Takaharu Ooi is a fave of several Western players. He started playing mahjong from the age of five years old, but it wasn’t until he succeeded at Masters in Japan that he turned professional. He has forged a very successful career in the tough world of mahjong, now a member of RMU, Ooi was included in the first generation of M-Leaguers.
Jenn of ReachMahjong.com caught up with him and collected some of his thoughts on mahjong and M-League.
Jenn: Tell us about a typical day for you as an M-Leaguer
Ooi: On game days I listen to my favorite music, watch a video or movie and make sure to relax.
J: M League must be far more demanding than monthly league sessions. Have you gotten used to it?
O: I don’t really mind the schedule, but there is a ton of pressure as a representative of the company and to meet the expectations of so many people. So far I think I have been able to turn that pressure into strength and I’ve been able to go beyond my abilities.
J: How has your life changed since joining M League?
O: I used to play mahjong a lot from the morning, but now I play mostly at night. And now more people call me for work.
J: Is there anything that you absolutely must do before games?
O: I always make sure to eat something I like. I especially like eating meat.
J: What is your playstyle?
O: I consider myself to be a well-balanced player with slightly more emphasis on defense. I feel like I’m comfortable with all aspects of the game.
J: Have you ever participated in WRC? Do you plan to in the future?
O: I would love to someday!
J: Do you have a message for the fans overseas?
O: I want to play with as many different people as possible, so I look forward to playing with you someday.
You can catch up with Takaharu Ooi on twitter