Here is my individual account of the pastry tournament. (Copenhagen Open) All eight hanchans. Real names have been omitted in order to protect the identities of those who raged, were just stupidly lucky or otherwise.
Toimen and kamicha were both annoying to each other. Toimen had a nervous habit of shuffling and clicking his tiles with his right hand when it was AND wasn’t his turn. Toimen called for the referee when kamicha knocked over a tile from the dead wall (second kan tile). Toimen claimed that as kamicha knocked the tile, toimen saw the tile. Referee said that kamicha’s hand was now dead. Sucks for him. Kamicha complained twice to toimen about his tile clicking but did not call the referee. Kamicha either had a sore throat or was nervous, cos one time he called what sounded like ‘ron’, but it was actually a ‘chi’. WTF? Shimocha was lucky like you wouldn’t believe. Don’t remember dealing in, but I remember thinking, I need to get some momentum going into the other hanchans, so if first is not possible, then maybe second.
Being last oya gave me a good chance to come first. Toimen pissed me off. She wanted to have the tenbou on the table, even though the table had drawers. I thought it would confuse the multipliers, but whatever to her. Then, as I thought might happen in one round, I repeated, so I put out a multiplier stick. So as not to confuse with the others, I placed it inside the tile wall. Toimen complained and asked for it to be put in the right corner instead. Fine. Toimen would breathe when at 1/2 shanten as if a mouse just crawled infront of her. Annoying. Kamicha wasn’t that bad. All the IRC boys were saying he raged at their tables. Kamicha could play the game, just didn’t know what to do if someone riichi’d. Kamicha did ask where his tenbou were and that he would like to have a few. There were plenty on the table next to toimen, but toimen wanted them there. Some kind of OCD bullcrap. Gong sounded at S3, and luckily went to oorasu. Managed to pon hatsu for dora 3, eventual mangan.
Shimocha was so calm and collected during the casual session on Friday night. However at this hanchan, very nervous building his wall. Similar situation for me compared to the first hanchan. Even though I started E10 with a san ankou, my toimen was catching some serious luck, so I had to pull second. Got a few good tiles and a few cheap hands along the way. At one point, I riichi’d and discarded aka 5m, then kamicha called ‘chi’. I didn’t bother calling the referee.
This hanchan was interesting. Had gone out for some fresh air, came back, and someone was in my seat. Announced to the referee that I needed to swap with toimen. Faced the first of two Japanese players (from France, but hey). Japanese player was toimen. At one point, kamicha kan’d and asked for the kan dora to be revealed. I wasn’t aware (but am now) that with these rules, kan dora is revealed when a kan call has been made, and not after discard. Shimocha was killing it. Didn’t realise until later that shimocha was the points leader up until that point. My focus was on the Japanese player. I dealt into his hell tanki 9s wait. I was a little impressed and in later hanchans would copy his hell wait technique, however not get rewarded. Kamicha was a lost cause so wasn’t my concern. Won a few hands and toimen asked me if I had ever played in Japan? I said, no. Trying to trash talk me, huh? Apparently not. Just cos I called out my winning hand using Japanese terms rather than the English terms. The tiles weren’t really flowing, and maybe toimen’s comments shook me a little and I couldn’t manage to pull second.
Probably the most tense moment of the tournament. Lots of multipliers and not many big hands. It was anybody’s game. But ffs, toimen had the worst habit. With first discard, second discard, genbutsu, after pon or chi, he would hold his tile infront of him, tap the table three or four times, then discard. Shimocha would discard tiles without making a sound. Discarding so delicately, it would take a while for me to see the tile as her finger/hand was still in the way. There was a point where I was close to nagashi mangan (two away). Shimocha was waiting. Pon! くそ！ぶっ殺す！(I seemed to shout out). Shimocha didn’t want to pay dealer mangan. Fair enough. Later that evening after dinner, I got my revenge by coming first in a friendly hanchan with shimocha, referee and mikoto. I also learnt that with current rules, if someone riichi’s, you can chi/pon that discarded tile, then discard the same tile, just to kill the ippatsu. And same goes for having 234m closed, chi’ing aka 5m and discarding 2m, just to get an extra han (whether or not you have a yaku yet). I don’t know, but that doesn’t seem very elegant. Anyway, it went to oorasu with several multipliers and everyone pretty much +/- 2000 apart. Shimocha ended my potential mangan and took first. Kamicha played a good game, came last in this hanchan, but was second overall. Goes to show, nothing carries over to the next game.
I knew going in I had to be on my game. This session was a day later, so it was on my mind a little the night before. I would be facing the other Japanese player, who would be my kamicha. There was a dark horse which I should have been more concerned with, my shimocha, who was ‘first danish loser’ (4th overall) in the eventual placings. Really good match. Shimocha was damaten tanyao dora 3 for six turns until I riichi’d, he riichi’d immediately after. Ippatsu haneman. Fuck. All my focus was on kamicha. I thought it would probably be impossible to get first unless I made a direct hit on shimocha in a later round. It didn’t work. The same situation happened where he riichi’d then I riichi’d after, in hopes of him dealing in. Oh well. There was one round where I did have some luck. Dora was 2s. shimocha had riichi’d and there were two 2s already out, one of them shimocha had discarded. Too bad, Japan. I was tenpai wait 25s, but could only win on 2s for yaku. Ron, iitsu dora. Yeah, boi. The uma helped me get out of negative and put some points up on the board. There was a nervous point in the match where kamicha had pon’d south (yaku achievement unlocked) and was probably in tenpai. I was tenpai too, but didn’t want to deal in. I had chun yaku and earlier discarded 4p. I had 56p at around the 14th turn. For some reason I was thinking about furiten when I was actually just surrendering my hand. I discarded 5p, bad choice, but it passed. I drew the haitei tile, but wasn’t sure what tile to discard. Discarded 8s, which seemed safe. Turns out kamicha wasn’t tenpai. Later, speaking to ron5, he told me that chun was pretty much 99% safe at that stage.
This was coming. I think I made too much of a point to abuse my first oya position, and with that, didn’t concentrate as much. E10 and shimocha riichi’s after 7 turns. Tsumo haneman. Great, I don’t have my dealership until south. Next hand, E20, shimocha riichi after 3 turns. I deal in. Mangan. Clearly last, with no real chance of coming second. I later find out my kamicha won the pastry tournament last year. ORLY? Toimen was kind enough to write down the scores. But didn’t have to announce them after every flippin’ hand. The hanchan is timed, you know. At one point, toimen was oya and I was 1 shan ten chitoi. Toimen riichi’d discarding 5m. Don’t know why, but I pon’d. Probably to get rid of the ippatsu. Converting chitoi to toi toi. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have done that. I was probably still on tilt from dealing in earlier. Not only to shimocha, but kamicha, with his cheap 1300 hands on kanchan waits. WTF? And he won last year? Fuck off. Another round, with toimen riichi’d, I was riichi’d too, and I discarded aka 5p. Toimen said, ‘Ahaha! Not quite!’ WTF? I’m riichi’d. I can’t help my discard. In one round, it was pretty clear kamicha was going for nagashi mangan. I had 2 shanten chinitsu. Kamicha had earlier discarded 1s, then toimen discarded another. Turns were running out so I chi’d kamicha’s next discard of 1s. There was a big huff from him that I ruined his nagashi mangan attempt. Good! Then in a later round, I riichi’d, shimocha was tenpai for 3 turns, riichi’d straight after, I discarded aka 5m. Shimocha ron’d. Ippatsu mangan. I had my chances too. Riichi’d with potential mangan hands, tanyao dora 3, pinfu dora 2, but no one dealt in. Though not the most successful table, the most was learnt from it. I stuck to some kind of gameplan, it didn’t work out, but not all plans do.
Final hanchan of the tournament. Playing with three others who I had played in separate hanchans before gave me an edge, knowing their tendencies. I had to make a dent into the top 10. Told myself, that at least I was still positive in points. Placed 10th overall after 7 hanchans, I knew I could move up, only if I played my game and let everyone follow. Fuck toimen. Complaining he had no tenbou. Here, have your tenbou! Play the damn game! Great start. 1 shanten chitoi after 6 turns. Riichi’d on the 9th turn as I drew 4s for tenpai, discarding 3s, waiting on 2s. (2s was dora) Everyone was trying to suji and kabe, whatever. This one’s mine. After 11/12 turns. Riichi, tsumo, chitoi, dora dora, ura ura, aka. Baiman. Blatant. Everyone else would be chasing, which is exactly what I wanted. At oorasu, I knew I was in the lead, probably couldn’t jump too high from 10th overall. So, I decided to play safe and try to kill the round quickly. Thank God for yakuhai. Managed to pon chun from toimen, who was on rage tilt since his first hanchan. Then I was tenpai with kanchan wait on 3s. Shimocha was close, and if I dealt into him, he may have taken first. But he dealt into me instead, 3s. Chun nomi. 1000 w. Dealing the 3s, shimocha was tenpai tanyao tanki wait, just bad luck.
I went in wanting to destroy the Japanese. After a few hanchans, I was secretly hoping for at least third overall. Ended up with sixth and a positive score. Little bit annoyed that the eventual winner’s playing style got them first place, but that’s just my OCD. Neither Japanese player shook my hand when the hanchan was finished, but shook the two other’s hands. Racism? Maybe. Who cares.