Cruising, Cruising

From Larry Rand:

Cruising Players

What could be better than visiting seven countries in 15 days and not having to do any driving, or making your bed!  Barbara and I led a group of 30 on the Celebrity Constellation.   On the six days we were at sea, twenty players competed in our 24 game Scrabble tournament.  [Roy Kamen won 20 games in Division 1, while Betty Schulman and Barbara Van Alen topped Division 2 with 18 games, Betty edging Barbara on spread.  Results at BestofIndia.]

The differences in the countries we visited were notable, but the vast majority were much the same.  Religion played a major role in each country, so we got to see many temples, churches, museums, and palaces.
Our private excursion to Agra, and the Taj Mahal, was a highlight for the majority of our group. Our tour guide, Sanjay, was excellent.  Check that one off the bucket list!
The seven countries that we visited were Abu Dhabi; Dubai; Oman; India; Sri Lanka, Thailand; and Singapore. Before the cruise, Barbara and I stayed three nights in Abu Dhabi.  We experienced the Grand Mosque, Louvre Art Gallery, and a sand dune ride.  Oh what a ride it was!  In Dubai, we went up the tallest building in the world (2,717 feet), the Burg Khalifa.  In India, we spent most of our time focused on getting to and from Agra and the Taj Mahal.  On our last afternoon, we took a tour of Delhi.  In Sri Lanka, we toured some of the areas away from the center of Colombo.  Less than a month after our visit, Colombo experienced a terrorist attack on churches and hotels.
 In Thailand, Buddhawe toured a cashew factory, Big Buddha, a Buddhist Temple, and we watched the sunset over the waters of Promthet Cape.
Our last port of call was Singapore, an island city state.  Compared to all of the other countries that we visited, Singapore was the most city-like in appearance, with major banks, hotels, and numerous food and entertainment opportunities.  Barbara and I took a wonderful narrated tour of Marina Bay.  A number of guests in our group extended their stay in Singapore.
We have pictures and captions of our land and sea tours at   You can also obtain more information about our future cruises at  “upcoming tournaments.”
We always enjoy your feedback – or


Call for Proposals – Word Cup 2020

Dear WGPO Directors and Members,

It’s that time of year again, and the Board of Player Representatives (BPR) and Executive Committee (EC) is starting the process of selecting the venue for Word Cup 2020! To make this great event accessible to a wide range of players, we try to bring Word Cup to a different region each year. For 2020, we are focusing our search for cities in the Upper Midwest. If you or your local club is interested in hosting Word Cup for 2020, now is the time to start gathering proposals from local venues.

Please submit venue proposals for evaluation by May 31th to the Executive Committee at

Proposals should include

  1. Short cover letter listing the venue, available dates, contact information for the proposed leadership team (include potential directors and organizers, at least one of whom is local), nearby airports or attractions, and other highlights/challenges for this venue.

  2. Copy of proposal from hotel venue including room rates, room block requirements, playing room costs and banquet minimums, parking fees, any hotel incentives, etc.

Starting June 1st, the BPR and EC will start evaluating all proposals received and coordinating with prospective organizers if additional information is needed. Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Region: Venues in the Upper Midwest (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc.) will have priority.

  2. Quality of accommodations and playing space

  3. Location: Proximity to major airport, scrabble population centers, restaurants and local attractions, etc.

  4. Total Cost: Hotel room rates, room block requirements, playing room and equipment costs, banquet minimums, parking fees, hotel shuttle, hotel incentives and amenities, etc.

  5. Dates: Preference will be for bids in late June, anytime in July, or early August and those that do not conflict with other major events or holidays.

  6. Availability of local organizers/directors/players to help run the event.

Do not hesitate to contact any of us on the EC or BPR if you have questions about the selection process or have specific questions regarding a hotel proposal you have received. If you or your local club is considering submitting a Word Cup proposal, please let a member of the EC know by May 1st. This will help us coordinate with local directors/organizers as proposals are being gathered.


The Executive Committee of WGPO

Deborah Baggett

Mike Johnson

Steve Pellinen

P.S. Don’t forget about this year’s Word Cup in Coral Gables, Florida from July 20-24. Early registration ends May 12th. Make sure to sign up before then to save on entry fees! More information can be found on the flyer at

New friends at Friendsview

In division 1, Gunther Jacobi went 5-0, while P. K. Gott had a 4-1 record

In division 1, Gunther Jacobi went 5-0, while P. K. Gott had a 4-1 record

By venturing to Newberg, Oregon, we enticed three new players to join us in a 5-game tournament.  They couldn’t get the better of us, but they appeared to be enjoying themselves.  The division 2 winners were seasoned players Gary Waltuch (5-0) and Scott Smith (4-1).  Kudos to director Rich Moyer for a well-run tournament.

WGPO Letter to Members

From Word Cup 9 Committee:

In case you haven’t yet heard or are just procrastinating, the yearly WGPO Word Cup 9 Tournament in Coral Gables, Florida (July 20-24) is just three months away! Coming up in under a month is the deadline for the early entry $120 fee. That date is May 12th. We hope you take advantage of this offer, The price for the main event will then increase to $140. The early bird tournament (July 19th) for 7 games remains at $35 after this cutoff date.

We are planning a fabulous complimentary reception for all attendees after the first seven games on Saturday night. For those of you who want to play even more Scrabble® or other games, the playing room is available till 12 am each night. On Sunday evening, Bennett Jacobstein will run his annual fun trivia contest for all interested players.

The immediate neighborhood boasts numerous cafes and restaurants for you to enjoy. The famous Miracle Mile is a short walk from the host hotel. Hyatt Regency remodeled their rooms earlier this year so that all of us staying there will reap the benefits! Please book your room by June 20th to receive the special group rate of $135 plus tax each night. This rate is also in effect for three days before and after our event.

Because of generous donations and volunteers, we pledge to return nearly 100% (or even more) of all entry fees as monetary prizes.  How many word game organizations can say that?

We hope you share our enthusiasm and decide to attend Word Cup 9. If you have any questions. please email Maddy at or Roy at (This works for PayPal).

Maddy’s phone number is (661)373-1407. and Roy’s is (310)597-6321.

We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you there!

Maddy and Roy Kamen-Tournament Organizers

Steve Pellinen-Tournament Director

Larry Rand – Data Entry

Ronnie Thomas

From David Goldberg:
David Brown informed me yesterday (April 5) that our good friend, Ronnie Thomas, has passed away. David found Ronnie yesterday unresponsive. The cause of death is unknown at this point but David says that Ronnie complained of some pretty serious health issues last week, including a potential small stroke that she had had recently. Other than that, he said she was in pretty good spirits. An autopsy will be forthcoming.

Ronnie moved to Fort Collins, to the best of my remembrance, 5 or 6 years ago, and joined our club. As you all know, Scrabble(r) was her passion and she was quite an accomplished player. She also was a unique individual who certainly walked to the beat of her own drummer. Though this often brought up challenges for her and those in her world, I, personally think we were all better people for what she brought to our lives. And I’m proud of how our club members did their best to include and accept Ronnie in all of our gatherings. I now wish I had extended myself more to Ronnie as we had a close personal connection, which in hindsight could have been stronger on my part. Live and learn but life is short.

I am particularly grateful to David Brown for the rock-solid friendship he offered to Veronica. I was always impressed with how David was there for Ronnie through thick and thin. Thank you David.

Thanks all for taking a few moments to read this. I am sad and humbled in remembering and honoring my friend Ronnie.


From Ronnie’s brother, Fred:
Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday evening (4/5) Carol and I were notified by our county coroner that Veronica’s body was found by her close friend, David Brown, in her apartment a few hours earlier. She passed away from natural causes the evening before on April 4, sometime after 8 pm is what has been surmised. She died much too young at the age of 56. She has gone to her maker and to be with our parents, Fred and Kay, who loved and cared for her for a lifetime. Our understanding is that she passed quickly from what appears to have been a brain seizure. We pray her passing was peaceful and without pain. All indications are that this was the case.

Veronica moved to Colorado from Maryland shortly before our Mother passed away in June of 2016. Her path through life was sometimes too hard but always full of her giving love to others. In Fort Collins, she continued to play Scrabble(r) multiple times a week, knit apparel and blankets for family and folks that were less fortunate at the homeless shelter, as well as attend community learning venues directed at finding our way in life. Veronica had a very big heart. She loved family and all people without judgment. She will be missed dearly by all in her family for her concern for others, a listening ear, positive attitude, caring /loving demeanor, her resilience, and the example she set for her family on how to treat others. We will miss you eternally, Veronica.

A service to celebrate her life will be held here in Fort Collins in the early summer. I will update when a date and venue is determined. We are then working to have her inurnment with, Fred and Kay at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA, later in the year. Veronica and her family request, in lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy be sent in the form of a donation to The Murphy Center for Hope in Fort Collins ( or SummitStone Health Partners (

Love and fond wishes to you all,

Fred, Carol, Keegan, and Riley

Spring Break in Mill Valley, CA.

    From Deborah Baggett:
After weeks of nearly constant rain, the California sunshine returned just in time for this single-day tournament.  Hosted by Betty Alexandra Toole, sixteen players enjoyed potluck lunch, a view of The City and excellent competition.
Sandy Parry, Jack Norman, Deborah Baggett, Isaac Apindi, Bruce Ward.

Sandy Parry, Jack Norman, Deborah Baggett, Isaac Apindi, Bruce Ward.

In Div A, Jack Norman won 7 games to win 1st place (gibsonized), followed by Evan Koch (2nd) and Robin Levin (3rd).
In Div B, Deborah Baggett, Sandy Parry and Irene Averell all went 5/3, so the spread told the story of 1st/2nd/3rd.
Four Collins players honed their skills, with Bruce Ward (gibsonized) claiming 1st and Paula Catanese coming in 2nd.
FULL RESULTS AT Mill ValleyMill Valley Collins
Next chance to play north of SF is Mother’s Day in Santa Rosa.  Join us!