I briefly popped into Las Vegas to surprise some folks (pretty sure I achieved that!) and also lent myself to unofficial internet reporting services for the tournament. That included some reporting on Twitter as time permitted (quick note: you can see updates from the players on Twitter by looking for posts with the hashtag #scrabblevegas
), and I also took notes from games in various divisions throughout the day. Here's my compilation of commentary from yesterday:Round 1meezerman
vs. Michael Quao
NB: 469; MQ: 353
Nathan won 469-353 after foiling Michael's pre-endgame possible play of RETINOL by extending DINE to TOLIDINE. He says he could have played TOLUIDINE to block even better, but he didn't want to lose the game on a word he wasn't 100% sure of, and TOLIDINE got the job done. Nathan played ERuMPENT, SIBILAtE and INDORsER, while Michael played MAeSTRO and C(A)JOLED.
Lewis Saul vs. Dani Roter
LS: 411; DR: 346
Dani was ahead early after playing FATTEN(S) for 69, but on her next turn gave Lewis an i that he desperately needed to play MiNISTRY. He followed that with OXY (54) and then used his 2nd blank for 40+ points the turn after! After building the 100 point lead he never looked back.
Ann Birchard vs. Desiree Engel
AB: 321; DE: 299
Desiree was ahead by a lot for most of the game. She played EX by hooking ZIN with ZINE to get 38 points, then played CHaRY for 26, and YUK for 31. Ann caught up by playing QI for 46, and then READS on the triple word score for 30 points. Ann ended up winning at the end in this nailbiter!bbstenniz
vs. Tom Bond
CBB: 479; TB: 328
Tom says that Conrad was in control right from the get go. Conrad played D(O)NATES, RECeDING and ILEUSES. Conrad points out that Tom had the cool play of the game, which he got by hooking REBOOK to make PREBOOK as he bingoed with (P)REDIVE.tranonehalf
vs. Chris Cree
ET: 380; CC: 371;
With both of these players initially missing from the first round's pairings, the ergonomic solution was to pair them against each other, despite the fact that as #3 and #4 seeds, they wouldn't normally play each other this early on. Both played a bingo apiece, Chris with SUI(C)I(D)E for 74 and Eric with EVERTINg for 80. Chris says that this was a very close game, which Eric won at the end in a key play. Eric played SULU to take out an S hook and score points. This just so happened to block TETaNICS through an A and hook the S in the same spot that Eric played SULU in. Eric held on in the end game to win it.robinpd
vs. Sam Kantimathi
RPD: 379; SK: 301
Robin says that this game was slow early on for both players. She had MRVUWZ? at one point after dumping more consonants the turn before. Two turns later, she held AERRZ?? and played the beautiful TERRAZ(Z)(O) off of a freshly played T from Sam's previous play. Robin says Sam had little to work with all game.Round 2
Zana Anderson vs. Darla Michel
ZA: 372; DM: 341
About midway through the game I see T(I)SSUE(S), ZONER and POXED on the board. After the game Zana tells me that Darla played JURALS*/SCOUT in the pre-endgame to bring her score within 20 of Zana's, but Zana was unsure and had PACT for 35 in response to secure her win, so she didn't challenge JURALS*.
Michelle Whitaker vs. Suzanne Barnes
MW: 376; SB: 290
Michelle, a Las Vegas local, is doing quite well so far in her debut tournament. She got to play SUQS (50) and also hooked LIVE to make ALIVE/DET(A)ILS for 74. Suzanne's high play was FINES for 34.Round 4
Ed Saunders vs. Kent Nelson
ES: 415; KN: 371
As I walk by during their post-mortem, I see uN(I)TIZED, I(N)QUIRES, PRESS(i)NG and BAWDY among some of the higher scoring plays on the board.bbstenniz
CBB: 454; TP: 377
Trip has finally lost a game after starting 3-0 in Division A. Trip started the game off strong, responding to Conrad's MARTIAN with COSIEST (hooking MARTIAN) and then playing vALGUSES on the next turn off of an open V for 83. Conrad brought the score back to within 40 after bingoing with ALMONER, and then fate took its course. With a rack of EEEORUV, Conrad played OEUV(r)E through a blank R on the board and drew OQSTU, giving him ROQUETS on his next turn for 96!
Trip channels Joey Mallick for a moment and gives me a unique stat for his tournament so far. He says that 3 of his first 4 games have been decided by 77 points!
Jackie Heller vs. Denise Mahnken
JH: 387; DM: 320
Denise tells me after her game that this one did not go well for her at all. She says Jackie had both blanks and used them to play SMITTE(N) and SLICER(S). Her best play was hooking IZAR with an S to make SIZAR and another word for 38 points.
Becky Dyer vs. poslfit
BD: 466; JC: 355
John informs me that Becky used both blanks in one turn make the nice play of BRE(E)Z(E)D, hooking GAUCHE with an R, to score 121 points. She also played TORCHES later in the game. John played OTARINE# and SCOTTIE. John says that the silver lining for this game was that he got to play QIN# for the first time ever! (QIN was added to Collins in the dictionary update this year).Round 5copyright1983
vs. Mike Baker
MF: 541; MB: 361
Mike Baker tells me that he tried to play NUTWORM* for 108 several turns into the game. After holding for a little while, Mike Frentz challenged it off the board, and took off from there. Frentz was on fire with APTERIA, AIRTIME, GALLOON and INDEVOUT. Baker played BLANDISH and BRAVOES.sneakyofverb
vs. Tapani Lindgren
EB: 545; TL: 359
Evan calls me over to his board to show me his last game. He opened the game with HOEDOWN for 86 and got down HABANERo just 2 turns later (he of course couldn't resist calling it a 'hot' play). Tapani got down ORDAINS and NOSIEST, but Evan says he drew well, with TRUSTEE (71), APIOL# (32) and JIRGa# (26) among his other higher scoring plays.magratheazaphod
JD: 414; TP: 374
Jesse Day maintains his undefeated record (5-0) after his clash with Trip Payne. Trip says that he was up a bunch early, scoring well on mostly non-bingo plays (NERVY, JOGS and QUOTH), but also with HENLIKE. Jesse Day explains that he drew both blanks late in the game, capitalizing on them with DIDA(C)TS and SIL(L)IESt late in the game to overtake Trip and win in the end.Round 6
Julia Scraggs vs. Michelle Whitaker
JS: 382; BB: 357
The undefeated Michelle Whitaker is finally taken down this round by Julia Scraggs. Julia is very humble about her win, saying that both of them struggled with bad tiles throughout the game. Julia's notable play of the game was RELEASE with both blanks, while Michelle says her best play was XU for 52.
Jessup Yencer vs. Yukari Balabanov
JY: 467; YB: 347
Jessup tells me that he got to play OUTDRIVE for 74 and GLOSSING for 77 in his game with Yukari, while she played MAGNETS for 74. Yukari says that it was all Jessup's game from early on.
Chris Cree vs. Yukiko Loritz
CC: 464; YL: 461
Chris Cree wins a close game against Yukari that was decided in a difficult endgame for both players. Chris played HAVOCING*, BENEFICE and TRIHEDRA, hooking TRIHEDRA with an L by playing ALUM on his next turn. Yukiko had the beautiful WOOD(B)INs and NAILSET, hooking the S onto BENEFICE. Chris points out that Yuki made a gorgeous play in the pre-endgame. She played RUPEe, making boaRd, bUb, pI, eN along the way!bbstenniz
CBB: 550; JD: 439
Jesse Day opened their game with PLIOSOL*; Conrad says he left it on because he had ENROLLED in response. This, however, backfired because Jesse had another bingo (OUTDRAWN). Jesse followed it with OYEZ (48) and then bIRTHING for 92, but Conrad was not to be 'outdrawn'. Conrad was still scoring at least 40 each turn, and then in a pivotal moment played RA(T)AFIA, hooking HUMANE to make HUMANER. Jesse challenged, losing his turn. Conrad drew the X and the blank, playing OXY for 54. Two turns later he played ORGIAST for 68, and then got CORNIEST through the E out of the bag, simultaneously blocking Jesse's last ditch comeback possibility of AVERSIVE through a V.
With Conrad's win against Jesse, there are no longer any undefeated players left in Div A.Round 7
Denise Mahnken vs. Zana Anderson
DM: 335; ZA: 318
Denise says she got to play BLITZ (52), b(R)AINIER (80), ReBATiNG through disconnected letters on the board (22), and VALVE (48). Zana says that she didn't really score all that much, with UPPED (31) being her most noteworthy scoring play in the game. Denise explains that she spazzed out at the end and tried YEHS*/SUQ, which Zana challenged off the board. Zana went out and collected MNNQSU from Denise's rack, but couldn't quite catch up at the end of the game.
Phyllis Persicketti vs. Tom Tremont
PP: 362; TT: 287
Tom explains that the game was fairly close throughout. Phyllis says she was consonant heavy for a long time, but a play of SPaWN helped clear some of them away about midgame. Tom scored well with VIZIR (43) and QUIRE (24), but Phyllis fired back late with BOX (38) and A(U)N(T)IES for 62 to pull ahead at the end and take the game out of Tom's reach.
Craig Beevers vs. srockhop
CB: 460; SN: 412
Craig continues to hold off his opposition. He started this match with a bang, playing TRAYNES# for 72. He cleared off an ugly rack soon after with UNgYVE# (39), and added PrETRIAL (74) and TwINERS (84) to his bingo tally. Sandy fought hard, playing GINGERS (79) and e(N)TITLED (77), but Craig was not to be denied.Round 8sneakyofverb
EB: 533; JC: 309
John played SCOP early on, Berofsky responding with scopE/EXTENDS for 90. Several turns later, he got away with a phony hook (SCOPER*) as he bingoed with GYRATES. Evan also played DILUTEE# and LEALTIES. John Chew says he made several mistakes, the first an unsuccessful attempt with LANCEMAN*, and the other a pass on ANYONES#, instead playing NOY#.
Femi Awowade vs. meezerman
FA: 526; NB: 288
Femi says that he drew very well. Some of his high scoring plays were OLEARIA# (71), ZEST(Y) for 74, (E)NGRIEvE# (72) and JUICE (46). Nathan's more noteworthy scores were 24 with COLDER/juiceR, 32 with HAuNT and 35 for TABID.robinpd
RPD: 441; JD: 417
Jesse says he was ahead and in control near the end of the game, but there were several lanes open. He says the only way he could have lost was if Robin had a bingo with a high point tile, which did in fact happen. Robin played dEX(T)RINS for 98 to pull out the late game win. Robin's other bingo was TRIBUNES. Jesse's bingoes were ATHETOID (63), AMATEUR (72) and GENITURE (60).
I'm no Sherrie, but I had a lot of fun doing this. Perhaps we'll collaborate in the future? Who knows...in any case, hopefully this provides some insight into the Las Vegas tournament experience!
Kelowna, BC (but this weekend, Las Vegas, NV and now Los Angeles, CA)