I have been working hard on my Scrabble in the last few weeks.
The combination of having just accepted a position doing the most mindless, boring work on earth and the return of my original Scrabble nemesis have given me the time and motivation to really tackle new stems and esoteric word lists.
In addition to trying to finally get a hold on the threes(why did I think enn and fam were good until the last 48 hours?) I've also tried studying words with letters that I hate seeing on my rack together: wu, yu, bvu. Yes, I HATE the U. Unless I have the Q, but then I would have already burned all my Us on successive ulu plays.
My favorite ridiculous word: Ouabain! I wanna drop that on someone at Albany so bad!
Hmm, I've got five vowels and a bee and an en (not ENN!) Ooh I know, WHAP: Ouabain! Then I hope I get Coeloms on my next turn to hook that bad boy on back!
I have a bunch of goals for Albany:
1. Take my time. I play too fast, I miss things. I need to slow down, think about my options and make sure I've picked the best one. Too often I do something way too quickly (getting adeimnr and quickly dumping the em, hoping to draw a letter to complete the rained stem for a bingo. D'oh!) The worst part about these errors is not only do I make them and cost myself points, I also then dwell on them for the duration of the game/tournament and certainly cost myself games. It's stupid.
2. Play the game, not the player. Sometimes I get too clever by half. I start thinking "Well, this player probably doesn't know this word or he won't challenge that word because he just lost a challenge, so I'll go with some dumb fancy play or a phony, when some straightforward play of an ordinary word would score more points. I'll also tend to open up the board or fail to close it down because I think I'll be better able than my opponent to capitalize -- more often than not I am wrong wrong wrong. I need to stop relying on these flimsy "reads," and just rely on my vocabulary and sound Scrabble strategies.
3. Stop obsessing about bingos. I am good enough at finding bingos with whatever rack I have that I have got to stop fishing for one or two tiles. Just make the best five or six letter play that I can and hope for a better draw on the next turn. I don't need blanks to bingo! I don't even need esses: anergia! Sometimes, I don't even need stems!
4. Win games. My rating has taken such a beating in the last two months that I am back in the bottom division and I'm seeded in the middle. It sucks, but I need to take advantage. I think I'm better than my rating and I need to prove it. There is no game I can't win. (Yes, yes except Wordscraper against Ugarles. I meant Scrabble game.) I need to produce here. No choking!!
5. Have fun. Um...yeah...I really mean win this tournament, but figured that would sound jerky, so I oughta toss some touchy feely hippie goal on this list. But yeah, you know what would be fun? Winning my first tournament in America!
Wish me luck! Happy Fourth!