What can I say? I am shocked and so happy!
I went in to day 4 lying in 6th place, with Thacha almost assured a place barring meltdown on 19 wins, Goutham on 17, Taewan and Pakorn on 16, and Alastair on 15 and slightly better spread than me. And another 4 players also on 15 with worse spread...
I knew that I probably needed to win 5 out of 6 and for Thacha to keep winning to stand a chance of making the final in second place, but didn't really think I stood a hope. Four would probably guarantee I was in the prizes. Okay, just take it a game at a time.
Taewan first, one win ahead of me but inferior spread. A good win, helped by a couple of attempts at a non-existent bingo early in the game by Taewan, but I am still in 6th but have made up some ground, being now only one win behind second place. Pakorn had beaten Thacha - bad for me, Gautham lost to Alastair - good for me, Jakkrit had a large win and thus overtook me on spread.
Pakorn next - MUST WIN game. Pakorn opened with GALAX for 42, but I had YODLING sitting on my rack. And I came through, suddenly finding myself in second place when Thacha beat Alastair and Gautham and Jakkrit also both lost. And suddenly Vannitha had leapt up to third place. Five of us now on 17 wins and Thacha out in front on 20.
I had Goutham next, and after having lost to him twice already in the tourney I at last got to show him that I can play. A big win - spread was very likely to decide the second place and another 211 points did me no harm whatsoever.
A very short lunch break - I had time for a ciggie, pee, and grab a coffee - as we had started slightly late (a knock-on affect from playing Pakorn the round before) and had run our clocks right down. Luckily I still had a small muffin and bananas in my bag.
Thacha next. Hmm. He started with WIREMAN for 82. I had ELOOOOT... Not quite what I had wanted but I dumped (M)OOLOO for 9. He bingoed with CLAWERS for another 87. I would like to say I performed a miracle, but did manage to get the losing spread down to double figures. Back to third place, Pakorn now a win ahead again.
Thacha was now Gibsonised so pairings were king-of-the-hill from second place, so Pakorn again. I started with a bonus and never looked back.
Game 29. The winner between myself and Jakkrit would make the final. Pakorn needed to win and us to draw...
Jakkrit started with HOG. I dumped DANIO below it, holding another AN. This apparently blocked Jakkrit's bonus so he started a farmyard theme, playing off PIG. I bingoed on move 4 to take a healthy lead on a semi blocked board, and maintained control. With a 60+ lead and holding a blank I declined playing a face-value bonus in the only bonus line, that opened a 9-x, but dumped off DE for a mere 13, keeping EIST?. Jakkrit played onto a triple, giving me a floater for a safe bingo of lAMITE(R)S. A pick of AEINSZ? meant I was home and dry.
I had 27/58 blanks, but much more importantly only a few games where a had prolonged runs of unbalanced racks.
My nicest bonuses were J(I)HADEEN and B(A)RnEYI(N)G, both against Nigel in a game I lost.
For those of you who are interested details of the whole event, including the final, can be found here.
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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