You know, when The Comics Journal wrote up Kawaiikochans (no, seriously) I was described as a long-time anime writer, and Jog linked to my blog. Then I looked at my blog and thought "man, what would they think if they saw this?" 'Cause it's just posts about Kawaiikochans and mahjong right now, ain't it? I do still write about anime, you know! (for money, in other places. Wanna pay me to write about anime? I'll do it) But honestly, most of my free-time creativity is going into Kawaiikochans. Mahjong posts are just my own personal indulgence.
This has been a game of fast hands, mostly won by our leader up there. There's only been one mangan hand. I'm directly on the line between winning and losing here. Just a few hundred points down from second place, and a fair distance from last place (who is dealer, who could catch up easily). Luckily this is a very promising hand for me. Maybe too promising. I only need a thousand points, but with the pair of chun and four dora (red 5-sou counts as two dora in this case) this could turn out to be a very fast mangan (8000 points). However, the point margin is wide enough that it doesn't really matter if I got that mangan or if I got a 1000-point hand, I'd still get second place either way. That's fine with me, and I press on with this in mind.
Everything I want comes in and I'm in this tenpai on 1-4 man. Awesome: I could take second.
But then this happens! Another dora tile just falls into my hand. That's nice and all, but it forces a decision. If I hold on to the dora and wait on a single tile (2man in this case, 3man is almost gone already), then my hand is chun, dora 5. That's haneman, 12,000 points. Better yet, there is the possibility of getting into first place from this hand (if the point leader deals into me), where there was none before.
I thought about this decision in terms of Tenhou's ranking system. Being in third place only lowers your stats a tiny bit and doesn't actually hurt your rank. Being in second place raises your rank by a hair. Being in first does a lot for your rank, and obviously losing in 4th place will wreck your rank. My thought process in this moment was that since there was a possibility to make it to first place, and a good distance between myself and last place, that I should allow myself that possibility.
It didn't turn out my way. In fact it nearly went the worst possible way. I actually got 1man, which would have won, and then the last-place dealer won and ensured another hand. Luckily they dealt into the leader's hand, and I remained in third.
In retrospect, I think my call was completely wrong and that I should have shot for the easier win. The point dealer giving me my tile was so unlikely anyway, and I didn't even think of the idea of the last-place dealer winning and getting another chance, which was the real issue here.