Fumitaka Tanaka Beats Fierce Competition in WSoM Riichi Event
- Published on Friday, 20 August 2010 20:07
- Written by Gemma Collinge, ReachMahjong.Com
MACAU - A small but strong group of Riichi players gathered before the main event of the World Series of Mahjong to battle it out for a top prize of over $5000 US.
The players were almost entirely Japanese with two notable exceptions – Garthe Nelson of ReachMahjong.com fame (he is American) and the Mahjong Club qualifier winner, Shaofu from Taiwan.
The rule-set used was not EMA rules but a version of tournament rules played in Japan. The most notable aspects were: No dealer renchan (continuance), kuitan ari (open tanyao permitted) and no red fives. Furthermore, a larger uma was applied to end-of-table scores.
The competition was much fiercer this year than in 2007 with many experienced Japanese players participating; several of whom had already won difficult qualifiers in Tokyo to gain their seats. Players also needed stamina with a total of eight rounds being played before the top four players went onto the final round.
After the first final round it seemed that Garthe Nelson was going to be in for an easy win, but after a very ill-fated final match, he lost dramatically to Tanaka, losing the top prize but still maintaining a respectable second place.
The top three players cashed in and were as follows:
1st Place Fumitaka Tanaka
2nd Place Garthe Nelson
3rd Place Saori Azuma
This year’s Tournament Director was Konno, and Gemma Collinge was his linguist and assistant, both contributors to ReachMahjong.com. Speaking after the event, both Konno and Gemma felt that after a slight delay caused by some organizational changes the event ran smoothly. As always, running events such as this one is a steep learning curve and lessons have been learnt from this year’s event both during and in the run-up to the event, which they hope will help any future tournaments run by ReachMahjong.com even better.
Finally, ReachMahjong.com would like to thank the people at the World Series of Mahjong for their almost endless patience and support and without whom of course, the event would never be possible. Also, Mahjong Club for hosting the qualifying online games.