A habit of last-minute implosion

Monday, 24 November 2008 — 12:36am | Scrabble, Tournament logs

I competed in another Edmonton local tournament this weekend. My 5-1 (+381) record in the top division is much too flattering; more than one victory capitalized on my advantage over my opponents in both word knowledge and the ability to see bingos. For all the challenges I won, I allowed more phonies than I am willing to admit, and there is no question that my defensive play wouldn’t have held up very long against the level of competition I usually face.

Nevertheless, I was relieved, if not entirely satisfied, to be undefeated after the first five games. I might even have begun to believe, much to my own detriment, that neither studying nor practicing since the Calgary tournament in mid-October wasn’t such a boneheaded idea after all. Sitting in first place with 5-0 (+479) ahead of the nearest challenger’s 4-1 (+293), I had first place in the bag as long as I didn’t lose by over 93 points.

Naturally, I made just about every possible mistake—the usual culprits, too: mixing up my 3-to-4 hooks (which I should know cold by now), not giving myself enough time to work out the endgame math, trying to play my way out of hopeless racks instead of exchanging—and lost by 98.

I wonder, sometimes, if I have the mental fortitude to play this bloody game. It’s been one long and steady decline since New Orleans in 2004. (2004!)

Not much happening on the bingo front, either: SATIRES, HERNIAE, TESSERa, ERASUrE, OVERlAIN, SARSNET, FACADES, VERiTAS, STRiATe.

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