Roller coaster action at the World Series of Mahjong.
I finished the first day with a minor positive, at least leaving me with the possibility of doing something on the second day.
First round of day two I started right off with a Concealed, Peace, Simples, Double run to get off to a nice 45 point jump. I followed on with a couple hands of only a Red or Green Dragon which in these rules are a lot huger than one might usually think. Not only are the points positive, but they’re points another player isn’t getting. In this environment of needing to stay away from negative scores, it was just what the doctor ordered.
Unfortunately for me, my luck, ended in that 4th round. 5th round, here come the excuses. First of all, due to the structure of the tournament, the fact that no one was going to be eliminated until the end of the second day, it meant that quite a few players were faced with a situation where they were obligated to play while having no possibility of advancing to the next round. On the one hand, I like the idea of assuring all the players that they’d get to play 12 games for their entry, but then I dislike to the idea of having players in the tournament who are no longer playing to win. One player told one of our World Gaming Magazine players, Gigi, that she would appreciate it if everyone would play as quickly as possible, as she would be throwing winners as quickly as she could, because she wanted to wasted no more time on Mahjong when she could be playing Baccarat;.
That was in addition to quite a few players who simply decided to quit playing due to their impossibility of advanceing. This created confusion and delays as the organizers scrambled to get games started for tables which should have had enough players to begin with.
So round 5 was punctuated with delays due to not having enough players. Wrangling about how much of a penalty to assign the errant player when he did finally decide to show up after the first hand had finished, and then gigantic hands, which everyone could not stop drawing on their own.
With a minus 15 in the 5th round I thought my chances were over unless I did something amazing in the 6th. I started right off with another biggie: Full Flush for 90 points from each player.
That was followed on 3rd to last hand by the biggest hand seen that day. At least by anyone we talked to afterward. 3 Kongs, Red Dragon, South, Half Flush and Kan tsumo win for 190 points from each player, or 570 points overall.
I kind of thought that had to put me back in the running, but had I thought about it more, that 900 still only came out to a positive 30 for the round. And even if I were to extend that lead in the second half of the round, it wouldn’t have much effect due to the square rooting of round scores before they were accumulated.
Anyway, my 5th round loss was too much for me to overcome, barely, and I finished the day as this tournament’s bubble boy, 33rd oiut of a field of 200, bowing out to the top 32 players.
But congratulations must be handed out to quite a few of the other World Gaming Magazine Team players.
Jenn qualified in 10th place and moves onto day 3. Konno also made the money although he just missed moving onto day 3. Ogura was the bubble boy for qualifying for the next round, though, all players reaching the top 32 were assured prize money so he won’t be walking away empty handed. Gigi Suen, one of our local representatives finished in 20th also cashing for a handsome finish.
Of course, the crowning glory of Reach Mahjong at the event has to be Sawazaki Pro, member of Jamapanes Pro Mahjong Leaguue, in A1. He has been at the top of his game lately, and it didn’t let up there. He finished the day in 2nd or 3rd and is in great shape to take the Gold back to Japan.
SO congratulations to the players who cashed, more congratulations to the players who cashed and have yet to play more games. And congratulations to me, for falling just on the opposite side of the border I fell on a couple years ag. Sliding into 32 place on the last hand to sneak into the money then.
Good times! Excited to see how everyone performs tomorrow…