I had another lackluster performance in league at the beginning of the month. I was having a hard time thinking of what to highlight but I think I’ve realized which hand tells me what to focus on going into the final session of the season.

In the 3rd game, first hand of the south round, Dora was West, and I was in the west seat about a thousand points behind Ide in the lead, with this hand

五六①②②⑥⑦2256南南

Ide has had a good season so far, as one would expect of a player of his caliber somehow ending up in D1. He was also dealer this hand and I had a feeling it’d be a good idea to kill his dealer turn quickly if I had the chance. But I also had enough of an inkling this hand could be bigger that when Ide threw the first South on the 7th draw, I hesitated enough that I missed the chance to pon. Thank goodness that instinct prevailed because my next four draws were ②⑤(reach)7! Even without ippatsu, mangan!

There are 2 key points about this hand. First of all, reaching here conforms to my theme this season of being overtly on the attack rather than trying to run covert operations to surprise opponents into losing to me. Sure, if someone throws 7 when I haven’t reached, it’s still 5200 so only a loss of 2800. And drawing it only drops it from 2000/4000 to 2000/3900. But not reaching also allows cheaper hands to progress, perhaps getting to a cheap win before I get my winner. So reach, yes!

But my decision (however passively it was made) to go for a more expensive hand also conforms to my attack theory, specifically for me. Some might argue that if attack is the theme, then the fast cheap win rather than the slower big score is more attack oriented. And I agree that there are a lot of players who play that way and win. I think the reason that doesn’t work for me is because I’m just not good enough at defense. For that to be a generally winning strategy, I’m going to have to get out of the way and fold sometimes when I’ve chosen the cheap path. If someone else has caught up and is on the attack before I’ve managed to win the hand, I tend to keep pushing. Given that I’m just not going to play good defense, I need to make my winning hands bigger so the risk I take in going for them yields a better payoff.

That’s been my lesson of late. Whether you’re Dirty Harry or the guy trying to kill him, a man has got to know his limitations🤭

A small positive there has gotten me a little closer to the border. I would expect the border to move up another 5-10 points, so if I want to move up I need to aim for at least 40-50 points from this last session. It’s not impossible but it does mean I’m going to have to be generally on the attack more, and of course get a little lucky. Hope I can keep myself focused on hitting triples and home runs rather than just dinking it barely into the outfield.

Not terrible

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