By Tom Sloper

Friday, the 4th of July, 2003

Column #90

American (2003 NMJL card). Today's column is about a hand I played in last night's weekly game. Actually, it was the last hand of the evening. After the disappointing Charleston, I had a bunch of nothing. I thought I might go for Run #5. Maybe Run #4. And I figured I'd probably be losing this hand.

As the game went along, I wasn't getting any tiles for my target hands at all. Other stuff was coming in instead.

What I kept picking in was eights and dragons. So I decided to shoot for Like Numbers instead. It was a long shot, but it was getting towards midnight, I was tired, and I didn't care much if I won or not.

This was a remarkable circumstance. I had a pair of eights and a single corresponding dragon, in all three suits. I knew now that the target hand was Like Numbers #2, not #1 or #3.

The player to my right made a flower kong with two jokers. The player to my left redeemed one before I could redeem my two. I picked R, got the remaining joker from the exposure, and threw F.

Next I picked G, got rid of the 5b.

Now I had two possibilities for my number-dragon pairs - reds and greens. On top of that, my next pick was another J - so I discarded soap.

Now I was ready, and could call any tile in the hand: R, G, or an eight in any suit.

My opposite player threw 8D. "That's it!" As I put up my tiles, I said, "You're not going to believe this... I could have won on any tile."

They appreciated the rarity of the 5-way call. I hope that you, dear reader, do as well.

The event made up for all the hands I didn't win last night.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.