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By Tom Sloper

December 19, 2004

Column #193

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. This is the sad tale of Noriko's frustrating hand. Her deal had been a mess, and her first pick had been little help.

Dots and green, pair of 2B. She decided to kill craks and winds for starters, throwing 1C. Earl promptly chowed it (123). Samantha chowed Earl's discarded 3B (234).

Noriko's next few picks were uneventful. Samantha made another chow (678D). Noriko picked 9C and re-evaluated.

She thought maybe Mixed Shifted (in the low numbers). She decided to break up the high dots to preserve the Mixed Straight option.

She threw 8D. Earl chowed it (678); then Waiyee chowed (456B) from Samantha. When Noriko picked 4C, she wished she'd kept the 8D. She threw 8C. A few turns later, she noticed she had four pairs. She considered Seven Pairs and All Pungs as new possibilities.

Soon, Earl chowed 1D (123). Noriko's next pick was 8C. Time to reconsider.

She thought perhaps she should go for All Simples now. So far, though, every plan she'd come up with had died young. She finally decided to break up the G pair, opening new possibilities but killing old ones (especially Seven Pairs).

Wouldn't you know it, her next pick was 4C. Could've gone for Seven Pairs after all. Throwing the last G, she was good for All Simples. Her next pick was 2D.

She did a calculation. If she got Short Straight, Pure Double Chow, All Chows, All Simples, Concealed, and Self Pick... That'd be nine points. She had to throw the 4C or 3D. She went with 4C. She got 4B and threw 3D. Now she needed 2B. 5B would also work (one less point, though).

Earl and Waiyee both chowed again (Earl was showing four chows, Waiyee was showing three, all bams). Noriko was getting tense. She contained an explosive utterance when she picked 4C and threw it. Then three picks later, she picked 4C yet again. This time, she couldn't contain herself, shouting an unprintable word. The hand ended in a draw.

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© 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.