The Netherlands were not only the first country to hold a riichi tournament in 2010, they were the first to hold an MERS riichi tournament. The annual Cherry Blossom tournament attracted 60 players not only from the Netherlands but also Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany, Finland and the UK.

The organizers employed the new tournament format that was trialed at red 5s. Many games were cut short, but I still believe it has a lot more pros than cons.

My performance… Well, my school teachers always complained about my lack of consistency and it seems I haven’t changed!

On my first table I lost over 40k. I thought that the day was over for me before I started and I decided to aim for breaking even. My second table I gained 10k but my third table was the real turnaround, seeing me gain almost 70k points and putting me back in the game. Fortunately I couldn’t follow up that success on the final table. Still, I was pleased to have conquered my problem with tilt. I always lose my concentration after some bad beats but this time I kept my cool and I was really happy with my play. (Although most of it was pure luck!)

The competition at these European tournaments is getting much stronger. I also met a lot of young players new to the game which is wonderful. The skill level of European players is markedly improved. I saw a lot fewer “chinese tactics” employed and I think that most players are really coming to understand the intricacies of the game.

Moreover, sixty players is a very impressive turnout! The success of the first 2010 MERS riichi tournament is a testament not only to the excellent organization by the Dutch, but the hardwork of all of us to spread the word of riichi mahjong and our efforts to make the riichi mahjong community welcoming!

RM on Social