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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Good Game

The game at the country club was successful.  My first hand out of the box netted me $5 - it was the singles and pairs 2468, so I felt redeemed.  Marcia made the big hand!  Yay!  Two other players tried it after opening strong with three soaps, but, alas, the elusive hand only wanted Marcia.  
Much talk about the famed Brian Semple - winner of three tournaments in a row and co-founder of Manhattan Mahjong.  Congratulations, Brian.  I have always wondered what it takes to play such a consistently good game.  I always see the same names up there on the tournament score sheets.  My score is always around the middle, although once in a while I have a lucky streak.  What are you guys doing that I'm not? 
Tournament in Bellemore, Long Island on Sunday, December 12.
For more info, check out:
Hope to see you there and see my name somewhere above gthe middle.   Look out, Brian! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

So close yet so far...

Yesterday was so close to the "big hand" yet it all slipped away.  I opened with three soaps, two two dots, two one dots and NEW.  I picked the flowers but went dead on the South. Believe it or not, they all went out 1-2-3-4.  ARGH!  SO SAD!!!
Tomorrow I play with the "Country Club" set at my cousin's in New Jersey.  They play the "throw and pick" way and not the "pick and throw," so every tile I have to think:  Throw-pick-don't look, throw-pick-don't look.  They play an unlimited pie.  Last time I was there, I threw in to a singles and pairs hand, and unbeknownst to me, with their complicated table rules, I had to pay TEN DOLLARS for one hand.  I was in shock the rest of the day and swore I wouldn't be back, yet here I am going again tomorrow.  Glutton for mahjongg?  You bet!
Hello to my first follower!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Reason to love mahjongg I

Here is one reason why I find playing mahjongg so compelling.
Each hand is a compelling story.  When the tiles are dealt out and face down, my hand is an unopened book.  The story begins when the tiles are on the rack in front of me.  Sometimes I can see how the story going to go - there's enough there to show me the way.  Other times it's a book I have trouble getting into, requiring more effort and concentration.  As the passing occurs, a hand starts to emerge.  It can be strong and emphatic like a well-drawn character or just the muted beginnings of a pattern, like a mystery with many doors still closed.  Then the picking and throwing fills in the hand, but I am now subject to the vagaries of my opponents.  How will this story come out?  I know how I want the story to end, but my wishes mean nothing here.  I can only keep a sharp eye out for clues to the mystery, like who has my 2 dot.  I can make educated guesses about what will happen next, but I must keep turning the pages until a resolution comes one way or another.  And then it starts all over again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Making a quint is so satisfying.  Today online I made:   FFFF 11111 22222
Never made that hand before.  I had two flowers, four two craks but only two one bams.  Thought I would do 1-2-3 but never got three dots.  Pulled in another flower, another 1 bam and two jokers and bingo- MAHJ!  Sometimes it's so easy and other times it's NOT.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mahjongg Rules

Yes, Mahjongg does rule!  Here is a copy of the rules for Modern American Mahjongg as played according to the official National Mahjongg League rules.  You can print this out and use it for your group.  If you are going to post it on a website, please post appropriate credit or link your post to:
Thanks and happy Mahj!

Mahjongg Rules

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Building the wall

Thanks to the girls in my Friday game for letting me post these videos.  This one is on how to build the wall.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Testing the mahj blog

Hello, everyone.
Here I am testing out this new blog.  I am hoping that all you players out there will log in and say hello.  I get a lot of people accessing the rules for Modern American Mahjongg, also known as National Mah Jongg League mahjongg, and have been getting questions from people all over the country.  There are a lot of new players out there, and everyone loves the game.   I'd love to communicate with other players and share strategies and discuss the ins and outs of our beloved passtime.
Happy mahj!