So I won again, with more than my fair share of the good tiles. It was the first time being 140 pts ahead of the next player, and 6 wins was not enough to maintain. I achieved yet another milestone of high tourney average (477) and high game (626) with 4 bingos including a 9-timer. I need to review my high-prob sevens, seeing that I missed VENATOR against Yen nee, playing the inferior OVERNEAT instead. I also took the opportunity to sign up for LBH. .
Game 1 vs Guo Cong- I open with DITONE keeping E, delibrating whether to change but decided to go for points and turnover. He replies with UT(8). I dump the J for 35 pts and he retaliates with TERATOID(70), opening a much-needed triple line for COsTLIER (131). I follow it up with ZHO(35), SUBIDEA(82), PIX(42) and PAWLS(36) while he tries to catch up with MOY(32) and PIXY(53). At this point I am leading comfortably 379-243. Later he opens up a K for my FORESKIN(80) which I immediately follow up with OUTGLaRE(80).
Game 2 vs Yen nee- She begins with a natural CATIONS (74) but I reply with MORAiNAL (86+5). She dumps QAT(30) and I extend her play to EVOCATIONS(45). She replies with RATOONED(60). I have few vowels for the next few turns while she gets down JEFE(42) and DIETING(70) to lead by 70. I get down OVERNEAT(74) and lose a close endgame.
Game 3 vs Guan Hui- I open with MOIETY keeping E. He replies with HOD(31), followed by my HAUT(20) and his JO(33). I get down a double-double QUES(TA)NT (68) but he replies with PLAQUE(40) to stay close. A few turns later, I get down TAlWEGs(81) to lead by 80. He has ISOBARE(66) but I counter with ERUPTION(74). At the end, he has CGNRV and blocks my outplay for a mere 6 points but I win comfortably though.
Game 4 vs Jessie- She opens with the low-scoring GOAD(12). I have AACEHIT and play ACHIOTE(23) for turnover. I have just one vowel for the next few racks, but maintain decent scoring while she phonies with VISABlE* and BEAVIeS*, both challenged off. I extend my lead to 80 pts. I get down ENSEALS(66), ZONER(40) and AXE(46) while she has HeARTiLY(63) late in the game. She empties the bag to which I bingo out with ROOSTED(83).
Game 5 vs Andy- Another close match. I have NONRIVAL(94) and TORNILLO(70+5) to his REGALED(73). I win a close endgame by 13 ( 3 without the needless challenges)
Game 6 vs Gan. He starts with KAT(14). I play TuLBANS(70+5), missing its superior anagram. He phonies with GAUNTERS* and I block his bonus through KAT, which he saw but chose GAUNTERS because it scored a few points more. Later I have EXUDE(65), PANAX(28), DOGGIE(27) and NOTCHED(42). He plays sLAVERY(79), missing AVERt(ED)LY (96). I try ADENOSIS/LANED which unfortunately gets challenged off. In the endgame, he is left with 5 vowels while I have the tiles to win.
Game 7 vs Weibin- I wasn't underestimating Weibin, given his performance just last week. I start with EENORSU and change EU. He plays just 2 tiles with OX(18). I get down ENROOTS/OXO (70) while he has the double-double AIRLINE(28). I paly FIZ(35) and he counters with PAtONCE(66). I reply with SALACItY(76+5) while he scores steadily with BERM(22), VENGE(29) and WELK(48). I have NONGAME/AVENGE(84) while he gets ROADIES(70) to trail by 34. Consistent scoring at the end see me win a fairly close game.
Game 8 vs Andy- The final round- I was starting to feel slightly tired despite the bottles of chicken essence and bananas. I was leading by 1 game with a superior spread, so I just needed to protect spread. I start with LURRIES(66), but he quickly plays NEOTOX(I)N (80). I draw ??AERZU and play ZERo(73). He plays INCHASE (28) which I follow up with PARVEnUE(66), replied with AGITATED(70). However I pick up EEEIIWU and have to make do with WIG(22) and change the next turn. Later on I get BATTY(44), JOCO(34) and MY(31) to his AREOLAS(79) and SUQ(44). I lose a close endgame by just 8 pts, but it is good enough to win the tourney.
Record: 6-2 +692
Ave. score: 477- 390
Bingos: 18-13 (2.25- 1.63)