ALmost BAck? Not Yet







Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Up at 7:21 and cruised into Pennsylvania. The radio was reporting light traffic, and it looked like I would easily be able to visit stores in Ubber Darby, Broad St., and NE Philly (their first) before Bound Beverages opened at 9:00. Picking up several cases of Tradewinds tea was mandatory. Running out would mean a dimming of the light that shines constantly upon me whenever I take a sip of that marvelous tea.

Upper Darby went smoothly, but then things got out of hand. While traveling along City (or is it City Line?) Avenue I spotted a Starbucks that I did not recognized. That's happened before, and each time I have find it in my database before I get too far away. I couldn't find anything with that address though, and I started to worry that I had missed one. I called a store near that location, but the barista had a long line and couldn't answer me. I called another store, and after some prodding the barista rudely and impatiently finally told me that store was 54th & City Line. Still nothing in my database.

Meanwhile, I had reached Broad Street, where the next Starbucks was, and I had to focus on finding it. The address was 1600 N. Broad, and as soon as I saw where I was I realized I was in trouble. Streets & Trips had misplotted the store!!! Unable to find 1600, S&T put it miles north, in the 4000 block. Come on people!!! Can't you design an algorithm that would look for nearby address??? I thought Microsoft programmers were supposed to be smart.

If you know Philly, you know that even with light traffic the trip from Roosevelt down to Girard (roughtly where there Starbucks was, near Temple University) along Broad Street will take a good while. It was approaching 9:00 when I finally got back up to Roosevelt, and the last thing I needed was to somehow miss the right turn from Broad Street onto Roosevelt Ave. How did that happen??? Roosevelt Ave is a major thoroughfare--how is that turn not obvious? I saw several signs for U-1 South, but none for North.

To add to my irritation, my hands and fingers were starting to become numb (making it hard to type). I had been trying to roll with my windows down, whenever on surface streets, as much as possible since I hit the warmer weather in California, in order to air out the car. After a week of living in the car with the windows down (because of the sub-freezing temperatures along the northern U.S.), the odor was unmistakably pungent. Rebecca is a tolerable, I mean tolerant, person, but even she might have trouble dealing with the powerful manly funk that had doubtlessly oozed into every porous surface in the vehicle.

One more store to go. Because of my great hurry I had to rush in and out, and that meant that I was not able to try to flirt (I can't actually flirt--all I can do is try) with a barista who was perhaps the most beautiful I'd seen in the 70+ stores I'd visited during my trip. She had model-type looks and was soooo not what I was expecting, not in Northeast Philadelphia. You see, NE Philly has a rep for being tough, and I expected all the baristas to look rough, kind of like the one who was at the register when I entered the store. Thankfully, the pretty one came out from behind to bar to attend me. As much as NE Philly mightg suck, I think I could bear to live there so long as that barista were there to brighten each day. Whatever you might think about Starbucks now that they've fallen off, they still know how to pick 'em.

Redhouse Bagels was next, and I found it amusing that the small shop was staffed with no fewer than five young women (and one older one)... and that all of them were a bit rough looking, exactly what I would expect in NE Philly. Don't get me wrong--none of them were trolls, but neither were they going to win any pageants.

I finally finished my final task, picking up my precious Tradewinds tea, at 9:51, and that left me just 3 hours 15 minutes to reach Albany before my clock was started. Of course we all know that these events never start on time, so I wasn't that worried... until I saw the flakes of snow. After finally getting clear of snow in northern California and traversing the country, I had forgotten about the snow. I had not factored a storm into my calculations (not that there had been any fat to trim off my schedule anyway--no massages, no strip clubs, no friends or family visited, no movies, none of my favorite restaurants).

I had forgotten to account for one other factor, that the shortest route from the NJ Turnpike to the NY Thruway required exiting the freeway and taking SR-17 through several NJ towns. SR-17 often moves pretty quickly, but by the time I reached it the light snow had turned into heavier snow. Traffic soon slowed to a crawl, and eventually the culprit became evident--some asshole who didn't know enough to avoid wrecking in light snow.

I had a greater source of irritation, however. I took the opportunity of the slower traffic to lower my window and empty my urine cup. At that exact moment a fast-moving vehicle traveling in the opposite direction splashed a mix of slush and dirty water towards me, and though I saw it coming, I could not get the window up in time. And here I had thought only pedestrians had to worry about being splashed.

Once on the Thruway I was not able to get my speed up enough to make up for the lost time, and I started to resign myself to the possibility of forfeiting my first game. Of course chances were that other people would be delayed as well, and Rebecca was able to confirm as much for me when she arrived at the hotel.

Sometime later I received a call from somebody, presumably a director, on behalf of Joel wondering how far away I was. I said about 10 minutes, and I tried to put on yet more speed, which was especially tricky as I came off the exit ramp and approached the traffic light. Stupid snow and ice.

My clock had not yet been started, and Joel Sherman made a point of saying he ordinarily would not have supported this, but in this case the circumstances were extreme. I sat down to play in a rush, and when Joel extended his hand I said he probably didn't want to do that (shake) until I'd washed them. I had, after all, not had time for bathroom breaks during the drive, if you know what I mean. It took Joel a second to realize it, but once I started mixing tiles it occurred to him that he wanted me to wash those filthy hands.


I managed to win another challenge against Joel, for my HA(R)DhEAD, and in my opinion I think I deserve a first-round victory... but I lost. I could have won, and it didn't take Joel long to point out that all I would have needed to do was invert my last two plays. Thanks, Joel!!!

Annotated Game


Her two early gimme bingos certainly helped Debbie Stegosaur to victory, but I have to credit her with finding KILObAU(D) to seal the deal.

Annotated Game


I can't help it. Whenever I write Joel Horn's name on my scoresheet, I have to add an extra letter. Nothing noteworthy about our game otherwise.

Annotated Game


Fourth round, an opportunity for revenge against Van Der Ubieka. He might have a hot wife and a (fizzling) acting career, but I had the momentum and the first bingo, IODATIn(G), which I followed up a couple of turns later with a play I was pleased with, (U)NREASON that put me nearly 200 points ahead. Ahhhhh, I do love that sweet revenge. Isn't that what Scrabble is all about?

I gotta hand it to Jason Idalski--he took his 286-point pounding rather well. Part of the reason, I guess, was that he acknowledged that my INDUSIA, ARILLO(D)E, CARAFES, and ViRU(L)ENt were good finds.

Annotated Game

No overpriced crappy hotel dinner for Rebecca and me, no way. We just took it easy and went across the street to the Chinese place and then back to the playing room. I got the better of Luebkemann in a practice game and debated whether to attend the party, and around 9:30 I decided I really needed sleep more than I needed to ring in the New Year.



Thursday, January 1, 2009

Having gone to sleep around 10:00 the night before paid off, as I was able to get up early enough to head out to the one new Starbucks in Albany and then stop at the grocery store on the way back. I arrived with a few minutes to spare, but my first game was still delayed because boards seemed to be in short supply in the Division A side of the room. I went out to my car to get my board, which, amazingly, looked even crappier than ever. Unsurprisingly, Roy Kamen took one look at my board and quickly suggested using one of the free Division B boards. Playing on that better board availed Roy not a whit, as I opened with rAMILIE, scored 48 with SCR(I)EVE a couple of turns later, and followed that with DEVIANT. I wish I hadn't challenged (A)LLICiNS (just out of the probability range I'm most familiar with), but I wouldn't have challenged if I hadn't had a good lead and a strong followup play regardless--the lost turn did not really put me in danger.

Escaped, just barely, from the double-blank clutches of Karl Higby. That victory can only be truly described as a gift. I would have lost because I played my X too quickly instead of dumping the V, but my play left a spot open for Karl to try RAINO(U)TS/(GIVING)S*. I was sure the word was good, and I was genuinely surprised when the adjudicator reported "UNACCEPTABLE". Karl still could have won, if he had made his correct play and avoided going over time, but he tried s(WIPERS)* instead. I'd seen the word come up before, and I had actually played W(I)PER with half a hope that Karl would try to hook an S at some point.

Annotated Game


AARRGHH!!! I had him!!! Despite the double-blank, I had Adam Logan dead to rights. I even managed my time well in the early game to give myself plenty of time for the endgame. I recounted the entire game, since the scores were so close. And I checked my tracking. I checked those As TWICE. And yet I screwed it up, and I had Adam with ENNORT instead of ORNATE, with which he went out when I played BI(Z) for 17 to presumably seal my win. Oh, how wrong I was.

Annotated Game


An early OFFSIdE gave Bradley Whitmarsh the momentum, but I managed back-to-back 48-point J plays to stay within bingo range, and then I picked up an extra turn with ARCH(O)N. When Bradley held, my heart stopped, and as the clock counted down my worry increased that the word, which I knew from a video game from the 80s, was actually a proper noun. It wasn't, of course, and even though I missed DIS(T)RAIN on my next play, I was able to take the lead by merely playing off ID, and then I bingoed. Bradley came right back with MAZE for 42, but my tiles were great for the rest of the game.

Annotated Game


Next opponent, winner of New York City and everybody's hero, Jesse Day. I had a 3-0 record against him. I couldn't possibly extend that streak, could I? And certainly not without any bingos. That just wasn't possible! And yet... it happened. Yes, I was subhuman and devoid of worth, while Jesse was approaching godhood, but sometimes even a god must fall.

Annotated Game


I won again, and after our wild-and-wacky game Sam Kantimathi was rather visibly and verbally BETICKed* at my easy bingos and dual phonies. His downfall--letting the SOWPODS word PHO(N)ER* go. That's why I've resisted getting into SOWPODS for so long--I fear confusion.

Annotated Game


I had my most amazing day in a long time with a fourth win in a row, against Tim Adamson, and with a couple of good bingos too, TYPISTs and CON(E)LRAD.

Annotated Game


Lounged about for a while after that last game waiting to see what dinner plans would materialize. Rebecca finally spotted Kevin Colosa and Marci, and we ended up heading over to Central, where we were guaranteed to find food. We drove no more than a couple of miles before we spotted an Indian restaurant named Ghandi. As usual, I had the lamb. If you should ever be captured and tortured for information about what Winter eats at Indian restaurants, just say "lamb" and you are likely to be correct (and thus earn a quick and painless death rather than prolonged torture).

Rebecca went back with Kevin and Marci, and I went off to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (not Burton). I enjoy the movie, but I was a bit distracted by the knowledge that I could have been in first place. Several during the movie I had mini-flashbacks to the Logan game and felt the urge to shout out "FUCK!!!" and "AARRGHH!!!". I restrained myself. The other moviegoers would not have understood.



Friday, January 2, 2009

Despite having gotten to bed well past midnight, I found it hard to sleep past 7:00 or 7:30. Frankly, I was feeling anxious about the day's games, and I had words floating all up in my head. I had to get up and do some studying, and I went downstairs so as not to disturb Sleepyhead.

Sleepyhead finally got up and we went over to that diner on Central. What's the name? Can't remember. Fortunately I've got an entry in my database from last year. Ah, yes, Jack's Diner. See, that's why it's so important to keep accurate records, so you can look up some business you patronized if you should ever need to do so.

I guess I can't complain too much about my loss to Sal Piro. After twelve rounds of good or great draws, it was about time I'd have a bad one. Just wish I hadn't missed SANTURS. It's top 15000, so I think I've anagrammed it a couple of times, but it just didn't stick.

No bingos for a second game in a row, while Evans Clinchy bingoed three times. Despite this, I managed the win because Evans gave up three turns!!! First, BRE(D)E. I guess I can understand that one--I think I've had higher rated players hold that one. But to try ONERIlY* and KITTERS* against me??? After the game I, feeling a bit insulted, had to ask him what he was thinking. I doubt he would have tried those phoneys against the likes of Sherman or Mills. I can only infer that he does not respect my word knowledge enough.

Dammit, dammit, dammit!!! I could have beaten John Luebkemann despite the double-blank if it hadn't been for one stupid turn! After playing COX and leaving AIRS, then playing ORA and leaving AIRS, I finally drew a great bingo rack... except it was ARSINE + E!!! That one turn burned playing off the E really hurt when I ended up losing by 17!!!

Annotated Game


I fared no better against Lloyd Mills. I managed to stay even despite his two bingos, TEArOOM and TUNNIES, but my tiles just fizzled in the end.

Annotated Game


The only high point of the first half of the third day was lunch. Casa Dominicana, which I had not been able to patronize a year earlier, was still there, and the food was worth the year-long wait. The tostones were excellent, and I continued to uphold my reputation for finding good food, at least in the eyes of Cesar, Evans, and Jesse Day, who I discovered is actually a quarter Latino. That's good enough for me, and I'm happy to include him among the ranks of the Brotherhood of Latino Scrabblers.





I had already changed my jeans, because the pair I had been wearing had just too much of a tear in the crotch to be decent. Changing my luck was more important than fashion however, so I donned a fresh shirt before returning to the playing room. It didn't work. While I did manage an early bingo, AT(A)BRINE, and I followed it up with F(I)QUE for 34, the rest of my game pretty much sucked as I watched John Morse play baby bingo after baby bingo and double-blank me. The game reminded me of the crap I'd been dealing with in the events prior to Danbury, where my opponents seemed to get really easy bingos while I had to make tougher finds. You know what--NIX that. I made some ridiculous misses, and I deserved to fucking lose.

Got the better of Bradley Whitmarsh for a second time, though I took a huge chance. After double-double PEL(O)rIAS followed by ZA for 66, I had enough of a lead that I decided to try SCUDA*/(TRANQ)S for 48. I know good and well that , Bradley is dangerous to phony against--he's challenged a lot of my words, both good and bad ones.

Annotated Game


After my loss to Jason Idalski, John Luebkemann commented that I had not played aggressively. I knew right away that he was right. When Jason played off an R for 3 points, I pulled away from my 20-point play and decided to block a couple of lines for just 7 points. Stupid, stupid, stupid, because there was a G line open, as well as the possibility of an I(C) word. Had I played for 20, I would have been in a much stronger position when Jason played his DRAmATI(C). I need to drill that lesson into my head, not to make weak blocking plays!!! Still, I'll claim the moral victory, because I won a challenge of PICUL and then got down two phonies, (P)OOREE* and SENORE*.

Annotated Game


Got my revenge against John Morse, but I had to take a chance on UNRULED. I'd seen it, but not enough times to be solid. Thankfully, the word stuck, and the rest of the game went my way.

Friday night's movie was Cadillac Records, another one I'd heard a lot of good things about. Good thing it wasn't too long, and when I finished I had time to reheat my leftovers and then head back to Casa Dominica for fresh tostones. Hmm, hmm, nothing like tostones to ease the sting of a 3-5 day. Well, I suppose some good lovin' could have helped too, but I had no reason to believe that would be forthcoming.

The night was filled with instense pain instead, and I'm not talking about freaky hijinks with Rebecca (that's not how I roll). No, what I faced was a sharp back pain that I had started to feel during the second night sleeping in the bed and had become increasingly strong during the course of that third night. My various walks to the restroom during the night were difficult, and when I got up in the morning I actually felt down from the pain. I had experienced something like this before, years earlier when renting a room in Princeton. I concluded it was the mattress, and when I began sleeping on the floor the pain went away. I found it rather ironic that two weeks of sleeping in the car, for free, did nothing at all to my back, while this Crowne Plaza bed that I was paying some $90 a night for was really screwing up my back.



Saturday, January 3, 2009

It was fortunate that I remembered to check the flyer for the start time of Sunday's games, since they started earlier. We were in a rush for breakfast, so when I spotted the Central Ave. Diner, somewhat closer than Jack's Diner, Sleepyhead and I decided to give it a try. Misssss-take! Rebecca's opinion was that the food was awful, and I could not disagree.

On top of a disappointing breakfast, I had to face in the first round none other than... ADAM LOGAN!!! NOOOOOOO!!! No chance to win four games now. The game was a disaster. I opened with OVEREAT but did not have even a second to relax before Adam was playing (V)ERITIES. Even worse, I had drawn EEELNOP!!! That patterm would repeat itself several more times. AEEILOR, but no open T. AABEIRT, but the U Adam played was in the wrong place. When I did bingo, it was a pathetic ITERATE(D) for just 63, hardly worth it given Adam's 36-point counterplay. Then Adam bingoed again, and I was toast.

Annotated Game


After a rollercoaster game in which the momentum went back and forth, I finally hoped I had sealed the deal against Lloyd Mills with (D)JEBEl for 62 to go up by 68. Even after his comeback, (O)STINATO for 77, I held the second blank and hoped to win. What I couldn't possibly have expected was for Lloyd not only to draw EMANATE out of the bag, but for it to parallel OSTINATO for 83 points. Even then I could have won if I'd just had the E or the L for a big Z play, or if there hadn't been two spots for Lloyd to play his Q. What unbelievable bad luck.

Annotated Game


Even my draw was unlucky. Adam Logan, Lloyd Mills, and then John Luebkemann!!! Given the size of the field, for me to get those three in a row on the last day was just awful. Sure, I started off with ASTyLAR against Looby, but just like Adam Logan he quickly turned the tables. An exchange was followed by a H(A)RDENEd and IDOC(R)ASE, while I was looking at crap for the next four turns. When I finally drew a decent rack, ACENTSU, and saw the bingo, which I had always missed in LeXpert, it didn't play. I did catch a break though, 56 for OX, and I held both the final two to boot. Couldn't pull it out though. AARRGHH!!!

Annotated Game


Oh... my... god!!! I was getting such a killer draw that final day--Joel Sherman to round out the day. I was going to go 0-4 for the day!!! Fortunately I managed to eke out a win, thanks in no small part to the extra won by challenging R(EM)NaNTED*. Furthermore, I did not outdraw Joel, so I consider that a solid win, but I must acknowledge his bingos, both nines, DES(ER)TION and (DO)WNTrEND, were superior to my sE(N)ORITA and STHE(N)IAS. Still, the draw was about even, and I feel proud every time I beat Joel without drawing the bag.

Annotated Game


The results were quickly posted, and my rating was estimated at 1740. Since I had played so many of the top players, and so many of the finishers, I hoped to get a few more points via feedback. But still, I really wanted to end the year in top 100, and when I saw that the field for the Late Bird included Koenig and MacNeil, I could not bring myself to drop out, despite the risk of the open division.


First things first, however. More Dominican food!!! Cesar, Jesse, and Evans tagged along again, and during the meal they thanked me repeatedly for having found the place.

Second priority--massage!!! In my rush to reach the tournament on time, I had not been able to schedule any of my usual road-trip massages, and I had driven thousands of miles. The window between the Main Event and the Late Bird was my best shot, and I immediately got online to see what I could find on a Saturday in a small city like Albany. Just when I ran out of patient and was about to give up, I got a call back from one of my messages. The catch--she was only available around 4:00, which would mean I'd be cutting my return to the playing room really close for that first game. Well, that's nothing new, is it.

Headed out early towards Latham in the hopes that Michelle would call (to say she was ready) sooner rather than later. While looking for a place to kill time I spotted a business called Night Moves. The place looked closed, and more like one of those adult "modeling" studios than a strip club. Ordinarily I would have ignored it, but since I had time to kill I went in to see if they were open.

After more than a week of driving with no opportunity for sexual release (and autoerotic release being against the rules), and then several days of sharing a bed with a disinterested roommate, I was randier than a hound dog. The dancer onstange wasn't even all that hot, but I still had to look away after barely a minute or two in order to avoid losing my composure. When she left the stage she came over and asked if I wanted a dance. Had the price been $20, I would have passed, but that was just for the dances in the back booths. Out on the floor, she said $5 or $10, I think. As I've said before, there are certain things I just cannot pass up if the price is low enough.

For that prce, I expected a tame air dance, but the dancer surprised me by getting up close and personal. After a minute or so, she surprised me even further by rubbing her knee against my inner thigh. I quickly and suddenly felt something--my phone! I exploded into action and immediately fished my phone out of my pocket and told her I needed to leave. I handed her a few bucks ($3 according to my notes, but I remember $10) and rushed out the door as I answered and proceeded to ask Michelle for directions. It was nearly 4:15, so I was in a great hurry, and fortunately her office was just across the intersection.

Just minutes into the massage I regretted the late start because Michelle was really really good, and I would have wanted an hour. But I asked Rebecca to call when they were getting close to starting, and when I heard the phone ring I told Michelle I just had a few more minutes.

Rebecca helped me out further by picking me up a coffee, and as soon as I reached the playing room and found just a few minutes off my clock I had the luxury of finding Rebecca and getting my precious joe.

Denise Mankhen was my first opponent, and having the luxury of playing somebody weaker allowed me to get a little jiggy with my first play. Denise exchanged 3, and I held ADLNNOT. I saw L(E)NTANDO right away and NONAD(U)LT soon thereafter. I didn't see NONT(I)DAL, but I'd found the word before and probably would have after seeing an I on the board. I spent some time trying to think of a phony plausible enough to stay on the board, and I came up with LONDANT*. I didn't bat an eye when Denise challenged it off, but I was disappointed to see her exchange. What to do now? Well, the odds of a bingo coming down without an E were slim, so I gave it another try--TONLAND*. That one stuck, because it gave Denise LA(T)CHiNG. Notice she did not did not have an E, I, or U. Had she had a seven, she would have challenged off, and I would have been screwed. That's why that tactice is bad. Except it's sooooo much fun!

Anyway, a couple of more bingos on my end, MID(D)LINg and AR(G)ENTAL, plus two won challenges, and I ended up going into my next game with a healthy 200+ spread. Perhaps that spread and the hopes of picking up another 200 made me overconfident, because I decided to try IROKIeS* against Judy Cole, and that mistake could have cost me the came. I barely won, by just 11.

Annotated Game


My opponents were, of course, getting stronger with each round, and for some reason it appeared my tiles were getting worse, at least initially. Stan Williams opened with CORDIAL while I held DEIIUUY. Fortunately my tiles soon sorted themselves out, and cOATEES got me close to even. CAPTUrE put me well ahead, and I cruised from there.

Amazingly enough, Hannah Lieberman took a lead against me despite three low-scoring plays. Unfortunately for her, she plays much too quickly, and she slotted NANNIES in the 3x3 row when she could just as easily have played it one square down for more points, and I was able to play LITA(N)iES for 113 and a lead healthy enough to allow me to risk lAZERET* (which Seth Lipkin had challenged off nearly a year earlier). The word stayed on, and my spread continued to grow.

Final game of the night, I finally faced a real opponent, Chris Lipe. A 4th-turn CUSTArD gave me the momentum, and after the phoney mELENGE*, late in the game, victory seemed assured. Imagine my surprise when Chris scored a whopping 112 with WHITEYS to cut my lead to just 11 points!!! Had my tiles not been superior, it would have been a rueful night indeed.

Annotated Game


Rebecca tagged along as I went to reheat my leftovers and then pick up more tostones. I gotta say, as good as the tostones have been from Casa Dominicana, they sure take a long time to prepare what seems to me a relatively simple order. While waiting for the order I suddenly realized that my back (or hip or whatever) wasn't hurting any more. In fact I hadn't felt any pain at all since the massage. Michelle must have done a really good job.

Unfortunately my suspicion was correct, and I wasn't in the bed long before I started feeling back pain again. I had no choice--I had to grab a couple of blankets and move down to the floor.



Sunday, January 4, 2009

Given that David, Rod, Alyssa, and Bradley had all gone to 80s night at the Fuze Box the night before, I hoped to play one of them first thing in the morning and take advantage of some fatigue. Rod and Alyssa were playing, so I got David. His confidence was in full swing, and he claimed to be in top form. Good thing, then, that got the tiles and raised my game to boot. DURIANS was a gimme, but then so was David's SPARRED. Double-double FISC(AL)LY for 64 however--I'm proud of that play. I think it was my best of the entire event, main event included. The turnover yielded a blank for DOOlEES, and I was off and running, too fast for David to catch up.

Annotated Game


OH... MY... GOD!!! I can't believe that I escaped Karl Higby a second time. After my early LOGAN(I)AS*, I kind of held slight momentum, and I countered PERTAIN with METEREd to keep it. I then drew some clunky tiles. I had to leave ARRRT to play AZ(O) for 32 (a tough decision), and sure enough I drew two more consonants. R(E)WAN scored 29, but left me RRT with the bag light on vowels. I drew the other blank and thought I was probably going to win on that basis, but Karl played SEDGIES(T) to go up 47!!! CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!!! Just five tiles in the bag, and a truly hideous pool--BCDDIIUUWX. I didn't have much of a choice, really. I absolutely positively could not play my O, so I had to play (E)RR for 5 and gamble on a miracle. I got one in drawing pretty much the best two tiles I could hope for from that pool, C and I, and that gave me the TRaCTIO(N) I needed to win.

Annotated Game


Crap. After beating Higby I was sure that I would play Alyssa or Rod or Bradley. When I saw that my opponent was actually Jason Keller, I saw that as my best chance to set a record for my longest winning streak, at 9 games (including the last game of the main event). I felt pretty good when I bingoed first, E(N)TITLES, but Jason came right back with SAPONI(T)E and followed it up with fLUORIDS for a 57-point lead. I stayed in the game, but at the end my tiles just got too clunky. Jason surprised me by almost letting me get away by playing IN(K) for 9 to give me an out play, COUTHS for 41, but I was still 14 points short.

Annotated Game


Alyssa even admitted she got very lucky, and she surely did, but of course I might have derailed her game if I had challenged BINIONs*. The reason I didn't is just stupid--I somehow saw BIONIc and figured she could just as easily have played that, not realizing that it's not a bingo. Stupid.

OMG!!! I didn't discover this until the drive home, but a discrepancy between my Quackle's tile count and my annotation of the game let me to conclude that Alyssa had actually played R(E)TILLED*, not R(E)TITLED, which is what I saw. I WOULD HAVE CHALLENGED IF I HADN'T BEEN DEMORALIZED!!!

The 235-point loss pounded my spread, and I ended up being knocked down to 7th place, to face Judy Horn. I went into the game hoping to pick up some spread, but I finished clinging for dear life after her 104-point REZO(N)InG. I won, but it was a rather disappointed finish after a 6-0 start. No time to worry about that though, with a 900 mile drive back to Wisconsin. Didn't help that I lost a lot of time picking up coffee and food, and it was nearly 3:00 PM when I finally got the interstate, after picking up coffee and lunch. Much later than I'd hoped, and the drive was loooooong.



Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ratings posted. 1758. Nuts. One game, just one more game, and I would have been in the top 100 again. 34 games total, and I couldn't win one more game? Grrr...



Opponents' Bingos (Main Event)
(S)TEAPSIN
TAWPIES
SEROT(I)NY
KILObAU(D)
CODEINS
DIVINES
(S)TRAINED
(A)LLICINS
sLIMIER
CeSSPIT
OFFSIdE
SPINDLE(D)
FEDE(R)ALS
OVERAC(T)S
IN(T)ITULE
EMMITTED
DICROTA(L)
bANN(E)ROL
THALERS
sEAMIER
SISTErL(Y)
TEArOOM
TUNNIES
CITOLES
DENTALI(A)
SARdINE
DRAmATI(C)
RERAISE
InOSITE(S)
(V)ERITIES
GATHERS
BARIuMS
ENRAGES
(O)STINATO
EMANATE
H(A)RDENEd
DES(ER)TION
(DO)WNTrEND


My Bingos
HA(R)DhEAD
R(A)TTLERS
NOTABLE(S)
COpIERS
BaSTERS
IODATIn(G)
(U)NREASON
INDUSIA
ARILLO(D)E
CARAFES
ViRU(L)ENt
rAMILIE
DEVIANT
NIDGETS
IN(T)RAdOS
VARIOLE(S)
CR(E)MAINs
DENTILs
TYPISTs
CON(E)LRAD
HERNIAS
AT(A)BRINE
(S)TORAGES
PEL(O)rIAS
BONGoES
ARENITE
UNRULED
SEIzING
OVEREAT
ITERATE(D)
SLATTED
ASTyLAR
sE(N)ORITA
STHE(N)IAS


Missed Bingo Turns
(T)URTLERS
ANDROgE(N)
N(U)RTURED
UNHo(L)iER
DIS(T)RAIN
AuXINIC
(T)OUCHIER
(R)EFoRMED
SANTURS
TURNOVE(R)
ALTITUD(E)/LATITUD(E)
InFE(R)IOR



Opponents' Bingos (Late Bird)
LA(T)CHiNG
PRANC(E)Rs
CORDIAL
NANNIES
WHITEYS
SPARRED
OERTAUb
SEDGIES(T)
BINIONs*
R(E)TILLED*
RONMeN
(E)DITRESS
REZO(N)InG
s

My Bingos
TONLAND*
MID(D)LINg
AR(G)ENTAL
POLENTa
cOATEES
CAPTUrE
LITA(N)iES
lAZERET*
CUSTArD
mELENGE*
DURIANS
DOOlEES
LOGAN(I)AS*
METEREd
TRaCTIO(N)
PIONEER
SLANTeD


Missed Bingo Turns
ALEXIAS
TENFoLD,(U)NFELTeD,(U)NFLuTED



Analysis

#1 - Sherman    
------------    
4 -CKNNRTJ keep CRT
6.2 FAWNS  
15.9 VErIF(I)FIED  
32.8 h(A)RDhEAD  
26.1 RU(N) (T)URTLERS
2.8 R(A)TTLERS T(U)RTLERS (unsure)
0 TOONIE  
4.4 AIRI(N)G BAAI(N)G (fear picking up double Is)
0 PAIK  
13.3 HUB weak
7 (R)OE so many ways to win yet I choked
0 VIE  
   
     
#2 - Stegman    
------------    
0.3 ADO  
2.9 DEX  
8.4 R(O)ACH RHO(D)IC,(P)OACH/O(N)/A(Y),CHA(D)OR,HO(D)AD,CHA(D)RI,DH(O)ORA
3.8 DIPT low on time already so just throw stuff down
0 EGO  
19.3 COpIERS CEORlIS(H),pRECIO(U)S,CItREO(U)S
10.5 R(E)W(O)N B(E)W(O)RM (unsure),IMBR(O)WN
1.2 BARON  
5.5 M(U)N  
33 challenge KILObAU(D)  
3.1 Q(I) FEEZ(E)
6.6 Z(A)  
0 JIN(GO)  
12 EF  
0 (C)IAO  
     
     
#3 - Horn    
---------    
5.3 EPOX(Y) miss O(RANGY) hook
0 FLIP  
0 (O)OZE  
0 QUEN(C)H  
0.7 (J)IVED  
0 BaSTERS  
16.3 FETS  
0 OUTRE  
18.3 AI (HE)AT(H)IER
9.7 (D)ARE block
15.5 TO  
7 LE(V) needed to block ANTIN(G)
0 gLORI(A) LORIc(A) (unsure)
     
     
#4 - Ubieka    
-----------    
24.8 PEH PEN(O)CHE
0 CAFE  
0 NERTZ  
0.6 LOBE  
9.7 GLUEY HUGELY
0 HOOLY  
0 IODATIn(G)  
1.4 RIMED DENIM,DIMER (unsure)
3.5* (U)NREASON (M)ONERANS
0 KA(V)A  
8.8* P(AWED)  
6 (M)aRC (RIF)eR/(COPE)R (saw but miscalculated scores)
     
     
#5 - Idalski    
------------    
0 TAXIED  
0 INDUSIA  
0 ARILLO(D)E  
0 ZOA  
0 CARAFES  
0 Q(I)  
1.9 DOR(K) ANDROgE(N)
1.3 VE(N)A block
0 YEN  
33 R(U)T N(U)RTURED
1.4 (ET)H UNHo(L)iIER
0 PITTA  
0 (E)IDE  
     
     
#6 - Kamen    
----------    
0 rAMILIE  
8.2 GOUGE(r) (M)UGGEE
0 SCR(I)EVE  
0 DEVIANT  
8.1 TOPOI POORI/P(A)/O(I)/O(N)/R(E)/I(D)
0 GERMS  
2.4 YEW STEWY
39.4 challenge (A)LLICiNS  
0 (Z)EBUS  
3.5 (B)UILT  
0 H(I)JRA  
16 PU(G) poor X block
0 EY(N)E  
     
     
#7 - Higby    
----------    
8.3 MAFI(A) BIMAH
14.3 L(I)MB overly afraid of consonantitis
0 OH  
5.6 E(M)S  
0 INS  
0 EON  
0 FEASE  
0 ANY  
0 YETT  
2.9 W(I)PER  
0 K(N)IT  
0 RUSH  
11 ET  
16 (E)X needed to dump V with VA(U)
4 A(B)  
3 OV(A)L VOL(A)R
13 R(AGEE) no idea why I didn't just go out???
     
     
#8 - Logan    
----------    
0 QAT  
0 JEST HADJES
0 AOHED  
7.6 VEE  
2.1 B(R)IARD  
4.8 FL(E)AM  
0 (M)OOD  
0 NIDGETS  
2 ANY  
1.8 (LA)X  
9.6 ZIN most defensivev
0 OE  
3.9 HU(ED) BAR(YE)
34 BI(Z) mistracked
     
     
#9 - Whitmarsh    
--------------    
4.8 WIT  
4.4 PEW  
0* JINS  
0 (J)ETTY  
3.4 ARCH(O)N  
18 ID DIS(T)RAIN
1 IN(T)RAdOS  
0 D(E)VON  
0 PAX  
0 CAULD  
0 VARIOLE(S)  
4 BED gives Bradley better out
     
     
#10 - Day    
---------    
0 ZONE  
6.9 ECHED ECHOED
0 VOX  
0 FABLE BEFLAG (unsure),GARBLE
0 DRAG  
0.1 PARVO  
3.7 UNIT NUTRI(A)/N(A)
2.9 QIvI(U)T prefer to take lead than hold out for a bingo
0 KERN  
10.1 HI  
0 C(U)D  
0 TY(E)E  
     
     
#11 - Kantimathi    
----------------    
0 XI AuXINIC (unsure)
10.1 CR(E)MAINs MANtRIC
0 R(A)J  
0 DENTILs  
0 BETI(C)K*  
1.5 FOY  
33.1 challenge FEDE(R)ALS  
40 (D)OUCE (T)OUCHIER
10 L(Y)SIN  
0 PHO(N)ER*  
0 HA(G)  
0 (I)OT(A)  
     
     
#12 - Adamson    
-------------    
0.3 PEW  
0 V(O)GIE  
2.5 JO(E)  
3.6 TYPISTs STYPTIc
8.9 (P)UNTED YE (dang, I totally considered this but dismissed DENTU as not good enough a leave)
14 RE(L)Y weak
8.4 B(L)OG  
0 (A)QUAE  
7.5 (G)LAD  
5.4 CON(E)LRAD COLAND(E)R
42.6 (K)EF (R)EFoRMED,(R)EFRaMED,FREEDM(E)n
27 HoMER(E)D HaRMED
     
     
#13 - Piro    
----------    
1.9 YOGI GOY (really hate keeping EIST vs EST)
3.9 HELM HUM
4 (D)AUTIE A(D)IEU
0 WATER  
0 DEX  
0 QOP(H)  
0 SORI  
3.6* RO(A)R  
67.8 STAR SANTURS (fuck, that's top 15000--I shoulda know it!!!)
8.6 NUS UNAIS (didn't want to leave just NS--really need to bingo)
20.7 K(ITS) no idea how to win it
3 INCUS(E) CASIN(I)
0 (T)AU  
     
     
#14 - Clinchy    
-------------    
1.3 FLAG  
0 BRE(D)E  
4.9 M(I)D  
0 (F)EZ  
0.2 (C)HIP PEPTI(Z)E (not best)
3.1 PUTTEE C6 11I hangs next to triple column with all eses unseen
0 FANUM  
0 (B)OWELS  
0 WAGON  
0 QIS JASSID
0 DISC  
0 JAG  
3 OVOlO  
0 YE  
     
     
#15 - Luebkemann    
----------------    
1.4 COX OX (tough to decide whether to keep ACIRS vs playing defensive)
4.1 ORA  
0.6 (M)E  
0 HERNIAS  
0* (V)INY NIHIL(S)
4.5 HIDER(S) HURLED (didn't want to let John have the TWS spot, but kept LU)
0 FUJ(I)  
0 YAULD  
0 PRIZE  
14.3 NAG NO(D)/(U)N/(J)O (scores just one fewer and leaves superior AGINS)
9 IONS gave me the lead
4 OLEO  
1 OUT  
     
     
#16 - Mills    
-----------    
0 HIVED  
0 JOB  
0 MIB  
19.3 POND need extra tile turnover to play thru Q
5.4 QURsH  
45.8 WAXY TAXIWAY
0 OAF  
1.9 TI(R)E  
0 AKEE  
11.7 FE FEU(E)D
25.8 lose turn (UN(B)AITED*)  
2.5 UNAI  
--- TED  
     
     
#17 - Morse    
-----------    
1.4 AE  
0 AT(A)BRINE  
1.8 F(I)QUE  
14.6 TOK(E) KN(E)LT
3.2 DO(E)TH  
0 BOWL  
45.6 UNROVE TURNOVE(R)/E(F) (wasn't even looking at that spot b/c of the stupid F)
22.7 XI DAMMIT I MISSED (N)IX FOR 53!!! I SUCK!!!
1.8 AVI(D)  
5.5 FAR(O)  
9.2 -LR (ENRST)  
0 JIN  
0 (S)TORAGES  
     
     
#18 - Whitmarsh    
---------------    
--- FIE  
1.6 PEL(O)rIAS EPIS(O)mAL
0 ZA  
0 SCUDA*  
18.7 (D)EXY N(U)GGETY,(C)YGNET
1.9 G(U)M  
8.9 TWINGE  
1.4 IOTA 13C  
17.8 EcOTOUR  
4.7 YOND  
4.2 VR(OW)  
--- DOR  
--- ???  
     
     
#19 - Idalski    
-------------    
0 PICUL  
0 (P)OOREE  
0 BONGoES  
3.9 L(I)NG  
7.5 Q(I)  
0 SENORE*  
3.3 B(I)T  
0.5 KA  
3.7 ANI  
20.4 NOR misguidedly weak block!!!
19 OX PROVE(D) (huge mistake)
4.1 REP(A)VE  
5.9 (P)AY TUFTY
3 FE(E)T  
     
     
#20 - Morse    
-----------    
2.2 TAJ 8F  
0.9 LAX LAHAR (unsure)
0.4 (Y)AH  
3.4 HA(J)  
9.3 ARENITE (TILE)R hook
0 KI(N)O  
4.4 UNRULED  
0 OZONE  
1.5 SEIzING SEIzING(S) (only 99% sure)
2.6 N(E)DDY  
0.9 P(I)C  
19 T(O)R(C)  
5 (O)WL  
     
     
#21 - Logan    
-----------    
0 OVEREAT  
6.7 PEE(S) PEN(S)EE
3.6 OP(E)N  
1.9 (R)EWIN  
5.3 OLE  
10.6 AB (ZA)RIBA,(ZA)REBA
3.2 ITERATE(D) (AL)ITERATE,miss (RE)I hook
--- C(HE)W  
3.3* CIG  
15.4 QA(I)D QINDA(R) (too focused on bingoing)
1* (E)X(O)N  
2.6 LIL(T)  
23 OUSt fU(G)IOS,SUItO(R),OUtSI(T)
     
     
#22 - Mills    
-----------    
34.2 DUALIT(Y) ALTITUD(E),LATITUD(E) (AARRGH!!)
14.9 (T)OY  
4.7 SLATTED I8 focus on whether SLATTED good and miss better spot
0 XI  
28.1 REC OREC(TI)VE
7.3 WOE  
0 OVU(M)  
9.4 SIRED  
0 (D)JEBEl  
0 FIN  
0 RIVeN  
0 (C)OZ  
     
     
#23 - Luebkemann    
----------------    
1.9 ASTylar  
2.5 GOMBO(S) GOBOE(S)
0 U(N)WELL  
3.1 (B)IZ IN(D)UCE (didn't want to sacrifice 12 pts to leave UZ)
0 NU(M)B  
0* UN(E)VEN  
0.6 CANT  
0.3* OGEE SEGUE
3.7 OX SOX (this play could have won!!!)
4 PURS setting up hook along triple
2.1 (W)EAK  
--- SENTRY K9  
0 G(OY)  
0 (A)M  
     
     
#24 - Sherman    
-------------    
26 REIF InFE(R)IOR
0.6 AA  
5.8 sE(N)ORITA AR(AG)ONITE,TE(N)tORIA (unsure)
0.3 BERLIN  
0.8 J(E)T  
0 B(O)ZO  
0.2 WADE WHEE
0 V(E)RY  
5.4 STHE(N)IAS SHA(D)IEST,SHA(N)TIES (unsure)
0.9 QA(T)  
0 PERV  
1 DIN(T)  


1 - L - 1868 - 9.4 (112.5)
2 - L - 1775 - 7.1 (106.6)
3 - W - 1687 - 5.8 (74.8)
4 - W - 1660 - 4.6 (54.8)
5 - W - 1672 - 2.9 (37.6)
6 - W - 1739 - 6.0 (77.6)
7 - W - 1750 - 4.6 (78.1)
8 - L - 1944 - 4.7 (65.8)
9 - W - 1718 - 3.0 (35.6)
10 - W - 1832 - 2.0 (23.7)
11 - W - 1832 - 7.9 (94.7)
12 - W - 1898 - 10.1 (120.2)
13 - L - 1723 - 8.7 (112.9)
14 - W - 1625 - 0.9 (12.5)
15 - L - 1811 - 3.0(38.9)
16 - L - 1794 - 9.4
17 - L - 1676 - 8.1 (105.8)
18 - W - 1718 - 6.0
19 - L - 1672 - 5.1 (71.3)
20 - W - 1676 - 3.8 (49.6)
21 - L - 1944 - 6.4
22 - L - 1794 - 8.2 (98.6)
23 - L - 1811 - 1.4
24 - W - 1868 - 3.4 (41)


Avg: 5.5




#1 - Mankhen    
------------    
0 lose challenge (LONDANT*) need E or I (also U)
0 TONLAND*  
0 W(A)VY  
1.6 MID(D)LINg  
0 BETIME  
0 AR(G)ENTAL  
0 BUSY  
0.2 FAIR  
0 PIU  
0 PE  
0 GOX  
0 ROUEN  
18.3 Q(I)  
0 OW  
0 COFT  
     
     
#2 - Cole    
---------    
7.3 YORE  
7.7 BID BIDI (stupid miss!!!)
40 lose turn (IROKIeS*)  
3.9 KI(N)  
0 IXORAS  
3 POLENTa  
4.6 VIOLA(T)E  
14.6 Q(I)  
7.7 MESNE  
11.3 (V)OLE  
7.8 MISE  
4.7 GUT GOUT (waaaay too dangeorous)
5.1 VIE ditching the V is critical
1 GAY BAY
0 AB  
     
     
#3 - Williams    
-------------    
4.5 -DIIUUY  
20.7 XI ALEXIAS (unsure)/(CORDIAL)S (unsure)
3 LOAN  
0 cOATEES  
2.1 BOGEY  
0.3 CAPTUrE TEACUPs
4.8 SOLD  
8.7 WOT  
0.3 GRIGS  
2* BAAIN(G)  
     
     
#4 - Lieberman    
--------------    
0 PEEVE  
2.1 TABID  
0.9 (KUG)EL  
4.7 MAW  
0* LITA(N)iES  
0 lAZERET* why do I keep playing this???
7.6 C(L)OY A(L)IMONY
0 QA(D)I  
0 FOND  
8.7 (E)MIR MIRIN
0.3 H(ER)  
9.3 HI shoulda blocked (QI)S
0 (U)NRIG  
0 OAT  
     
     
#5 - Lipe    
---------    
6 POI  
5.1 OAF  
0 TRIAD  
0.5* CUSTArD  
0 VAW  
8 BURNED ENG,BUNGED
15.4 SQUEG QUAGS (dangerous)
0 RARE  
1.5 mELENGE* GENtEEL,GLEEmEN
7.5 LENT LINNET
0 DO(W)N  
2 BACH  
0 FIN  
     
     
#6 - Koenig    
-----------    
0 DURIANS  
0 VOILE  
0 FISC(AL)LY  
0 DOOlEES  
7.4 AWAIT  
4.8 ANNO(Y)ER  
0 JEH(U)  
11.4 (E)FT TENFoLD,(U)NFELTeD,(U)NFLuTED 
6.2 (E)ND  
0* L(ID)  
0 sYLI  
0 (GO)NER  
     
     
#7 - Higby    
----------    
0 FIVE  
6.3 LOO  
13.7 LOGAN(I)AS* ANALOGS
12.3 NEUKS (S)UK (22 pts fewer to leave EINST--hmmm)
9.1 QI(S)  
0 LOO(N)  
5.3 TELIA  
3.8 METEREd REMEETs
16 AZ(O) RAZ(E)R
0 R(E)WAN  
10.9 (E)rr  
0 W(AD)  
     
     
#8 - Keller    
-----------    
4.2 MONKE(Y) MOKE (to leave ENT vs ET)
0 TUFA  
8.9 E(N)TITLES (R)ETITLES/E(M)/T(A)/I(N)
3.5 N(E)AR AN(E)AR
6 REDO should left the hot spot along and balance my rack
5 PA  
0.1 FA(D)EIN  
7.9 (R)AZ(E) the losing play
17 XIS T(W)IX(T)
0* J(I)G  
0 V(E)G  
3 COUTHS SCOUTH
     
     
#9 - Faria    
----------    
4.7 IOTA  
0 -IIU  
0 PIONEER  
4 F(R)IZ F(R)AZIL
7.4 ALU(L)A LAUA(N)
0 (L)YE  
0 ALACK  
14.3 (E)WE WE(ED)ED
12.7 DUC(T) SECU(N)D
10.2 (M)OME  
13.2 V(I)D  
0 SEER  
     
     
#10 - Horn    
----------    
0 BATIK  
0 LION  
9.6 Q(I) don't want to exchange J b/c it will later be used against me
0.9 JIVERS  
0.7 BOOM  
5.1 NIXE  
5.4 RU(I)N  
4.5 N(O)W must set up another line b/c Judy WILL block
0.3 SLANTeD SANDLoT
0 YA(P)  
0 CAFE  
12.7* C(R)EEP C(R)APE,disregard CAPE for 23--need the points!
0 ADO  
15 challenge GAL(LOONS)  
0 ASH  


1 - 1.3 (20.1)
2 - 7.9 (118.7)
3 - 4.6 (46.4)
4 - 2.4 (33.6)
5 - 3.5 (46)
6 - 2.5 (29.8)
7 - 6.5 (77.4)
8 - 4.6 (55.6)
9 - 5.5 (66.5)
10 - 3.6 (54.2)


Avg: 4.3



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