The Four That Got Away


Games



November 20, 2005

No wacky pre-tournament antics this time. Let's get down to business.

It was a 14-point loss to Steve Oliger (who has a cute nickname--you should ask him), so despite my grumbling about how he opened with ROADEOS while I couldn't draw into a bingo despite my blank, the fact is I gave up 2 points on the first turn, 4 on the third, and those few points here and there could have made all the difference. And at the very end, I missed a chance to block Steve's out play, which would have allowed me to go out first and make it a 2-point game. And then maybe win it in a recount.

After the game, Steve asked me if I didn't have a way to block both his out plays, and I replied that I hadn't seen one. But the thing is, IGLUS had jumped out at me from my final rack of IIUGHLS, and I might have even, for a brief moment, thought of hooking it to HOT. But for some reason (time was a factor, but not the only factor), my mind didn't follow the logical train of thought and determine that the play blocked both of Steve's outs.

Once again I let myself get low on time, this time against Shahid Malik, and there was no question that cost me the game. I played CON at n2 in a hurry, and only after I hit the clock did I see the hook that gave Shahid 39 points, without which he would surely have lost.

Other than his first 7-point no-vowel play, Jeff Cook was able to score steadily and threaten my lead throughout the game. So its a good thing my tiles were easier to play, because had I lost a third game in row despite drawing all the blanks, I would have been truly disillusioned.

My draw in the first half of my game against Steve Glass wasn't great, but it was good enough to build a small lead as the board tightened up. Then on my eleventh turn the only two good plays I saw were to play FA for 20 and leave AIIN? or play NAIF for fourteen and leave AIN? but open the board up. I knew there was a risk that Steve would bingo, but I had a blank, and AIN? is better than leaving to Is, so I went for it. And Steve bingoed. And even with an extra turn when he misplayed DIAS*, and with him in time trouble, I couldn't pull it out.

At this position, I'm not sure what I could have done to win. I have to disregard Maven, because it ranks my play of NE at the bottom, ranking TAJ best. But RAJ also scores with the J, so with two spots open, I thought preventing Steve from scoring at k11 was critical.



My one bright moment of the day, besides some damn good music on XPN, was my discovery that the Wawa on Chestnut had not discontinued the hot to-go bowls like I'd been told. And furthermore, they had a new entree, hot turkey!!! Okay, let's calm down. It was... well, it was Wawa. Nuff said.

In a pattern similar to the previous week's Bayside, after 1 killer game and three close losses, it was time for me to be blown out. Sometimes I blame myself for losing a challenge early on, but not this time. After Flo Spanfelner opened with UNFORKEd, even if I had not lost my turn, her EIOLMST would have played all over the board. And then she drew into WANDEROO for her third bingo in a row, and it looked like it was all over. But the tile gods had not yet finished with their cruelty. They let me believe I had chance when Florence tried to play EXECS/YARS* for 61. I was only 75% sure YAR doesn't take an S, but challenging it off was my only chance, so I did, and then played tANNERY. And by sheer luck her remaining two tiles happen to be a T and a U, and I was sunk.

Against Mark Miller I played AMIE early on to set up the R hook on the triple line, hoping he would not know the word (or not see it). I groaned every time he played an R, and when I had to play mine off for ZORI, but finally, towards the end I drew into PASTIEr to take the lead. But I then drew the Q, and as soon as Mark blocked the only open A I knew that he held the U, and that I was sunk.

1-5, and I was once more in a familiar position, fighting it out with Mitchell Brook for last place. I tried to get Mitchell to join me in reminiscing our previous time together in the suck zone, but he wasn't feeling very nostalgic. The game was competitive, but I had the slightly better draw and benefitted again from my opponent's tile transposition (BELEIR*) to avoid what would have been my third last place in four tournaments.

Well, my final attempt of the year to get back above 1800 had failed, and likely put me back under 1700 even, but there was nothing I could do but leave. It was early still, and I planned to drive all the way back to work so I could get an early start Monday and make as much money as possible for my travels. But as I approached the service plaza in Delaware, I saw that traffic was backed up. I asked a trooper what the problem was--she replied it was construction. So I just made camp at the service plaza, and as I lay there in the comfort of my thermal pants, two pairs of socks, three tops, three pillows, and three blankets, I experienced a bit of schadenfreude as I thought of how Florence, who had destroyed me, was going to be stuck in traffic for maybe an hour. Hah! I got the last laugh!!!


Average Equity Loss Per Turn

Includes total equity loss only if all turns were simulated.

1 - 7.4 (73.9)
2 - 4.0
3 - 8.6
4 - 5.8
5 - 9.9
6 - 7.8
7 - 5.9

Avg: 7.1



Games








Oliger
PlayScoreLeaveEquity LossOpponent
ROADEOS68
FEVER22NR?4.2OPTICS26
RUNTY16GR?0NIPA23
GORY18ELR?6.7HOT29
TRiCKLE681.3PAX35
TORnADOS68 (DO - interesting, but too far down to risk it)LIEU21
NEE16EEIO4.5AN13
QUAI26EEIO0JAY39
WILE24EOG3.3TIED21
VEIN33EEOG6.4BA26
BOA20EEUG8.9ZINC25
EAGER12IUD18.3OF26
MODE30IUGH5.7 (HEMOID)TEW16
HILUS19IGmissed a much better playSMUT12


Malik
PlayScoreLeaveEquity LossOpponent
PILI12ICN7.4 (INCLIP)TOME20
COPT*9IBGNT0.2AWN16
WELTING12BS4.2AJEE40
MUNI12IBLS1.7 (BULIMIC)RAMI12
BLIP20GRS4.9 (BRIG - LPS better than GRS? need to learn leave values!)KEPT30
VIVA15GRS7.9WHERE19
DOGEARS22S8.4BEG22
FONS28RNS0SOLERETS74
ELYtRONS*860DOE18
ZOO37AUG?0IXIA27
QUAD36CG?0AA18
HIE24CGNY?20.6XU11
CON30DGNY?where I lost the game!FRIT39
AWNY10DGN?NA9
MYSCORELEAVELOSSOPPSCORE
MYSCORELEAVELOSSOPPSCORE


Glass
PlayScoreLeaveEquity LossOpponent
-30
KIP18AEDG.6 (PAIKED)QUAKED22
SHAPED34G9.8BULL12
DENY34GNT0LOUIE10
GOA11EINT10.9ZING34
PHUT13EIUN11.6FREEZING42
WEAR34IUN0ROW24
UNITE20BC10 (RUB - feared Steve getting big play at h11)VOTE7
COLOR26AIBC15.6 (COLOBI BICOLOR)OM25
BA22AICN?0MIL25
ROC17AIIN?9.6YON12
NAIF14AIN?1.2 (FA - feared 51-point X play)INTERrEX80
NE17AIIJ?LOSSDIAS*SCORE
TAJ26AIIG?LOSSDAIS18
VIA19GI?LOSSOTTERS30
EGGS18ILOSSHOER7


Miller
PlayScoreLeaveEquity LossOpponent
DULLY26
MOULT14AET7.8EH30
AMIE17EET10.8 (gambling Mark wouldn't know RAMIE)REF27
-AEEE0ENT15.2-40
NEW26IONT.1HUG13
LUTING13IO13 (YOGINI)TRAIPSeD70
ZORI28IOG0IDOLATED*0
CONGA20AIG15.7DOZE14
GAN23EINS4.4FOR23
DEE16EINS8.2ALIT17
NEVES34INS5.6 (EVEN - keep 2 eses?)JOB34
XENIA22IST8.2OAK21
BID19EIPST4.8LAY25
PASTIEr807.9ERA5
AVO7ICQSTWE15
SICIQTON8
IT10Q???7
pass0QOH8
pass0QROD4






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