Friday 15th December: The Noda Wait

I was attending a birthday party tonight so did not play mahjong. Tonight’s “zero” score was a marked improvement on my recent form. I leave it to Jaime to file the report:

“When I first started playing mahjong in 2000 I cobbled together a strategy of how to simplify the winning process. The pretence was that if you were only waiting for 1 tile, then there could be no confusion over what was required. It was also a nice way to confuse the other players and more importantly it seemed to work much more than the percentage would account for.

“There were also two more decisive reasons behind this 1 tile strategy; alcohol and football. This was due to many games being played at Allan’s old apartment on a late Saturday night / early Sunday morning. We used to congregate there to watch Manchester United win the English Premiership and to play mahjong. Of course the football would lead to many distractions, (there were other such as feline women, but that is another story) and so the knock on affect was quite a few chombos. By reducing the number of tiles one was waiting for, it allowed one to concentrate on the football, the beer and stories of loose women handing out refunds. It also generated a name for this strategy, ‘The Jaime Wait’. I quite liked it.

“Sadly ‘The Jaime Wait’ is no more, it has become the ‘The Noda Wait’ in honour of Noda san who has now adopted the theory that he once sneered at with incredulity. Yet on Friday night, he went for this form of victory five times in succession and nine times in total. I went for it once (and got it).

“In all Friday night was a sedate one, with only three players, Ray having emerged from his countryside hideaway like a 1970s Bond villain (anyone spring to mind?) to compete with Noda and Jaime. In total only 4 games were played, but each game averaged an hour and a quarter and so we finished just past the witching hour.

“Noda continued to bemoan his ‘end of year luck’ and finished bottom of the pile on a deficit of -38. Ray also finished the night down, but only on a paltry -25, whilst Jaime emerged with a handy +63 victory to edge him closer to the -200s on the Grand Accumulated Points Table.

“Noda flirted with empty tray in a couple of hands and Ray had one of his ‘Last Oya Charges’, but it was remarkable how even the night was for most of the play. There was one Yakuman hand for Noda whilst Jaime was oya, but that aside most of the victorious hands were in the mangan / haneman vicinity.

“Ray came close with some potentially huge hands whilst oya in the 2nd game, but crafty play from Jaime (blind luck & a few hunches!) averted some Titanic size holes in his tenbo pile.

“The evening finished as below and Ray potentially finishes the year 1pt behind Tim in the Grand Accumulated Points Table, but as some games will be played over the festive period, you never know what might happen….”

Jaime +23, +38, -24, +26 = +63
Ray -14, -2, -9, 0 = -25
Noda -9, -36, +33, -26 = -38