With corona screwing up schedules everywhere, we had three league sessions in rapid fire this month. After a lackluster performance in session one, you may remember my new strategy was really a return to my old strategy: just attack more. Let’s see how that’s working out for me.
Session 2, first hand, in the west seat I got to tenpai with this on the the 8th draw
As per my current plan of attack – i.e. “Attack!” – I reached immediately. I was regretting my attack plan until the last drawing round when the dealer chied, probably for tenpai, giving me one last draw. Turns out I didn’t need it because he threw an obviously unsafe 8m giving me a nice mangan to start the game.
This hand sums up that week’s session not because I won it, but because he lost it. I don’t know what was in his hands throughout the day so I don’t know how attacky I would have been in the same situation. Maybe he read my article from last month, I dunno. He actually managed to come back and win that game by being just relentlessly on the attack. Thankfully (not surprisingly?) he’d already peaked that first game and it was straight downhill from there.
President Moriyama has commented in the past that when one player is in win at all costs mode, usually one other player tends to clean up. This sounds typically “nagare” goofy to me but it was a pretty good description of that day. Sawada, the dude who won the day went on a rampage in the second half helped in large part by loosey goosey’s unwillingness to ever fold.
In the final game, I put together a nice lead during my turn as dealer, but my run was stopped when loosey threw another gift to Sawada. The next few hands with more gifts thrown his way, he kept on as dealer with also some early tenpais and cheap draws to win and edge into the lead. On his 4th continuation I decided to fight back when he again reached on the 6th draw. Assuming it was probably another nothing hand I ponned his Green dragon reach tile for 1000 point tenpai and threw a 7s to his 4s suji. Oop. I should have saved myself 2000 by letting him draw Suanko himself. As it was, with tanyao it was 18000 +1200 putting me far out of first and into negative territory.
Surprisingly I got back close to positive as dealer in the south round on 11600 from Sawada. He was surely going for a cheapie to try to end the game but I had three Dora in my hand. After chiing 1m with all possible yaku tiles on the board and lots of manzu in my discards, sanshoku had to look suspicious but he pressed ahead with my winning 2p anyway. Of course the Dora were hidden so perhaps it fits into the same category as my failed attack earlier.
But who would it be that put me back into positive territory to end the game? Loosey of course. I chiied 789p and when Sawada threw a white dragon giving me tenpai, he apparently decided he’d contributed enough to paring his lead and tightened up. Once again, this time on THE last draw, Loosey threw the red dragon to my single tile wait and with Haitei, gave me mangan.
Whew! I’d planned on summing up this week’s league together in this article but I’ve been typically long winded so I’ll save it for the weekend.
Attack! Attack! wasn’t a total failure as it would have been a pretty different story if I could have just been a little less on the attack when I brought a spoon to nuclear fight. Still it was mostly successful on the gifts from one player who was never gonna back down anyway. I think in D1 there are going to be a lot more of those players than in upper leagues. That’s why it may still pay off to be overtly aggressive rather than always running cheaper covert operations.
I’ll write up Sunday’s league before the final session of North Kanto this weekend. No playoffs this year so that means I’m still in the game! Only 200 points or so out of first, If I can average one oya yakuman per game I will again be the winningest player in North Kanto history! So many yakuman to choose from, I wonder which they’ll be!