Sunday, October 29, 2006

Scrabble scandal? Really?

Two lowly-ranked Scrabble players have broken several scoring records in one of their weekly Thursday night games.

The two men set three records for sanctioned Scrabble in North America: the most points in a game by one player (830), the most total points in a game (1,320), and the most points on a single turn (365, for Cresta's play of QUIXOTRY).
No scandal there, right? No steroids, no French judges, no "tuck rules" in Scrabble? Well, not exactly.
"If they weren't really trying to win," an intermediate-level player named Mike Eldeiry wrote on the Crossword Games-Pro message board, "then can we really consider it our record? Fun, yeah. Neat, sure. Promotable, why not? But record, ummmmmmmm, I don't know."
Supposedly there were lots of times when the two players could have made better plays to further their cause in the game. But they didn't, just going for bingos and phat points. So if anything was "juiced" illegally in this record-setting game, it was the point total. Maybe this is why records are silly. Except for winning the World Series, of course.

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