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Pete Z
8-3, +1001.   My average game score was 441.1 per game. Thanks to the unique Match Play format, I end up 5th, altho the cross-table will have me in second.  Lots of good play, a couple idiotic mistakes, but overall, some of my best play to date... and a new personal record for high tourney game.  Quackled the first 7 games so far, and will be getting the rest done tonite.  Will do the blow by blow in tomorrow's posting. 

ipecac_icecap had another kickass open tourney, going 7-4 and finishing 3rd (I'll explain the match play format and its vagaries in the next post.  aruspex may also be getting it, as he went 7-4, finishing 7th (the last position in the money).  Even Tom K. salvaged a bad start with a 3-1 sunday to get to 9th.

This one was big for me, even if I didn't finish quite as high as I would have liked.  My rating should jump about 60 pts.  The fun analysis to follow shortly...

Tags:
Current Location: Bolivia
Current Mood: content content
Current Music: XTC- Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead

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Wow, it's been a while... I never finished my Fenton run-down, because it was generally embarrasing... the one game of note, calvin_hobbes29 wrote up... and it was cool to have a lead on Paul Epstein for 6 turns, until he went and bingo-bango-bongoed me on turns 7,8, and 9. 

I did go up to play at Farmington this past weekend.  My usual mediocre performance, 3-4... got fourth place on spread as the six seed....  but the important fact... i gained 8 ratings points to edge above 1300, 1301 to be exact.  That is a huge weight off my shoulders, because that gets me into D3 in Dayton.  I missed eight bingoes on the day... three in the final game, which I won on a really cool endgame... I need to spend more times on racks that don't look obviously bingo-friendly... I missed the playable bingo in CELRTVY, for example... and most of my misses were on similar racks...

My bingoes:

EA(R)STONE
CoMPeND
BENDERS
ANTIGEN
AErOBES
NEO(T)ERIC
DISCORd
JANGLES
ORIOlES
(A)EROBaTS

Theirs:

ENCODED
SALTIER
DESpAIR
HALTErS
RURALIS(T)
RECOINS
SARMENT
gREASIL(y)
SCREENs
SW(E)ARING
NOrITES
SPRAINs

I feel like I was slightly out-tiled, but I easily could have performed better.  no excuses, I was mediocre.  Fortunately, this weekend is Hudson.

The very much under the radar Hudson Open always holds a sentimental place in my heart.  It was here, in October of 2005, barely knowing the two's and being very shaky on threes, I made my tournament debut with a 4-7, -a gazillion performance.  I have attended each one since... I have made some big ratings gains, and last time, due to some car trouble keeping me from day 2, I lost a few... But this time, I go in feeling like I am a contender (but by NO MEANS A FAVORITE) to win.  Barring unexpected high experts showing up, I know I can play with and beat the expected higher rated opponents (one of the "charms" of Hudson is the lack of a pre-published list of attendants...)   It's a two-day, 11 game open, with match play for the title.

Handicapping the field (without knowledge of who shows):
Stock.  Dan will be one of the top seeds, and as much as we seem to split our games anymore, he is a better player than me right now.  Things I have to think about, he can do effortlessly.  However, when I get an easy rack or two, and have time to plan an endgame, I feel very confident.  Of course, if he gets ahead of me early, he will shut down the board against me more effectively that most.  If he gets on an early run, he's a favorite.
Clark.  Jeff Clark is a player I have enormous respect for.  His word knowledge, particularly weird medium prob 7's and 8's is far greater than mine. He played BHEESTIE on me at Notre Dame in the middle of an outsized romp.  Plus, he is, like myself, a games-player, and has a great mental facility for games and the theory behind them... and as such, I do not come into a game with an advantage in game-playing mindset that I feel I do have against many people in his ratings area.  He's also fun to play against, which makes it difficult to want to metaphorically shove a tile down his throat.
Glowniak.  I don't know if Elaine is coming... if she does come, she's also a real live threat to perform well.  We've tied in our only previous meeting (long angry story of me handing a game away on a platter).  But she is someone whose game seems well set up for the Hudson format, in that she seems to usually easily dispatch the lower rated players, a necessary skill in these opens. 
Hoggatt.  Linda has been in a slump of late, but I just played her online, and if she makes plays like she did there (extending METH to METHADONE for 45), and plays up to the level she can, she is a definite threat to cash.  She's horribly underrated at this moment.
Armstrong:  Chuck hasn't come to one in a while.  If he does, he is the much better than even money favorite.  He's simply at another level... he's that much better than every other player who can be expected to show up.  The question will be whether he can win undefeated, not if he wins.
Cejmer. Again, unsure if he'll be there.  If he is, he's gotta be a money line favorite in a Chuck-less field.  Experience, word knowledge, and from what I've seen of his games, just the right amount of risk-taking to be dangerous.
Smith, K.  Karen Smith, one of my old Pittsburgh clubmates.  I remember when I was learning the game, she was always fun and educational to play, as her knowledge of 4's and 5's was quite good.  Don't know if she shows... she made the playoff last time, and gave Stock a battle in their match.
Perman.  Gary is another fellow Pittsburgh club player... his weekends are busy, so he is not always able to make it... no idea if this one's on the agenda for him... but he is solid, and a bear for lower rated players to beat.

Others who could contend for cash, but I don't know if or are expecting to show up.... Ridout, Dodds (I hope he comes, he was the guy who whipped by ass repeatedly coming up in Pittsburgh... took a year off from Scrabble tourneys, but played York in March), Bowman (stmonday is an excellent player, still learning, but with great vocab and playing skill.  I think he's saving his energies for Arden Cup and Players, or else, he'd be one of the favorites here).  Schey,  Stafford. If I missed you, I probably don't think you're coming (this means u, Cahnmann... yeah, you'd be a favorite here).

Up and Comers:  I put myself in this category, although I would take myself as a favorite over a few of the above.
 Viebranz    just put up a hell of a performance at the Fenton late bird.  If he keeps his head on and gets reasonable tiles, he could do it again. He's studying more and more.... which makes me have to study more and more to keep up.  Damn you, George.
Kowalski- When he puts it all together, Tom is a dangerous player.. he phoneys, but he also knows some strange sevens.  He plays with heart, which means he's never without a fighter's chance in any game.  If nothing else, his presence alone make a tournament much more fun to attend.  He's due to make another jump in rating before too long.
Mackenzie .  Aah, Kelly... aruspex is a player who, frankly, frightens the hell out of me.  His word knowledge is so far past my own, and I defy you to find another 1083 who has his combination of words and mathematical interest in the probabilities involved in the game.  He is simply due for a breakout, and Hudson's format just screams it for Kelly.  I think that something is probably thisclose to clicking for him, and when it does, nobody's rating points are safe.

It should be fun.  Depending on the field, I'd give myself a puncher's chance to win.... and I will be dissapointed if I don't cash (top 7, usually), barring a large influx of unexpected experts. 

Been studying a lot lately... mostly filling holes.... I never studied my sevens in probability order, so I've been studying the top 3k's that have previously eluded my studies, as well as building on my 8's.  Been giving the 4 to 5 list a good thrashing as well.  If I had word knowledge, I'd be dangerous... so I'm trying to get it.

Otherwise.... campaign stuff is going swimmingly... have continued to write for the Sandusky Register check out funcoast.com and search Zeigler if you're interested in my local entertainment puff pieces (for a local area I've been to twice in my life), and otherwise am still getting used to living in Medina, a place where I know just about nobody.  I promise a timely Hudson report...

PZ

Tags:
Current Location: At the hundredth Meridian, where the great plains begin
Current Music: They Might Be Giants- Apollo 18

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Well, I survived Fenton... even gained 50 some odd points on the weekend, but I still am not happy with my play.  I gave away something like 4 and a half games on the weekend.  I had moments where I played like a 700.  I had moments of sheer idiocy.  I think that the anticipation of wanting to play a tournament somehow negatively impacted my play.

Friday nite:  George and I arrive at 10:30.  A few hardy souls are in the Fenton Holiday Inn express Lobby.  I renew acquaintances with waystar, who I met at Michigan Madness last year, and meet the legendary ericaareicceria. I get a couple of casual games in against Tom Kowalski.  I get away with the phoney RADIOER* to open game 1(knew it was no good, hoped he'd give me a T, N or M after a challenge), later get down MORTISED.  I chickened out on REQUITER for 124, playing REQUITE for 72 instead.  Tom gets down SPONGER and LADINOS, but I get the win 429 to 390.  Game 2, I get out bingoed 2-1, but drew all the hi pointers, get down the pretty TILAPIAS thru an A, and win 424 to 382.  We head to the room, and despite being exhausted, sleep comes painfully slow.  It's gonna be a long Saturday.

SATURDAY DIVISIONAL
Well, the good news is, I'm the eighth seed out of 8 in my division.  The bad news is, for the better part of the day I play like it. 
G1- Rob Long,  I never enjoy my games with Rob Long,  I always play like crap, and usually lose a nail biter,  This game is no different.  I draw a blank on turn three, miss LAWSuIT on turn 5, play the phoney INSTaBLY* on turn 6, which comes off, and finally bingo with lUTEINS on turn 10.  I get the Q and the second blank, but can't play them off without setting up a big response, and I lose by 4.
L 360-364
PZ: ??JQSS lUTEINS 73
RL: XZSS SOLATES 70

G2- Cheryl Melvin.I've blown games against her too.  I seem to run into tough racks i spend five minutes on against her, and then proceed to screw up the endgames... fortunately, this game goes a bit differently.  I open with IVORY, giving her the I she needs to play SNEAKIER.  My rack is ?AEISTX, so I'm not worried.  I take a minute, and play SEXTARiI thru an R for 78 and draw a challenge.  She tries hooking INDOORS to make SCAW... not gonna happen.  she then plays INDOORS, saving her S.  This gives me an open O to go with BEINOST, for another style points bingo.  She gets down the pretty MISFILED, but I'm far enough ahead to keep her at bay.  I eat the last blank.
W 393-351
PZ: ??QXZSS SEXTARiI 78 EOBIONTS 70
CM: JSS SNEAKIER 63 MISFILED 84

to be continued... i can't go on right now, because the next 2 games are particularly painful.
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Yeah... life, scrabble, holidays, work, and general ennui have interfered with writing, and pretty much anything else in my life.  I did direct my first club tournament last week.  I won it, with a 4-0 record, and a performance rating of 1860something, which has me petitioning the people at Dayton to play Div 1 there.... or at least recognizing the imperfection of the performance rating in a short tournament. 

Otherwise, I've been living and dying to get ready and pumped for the Fenton tournaments.  I really enjoyed the events back in January.  The hotel was quality, with a good playing area for afterhours... the church was a nice venue for Saturday. and the events were generally well-managed.  Now, this is looking more and more like a critical event for me. I harbor a highly unlikely but still possible dream of playing in D2 at dayton.  Of course, to accomplish this, I need to get myself over 1300 to clinch playing in at least D3 in dayton.  Fenton is critical, because, barring a very bad performance, I should be able to get over 1300 in this weekend.  A five win performance on Saturday will put me close, 6 wins will take me over.  and then Sunday, being a seven game open, provides the possibility of a strong ratings jump with little probablity of a drop. 

What is making this more critical is that my work schedule is rudely disrupting my scrabble schedule.  I may even miss the local Open tournament at Hudson due to a damn political dinner. Which means, especially as I scan the upcoming events, that there are precious few events between now and dayton.  If I have a bad fenton, and follow it up with a bad Michigan Madness, I may not make D3, and the idea of playing D4 in Dayton is enough to make me retch.  I've put in too much work, spent too much time, frankly sacrificed too much other stuff in my life since I decided to take this game seriously, that the idea of failing to reach even 1300 would really drive me to question what the hell I am doing.

This week's kinda cool bingos (Weak crop, but eh.):

ABEmNTTU
CEEGINOO
AELRTTUy (thru a T)
EILNSSU (drew a challenge)

I've been starting to learn the second 1000 8's (probability-wise).   Fun words like OEDEMATA, TAPADERO, LACERTID (ARTICLED), ENDOSARC, and TEABOARD, while probably laughable to a real player, are new and welcome editions to my repertoire... I feel a lot more comfortable that one day, I will draw a rack that doesn't contain 6 vowels, or six consonants, or 2 W's and 2 U's, and be able to play one of these words. 

Fenton cannot get here soon enuf.  Between now and then, I get to interview a white rapper from Michigan for an article for the Sandusky Register, develop a field plan for our May door-to-door on the campaign, shake down another campaign that owes me money, and maybe even do the ridiculous overflow of dishes I have to do (I am never living in a place without a dishwasher ever again).  But sometime Friday, I'll meet with George, get on the road, and a few hours later, game on... *INSERT ROCKY THEME HERE* ..

I feel good coming into it... for Saturday, I know most of the players in my division, and there is no one who I will sit down against thinking I cannot beat them (not to denigrate them, because I am sure they feel the same about me).  And the Sunday, of course, anything can happen. If I can get an early upset win against an opponent who, as of now, appears to be D. Stock or J. Idalski, Fenton has potential to be a good weekend.  How good?  Rul good.

And what we have here are just flaws in progress,
where all songs are one song, and that song is "DON'T FORGET."

Current Location: East of Dayton, West of Pittsburgh, South of Cleveland,
Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: 3rd Bass- The Cactus Album

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recent activity on Optical Coalpit compels me to post.  It's clear that George Viebranz has decided to use his public forum to paint me as a horrid Welcher and general no-account scoundrel.  Seeing that he will not let me post on his website or sit in his car any longer, I feel compelled to respond.

These last 45 or so hours have been among the toughest of my personal and professional life.  I have not received a cent of income in this time.  I made the agreement to pay George, (privately, I might add), thinking that at some point this weekend, I would win the Ohio Lottery, Powerball, or MegaMillions.  However, I was too busy watching basketball and playing Scrabble online to actually go out and buy a ticket.  When George accosted me for the twenty, I related my unfortunate situation to him.  Showing his usual tendency toward frightening displays of public rage and anger, he threw me into the back wall of the Rocky River Panera.  As I fell to the floor, dazed from my head smacking the frame of a picture on the wall, George began to rifle through my pockets.  Finding the two dollars I was saving to donate to a local nun, he grabs them and says "I'm buying myself coffee."  As he walks back towards me, coffee in hand, he flings the seventy eight cents in change back at me, and tells me that I'm getting off light this time, and that If I don't have the money by Tuesday, he's going to perpetrate serious physical damage upon me (basic decency prevents me from detailing what he plans to do).

I hope to be able to pay him on Tuesday, as I really would like to keep the body part he plans to remove from me.  I just find it sad that he has chosen to use his blog as a public forum to smear me and make me into a monster and horrible person, when everyone who knows me knows I'm a very good boy.

Current Location: Somewhere George can't find me
Current Mood: uncomfortable uncomfortable
Current Music: Jeff Buckley- Last Goodbye

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In graduate school at the University of Toronto, one of my foci of study was Marshall McLuhan. I won't bore you with the details, but one of his most significant findings or theories was that the human mind and senses are inexorably shaped by the media environment in which they inhabit.  The way people thought and sensorily perceived the world around them was dramatically shaped by the media available... Gutenberg man was different than Tribal man, who are both different from Marconi man, etc...  Recently, my Scrabble play and study has brought this all rushing back to me. 

Scrabble can become almost its own media "environment."  We start to see the world in alphagram form... I notice the way my mind is shaped by existing in the Scrabble-sphere.  We can spend hours in the most solitary of activities, studying, in order to defeat someone over the board... perhaps more significant than any skill is the ability of an individual's mind to adapt to the transformations caused by the Scrabble medium... god, I forgot how crazy McLuhan made me....

I bring this up because I've been on a studying kick as of late, and it's kind of depressing, because i'm in a long (for me) tournament hiatus that is driving me crazy.  I've not played a real tournament since mid-Feb., and won't play one til Fenton in mid-April.  While it's been great to have a chance to study, I miss testing out what I've been studying on new players.  I play at club, I play the same people, and I enjoy it, but playing the same six to ten people consistently seems frustrating, especially since I know that there's only one player I play who I can honestly say is better than me.   It's not like I'm in a place like Detroit, where there's a shit-ton of players at all levels and you can get diversity in play just by showing up to club... I go to club, I know pretty much who I'l play, and that I'll have a couple of easy games, a mildly challenging game, and a tough game. 

Recently, as I've been studying, I've also wanted to help some of the other players improve... but it's rough.  you never know whether people are looking to improve... will they take offense, or take it in the spirit I mean it, to make them better.  Me, when Dan tears my game apart, I love it.  I want to get to where he is, and then keep moving up... and I can't do that without people like him showing me when I'm an idiot.  But not everyone is like that... some players get really hacked off if you show them something they missed or suggest an alternate solution to a tough rack or gameplay decision, but some are appreciative...

Yeah, I'm ranting stream of consciousness here, as the lack of tournament play is taking its toll (I find it hilarious when I read my posts that, in real life, I am paid to write by a newspaper, and that writing is a huge part of my political activities).  And this weekend is the worst, as I thought the hiatus might end.... earlier this week, george said he was heading to battle creek, and I was down to go... but then he decided to head up a day early to hang with some buds in Michigan.  Can't fault him for that, not mad at him or anything, just pissed because I got my hopes up, only to see the plans go poof.  Going up on my own isn't a reasonable option right now for a one day... the driving and the money, and the noticable depreciation in my quality of play when I try to get the quickie one-day tournament squeezed in to the rest of my life...  just a real letdown... especially since so many of my scrabble peeps will be there... sigh.

So, I'll go to club tonite, and then, just try to forget that Fenton is forever away still.  Once Fenton hits, I've got a huge run of over a month of tourney play every weekend... Fenton, Charleston WV, Farmington, Buffalo, Annapolis... then Arden Cup, maybe Lansing, Mich Madness... until then, just pounding new sevens into my brain.

Current Location: somwehere
Current Mood: blank blank
Current Music: Pixies- Doolittle

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So at this point, I'm 2-0, and the two opponents who concern me most, I've played already...

Next comes Eileen Popich.  While I feel like a favorite against her when we play, I have respect for her game... she takes chances at the right times, and doesn't take herself out of games.  She also is not prone to panic.  After her 36 pt opening play BRICK, I have AAMNOR?.  Geez, I love a blank on my opening rack, and I immediately see a bunch of options.  While I saw some of the options through the C (Saw CARDAMON and MACARONI, missed the others), I decided to see if I could draw a challenge through the I, as I don't think Eileen studied the high-prob 8's, which include the plural form of the play I made.  That again is the kinda stupid stuff I do when I try to overplay the game... I'm so used to outthinking people in my professional life that I get too cute over the board... well, no challenge, and she comes back with the pretty little phony FENEEK*, which I chicken out on challenging.  Goes to show the truth behind the axiom that if you have to phony, phony with a 6.  I knew FENUGREEK (even played it once on ISC), and figured maybe FENEEK was good too... gosh, my ignorance astounds me sometimes.  Well, I don't bingo again in the game, but I score well, in a Quackle approved sort of way, for the most part.  Set up a pretty TL/DW play by playing SEI/(BRICK)S/(H)I M8 23 while holding the P and another S... yes, the M's and C's were toast... can't draw anything spectatular, but get down PAINS/(HI)P for 40 to respond to her bingo and keep a 60 pt. lead.  I make sure she can't bingo after that, I play ZIRA(M) for 36, VUGS/(HIP)S for 33 and QI/I(T) for 26 to close the board and keep the 1 bingo lead...
W 420-356
Me: RAd(I)OMAN 67 ?QZSSS
EP: TAMEINS 75 ?JXS
And now, at 3-0, if I win the game, I win the club tournament for the second straight time... I draw Jim Smith.  He really strikes me as a Scrabble enigma... I usually beat him, and he is rated about 200 pts. below me... but his word knowledge is astounding for a 1000... he knows more of the book than I do, but he'll fish too much, and doesn't always account for game situations like he should... if and when he figures out more about situational play, he's a big threat to move up.  This game, I made one stupid mistake early that ended up costing me the game... I'm holding ADEEHIR, and he plays UNSPLIT for 66 on turn 3... I hold... I've not seen the word, I know RESPLIT, but I also know plenty of RE's don't have corresponding UN's... and it blocked the only open place to get my seven down, and I knew that rack had no eights... so, mostly out of frustration, I challenge... it's good... I fish EH off, and while he made a couple of low scoring fishes, I respond on turn 6 with FORE(S)AID to take the lead... Make a nice play for 24 with TROMP (quackle sim bears it out, it was a really marginal position holding KLMOPRT).  Then Jim plays AIDE/A(FORESAID)... which astounds me... I know the front hook, because all my flashcarded 8's include hooks, and that one struck me as useful... but there should be a rule against 1000 rated players knowing that hook. Very nice find, if not the nest play...  My rack is GKLFRSW... exchange 5 to RS.... I draw EIIOO... ugh.  I want to vowel dump, but any good place for OORIE opens the board in to many dangerous ways... exchange 4 to ERS... draw ?DOW.   Immediately see DROWSE? and a place to play it at 14B.  Do I play it with the ? as an S or a D... I well, I play as a S.  He plays WI(s)H thru it for 39.... near the end, he gets S(H)ITTINg thru that H for a 13 pt lead... unfortunately, I'm consonant heavy with DGILNRR, I can't score (play (E)L(I)DING), and I can't block his 22 pt GAR/(Z)A/(O)R and he wins.

L 358-381
ME: FORE(S)AID 68, DROWSEs 82  ?ZS
JS: UNSPLIT 66 S(H)ITTINg 63 ?JQXSSS

So, I finish second to Dan Stock... even when I beat him, I can't beat him.... so much to learn, but so much basketball to watch... my bracket upsets are as follows:

VCU over Duke
Zags over IU
Davidson over Maryland
Winthrop over Norte Dame
Arkansas over USC

If I had guts, I'd have put Oral Roberts over Wash St. (ORU is legit) and maybe even TAMU-CC over Wisconsin... but I'm not going to sabotage a bracket to pick them... they're my two sleepers to pull off the big upset.

PZ

Current Location: In front of a TV and Computer, watching 2 games
Current Mood: Hoops-obsessed
Current Music: One Shining Moment

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Results: 3-1, +276, second place.

For some background, the Independence Club has a club-rated 4 game tournament every two months, at Angie's Pizza in Independence.  The restaurant is open, and we play around the eating customers, blaring jukebox, and staff grumbling that we take up too many tables...  Directed by the inimitable Christopher Sheppard, paired Swiss in round 1, KOTH the rest of the way.  This Tuesday was the event.

So, game one, who do I draw, but George.  Christ, the guy I play the most, the guy who has the best read on my game, and a guy underrated enough to beat me and rated far enuf below me to make a loss really hurt.  Ugh.  Despite our casual meeting this past Sunday, where I had the better of it, I always feel nervous playing George.  So this game is not the way I want to begin the event.  After trading exchanges to start the game, and a few ho hum plays , I get down GLAZES and TIERCES on back to back turns to take an 81 pt lead.  Other than that, not much special this game... i pretty much sat on the lead, and got lucky when on my last rack, I had ?AEHIRT.  After George played UNITES for 21 to try to beat me out, and emptying the bag, I play HAIRnET/(U)n/(N)E/(I)T for 70 to push the spread.  George had some bad racks, and time trouble.
W 428-294
Me: TIERCES 72, HAIRnET 70.  ?JXZSS
GV: CA(L)ORIeS 70. ?QSS

Game two, thanks to the KOTH format, I draw Dan Stock, our club's resident expert.  Lately I've had a decent run against him, and I no longer feel like I should lose to him before the game starts.  My games against Dan usually are fun... he tries to keep me from bingoing, and that used to work very well... of course as I know more bingoes and can actually play a little now, it's not as effective a strategy as it used to be.  Still can be frustrating if I don't hit big early.  Fortunately for me, I hit early.  Playing first from DEOOTYY (ugh) I get away with the plausible phony DOOTY*  8H 26 (yes, I saw TOYED, I just get over-attached to E's... I really must overcome that).  he responds with QAT 7G.  my rack is AEGILRY.  This is where things get fun.  I never would have seen the bingo through the T a month ago, but then, in a club game with Dallas, he had that rack, and phoneyed once before finally bingoing.  I, being the curious sort, looked up AEGIRLY.  Even then, I wasn;t sure when I played REGALI(T)Y K2 74, but it didn't draw a challenge, and it was good anyways.  I know Dan hates when I bingo early, since his strategy against me depends on avoiding that.  After an exchange, he puts a K in the top row, and I play ZERK to it for 51.  Then I draw the blank, and the next play get down lIONISE for 66.  He gets down two, I get one more down, and I have a couple of good scores with clunky tiles to keep the lead.  Drew well, played reasonably well, and generally didn't make any major screwups.
W 489-392
ME REGALI(T)Y 74, lIONISE 66, PAUSING 82.  ?XZSS
DS: ARSON(I)ST 66, LEERInG 71. ?JQSS

To be continued,
PZ

Current Location: Somewhere they can't find me
Current Music: Ben Folds Five- Naked Baby Pictures

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I might be losing my mind, I fear... It seems like if I stop studying for even a couple of days, I start forgetting words...

A week of Scrabble, some good, some bad, mostly indifferent has ensued since I last wrote.  The lack of inherent justice to the game in profoundly frustrating sometimes.    I've traversed the highs (A triple triple, ClUT(T)ERS) at club Tuesday), the lows (getting sickeningly outdrawn at club by a lesser opponent Tuesday), and the indifferent (horrible turnout at club Thursday... my goddamned 30th birthday).  In club play for the week, I went 5-2, but I never had the feeling I was seeing the board exceptionally well, or playing with any of the creativity or inspiration I like to bring to the game.  If I don't study enough, I can't find anything... If I study too much, I get focused an what I've studied and miss other stuff... How I wish I hadn't started playing until after I learned the damn book.

Tuesday club started with a game against Dallas J, a newer player who I have yet to lose to.  I always seem to draw well against him, and like many newbies, he fishes too much. Once he gets over this, he'll be a decent player, even better should he put in the study time, but for now, he's still learning... and I continued the education, winning a ho hum game 436-242.  Only one bingo by me, LIGATES, and I had to burn my blank late in the game on a 46 pt. MaX play... but a frustrating game, as I had nongos for 4 straight racks mid game (I didn't miss any playables). 

Second, a game against Walter.  I should beat Walter.  I usually do, but sometimes, the gods decide to say F U.  He opened with the double blank bingo oUTGAiN, and I find the best play from AABDIOT, BA(N)DITO.  two turns later, he plays SEXY for 38.  Two later, he gets down LEAFIES(T), then a 33 pt. Z play.  Two turns later, he throws down CONIF*, which I get rid of instantly.  being down over 100 at this point and holding AEEIIST, I fish off IE to open the board and draw at a decent rack.  He of course plays CONV(E)RTS through the E I played for 63 and pretty much ends the game.  My AEEIPST has nothing to play thru... not even the ones I didn't know were there... I finally get down ANDESIT(E) a turn later to limit the damage, but he finishes the rout with J and Q plays...  I made a few substandard fishes, but found my only possible bingo in the game... I had ADEINST and ANDESITE was the only playable bingo... sheesh.  I woulda needed a miracle to pull it out.

Next game, I get Pat, play the 3X3, and win.  I only get the trip trip because I missed CADAVERS... but it worked out I guess. 
Then george, where I lose a tight game that came down to what was left in the bag.  I emptied the bag with a bingo, STEADIE(D) to pull within 7 after trailing badly for most of the game.  unfortunately, the bag was EIIJOUV, and I couldn't get rid of everything.  Oh well, these games happen.

Thursday club was disappointing.  I went 3-0, but all against Pat, who was the only other person who showed... This was unusual, but between George's work schedule, Dan's stuff to worry about (my thoughts with you and Joyce), and just other stuff, it was Pat and I.  My coolest bingo was (D)EBUNkED, and I generally had the board the way I wanted it, closed when I had ugly racks and leads, open when I had scoring racks...  played decently...afterwards ended up in a debate with a Republican operative hanging out at Barnes and Noble over the 2008 presidential race that was enjoyable, if as most GOP talking points, somewhat delusional.  Giuliani will win over the right wingers when hell freezes over, regardless of what my counterpart believes. 

So, after a couple of days to busy to get study, I find myself reviewing my sevens (I had found myself not seeing the sevens in long ago studied high prob racks), fours containing the letter Y, and the low value 5's (5 and six points).  I have screwed up too many endgames not knowing those little words to put them off any longer.  Other than the Club tournament this tuesday, and hopefully another one in early April, my next tourneys will be in Fenton... which just happenes to be scheduled the same weekend the Tragically Hip are coming to cleveland... just my luck...  If I weren't so fucking obsessed with getting above 1300 by Dayton, I'd be doing the Hip...  then hopefully I'll hit Charleston the following weekend, and Hudson the first weekend of May.  As much as I want to go to Buffalo that weekend, sometime, you just gotta support the local tournaments (and keep the director from taking a bath on it)...

PZ

Current Location: Medina, Ohio
Current Mood: pensive pensive
Current Music: Tragically Hip- In Between Evolution

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