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Joel Sherman

[photo of Sherman] Joel Sherman, 37, is one of the only people in the world who can rightly state his profession as "SCRABBLE® player". He is the reigning World Champion, having won the 1997 WSC held in Washington, D.C., and placed 2nd at the preceding 1995 WSC. He is favored to win this year's event, though he will need to overcome very tough competition to do so. He has been playing the game since the age of six, and devotes his life to it. He enjoys travelling to interesting places to play SCRABBLE®, often in the company of his brother and father (also avid tournament players).

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Round 1. Sherman plays Jim Nanavati of Toronto, ON. The two have met, but not in WSC play. See photo above.
Sherman beat Nanavati 497-320, and is now in 9th place, 1-0 +177.
Round 2. Joel Sherman loses to Canadian Champion Joel Wapnick, 353-477, and is now in 38th place, 1-1 +53.
Round 3. Joel Sherman beats American Steve Polatnick 433-405 and moves up to 31st place, 2-1 +81.
Round 4. Sherman wins a close, low-scoring game 372-350 against Shafique Thobani of Kenya. He's now in the bottom half of a large group of players at 3-1, in 24th place with a spread of +103.
Round 5. Sherman beats Mohan Chunkath of India 434-394 and climbs to 17th place, 4-1, +143, 14th among 16 players at 4-1.
Round 6. Sherman wins a close game 391-386 against fellow American Robert Felt. He's now in 11th place, 5-1 +148.
Round 7. Sherman won against Andrew Fisher (UK) 437-406. Sherman is now #7, with a record of 6-1 +179.
Round 8. Sherman won against Roland Filio (BA) 411-354. Sherman is now #4, with a record of 7-1 +236.

Jane Williams writes: "Joel at Table 4 is in great spirits and is kidding with me as he sees me taking notes. He is in 7th place (179) playing Filio (BA) and ends up winning, ending the day with a 7-1 +236. Joel Sherman is the 4th person with the 7-1 record for today. He is up 236 but 'should be more like +380 but I can't play fast enough.'"

Round 9. Sherman won a big game against Randy Hersom (US) 497-424. Sherman is now #2, with a record of 8-1 +309. The Joelgernaut played STERILE, B(I)OSCOPE, COWBANES while Randy played CULOTTE(S), GIGGLIER and DATELINE.
Round 10. Sherman won against David Boys (CA) 395-282. Sherman is now #1, with a record of 9-1 +422.
Round 11. Sherman won a ninth consecutive game against Nigel Richards (NZ) 491-441. Sherman is now #1, with a record of 10-1 +472.

Cheah Siu Hean reported:

World Champion Joel Sherman is playing Nigel Richards (New Zealand) for the first time. Nigel has just played [on his third turn] 1h REMEDING through the D to equal Selwyn Lobo's high word score of 158 for PRESIDERS. However, Nigel has picked UWEIIII...

Unbelievably, Nigel has played WE for 29, picking CA. Nigel exchanged seven the next turn. The two turns have allowed Joel to get back in the game with a bottom row bonus of DARTLES...

It appears that Joel has gone firmly ahead with three consecutive bingos (B)EGUINE, CHARRIES and AG(N)OSTIC...

Joel wins 491 to 441.

Round 12. Sherman lost to David Wiegand (US) 452-548. Sherman is now #2, with a record of 10-2 +376. Sherman played bingoes SKELETAL, ASTONED and MOUTHER to Wiegand's BAPTISE, INTERIOR, FORTIES and phony PANNERS.
Round 13. Sherman won against Jakkrit Klaphajone (TH) 435-371. Sherman is now #1, with a record of 11-2 +440.
Round 14. Sherman lost to Joel Wapnick (CA) 357-456. Sherman is now #3, with a record of 11-3 +341.
Round 15. Sherman lost to John Luebkemann (US) 377-471. Sherman is now #6, with a record of 11-4 +247.
Round 16. Sherman lost to Brett Smitheram (UK) 420-449. Sherman is now #10, with a record of 11-5 +218.
Round 17. Sherman won against David Boys (CA) 471-453. Sherman is now #6, with a record of 12-5 +236.
Round 18. Sherman won against John Holgate (AU) 439-362. Sherman is now #4, with a record of 13-5 +313. His opponent writes:
I had a frustrating game against Joe Sherman in round 18 having an early blank but nowhere to play my seven for several turns. Joel scored well with INDORSEE and UNSATED and won by 77.

Round 19. Sherman lost to Joel Wapnick (CA) 391-444. Sherman is now #8, with a record of 13-6 +260.
Round 20. Sherman lost to Femi Awowade (NI) 407-474. Sherman is now #12, with a record of 13-7 +193. Unusual words: HIPBONE$, MANILLE.
Round 21. Sherman lost to Ron Tiekert (US) 367-370. Sherman is now #17, with a record of 13-8 +190. Nice plays: FAIRLEAD$, CHUTNEE$.
Round 22. Sherman lost to Naween Fernando (LK) 278-494. Sherman is now #24, with a record of 13-9 -26.
Round 23. Sherman won against Paul Epstein (US) 517-479. Sherman is now #19, with a record of 14-9 +12. Sherman bingo-ed KEYWOrD.
Round 24. Sherman won against Bob Jackman (AU) 432-371 to finish #15, with a record of 15-9 +73. Sherman was observed to bingo JOnESES in this game.

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