Festival of tiles at online mah jongg tourney

First there was online sports handicapping. Then came online poker. So it was inevitable someone should come up with online mah jongg.

The ancient Chinese game enjoyed by Jewish women of all ages hits the Internet with a tournament that will net the overall champion $2,000 — such a deal!

The 2006 Hanukkah Mahjong Tournament kicks off 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at www.MahjongTime.com. Registration is $20 or free for Web site members; membership runs from $4.95 a month to $7.95 a month. The tournament abides by the game’s American rules (as opposed to Chinese or Hong Kong versions), the ones American Jews grew up with — and will even be “blessed” on its opening day by Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz of Los Angeles.