR, but I'm able to hit back with FLENSED and, just before he is able to shut down the board, PRONOTuM. I've got scoring tiles, he has one-pointers, and he makes a nice unblockable setup at the end, but doesn't hit on his fish while I'm able to score. His final rack is TEDIEST#.
#21 vs cheezchick
: L, 435-450: I lose a 100+ point lead in this one. Maybe I should have been blocking instead of trying to outscore her... but I did have a perfect storm of bad luck at the end-- a SS? bingo followed by a natural PIPETTE followed by a 5-consonant, 1-vowel draw to give me a clunky pre-endgame rack.
#22 vs pbzeigler
: W, 400-386: Pete just can't catch a break against me. This game turned into a slugfest at the end. He bingoed late with FERRITIn, I hit back with an X play; he hit the TWS, and I hit a multiple-overlap BORDEL that scored and gave me good endgame tempo to withstand his Z.
#23 vs scrabblek8
: W, 438-405: Interesting unplayed-Q pre-endgame. I draw it, but I've able to give myself multiple spots to play it...
#24 vs sr_orangepants
: W, 448-372: Jason played the nice JAILBAIT, and I hit back with the triple-triple DEsTRIER and pretty much coast afterwards. Yeah, sometimes Scrabble isn't fair...
And now year two of the Collins experiment begins. I've got about a month to study for Phoenix-- I'm going to try to review both Collins-only and OWL words together for the first time.