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By Tom Sloper

March 13, 2005 (Year of the Rooster)

Column #205

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. Waiyee's tiles were so good that when she saw them she almost fainted! But the tiles and the other players conspired against her, and nobody won.

Is it just me, or is it obvious what direction she should go with this? See answer #1, below.

It was as though Earl was intentionally trying to ruin her hand. His first discard had been 8B and his second was 4B. Noriko joined the conspiracy when she threw 9D. Samantha threw 5B. Waiyee wasn't in a position to call anything yet. And every pick so far had been a wind. Her entire first row of discards was winds: SNESWS. That third S made her scowl, which caused chuckles from the other players.

Finally she picked a bam (a six). Threw the 3C. By this time, Earl had two exposures - 456C and 678C. Waiyee's next pick was 5D. She threw it back and Noriko chowed it (567), throwing 8D. Waiyee's next pick was E. If only she'd known! She could have played it very differently. Her next pick was 8D.

What should she discard? Answer #2.

Samantha chowed 7B from Earl (789). The eights were getting somewhat rarified. Earl threw 2B and Samantha threw 3B. Waiyee was not happy. She picked junk and threw it back. Noriko threw 8B, Earl followed with another 2B, Samantha threw 9B.

Waiyee tried to conceal her anger at the entire rest of the table. She had a beautiful bams hand and nobody was sharing theirs with her!

Again she picked junk, threw it back. Then Noriko threw the final 8B, dashing all of Waiyee's hopes thoroughly.

The wall was half gone. She couldn't change the hand. She had no choice but to go right into defensive mode, and she didn't mind letting the other players knew it was all THEIR fault - they'd ALL ganged up on her!

She studied the table. Earl had those two chows in craks. Samantha had one in bams, and Noriko had one in dots and one in craks. Waiyee threw stuff the others were throwing. That wasn't hard to do, for once.

1. She should go for a pure hand or at least pure straight (kwaleung). Threw S.
2. She wanted to keep all her bams to preserve the pure option. She couldn't overlook the dots, though, in case she had to make a two-suit chows hand. A complete chow is much more valuable than a pair, so she threw 9D.

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© 2005 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.