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the reluctant blogger

i came, i wrote, you read

July 13th, 2008

Rocky River full report @ 10:39 pm

Current Location: my apt
Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: Sigur Ros

Saturday July 12th, 2008

I stayed in on Friday night and watched some TV, played on ISC, and did some Zyzzyva cardboxing*. I was asleep by 11:30, which is quite early for me. This was because I needed to rouse myself at 5:30 on Saturday morning, which is VERY early for me. There were still 4 hours until the first tiles would be drawn. I showered and brewed some coffee, then scarfed down some yogurt and granola before gathering my stuff and walking to the bus stop to meet Stan and Bob. Well, Bob Haggerty was supposed to be playing (and driving), but a big real estate story broke, and he needed to spend the weekend covering it for the WSJ. So, it was just Stan and I who took off around 6:20. The ride was smooth-sailing; no traffic except for one brief slowdown for construction. Interestingly, I had never been to Ohio; uninterestingly, it seems very much like a flattened-out version Pennsylvania, at least in terms of its highway-side scenery. We arrived at the playing site at 9:00 on the dot. I said hellos to some folks, handed my entry fee to Mr. Purple and set up my board. While waiting for the first game, I did some quick cardboxing* on my laptop. At 9:30, it was game time.

Round 1 vs. Margaret “Miki” Sutherland

I was impressed by her meticulous notekeeping* during and after our game. She recorded her racks (I think), the plays along with their annotated location, and at the end wrote down the time remaining on our clocks. Then she went about reconstructing the board on the corner diagram using her in-game-notes, putting a big check mark next to each play as she recorded it. And all of this was done with two identical, fresh and lengthy, perfectly-sharpened red-shafted #2 pencils.

Play the game!

W  542 – 320

Mine: NO(C)TURNE 63, LORINE(R)S 76, DEA(I)RING 78, FaNEgAS 95 ; JKQZSS?? ; 54 tiles

Hers: none ; XSS ; 46 tiles

Missed bingos: none

1 – 0  + 222


Round 2 vs. Pete “Is it EI or IE” Zeigler aka [info]pbzeigler

So we meet again; we’re 1-1 in tournament play before this one.

Play the game! (updated with Pete's racks)

L  406 - 455

Mine: (A)GENTIVE 65, CONfUSE 86 ; KZSS? ;  48 tiles

His: MODIFIE(R) 106, AGO(N)ISES 68 ; JQXSS? ; 52 tiles

Missed bingos: VIGNE(T)TE 86, InVOLU(T)E 72

1 – 1  + 173


Game 3 vs. George “Vibrance” Viebranz aka [info]ipecac_icecap


George and I finally meet over a board. I offered to play a game of anagrams in lieu of our scheduled Scrabble match, but he was havin’ none of that. (Send me your racks if you want me to add them to the game.)

Play the game!

W  429 - 401

Mine: pEN(C)HANT 63, UMBONEL* 66 ; QXZS?? ; 53 tiles

His: OERSTED 74, CATENAD(E)* 86 ; JKSSS ; 47 tiles

Missed bingos: NELUMBO 66

2 – 1  + 201

 Lunch Break

I accompanied Stan and Tina to the New Peking Chinese/Thai restaurant for a quick bite.  A much larger group of Scrabblers planned on meeting us there, but the biggest circular table was just barely able to accompany them, so the three of us sat in an adjacent booth. I ate an order of sesame chicken with fried rice and a veggie egg roll. It was tasty, although not that exciting, but for the price and the speed of service, I couldn’t imagine anything better. At first, Stan and I talked math while Tina smiled and nodded. Later on, Tina and I swapped SNL Celebrity Jeopardy quotes while Stan smiled and nodded. Unfortunately, just a few minutes before we left to head back to the playing room, the skies opened up; and it wasn’t just a drizzle. We’re talking all-out war between these raindrops and anything in their path. After the 3 second sprint to the car, I was so wet that I wished I had brought a bathing suit. I went to the bathroom to dry off before the final four games.

Round 4 vs. Linda “AIRFEEDS” Hoggatt

We had just played at the Pittsburgh tourney, where I won a close game but made many mistakes. The final score of this one was not nearly as close, but it would have been had she found the out-bingo.

Play the game!

W  483 – 324

Mine: BILLETS 80, (R)IVIeReS 77, AROINTS 67 ; KQXZSSS?? ; 53 tiles

Hers: PR(O)NATED 82 ; J ; 47 tiles

Missed bingos: ROUT(E)MAN 64, ISogRIV 80

3 – 1  + 360


Round 5 vs. Chuck “I win a lot” Armstrong

My first meeting with the all-time winning-percentage leader. Unfortunately, I did not bring myself closer to topping his stat, but allowing 111 points worth of phoneys certainly didn’t help my cause.

Play the game!

L  365 – 467

Mine: VALINEs 74, SHI(N)IEST 71 ; XZSSS? ; 49 tiles

His: DEMEANO(R) 86, sTRUDEL 70 ; JKQS? ; 51 tiles

Missed bingos: (B)IVALENt 89

3 – 2  + 258


Round 6 vs. Jeff “Mr. Lucky” Clark

We had also just played for the first time at the Pittsburgh tourney where I drew the bag. These next two games between us were much closer. I also realized just how quickly Jeff plays. I ran my clock down in both of these games, and he had well over 10 minutes left heading into the pre-endgames.

Play the game!

W  394 – 373

Mine: INDA(MI)NES 76 ; SSS? ; 46 tiles

His: (E)QUALITY 71, CANAR(I)ES 61 ; JKQXZS? ; 54 tiles

Missed bingos: BUSlOAD 80/BAUSOnD 76/BAUD(R)OnS 72

4 – 2  + 279


Round 7 vs. Jeff “Mr. Luckier” Clark

At 4-2, I needed a victory to have a chance at 2nd place. I also needed Chuck to beat [info]hector31 since his spread was much better than mine.

Play the game!

L  419 – 440

Mine: ONETIME 76, LaTCHED 65 ; JKS? ; 51 tiles

His: TANNERY 80, TRA(C)tORS 68 ; QXZSSS? ; 49 tiles

Missed bingos: none

4 – 3  + 258


Final Result

4th place, seeded 4th

$10 each for high game (524) and high loss (419)

Rating: 1616 --> 1618


Average Score: 434 – 397

Bingos: 16 for me (eight 7s, seven 8s, and one 9) = 2.3 per game

10 for them (three 7s, seven 8s) = 1.4 per game

Averaged 50.6 tiles per game

Power tiles seen: 2/7 Js, 4/7 Ks, 3/7 Qs, 3/7 Xs, 5/7 Zs, 16/28 Ss, 10/14 ?s = 56% total


Valid, challengedPhoney, unchallengedPhoney, challenged
Their PlaysSALBEEST*

This chart was generated by cross-tables.com

Stan and I hopped in the car right afterwards to head back to PA. We stopped for some pizza on the road, and I put my games into Quackle during the first leg of the journey. I eventually made it back to my place around 9:30, watched some TV, and then crashed.

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[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 14th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC)


11. AEFILOT (ugh)
12. EI

Fun game again. Someday maybe I'll play as well as you, and won't need high scoring Double Doubles and good luck to outrun you. Come on back to our Ohio events anytime.


[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 14th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)

Re: racks

Note my rack 6 is different than in your analysis on the game. I haven't quackled yet, but I was in a strange position, had a lead that I thought justified trying for the outrun play that kills the triple. Any blocks I have don't score well (MA for 16, for example). My two play sequence including WAIVED and MAJOR scores 76, probably about 15 or so fewer than a block and a followup bingo, should I draw one to DIRW?.

I can't wait to sim the position.

[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 14th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)

Re: racks

Thanks for the racks. Ah, I'll fix turn 6. I just remembered you were one off from DWARFISM.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 14th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)

Re: racks

Updated. I've added a few comments.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 15th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)

Re: racks

try examinin da position CLOSELY. WEIRDY wuzz da right play cuz u can survive a 3x3 at dat score holdin M? on DAT board. not only do u not have 2 bingo afta weirdy, u might not have 2 bingo at all 2 win. burnin da ? like u did open u up 2 losin a game u got well in hand (GIVEN da score, position, n unseen pool).

wif da tiles u actually drew, u woulda answered da 3x3 wif 116 pt play wif da board much less volatile den it turned out (give Brendan da P in his rack afta MAJOR).

[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 15th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)

Re: racks

Yeah WEIRDY was definitely right. Drawing to AM? on a fairly open board will be beneficial. And hey I might not have a 3x3. That was my point in the comments; trying to see my plays without knowing my racks, I don't really see any indication of me holding a blank or even a nice bingo rack. I just drew 5, so anything could happen.
But even not seeing WEIRDY and being worried about a 3x3, I can't justify spending the blank. If I don't see WEIRDY, I'd play MAW somewhere, and if I was feeling particularly defensive (say last game of the day and I need a win, spread doesn't matter), WORM is the block.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 14th, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)
I notice you mention time as an issue in many of your games... is it a common theme?
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 14th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah it usually isn't, but this time I had a few games where a mid-game position or two ate up a big chunk of my clock. I think I was also moving slowly overall having woken so much earlier than usual, but that's a lame excuse. I think I get so concerned with making a perfect move every time that I don't remember to leave myself enough time for the endgame.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 14th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
"Cute?" "Shucks?" "Great drawing, Brendan?" I couldn't help but laugh looking at your game 1 notes. It makes me want to play you simply for the annotated game after the fact.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 14th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
Hehe, well match me on ISC and you might make it in here! I'm "pocketaces."
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 15th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
When are you normally on? I'm orangejkel on there FWIW...

Oh, and I believe that Winter mistook me for hector31, who's not a Hector either, right?
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 15th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
Yes that's true. He's actually a Scott.
I'm on ISC most evenings.
Date:July 16th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)

Rocky River

Very perceptive, Grasshoppah. I used to be able to recite Pi to about 12 whole digits but nowadays I don't have much to contribute to a mathematics conversation. I do hold those who can speak intelligently on mathematical theories in high regard (and if that person can recite SNL quotes, even better)! Plus, I adore Stan and you were both very good company.

And thanks for the tips on Aerolith and using it in conjunction with Zyzzyva. I've added Aerolith as a study tool now. I'm terrible at it so far but, of course, I didn't know my 2's when I started playing this game.

Catch you later! - Tina
[User Picture Icon]
Date:July 16th, 2008 04:22 am (UTC)

Re: Rocky River

Good, glad you had fun. The combo of cheap but tasty food and good conversation made for an excellent lunch break.

". . . but, of course, I didn't know my 2's when I started playing this game."

Hey none of us did!

the reluctant blogger

i came, i wrote, you read