Jenn’s Corner: Mahjong in 2011

I have played live mahjong exactly 3 times so far this year. I’m on my way to play Mahjong Fight Club now (literally as soon as I post this for tomorrow’s publishing), but games are very different than playing live. So far I’ve played at League (4 games), at North-Kanto League (4 games) and at the make-up session I played for North-Kanto League. Basically I went from really crappy to crappy to not bad at all.

My league score was -28, which normally wouldn’t be a big swing, but the scores are all close in D1 this session and that pushed me down about 10 spots, putting me in danger of dropping down a league next session. I had a penalty for missing a session for a job I couldn’t get out of and it’s almost impossible to come back from a -50 point blow. Garthe is at the bottom too and we consoled ourselves with a meal of boneless chicken wings and fried pickles at the new Hooters in Akasaka.

In North-Kanto I did bad in the make-up session. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. I was at the table with Kaori Shimizu and she wins a lot. With big hands. I did my best to conserve my losses and took a -20 hit. That still kept me at about 75 points for the league with 2 more sessions to go.

The next day I was with 3 young players and boy did they like the word “Reach!” I took a small hit in the first game, frustrated at my lack of winning hands and ready to tape the mouth shut of the next player that declared reach. I played my small game (the big hands just weren’t coming) and managed to get a positive score. The 3rd game was the worst. I was in first place and the player across from me self-drew every hand under the sun as dealer. He was up to over 50,000 points. Then, my turn as dealer, I started with this hand:

The player to my right threw 白 right away and I snatched it up. I was tilting a bit and I wasn’t going to let anything get by. Next he discarded 四 and I snatched that up too. I drew 二 myself the next hand and then the player across from me discarded N. That left me waiting for 一 and 二 and the player to my right threw it almost right away. Suddenly I was up 18,000 points from before and got another shot at dealer. This is not a recommended strategy. I was tilting and desperate, 2 terrible traits of a losing mahjong player.

In the end I won that game and posted a small positive in the last game for a total score of +47 for the day. I had to calculate the total 3 times before I believed it. The entire day I felt like I was struggling and then I ended up with the most points at my table. I felt a lot better about my game after that and this week I can’t wait to get more games in. I have lots of catching up to do with MFC, so if you’re in Japan or Hong Kong, look for me online! I’ll be showing up on Ron2 and Mahjong Club as well, so join me from the rest of the world too.

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