Author Topic: Tiles of the Unexpected #6  (Read 1935 times)

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Tiles of the Unexpected #6
« on: November 07, 2014, 09:12:08 pm »
Ok, take a look at the screen shot below, and ask yourself what you would do.

When you're ready, click on the "spoiler" for more discussion.

To begin, you must have noticed that you've drawn a winning tile. So why am I asking this question?

Because it's a great excercise on how sometimes the best course of action is not the most obvious.

Many players may say "Tsumo... I won!" Let's play that out. The hand is worth 1000 from everyone, bringing your personal score to 24,800 points... third place. Normally, as dealer, you would get to continue dealing, except Sinbbad only has 800 points. He's bankrupt, and the match is over. Winning this hand ended your hopes of improving your standing, and locked you into third. :(

Let's think more on this hand. Fourth place is 21,000 points behind you... so, if you're trying to avoid falling into fourth, that's pretty unlikely at this point. This means there's opportunity to gain placement, and you've got some room to take some risks.

What other options do you have?

Well, second place is 16,000 points away. As dealer you can get there, especially with a couple consecutive continuances, but you can't get there with a 3,000 point hand. It's too late at this point to change what you've built, but ideally you would have passed up the melds building a cheap hand, and held out for a better scoring hand to try and jump a place. Since you are already here.... it's still not too late.

Why not skip the tsumo, and discard a tile. Yes, that will make you furiten... temporarily, but it also won't lock you into a disappointing third when there's room to be more daring. By discarding, you open up the opportunity to rebuild a ready hand no longer in furiten, and maybe ron off of one of the other two opponents instead of bankrupting poor Sinbbad.

Maybe, if you can't get another ready hand together... the hand will go into a washout... which still gives you another shot at building a better scoring hand on your next continuance.

Or worse case scenario you push a little and deal into someone else's hand. The odds of that hand being worth more than 21,000 points and putting you into last place are not great. Someone would have to hit you directly with a sanbaiman or better, which is rare... especially in this case since any hope to score with a dora pung is gone with so many dora already discarded. Dora are the easiest way for your opponents to rack up the needed 11 or more fan for sanbaiman. Also, the point leader has melded, hinting that he's probably going for a quick cheap hand to bankrupt Sinbbad and end this match with himself in first place. I should know, that's me! :)

So, all in all, yes, you could declare tsumo here, win the hand, and end the match with yourself in a disappointing third place... but, by passing up on this win, it opens the door to the possibility of making some progress before the fat lady sings. Think about what it means to "win" a hand, and how that "win" fits into the bigger picture of winning the match... or at least placing as best you can before it's over.

Your comments?

« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 09:32:39 pm by GatKong »


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