St. Patrick’s Day is Greeneye Day

36 of us spent the weekend in Bloomington, Minnesota, competing in a 23-game tournament.  Outside, there was still considerable evidence of a major snowstorm, but inside it was green all over.  Director Mike Johnson did a superb job of setting the tone with appropriate decorations and most players added to it with our costumes.

Lisa Odom won in Division 1, Colleen Shea in Division 2. Complete results:

Photos by Peggy Grant.

Group photo

Group photo

Finalists for best St. Patrick's costume. Mike won

Finalists for best St. Patrick’s costume. Mike won

Fun Prize winners

Mike with Fun Prize winners

Division 1 winners

Mike with Division 1 winners

Division 2 winners

Mike with Division 2 winners

Another Sunny Day in Fort Lauderdale

From Maddy Kamen:

Hard at play

Hard at play

A fun time was had by 18 scrabblers at the Ft Lauderdale tournament on March 2, 2019. Seventh seed Larry Gradus gained 115 rating points with his first place 6-1 record for division one. Coming in second was Howard Pistol (4-3).
Second division was captured by birthday girl  Marina Villena who went 6-1. Marshall Resnick and Dianne Kaplan were  second and third place winners. Also given out were performance prizes for best over seed. Wendell Haynes won for division one, and Will Cody for division two.




Division 1 winners

Division 1 winners


Division 2 winners with Roy and Maddy

Meeting Minutes: February 17, 2019

The Word Game Players’ Organization boards met Sunday, February 17, at 1 PM at the Hilton Garden Inn in Tempe, Arizona.
Executive Committee – Deborah Baggett, Mike Johnson, Steve Pellinen
Board of Player Representatives – Laurie Cohen, Helen Flores, Bennett Jacobstein, Maurice Ross
Acting Secretary – Ruth Hamilton
Absent:  Susi Tiekert of the Board of Player Representatives
Mike Johnson led the meeting.
There was no financial report.
Helen Flores reported for the Conduct Committee.  Susi Tiekert is the other member.  Four drafts of a “Tournament Expectations” document have been circulated.  There has been good feedback from the last draft.  A fifth draft will be coming soon.  This should pretty well wind it up.
The Rules Committee consists of Steve Pellinen, Laurie Cohen, and Mike Johnson.  Steve has been the principal architect of a rules document.  He had hoped to put it all on one page, but found that that wasn’t enough.  The first iteration is about ready to circulate for comment – first to WGPO directors, then to the membership as a whole.  The goal of the document is to provide rules for the issues that most commonly arise in tournaments, leaving the oddball situations to the discretion of the director.  There was some discussion among those present regarding how blanks should be designated, with the majority feeling that it should be both verbal and written.
Mike Johnson and Winter are the main Rating Administrators for WGPO (day-to-day operations) with other more technical Ratings and Technology support from Henry Yeung and Marc Levesque. There were no status updates.
There was no report from the Tournament Committee.
Helen Flores proposed a Records and Archives committee to preserve our history.  She will chair this.  Ruth Hamilton will be a member.
There was some discussion about how to preserve the history of disciplines meted to unruly members (such as banning from tournaments).  Current directors are informed as needed.  Future Board of Player Representatives would be helped by knowing how issues have been handled in the past.  But it is felt that the information shouldn’t be publicly available.
Deborah Baggett will document the duties of the Member Liaison.  She is serving in the post temporarily, but would like for someone else to volunteer.  Susi Tiekert has expressed some interest.
The boards hope to announce the location for 2020 Word Cup 10 at the 2019 Word Cup 9.  It is expected that it will be somewhere in the upper Midwest.
The meeting ended at 2:20.
Ruth Hamilton


Thirty-five Years in Phoenix

Barbara Van Alen, Larry Rand, and the Phoenix club hosted their 35th annual tournament.  Held over Presidents’ weekend, it was the usual gathering of old friends and some new ones.  We remembered two of our recently-deceased;  Joan Mocine and Jim Fischer.  Both were enjoyable opponents as well as competitive players.

Commemorative afghan

Commemorative afghan won by Natalie Dicou

Barbara organized the first Phoenix tournament in 1985.  She shared some memories with the group and made available a book of photos taken over the years.  She also shared the late Bobbi Sageser’s photo album from Durango.

You may see the tournament results under “Past Tournaments”.

You will find pictures at

It’s February – We have new words

Winners - Mitch Bayersdorfer (3rd), Betty Cornelison (2nd), Gunther Jacobi (1st).  Photo by Scott Smith

Winners – Mitch Bayersdorfer (3rd), Betty Cornelison (2nd), Gunther Jacobi (1st). Photo by Scott Smith

Our Lake Oswego group was honored to be the first to try out the new word list in tournament play.  It was a calm beginning, with an occasional EW,  Scott Smith hosted us and shared the performance prize with Joanne Manson.

Cruising on the Caribbean

The Scrabble group: Larry Rand, Betsey Wood, Betty Collins, Gerianne Abriano, Sarah King, Cheryl Melvin, Polly Lenzen (seated), Angela Dancho, Barbara Van Alen, and Jula Swaney

The WGPO group: Larry Rand, Betsey Wood, Betty Collins, Gerianne Abriano, Sarah King, Cheryl Melvin, Polly Lenzen (seated), Angela Dancho, Barbara Van Alen, and Jula Swaney

In a recent post, Larry Rand said, “we welcomed in the 2019 New Year with a seven night sailing on Celebrity’s newest ship, Edge.  Technologically, it is the best cruise ship in the world.  You may wish to google it for more information.”  If you view the photos at, you’ll get some indication of the grandeur of this vessel.  Here’s a small sample:




Pool and outdoor spa (top left)