(This is the third of four mini-profiles of the semifinalists of theÂ D Magazine Words With Friends Tournament. Chris Cree will faceÂ Rich Goff in one of our two semifinals on June 9. Read to the jump to see this member of our Finally Four answer the same questions as ourÂ 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas nominees.)
55, owns a wholesale forklift business and is co-president of the National Scrabble Players Association
Lives in: University Park
How committed is Chris Cree to finishing off the competition in our tournament? June 9 – the day of our live semifinal and final matches – also happens to be Cree’s wedding anniversary. Not only will he be here to play, but his wife Carla will attend as well.
It’s a fitting enough celebration for them, considering that they met thanks to Cree’s hobby of competing in Scrabble tournaments all over the country. His love for the game was first sparked during a dorm-wide contest he participated in during his first year of college at SMU. He wiped the floor with everyone, bought a deluxe board, and soon was constantly carting around an unabridged dictionary. At first he mostly played the mothers of the girls he was dating.
One day he spotted a flier promoting the Scrabble Players Association, but he looked at it for seven years before he had the nerve to call. That’s when he found the Scrabble tournament and club scene, and he has been hooked ever since. Currently he’s ranked No. 21 among Scrabble players in the United States.
Yet he remains a bit of a novice at Words With Friends. The basic strategies and rules of the games are the same, but Cree notes that – due to differences in tile values and WWF’s smaller bonus for using all seven letters in a turn – “the necessity to bingo, as we say, early and often, is not quite the same” in Newtoy’s game.
And while Cree has been the prohibitive favorite to win it all since the tournament began last week, he’s run into a few hiccups along the way. During his last match against Luis Ellis, he found that words that would have been acceptable in Scrabble play: “Retable “and “Rai” aren’t in WWF’s dictionary. He also doesn’t like how WWF only lets you rearrange the letters on your rack while it’s your turn on the clock. Difficulties like this could potentially create problems for him in the one-minute-per-turn format of the semifinals and finals.
While he’s accustomed to facing off against other expert players in Scrabble tournaments, Cree says all his matches of our tournament have been great. Particularly the game against David Higbee, in which the environmental consultant came closer than anyone to beating him. If Rich Goff proves to be a similar challenge, in Wednesday’s timed format, could Cree find himself in trouble? Stay tuned.
The D Magazine Words With Friends Tournament Finally Four Answer the 10 Most Beautiful Women in Dallas Questionnaire:
People would say your best feature is your:
Sense of humor.
Friends would describe you as “The _______ One.” (The Funny One, the Smart
One, the Flirty One, The Handsome One, The Sexy One, etc.)
My wife says, “All of the above.”
In the movie of your life, you would be played by which actor?
When you have downtime, you’re most likely to spend it:
As Chauncey Gardner said in Being There: “I like to watch television.
It’s happy hour during the week. You’re at _________ drinking a _________.
Goff’s …. drinking a chocolate shake.
It’s a typical Saturday night. What are you doing?
I am either out to eat dinner with friends at an out-of-town Scrabble tournament or out to eat in town with my wife and baby, a little TV, a little Scrabble study or Scrabble games with Carla or against a computer program.
What charitable organization is closest to your heart?
Oh gosh, there are so many. Those that benefit underprivileged children. The Trinity Mission came to my mind first.