Friday 6th June: Turkey Shoot Cut Short: Nobuhiro Flies Past His Second Milestone

There were just three players tonight, David, Jaime and Nobuhiro.

It was Nobuhiro’s first completely unsupervised evening of play. Just a few hands into the first game and he had committed two Chombo, the first one by ending up with too many tiles, and the second by declaring Riichi and then noticing that one of the tiles he needed was nestling in his discard row. David and Jaime began to look forward to an evening of turkey shooting…

A little bit later in the same game David found himself in the exciting position of being Tempai on Sho Sangen, Honitsu, 3 x Dora, waiting to complete one two pairs for a possible Suuanko or Daisangen finish, and barely six turns into the hand! Actually, having such a fine hand can be nerve-wracking. Keep quiet. Don’t declare Riichi. Pray that nobody else declares Riichi, and that Nobu doesn’t commit a third Chombo… Oh, and try to look innocent!

It worked!

Jaime, engrossed with his hand, tossed out the Red Dragon to give David Daisangen and 32,000 points.

That put David top in the first game.

If David was thinking that he could rely on Nobuhiro to help him extend his lead, and if Jaime was thinking about getting back into the game via a similar route, both foreigners were badly mistaken.

Suddenly, from nowhere it seemed, Nobuhiro put together a string of winning hands which built up that precious “air of inevitability” that perplexes the other players. He declared Riichi and went out on Ippatsu three times in a row, and went out several other times too to finish top in the second game. It began to look as if he might climb off the bottom of the Grand Accumulated Results Table and dump Ray on the bottom.

Last time Nobuhiro played, he completed a hand, which marked the passing of the first milestone… Now he has finished top in a game, which marks the passing of the second milestone… Hopefully, next time he and Noda play at the same table, Nobuhiro will trip Noda up and come top for the evening at his expense!

The third game went David’s way, so he compensated in part for last week’s loss by finishing top this evening. Jaime also worked his way back to the lower negatives for the evening, which meant that despite his winning the second game, Nobuhiro still finished bottom on minus fifty something.