And the Winners are…..

The Club Championship is in the books and what a success!!!  I want to thank all 24 participants for showing up on time and even earlier than that.  I also want to thank them for not calling in sick….   This is a definite symptom of a Poder run tournament.  Thank you again.  Everything ran very smoothly!!

I want to thank Maxine Marcus for helping out with the ancillary prizes and above all to Paul Rickhoff and Cindy Helphrey for playing up in Div A.  I wanted 3 divisions of 8 players each so i had to pull some strings and find 2 more players to place in Div A.  Several of my players would not or refused to play in Div A.  In fact they told me in no uncertain terms that they would not play if they had to play in Div A.  This is really a sign of very poor sportsmanship and wont happen again…

Starting next year all players will be placed in the division I feel they should be placed in.  I will look at their overall record for the year but I will also take into account how I feel they are as a player.  There will be no exceptions.  If they do not like that, they can sit out the tournament.

The final records are as follows::

Div C–  Kim Peterson 7-1  +398  Maxine Marcus 6-2 +531  Lorry Higgins  5-3   +285  Mark Bennett  4-4  +35  Jane Crane  3-5  +53  Nancy Douglas  3-5  -365  Desiree Engel  2-6  -300  Nancy Toussaint  2-6  -490

Div B–Lynn Gunn 6-2  +320  Renee Kahn  6-2  +211  Jeff Polan  4-4  +77  Brian Reiss 4-4  +58  Tom Titus  4-4  -193  Najat  3-5  -69  Beth Byrne  3-5  -131  James Kitchens  2-6  -465

Div A–  David Poder  6-2  +931  Bill Lapinski  6-2  +297  Ken Louie  5-3  +290  Bruce Dambrosio  5-3  +160  Jim Cassidy  3-5  -98  Tom Brown  3-5  -295  Cindy Helphrey  2-6  -304  Paul Rickhoff  2-6  -752

The top two finishers in each division won $60 and $40 respectively.  There were other prize categories.  A total of $480 in prize money was distributed to a lot of the players.  The director of this tournament did not pocket one penny for his efforts unlike other directors of other tournaments…  LOL..

Going into yesterday’s action I had a pretty sizable lead but I knew that anything could happen.  And sure enough I lost 2 of the first 3 games and now found myself fighting for my life.  I went into the King of the Hill and final game of the tournament tied at 5-2 with the very formidable Ken Louie.  If you know Ken you know that he is the nicest guy around but you also notice that he spends most of the time looking at his cell phone, 90% of the time checking LA Dodger scores.  So I was hoping that he would not pay much attention to our game but I was sadly mistaken.  Whoever won this game would win the tournament even though I had a very large point spread advantage.

Ken put me in a very serious disadvantage early in the game when he used the first blank to play ‘kyanites’ for 104 points.  I was not drawing well early on so I had a sense that I was going to blow a championship that I thought should be mine…  After a few more moves, I played ‘max’ for 35 points stopping just before the bottom triple line.  I did not have an ‘i’ on my rack for ‘maxi’ but was hoping to draw one.  In other words I was throwing a hale mary and hoping for the best.  I did draw well having slinger or lingers on my rack.  Ken had just played cape for over 40 points stopping just before the triple line on the bottom.  Therefore I could play  a word starting with an r for caper or s for capes.  The second letter had to be an ‘i’ for maxi but I knew ringles was not good.  I also knew that single only took a ‘d, s or t’ end hook.  I knew that singler was a phony but had to try it for 99 points.  Ken placed me on hold for a few minutes but let it go.  I then proceeded to place another bingo on the board immediately ‘needles’ and won the game 428 to 396.  The singler play was obviously the play of the tournament.

Playing a phony in Scrabble is an important part of this game and in this case won me a tournament.  It is an art usually reserved for a word that looks very similar to a good word and played at a strategic part of the game.  It worked out for me this time but wont always be the case.

I will have club tournaments every September with a format of a true round robin, 3 divisions 8 players each.  Everyone seemed to have a great time and it adds morale to an already highly successful and fun Scrabble club.  While other Scrabble clubs may be struggling with attendance, you will not find that to be the case with Club 34.  Even during the tournament, I was getting phone calls from prospective new players.

On Monday I received a text message from Evelyn Davis who just returned from Switzerland.  She has been  missing in action from Club 34 but promises to return shortly.  She also let me know that she prefers the IHOP for our future Superscrabble venue.  That leaves us with a large number of players, l8 in fact, compared to 7 for Laguna Woods.  Gretchen Cowan let me know today that she plans to meet with Maliha’s husband very shortly.  We should be getting the SS equipment soon after and once that happens, we will be good to go….

I can safely say that Superscrabble IHOP will meet monthly on the third Thursday of every month.  We will start at 1pm and finish at 7-8pm.  This will avoid rush hour traffic both ways.  We will play one game, then break for a late lunch or early dinner.  There will be no room rental or equipment fee, no catered lunch, no prize fund.  All of us will eat at the IHOP to show our support…  We will be playing strictly for the fun of it, for the fun of the game and to honor and to remember our dear leader Maliha Mahmood forever…..

Gary Moss will be returning next week so he can plan Superscrabble Laguna Woods.  We will have 2 sessions every month of SS.  How much fun will that be!!!!!

I will have the Club 34 Championship trophy engraved with my name for the second year in a row and presented to me by Jeff Polan, co-director on October 15.  You wont want to miss that I’m sure….

David Poder, Director

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Scrabble Club 34 Tournament Winners!

Photos by L.Higgins
King of the Hill…. David Poder…

Winners of Divisions A, B , C….. David Poder, Lynne Gunn and Kim Peterson.

Winners of other categories….Tom Brown

Bruce D’Ambrosio

Bill Lapinsky

Brian Reiss

Jeff Polan

Lynne Gunn

Renee Khan

Beth Brynes

James Kitchens

Mark Bennett

Lorry Higgins

Kim Peterson

Maxine Marcus has

Desiree Engal

Jane Crane

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