Idyllwild’s Ann Morrison won the Mah Jongg tournament Jan. 11 in Indian Wells at the Desert Horizon’s Country Club for the John Tracy Clinic. She came in first place out of the 84 players. 

“This is kind of a big deal in the local world of Mah Jongg,” said local Tori Thomas who also participated in the tournament. 

When asked how the tournament worked Morrison responded, “We played 24 games. There are four games in one round. At a tournament, you have to play four games [one round] in an hour. There were three rounds in the morning and three in the afternoon.” 

“On round two, I won all of the four games played at that table and ended the day with a respectable 260 points,” wrote Thomas in an email. “The big news is … Ann ended her day with 340 points. She was announced as the winner of the entire tournament!”

“We play at the library on a weekly basis and encourage others to join us to learn and play,” said Thomas.

Morrison and Thomas were taught by Maggie DiZinno a few years ago at the Idyllwild Library. 

“I know Maggie, who organizes the library games,” said Morrison. “She told me about it and she’s really nice and I thought there’d be other really nice people there too. I was right.” 

“It took a couple of months to start to feel confident,” Morrison said when asked how long it took her to learn how to play. “Some people pick it up quickly and it takes some people a little longer. It is logical and fun at the same time.”

For those interested, the group meets at the Idyllwild Library from noon to 4 p.m. every Tuesday. 

“It is very casual and people can come and go,” said Morrison. You do not have to play all four hours. 

The next tournament in the desert will be March 30.