Thank you for taking the time and writing something really helpful and motivating. For me your post is the most valuable on how to play in quite some time. I guess there are quite a few people like me, who gained a little experience through online play but at some point don't know how to advance their play and get frustrated with Tenhou's open lobby.
I'm gratefull that you backed my theory of "lack of skill" in the open lobby. After I wrote my initial post I felt like an idiot to write something like that because it is easy to accuse other people of bad play when you just lost your full flush hand to a cheap yakuhai hand. I would lie if I would say that this doesn't hurt But losing is part of the game and to play riichi means also to deal with defeats. But it's really not about one or the other game, it's more about the whole thing. And of course I would like to say that there are also people playing in the open lobby which really know how to play - just in case somebody gets the impression through my post that on Tenhou's open lobby skill is absent.
No problem. It's just my opinion, though, it's by no means a holy book on anything. If anything, Pechorin has a lot of better "commandments" about playing on tenhou, that are more philosophical than strategic ("don't think of yourself as weak" "have a rival to compare yourself to" "don't whine about being caught by other players" etc). If I can ever find that post in his archive, I'll give it a shot at translating it.
Tenhou's open lobby stops being profittable from the moment you get to the dan ranking, as you're not making enough points by winning to make up for the ones you are losing when you... lose. That's why the higher lobby you play in, the better. That is if you keep up with the level. If you don't, then relax, study some more, and grind your way back into the higher rooms.
It's hard to measure the level of skill of another player in just one game, judging by the hands he put together... I guess it's easier to determine the lack of skill if anything. Or the lack of being willing to learn how to play better.
You can distinguish the player who folds even at times when he shouldn't, which can also be an unskilled mistake, but it hurts only himself and shows true interest and commitment to getting better, and the player who just tries to push ahead with every single hand and more often than not deals in for no reason. The latter shows no commitment to improvement or consideration.
That's exactly what I think. After watching Mondo's videos you might know how to squeeze a hand but you don't know how to play your way through Tenhou's open lobby.
I could also comment on all other examples which I felt you took straight out of open lobby play, but it's not neccesseary because I've seen these kind of situations so often and you're right on every single one of it. I can only recommend your post as one of the best I've ever read on playing real life online mahjong (no folks, I'm not getting paid by xKime to say that), especially on Tenhou - like you say, this might be a platform where some odd mahjong physics takes place and not every riichi rule set on this planet favours playing tactics like you described in your post, that has to be kept in mind.
That's mainly because of how scores are written at the mondo leagues, in contrast to how you earn points on tenhou. Results like 333313331331 however an unlikely example it may be, will take you to higher rankings in tenhou, eventually, but it will -not- earn you first place in a league.
Well, thanks for saying that, and no I'm not paying you to say that indeed. I'm saving for my stay in Japan, during which I hope to be accepted in any pro league after succesfully completing the exams.
Still, the golden rule on tenhou is, don't underestimate your opponents. They might suddenly decide to make the right move one out of ten times. Still, you can underestimate them whenever you get a big or special hand. Like, one away from a kokushi 13-sided-wait. But always remember that if you are going to deal into them, deal in with the tile that hurts a bit less...
Fck. That's as close I'll be to a 13-sided kokushi in quite some time, and the jerkoff to the left decided to go menzen chin itsu. Nice call.
(Before any wisecrack says "should have discarded the red 5 earlier," that red 5 dora is the tile I drew right after the riichi, as if to also make me deal into ippatsu. The game loves me so. I decided to keep it, and then I drew the suji 8.. what happened after that is pretty much obvious)