By Marie Gilmore
Most people pass by a group playing at a Mah Jongg table and think it is pretty much a game of checkers or rummy with tiles, but truly, Mah Jongg is a game of strategy, skill and can lead to tournaments, travel and a lot of fun as a pair of local business owners have discovered.
Dragons on the Green was started as a Mah Jongg tournament business after avid players Judy Serrapica and friend Bonnie Wise, found that as much as they enjoyed playing at tournaments, there was no one actually teaching the game or hosting local tournaments.
Serrapica grew up playing Mah Jongg with her mother in New York and said that many times Mah Jongg has been a skill passed down through the generations. Wise started playing about eight years ago and appreciates the friendships and stress relief the game and tournaments provide.
Dragons on the Green will begin classes this month at the Osprey Observer Small Business Center located at 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon. Classes will be Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. with the introductory cost of $80 per person for four, two-hour classes. The cost will increase to $100 after the first month.
“Mah Jongg is an ancient Chinese game played with tiles that is similar to Rummy,” described Serrapica. “The game is played with four players and combines both luck and skill. It is a great way to meet people who are also interested in the game.”
Dragons on the Green Mah Jongg LLC coordinates tournaments on a regular basis, usually six to eight times a year in different venues, averaging 84 or more players. Players have the opportunity to win cash prizes. The company also offers lessons for new/beginner players as well as teaching strategy for the intermediate or advanced player.
Dragons on the Green has hosted seven Mah Jongg tournaments at Rocky Point Golf Course in Tampa, and on Saturday, October 31, it is hosting a Halloween Tournament at the Lone Palm Golf Club in Lakeland.
“The response to the new venue is overwhelming,” said Serrapica. “Each of our Mah Jongg tournaments to date has sold out.”
Visit www.dragonsonthegreen.com. For information on lessons, tournaments or assistance in holding your own tournament, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or at 540-0706.