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Valley’s top Scrabble players go up against the best at Word Cup

Published: 7/26/2017 11:17:40 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Members of the Northampton Scrabble Club will test their skills at the seventh annual Word Cup tournament in Springfield this weekend.

The tournament will consist of 31 games over five days, from July 28 to Aug. 2, at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel.

Ninety-three players from around the world will compete in the event in four categories based on lexicon and skill level. The top prize is $1,000 — plus unlimited bragging rights.

This is the first year the national tournament has come to the Northeast. For many players from the area, it’s their first chance to compete.

For some, this weekend’s competition seems like a homecoming.

“Seeing the folks that I share this passion with is really fun,” Northampton Scrabble Club director Brett Constantine told the Gazette. “Feels like the other players are family.”

Constantine, who lives in Florence, has been playing Scrabble competitvely for 10 years. To prepare for the tournament, he is reviewing Scrabble word lists, he said. This weekend, he will play in the top level of the North American lexicon.

“I’m going to get to play some of the best players in the world,” he said with enthusiasm.

In addition to Constantine, Ben Greenwood, also of Florence, Alan Raczka of Eastampton and Lorraine Majka of Ludlow are among those who will represent the area.

The Northampton Scrabble Club holds meetings Monday evenings at 4:30 in the Burger King Community Room at 344 King St. All players are invited.

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