This was the game that almost didn’t happen – and somehow I wish it hadn’t although the evening was certainly diverting.
With Jaime absent and nobody seeming to be able to fill the gap at the table I called off the game at 5:30pm. Then at 5:31pm Eri mailed me to say that she’d like to play. Eri, your timing is atrocious! Nevertheless, the game was rescued, with Eri, Noda and David playing the first game, and Kenyon joining us for the second.
Everything appeared to be going to plan as Eri fumbled around after a long absence from the table and finished her first game on -65. David was contemplating a return to the positive end of the table when Eri declared “Riichi” and David rather casually chucked out the tile she was waiting for.
From that point in the evening everything went haywire and David felt himself to be in a situation similar to that of Old Nick himself, so recently aspirant of great height and suddenly finding himself
Hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire…
Eri and Noda bowed out and Hide slotted himself into Noda’s seat for the next six games. The pattern then went something like this: either Hide or Kenyon would finish in the black. Sometimes they would both finish in the black. David, luxuriating on his lake of fire, ordered more beer.
By the end of fifth game Kenyon was top on +66 and had reached +101 for the evening. David’s Yakitori was stuck on the table. From that point on the top player finished on a higher and higher score, with Hide winning the sixth on +70, Kenyon the seventh on +81, which put him on +141… But then Hide replied by retaining the Oya for eight rounds and on for Parenchan (which meant that he could go out on anything the other players threw without needing a Yaku). David was able to prevent that outcome by declaring Riichi with a 3-Yaku combination of 3xTon and Honitsu with a 3-6-9 Coin wait which temporarily replenished his tray with a fresh supply of scarce Tenbo.
Hide eventually won the game on an amazing +162, mostly at the expense of Kenyon, who was the second player to be left with his Yakitori stuck on the table after a valiant last gasp Riichi declaration went awry as Hide completed the final hand to finish on one of the highest scores for a single session of play.
Hide –, –, +22, -39, -14, +70, +2, +163 = +204
Noda +57, -15, –, –, –, –, –, — = +42
Kenyon –, +31, -7, +42, +66, -41, +81, -132,** = +40
Eri -65, +5, –, –, –, –, –, — = -60
David +8, -21, -15, -3, -52,** -29, -83, -31 = -226
Best wishes to Jaime and his family were sent in by the whole assembly.