Saikoui-sen Kansai Pro & Amateur League
Report by Exy
Hi there, I’m LAPOM Japan’s correspondent leader Exy.
I participated in the first match of Saikoui-sen Kansai Professional and Amateur League 2019!
The M-league effect, the tournament had 52 participants, the highest number of participants ever recorded for this tournament.
Speaking about my results first, I was 52nd out of 52. An overwhelming loss... but I really enjoyed it!
On December of 2018, I had the chance to participate in Saikoui-sen Kansai Pro-Amateur Classic and I was surprised at the sharpness of the pros’ intuition in reading my hand. (They correctly guessed most of my hand…) I’ve been wanting to participate again ever since. The chance arrived when I saw an announcement for another tournament on Twitter. I decided to take the chance and participate in the event, since I wanted to see the pros’ technique first hand.
Saikoui-sen Pros from the right
Iinuma pro (The 11th Saikoui-sen Classic Champion), Makino pro, Nishida pro, Inawaki Pro, Nakamura Pro, Abo Pro
For the first game, I played with one of the female professionals, Maki Asami and the mighty Bauer Yamaji. I started off on the North wind and I was watched anxiously as the game developed. For the majority nothing exciting happened, but my chance came when I saw a Sanshoku developing in my hand as the dealer. Drawing a Kanchan, and then Tanyao, Tsumo! …was my plan that never happened, and that was when I realized that I was abandoned by the god of mahjong. Make sure to win the round when you can instead of trying to overdo it… (Although I don’t think anybody except me would do such a thing on the first round). After that I was only able to win one round and I finished in 3rd.
I played my second game with one of the newest female mahjong pros Miki Ohashi. I was unable to win even a single round and I placed 4th.
It seemed like my luck finally came around in the third game, East, first round. By my fifth draw, my hand is in tenpai for Kokushimusou! It was an 1-pin wait, everybody at the table was focused on their hands, and it seemed like nobody was high alert. However, it was squandered before my 7th draw by the pro before me, who won the round with a hand worth 1300… I couldn’t win with my hand of Chinitsu and Ikkitsukan in the final round either…
Saikoui-sen Ai Kanzaki Pro
I played with mahjong pro, Ai Kanzaki, on the fourth round. (I only seem to remember the female pros’ names…) In the pre-game introductions, a young-looking guy said “It’s my first time [at a tournament] and I’m not too confident in the fu-calculations, but I’ll try my best!”. He ended up overwhelming us with Mangan hands one after another. He didn’t need to do fu-calculations at all!
In the end I was only able to win two rounds in four games. The finals were full of exciting moments like the dealer winning the round with Kokushimusou.
It was an amazing day. If you are thinking of participating in such a tournament hosted by professional mahjong players, go and do it! The staff will make sure that you will be seated with a professional most of the time, so even if you are not confident in score calculation you can have fun.