It happened. David’s 4th quarter loss of form has seen him plunge from “third and in the black” (30th September) right down through the ranks to bottom in December! The very first hand of the first game provided a foretaste of his fortunes for the evening. Noda declared Riichi and David, with no “safe” tiles, spotted the 9&6-Coins in Noda’s discard row and so threw the 3-Coins.
Of course, it was one of Noda’s Chitoi traps; a Seven Pair hand with a cunning wait.
Kenyon slotted into the vacant seat for the third game and promptly went on a two game winning spree during which he was chided by Jaime for vaunting on completing a hand!
We changed seats for the fourth game – David and Kenyon swapped places and their respective fortunes followed them.
A three-tile wait covering two suits for David – not a sausage.
David declares Riichi waiting for 3&6-Coins. With just a few tiles remaining Kenyon declares Okkake Riichi and goes out on Ippatsu Tsumo and it turns out he was waiting for just one tile – 6-Coins!!
A player may be called “lucky”, but luck is also made – and so is misfortune!
Faber est suae quisque fortunae
David went through much of the evening half asleep and inattentive of basic procedures such as checking the Dora Pai before discarding a tile – Kenyon cashed in on that lapse at least twice (West Wind… 1-Characters). Several times David simply forgot what he was doing – once discarding a Chun which gave Kenyon Kokushimusou which halted David’s modest revival during the fifth game (aided by a Japanese version of a Fox’s Glacier Mint as David is currently off the booze) and set Kenyon up for his second winning run of the evening.
On another occasion, when Kenyon had racked up four Hyaku Tenbo as Oya and was clearly making a bamboo hand David simply forgot and elected to through 8-Bamboo despite having told himself that he was under no circumstances to throw any bamboo out…
In the meantime Jaime, who had had mixed fortunes through the first part of the evening, was getting frustrated by the seemingly wilfull malevolence of the gods of the table as he managed to draw tiles that would have fitted well with tiles he had just discarded. At one point he treated us to one of his performances as he lunged out of his chair and headed towards the window. Any attempt to hurl himself out of the window would have been frustrated by the fact that the window looks out onto the adjacent building which stands just six inches away…
Still, the good news for Jaime was that his slide was much slower than David’s – David overtook him on the way down!
Yet for some reason, despite really really wanting to go home for much of the evening, it was David who proposed another game each time… Hope is a good breakfast but a poor dinner and David was dining on hope alone.
By the eighth game David was slumped in his chair suffering from an excruciating awareness of how slowly the seconds pass when a chap wants to quit but when other players hum and ha over what to do with their hands. Kenyon, once again Ryanshi Oya, had three open Pon, two of which were Dragons. David drew a Chun and adopting a world weary insouciance he declared that he really no longer cared whether Kenyon needed it or not (which at least suggested that he was aware that Kenyon MIGHT need it) and chucked it…
Nevertheless, the hand eventually had to be dismantled and, inevitably, Kenyon went out!
Finally Jaime declared Riichi and David persisted with his policy in the hope that either he would get away with it and complete a hand or he would give away yet more points but also bring the game to a close and get himself into a taxi! Of course, it was the latter which occurred.
Here are the results:
Kenyon –, –, +46, +78, -32, +46, +25, +87 = +250
Noda +50, -6, +4, -51, –, –, –, — = -3
Jaime -23, +23, -19, 0, +2, -7, +5, -27 = -46
David -27, -17, -31, -27, +30, -39, -30, -60 = -201
David now holds the record “lowest score” for the year. Kenyon moves above Hide into second place and stands a very good chance of finishing the year in the black.
The size of tonight’s results prompted me to check back through the year’s results to see if any other records had been broken – Was +250 the best result for a single session? Was -201 the worst? It so happens that neither result is a record-breaker. Jaime holds the record for the best result of a single session so far this year with +252 and Kenyon holds the record for the worst result of the year on -227. I have added the stats to the results page (see “Best/Worst Result”).