Alright so Day 2. Woke up fresh and ready to break some hearts.

Random Words - 15 min. The goal here was to go for 200. I usually practice this in 5 minute intervals and can do around 90 words. Anyways, I went for 200 but only made it to 186. I made 2 dumb mistakes, flipping two pairs of words around (those mistakes each nixed a column of 20 points) and one spelling mistake (who the hell spells "putty" like "puddy"? Apparently me). So my score ended up being 145. Not bad, but I can do better.

Marathon Cards - 30 min. I had done 8 decks solid in practice. I was hesitant to go for that in competition (because in competition it's always 10 times harder for some reason) but I said to hell with it and just tried. I ended up doing it completely perfect. I can't help but think that being able to memorize 8 decks of cards in under a half-hour must be useful SOMEWHERE in SOME casino, right?

Historic Dates - 5 min. My new favorite event. Only just started practicing this one with my new 3-digit system a few weeks ago and I keep improving everytime I practice. I've been managing in the high 40s lately and that's exactly what I got: 47 dates. My goal is to push that up near 100 by the WMCs. Done.

Spoken Numbers. This event is awesome. We listen to a computer spit out random digits, 1 at a time, at a rate of 1 digit a second and see how far we can go before our brains fart. There are 3 attempts, 100, 300, and 400 seconds worth of digits. I tried for 100 digits each time. The first time I lost concentration around digit 42 and couldnt keep up. The second attempt I got all the way to the 100th digit but had a 4 digit gap at around the 48th digit (I couldn't remember Dr. Dre setting himself on fire...CURSE YOU DOCTOR!!). The final attempt I went for 100 again and messed up after digit 50. So I ended up with 50. Respectable, but not great. My goal is to get over 200 in this event next time. I used to be able to do 160, just need more practice.

Speed Cards. Don't even wanna talk about it. Luckily I was sitting almost comfortably in 2nd place by this point (although James Ponder was close behind). I was out of control the first attempt hitting 46 seconds, but butchering the recall beyond hell. Second attempt, I thought about slowing it down to make SURE I got it, but that's not my style. I did it in 50 seconds with the utmost confidence! Turns out I flipped two cards (confused Jesus with Jack Black....clearly a forgivable mistake). So I ended up with a score of 3 cards haha. No worries, that's how it goes sometimes. I still came in 2nd.

Anndddddd....I moved up in the international memory rankings from 101 to 38....finally becoming the BEST American (currently and all-time), beating out the awesome Grandmaster Scott Hagwood, the fake-American David Thomas, and the apparently of-cheating-fame, Yu Zhang (Eric Chang). Sweet!

Anyways, it was awesome hanging out with some memory nerds for the weekend. Always good fun. Cool to finally meet Rick de Jung and James Paterson, and to see Ben's hat again (love that thing). Oh did I mention I met Dominic O Brien? He is awesome and sounds exactly like he does on his Audio book. Fancy that!