Well, if consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, I have a very very tiny mind. Once again, I finished the tournament at .500, which is where I've been after every tournament since my fast start in Saratoga last year. My word...has it been a year already? Yes.
Let's see...the last day flew by mostly because we had the last four games condensed into this morning. I lost my first two games and won my last two. My first game wasn't very memorable, I got whooped, but good. She bingo in her second turn, I tried to play off one of her hook words and make "roofy/yean." It was no good and she challenged it off. (Even worse, Nancy was playing her game right next to me and she had the crazy start. Her opponent opened with mothier. She challenged it, already knowing that my opponent's double double bingo of dressier was fine and good, I focused on the Nancy/Other guy challenge. MOTHIER WAS GOOD! Scrabble = RIDICULOUS. Anyway, right after that HIS NEXT PLAY was YARNING. Nancy challenges again! I think I was up there getting my "roofy" kicked off the board, so I got to see her LOSE ANOTHER challenge. He was up like 250 to ZERO. Again, disinterested in the butt kicking I was taking, I watched her try to bingo back with BELEAPS. He challenged this time. NANCY LOST! (The actual bingo in that rack is BELEAPS.) INSANE. I consoled myself through my beating with the knowledge that at least I wasn't Nancy.
My next game was interesting: if only for a VALUABLE lesson that I learned. If I knew how to underline I would. I was better than my opponent. She challenged oud, left spots wide open, just newbie player stuff (mind you, I'm only slightly one step above newbie...I'm like newishbie (CHALLENGE!)) Anyway, she bingoes with something, I bingo back with something else and we are neck and neck...maybe I'm slightly ahead, then she hangs a g right in the middle of the triple line, ie you go bingo with something ending in ing or something starting with G. It stays open for like three turns, both of us trying to use it. We're shuffling and shuffling and playing off one or two letters for single digit points and then finally I get deletin. But it's her turn. I am just staring at her. Waiting. And waiting. And she senses it and closes down the lane. I'm sooo piisssssed. She ends up winning by like twenty or so and at the end of the game she says "Did you have something there? I felt like you did." I said that I did and she said "yeah, you were so still." And it's true, I went from shuffle shuffle to..."hurry up lady I want to play my triple word scoring bingo word now, please." So I've learned to write down whatever bingo I find and then just keep shuffling my tiles like I do when I'm still looking. Stupid learning.
However, as if karma felt my pain for losing that game on such a silly amateur mistake, I won my next game because my opponent made a silly amateur mistake! I was losing by forty, no tiles left in the bag and my rack is aeelns? I have the worst time with double letters and blanks, but again, I had lots of time on my clock. So I shuffle and shuffle and find "leaners," I'm fairly sure this is good, but the only open spot on the board is next to na, so I really need something ending in e or n to hook on...but I just can't find it (turns out there are four for those of you playing along at home. Two are regular words, that I probably should have found...probably...definitely when I get to be an oldish player.) With one minute left, I decide, screw it, I've got to leave myself enough time to maybe play through something she plays, if she challenges...so I play leaners/nas to go out. It's a free challenge, so she takes it...except on the slip she writes down "leaners" AND THAT'S IT!! Leaners is GOOD and Nas escapes unchallenged!!!! I win by thirty!! Hawesome.
My last game was with a really nice kid that I had beaten twice before. I don't even know why I was paired with him. Actually when he told me we were playing a third time, I might have very subtly said something like "aw man," which I think he took to mean "aww man, you're really good." But I actually meant "aw man, no way my rating is going to go up by beating you again, you're ranked below me." But when he assured me that I "was a good player and shouldn't worry," I didn't clear up our misunderstanding. I'm a jerk...just not that big of a jerk.
Anyway, he opens with "mazily" using HIS BLANK AS A Y for 38 points! (Huh?! WHAT?!), I play under word for my own 36 points. We trade twenty point turns and then he bingoes with unmates, I hold the play...but after "learning" remates yesterday, in that ever so uniquely awesome way of the computer screen flashing green after you challenge, I was gunshy and let it go. I had my own bingo ready to go, so I knew I'd still be in the lead. I bingoed back with sonsier, he held the play AND CHALLENGED!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (SONSIER is also Seniors, but you wanna play sonsier so that you draw the challenge. Hee) I then drew Urinatd, I played off the UD and drew IE. At first I was mad about the double i, but then I saw retinai -- I bingo again. I am feeling blowout -- when he mounts a NICE comeback, he bingoes with booting, I exchange, he then plays "jading" with the j on the double letter through a DWS for 50. I challenge, it's good and I lose a turn. He dumps two letters and I figure out that he has the second blank and is looking to bingo. I shut down the triple lane by playing cog under the ja in jading. He dumps another two letters. I count the tiles in the bag: eight left. I play savants under the ag from jading/cogs, hitting the triple, and leaving him with one tile to take even if he bingoes. The play pretty much killed his hope for the bingo and I won.
I was a grueling four days. So, there's no wonder that after all that I decided to enter the "Late bird Open" where all players are in one division. THAT'S RIGHT. ALL PLAYERS. EXPERTS, INTERMEDIATES, NOVICES AND ME!!! I. AM. NUTZ.