My results for the last week and a half have been middling to more middling. Yesterday I described an uneventful first half of my 3rd session for this season’s WRC, did I turn it around in the second half?
The east round was just more of the same, people drawing out or me putting together a big hand only to throw a small loser. I’d worked my way down to ~20000 by the beginning of South, but had this after three draws
With a reach stick and continuance on the table and otherwise nonstop unhappiness until then, I was tempted to chi 1 for a cheapie but my next draw was 九 so I reached because genius! With no love after 14 draws and the other players throwing out increasingly dangerous everything except for my winner I was starting to doubt my genius. I did finally draw out and hit ura Dora for 2000/4000, but I think this is the sickness in my mahjong lately.
If I’m not going to play defense, I need to make my offense as offensive as possible. In yesterday’s post, not reaching in game 2 because I’m waiting for Dora is the same mistake as taking the 1000 point cheapie here would have been. You can’t win every hand, and not every hand can be a big winner. But it’s also a mistake to accept less for a hand than it should have been worth. I either need to believe in the strength of my hand construction (the way I used to play), or I need to be a better defensive player so I can protect the smaller points I get for my winners (a way I’ve never played, and probably never will).
Importantly, it also set me up for the last hand, still 9000 down from the oya in first and me in third place…but with me in the West seat and Dora West, look at these tiles after 5 draws!
①②③④⑤一三六七八九西西 tsumo 五
Big decision time or no brainer? Probably similar to my tendency to hate on Sanshoku, I have the opposite sentiment for Ittsu. I dropped ② and then when another 三 came ①. Now I could pon west for tenpai and an already assured mangan! Here I got very lucky because given the chance, I was ready to cheapen the hand with any chi or a west pon. There’s my malady eating at me again. Thankfully, no one gave me the chance, and on draw 15 I finally got to ready with another east. Only 2 draws to go and mangan from anyone besides oya only moves me into second, so obviously reach, yes? Here it is again. What is the right answer? I don’t know. The result is that I drew 七 on my next draw to slide effortlessly into my first first place in ages. After we’d settled our scores and everyone had left the table I even rabbit hunted (more sickness!) to find I would have hit ura Dora for baiman if I had reached and no one chied or ponned to get in the way of my tsumo. I am truly a sick man.
Heady coming off my win I started game 4 with this
Dora 発! Depending on what came I was ready to go for an outside hand or honitsu. The decision was easy when I drew another 東 and 中: honitsu, toitoi, dori dori! (Pro tip: call Dora “dori” when you win to extra demoralize your opponents) Masuda (of WRC final table fame in Vegas) was dealer and threw 中 and 発 in succession, then reached and then threw my ⑤. Baiman to start, thanks for the reach stick too Masuda! Woohoo two wins for the day!
Not so fast. I maintained most of that lead until South 3 when I was dealer. Masuda started ponning and chiing everything followed by Nakamura doing the same. Dora was 2 and I had one in my hand but other souzu were noticeably absent in the table. Masuda/Nakamura both seemed honitsuish in souzu/manzu. When I drew another 四 that I had just thrown 2 draws earlier and they hadn’t changed their hands at all I threw it again, only to hear mangan! What? I should have been paying attention to everyone. My shimocha (sorry I don’t remember your name yet tho I remember you ruining me in the first WRC session last month!) had three Dora, and on reflection, I should have noticed that she was not throwing safe tiles in response to all that chiing and ponning.
I had good tiles to start south 4 but she got to ready faster, reached, tsumoed, and hit ura for mangan. Finally, Masuda who had never given up, reached early the next hand and drew 1300/2600 to slide into second, erasing all memory of baiman in the first hand of the game.
Still have two sessions to go in wrc. It’s possible I could get a couple big days but not likely. For the moment, I think my focus needs to be on where I need to work on my game: make the most of my big opportunities, and if I do decide for some reason sometimes to play defense, for the love of god play it all the way.
Won’t have to wait long to see next results, session 4 starting in a couple hours…