‘Biggest prize event in mahjong history’ suspended
- Published on Tuesday, 18 August 2009 08:42
- Written by Martin Rep
(Update: Comment of Mr. Jim Mehren, president of the World Mahjong Ltd/World Series of Mahjong)
MACAU – No World Series of Mahjong 2009. The ‘million dollar event’, which draw hundreds of mahjong players to the Chinese ‘gamblers heaven’ of Macau, has suspended its activities for this year. According to Jim Mehren, president of the World Mahjong Ltd/World Series of Mahjong, the event is rescheduled for August 20-22, 2010.
In 2007 and 2008, tremendous prizes were handed over to lucky mahjong players in the Wynn Macau five star hotel/casino, where the tournament took place. Last year's winner, Kwok Hung Alex Ho from Hong Kong, received a 500,000 USD check from the organizers. The winner of the first event, Hui Chung Lai, also from Hong Kong, got a similar amount.
Jim Mehren admits that the world wide credit crises has caused the organizers to postpone the event. The organizers will seize the opportunity to modify the setup of the tournament. Shortly, the move of the event from Wynn Macau to larger facilities at the Venetian Macau will be announced, says Mr. Mehren. This move will make the Venetian Macau the future home of the WSoM for at least the next three years. According to Mr. Mehren, this agreement took much longer to to finalize than was expected.
Jim Mehren: "In addition, we will be staging an expanded series of official qualifying events later this year, and next year prior to the Main Event in August, 2010. Details and schedules will be announced in the very near future."
The World Series of Mahjong was launched in 2006 by WML, a group of international media veterans and entertainment industry professionals, based in the Greater China region. They like to call their event the ‘World Mahjong Championship’, claiming it has the biggest prize money in the history of mahjong. A report of the first tournament was broadcast by CNN (see below).
Subscription to the WSoM cost 5,000 US dollar, but seats could also be won in satellite tournaments. Such as the 'WSoM Reach event' in Japan, organized by American mahjong player Jenn Barr, who runs the Japan based website Reach Mahjong – the only way to play. Jenn was busy working on her qualifier for this year, when she suddenly had to call of the preparations. “We are now working on damage control”, Jenn tells MahjongNews.Com. “I do not know what has happened. It is postponed until 2010. It looks like it will still happen then.”
One of the sponsors and co-organizers of the WSoM was MahjongTime, a webserver where mahjong can be played on line. Last year, they gave an airline ticket plus free subscription to the winner of the Sisi Cup 2008, the combined championships of Hungary and Austria. Mr. Otto Myslivec from Austria was the lucky winner and he had a great time in Macau. Otto, quite active in the Austrian mahjong scene – he was one of the main organizers of the European championship 2009 in Austria - tried in vain to get in contact again wih WSoM, to have them sponsored the OEMC 2009.
“Begin 2009, we had contact with the organizers and they said the new event was scheduled for September, 2009. Last March we asked them to sponsor the OEMC 2009, but they never answered our e-mail. Their web site is out of date. Probably they have run into financial problems”, Otto Myslivec says.
Information about WSoM on Mahjong Wiki
CNN video about the WSoM on YouTube