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Player Profile: Lisa Odom

[Photo of Odom and Pellinen]

Lisa Odom <asilmodo@aol.com>, pictured here with Steve Pellinen <pellinet@aol.com>, a fellow SCRABBLE® player, and her best friend in the whole wide world, hails from New York City and learned the expert game at the Beverly Bridge Club (SCRABBLE® Club #56). Lisa says,

Paul Avrin <pavrin@netcom.com> was my mentor back in those early days; he taught me the basics: rack management, tracking, end-game strategy. Learning the vocabulary was up to me.
Lisa, a pension benefits analyst for the Board of Pensions of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and Steve, a civil engineer, live in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. She moved to Minneapolis in late 1991 and now attends Twin Cities SCRABBLE® Club #42, directed by Carol Dustin. One of only a few women in the list of the top 50 players in North America, Lisa has been playing tournament SCRABBLE® since 1989. Currently rated 1923, she is the second highest-rated woman competing in Chicago's expert division.

She is quick to remind me that ours isn't a two-tiered, sex-segregated system, but it is true that most top SCRABBLE® players are men. In terms of major tournament wins, Lisa's big breakthrough came in 1995 when she won the Twin Cities and Sioux Falls tournaments back to back to qualify for the Superstars competition. Subsequently, she won another one in Sioux Falls and a Las Vegas tournament. Her best finish of late was third place at the recent Reno event. She says,

For recreation, I play tennis whenever I can drag Steve onto the court. I also like to sing and play guitar for my own private amusement.
An avid reader, Lisa tends toward novels and murder mysteries, where she enjoys finding SCRABBLE® words in the context of literature. Lisa participated in one World SCRABBLE® Championship (New York, 93), where she finished 15th. Her current SCRABBLE® goals are to reach the 2000 pinnacle and to finish in the top ten at the nationals.

-- Sherrie Saint John, Internet Reporter, NSC98

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