Las Vegas bingos / Mark and Howard

Mark and I had no time to play Scrabble after the Scrabble Players Championship had begun yet we did play four games while staying at Kerry and Brian’s house. We each won two. I averaged 404 and Mark 383. Here is the bingo breakdown:

NERVOUS (70)PHObiAS (81)
TINLiKE (80)sEMINAL (97)

Mark played two bingos in each of our first three games but didn’t play any in our final game. For me, I didn’t play my first bingo until game two.

Mark, whose pre-tournament winning expectation was 11.8 games (I do not recall what the more recent adjustment was) had an excellent tournament, finishing 14-16 and with a ratings gain of fifty points to 1132, taking him to one point shy of his personal high. (He also had one bye win which I am not factoring into this report.) He finished twenty places higher than his pre-tournament ranking, ending up in 46th place out of 77 players. After my games I always went over to Division 3 where Mark was playing to see how he was doing. It was encouraging to see him win and to hear, when I enquired who had played this or that word, that it was often Mark.

Mark versus Brian Garnett in Round 11

The story I am most proud to trumpet is the Division 2 victory of our friend Howard Pistol. We always see Howard and often stay with him when we make our annual visit to Florida. Howard was seeded tenth out of a field of 54 and at one time on the last day of the tournament, when there was only one game left to play, there were four players tied with a 20-10 record. Howard won the final game and the first-place prize of $4000. Mark and I were expecting to see the entire awards ceremony at 2 p.m. and when we walked into the ballroom, we saw Howard’s picture projected onto the big screen. Did we just interrupt his big moment? No, in fact, we didn’t interrupt anything, because in spite of what the printed schedule said (which the tournament directors encouraged us to look at in order to reduce the number of announcements they’d have to make) the awards ceremony started earlier, around 1:15. When did they make the schedule change? We felt disappointed in not having had the opportunity to show Howard our congratulations, but probably not as much as the division winner himself, who didn’t appear until 2:00 as well. As it turned out Howard wasn’t all that disappointed and was happy just to go up and receive his cheque without all the fanfare. For dinner that evening Howard, John Karris, Mark and I returned to Fresco Italiano and when the cheque came Howard insisted on paying. That was such a lovely surprise, and thank-you Howard! By coincidence, dining in the same restaurant at the same table arrangement that we used two days previously was Division 1 champ and $10000 winner Josh Sokol, who was treating about a dozen of his friends. That restaurant was full of Scrabble Champs that night.

Howard versus Ryan Chepita in Round 12

Scrabble Players Championship Division 1 winner Josh Sokol

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