Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stuff I like:

For some time now, I have been in need of a hobby that would get me out of the house. I like to play a lot of board games, but several of my board game playing buddies have moved away and those that are still around don't get together as often as we used to. I watch the documentary Word Wars a while back, and though it was obvious professional Scrabble was no way to make a living, I decided to give Scrabble as a hobby a try.

I bought the game to play on my computer a while back, and today I went for the first time to the Oakland Scrabble Club, which meets at the game store It's Your Move up on Telegraph in the Temescal district, an easy walk from the MacArthur BART station. I was greeted by a very nice lady named Cynthia, who runs the club both because she is president and a natural born queen bee. She very cheerfully and helpfully beat me like a red-headed stepchild while keeping track of all the other games being played, correctly answering any and all questions about challenges of possibly fake words (known as phonies by the hardcore Scrabble players), while casually clearing her rack twice (known as a bingo) to easily outpace me, though I did get both blank tiles in my rack at the same time and hoarded them until I could make a bingo of my own. After our game was over, she told me I had potential and needed to have the two and three letter words down pat, as well as the ways to add to two letter words to make three letter words and the ways to make the three letter words into four letter words.

So that's my homework assignment.

After our game was over, another newby came in, an attractive young lady named Shea whom I played twice, winning both games. In my first three games, I went 2-1 with an average score of 317 (not great, not completely sucky either) and had outscored my opponents by 74 points overall. I had fun and I will definitely go to the Oakland Scrabble Club again.

If you like the game, the club meets on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Saturdays of the month. It's easy to find an opponent and the store is a nice environment. There are also plenty of good places to grab a bite nearby afterwards.

If you are an East Bay person like me who likes games, Matty Boy says check it out.


Karlacita! said...

Wait. Tino and I wonder: If Matthew, the smartest person we know, has potential, does that mean the rest of us are SOL?

I love that you've found a place to game, and a game you can't immediately crush under your mighty hooves. I leave it to you to decide what kind of a mythological beast that makes you.

And please spell it correctly!

dguzman said...

Hey, that's great! AB and I have played some real death matches, as has my family. For all my vocabulary and crossword prowess, I SUCK at Scrabble. It's pathetic. The ex used to say that it was because Scrabble is about math, not words. I don't know about that, but I still love the game.

Matty Boy said...

My friend Mina played and shoe used to school us hard. At game days, we almost never played Scrabble, as Mina would run away with those games, and we never played trivia, which favored Jodi, Art and me too much.

Matty Boy said...

'shoe' should be 'she'. Boy, si my face red.

On the other hand, it's misspelled, but it correctly spells another word, and in Scrabble that's close enough.