After playing for 9 han-chans, 4 tonpuusens and travelling for 60 hours, I’m back to share with everyone on what has happened in WRC 2017, Las Vegas, and the different practices that was done there and other takeaways we can get!
As most of you would have known by now, the WRC 2017 champion is Tomotake Masaharu! Tomotake Masaharu is an 8-dan player in Japanese Professional Mahjong League (JPML). His profile is here. After 9 han-chans, only 32 out of 224 players can make it to the next qualifying round while the rest to be eliminated. Unfortunately, no Singaporeans made it to the top 32. It was dominated by Japanese players, with 27/80 them in top 32. 4 European & 1 American players made into the list. 2 of them reached top 16 and 1 reached top 8.
Details of results can be found here.
Although none of us made it through to top 32, I think we performed well as a whole with 2 placed in top 50, and the other 2 placed near average! The top 32 cut-off was a very tough one, with the cut-off score at around 82 at the end of 8 han-chans. At the end of 9 han-chans, the cut-off score shot to 96.7! Even though Feng had managed a mean position of 2.11 by 1,1,3,3,2,2,3,1,3, it was not enough.
|Cheo Kae Jer||133th||-23.3|
*Known as Feng in SMC
**Known as Ying Ming in SMC
There is no information regarding the next WRC but let’s hope that we can send more players and get better results for the next WRC!
Enough of results, let’s get down with takeaways!
Seat positions and dealer determination
This is going to be confusing and long but it is the standard actual way of determining seats for Riichi. Skip to next section if you don’t want to read.
- 6 tiles shuffled faced down – 12p + 4 winds
- Someone be temp East and roll the dice. (eg: 5, i.e temp east)
- Open the 6 tiles. (eg: N1pEW2pS)
- Arrange it to have 1p and 2p at the side (1pNEWS2p)
- Since it rolled a 5 (odd number), distribute the wind tiles from 1p. If the die rolled an even number, distribute the wind tiles from 2p.
- So for this example, distribute 1p+N to no.5 (dice rolled), then in turn order for E, W, S+2p.
- The person who was temp East has gotten a North and therefore will seat at the North seat. The temp East remain as an East seat. The rest follows.
- With all 4 players seated, the starting dealer will be decided. The temp East will roll a dice. (Eg: rolled a 7)
- Since the dice rolled a 7, temp West will be the starting dealer (the actual East of the game).
I would like to introduce and enforce this method for tournaments. As for club sessions, I hope players who know should practice it. It is always good to be familiarised with the right stuff.
All 7.7k and 11.6k hands are rounded up to 8k and 12k respectively. We will also likely to adopt this change for WRC leagues.
Stacking of wall
Always stack the wall from the one behind on top to the one in front. This sounds a little unclear so I will go in detailed. When we stack walls, many of us form two rows of tiles together, separate them then stack but there are players who do forward stacking and backward stacking. The correct way is forward stacking, which is to stack the one closer to you, forward to the stop of the other row of tiles. Some players do backward stacking, which is to stack the row that is further from them onto the row that is nearer to them. This is frown upon because it can be associated it a cheating act call Tsubame Gaeshi. You can watch a short video clip of this act here.
This rationale was not announced by anyone from the WRC staff or referee. There was no such enforcement during the tournament. This was explained to my table by Kenichi Abe Pro as he gave advice to another player at the end of the game. Some players might not find this rationale convincing. Afterall, Sakurai Shouichi is able to do a forward stacking type of Tsubame Gaeshi. But let’s aim to cultivate good habits instead of arguing with the rationale.
Shuffling of tiles
Tiles are shuffled with palms opened, gently & slowly such that all tiles always remain faced down all the time.
Sorting one’s hand
If any player is featured on camera, it is expected of players to sort their hands. This is even more important when displaying your winning hand. Your opponents need to read your hand and check the value you announced. It is disrespectful and rude to not sort your hand and expect your opponent to confirm the score.
Practice for Orasu (last round)
Because it can be a waste of time to always check each other’s score, players confirm their score only during orasu and then they will write it down on a paper with the wind seat arrangement, that will be placed in the middle of the table during orasu. If there is a renchan, the score will be edited on that paper.
Japanese’s calmness in both winning and losing
Last but not least, no matter what happens, almost all Japanese always have a poker face be it when they are winning or losing. Win gracefully and lose gracefully. In this way, we can be very calm and remain logical at all times.
To end off…this is how the 4-star hotel room looks like!