- Created on Tuesday, 23 September 2008 09:15
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 18:00
- Written by Otto Myslivec
'Just 30 points short…'
Otto Myslivec of the mahjong club Baden (Austria) participated in the World Series of Mahjong (WSoM) in Macau, China, last weekend. A huge money event, with over a million US dollars of prize money. Mr. Myslivec had won an airline ticket to Macau, a stay in a luxury hotel and the entree fee to the tournament (value: 5,000 US dollar), since he won this year's Sisi Trophy. Exclusively for Mahjong News, he wrote a report about eventful trip.
MACAU - 'I am sorry to say that, when I traveled home after the World Series of Mahjong, I did not have a million dollar in my suitcase. But what I did have, were a lot of impressions and new mahjong experience.
'I think, I succeeded in "selling" myself quite well. At least, my way of playing met with recognition and approval. But the 300 Chinese players were quite surprised in the first place to find two 'white' players amongst the competitors. It is true that the players came from twelve countries (among them Canadians, Americans and Australians), but they all had something in common: they were all Asian people. My friend Mauthi (Martin Mauthner) had accompanied me for only moral support, but somehow he had managed to get a ticket to play as well.
'Game play was incredibly fast. There was no time for consideration, and if you would have said 'just a minute', or: 'Patience', this would have lead to dismayed shake of the heads of your opponents.
'I was happy to pass the qualification. I won one table, had a second place twice and one time I was third. My score: minus 70 ( the number 1 players had 1100 points, the last one minus 2000!)
'Then I could play at the TV table, with live broadcast on TV, like in poker games, with the player in the lead and two other strong players. Nevertheless, I became second, and I even won the next table. At lunch break, I had a score of plus 10 points. We all though I was still in the game, since, normally, this could even happen if you had some minus points. So it was a big disappointment to find myself at the 143th position - 15 places below the 'safe' 128th spot… The sad thing about this was that I was just 30 points short. In any other round, my result would have been enough to play further. Mauthi, by the way, did not succeed in getting in his ordinary game and became 255th.
'Concluding: All could play fairly well, but you need a bit of luck, i.e. your original hand should contain some tiles that made a high score possible. Some female players of our Baden club usually are pre-destined for that…
'The tournament took place in Wynn Macau, a five star hotel/casino, where all your whishes were fulfilled. The organization was quite professional and there was security and ID cards with entry codes.
'Around the casino, there were only boutiques, with prices that caused tears in your eyes. Actually, Macau is a gambling town, where all people live as if there is nothing else in life than that. We had the impression that each month, next to an existing casino, a new one is opened… Apart from a few ruins and old buildings from the Portuguese colonial time, there is nothing to see. For that matter, Macau is not worth the trip. And it is warm. very warm, and humid, with temperatures of 30~35 degrees Celsius and an atmospheric humidity of 90 percent.
'But for me it was a great event, and I surely will try to be there again next year.'