Tuesday 21 April 2015

Cyrille Rak Cracks the Case as the 2015 Sherlock Holmes of Mahjong!


LONDON 17 April 2015 - It was an unsolved mystery that evaded a verdict for ten challenging weeks, while twenty-eight detectives were hot on the trail of clues. In the end, it was elementary, my dear readers. Cyrille Rak solved the most puzzles in the shortest amount of time, awarding him 1st place as the 2015 Sherlock Holmes of Mahjong, followed by Konsta Lensu and Sylvain Malbec.

Congratulations also to Vitaly Novikov, author of the riddles and coordinator of the contest, for his most successful season of mysteries to date, and for a contest excellently done.

A special thanks also to Mahjongtime.com for their generous support of Mahjong News and for the donation of prizes for the top three contestants.



New Tournament Format for WSoM 2010

"We observed that the players were not entirely happy with our old format," explains Alan Kwan, the Rules Director of WSoM.  "It admittedly had many shortcomings because it was based on the tournament formats from games other than mahjong.  We designed the new format focusing on giving the players what mahjong players like."

"No one likes to go to a mahjong competition only to be eliminated after a few hours," Alan continus.  The new format allows every player to play the full length of the 96-hand preliminary round before eliminating anyone.

The 16 top-scoring players from the preliminary round will enter the final day rounds.  But instead of just adding up the raw scores, each players' score at the end of each 16-hand session is first converted into "match points" before being used to compute his results.  The conversion formula: apply a square root to the magnitude of the raw score (leaving its sign unchanged).  "This makes it more important to play skillfully for a positive score, and discourages playing foolhardily to hope to get a big score luckily," Alan explains.  In the final day, half of the players will be eliminated each round, just as in the old format.

Prize structure

Coupled with the above is a new prize structure.  WSoM this year is taking a major departure from the typical prize structure for sports and game competitions of awarding the prizes based on ranking.  Instead, prize money is awarded for one's mahjong score - which is the prevalent practice for casual mahjong.

The total prize pot, which comprises 100% of the HK$5000 entrance fee (in contrast to the US$5000 in previous years) collected from all players, is divided into four equal "prize pools", one pool for each round in the event. The player accumulates prize money as he advances from round to round.  For the preliminary round, the top 1/8 or 32 players (whichever is greater) are "in the money", and those players divide the pool in direct proportion to their score totals.  For the three rounds on the final day, everyone in the round is in the money; first 250 points are added to each player's score, and then they split the pool in direct proportion to their adjusted scores.

"We hope to bring a fun and exciting event with the new format," says Alan.

Example of overall scheme with 320 players (unit=HK$):

Round Prize Pool # of Winners Average $/Winner $ Value /Point
preliminary 400,000 40 10,000 ?
final day R1 400,000 16 25,000 100
final day R2 400,000 8 50,000 200
grand final 400,000 4 100,000 400


Example of pool splitting for final day round 2:

Score Prize (HK$)
+250 100,000
+170 84,000
+75 65,000
+30 56,000 ^ advances
-35 43,000 v eliminated
-100 30,000
-190 12,000
-200 10,000
Total Pool 400,000

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