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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DEFENDING CHAMP JOEL WAPNICK OF CANADA LEADS AFTER OPENING DAY AT WORLD SCRABBLE® CHAMPIONSHIP
LAS VEGAS, NV -- Reigning champion Joel Wapnick, a music professor from Montreal, Canada, has taken an early lead (7-1, +550) after eight intense rounds at the World SCRABBLE® Championship (WSC). He's followed by two former National Champions, Adam Logan (CAN) in second and Brian Cappelletto (USA) in third. Nearly 90 experts from 40 countries are competing at The Venetian Hotel for a top prize of $25,000 and bragging rights among the world's 35,000 tournament players. They've been wielding words like GOA (a gray-brown Tibetan gazelle), KLOOF (a mountain ravine) and ILEX (a shrub or tree). The total prize package is over$50,000.
All the players compete in English, although for many it is their second or third language. And while the American and Canadian teams have a solid grasp of the 100,000 words in The Official Club and Tournament Word List, they've been studying diligently to familiarize themselves with the additional 30,000 included in the British word source. That list includes words like SOWTH (to whistle or hum softly), ZO (a male cattle in the Himalayas) and YRNEH (a unit of reciprocal inductance), remembered because it's HENRY spelled backwards.
"The SCRABBLE® subculture is booming," said John D. Williams Jr., Executive Director of the National SCRABBLE® Association, Greenport, NY, organizers of the tournament. " We expect to see some spectacular play this week." Competitors have traveled from as far away as Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Malta. According to Williams, only 20 countries competed in the first WSC in 1991.
The top two finishers will go face-off in a best-of-five finals on Monday, December 17 from 9 AM 12 noon. The WSC is sponsored by SCRABBLE® game manufacturer Hasbro, Inc.
HASBRO is the owner of the registered SCRABBLE® trademark in the United States and Canada. © 2011 HASBRO. All rights reserved. "SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game" is the proper way to refer to this unique group of word games and related properties marketed by HASBRO. "SCRABBLE®" is not a generic term. To use it as such is not only misleading but also does injustice to the company responsible for the trademark's longtime popularity. All we ask is that when you mean SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game, you say so.
The SCRABBLE® trademark is owned by J.W. Spear and Sons, PLC, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. outside of the United States and Canada.
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