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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DEFENDING CHAMP JOEL WAPNICK OF CANADA MAINTAINS LEAD AFTER 14 ROUNDS AT WORLD SCRABBLE® CHAMPIONSHIP
LAS VEGAS, NV Joel Wapnick, a music professor from Montreal, Canada, had a way with words today, holds onto first place after 14 rounds at the World SCRABBLE® Championship (WSC) with 12 wins and a +152 point spread. Nearly 90 experts from 40 countries are competing for the top prize of $25,000 and bragging rights among the world's 35,000 tournament players. Wapnick is trailed by Adam Logan of Canada (11-3, +604) in second and Howard Warner of New Zealand (11-3, +594) in third. American Brian Cappelletto is in fourth (11-3, +556).
According to National SCRABBLE® Association Executive Director John D. Williams Jr., the competition has been fierce. "These players are the best of the best," he said, "and they've been demonstrating that here." He noted that 20 countries participated in the first WSC in 1991, and doubling that number shows how global the SCRABBLE® tournament scene has become. Experts traveled from as far as Bahrain, Japan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. Games are played in English, although for many competitors it's their second or third language.
Some unusual words played today include: YERK (dialect of a shoemaker), FY (denoting disgust), QWERTY (a standard keyboard) and ZEL (form of an Oriental cymbal).
Every player will compete in ten more rounds. Which two will face-off in the best-of-five finals on Monday from 9AM to noon? "It's anyone's game. We won't know until Round 24 wraps tomorrow," Williams said.
The WSC is organized by the NSA of Greenport, NY, and sponsored by game manufacturer Hasbro, Inc. Live online coverage on www.scrabble-assoc.com.
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