The first annual Club 34 championship ended in a flurry yesterday afternoon. Each of the divisions winners came away with a $50 IHOP gift card for their efforts with the Division A winner hoisting its trophy far above his head at days end.
In Division C Renee Kahn was gibsonized for the King of the Hill matchup for game #8 as she squared off with Maxine Marcus. Unfortunately, Maxine had no way to catch her so Renee finished with a 7-1 plus 835 spread. Dont be surprised Renee if you find yourself in a higher division for next year’s event.
In Division B Najat entered the days event with a one game lead on her nearest competitor. But the ageless wonder Gretchen Cowan won all four games including the KOH against Najat to win the division 6-2 plus 420. Najat knew she was in trouble when Gretchen opened the last game with a bingo using an ‘s’ and both blanks… But a win is a win….
The most exciting stuff was reserved for Division A… I entered the day with a slight lead over Tom Brown and Bruce D. We all had 3-1 records but my point spread was much higher. Tom had to excuse himself because of illness so James ‘Hopalong’ Cassidy was gracious enough to fill in for him and played the final 4 games. I wasnt feeling particularly confident going into the day’s action and even felt more deflated as I lost the first game to Bill Lapinski by 4 points which turned out to be the only game won by Mr. Lapinski. I couldnt get started and Bill played well. I had to play a couple of phonies to get that close but lost nevertheless. But I then had to play Yuki Loritz, a very good player who always gives me trouble. But I managed to win playing dislodge and butenes. But it was the first bingo that helped me to victory. I played gravita which needs an ‘s’ to be a legitimate word. Luckily for me, Yuki had a bingo of her own ‘vicious’ so she let gravita stand.
I squeaked by Paul Trachtenberg in game #7 so now the stage was set for the KOH matchup between Bruce and myself. In typical Bruce fashion he won the first three games so stood at 6-1 while I was at 5-2 with a much higher point spread. But it was winner take all in game #8.
I threw down 3 bingos in a row “pawners, tonsure and loftiest” to win going away at 470-389. I ended up 6-2 plus 756 but unbeknownst to me Amnon Meyers won all 4 games and finished at 6-2 as well but his point spread was plus 477. It was an exciting day with the good guy winning at the end. I let the Club know that an annual Club championship would be held every September from now on.
10 players showed up for the evening session. We originally had 9 so I called Lisa Ocone with the hopes of maybe she would come to even things out. To show you what kind of a person she is, Lisa made sure her husband would babysit the kids and then came to play the final 3 games. Lisa has rapidly become a favorite of this Club Director. She has alot of passion for Scrabble and her personality is incredible. Thanks Lisa for being such a good sport!!!
Normal play resumes next week. I already know of a few new players who will join our family the week after. Club 34 continues to grow. The Club and myself will be featured in the NASPA weekly newsletter in a few months. I will continue to find new additions to our family and still am considering the possibility of another Club session for Friday mornings. Stay tuned. I have received permission from IHOP management that the playroom would be available from 11 to 3pm. If I can get 15 to 20 players to commit to that time, then this would be a distinct possibility…
For now I will start to focus on this year’s Christmas party. It should be an exciting event, one that would make Las Vegas proud. And dont forget Lorry’s foodfest to be held on October 23….
As most of you know by now, I had an unfortunate experience two weeks ago. The outpouring of love and concern took my breath away. I received calls and texts from friends and family. Richard Stein who left us in June for greener pastures in Seattle sent me a note of concern. The same held true for James Kitchens who took the time off from deep sea fishing and dirt bike riding to contact me. Paul Trachtenberg came to see me in the hospital THREE times. And I was only there 2 days!!! Alan Stern who I have learned to love and respect these past few years called me several times. And I could go on and on.. I want to thank everyone for this. It was quite humbling..
David Poder, Director