Learn to Lose

Welcome to the World Series of Mahjong! It was an exciting first day as the first day was given over entirely to WSOM’s first ever Reach circuit event. This year saw 12 brave souls testing the water so what a chance for that group of entrants to snag a WSOM title.

With only a limitted amount of time, 1 day, the tournament format required that we change the rules a little bit to ensure that we finished in our allotted time. So we were playing East round only games which quickens the pace a lot, and then to really speed things up, there was no continuation for the dealer, no matter what.

Excuse alert: I have to say those rule changes really threw me off.
Because there was less time, I decided my game plan was going to be  aggressive to the extreme and I would really be trying to win just about every hand.

In the end I’m surprised how much that strategy didn’t kill me, though in all honesty, it didn’t help much either. In fact (another excuse alert), I’m not sure any strategy would have helped me given what I had to work with. I remember perhaps 1 starting hand the whole day that got my heart racing as soon as I saw it.

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What a start! And I went for it (3 Big Dragons) but when I got to ready after Ponning the green dragon, I still only had a lone white dragon so I let go my chance at the limit hand for a ready Half Flush-All Triples-East-Green Dragon-Red Dragon hand. Only 12,000 points but it would still put me in first place for that game, what I really needed to move on to the next round. Of course two more white dragons came later, and neither my 二 nor 六 came and the hand ended in a draw. Well I guess it was in the tiles I just didn’t play it that way, bit I still think it was the right play at the time.

For those who believe in luck, it should come as no surprise that after passing up that lucky chance, there wasn’t going to be any more. But in the interest of learning from ones mistakes, I suppose I should look for those too and not just the excuses.

I won 2 games all day, one where I stole tiles 4 times down to where I just hand one left and a poor Reacher ended up having to throw that last tile when he drew it. That of course was dumb luck in my favor for once. The time I played well to win was a game I decided from the start that I was not going to open my hands anymore after the failure of that strategy in earlier games. When I got to ready I reached, and even with bad waits it worked out well, the hands turned into big winners. And in the end I wish I had played like that more. True, I didn’t have many chances to do that. However, the times I could have but opened my hand instead, might have been larger game winning hands instead of small point hands I turned them into.

So with reach heavy on my mind, I move on to a tournament where there is no reach and again I think I’m leaning toward my  just-go-for it-all-the-time strategy. The Main Event is here! Let’s see how that works out for me….

RM on Social
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