NYC Scrabble club

I used to be a serious Scrabble player. I started a club in college, memorized all the two- and three- letter words, joined the National Scrabble Association, and competed in a handful of tournaments.


Last night, I returned to the NYC club for the first time in months–and I got my butt kicked. I managed to squeak out a five-point win in my first game, 328-323, and it was all downhill from there. My next opponent opened Round Two with KIDDERS for 86 points; the final score was so lopsided that I’m too ashamed to report it. Round Three wasn’t much better, but at least I got beat by a fellow baseball fan. Final score: 434-321.


It’s amazing how good these people are. I scored 400 points in the fourth and final game and still lost by 83. My opponent unleashed three bingos–that’s what you call a play that uses all seven tiles and earns the coveted 50-point bonus–and I only played one: SEAwEED for 71 points. A few turns later, I played JAPER for 85 points to bring the deficit to 31, only to see my opponent answer with REGOLITh for 60. Then I played FIFTY for 45 points, and she came right back with HEH–tripled in two directions along the bottom of her custom-made board–for 53. Wow.

The expert division never seemed so far away…



    woot! first comment!
    Hey, you havent played in a long time.

    So, I was wondering when your first game of the season is??


    i know how you feel…i sorta drifted away from my daily online or with my brother scrabble obsession….when i went back to play a couple of weeks ago i was utterly trounced twice before i fled.
    for me at least i really have to do it on a daily basis to stay sharp…about the best thing i managed that day was xu/xi combo for 50 points (big woo)…mean while it is very nice being back home on the upper west side this week…yay citerella and fairway


  3. Diane

    Hey Zack …

    figures you would show up at Club 56 on a night I’m not there ….

    I was up at Columbia U. with Jeremy listening to the Baseball Prospectus folks.

    Anyhow, nice to know you haven’t totally given up the game! :-)

  4. Zack

    Uh oh, are the “first comment” wars underway once again? It had been a very long time since I played. (Remember when I played at the Jerusalem club in May 2005?) Felt great to be back. I’ll probably be at Shea on April 11 and/or 13. Not sure if I’ll get to any other games before that.


    Cool, so we share yet another obsession. It’s particularly frustrating for me to get trounced because I’m so competitive, and I’m used to beating everyone at Scrabble…you know, family, friends, random strangers who think they got game. But then when I show up at a real club or tournament, I realize how lame I am. Oh well. At least I’ve learned to be a gracious loser. Welcome back to the UWS. If you’ve never had ’em, I recommend the coconut cubes at Fairway, which you’ll find amongst the dried fruit on the opposite side of the cheese section.


    Yeah, I was pissed that you and Jeremy weren’t there. How was the B.P. event? I hadn’t even heard about it ’til now.


    yeah if you see a guy in a yankees cap lurking by the olives…that’ll be me. actually i’ve never tried those coconut cubes…maybe i’ll swing over and get some. i really would have liked to attend your book signing next wednesday but i really cant stay the extra day. the good news is that by the time i get back to b’ham your book should be waiting for me…maybe i can send it to you to sign


    **** you! I’ll have you know just the mention of scrabble had me goto the Internet Scrabble Club website and play like 25 games today.

  7. Zack

    I’m not an olive guy. Sorry. That’s all you. ‘Tis a shame you won’t be able to make it on Wednesday, but I have a good feeling that our paths will cross soon. Definitely send me the book…in care of the Argosy Book Store. Easier for me to receive packages there.


    Ha. Hope you played well at least.



    Playing scrabble is cool. I didn’t realize that it was so popular. Have you ever played in a scrabble tournament where the theme is “Baseball” — any word put down on the board must be related to baseball only…

  9. Zack

    Never done that. “Theme Scrabble” is fun in theory, but it’s actually really hard to be able to come up with words using just the seven tiles on your rack.

  10. Ben

    Last night at the Houston-Indians something happened that make me think of you right away. When I asked Houston coach Sean Berry for his autograph he threw me a ball instead. Unfortunately, it was one of those balls with the stupid practice mark and an H on it.


    Wow I really can’t wait for the Jays home opener now.

    Might get some recognization with my giant colourful Os for Overbay since me and my buddies were on a commercial for the Jays trying to sell flex packs.

    WOO HOO!


    Yea the Jays game is broadcasted again on TV and I’ll be recording the entire thing waiting for that commercial again and then I’ll take a pic of it and Link it up.

    Man who knew colourful Os would get you on TV and a commercial.


    Okay I think the REd sox GM is just getting Stupider they made Jonathan Papelbon the closer instead of a starter like last year and I like that but,JULIAN TAVAREZ is gunna start what the heck is he thinking?Thatguy cant pitch for beans at least the yankees are banged up…and the jays are worse this year:)


    Lol how are the Jays worse this year.

    FRANK THOMAS is in an already dangerous lineup and our starting rotation is pretty solid, don’t look now but the Red Sox are gonna be in 3rd place for a long time to come.


    Ummm Jimmy What about there Pitching they are worse than the RED SOX IN THAT WAY:)

  16. Zack

    You’re killing me. Did YOU post that YouTube video? You gotta do better with the quality, but at least I got the idea. Very cool. Not sure I want to check out the thread on Neshek’s blog. Bloggers say some nasty things sometimes, and I’m in too good of a mood to read any nonsense right now.


    I’m assuming that’s a rhetorical question.


    Don’t be too quick to diss the Jays. They might give the Yanks and Sox a run for their (bundles of) money.


    The comments on Neshek’s blog are all positive, from what I’ve read.

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