10-dan and LAPOM for League Play

By Kira Nebilak on Mar 21st 2017 12:00pm

Los Angeles Pride of Mahjong (LAPOM) made a special trip up on March 4th to return one of the AMOS REXX that was used for the LAPOM Championship just a couple weeks prior. PML also hosted @nantorei123, a Tenhou 10-dan, for our regular league games the following day. It was such a special trip that our LAPOM friends caught us off guard the day before we were expecting them! Of course, this wasn't a problem. We are rather spontaneous here at PML. The solution we came up with was to invite more people over for mahjong and dinner!

It was a dark and stormy night. We were hungry. We ended up carpooling to dinner, and Sharon and I ended up in the back of Sylvain's sporty sports car for a vehicular adventure. We had decided to go to a Vietnamese restaurant. It's one of our favorite places down in Dublin. We had a good time there, and Masa really liked it; said it was very good!

That evening we learned that Masa really likes Vietnamese food and frequently eats it.

Sylvain is a good driver, but so sporty.

Gochisosama deshita!

LAPOM stayed over for the night and we played late. Eventually around midnight some of us had to answer the call of sleep and we turned in.

The following morning was rather quiet. After some breakfast we discussed ways to make our online system better, and I took care of some last minute cleaning. As per our usual time, league players would start showing up at around 2pm.

Masa and Aruto decided to scheme and trick the first member to arrive into playing with a table of rigged hands. What better way to greet PML members than this? Carefully, they assembled a kokushi-musou for Aruto, and for the rather unlucky helpless victim who stepped through the door, they assembled a tenpai hand. No doubt the victim would have double-riichi'd into a yakuman by throwing that North...

Unfortunately for Masa and Aruto, the first player to join the event was Rei. Masa tried to play it cool but Rei knew something was up immediately. The plot was discovered and we ended up playing a regular game while we waited for more players to arrive. Additionally, Daniel had carefully arranged his flights to be back in time to play mahjong with us and soon we had a sleepless but mahjong ready Daniel to contend with as well.

League play has started and Sylvain is already putting on weird music.

Masa faces the sleep deprived Daniel yet again.

League games started after a bit of a delay. We had an unexpectedly good turn-out and ended up having to assemble the REXX that Masa and Aruto had brought from LAPOM. That settled, league games started well and we powered through three rounds of one-hour hanchan.

In between hands at a scary table.

Rainy and sunny outside during league.

It came time for a dinner break after the third hanchan, and everyone piled out for some food. Here at PML we tend to break around 6pm for a couple a reasons. The first is that most players are pretty fried after three straight hours, and three straight hanchan, of intense mahjong. The second is because the local sandwich shop Ike's closes at 7pm.

The eye of the storm.

Gathering around the kotatsu for dinner.

After a one hour dinner break, it was on to the last hanchan. For this season's league, PML plays four hanchan. Each hanchan is 55 minutes long, with an allowance for the last hand to finish.

Aiming to rise above, the players powered through the last hanchan. Rei scored a major victory at the last table, landing 5 wins over the course of 12 hands and shutting down the rest of the table with two 12k tsumos. Our friends from LAPOM had a rougher time, with Aruto managing to nab some positive points while Masa faced a fierce uphill battle with PML core players and at the final table, Rei.

Aruto questioning the mahjong gods.

Rei dominating the game; a very intense table.

It was sad to see the event end, but eventually it came time to say goodbye. Rei had a flight back to Japan on Tuesday, and Masa and Aruto were leaving to head back to SoCal. With promises to meet again, we bid farewell to our mahjong friends and newly initiated PML League Play contenders Rei, Masa, and Aruto.

It sounds like perhaps we'll be able to have an event like this again sometime in Summer or Fall! Rei mentioned he would have to fly back to California again in July, so we are really looking forward to that! Rei is a really strong player and we look forward to learning from him again soon.

Are you in the California Bay Area and want to participate? Check out our Meetup group and watch for Learn to Play or League Play events every Sunday!

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