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Late-bird event, games 4–5, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 15, 2018

February 4, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 4, 2018 My third-round victory in the late-bird tournament left multiple players with two wins and one loss. Due to the spread tie-breaker, K— remained atop the table at plus-263; I was second at plus-22; the tournament organizer, my friend D—, was third at minus-18; and C— was fourth […]

Late-bird event, games 1–3, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 15, 2018

February 3, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 3, 2018 After finishing third in the two-day main event, I played in the five-game “late bird” event that closed out the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament. My first opponent was C—, a young man whom I’d defeated in both of our previous meetings. Entering turn […]

Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament: Session 4, Jan. 14, 2018

January 22, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 22, 2018 I started the second and final afternoon session of the Duke PBMT benefit Scrabble tournament with a chance to hand a loss to C—, the division’s top seed and leader. C— and I swapped leads through the first five turns of the 13th game, with the biggest play […]

Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament: Session 3, Jan. 14, 2018

January 21, 2018

By Maajthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 21, 2018 I finished Saturday, the first day of the Duke PBMT benefit Scrabble tournament main event, with a six-game winning streak. I even got a good night’s sleep that evening! So I felt fairly optimistic as I sat down to open the event’s second and final day of play with a […]

Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament: Session 2, Jan. 13, 2018

January 20, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 20, 2018 I ran a bunch of errands over the lunch break before returning for the second session of the annual Duke PBMT benefit Scrabble tournament. I felt like I’d had a respectable morning overall. Yes, my two losses had been annoying, but to be fair to myself, I’d […]

Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament: Session 1, Jan. 13, 2018

January 19, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 17, 2018 I arranged the evening of Friday, Jan. 12, so as to get home and go to bed at a decent hour — and the plan worked out. Unfortunately, my brain and body didn’t cooperate, and it wasn’t until sometime around 5 a.m. that I finally fell asleep. […]

Late-bird event, games 4–5, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 16, 2017

February 18, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 18, 2017 The fourth game of the 2017 Duke PBMT late-bird tournament turned out to be much more exciting than the third. My foe was TS, whom I’d beaten in the 2016 Duke PBMT late bird tournament and in the April 2016 mall tournament. We saw a lot of early […]

Late-bird event, games 1–3, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 16, 2017

February 17, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 17, 2017 After finishing third in the two-day main event, I played in the five-game “late bird” event that closed out the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament. My first opponent was very familiar: J—, whom I’d played three times on Sunday, losing twice, including a remarkable game […]

Games 13 through 16, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 15, 2017

February 16, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 16, 2017 When Sunday’s late session got under way, with game 13, I faced EM for the third time in the tournament and the second time in three games. I took an early lead in turn 2 with SHITTY/WAIFS 46 but fell behind two turns later when I failed to challenge my […]

Games 9 through 12, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 15, 2017

February 15, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 15, 2017 I began Sunday as the leader in the lower division, but I was annoyed. My failure to spot the word DIAPERS on my rack of ADEIPRS in Saturday’s final game ate at me. Still, there was nothing to be done about it. So I geared up for my ninth-round game against […]

Games 5 through 8, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 14, 2017

February 14, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 14, 2017 Following Saturday’s lunch break, my fifth game matched me against R—, the fellow who had handed me my only defeat in the tournament that I’d won the previous spring. I took a 68-29 lead after three turns, largely thanks to WROTE/EVENT 32, which used the triple-word-score bonus at top row–center […]

Games 1 through 4, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 14, 2017

February 13, 2017

By Miotthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 13, 2017 My opening game in the main event of the seventh annual Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament was against BC, a clever local youngster who had never before participated in an official tournament. In turn 2, playing first, BC jumped out to an 86-25 lead […]

Late-bird event, games 4–5, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 18, 2016

February 14, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 14, 2016 After the first three games of the late-bird event Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, I had a 2-1 record and a positive spread. I wanted to keep the momentum going with a win in game four against TS, a student who was participating in […]

Late-bird event, games 1–3, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 18, 2016

February 13, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 13, 2016 After acquitting myself fairly well in the 2016 Duke PBMT tournament, I decided to take one last bite at the Scrabble apple. I drove back to Duke on Monday morning, Jan. 18, to participate in a five-gave “late bird” side tournament. I opened play against KE, the older woman […]

Games 13 through 16, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 17, 2016

February 9, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 9, 2016 My 13th-round game in the 2016 Duke PBMT tournament was against C—, who had beaten me by 26 points en route to a perfect 8-0 showing on Saturday. He still led our division, but he had just sustained his first defeat in the 12th round, a 48-point loss. C—’s 11-1 record was still […]

Games 9 through 12, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 17, 2016

February 7, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 7, 2016 Of all the Scrabble players I’ve officially faced (51) in all the official Scrabble tournaments I’ve officially played (10), there is one person I’ve faced more than any other. X— is a local kid who might be a high school freshman or sophomore now. In 11 games, […]

Games 5 through 8, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 16, 2016

February 6, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 6, 2016 My opponent in game 5 of the sixth annual Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament was J—, a local player whom I had faced, and lost to, in a June 2015 tournament. He opened turn 5 with NUrTUrE/TOr/FINE 66, which put him up, 137-99. I was behind, 221-172, […]

Games 1 through 4, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, Jan. 16, 2016

February 6, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Feb. 6, 2016 My first game in the main event of the sixth annual Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament  was against P—, a local player whom I’d officially played twice before, in the 2014 and 2015 PBMT tournament main events — both losses. This time around, I held a […]

Game 16, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 27, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 27, 2015 And so it all came down to this: My 16th and final game of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament. I wouldn’t be able to finish with a winning record. I almost certainly wouldn’t be able to finish with a positive cumulative scoring margin. […]

Game 15, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 26, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 26, 2015 By winning my 14th game in the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, I preserved my opportunity to finish 8-8. But to do so, I’d have to win my last two games. That was no small feat, considering that for game 15, I was […]

Game 14, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 26, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 26, 2015 In losing my 13th contest of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, I reached a threshold: At 5-8, the best I could do was winning my last three games to finish 8-8. Fortunately for me, my opponent in game 14 was J., the 20-something novice whom I’d […]

Game 13, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 26, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 26, 2015 Going into game 13 of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, I had my worst record of the weekend: five wins and seven losses. Unfortunately, that would continue to deteriorate. I was facing K., a very sharp woman about my age or a little […]

Game 12, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 26, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 26, 2015 My opponent in my 12th game of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament was a young fellow I’ll call X. It was not a surprise to see him: In recent years, I’ve played several tournament games against X., a local kid who’s probably in middle school […]

Game 11, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 25, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 25, 2015 My record was all even at 5-5 when I played my third game of day two in the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament. My opponent for this contest was C., the same sharp young whippersnapper whom I’d bested, 377-342, in my very first game […]

Game 10, Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, 1/18/2015

January 24, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken MEMwrites.wordpress.com Jan. 24, 2015 By losing my opening game on day two of the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program benefit Scrabble tournament, I fell back into negative territory with a 4-5 record. That left me feeling some pressure to get a win in my next game, the 10th of the […]