2008 Whirlwind Scrabble Tour: South Lyon, Michigan

I'd have to say this weekend's tournament in South Lyon, Michigan was, overall, one of the most satisfying this year. Actually, the whole weekend was really satisfying.

After a quick flight to Detroit, I picked up my rental car (rock bottom price and all, courtesy of Priceline.com) and headed to IKEA in Canton, Michigan. As I waited for my dear friend, Spinster Girl to arrive, I wandered up the escalator, through the restaurant, and down the "down" escalator. I found myself immediately in the dinnerware area and, looking around, saw no way out (except maybe running back up the down escalator). I hunkered down, not sure I'd ever escape...then...finally, I saw a customer come in through what looked like an exterior door. Turns out, it was the door back to the lobby. So...I made it. (Ehh-SCA-peehh.)

Once SG arrived, we made a quick circle around one part of IKEA, headed back out the door, and looked for a place to have dinner. We got lucky and found a really great wing place where we sat and ate and talked for a long time...and spent very little money doing so.

Of course, once we got to SG's house, the effects of airport maneuvering, a full belly, and a little liquor set in...and it was time to go to to bed.

The next morning's drive to South Lyon was quick and scenic. The only problems were the numerous near-death experiences during about the last 15 minutes because I couldn't help but look around at the beautiful farm-house-y places lining this suburban/county road. Arriving at the tournament site, I was, as always, very happy to see several people I've gotten to know and enjoy from Michigan, Ohio, and thereabouts.

(Non-Scrabble friends...being that this here is, at least in part, a Scrabble blog, I must get all technical now. Please feel free to zone out until a little later. AND...3...2...1...sleeeep.)

The Magitastic Intrawebs Site predicted I'd win 1.4 games. That means I needed a win, a tie, then maybe some sort of penalty for looking directly at an expert player. I consider all this as I walk into the tournament site. And then...

Greetings all around...sit down...blah, blah, blah...promptly get my ass kicked by Jim Widell. Out of respect for, well...me...I won't publish the score here. Let's just say, my only shining moment was successfully challenging his first play (a would-be bingo...VEGGITE*).

After that, I DID have a shining moment, wrangling a victory against Joyce Stock, whom I had beaten only once out of the seven other times we'd played. This was a good game for us...my 464 to Joyce's 358...and a new bingo for me with BEC(K)ING (for 90 points). I also got 78 points with ANTIQU(E) but I let Joyce get me with POUTANES*. An interesting aside, I had to lay down HITTER for the triple after trying like hell to bingo with SHITTER*. (Heh, that would have been a win-win for me.) Of course, now I know SHITTER* isn't good. I can't believe it, though! I mean...c'mon! MOTHERFUCKER is a good word but SHITTER* isn't? The world's gone mad.

THEN...another trouncing (upon me). This time, it was at the hands of the lovely and sweet Barbara Dixon. I did, however, manage a respectable 374 to Barbara's 411. Next, David Brown and I had a decent game, but really nothing very notable for either of us. I will say that: (a) David has been studying the heavy-on-the-vowel words; and (b) David is a super-nice young man who always remains friendly and polite. (He's older now than in his profile picture...maybe somewhere in his early teens.) NEXT...my sound defeat at the hands of Sonia Lyda. Ahh-gain, out of respect for myself, and pure shame, I won't publish the score here. THEN...sound defeat at the hands of Kevin Lucas...yada, yada, yada. (Look at him...he's even smirking at me in his picture!!)

Fortunately (for me), I had a lot of luck when I played Sophia Murzin. A solid player who's over 90 years old, it's unfortunate that Sophia obviously is sometimes forgetting all those words she's known. I'm never disrespectful of the fact that she should be able to beat the snot out of me at Scrabble. However, during our game over the weekend, I won 501 to 320. Of course, I had four bingos with ENQUIRES (104), REVOTING (78), RUDDIEST (60), and LINGERER (83). Later in the day, a player was being quite short with Sophia and, after a few minutes of this, Sophia firmly told her opponent, "Be patient, please. If you're lucky, one day you'll get here, too." It made everyone on our side of the room chuckle...and one person clap.

When Kim Harris and I played, we did so badly that we promised not to divulge our scores if at all possible. So...unless you can demonstrate to me why you really need to know, then you're not going to meet the "need-to-know-basis" requirement. I can say that I won...by one point. My win came after I bingoed out with MANNERS for 73 points (and 17 seconds left on my clock).

Okay, so...trounced by Kathleen Washburn, trounced by Cheryl Melvin (who is so funny and whom I adore), and beaten soundly by Mikki Sutherland (although I did enjoy a moment when I played CLOVERED for 92 points, which Mikki unsuccessfully challenged).

After that, I played the 12th game, my last game of the tournament, against my previous opponent, Joyce Stock. Truly my luckiest game, I won with 524 points to Joyce's 303. My bingos were QUIETERS (104) and UNSTALL* (91).

In the end, I came away with twenty bucks for the high word score in my division (QUIETERS) and twenty bucks for the highest-scoring word using the most letters in the words "South Lyon". That was with UNSTALL* because, yeah, this time it could be a phony. As for my rating in the National Scrabble Association, it should increase a very decent 50+ points!! (I'm quite happy with that one.) OH YEAH, I also took home sixty bucks profit for winning Saturday night's poker tournament at Jeff Fiszbein's house. Woot!! My new nickname, by the way, is "Tina Totten King Poker Queen." It makes me laugh but now I'll never win again since I've written it here.

(Non-Scrabble friends, WAKE UP NOW!)

As I drove my car back to the airport, I had time to reflect on my weekend and my Scrabble Tour. I was happy I had some extra hours to share with Spinster Girl and that we found a great little diner to have a great big breakfast. (I'll let her tell you about that one. I think it's going to be her new "place".). I thought about the time I got to spend laughing with Linda, Steve, Barbara, George, and Cheryl...and laughed some more. (Hey, Jeff...I'd be writing about you too if you didn't have your priorities all messed up with "family" and crap like that. Next time, have your relatives schedule their weddings on non-tournament weekends.) And Saturday night, I slept the best I had in literally months. We're talking seven or eight solid hours with no tossing and turning. Niiice.

So next weekend, it's me, Anna, Bella, and Edie heading up to Burning River. It should be fun. Anna and the girls will swim in the hotel pool and maybe go to the mall. I'll get to play lots of Scrabble and see some of the Scrabble people I like but haven't gotten to see in a while. And the beat goes on...the beat goes on. La de da de de, la de da de da.


Deadpan Alley said...

One of these days, I'll make that Michigan trip with you, TTKPQ.

Anonymous said...

"maybe some sort of penalty for looking directly at an expert player."

You can look directly at me without penalty!
No guarantee that I qualify as an expert player, however.

Tina said...

I can't wait, DA.

And, Baxwest, you are too magnanimous. ;-)
I KID! I kid. But...only about 200 people in the whole country currently play (rated) Scrabble better than you. That's not too shabby!