Stupid Genius

- Making mistakes is our rights, learning from them is our responsibilty.

- "I have no choice" is another way of saying "I've have chosen the easier option"

- Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration - Thomas A Edison

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Location: Singapore

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Singtel organised a mahjong competition today, and I took part in it. As Singapore gambling laws are quite tight, it's not a normal mahjong game.

The registration fee is $35. Inclusive of lunch and a tea break. The food is quite decent. Everyone will play 3 rounds with $400 chips value. There is no limit in the number of game doubles. Each round, our chips balance is recorded. There is a price for the person with the most chips for each round and also for the person with the most total chips of all 3 rounds. There are also prizes for the person who recorded the biggest game double. At the end of it all, there is also a lucky draw of some insignificant prize.

There are close to 20 tables, so there should be close to 80 participants. Even though we play in a table of 4, we are actually competitng against all participants as the 1 with the most chips overall win. In a normal mahjong game, it's always a balance of defensive play where you try not to throw tiles that your opponent may want, and of attacking play where you try to make your tiles as nice as possible. In this competition, it's better to just go for the high double. Forget about being defensive. If you win big, it's worth the lose.

And since there's onli 1 prize per table, and no matter how badly I lost the chips, I only lost $35 in cash, I lost interest in the game after some time when things are not looking good. I become just looking to past the time and have no interest in my tiles at all. This just isn't how I like to play my mahjong.

I prefer to play with a rate that can lose me $100 or more if I play badly. Some of my friends is against that. Some people label it as a gambler mentality. I can honestly say that it's not true. Mahjong is a game that requires a lot of concentration. And fear of lose + the exhilaration of winning can moltivate you to maintain that concentration for a long time. If what you lost can't hurt, and what you win can't bring you joy, you lose interest in the game pretty fast. After that you are just wishing that time passes quickly and the game can end. Might as well not play if that's the case.

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