WWYD 2012/10/06

Discussions about the What Would You Discard/Do from the main page.
Your own WWYD are also welcome.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by xKime » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:19 pm

Senechal wrote:While I also agree with the general consensus of 7m, some of the intentions in the thread are from planet Zorblax.

Excuse me if this sounds rude, but do any of you actually play mahjong IRL as opposed to just clicking tiles on the internet ?


The tanyao crowd is hoping for a possibility that by fuzzy math can only occur one out of three times. (1 - 1/2 * 2/3)
The sanankou crowd is hoping for a possibility requiring draws that don't advance to tenpai, and those that do, require you to ignore it for at leeast one extra turn.

Is it wrong to see possibilities when they can be done, of course not. If the 6p gets drawn, then the tanyao plan can be put into effect, all while not penalizing the rest of the hand's race to tenpai. Is it something to aim for or wait on, no, and it's not really worthy of mentioning. The only time mentioning "well maybe tanyao would be a good idea" is when you can discard the tiles to get there. You can't here. Otherwise, cut 9p and explain why it's a good thing. The problem is the broadcasted monologue of the obvious: it's good to maximize hand value *when possible*, the possibilities are out of the player's control here, thus should not form the basis of a decision.

As for the sanshoku crowd, you're saying after this T-1 hand, if you grab a tile to make a set out of stumps, you would be waiting on a 3-6s wait, but then would be gleefully ready to cut that wait down to a 4s solo wait (5s furiten), I'm not saying you failed the point maximization quiz, but there's so much else to consider, like actually winning the hand. Neglecting speed for fantasy options never works. The chances of it even occuring are slim. If you get a two-stump wait 4488s, or worse, 5588s, then you just took the long road just to get sanankou by tsumo, one chance out of "3 to 4" just for that to occur.

If you are dealing, the choice is obvious. Apparently the reasons why aren't because of false intentions. This is still the truth when you consider that this is an East-only game (!): win fast, and clam for 2nd is a better strategy than letting someone tsumo this turn and make you 4th alone, rather than tied with someone else for 3rd/last.


I implore the whole lot of you to find a game IRL to play. EMA if you have to in Europe (although if you know an open tanyao club, do go there), or within any solid group in North America (that's Montreal, New York, Rochester NY, Michigan, and probably Seattle). Plan your next vacation for it. There are too many people who play online with a desensitized approach to losing that need the shock therapy of playing in a world with no redos, no replays, and no pin-ups for at least a dozen IRL games. You need live players who can actually counsel and teach on what works and what doesn't, because players often summarily ignore advice delivered to them "through the internet" as if they believe their opinion can automatically countermand someone else's. All opinions have value, and zero is also a value. Don't make that mistake hastily.

Seriously, google any of "mahjong montreal", "uspml", "hammergirl mahjong rit", "ddrmtu mahjong" and step it up, today.
THIS.

Although the problem is not playing online or offline, but within the mindset of people themselves. For most people, this is no more than a casual hobby, and every loss is not a "responsibility" nor does it represent a commitment with oneself to improve.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by Shirluban » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:25 pm

wavemotion wrote:By itself (i.e. the number 0), zero lacks value. It is the absence of value.
No.
By itself, zero is a value indicating there is exactly nothing. An absence of value would not give information.
If you're working on your electric installation and the voltmeter reads "0", you know there is no current.
If the voltmeter reads " ", you would not know how much current runs.

As a positional digit, zero also bears a value.
A measurement of 1.0mm is not the same than a measurement of 1mm, since 1.0 have more significant digits than 1.
In "404" the "number of ten" is precisely given. If zero laked value, you would not know if "4?4" was greater, lower or equal than "454".
wavemotion wrote:My point wasn't to drill home a lesson in counting systems but to lightly jab at a poster who came across as berating well-meaning discussion. For that, I apologize.
Next time find something that works, or focus on the actual meaning of the post, instead of an out-of-context reinterpretation of an anecdotical line.
I agree Senechal's comment is a bit rude, but I'll not call it "berating", as he made several good points.
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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by wavemotion » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:56 pm

Shirluban wrote:Next time find something that works, or focus on the actual meaning of the post, instead of an out-of-context reinterpretation of an anecdotical line.
Yes, El Commandant! I shall not make this mistake again (and my friendly recommendation to you is to read The Nothing that Is: A Natural History of Zero and then we can privately discuss nothing again where we will likely get nowhere) and will leave my funny-only-to-me lines on the cutting-room floor (my wife would likely also be happy if that extended to the dinner table).
Shirluban wrote:I agree Senechal's comment is a bit rude, but I'll not call it "berating", as he made several good points.
Shall we encourage or even tolerate rudeness so long as good points are made? The good points are largely lost when the messenger can't show basic respect or common decency to those of us still learning - worse is that two of the posters are new to the site and this was their 1st or 2nd post (hope Senechal's ber... er... "bit [of] rudeness" doesn't scare them off. But looking back at past WWYD "discussions", that appears to be acceptable here). Someday I hope the climate here changes.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by gemma » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:45 pm

Ok... You can all vent at me now!

I dropped the 8-bam and received a disgusting amount of luck.

Feel free to pull apart my strategy!
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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by xKime » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:24 pm

wavemotion wrote:
Shirluban wrote:Next time find something that works, or focus on the actual meaning of the post, instead of an out-of-context reinterpretation of an anecdotical line.
Yes, El Commandant! I shall not make this mistake again (and my friendly recommendation to you is to read The Nothing that Is: A Natural History of Zero and then we can privately discuss nothing again where we will likely get nowhere) and will leave my funny-only-to-me lines on the cutting-room floor (my wife would likely also be happy if that extended to the dinner table).
Shirluban wrote:I agree Senechal's comment is a bit rude, but I'll not call it "berating", as he made several good points.
Shall we encourage or even tolerate rudeness so long as good points are made? The good points are largely lost when the messenger can't show basic respect or common decency to those of us still learning - worse is that two of the posters are new to the site and this was their 1st or 2nd post (hope Senechal's ber... er... "bit [of] rudeness" doesn't scare them off. But looking back at past WWYD "discussions", that appears to be acceptable here). Someday I hope the climate here changes.
I would like to say that you are confusing rudeness with boldness. Or even assertiveness. After all, he is openly sharing knowledge (which, I am sure, he holds more than you on this particular subject) for nothing in return; a bit of tough love, if you may. Instead of feeling your ego has been hurt, you could focus on the content itself and not the way in which it was presented when it helps getting the message through with the aid of its impact and force. I do share his impression that some people seem to be playing a different game altogether. Besides, rudeness and manners are very subjective; for me, someone commenting "7m" with absolutely nothing else to go on with it is far more rude than a person actually making a conscious effort to improve our playing level as a community, which I am sure you want to be part of (as you are registered and posting here).
gemma wrote:Ok... You can all vent at me now!

I dropped the 8-bam and received a disgusting amount of luck.

Feel free to pull apart my strategy!
That is some tremendous... strength. I don't think I could have discarded that 3p in most cases, but it depends on what the shape of your hand was up to that point.
Congrats!

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by wavemotion » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:31 pm

xKime wrote:I would like to say that you are confusing rudeness with boldness. Or even assertiveness.
If you consider this post to be bold and not rude, then I suspect we've got very little common ground to discuss it. Having spent 10 years on Usenet has thickened my skin reasonably well. I'm likely to stick around a hypothetical forum despite the usual hypothetical asshats. Brand new posters might, hypothetically, not.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by xKime » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:50 pm

wavemotion wrote:
xKime wrote:I would like to say that you are confusing rudeness with boldness. Or even assertiveness.
If you consider this post to be bold and not rude, then I suspect we've got very little common ground to discuss it. Having spent 10 years on Usenet has thickened my skin reasonably well. I'm likely to stick around a hypothetical forum despite the usual hypothetical asshats. Brand new posters might, hypothetically, not.
His original post states cleary "I am sorry if this sounds rude." Your consequent posts, which to me seem a lot ruder, not only lack any warning but you also finished one of them off by stating their cheap objective. Also, I am more concerned with you driving away posters who actively contribute with useful posts like Senechal, than I am with him driving away those who make one liners.
My point wasn't to drill home a lesson in counting systems but to lightly jab at a poster who came across as berating well-meaning discussion. For that, I apologize.
In my opinion, and I am sure that of others involved as well though I cannot speak for them, the only one who belittled well-meaning discussion in this thread was you.

In a quite possively rude side-note, there are other posts to be butthurt about in here, so go at them. Like this one. Now, off with you.

--

As a response to the WWYD itself, there is a basic rule for these kinds of shapes to remember and it is linked with (basic) tile efficiency.

5-crak 5-crak 7-crak 4-bam 5-bam 7-bam 8-bam 8-bam 2-dot 2-dot 2-dot 7-dot 8-dot 9-dot

Both 7m and 7s have the same tenpai chance (ukeire). Also, they are both ii shan ten with riichi nomi (same value). In theory, when you face a situation like this, you should select the discard that will (or is more likely to) leave you with a better wait once you are tenpai. In this case, it is 7m, as you will end up with ryanmen or more.

I am not against going anti-theory sometimes to, perhaps, lure other players or chase a fantasy. But here, there is no fantasy to chase and no way to lure. The most logical reason to let 7s go is if you have ESP and you know that will lead you to an ippatsu tsumo. All of us have moments we feel like we can predict what the following draws will be; some of us think they can read the remaining tiles at the wall. Whatever the reason, there are probably more important decisions to be made throughout the hand. For example, whether to push to a subsequent riichi with the current hand or not.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by mrrrx » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:35 am

gemma wrote:Ok... You can all vent at me now!

I dropped the 8-bam and received a disgusting amount of luck.

Feel free to pull apart my strategy!
Well, I would have also dropped the 8-bam if I had actually been playing this hand and didn't have the time to sit here and count the tiles that would get to tenpai. I was surprised when I actually counted and realized it was slow, and I think I've probably been making a big mistake when thinking about similar shapes in the past. Did you realize it was slower but have a different intention?

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by gemma » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:59 am

I'll be honest. I didn't realise that it would be slower to tempai this way at the time. This is actually why I posted this WWYD, so I could get feedback and understand the shape in all the various theories.

At the time, I was prepared to go for the open tanyao.

I had: 7-dot 8-dot 9-dot . However, I was prepared to steal the 6-dot from my left as it was the dora. I didn't want to get a 9-bam in my hand and put myself at furiten with a 7-bam 8-bam . Thus I dropped the 8-bam .

I was prepared to risk the outside set in dots at this stage of the game.

In dropping the 8-bam I was mostly considering what increased my chances of being able to take a tile from another player.

Having a 5-crak 5-crak 7-crak meant that I could steal a 5-crak from anyone on the table or a 6-crak from the person on my left. I wanted to keep the 7-bam 7-bam for a similar reason. If I had 7-bam 8-bam , I could only steal from the person to my left.

In the end, I got lucky and didn't need to open my hand. However, at that moment, it was my plan. I was dealer, convinced that nagare was against me and looking for that cheap, dirty win to turn my luck around.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by xKime » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:31 pm

Let me expand a little more on my original answer.

While 7s isn't slower to tenpai, and the tenpai chance is just the same as 7m, there is a vital difference between them. They are both basic shapes of a 16 tile ukeire. They both, in average, will tenpai after the same number of draws (7-8 draws in average <meaning, sometimes faster... sometimes slower>, you should memorize this number as a reference). Incidentally, you should usually aim constantly for 16 tiles (or more) uke-ire; notice how this is just the same number as a ryanmen-ryanmen pinfu ii shan ten (though it probably doesn't feel like it, but it is). The difference is not within the speed to tenpai, but with the final shape once you are tenpai (which is far more important!*).

*The farther you are from tenpai, the wider your hand is, the higher your uke ire number is. As you get closer and closer to tenpai, that uke ire starts diminishing. Finally, when you are tenpai, you have the narrowest chance of drawing an useful tile. That is why, in theory, you should always focus on the next step. Make the next shan ten (or tenpai) wider.

No plans to switch to tanyao are worth of it if you are going to draw 36s immediately later and end up with a shabo wait (dual pon), whereas you could have had ryanmen or more. More so when you take into account that under most rules you can't chii 6p from a 78 and discard the 9. This means you would need to discard another tile that is related to your hand when you call 6p, making your hand slower (and potentially cheaper as well! As, while a dora and tan yao is 2 han, riichi and an increased menzen tsumo chance already make up for it. If you account for uradora 1 out of 3 times and ippatsu 1 out of 10 times (with this particular kind of shape), going menzen is a virtual 2.5 han increase. Not to mention the difference in speed is abysmal). The tan yao road should be saved for when you actually draw 6p. But (by simple mental math that anyone should be able to make) you are far more likely to have already drawn your tenpai by then.

As for the people who can't read 16 tile uke-ire hands, you should start to practice reading more hand shapes. Their shan ten numer, and uke ire number. Eventually, you can simplify most hands into patterns and easily tell not only how many tiles bring your hand to the next shan ten step, but also how many tiles are useful in doing so. ii shan ten hands are, of course, the easiest to read as the numbers are smaller, so you should begin there. You can use this tool to see if you were right or wrong: http://tenhou.net/2/

There are valid reasons to discard 7s. But as long as you are playing without kuikae (shifting chows) and with ippatsu and ura dora bonuses, there is little point. Though it is true that it is still possible to end up with a good shape tenpai in the end, the chances are still inferior to 7m. And though, even if you do get a shanpon, 8s is not that bad of a wait (with 5s discarded and all), modern mahjong is more about tsumo (and its point increase) than it is about ron'ing others who obediently discard suji with, one out of three times, riichi nomi. The basic shape may be not evident enough inthe original WWYD, but what about this shape?

1-bam 2-bam 3-bam 6-bam 7-bam 7-bam 2-dot 2-dot 4-dot 2-crak 3-crak 6-crak 7-crak 8-crak

No one in their right mind would discard 6s (maybe some loon vaguely chasing sanshoku, but as I said, "in their right mind"). And yet, shape-wise, it is not very different from discarding 7s in the original WWYD. Something to think about.

Also, for the crowd who feels unsure about calling tiles around (as if you even needed to call!) and ending up with a tan yao with a 78s shape: you can just discard 7s afterwards (once you are tenpai) if that was ever to happen. "But we would end up with a shanpon wait on 5m and 8s!" ...That means you are cool with ending up with a shanpon (non-ryanmen) riichi but not when it is an open hand. That you would rather have ryanmen on an open hand than on a riichi. And not to mention that the very basis of that theory is that kamicha should discard dora. Wake up. That is not Japanese mahjong. Maybe Taiwanese mahjong, I don't know, but def not Japanese mahjong. You are just staring at the very reason why your mahjong is over the 2.5 average placement. And there is a direct method to improve this: study more hand shapes. Especially the more simple ones like this one.
Last edited by xKime on Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by wavemotion » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:55 pm

Sorry if this sounds rude (apparently you need a warning)...
xKime wrote:His original post states cleary "I am sorry if this sounds rude."
And that makes it okay to be rude? Belittling someones opinion is rude, IMO, and pre-apologizing for it doesn't make it any more acceptable. This seems to be common here on the WWYD threads. Look back and see on more than one occasion someone comes to post their ideas on what should be discarded and gets dressed-down. Sure, the person doing the dressing-down knows more - often a lot more - but the manner in which they impart that information is so off-putting that many new people make that their last post here on the forums and don't show up again. It's the worst of teaching techniques. Dressing someone down occurs when the person has such poor teaching skills that nothing else in their limited toolbox works as effectively. Many of the WWYD threads end up with the same couple of people stroking themselves and the rest of the community not wanting to contribute for fear of being belittled. IMHO, it stifles growth and discussion - though I realize that's not the primary goal for some of you. It is made slightly worse by being one of the few forum topics that is showcased on the front RM (non-forum) page so is often the first exposure someone sees to our community.

If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got. I'd recommend a new approach but that can only happen when the culture here changes.

I'll make this, mercifully, my last post on the subject. Feel free to contact me via PM to discuss further.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by gemma » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:57 pm

You are just staring at the very reason why your mahjong is over the 2.5 average placement. And there is a direct method to improve this: study more hand shapes. Especially the more simple ones like this one.
Sorry, I should have made myself clearer. I was describing why I did it at the time. I wouldn't have thought that way if I'd been given a WWYD. I do know the hand shapes, but for some reason all smartness falls out of my mind when I'm at a game. I act like I'm at the roulette table...

So you're entirely correct, my description of what I was thinking is precisely the way I have a placement of over 2.5 average.

However, I guess once you know the theory, the only way to fix the understanding in your mind so you can implement it is through seeing the hands and scruitinizing your play (like describing my misguided thoughts when I chose my discard). This isn't so easy I guess...

But thank you for the explanations, it's certainly helped firm it all in my mind. I like being checked for my play style. Hopefully, next time I might do the same thing but for the right reasons. ;)

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by mrrrx » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:17 pm

xKime wrote:8s isn't slower. To tenpai, that is. The tenpai chance is just the same as 7m. They are both basic shapes of a 16 tile ukeire.
8s is 12 tile ukeire. The ryanmen waits are sharing a 6s. Were you thinking of 7s? Or am I missing something?

http://tenhou.net/2/?q=557m222789p45788s

Anyway thanks for the link/advice, I didn't know about the tool.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by Senechal » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:23 am

wavemotion wrote:As a near-beginner I'd drop the 7-crak. What I would be left with would allow me a draw of "lots**" of tiles (I think 4 different... the 5-crak or 8-bam or 6-bam or 3-bam) to declare reach.

** "lots" to me means that in my head I see the possibility of several or more good draws - as a beginner and under the time pressure of an online game I can't always see every possible tile that will put me in Tenpai but I can identify "good patterns" in my hand that tend to lead to happy endings... I'm sure someday I'll be able to assess my hands more mathematically.
A good pattern to remember is that a proto-group of AAC (557m, non-centered straddle) provides less outs to improve it (A/B, 6 tiles) than BBC (788), because a centered straddle of that form can be improved by tiles A/B/D (11 tiles). So don't forget that 9s also contributes to hand advancement.



As a bonus comment, I'm not here to frantically make friends with just discussing mahjong, but to find strong rivals, play to the highest level possible and enjoy the experience. The kinship not frantically sought after comes naturally during and after play, as many in Denmark, Sweden, and a few in France and Germany can attest to, in my case. This will not happen on a larger scale throughout the community (RM/internet/live) if comments are sanitized to discussions where good and bad options are unable to be discussed freely for fear of offending a person making a comment. Often, bad options lead to the best discussions, but if words like "what were you thinking" become banned, then sharing the game's strategy, tactics, even its passion, become impossible. In the same way people learn to feel comfortable using and hearing the s-word instead of poop, they have to be able to handle positive and negative analysis of choices, intentions and the underlying reasons behind them. For some people, these experiences are eye-openers, the thing that sheds the scales from their eyes or lets them put down the pink glasses.

We might be due for a new WWYD in order to let the discussions behind this one fade away with time.

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Re: WWYD 2012/10/06

Post by wavemotion » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:11 am

Senechal wrote:but if words like "what were you thinking" become banned, then sharing the game's strategy, tactics, even its passion, become impossible.
I'm not suggesting anything become banned. I'm anti-censorship. And "what were you thinking" is fine. Saying someone ideas are from another planet, saying their opinions have zero "value" (hee-hee), saying we need "shock therapy" to wake up... these are offensive to me and possibly other newbies trying to learn. At least one other new poster in this thread said the same. Even Shirluban found it a "bit rude". My point remains: if you continue to use such tactics you will continue to find the same few people doing the "discussion" and your larger teaching moment will be lost to some due to the manner in which it is presented. Maybe you're totally fine with that - strengthen the strong and discard the weak! I'm hopeful for a more inclusive group and teaching that reaches out to a wider base. As an aside, probably like a lot of the newbs of the past, I'm steering clear of future WWYD threads (yes, I can hear the light applause now!)

It's somewhat sad that you've got a wealth of knowledge to share but such poor tools to convey the information. Good teachers are rare indeed.

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