The results of the first round of the Catfood Bowl tournament went as follows:
If you look at the bottom of A3 you’ll see me, with the lowest positive score in the round. Despite this, I still feel like I played well overall. Let’s take a look at the round in a little more detail.
I started the match sitting in the South seat, setup nicely for an iipeiko with
. On turn 2 I drew a 9-sou, and on turn 3 I drew a 4-sou and discarded the 7-man, putting me in ryan-shanten with
The hand didn’t look like it was coming together, so I switched to a tanyao dora hand while fighting a dealer riich on turn 9. By Turn 13 I was still ryan-shanten and the west player won off the dealer with an open tanyao and two red 5s for 3900 points.
In East 2, which was my dealership, I managed to get ryan-shanten for iipeikou, but the same player that won in East 1, FurudoErika, on off the player sitting west for 7700.
Going into East 3 I was sitting in 2nd with my starting 25,000 points and some decent shapes in my opening hand, which included two dora, which grew to three after my first discard. The aim here was to get a hand together as quickly as possible without worrying about how many yaku I could get, because I only needed one. On turn 12 the dealer declared riichi, and on my turn I drew into tenpai for chitoitsu dora 2.
The three 1-sou were dora, but the dealer had also previously discarded it, so it was a safe tile. On top of that, I would be waiting on the 9-pin and none of them had been discarded. Without declaring riichi, this would have been a 6400-point hand, but riichi would have brought it up to 5 han for mangan, which would push me into 1st place, and tsumo or ura-dora would get my hand into haneman. I decided to go for the big play, knowing I at least wouldn’t deal into iipatsu, but I’m pretty sure this was my first mistake. Not only is chasing the dealer riichi incredibly dangerous, but I also didn’t need riichi to win; chitoitsu would have been plenty. Additionally, the dealer had only discarded one pinzu tile, meaning they were likely waiting for a pinzu tile, which made it even less likely that the other players would discard the tile I need, a single 9-pin. By turn 17 it looked like I’d be collecting tenpai payments. With only 3 tiles left in the wall chances seemed good I wouldn’t be punished for my bad play, but I drew a 5-pin, which was the dealer’s winning tile. Luckily, the hand was only 3 han 40 fu for 7700 points. While this error knocked me down to 4th, it could have also been a lot worse, so I counted myself lucky on that one.
East 3 Bonus 2 started with a bland starting hand. There wasn’t anything really special, so when South declared riichi on their fourth discard I didn’t feel obligated to fight. Shortly after, they won with riichi tsumo tanyao and 2 red 5s for 8000 points.
East 4 starts with a pretty obvious comeback hand.
By turn 7 I was iishanten for honitsu, iipeikou, with the possibility of a chitoitsu or sanankou as well. Unfortunately, the north player dealt into the dealer riichi, killing my mangan-minimum hand.
East 4 bonus 1 was much the same; I started with a good direction on where my hand should go, but this time I played much more aggressively, calling into tenpai or open ittsu with two dora on turn 11, waiting on the 4 and 7 sou. Again, the dealer would win off of the north player, bringing the game even closer.
East 4 bonus 2 started with a very strong haipai, ryanshanten with one dora. By turn 9 I declared riichi after drawing the red 5-pin. I was on an inside wait for a 7-sou, which isn’t ideal, but I had discarded several souzu already, including a 4-sou for a the appearance for a suji trap, and I hadn’t discarded any pinzu, so I was hoping for the illusion of waiting on a pinzu tile, making the 7-sou feel ‘safe’. My riichi was immediately chased by the player to my right with a riichi, tanyao, dora 2 with a 5, 8-pinzu wait. Not looking good for me, and on the 14th turn I paid into their 8,000 point hand, bringing me deep into 4th with 4600 points remaining.
With the game finally moving into South round, my starting hand wasn’t very impressive, but I was able to get into a tanyao riichi which resulted in ryuukyoku and a 3,000 point bonus for me, bringing my total up to 6600 points.
South 2 was my second dealership. How good my hand was didn’t matter in the least, because the player to my left started the hand in tenpai and called ron off the third discard. Normally that would be a yakuman, or at the very least a mangan, but due to the ruleset of either the tournament or Mahjong Soul as a whole, the hand was only worth the yakuhai dora that was present in the hand.
During South 3 I was on full-bail mode due to two other players declaring riichi. I decided that, if nothing else, I didn’t want to go negative, and I didn’t want to alter the results of the top players, so I played defensively until the player to my left won with a haneman tsumo, bringing me down to 3600 points.
I wasn’t able to complete a hand in South 4, ending up ryanshanten after my final discard. Hoping the game would end with ryuukyoku I discarded safely hoping the final two discards would end the hand peacefully. Unfortunately, the player to my right called tsumo, ending the whole game with me, unsurprisingly, in 4th place, and yakitori.
Will the next day’s match goes any better? We’ll find out!