This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Somewhere out there, a guy named Leon is also known as Big Tiny. I learned this after randomly accepting a Words With Friends game invite. I assumed I was playing a WGN viewer until my opponent messaged, “Leon, is that you?” I guess the person expected an easy win against Leon, AKA Big Tiny. But I’m Big Tiny on WWF.

Like so many other people, I am addicted to this app. And I’ve blogged before about my love for Scrabble. Word games are a fun distraction for journalists. I usually have over twenty games going between all of my apps. I win more than I lose. But I don’t keep close track of my record and I think it’s good to lose. I am always learning new tactics and words from superior players. Though my biggest mistake is sloppy play when I’m rushed.

I was a Scrabble addict long before Words came along. But now I’ve learned to appreciate both. The boards are quite different so switching between the games can seem like a good brain workout. I ran across a good training tool this week over at Chicago Now. Former newspaper editor and blogger Joe Grace wrote a helpful post called Five Keys to Success at Words With Friends. I’m relieved to know I’ve already learned most of Joe’s tips.

Among the people I’m constantly playing, current and former camera crews, reporters, anchors, producers, Andrew in WGN promotions, Scott over at the Tribune Tower, my hairdresser, my girlfriend Duong, a school teacher, a lawyer and a doctor. But I also maintain a rotating pool of randomly selected people who I assume are viewers or friends of friends. Or maybe they’re friends of Leon.

(Note: I decline a lot of game invitations. Please don’t be offended. I either have too many games going, don’t know you personally or know that I’ve already played against you.)