'LAPOM' crew and pro Jenn Barr at the "PML Riichi Mahjong Open 2016"

GARDENA, California/USA - Upcoming weekend riichi mahjong club 'Los Angeles Pride of Mahjong' (LAPOM') will be hosting a two-day tournament, which will be streamed LIVE on YouTube. For the first time in the history of the North American Riichi Mahjong Association ('NARMA') players will participate in a team competition instead of an individual event.

Founded in May 2016 and currently consisting of one hundred members 'LAPOM' is active on Twitter and Facebook, translates interviews with Japanese pros, and appears at local conventions and festivals, with a singular mission in mind: "To spread riichi mahjong throughout the world, one step at a time." Their latest endeavor in their quest is the upcoming "Team Tournament - Best In The West", which will be broadcast live on YouTube with running commentary. Ryan Gan, 'LAPOM' staff member: "We want people all over the world to see this innovative tournament format and hopefully build club pride. This is a way for clubs to duel one another rather than just individuals."

'Saki style'

In order to appeal to an audience beyond the mahjong community the organizers opted to utilize the famous manga 'Saki' by Ritz Kobayashi which revolves around high school girl Saki Miyanaga and her voyage into the world of competitive mahjong. In 'Saki style' eight teams (four players per team) will compete over the course of two days on AMOS REXX fully automatic mahjong tables: three teams from Seattle, three from San Francisco and two from Los Angeles. The highest scoring team will be lauded "Best in the West" and take home a trophy and a brand new automatic mahjong table, generously gifted by Aotomo.com

Tournament format and rules set

Each player will compete in eight qualification hanchan; the finalists play one additional hanchan. The first, second, third and fourth players from each team will start at their designated times and in a manner so that all the team first players play amongst each other, and then second players against each other, and so on and so forth. Points will be cumulative for each team rather than each player (100,000 in total). As is common in 'NARMA' events, participants will play by WRC rules, however in line with the 'Saki' manga no uma will be applied to the scores. Additionally, games will be capped at sixty minutes.

Schedule: Saturday February 17: 10.50h - 19.00h PST; Sunday February 18: 09.45h - 17.00 PST (the complete tournament schedule may be viewed here)

Each hanchan one table will be streamed live at the 'LAPOM' YouTube channel.