Remember the good old days (10 years ago) when you sat around a table with people you enjoyed and played a great board game?  Live and in person, you felt the fun and frustration of the person sitting next to you.

Turn off your Smartphone and brush up on your vocabulary because The Arc of Monmouth County and Brett Colby, talented Asbury Park resident, are bringing back the classic enjoyment of one of the top-selling board games with the second annual “Scrabble by the Sea” tournament at the spectacular Berkeley Hotel ballroom Sept. 29.

I spoke with Colby about the event, knick-named “Words with (Real) Friends.

“Scrabble by the Sea” tournament benefits The Arc of Monmouth. Jason Keller, nine-time “Jeopardy” champion will be hosting the event at the Berkeley Hotel.

TBP:  I love this idea for a benefit.

Colby:  It is an effort to get people off their Smartphones and play a real, live game with another human being.

Also, all funds from Scrabble by the Sea support 1,400 people in Monmouth County with Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

I love this charity.  Many people haven’t heard of The Arc so I hope that events like this raise awareness.  The Arc does much for so many people in Monmouth County – healthcare, housing, education, employment for people with disabilities that seem to be forgotten these days.

TBP:  This is the second annual event you are organizing.  The first had almost 100 players.

Colby:  It was amazing last year.  We were blown away by the turnout.  Especially that some people traveled from as far away as Boston to attend.  So many new friends were made last year because players get paired up with someone different after each round.

Scrabble is funbecause every game is completely different, based on the letters drawn and the words that an opponent puts down.  To win, you need a mix of luck and skill.  It is unlike most board games in that anyone can really study to become better at.

TBP:  According to a Scrabble history website, the board game can be found in one out of three homes in the US, like Alec Baldwin’s.  He may be the most infamous fan of the game but will not be at your event.  You did, however, invite another passionate Scrabble fan.

Colby:  My friend Jason Keller, who won for nine days on “Jeopardy” in 2011, is helping me host the event.  Jason will be at the center of it all keeping time and tracking the scores.  You would think that managing that many games simultaneously is a daunting task, but he does it with ease and keeps things moving along quickly.

TBP:  I have not played Scrabble in years.

Colby:  Does not matter.  We do not exclude anyone here and there are various divisions for all skill levels and ages.  The divisions help people play as fast or as slow as they like.  The online registration has all the information for kids and adults that want to play.  There is absolutely nothing to be scared of… except a bunch of fun loving people.

To register or learn more log on to or call 732.493.1919, x 120.