2003 Canadian SCRABBLE Championship Commentary: Award Ceremony
Go to: Before the Tournament, Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5, Round 6, Round 7, Round 8, Round 9, Round 10, Round 11, Round 12, Round 13, Round 14, Round 15, Round 16, Round 17, Round 18, Award Ceremony, Final Round 1, Final Round 2, Final Round 3, Final Round 4, After the Tournament.
Amidst a sea of hugs and kisses and fond farewells, the players who had to get going separated from the ones who wanted to stay and see the various winners. More stayed than left and the Awards began shortly after the last bits of paperwork were handed in.
In a smartly pressed button-down shirt, John Chew took to the microphone like a the pro he has become and the Awards Ceremony was under way. He thanked Hasbro Canada, The Toronto Games, and The Ontario Club before he went straight to the prizewinners. The players he called up were assured that their checks would be in the mail straight away. It is worth noting that the amounts paid will be in Canadian dollars.
Winning for Highest Scoring Word (Friday) was a tie between Carl Madden (Brantford ON) for SHUSHING and Teri Tetreault (Calgary AB) for EXHORTED, both reporting 107-point plays. Unable to stay for the ceremony, Carl had asked Evan Berofsky (Thornhill ON) to act on his behalf, so Evan and Teri approached the front of the room and each drew a tile closest to A. Teri won the draw and the $25 prize.
Winning for Highest Scoring Word (Saturday) was Maddalena Palazzo (Richmond Hill ON) for her play of NEEDLING for 144. John Chew was relieved that Mad didn't receive other prizes as she was the only one who entered a word for that day and he wanted the $25 to find a good home.
The Highest Scoring Word (Sunday) was awarded to Allan Simon (Calgary AB) for his play of JOKIEST for 119. He, too, won $25.
Best Record recepients, also receiving $25 checks were Friday's John Robertson (Cambridge ON) who was 3-0 +252, Saturday's Steve Ozorio (Mississauga ON) who was 6-0 +535, and Sunday's Jim Nanavati (Burlington ON) who was 5-1 +244. Friday's winner was unable to stay for the prize ceremony, so after his applause, John Chew pretended to pose and shake his hand anyway.
The event's "Tuff" Luck prize went to Ian Bell (Waterloo ON) for losing six games by a total of 71 points. As the crowd applauded, Ian walked up for a handshake (as did all the previous prizewinners). John asked him his event record and Ian told us all that he was 4-14 -585, finishing in 49th place. Making lemonades out of lemons, the quick-thinking John retorted, "If you'd scored just 77 more points over the weekend, you would have been 10-8 -508, in 20th place!" Something to shoot for next time.
Ian's prize was a SCRABBLE® rug, one of two donated by Sam Kantimathi to the event in honor of Michael Wise. Ian, delighted with the rug, admitted he already had one. Robin Pollock Daniel (Toronto ON) rugless until that moment offered to buy it from him and a little auction took place. I'm going out on a limb and speculating that Ian's wife will be delighted, we think, to not have a matching pair of rugs in their Waterloo home!
The next prize was the Michael Wise Good Sportsmanship Award, for most in the room the most meaningful prize to be awarded that evening. The players all voted for the winner by secret ballot after round 16. Lisa Deift and John Chew verified the numbers of votes and this year there was a tie. This put John Chew into a bit of a pickle as there was only one rug, also donated by Sam Kantimathi, for the two winners to split. I'm sure they'll iron out which one gets it, but there were offers to "cut the rug" in half. John called out the two players-- Dean Saldanha (Richmond BC) and Joel Wapnick (Montréal QC)--and they made their way to the front of the room to a pretty hefty applause. Dean, perfectly composed throughout this whole event, was suddenly overtaken with emotion and had a hard time getting it together enough to pose in front of the SCRABBLE® rug prize. The gentlemen they are, each told the other that he could have the rug, and they decided to decide later. I know I speak for many when I say that Dean's reaction to the honor caused more than a few misty eyes. It is one thing to win a SCRABBLE® tournament and it is another thing, entirely, to be recognized by one's peers.
John then thanked the various touranment helpers for all their combined efforts, saving his thanks for the Internet reporting last. John said, "thanks for telling our story."
Then the top 10 players were called up one by one and we gave them a large round of applause en masse. It was a warm moment on a cold night.
We can't wait for tomorrow!
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