Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Apr 29th, 2014
(excerpts from the WRC official website)
From July 16th to 20th, 2014, the city of Puteaux (a suburb of Paris, France) will host the very first Riichi Mahjong World Championship. Top players from all across the globe will face off at this event, all striving to win the historic first title.
This major international competition is organized by the TNT French Riichi Mahjong Club and its partners, which include yours truly (ReachMahjong.com) and the main sponsor, Ron2, JPML’s official battle site.
Apr 26th, 2014
On the 24th and 25th of April, Garthe and I played in the Internet Mahjong Championship, starting from the main event.
I played on the 24th with another pro, Koguruma. We played with two users who had won their way into the main event and to our table.
I had a problem with my connection and dropped out no fewer than 10 times, ending in third place for the first game. Lucky for me there were two games and while the majority of those disconnections happened during the second game, I somehow was able to win and pass Koguruma’s score for second place to make it into the Best 32, to be held on June 3rd! A user named Suzuki also advanced to the next round.
Apr 20th, 2014
I’m just kidding.
I needed a catchy title.
You should definitely visit DryingPaint Studios here.
It’s a mahjong site based in Seattle that was created to run ReachMahjong.com off the internet!
Apr 17th, 2014
Uffda!!! What a weekend! What an experience!
Amazingly, our number one biggest surprise: people like mahjong.
No, really! It is quite the mystery how a group of people who love mahjong could underestimate how much people who love games would love mahjong, but we did.
By the third day we had an hours long waiting list for people trying to get a shot at playing on any of our 3 tables. And they’d sign up again when we had to kick them off so others could get a chance to play. It was a surprise success that I don’t think any of us anticipated.
Apr 12th, 2014
( text refers to images that Garthe has yet to submit. Something to look forward to)
Well a few more years and I may lose my sense of Americanity entirely!
The first day and a half we were mostly just hanging out and trying to hit a cool spot or two for food.
Apr 9th, 2014
We’re very excited to announce that the USPML will have booth space in the tabletop section of PAX Prime, being held in Boston MA from April 11 – 13! In addition to an open play area and a wide variety of mahjong products available for sale, the inimitable star power of Gemma Collinge and Garthe Nelson will be on display as our celebrity guests from overseas.
An offshoot of the “PAX Prime” convention located on the western seaboard, PAX East is a fairly new event first held in 2010. Despite it’s youth, the convention has grown at an astonishing rate and will be hosting over 65,000 guests this year. The PAX conventions are intended as a direct outreach from developers/designers/publishers to their audience, as opposed to the industry media focus of other events. The tabletop section has been one of the fastest growing segments of PAX East and being a part of it gives us a great chance to share our love of Riichi with thousands of gamers.
We’ll be taking signups for scheduled in-depth teaching sessions as well as running quick “how do I play this” tutorials for interested onlookers. Additionally, we’ll have plenty of merchandise available from tile sets to play mats to books and calendars. This is the first time that Riichi mahjong is going to have feature space at a major convention, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach out to such a varied audience. If you’re going to be at the convention, come and visit us at booth C125 in the Tabletop section – hope to see you there!
Apr 9th, 2014
Hey, long time no write! Garthe here back from the not really dead, just fooling around too much, and now I’m about to head off to Boston with Gemma to fool around there.
YES! Gemma and I are headed to PAX EAST 2014 in Boston this weekend, and from what people said about last year’s event, it sounds like we are in for like the awesomest time ever. And I’m still not even totally sure what we’re supposed to be doing there besides just having fun.
Jan 9th, 2014
In 2012 ReachMahjong.com moved the online sales site MahjongMart.com to RM. We failed. The system wasn’t as good, there were Paypal issues and it was a complete disaster.
For the past 6 months Gemma and I have been preparing our new company, Reach Spirits Inc. As part of that we published “A Riichi Mahjong Study Book” in December and in January we have revived MahjongMart.com.
All the old products (that we can get ahold of) are still there and we’ll be tweaking the design and adding new products as time goes on. If you’re ever in need of Mahjong supplies, make sure to check MahjongMart.com first and support the podcast, the website and the forums.
2014 has already started off to be a good year thanks to our hard work in 2013 and we’ll continue to improve and someday be the best Mahjong website on the web.
Thank you everyone for your continuous support and for loving the game as much as Garthe, Gem and I do!
Dec 7th, 2013
Nearly three weeks after the JPML’s 10-tier tournament crowned its winner, the hype and tweets of disgust have died down a bit and in the latest issue of Kindai Mahjong ran a cheerful report on the final table, which was broadcasted live on Niconico. In a not so distant future, the only name remaining of the 30th annual Judansen will be Naoki Setokuma, who won the event for the third year in a row.
The day before it was announced that Masato Horiuchi had lost his privilege of continuing in the event as well as participating in any other professional events for the next year, for reasons which will be laid out below. The debate surrounding this punishment is about fairness. It seems the most fair thing we can do at RM.com is report the events and hope that this episode is not simply lost in history.
The 10-tier (Judansen) tournament is a JPML closed event. Each level players participate and move on or lose out depending on which dan (grade) they are. The final table includes 4 players who have won their spot and the previous year’s winner for a total of 5 players.
The players on this year’s final table were:
The first 2 days consisted of 8 games and games on November 16th, the games were delayed. Before play began a special video was played featuring the official: Takahiro Fujiwara and the president of JPML: Shigekazu Moriyama. Fujiwara explained what Horiuchi did, explained that it could not be confirmed in the video, but promised that all who were present noticed that Horiuchi slammed the 3b he drew, making it look dangerous, and sighed on the discard, making it look like he folded the hand. He apologized for not stopping the game at that point, explaining that he thought he could not stop something being broadcast live. You can see the video, in which you can’t see anything, here: 1384591266
President Moriyama went on to read an official decree of the unanimous decision by the committee to disqualify Horiuchi.
The article on JPML’s website dubs this event an “unprecedented accident.” It reads:
“Those who watched the broadcast already know that in the East-4 hand Horiuchi was set on winning the hand and even though he drew a 3b, which was a safe tile for Kojima’s riichi, he made it look as though he drew a dangerous tile and discarded the other 3b from his hand with a sigh, as if he were folding. This was shamisen*-like unfair trick play. (Horiuchi was waiting on a safe 1b for a 7700 point hand)
Earlier Setokuma drew Horiuchi’s winning 1b and even though it was safe to Kojima’s riichi he kept it, giving up his tempai (ready). But, after seeing Horiuchi’s actions he discarded the 1b, dealing into Horiuchi’s hand.
The game was not stopped at that point for the this ill-intentioned and against the rules play and it was reviewed the next day. There was a bit of confusion but after a careful review by the committee, Horiuchi was disqualified and the remaining 4 players finished the event.
It is unfortunate that this completely unexpected and unacceptable situation occurred, but from now on all JPML members must re-acknowledge their awareness and honor as competition professionals and make sure something like this never happens again.”
Horiuchi followed up this video with 3 tweets:
There was a problem with the hand I won in the East-4 hand of the 8th game in the Judansen final and I was disqualified and suspended from public tournaments. I apologize to everyone who supported me and all those involved. I do not plan to quit JPML. During my probation period I will reflect on this and I will do my best to compete for a title sometime again in the future.
I don’t want to be misunderstood so I would like to add something. I did not sigh when I drew 3b and I have never considered shamisen-type tactics to deceive my opponents. No matter what I have always hoped for pure mahjong competitions based only on skill. The hand in question was a critical moment and I was breathing heavy and put too much strength in my drawing hand.
At Judansen I had no ill-intentions but I apologize for causing trouble and inviting misunderstanding. I will take preventive measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again and start over. My official punishment will be determined at the January committee meeting. I will let you all know when I am able to resume my activities as a pro.
Despite his numerous fans, Horiuchi has been chastised in the past by professionals in the committee for his play, but not for his table manners. Some higher-ups have been unhappy with his recent success, but because the JPML systems reward past winners with “seeding”, once a player has won a tournament he’s all the more likely to appear on future final tables. With this incident Horiuchi has also lost all seeding privileges he once held for his multiple titles.
It is true that this is an unprecedented accident. However, the “unprecedented” part is certainly in the punishment, and not the crime. JPML has now set a precedence for penalizing sighing. It will be interesting to see if this continues.
As a perhaps interesting footnote, the members of the JPML committee mentioned above who unanimously decided this punishment changed this year. There is now only 1 female member and a number of younger members were dismissed at some point in time. After the event was over, one of the officers of the committee also tweeted that he heard about Horiuchi’s situation, but had not yet heard who the winner was. That tweet was later deleted.
If I were to voice only one opinion here, with Setokuma’s superior skill level and strong discard of the 1b, it seems unlikely that he thought 1b was still safe to Horiuchi and even more unlikely that any part of his decision was based on Horiuchi’s table manner.
*”Shamisen” is a bluff or lie about your hand
Nov 26th, 2013
This week Garthe was working on a movie, so we couldn’t record a proper podcast.
It’s tough to be in demand.
Instead how about saving up for our book.
The print version will be available by the end of the month. Someone actually bought 30!
There are still copies left, so e-mail or PM one of us (Jenn, Garthe, Gem) if you’d like to reserve a copy.
We’ll be back with a proper podcast next week.