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AMERICAN OUSTS DEFENDING CHAMP TO WIN $25,000 AT WORLD SCRABBLE® CHAMPIONSHIP
LAS VEGAS, NV -- Brian Cappelletto, 32, an options trader from Chicago, IL, had the final word today as he defeated reigning champion Joel Wapnick, 55, a music professor from Montreal, Canada at the World SCRABBLE® Championship (WSC). Cappelletto, a former National Champion and the first SCRABBLE® prodigy who began playing competitively at 15, earned $25,000 and bragging rights among the world's 35,000 tournament players by beating Wapnick 3-1 in the best-of-five final. Wapnick walked away with $10,000.
The two finalists were among the nearly 90 experts from 40 countries who competed in 24 rounds over three days at The Venetian Hotel. Experts traveled from as far as Cameroon, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. Other top finishers include two Americans, Jim Kramer (IL) in third and Steve Polatnick (FL) in fourth, with Andrew Fisher (United Kingdom) taking fifth.
"The road to the finals was a tough one because the competition has been so fierce," said National SCRABBLE® Association Executive Director John D. Williams Jr. "It was great to have two seasoned champions in the final match." He added that over a million SCRABBLE® fans followed live online coverage of the first 24 WSC rounds at www.scrabble-assoc.com/wsc.
Some of the unusual words the winner played today include: VOZHD (a supreme leader in Russia) for 50 points, DARG (Scottish for a day's work) for 19 points, and JERRID (a wooden javelin) for 44 points.
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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