By Tom Sloper

April 30, 2003


Western-style mah-jongg (Strauser & Evans, Max Robertson, Thompson & Maloney). When two of your opponents are in each other's hair, your chances for a win are enhanced. Especially when the fourth makes a dumb play.

Susan's initial deal had several Bams (two of them paired), and pairs of W and G. In the Charleston, she collected more bams and a third G, passing Dots, Craks, and lone Winds. After the Charleston, she got her first pick: 5C.

She threw it away. Bams only, thank you. It was the first of many Craks to wind up on the discard floor. When Susan picked 5B, she threw 4D. Easton grabbed it for a pung -- the first exposure (not counting Flowers, of course). Susan's next pick-throw was N, which was snapped up by Nora.

Later, Easton exposed a pung of 3B.

He had to be working on a special hand (since the group required regular hands to be Clean with no more than one chow). It looked like an error, but the ladies let him have more rope.

When Wendy threw 5B, Susan took it for a kong. The replacement was 8C, which (judging by the other three on the discard floor) was safe and could be saved for later. She threw that stubborn lone R. Soon Easton discarded G. "Kong!" This time the replacement was 4B. Time to throw 8C. On her next pick she got a matching 4B! Time to throw 7B, hoping for 4B or W for a win. Two Flowers came in. Then 8B. There was only one out there (but that was the case for 6B as well). Not exactly safe, but nobody took it when she threw.

When Easton threw 4B, Susan took the win for 240 points (480 from Easton).

Wendy and Nora had been in one another's hair (both playing Dots). Nora vilified Susan for having "her" other two Wests. Easton threw in his tiles without explaining what he'd been working on. Unless he'd had some Craks, nobody had been playing those at all. Which all shows why Nora got the win.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.