The third and final table for the JPML Crash Course series is table C. Starting from East we have Tom, Greg, and Allon, all from New York’s USPML, as well as SRMC’s own Edwin, who will be the final dealer. The commentated match is embedded below, and a general review and play-by-play below that.
This match got off to an explosive start with Tom, in the dealer’s seat, becoming tenpai for suuankou, but unfortunately his 48,000 point hand would be defeated by Greg’s 2,600 point hand. The overall points would stay stable until East 4 when Allon’s tsumo mangan pushed him into first with 38,000 points. The match would again maintain a steady state until, with the match clock nearing zero, Edwin declares his first riichi of the match in South 3 Bonus 1, waiting on a dora tile. He’s shortly after able to draw his tile for riichi, tsumo, chiitoitsu, dora-2, pushing him from third to first place where he would stay through the end of the match.
East: Tom – 30,000
South: Greg – 30,000
West: Allon – 30,000
North: Edwin – 30,000
Normally we focus on club members for these articles, but East 1 was all about Tom.
At first glance we might see 5 blocks in a very fast pinfu shape with the possibility of iipeiko1Two identical sequences, only 3-shanten2# of tiles away from tenpai in his opening hand. On his second draw he picks up another 9-pinzu, which gives him a fourth set of pairs and complicates his 789-pinzu block. It looks like he’s opting to shoot for a chiitoitsu3Seven pairs, and on his sixth draw he picks up another 7-pinzu, giving him his fifth pair and also igniting a potential ryanpeikou4Two iipeokou, but he decides to break his 45-manzu rather than discard his floating 4-pinzu dora, and dedicates the hand to chiitoitsu. On draw eight he picks up a third 9-manzu and discards the 5-manzu. With that, he is no longer looking for chiitoitsu, but more likely a sanankou5Three concealed triplets. His next tile is a third 4-souzu, and he discards the 4-pinzu dora, making him 1-shanten for sanankou or even suuankou6Four concealed triplets (yakuman)!
Despite this, the commentators are focused on the fact that he’s tenpai for iipeikou nomi7The hand has only one yaku. Continuing his string of incredible draws, Tom then draws a third 3-souzu, giving himself three concealed triplets and both pairs, making him tenpai for either sanankou (2 han) or suuankou (yakuman), depending on luck and aggressiveness, waiting on the 7- and 9-pinzu. With half of the tiles he needs already in his hand, and one 9-pinzu already discarded, there are only 3 tiles available for him to win on.
Meanwhile, Greg has been steadily building up his hand in a similar fashion as Tom with 4 pairs, including his seat wind and 2 side-waits, then draws into a third 8-souzu. When Allon discards one of his two South tiles, Greg calls and puts himself into tenpai for yakuhai dora-1 with the possibility of sanankou.
Allon makes a late-game riichi on his 15th discard after drawing into riichi with pinfu and a possible 567 sanshoku.
Allon’s Riich would be his undoing as his next discard was the 3-pinzu, dealing into Greg’s yakuhai dora-1 for 2,600 points plus the riichi stick for 2,700 total points.
East: Greg – 33,600
South: Allon – 26,400
West: Edwin – 30,000
North: Tom – 30,000
Edwin’s opening hand for East 2 is, to anyone who’s seen him play, no surprise at all with 4 pairs already in-hand before drawing his first tile.
On Allon’s third draw he’s already 1-shanten for pinfu dora-1, and on Edwin’s 5th draw he finds his 5th pair, now 1-shanten for chiitoitsu. Eventually Allon would riichi after drawing a 9-souzu, waiting on 2- and 5-manzu for riichi, pinfu, dora-1, worth 3,900, or mangan with a tsumo. Tom would decide a quick, cheap hand would be better than defending against the riichi, so he calls a 4-manzu discarded by Allon to put himself 1-shanten from yakuhai nomi. Greg would draw into tenpai on the next draw with a pinfu, and decides to damaten8Stay in tenpai with a closed hand rather than risk paying into Allon’s riichi.
Edwin would then draw and discard the 6-manzu, which would be called by Tom, putting him into tenpai on the 3-souzu and hatsu9Green dragon. His plan of avoiding the riichi by quickly winning an open yakuhai hand would backfire, discarding the 2-manzu and dealing into Allon’s hand for 3,900 points.
East: Allon – 30,300
South: Edwin – 30,000
West: Tom – 26,100
North: Greg – 33,600
This time around, Edwin’s opening hand only managed to have one pair, so chiitoitsu is probably not in the cards, but we’ll see how it goes. Instead, there’s a much stronger possibility of chanta10All melds contain at least one terminal or honor, or maybe even junchan11All melds contain at least one terminal (no honors).
By the 7th discard his hand has evolved quite a bit, dropping all of the honor tiles and adding a bunch of new manzu, including a second dora.
At this point there’s a possibility of ittsu12123, 456, 789 in one suit, but he drops the 9-manzu which eliminates that possibility. With the 1-manzu and two 9-souzu it’s unlikely to become a tanyao hand, and with the two inside-waits and three pairs it’s also unlikely to become a pinfu hand. The goal might be to eschew yaku and go for tile efficiency to make use of the two dora since a third han from riichi or tsumo would be enough to move into first place. On his 10th draw he finds a chun13Red dragon and discards the 5-pinzu, despite already having discarded a chun earlier, and another being discarded by Tom. I’m guessing this is purely to keep a safe tile in the event of a riichi, and also because there are currently 6 blocks in his hand, so dissolving the 3- 5-pinzu inside wait isn’t detrimental to tile efficiency, especially because there’s no plan for yaku (If you’re curious, Edwin will be writing a summary of his experience and thought process!).
On the next draw, Tom declares riichi after drawing a 7-pinzu (Oh, hey, remember that chun Edwin kept as a safe tile in case of a riichi?) with no other yaku and no dora and with an inside wait.
Despite only having a single pair in his opening hand, Edwin’s 17th draw is a 2-manzu, giving him his 5th pair, making him 1-shanten for chiitoitsu yet again. Greg’s 17th draw gets him into tenpai for tanyao, iipeikou, dora-1 if he can find the last 8-souzu he needs. Otherwise, a 5-souzu would still net him 2,600 plus Tom’s riichi stick for 2,700 total.
The hand would end shortly after with Allon, Tom, and Greg in tenpai.
East 3 Bonus 1
East: Allon – 31,300
South: Edwin – 27,000
West: Tom – 26,100
North: Greg – 34,600
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Edwin’s opening hand this time around. A pair of haku and one dora should provide a quick path to second place.
The second draw is an 8-manzu, completing a third pair. Although three pairs is still a long way off from chiitoitsu, completing it with two dora could be enough to get into first place, but also sets up a potential toitoi, yakuhai, dora-1 which would also do the trick. A 6-manzu is then draw, and the discarded West is called by Tom to complete his yakuhai, though he’s still 2-shanten. Two turns later, Edwin draws a 6-pinzu and discards one of his two Hatsu, much to the surprise of the commentators. The remaining hatsu is discarded the following turn, leaving his hand with no terminal or honor tiles. The three he discards after that would again be called by Tom, completing a 234-pinzu sequence, still 1-shanten for yakuhai nomi (but 2-shanten for honitsu14Half-flush).
Edwin’s 6th draw is a second 4-manzu, and his 7th is a 6-manzu, each completing a pair, giving him five pairs, making him 1-shanten from chiitoitsu, tanyao, and possibly 2 dora. Instead, he chooses to discard his original 6-manzu.
Tom then draws a 9-manzu, completing his pair, becoming tenpai with an inside wait on the 2-sou for 1,000+300 points. Edwin draws a third 4-manzu, discards the remaining 6-manzu, which is called by Greg, which puts him tenpai for tanyao dora-1, waiting on the 5-manzu and 7-souzu. Allon, who is 1-shanten for iipeikou, then draws and discards the 5-manzu, completing Greg’s hand for 2,000+300 points.
East: Edwin – 27,000
South: Tom – 26,100
West: Greg – 37,900
North: Allon – 29,000
Greg’s hand starts off strong, only two tiles away from completing an ittsu after his first draw.
After the third discard, Tom is also looking strong with a potential monster of a hand with ittsu, chinitsu15Full-flush, or dare I say chuuren16Nine gates.
With Edwin’s fourth discard he’s now 1-shanten. With no yaku or dora it’s hard to tell of he’s aiming for a quick dealer riichi to make up some quick points and maintain his dealership or if he plans on finding additional yaku. With some manipulation of his waits, (drawing a 5-manzu to setup the side wait) the hand could easily become pinfu with a dora possibility. Alternately, a 4-, 5-, or 9-pinzu could help setup an ittsu as well.
Shortly after he draws a 4-pinzu, discarding the 9-manzu, putting him 2-shanten from ittsu, then draws an 8-souzu, which also opens up the possibility of 789 sanshoku.
Near the end of the second row, Tom would draw into tenpai and riichi on the dora with no other yaku and no dora, and on an inside wait.
That dora would be called by Allon, who now has an exposed triplet of dora as well as a concealed triplet of Hatsu, but is still 2-shanten because he chose to break up his pair for a safe discard.
On the next draw, Edwin pulls a 2-pinzu for tenpai with no yaku, but a 1- or 4-pinzu would make iipeikou, allowing him to call ron without riichi.
After that he drew a 9-pinzu, which would allow for ittsu, but would also push his hand out of tenpai and back to 1-shanten, so he decided to discard the tile. The draw after that was a hatsu, which hadn’t been discarded yet, so rather than taking the risk, the safe 9-souzu was discarded, pushing his hand back to 1-shanten. From here on it the hand becomes abandoned, discarding only safe tiles rather than risking paying in just to fight for a 1,500 point hand.
Allon would go on to wind the hand, drawing his winning 6-souzu for yakuhai dora-3 worth 8,000 points plus Tom’s riichi stick for 9,000 points total.
East: Tom – 23,100
South: Greg – 35,900
West: Allon – 38,000
North: Edwin – 23,000
Going into the south round we see the following point rankings:
1st: Allon (Top)
2nd: Greg (-2,100)
3rd: Tom (-14,900)
4th: Edwin (-15,000)
Tom’s hand opens with a potential sanshoku centering around his 5-6 tiles, while Greg ends his first discard 2-shanten with two dora. Edwin’s hand doesn’t have any discernible direction as of yet, but seems to at least have a solid foundation to build upon.
Not much happens during the first row if discards; everyone is making steady progress building their hands, but nothing really exciting is going on. Well, I say that, but Garthe is talking to Ogasahara-Pro about conventions and chess and RPGs on the PlayStation and… I have no idea what he’s on about, so if someone could drop an explanation in the comments that would be great.
At the end of the first row Edwin’s discarded Haku is called by Allon who is now 1-shanten for yakuhai nomi. This gives Edwin an additional draw, which puts him 2-shanten for tanyao pinfu. A few draws later, Greg’s discard is called by Allon putting him into tenpai with a 3- 6- 9-souzu wait for yakuhai and possibly dora-1.
Edwin’s next draw is a 7-manzu that gets rid of his pinfu but puts him 1-shanten for not only tanyao, but 345 sanshoku as well (which I would have missed if it wasn’t for Ogasahara-Pro’s commentary).
Greg draws a lethal 3-souzu that doesn’t fit in his hand at all, but senses the danger and discards a 3-manzu instead. Unfortunately, Tom would discard the dora and deal into Allon’s yakuhai dora-1 for 2,000 points.
East: Greg – 35,900
South: Allon – 40,000
West: Edwin – 23,000
North: Tom – 21,100
Skipping ahead to the fourth draw, everyone’s hand has three pairs, except for Edwin, who already has four, and again is a prime candidate for chiitoitsu.
On Greg’s 6th draw he, too is sitting on 4 pairs.
By all accounts it’s a race to chiitoitsu but it seems the commentators are expecting a san- or suuankou, and right after that, Edwin draws and keeps his third 8-souzu. At this point I had paused the video to look at this hand and figure out what the ideal discard would be, then I noticed his discard pile so far.
Oof! Then Tom draws his fourth pair, then Greg draws a second dora, completing his fifth pair on the next draw. On Edwin’s 9th draw he gets a second 4-manzu.
It would seem that the appropriate discard is the 1-manzu, which would upgrade the hand to a possible iipeikou and increase the number of waits, but instead he discards the 5-manzu. I spoke with Edwin about this specific discard just the other day, so I’m looking forward to reading his thoughts about it. Whatever game knowledge or intuition he had showed in his next draw when he got a second 1-manzu, now tenpai for chiitoitsu after discarding an 8-souzu. Choosing not to riichi seems odd at first, since chiitoitsu by itself is only worth 1,600, but with one more han from either riichi or tsumo, we see 3,200 points. Because it’s a single-tile wait that’s next to the dora, it seems unlikely that it would be discarded by another player after a riichi, but the temptation of going for 5 han mangan if the ura-dora is hit, or even 6-han haneman if it’s a tsumo with ura-dora would be really tempting. Edwin’s foresight would pay off when Tom draws his fifth pair and discards the unnecessary to complete Edwin’s hand.
East: Allon – 40,000
South: Edwin – 24,600
West: Tom – 19,500
North: Greg – 35,900
After Edwin’s first draw, his hand is a bit cryptic. Three pairs, only one of them inherently useful, and not much in the way of obvious blocks. However, one yaku does seem to emerge from the fog: chanta.
Or, so I thought, anyway. His first discard was the 5-manzu, which initially backed my theory, but he would then discard the 1-manzu, pass on calling a haku, then discard the 7-souzu, completely destroying my original thoughts about the hand and replacing them with a new one: honitsu.
Next he would draw the third haku and discard the remaining 5-souzu, 3-shanten honitsu yakuhai which could be a mangan if his hand stays closed. Meanwhile, Allon is now 1-shanten for tanyao, pinfu, sanshoku, dora-1 which could easily become a 12,000 point dealer-mangan.
On Edwin’s 10th discard his hand is now 1-shanten for honitsu, yakuhai, and a possible iipeikou or sanankou.
Soon after, Allon draws into tenpai with a 1-manzu, but discards it because the hand would have no yaku. It pays off, because on the next draw he gets a 5-pinzu which puts him back into tenpai with tanyao dora-1. He decides not to declare riichi, likely because he has an inside wait with the 3-souzu, he’s currently dealer, and he’s already in first place in south 3. All of these factors point to damaten being the correct course of action. On Greg’s 15th discard, he would end up paying into Allon’s hand for 3,900 points.
South 3 Bonus 1
East: Allon – 43,900
South: Edwin – 24,600
West: Tom – 19,500
North: Greg – 32,000
South 3 Bonus 1 starts with about 14 minutes left in the match, so it’s going to be a race for Edwin to get his dealership. Even if he gets it, he’s likely to only get to use it for one hand. And speaking of his hand, it looks to be in a good shape for a tanyao chiitoisu or tanyao pinfu.
After four draws he pulls the 7-manzu and is now 1-shanten.
On Tom’s 10th discard he’s now tenpai with no yaku, but a dora and the potential to upgrade to an iipeikou. Unfortunately for him, all of the 3-pinzu he needs are in other hands and playing important roles, so are unlikely to be discarded.
And on Edwin’s 12th discard we see him declare riichi for chiitoitsu waiting on the dora! Ron makes this hand a mangan, and tsumo makes it a haneman.
In an act of defense or desperation, Tom immediately declares riichi as well, still waiting on the 3-pinzu, but two draws later Edwin finds his 1-pinzu and wins his riichi, tsumo, chiitoitsu, dora-2 for 12,000+300 points, bringing him into second place only 900 points behind the leader going into all-last, but the extra 1,000 points from Tom’s riichi pushes Edwin into first by 100 points!
East: Edwin – 37,900
South: Tom – 15,400
West: Greg – 28,900
North: Allon – 37,800
With under 8 minutes on the clock, Edwin needs to build up a small buffer in the event someone else wins the hand by tsumo to maintain his first-place rank. By the third discard he’s 1-shanten waiting on the 2- 5-pin, and 3- 6-souzu for pinfu dora-1.
The very next draw is a 2-pin, putting him in tenpai with a 2-sided wait. Before he could even draw another tile, Allon discards the 3-souzu, giving Edwin the win worth 2,900 points.
South 4 Bonus 1
East: Edwin – 40,800
South: Tom – 15,400
West: Greg – 28,900
North: Allon – 34,900
Now with 5 minutes left and a 5,900 point buffer, this is likely to be the last hand. Possible strategies here would be another quick win to add some additional buffer going into the final hand or choosing not to go for a hand at all and instead only play purely defensively, hoping that no one wins the hand. By the end of the second row, Edwin draws a haku and discards a 6-pinzu, breaking up a pair and moving further away from completing his hand. It looks like he’s going for a route of pure safety, attempting to dodge any risk of a direct hit. Either that, or he’s going on a fully aggressive push for honitsu.
Tom’s next discard is a 5-souzu which is called by Edwin to complete a triplet, discarding the remaining 6-pinzu, now 1-shanten from honitsu tenpai. His next draw is the 1-sou, making him tenpai after discarding the haku, waiting on a third west only, since the remaining 7-souzu he could win with has already been discarded by Greg. With two west tiles in hand and the third already being discarded by Allon, it’s unlikely that the tile will come out. Of course, if someone draws it this late in the game, it’s also likely to get discarded. Shortly after, Allon draws the final west and holds onto it. If he’s unwilling to drop it, Edwin will need to draw a 6- or 8-souzu to change his wait. Instead, he draws the 4-pin and discards the 9-souzu as his 16th discard, opting to play it safe and end the game noten, which is an excellent idea since Tom and Greg are both tenpai, and Greg upgrades his hand with iipeikou before declaring riichi on the following discard.
Shockingly, Allon discards a 9-souzu and Edwin calls it to complete a 789 run immediately after having discarded the 9-souzu, and is now back in tenpai on the same wait as before. I’m guessing he feels like the west is more likely to come out now that there’s a riichi.
For his final discard he breaks tenpai to discard a safe tile, ending the game having to pay only a 1,000 point tenpai payment, maintaining his position in first.
1st: Edwin – 39,800 (+24.8)
2nd: Allon – 33,900 (+8.9)
3rd: Greg – 30,900 (▲4.1)
4th: Tom – 14,400 (▲30.6)