Four tables at an Open Play Mah Jongg event.
1st Table - Two girls taking a lesson
2nd Table - Four experienced players (playing for money)
3rd Table - Four newbies, less than a year of on and off play (my table)
4th Table - Three experienced players (playing for money)
I was enjoying my stress free, super friendly game. Our 3rd game wrapped, I was East.
The director yelled out, "Whoever is East, move to the 3-person table."
Someone from the experienced table replied, "We are still in the middle of our game," and looked our way.
Courageously I said, "Well, wish me luck girls however, I have no money."
My new friend across the table from me quickly handed me her sandwich bag of coins and said, "You can use mine." She was clearly relieved it was me having to move instead of her.
I thanked her and joked, "Hey, maybe I'll add a little to your booty."
Smiling I walked over, sat down, introduced myself and explained I was newish. They grumbled a little and managed a few kind words of, "You'll be fine", etc.
Play began and I'll be honest, I got laser focused. They were moving so quickly in all aspects of the game, from building the walls to grabbing their tiles. East moved her wall while grabbing her first tiles at the same time. My Mah Jongg angels were with me, and I managed to choose wisely and picked fortunately. Boom.
"Mah Jongg", I said!
Yep. It was awesome. They quickly gave me 25 cents each, except the woman who threw my Mah Jongg tile, she gave me 50 cents. Super fun!
Next game zip, zip, zip. Draw, discard, call, draw, discard, all so quickly. I hung in there. The third game was the highlight of my first time playing with the "Big Girls".
We were down to the last wall, guessing it was going to be a wall game. There was 1 tile left and it was my turn. I picked it! 5 Bam!
"Mah Jongg", I said!
Probably a little too loud. I got Mah Jongg on the last tile! Fantastic! Everyone paid me double since I picked it myself.
We had time for 1 more game. I got close but someone else got it.
I was proud of myself. I played smart, was focused, then completely mentally spent afterwards.
I survived and you will too. Get in there, get pushed around a bit, and feel intimidated and uncomfortable. I gained some confidence after that experience.
One more thing. I used my highlighters the entire time.
One woman said, "We know what you are playing."
Haha! A lot of good that did them. The tiles were in my favor and I was able to keep track of my hands without making dumb mistakes.
I always knew exactly which hand I was playing and that allowed me to keep up with their quick pace.
It was an awesome experience. I'd recommend it. ;))