For about 18 months, I've been playing Scrabble. For about the last four months, I've been full-on obsessed and immersed in it. Of course, when I first started playing, I was what would be known in the poker world as a "fish". I'm working my way up, though...learning more words, better word placement, and so on. It really helps that I get in tons of games with the best players around (at least as far as members of the National Scrabble Association go). Brad and Martha make up half of the top four players in West Virginia. (How many's half? One-and-three-quarters? I'm a SCRABBLE player, people...not a mathemagician!!!!)
So, anyway, competing against players who are so much better helps me strengthen my game. Saturday's regular club meeting was poor evidence that it's doing me any good, though. I got my ass absolutely handed to me...twice. I'm not saying I should, by any means, be unbeatable at this point. Aside from the existing players, there's a bunch of up-and-coming players movin' on up through the ratings, making the competition especially...ummm...competitive. PLUS, we had two new players who are...how to put this...SHARKS!!! Heh. I'm kidding. They're just good players who have been building their skills behind closed doors as part of their super-secret, devious plan to take over the Scrabble world, including my tiny section of it. OKAY, okay...they're just good players.
It's a great thing that the local club is growing, that a new club has sprouted in Huntington (about an hour away), and that even more competitive players are taking Scrabble another step past the kitchen table. I'm hope this new concentration of players will motivate me to take my game even further. Even if my skills top out and my opponents leave me in the ratings dust, I still say that Scrabble is more funner than anything out there (since I cut back on the drinking).