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Monday, March 14, 2011


Lots of news this post, some of it just news and some of it NEWS!
To start, I finally figured out how to enable comments.  Unbeknownst to me, Google blogs are set to allow comments from registered users only.  I have changed it and I want to hear from all you yentas and yenta-wannabes out there.

So here is this week's tale of Mahj:

I had received an e-mail from a lovely lady inviting me to play at her house on Saturday night.  Because my Friday game did not meet as scheduled and because I had a tournament to be in shape for on Sunday, I agreed.  This was not a regularly scheduled game that I was stepping into, but a group of players who had never played together before.  The combined mahjongg experience among the five people in the room equalled approximately 150 years.  Only one person had been playing for about a year, the others had been playing for decades.  Well, let me tell you, hackles were raised!  One played hot wall, one played cold wall, one picked and threw and one threw and picked.  What were the table rules going to be????  At one point I thought it would come to blows, but we settled down, at least for that one night, and played NMJL tournament rules.  I appreciate the ladies agreeing to this, since I really didn't want to get confused at the tournament table.  We all had a great game, and oy, the food!  (But that's another post)  I'm sure we'll all be playing again as our regulars head off to their summer hideaways and the games start shifting around.

Tournament day dawned and wouldn't you know it my sinuses were acting up.  If it were just a game I would have cancelled, but I didn't want to leave Shelley and Brian, the organizers of the Manhattan Mah Jongg Tournament, without an East.  It's just not right in my book to leave a game in the lurch at the last minute.  (Another peeve of mine I will address in another post)  So I armed myself with a very large thermos of ginger tea and drove downtown with my good friend and fellow tournamentor, Arlene.  I lowered my expectations because of my condition but, guess what?  I came in second!!  My scorecard is attached for your review.
 I had a pretty unimpressive morning (the second round was four wall games in a row) and by lunchtime, after the third round, I was not all that high up in the standings.  There were 64 players and I was maybe about 27.  But after lunch I made the singles and pairs NEWS hand and a quints hand of flowers 7 and 8.  Then I threw in to another player who had two exposures.  I know I got a little reckless there.  I sometimes forget that tournament play is different from play at home.  It's important to be more defensive, and I learned the hard way that every point counts.  The minus 20 cost me first place, as the first place winner, Susan Ryhanan had 385.  Congratulations, Susan!  And Boo-Hoo to me! (not really)  But every game has a lesson hiding in there, doesn't it?

However, better even than winning if you can believe it, was what happened to me the second game of the fifth round.  I ended the Charleston with:  NNWSS4444JJ  and I had two tiles to option with.  I optioned with West and she gave me a 4 and a S.  I was set from the get-go!  And guess what the first tile was?  EAST!  When I called for mahjongg nobody believed me!  I didn't even believe me!  There's no extra points for that, it was just the regular 30 that the hand was worth, but that was the most valuable hand I ever made.  So even though I had a crashing headache I went home on cloud nine.   Thanks, Brian and Shelly for a great tournament.  And thank you, mahjongg gods and joker fairies for smiling down on me yesterday.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of Charlestons, in the past, my Mah Jongg group had lost track of which pass we were on. But we found an iPhone app called the Mah Jongg Groove that helps us keep track of which pass we are on. It's a really great app! You can download it here: