Scrabble Player Profile: Matt Canik

Matt CanikMatt Canik has been playing Scrabble since he was 12 years old, and he has grown up to become a high school Anatomy and Physiology teacher (which helps with all of those tricky science-oriented Scrabble words). When he’s not playing Scrabble or teaching, you may find him golfing, cooking, or playing Super Smash Bros.

Matt is currently on a 2-month, 5000+ mile road trip playing Scrabble across the continent during summer vacation, which has included many games with rival and friend Joey Krafchick. Over their Scrabble tournament history, Matt has scored wins over Joey by 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 points, tied him once, and accrued an overall record of 16.5-15.5 in their games – they may meet again in Division A in Fort Wayne!

Scrabble Player Profile: Mel Jordan

Throughout the 2016 North American Scrabble Championship (NASC), we will be sharing mini-bios of our players.

scrabble players
photo courtesy of Patty Hocker

Mel Jordan celebrates her birthday with Scrabble friends today! It was fate when she realized that the NYC Scrabble club met a block from her office. She played in her first tournament in July 2015 and this is her fourth tourney and first Nationals.

Interests other than Scrabble include law, and watching The Fall and The Bachelor. London is among her favorite places, and Tinder among her favorite websites.

NASC 2016: Pre-Event Festivities, Friday Aug 5 2016

2016 North American Scrabble Championship Reception
2016 North American Scrabble Championship Reception

Greetings from the Grand Wayne Convention Center in lovely Fort Wayne, Indiana! Players have been milling in all day, gathering their red swag bags, name badges, and event folders. The whole convention area is in full “welcome” mode with letter-themed throw pillows on the foyer furniture and letter-themed artwork everywhere (including inside the convention rest rooms!). Dallas and Sue Johnson, our event organizers, have the well-oiled volunteer machine working efficiently. Players received a set of NASPA tiles, a long wooden rack, and a chance to enter to win the two pairs of tickets being raffled from the Jim Gaffigan comedy show later this week.

At 7:30, players gathered at the opening reception across from the convention center at the Legacy Ballroom in the Courtyard Marriott. Connie Creed (Philadelphia, PA) once again outdid herself by ordering up a smorgasbord of great food: pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, flatbreads (one was “Philly Cheese Steak”), and fresh vegetable crudités! Tables were adorned with fresh berry parfaits and brushed aluminum cocktail tables were perfectly positioned around the room. The room was hopping with happy players already regaling friends with stories about great plays and the like.

Artist and SCRABBLE expert, Jeremy Hildebrand, unable to attend this year, has once again outdone himself by designing our event T-shirts. See if you can spot one in the event photographs! Hint: the skinny character is Johnny Appleseed!