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Hudson game 8-11- Three and a Half Minutes felt like a lifetime - Pete Z
Hudson game 8-11- Three and a Half Minutes felt like a lifetime
So, despite having a pretty killer day of scrabble, bad luck and a brilliant maneuver by an opponent relegate me to the "petit finals" fighting it out for 3rd thru sixth places.  And despite having the best record of any of the other "petit finalists" during the "petit finals,"  I finish in 5th place... I love Hudson.

I actually do, though.  The "best of two" matches add an element of game theory to the tournament that I find intriguing and challenging.

But before we get to that, and the big blunder that cost me about 40 bucks or so, let's review.  I end Sat. 5-2, + a bundle.  We play poker on Saturday nite, where I win.  My most feared opponent, the irascible aruspex, tried to bully me when I was bullying him... so I reraised with nothing, won a huge pot, and kinda coasted from there.  Then payed for some backgammon "lessons" from Jeff Clark and Linda. 

Sunday morning, I play a casual warmup game against Kelly.  I'm usually not a fan of warm-up games, but having never played him, seeing his word knowledge in action was too interesting to pass up.  He beat me in a fun, if not well-played (by me) game, 428-408. Got down early, got away with the phoney AILERONE* (having known aforehand of KM's lack of 8 study),  a turn after he played the pretty REPANELS for a double double.  I got down 137 and exchanged to ?DS, dumping GSUV (which i should have just played off).  I drew the second blank, which i knew pretty much sealed my fate... got my bingo down, but with the bag what it was, a second bingo without the blank looked unlikely.  Good to see he got a nice ratings jump at Hudson... he certainly is not a 1000ish player.  and when he learns the 8's. he'll be deadly.

As Jeff Clark (1545) was one point in spread behind Midge Skwire (1059), he was seeded sixth, so I drew him in the first best of two match.  What dumb luck. 

Match 1, game 1, Jeff Clark
Jeff got ahead by 150 at midgame, putting down RAILERS and ANtBEAR. Normally, I'd play desperate and crazy in this situation.  But this is a two game match.  If I get crazy, I could win a close game, which means I probably still have to win game 2, or I could play good solid scrabble, hopefully cut the spread to a reasonable number, and take my chances in game 2.  My game theory kicks in, and I do what is for me the counterintuitive thing.... play safe, reasonable scrabble.  And it works, and even gives me a chance to win.  I get ATOMIES down, followed by a 26 pt. J play, and a pretty 49 pt. HAMS/(ER)A/(A)M/(QI)S play, with an S and a ? unseen, and 7in the bag, to pull within 40.  My rack is CEEIIS?.  Jeff just played WED to empty the bag, and block the 14 row bingo line.

Pete: Turn 13
------------------------------ -> Pete CEIIKS? 287
1|= ' = ' =| --Tracking-----------------------------------
2| - T " " A - | AEFLTUX 7
3| V R ' W I P I N G |
4|' A T O M I E S t I '|
5| T D - B E |
6| " " J O E " |
7| ' P A T Y A ' Z|
8|= C H I N O R E O|
9| ' A G E N E Q V O|
10| " U " R A I L E R S|
11| F L O W H A M S N |
12|' T A D E ' U L U '|
13|G O R D ' B R I N Y |
14|O N E " " - |
15|D E ' = ' =|
he did not block the bingo line I was fishing for, however.  I saw the  DE prefix on row 15 as my best, and least likely to be blocked opportunity.  and with the blank and the S (and when I was plotting, the D), I was fishing for (DE)DICATES or (DE)SsICATE, both possible.  I missed the best play, which is frankly a play I never would have seen (lemme know in the comments if you see it, It cuts the spread significantly... I'll reveal it friday if no one gets it).  And I lacked a bingo.  But I played TImE 2E, blocking his best X play, got out the next play with SICK and got out with a 23 pt. loss. 

L 350-373
       ATOMIES 78  Missed: UNS(C)ALED

Match 1 Game 2, Jeff Clark.
So, I enter this game down 23 in the match, and entering as the higher seed, I advance in the unlikely case of a match tie.  So I have to win this game by 23.  I'm well on my way to doing just that and more, until I make the most boneheaded mistake I could possibly make.  Up 61, and holding DEENTR? on turn 11, if I don't do anything stupid, I win this one.  I sit with this rack for over four minutes, totally panicking and and blacking out on the bingoes playable thru the open E in the center of the bottom row.  I do not see the countless bingoes there.  I do see the one to the D sitting open at  H4.  I play it, sticking the T in the middle of a wide open triple lane.  Jeff  quickly puts down SEE(T)HInG thru it, taking a 30 pt lead.  Only thanks to a creative and counterintuitive endgame am I able to emerge with a three point win in the game, but I lose the match by 20.  I think I just had one of those moments where my brain froze.  I can't explain it otherwise.  These are the things I will have to fix to make my next big jump.

W 424-421
SEE(T)HInG TT for 149

So, now I am relegated to the 5th place game against Midge Skwire, who lost her match to George 1-1.  I'm pissed now.  there is now way I'm finishing sixth in this tournament.

Match 2, Game 1- Midge Skwire.
Domination from the outset.  I draw very well, playing 2nd and opening with the blank bingo CrEWELS .  I later get R(E)LISTED and FLANERI(E), which draws an unsuccessful challenge.  Get away with the phoney BIMBA* late in the game... the only phoney I get away with the whole tourney, and actually, the only one I played.  Mistracking, I neglect to block Midges outbingo, HInNIES, which I unsuccessfully challenge.  It really doesn't matter tho, as I win huge, making the second game pretty much academic.

W 557-305
FLANERI(E) 86 (challenged) Missed: none

Match 2, Game 2- Midge Skwire
In an 11 game tournament, I play two players a total of six games.  In this game, there is no pressure.  I was not going to lose this game.  I play somewhat close to the vest early, trading medium scoring plays and building a 40 point lead until I get down MINTERS on turn 12 to cinch the game.  I draw the last blank, and fitting for what was a banner tourney for me, I bingo out with (P)ENAlISE to end the game and tournament. 

W 442-257
(P)ENAlISE 80 Missed: None
no bingoes

So, that was hudson.  I enjoyed it, altho I should have done even better.  Can't complain too much... my rating took a 59 point jump to 1360, and I think that I'm still nowhere near where I can be in the short or long term.  So I'm continuing my study on the 8's, and I have decided to individually flashcard every 4.  I want them cold by Dayton.  Hopefully, I'll keep this pace up, and be able to play Jason Idalski without fear of wrecking the ratings curve ;-).

3 comments or Leave a comment
pbzeigler From: pbzeigler Date: May 12th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)
zEC(CHINO) 8A cuts the spread to ten... of course, not knowing it, it did me no good.

bgscrabble From: bgscrabble Date: May 15th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

East Lansing

I didn't think to save your email address from the reply you sent to me. I just wanted to let you know you will need to recruit some lower rated players for East Lansing if you want to get back into Divion 1. I think you belong there. Armstrong and Epstein just signed up to knock you out, and Idalski may play depending on his work schedule.
pbzeigler From: pbzeigler Date: May 15th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: East Lansing

Thanks for the heads up, Jeff... looks like a ratings suicide mission if I can't get some lower rated players there... Aren't there more MSU students to register?

Thanks also for the ego boost... I no more belong in the same division as Sykes, Armstrong and Epstein as I do belong a division with some of the people at the bottom of D2, but the split field certainly leads to these things. Oh well, seems like you never move out of division screwings... Guess I'd better get to 1800 one of these days and avoid these headaches.
3 comments or Leave a comment