WGPO Call for Nominations

WGPO Nominations are currently open for the following officer positions:

  • Executive Committeeone seat, 2 year position for calendar years 2019 – 2020

The three-member Executive Committee directs and administers WGPO operational affairs, creates standing and ad hoc committees and delegates responsibilities as needed.

  • Board of Player Representatives – two seats, 2 year positions 2019 -2020

The five-member Board of Player Representatives represents the membership as a body for policy making and is the final arbiter for disciplinary actions or appeals.

Any WGPO member may nominate another member or submit his or her own nomination in writing to the email address listed below. Nominee information shall include:

  • Nominee’s name
  • Email or mailing address or both
  • Position for which the member is being nominated

Nominees shall verify willingness to serve and provide a brief statement of interest to the Nominations and Elections Committee.

The Nominations and Elections Committee (Lynda Finn and Winter) will receive nominations until November 28 at elections@wordgameplayers.org

Lynda and Winter are seeking one more WGPO member to serve on this Committee. The person shall NOT be a candidate running for office in this election. Contact Lynda and Winter at elections@wordgameplayers.org if interested.


Dells Spell – It wouldn’t be October without it

From Steve Pellinen:

Div A winners Steve Pellinen, Thomas Reinke, Lisa Odom

Div A winners Steve Pellinen, Thomas Reinke, Lisa Odom

October 12 – 14 saw 30 players gathered for the 35th annual Wisconsin Dells tournament, held again in Middleton, Wisconsin.  The Friday night early bird consisted of three divisions of four players and one division of six players, with half of the players winning place prizes.  First place inners were Pat Yovonovitz, Jesse Wornum, Carol Dustin and Mike Johnson.

Div B winners John Wiley, Diane Weinerman (missing Harriette Lakernick & Nola Hembrook)

Div B winners John Wiley, Diane Weinerman (missing Harriette Lakernick & Nola Hembrook)

The three divisions of the main event were won by Linda Stratton 10 – 3 +879, Diane Weinerman 11 – 2 +866 and Steve Pellinen 11 – 2 +832. In Division C, Linda had to win the final game to overcome a phenomenal performance by bottom seed Terry Hope, who gained an amazing 243 rating points by finishing second. Diane dominated Division B and was gibsonized with two rounds to go, as was Steve in Division A with one round to play. Diane and Steve both gained over 100 rating points by outperforming in tough fields.

Div C winners Brian Asuma, Linda Stratton, Terry Hope

Div C winners Brian Asuma, Linda Stratton, Terry Hope


Most tournaments with Jeff Clark in attendance see after hours Texas Hold ‘Em action. Bennett Jacobstein came away the winner this time, outlasting a field of nine scrabblers and one interested hotel guest known as “Sweaty Guy” (due to his recent exercise) until we learned his real name.

All in all, a good time at this long-running event. Maybe we’ll see you next year around this time?

Photos by Lynda Finn

Open Letter Regarding NASC and Word Cup Scheduling Conflict

Dear Members of the Executive Committee of NASPA,

We are deeply saddened and shocked to hear the news that NASC has been scheduled at the same time as WGPO’s Word Cup. Over the past 8 years, NASC and Word Cup have coexisted, choosing separate dates that have allowed players each year to attend both events, until this year.  Many players are understandably upset, disappointed and confused by yesterday’s announcement. This year’s scheduling conflict does not serve either of our organizations nor help grow tournament Scrabble.

Out of respect for NASC and our joint players, WGPO has routinely worked to avoid scheduling conflicts between NASC and Word Cup, often waiting to finalize our dates until after dates for NASC have been announced. Given the complexity of organizing week-long events of this size during the summer months, finding a suitable deal often requires making advance commitments. Because of this year’s late announcement of dates for NASC, we reached out this summer to try to coordinate our plans.

Given the size and importance of NASC to the Scrabble community, we tried to make clear that WGPO is willing to defer to NASPA’s choice of dates, given a reasonable time frame. We also openly communicated our potential dates for the Word Cup, timeline for required decisions, and strong desire to work together on scheduling before setting our dates.

We hope to avoid future conflicts by better coordinating and cooperating in scheduling future NASC’s and Word Cups. Given that there are around 4-6 prime weeks in the summer, there should be enough space for both NASC and Word Cup to coexist. But this will require some minimal joint planning and commitment on both sides. WGPO would like to work with the NASPA Executive Committee to make this happen. Will you join us?

Members of the WGPO Executive Committee: ec@wordgameplayers.org
Keith Hagel
Mike Johnson
Steve Pellinen

Members of the WGPO Board of Players’ Representatives: bpr@wordgameplayers.org

Laurie Cohen
Helen Flores
Bennett Jacobstein
Maurice Ross
Susi Tiekert

Harvest of Words in Wine Country

From Deborah Baggett:

September 22, day of the AUTUMNAL EQUINOX, was the perfect time to harvest bingos in Santa Rosa, CA.  In the second WGPO tournament held here, seven new participants joined seven returning participants for eight rounds of competition.

The Oakland Club contingent dominated Division A.  Cynthia Pughsley and Terry Veevers competed in a pivotal round 8 KOH.  By a mere 10-point margin, Terry prevailed, with Cynthia claiming 2nd place and Kay Patterson claiming 3rd. Kay also lucked out and won the door prize – a bottle of gold medal winning zinfandel.

In Division B, Paul Rickhoff coasted to first place, with 2nd going to Sandy Parry.  Two of the competitors were first time tournament players and Deborah Baggett had her very first 500+ game, with a harvest of four bingos.  A good time was had by all, in addition to delicious pizza and soup. 

Keep your eyes on the tournament schedule and combine a trip to beautiful wine country with a Words in Wine Country competition in the future!

Hot Times In Tempe

Tournament Mascot MacARoni


From Laurie Cohen:

The Annual Tempe One-Day Tournament is always a great reunion of Scrabble players across Arizona.  This year, we were excited to have players from New Mexico, California, and Nevada, as well.  Paula Catanese drove to Tempe from San Jose, CA with her dog, Mac A Roni!  Nancee Mancel and John Karris flew in from New Mexico.  Dave Nabutovsky from Las Vegas returned to tourney scrabble after a 12 year hiatus! Welcome back!

With the temperature in Phoenix still in the triple digits, a fun prize of a $10 ice cream parlor gift card was offered in each division for the best ice cream word.  In Division B, Andrew Schwartzberg won with MINTY.   In Collins, sadly, there was no submission, so two prizes were awarded in division A – one to Gary Smart for CHILLED and the other to John Karris for FUDGE.IMG_2644


In Division A, bottom seed, Satya Mahapatra came in first with a record of 6-2 +18. John Karris came in second with 5-3 +753 and Travis Carlson came in third with 5-3 +147. John had the high game of 558 and Gary Smart had the high loss of 412.


In Division B, Susan Kessler was the winner with a 6-2 +329 record.  Phoenix Tourney “Director Extraordinaire,” Barbara Van Alen came in second with 5-3 +581, and Godwin Gwei came in third with a 5-3 +195 record.  Barbara had the high game of 556 and Luther Durant had the high loss of 409.

In the Collins division, Laurie Cohen won with a record of 7-1 +941.  Jim Lamerand came in second with a 4-4 +193 record.  In a twist, his prize was a copy of the new OSPD6! Laurie got the high game of 578 and Paul Stabin got the high loss of 449.

In the Collins division, Laurie Cohen won with a record of 7-1 +941.  Jim Lamerand came in second with a 4-4 +193 record.  In a twist, his prize was a copy of the new OSPD6! Laurie got the high game of 578 and Paul Stabin got the high loss of 449.

Thanks to all who attended, especially those who came from out of town.  It was a great day of Scrabble and friendship!