Tonight Joey returned to the club for the first time since he left for college. He's a young kid, about sixteen. One of those Scrabble prodigy types who started playing when he was four and competing by the time he was ten. My Scrabble student - a Jamaican woman in her sixties - told me that when she first came to the club, she was matched with him. He evidently bingoed every turn basically by preying on her reluctance to challenge. I think he played kwijibo like twice on her.
"Can you believe he'd do that to a new player her first time?" she said to me with a tone that suggested the answer.
Of course, I had nothing but respect for Joey. A win is a win is a win.
You can't unstage that.
Anyway, he after he finished his games, he came to watch the end of one of my games and when we were done my opponent asked him how school was going.
"Badly," he said.
"Too much partying?" Dee said smiling.
"No. I work very hard, I just can't seem to pass these classes, I don't know what's wrong."
The look on his face, the mark of defeat after a lifetime of unparalled success was devastating.
After he left, the club director was talking about him to some other players and he said something like "yeah, we had a lot of hope for him...but he's kind of plateaued in the 1200s...we thought he'd be better than that by now."