One Two Three Four Five Six

Sunday, September 24, 2006

As usual I took photographs until the last minute, but there was no need to worry, because the director himself was late!!! For shame!!!

But he did show, unlike Hottie, who was once again absent. However, I wasn't caring so much, because I was still caught up in the afterglow of my brief Hong Kong affair.

My first game, against Stu, was peppered with uncertainty throughout. First, whether WRACK, a common word, was good. I wracked my brain, and ran the selfsame phrase through my head, over and over. I could have played BACK for two fewer points, or WACK, which I didn't see, but I finally decided to go for it. Next, whether to hang the C in column O for 30 points or make a more defensive play for much fewer points (not really, but I added wrong and didn't want to leave 2 Is). I went for ILIAC, and Stu then played OPTI(C), setting up myriad 3-letter extensions to the TWS, and my gears started turning. A few turns later, Stu pulled a fast one and got PERF* past me for 39. I realized it immediately after I played (F)ERRY for 30. Even if I had held, I might still have let it go, not being 100% sure of all the new 7s. On the other hand, I remember seeing PERV on the list, and PERF* should have been close to it, so maybe I would have challenged after all. Well, Stu got his phony, but I then got mine, (OPTIC)ONS*. The game continued to be close, but towards the end my rack-clearing EXUVI(A)L yield a blank, while Stu stumbled with FUM* (ain't getting that one past me). My blank yielded BOOGIEs, and that was that.

Previous month's winner Rick Wong couldn't seem to get much going, except for 60 for EX(E)RT through the TENSIVe that I had spent several minutes figuring out. My play simmed best, but it's still bristling to spend all that time only to have the play backfire. But I drew the second blank to bingo again, and Rick just didn't have the ammo to come back.

The third game brought some "dumb luck" by the #6 player, and I saw my chances of going over 1800 dimming, as I figured 5-1 was the minimum record I'd need to put me over. Later simulation would reveal that my accusation of dumb luck was unfounded, as it was actually dumb play, including missing a triple-triple, that was to blame.

It was a close game against Isaac Apindi, with wild and wacky bingoing throughout. After LANGUET I drew ABEIRSX. I saw a possible bingo, and it played, but I wasn't sure, and with X(U) for 50 why take the chance. So I took my points and drew a D, and I felt confident about my chances. Then Isaac busted out with a freaky word, ECT(O)ZOoN. I held for quite a while, finally deciding that his UPDRIVEN*-playing ass might be trying to snooker me again. With ABDEIRS playing in multiple spots, I figured I'd be okay even if I lost the challenge, unless he triple-tripled through his E. I lost the challenge, but I got my bingo, and then I drew AHOOPS?. Given the seemingly improbable nature of the rack, I didn't spend too much time looking after finding HOOPlAS, but I guess I should have, because Isaac managed to underlap it with LARKIER for 99 to cut my lead to 8. Thankfully, the endgame tiles happened to fall my way.

Fifth game, and it was time for the Elermanator, aka the (T)HWARTER. Jerry's early bingo made me think, and think long and hard. I knew the guy was completely willing to phony, but on the other hand the word was awfully plausible, and gave me a 36-point counterplay to put me at 86 to Jerry's 89. I let it go, as I should have, but my correct play availed me none, because Jerry became a scoring daemon for much of the remainder of the game. Though I managed to bingo with one blank, SI(R)ENIaN (not the best play), the rest of my game fizzled out.

I feared that my two losses would cost me the chance to play Jerry in the KOTH, but somehow the pairings worked out. And so did the game. Boy, did it work out! Not to say that it was easy. In fact, four of my first five plays I was unsure about: JUNTO, H(I)PPY, (J)UDAS, and CR(O)WDIES. But I played 'em, and I stayed even despite Jerry's pattern of exchange-bingo, exchange-bingo. Plays 6-9 saw me build a hefty lead, which no doubt motivated Jerry to take a risk and open up a bingo line. I just happened to have EGALITE, and that would have sealed the game even if I had not gotten doubly-lucky and drawn MONeYED to end up winning by a whopping 200 points!!!


6.9 ILIAC  
0 BL(I)N  
9.9 SHAH missed H(WAN)
0.7 (F)ERRY  
7.6 (Y)URTA  
0.7 LOOT  
5.4 EXUVI(A)L  
2.9 Q(U)AG  
5 ONE  
1 InTI  
9.4 MOLD  
0 NAH  
16.2 JOKE  
0 -BFGQV  
1.3 TENSIVe  
10 FA(D)  
1.6 (P)ASTUREs  
4 I(V)Y  
4.4 COD  
15.3 (I)CE  
31.3 ERE  
1 U(T)  
2.3 FEW  
0.5 HAVEN  
19.7 (P)HIAL  
--- Q(A)T  
0 JAMB  
8.6 ZO(N)AL  
8.6 AGENT  
14.3 CI(A)O  
0 GRO(C)ER  
0.9 (F)RISkIER  
16 L(I)  
0 (E)X  
25.3 X(I) BRAXIES (unsure)
48.1 lose turn  
3.5 MA(R)LY  
27.8 AW  
6.8 (D)EN  
8 MIEN  
0 CUE  
0.4 PORTAL  
7.2 (R)OOFED (R)OOFIE (needed extra points)
8.7 J(E)W JINN(E)E
2.5 SI(R)ENIaN  
8.3 EYE  
0 G(O)UGE  
0 INIA  
9.5 A(G)O  
13.5 DU(I)  
16.7 (A)D  
8.7 CELTS  
1 (N)ABs  
11.4 FA  
0.4 OOH  
0 LAMB  
0.3 TRO(V)E  
0 REX  
0 AFAR  
0 (D)U(P)E  

Average Equity Loss Per Turn (using Quackle 0.93)

1 - 3.3 (46.4)
2 - 10.3 (154.4)
3 - 14.9
4 - 12.9 (167.1)
5 - 6.3 (81.5)
6 - 2.8 (36.9)

Avg: 8.4

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