Scrabble competitors in various online forums have continued to discuss the matter with varying degrees of anger and resentment. As Karten explains it, "Nationals is the one tournament all year where you can really win a substantial amount of money, and [in 2011 this player] took that away from them." As he wrote via online forum to Lezin in August of 2011:
OPINION: Averaging a higher score per game than anyone, ever, when you are 12 years old, have played in 6 tournaments over the last 15 months, and amassed a rating around 1100 with 0 wins, is highly suspicious.
FACT: The first time in 19 rounds he failed to break 400 points was the same round that the director stood behind him and watched the game, due to a complaint that tiles were in his lap and pocket.
Karten told me, "Every single day these people study words and play Scrabble. It's really upsetting. The [officials] knew and they let him do it last year, and they let him do it another 23 games this year."
Unless the player admits to cheating last year as well, however, the 2011 Nationals records will remain the same. "Might he come forward now in a cleansing attempt? That's possible," Williams told me. If he did confess, the money he'd won would have to be returned and the rankings of winners would be revised. In the aftermath of yesterday's confession, his 2012 opponents have received credit for wins and also have been awarded an additional 50 points. "It's like he was never there," Williams said. After the tournament, officials will put into motion a procedure involving taking statements, hearing from witnesses, determining the full circumstances, and deciding whether the player will be allowed to compete in the future. For now, Williams said, "I don't imagine he'll be playing again soon." Our anonymous source says that the ejection of the player does give some satisfaction: "I was so happy yesterday. It was good to see retribution. Hopefully people will keep a closer look out for this in the future."
This is not the only cheating instance in Scrabble. "No one expects this," Williams said. "They expect it in a professional sport, but who would cheat at Scrabble? But we've had cheating and disciplinary sanctions; people have had to return money or been suspended. Not very often, but it happens." Other forms of Scrabble cheating overdrawing tiles, banking points (adding points when you really didn't make them), and, in the old days, brailling, when a player would attempt to feel the tiles to grab the smooth ones; the blanks. "Now we have braille-proof tiles," said Williams.
Karten said cheating happens all the time, but "what really got me upset was not that he cheated ... I honestly am not sure he is old or mature enough to even know better. What got me so upset was that the adults whose responsibility it was to enforce the rules knew he cheated, ignored it, and then told those of us saying differently that we were jealous, sore losers and needed to shut our mouths. Then they conducted an investigation in which they didn't interview him or his opponents, and concluded that he did not cheat, despite knowing exactly how he cheated, and having all the evidence back it up. This indicated they had their mind made up all along, and the honor of the game was not even close to the number 1 priority."