I received a lot of red envelopes this Chinese New Year, so I treated us to a mahjong table and chairs for our newly inducted weekly mahjong/poker night. It’s going to happen or else Jen and I will turn into hermits for the next six months.

I spent 14 hours playing mahjong with Jim’s (my cousin) mom’s side of family on Tuesday. 14 hours. We played for money (as you’re supposed to, but this was my first time playing with money), and I lost $1300 out of $2000. I was up $1000 about 8 hours in, but after that 10th hour, I was exhausted, lost my concentration and my general sense of competition.

Before Tuesday, my own history of playing mahjong had consisted of what my dad taught me during family nights at home. We never played for money since it was all fun and games, but at least my brother and I learned the basics. Fortunately, I didn’t embarrass myself too bad playing with those hardcore professionals. Did I mention we played for 14 hours?

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