Wisconsin Dells South 36th Year

From Steve Pellinen:

Helen Flores

Helen Flores in Fitchburg

For several years now the long-running Wisconsin Dells tournament has been finding more affordable space in the suburbs, away from all the water park madness and traps for unsuspecting tourists. This year’s suburban Dells events found a home in Fitchburg at a lovely venue that, unfortunately, managed to double book our meeting space. As second comers, we ended up in all of the available meeting areas apart from the main conference room. That put 21 players in the poorly lit Nesbitt Room, 10 players and the directors in the Theater with a strategically located protruding AV shelf, and 8 players in the cozy Den fronting the main lobby and not-so-quiet dining area. The Theater was located across from the elevator, a busy and talkative location.

At least three times the same family exited the elevator with a young daughter asking, “Mommy, what are they playing?”

“They’re playing Scrabble, dear, you know, like your Scrabble Junior at home.”


“Those are nerds, honey,” from a male voice (in the Theater, to be fair).

Anyway, the players proved amazingly resilient and tolerant despite the cramped and less than ideal playing conditions. Winners in the main event included James Nalepka in Division C, Dan Terkell in Division B, Jason Vaysberg in Division A, and Mike Johnson in a strong Collins Division, where he won his last nine games after a 1-3 start. Early Bird winners in five divisions were Lynn Wolter, Mary Becker, Fran Galt, Lynda Finn and Steve Pellinen. Lynda Finn did a remarkable job directing and working with the hotel to find suitable playing space and arranging for a free lunch to somewhat make up for our inconvenience. All-in-all, a fun weekend in challenging conditions.



From Lynda Finn:

Thank you to:  Steve Pellinen and Lisa Odom for tourney directing and supplies; Sue Hoehn, Mike Johnson, and Jason Vaysberg for help with coordination; Norman Wei for donating beautiful wildlife photography and one of his hook books and Helen Flores for donating the frames.  Thank you to the following people for their generous financial contributions to Word Cup 10:  Dan Terkel, Carol Gibbs, Fran Galt, Sue Hoehn, Lynn Wolter, Mary Krizan.

Collins Winners


Remembering Maliha (1946 – 2019)


Maliha Mahmood left us August 21, 2019.  She was a warm, kind, generous soul and is greatly missed by all who knew her.

Maliha was a vital force in the early days of WGPO.  She was an enthusiastic participant in tournaments and contributed generously to help with the expenses of every tournament she attended.  She also gave generously to our organization.

Her interest in SuperScrabble® led her to form a club at her home in Tuston, California, and to publish a word list containing all acceptable SuperScrabble® words containing 2 to 21 letters.  In 2014, she updated it with many additional words.  This was endorsed by WGPO and published as Word Judge 2, the official WGPO word list.

Sadly, there was a parting of the ways with WGPO in 2017.  Many of us have deeply regretted this.  I enjoyed a number of games with her using the Collins lexicon.  As a recent convert to SuperScrabble®, I am sorry that I’ll never have the opportunity to play that with her.

For more information about Maliha and SuperScrabble@, go to https://superscrabble.wordpress.com/

Maliha Mahmood with SuperScrabble

Maliha Mahmood with SuperScrabble

Share your news via a new WGPO group forum

Dear Friends,
Yahoo recently announced that it is winding down its yahoo-groups forum and listservs. While WGPO’s current yahoo-groups listserv will likely be functional for at least the near future, it is time for WGPO to move to a more reliable forum for players and directors to send out tournament announcements and other important word game related news.
We’d like to announce the creation of a new WGPO google-group and listserv. We hope you will consider signing up. To join, send an email to wgpo+subscribe@googlegroups.com . You will receive a join request email from googlegroups. Just click “Join this group” to submit your join request. You will receive an email confirming when your request to join has been approved (to filter out spam accounts). You should then be able to send/receive emails from our listserv: wgpo@googlegroups.com. Those signing up through a google account can also access past messages by going to groups.google.com/ and logging in to their google account.
We hope you will join our new WGPO google-group listserv.
Mike Johnson on behalf of the Executive Committee

Janice is retiring – Can you help us?

Janice Kaye

Janice Kaye

Dear Friends,

This fall, Janice Kaye has let the Executive Committee know that after over 9 years as WGPO’s Treasurer, she has decided that it is time for her to step down from this role. The Executive Committee and Board of Player Representatives would like to thank Janice for her longtime volunteer service to WGPO on behalf of the entire membership. Thanks Janice!

This fall, the EC will be seeking volunteers/nominations for a new Treasurer, and hope to fill this important position by the end of the year.
The new treasurer will be responsible for

1) accurately keeping orderly financial records for the organization
2) handling the regular financial transactions of the organization, by
deposit donations, writing checks that are authorized by the EC, etc.
3) assist the EC with longer term financial planning by creating occasional financial reports, assist with budgeting, etc.
4) communicate periodically with the larger organization regarding the financial status of WGPO

Previous financial experience is a plus. If you are interested in volunteering or would like to nominate someone for this role, please email the EC at


During this time of transition, Steve Pellinen will act as our interim Treasurer.

The Executive Committee of WGPO

Party time in Reno

We made our traditional trek to Louis’ Basque Corner on Saturday night.  Despite contending with crowds gathering for an appearance by Seinfeld at the Event Center, we had a good time with friends accompanied by the usual hearty dinner.  Zana Anderson caught us on her phone shortly after we were seated.